September 12, 2018

Duckworth Meets With Southeast Chicago Residents to Discuss Toxic Pollution Threatening Their Community

Duckworth gathering community feedback to explore possible legislative solutions to help ensure Chicago residents have access to clean air & water


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined members of Chicago’s Southeast Environmental Taskforce and a dozen neighborhood residents for a group discussion yesterday about the health and safety impacts of toxic pollution from industrial sites on the southeast side of Chicago. Members of the community then accompanied Duckworth on a tour of some of the area’s contaminated and polluted industrial sites. The visit helped Duckworth gather information as she explores possible legislative solutions to help ensure these residents have access to clean water and clean air. A photo of the meeting is available here.

“It’s unacceptable that here on the South Side of Chicago – or in Flint, Michigan, or anywhere else – our kids could get sick by spending too much time outside or by taking a sip from their school’s water fountain,” Duckworth said. “Illinois’ children and parents alike deserve to live their lives without worrying about the next public health crisis. I will do everything I can to hold polluters accountable and make sure the Trump Administration is enforcing the law because these residents shouldn’t have to fight to ensure they have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe.”

The Southeast side of Chicago has a history of industrial pollution and the community continues to struggle with toxic pollution issues today. As a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Duckworth has worked to hold polluters and the Trump Administration accountable for following and enforcing environmental protections that keep our families safe. She helped lead the effort to defeat the Trump Administration’s first nominee to oversee the EPA’s chemical safety office, Michael Dourson, including placing a hold on his nomination. Dourson had spent decades defending poisonous chemicals that have caused problems in children and been linked to high cancer rates in servicemembers and Veterans across the country.

Duckworth has been an advocate for environmental protections in the Senate and has been outspoken about the need to reduce human exposure to toxic poisons like lead. In 2017, she introduced the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act, along with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), to ensure periodic testing for lead contamination in drinking water at schools while also providing schools with additional resources to monitor lead levels and replace outdated water infrastructure systems. Duckworth introduced the NO LEAD Act of 2017 to protect clean drinking water by making lead testing reports more comprehensive and ensure they are easily available to the public. She has also helped introduce legislation to authorize more than $1 billion in federal funding to help small and disadvantaged communities replace contaminated water infrastructure and recently wrote, along with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), to several Trump Administration cabinet officials asking the President’s interagency task force on lead exposure to develop a comprehensive strategy to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.