Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Block Club Chgo: State Says South Lakefront Dump Site Can Operate For Another Year As Army Corps Pursues Decades-Long Expansion

 Earlier in the fall I waded into the debate over a potential move by the Chicago Bears from Soldier Field. I suggested perhaps the Bears can build a new stadium at the former US Steel site "South Works" near 87th and the lakefront. Well here's some new news about this parcel which is still looking for solid development.

State environmental regulators allowed a lakefront dump for polluted sediment to continue operating for another year, as the federal government awaits the state’s decision on long-term plans to expand the facility.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency approved a water pollution permit Friday for a “dredged material disposal facility” neighboring Calumet Park at the mouth of the Calumet River.

The 43-acre site, operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, stores sediment dredged from the Calumet River and five other federally maintained waterways in the city. Its permit was approved Friday and expires Nov. 30.

The Army Corps partially shut down the dump earlier this year, after its prior water pollution permit expired May 31.

A public input process led to special conditions on the new permit. They include a requirement that the Army Corps study whether the site could introduce more mercury and other toxic chemical compounds into the local food web.

But even with special conditions, “it’s still a permit to allow some level of pollution in a community that’s already overburdened,” said Kiana Courtney, staff attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center.

Read more at Block Club Chicago

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