Feds investigating Pritzker EPA for approving new scrap shredder on Chicago’s heavily polluted Southeast Side

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration is facing a federal environmental justice investigation after approving a new scrap shredder in a low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

The probe announced Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency comes amid a separate-but-related investigation of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration.

Civil rights divisions at the EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are digging into why the state and city cleared Reserve Management Group to build a shredder in the East Side neighborhood after the Ohio-based company agreed to close a similar operation in Lincoln Park, a wealthy, largely white neighborhood on the city’s North Side.

Lawyers for Southeast Side community groups petitioned for federal intervention, accusing city agencies and the Illinois EPA of colluding with developers to concentrate polluting industries in a corner of the city where residential yards already are contaminated by heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

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