Public Housing Residents Sue Over Contamination

Residents sue the Chicago Public Housing Authority for potential harmful exposure to PCBs.
August 17, 2003, 7am PDT | Connie Chung
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

According to the attorney for the residents of Altgeld Gardens, a Chicago public housing project, a storage yard onsite "was contaminated with PCBs for more than 20 years, and after four years of litigation, a $10.5 million settlement is in the works....The vast majority of the 6,000 public housing residents suing the Chicago Housing Authority are not claiming injuries linked to PCBs. The suit claims the CHA exposed them to potential harm after failing to properly clean the site at the 2,000-unit Far South Side project.CHA employees stored discarded electric transformers in the yard from the mid-1970s until 1984. PCBs were released after employees dumped oil as they took copper from the transformers. The CHA cleaned the site several times between 1984 and the mid-1990s, but...there wasn't a major cleanup until 1999....Under the proposed settlement, each person would likely receive $750 to $1,000 in rent abatement. For plaintiffs who've left Altgeld, which is the majority, the money would go to any creditor." One former CHA environmental specialist commented,"A settlement of this magnitude will make the CHA more careful of handling future environmental issues."

Thanks to Connie Chung

Full Story:
Published on Friday, August 15, 2003 in Chicago Sun-Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email