Midwest Generation Delays Installation of Pollution Controls
The Chicago Tribune recently ran the story “Power company holds off on cleaning up Chicago-area coal plants,” reporting that Midwest Generation has held off on upgrading pollution controls at the Little Village and Pilsen neighborhood coal-burning power plants. These are just two of six coal plants owned by the company.
The Fisk plant was built in 1903 and the Crawford plant in 1924. These coal-fire plants emit harmful pollutants into the air, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. They are the source of toxic mercury that contaminates fish in the Great Lakes and other waterways, making coal-burning power plants harmful for both nearby residents as well as farther-reaching areas. Their effect can be found not only in humans, but in animals, land and water.
The Chicago Fisk and Crawford power plants sell their power to Pennsylvania, providing only a little power for Chicago during spikes in demand but putting vulnerable populations at risk for health problems such as asthma.
The Chicago Clean Power Coalition provides information about the plants and the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance, which seeks to address carbon and particulate emission.