Chicago City Council committee passes lead ordinance
07/27/2011 9:55 PM
A proposal that would crack down on lead polluters in the city unanimously passed a Chicago City Council committee on Monday, setting it up for a vote by the full city council.
If passed, the Airborne Lead Pollution Ordinance would enforce federal pollution laws on a local level. It would require any business that emits lead to keep their emissions in line with federal limits on pollution. Any business that exceeded those limits would be shut down by the city until it installed equipment that would bring it back into line.
Solis first introduced the ordinance exactly a day before he faced off against Cuahutemoc Morfin in a runoff election this spring. That bill was written in response to a Chicago Tribune article that revealed excessively high lead levels near Perez Elementary School, located at 1241 W. 19th St.
Much of that pollution was presumed to be coming from the H. Kramer Smelting Company, located at 1345 W. 21st St., but the ordinance would also affect two coal-fired power plants in Pilsen and Little Village — Fisk, at 1111 W. Cermak Rd., and Crawford, at 3501 S. Pulaski Rd.
“I saw the importance of monitoring lead emissions that can have harmful effects on our children and our families — and I took action,” Solis said in his email newsletter sent out on Tuesday, after the committee moved the ordinance forward.
Though Solis admitted on election night that the lead ordinance — along with the endorsement of the Clean Power Ordinance — were a direct reaction to the traction that Morfin had gained against him on environmental issues, Chicago Journal reported earlier this month that neither bill had gone anywhere since the election.
But Solis said in his newsletter that he would re-introduce the Clean Power Ordinance to the full city council on Thursday, beginning the process of pushing the proposal forward again.