February 18, 2022

Duckworth, Durbin Statement on City of Chicago’s Decision To Deny Permit for Reserve Management Group’s Southside Recycling


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that it has denied Reserve Management Group’s (RMG) permit to operate a scrap metal recycling facility on Chicago’s Southeast Side:

“The Southeast Side community near these facilities has borne the burden from toxic pollutants for too long, and residents don’t deserve additional health risks from increased operations of these facilities. Environmental injustice is all too common for Black and brown communities, and we’re pleased that this decision will help make sure Chicagoans whose voices have gone unheard until now will be able to breathe safer air regardless of their zip code.”

Last year Duckworth and Durbin 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 called for enhanced monitoring at the site. Today’s announcement follows findings from CDPH that potential adverse changes in air quality and quality of life that would be caused by operations, and health vulnerabilities in the surrounding communities—together with the company's track record in operating similar facilities within this campus—present an unacceptable risk.

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.