Lightfoot Administration Upholds Commitment to Environmental Justice and Public Health
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CHICAGO – The Illinois Environmental Council issued the following statement applauding community leaders on Chicago’s Southeast side in their victorious campaign to deny Reserve Management Group’s (RMG) permit to begin operations at Southside Recycling:
“To say we have been inspired by the tenacity of the community members on Chicago’s Southeast side is an understatement. Their campaign to deny South Side Recycling a permit to pollute in their already overburdened community has demonstrated what is possible when people organize around their fundamental rights to clean air and healthy communities. Had they not mobilized, risking life and limb at times, for the outcome they deserve, this permit would have been granted.
“Mayor Lori Lightfoot committed her administration to work on environmental justice issues, and CDPH has identified legacies of racism as a public health crisis. Today’s decision is a reflection of those commitments. We are thankful that they took this opportunity to do right by the predominantly Black and Brown community on Chicago’s Southeast side.
“Even so, securing clean air shouldn’t be so difficult. IEC is committed to building a more just process for permitting and land use in our state: one that empowers community voices and requires a cumulative impact litmus test for new pollution. Following the lead of the Chicago Environmental Justice Network, we believe the Environmental Justice Act (HB4093/SB2906) is a crucial policy solution in securing environmental justice for all of Illinois’ communities. We will not stop working to advance the policy changes needed to prevent disproportionate environmental burdens for Illinois’ environmental justice communities.”