Environmentalists protest at Chicago health department, demand Dr. Arwady denies permit for shredder operation

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The operation of a metal shredding business that moved from Lincoln Park to the Southeast Side remains held up in the permit process.

A decision is expected by the end of this month.

And Tuesday, activists with the Southeast Environmental Task Force, among others, paid a visit to the Chicago Department of Public Health, delivering a letter that demanded that shredder operation permit be denied.

The activists have been calling for the operation permit to be denied since the project was made public.

"The public health and healthcare community in Chicago raises it's voice in solidarity with the residents of the Southeast side fighting this textbook case of environmental racism. The permit to pollute is indeed a civil rights issue that all Chicagoans should care about. Black and brown communities are not dumping grounds,” said Dr. James Boyd, a professor at the UIC School of Public Health who joined the protest.

The activists said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, has the authority and duty to deny the permit.

The facility has been built but just needs a permit to operate.

The parent company of what was General Iron when the metal recycler was operating in Lincoln Park has noted it spent $80 million in upgrades at the new location and said it has met all requirements.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Lisa Fielding/ WBBM Newsradio