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Chicago's Low Income Neighborhoods Face Worst Pollution, Study Finds

A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that Chicago's South and West sides face more air pollution than the wealthier parts of the city.
October 31, 2018, 6am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Englewood Southside Neighborhood
frank pavone

A new study confirms what many in Chicago have said for years: pollution on the South and West sides is worse than the pollution facing the richer parts of the city. "The findings were compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group that plans to use the document to try to persuade city officials to end the common practice of steering scrap yards, distribution warehouses and other polluting businesses to neighborhoods with large concentrations of Latino and African-American residents," Brett Chase reports for the Sun Times.

That NRDC study comes at a time when the former site of a coal plant is poised to be redeveloped. "In Little Village, activists fought a proposed warehouse development that’s expected to bring hundreds of diesel-fuel trucks a day to their neighborhood, a neighborhood which already has poor air quality, according to local and federal data," Chase writes. Activists argue that the neighborhood was promised a less polluting use for the land especially after decades of pollution from the coal plant that had stood there. The coal plant has a legacy of higher rates of Asthma in the South Side neighborhoods than other areas around the city.

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Published on Thursday, October 25, 2018 in Chicago Sun Times
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