May 07, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin, Kelly Statement on City of Chicago’s Decision to Delay General Iron Permit


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) today released the following statement after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot delayed the permit for Reserve Management Group (RMG) to expand metal recycling operations at a site on Chicago’s Southeast Side, following U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan’s request:

“It’s clear there is an urgent need for expert evaluation of the public health hazards caused by this site. We applaud the Biden EPA’s leadership and the City of Chicago’s decision to delay this permit which would allow expanded operations. The community on the Southeast Side near these facilities has long borne the burden from toxic pollutants, and residents deserve to know more about the current health risks before these facilities increase operations. Environmental injustice is all too common for Black and brown communities, and we must help make sure that every American is able to breathe safe air regardless of their zip code.”

Duckworth, Durbin and Kelly earlier this year called for a review of the health risks associated with the emissions from the RMG’s Reserve Marine Terminals and the South Shore Recycling facilities. Duckworth and Durbin also last year called for enhanced monitoring at the site.

The Senate’s Environmental Justice Caucus, of which Senator Duckworth is a co-founder and Senator Durbin is a member, aims to raise awareness of the many environmental and pollution issues that have created public health challenges, which disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. The caucus seeks to help those communities advocate for themselves with the federal government by providing expertise and assistance, generating legislation and organizing hearings and events.