What if a serial polluter was contaminating the air and water quality of your neighborhood?
This is the reality for 130,000 children and families in Lincoln Park and Bucktown in Chicago.
General Iron is an open-air scrap yard in the midst of a thriving residential and commercial community.
It is also adjacent to the Chicago River.
There is no screening of scrap metal for hazardous waste, combustable materials,
toxins or contaminants that may be harmful to the environment.
There are no containment practices in place to prevent toxins from the grounded scrap metal, metal dust and unknown coatings from being released into the air or washed into the Chicago River or city sewer system.
Throughout the day, trucks are lined up from all over the region, carrying metal to scrap at General Iron. No matter what coatings or contaminants are in these metal products, General Iron accepts, no questions asked.
The scrapping process continues throughout the day without any containment to mitigate the fumes, smoke, and debris from contaminating the surrounding environment. These toxins are free flowing into the air and water.
Not only is there a constant supply of toxins emitted into the environment, but operational risks have resulted in serious fires and HAZMAT emergencies in the middle of the vibrant Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods.