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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

City Slaps Hilco With $2,500 Fine After Inspector Sees Water From Old Little Village Coal Plant Running Into Canal

The latest fine comes after the developer was fined for the botched smokestack implosion that covered Little Village in dust. Contractors have been cited twice for blowing dust.

The old Crawford Coal Plant in Little Village on Sunday, one day after the century-old smokestack was demolished. 
Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
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LITTLE VILLAGE — Developer Hilco has been fined $2,500 after a health inspector saw runoff water going into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal from the Crawford coal plant demolition site in Little Village, officials said.

The Chicago Department of Public Health slapped Hilco Development Partners with the fine after “silty water” was seen leaving the old coal plant site, 3501 S. Pulaski Road, and entering the canal Wednesday, city officials said. The health department has collected samples to test for contamination.

The Chicago Department of Public Health is “reviewing the developer’s current procedures to ensure similar situations will not occur in the future,” the city said in a statement.

The newest citation is a latest trouble the developer has been cited for after a botched smokestack demolition covered Little Village in dust amid a respiratory pandemic. Saying the developer “utterly failed,” the city fined Hilco $68,000 in that case and Mayor Lori Lightfoot stopped work at the site.

RELATED: Planned Explosion Covered Little Village In Dust During Respiratory Pandemic — Why Did The City Let It Happen?

Before the smokestack demolition, a contractor working on the site was cited twice by the city for blowing dust. The worksite was also shut down in December after a worker died there.

Last week, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul sued Hilco and its contractors, MCM Management Corp and Controlled Demolition, alleging they violated the state’s air pollution rules when they demolished the 378-foot smokestack.

Hilco also faces two other lawsuits from Little Village residents following the bungled implosion, as well as a wrongful death suit after a worker plummeted to his death.

A Hilco spokesperson said they are working with the city to address the issue.

“We are working very proactively with the city and other officials and will continue to have an open and productive dialogue as we work towards advancing this project,” the spokesperson said in an email.

City officials say they are taking the issue seriously.

“The health and wellness of Chicago’s residents remains the City’s top priority, and we are committed to holding anyone that jeopardizes the general public health accountable,” the city said in a statement.

Hilco purchased the decommissioned coal plant in 2017 and is demolishing the site to make way for a one-million-square-foot logistics warehouse. The project has been met with vehement opposition from some neighbors and activists have called on Hilco to abandon the project and return a 19.7 tax subsidy granted by the city.

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RELATED COVERAGE:

Attorney General Sues Hilco After Botched Little Village Smokestack Explosion

Dust Cloud That Covered Little Village Didn’t Contain Asbestos, Toxic Metals, City Says

Developer In Little Village Demolition Gone Wrong Cited By State EPA With Violating Pollution Laws

Hilco Can Clean Debris At Old Little Village Coal Plant This Week, But Other Work Still Banned At The Site

‘They Utterly Failed’: City Slaps Hilco With $68,000 In Fines For Little Village Dust Cloud, Bans Implosions For 6 Months

Contractor In Little Village Smokestack Fiasco Was Cited In March For Blowing Dust — But City OK’d Demolition Anyway

Developer In Little Village Demolition Gone Wrong Cited By State EPA With Violating Pollution Laws

Hilco Can Clean Debris At Old Little Village Coal Plant This Week, But Other Work Still Banned At The Site

‘They Utterly Failed’: City Slaps Hilco With $68,000 In Fines For Little Village Dust Cloud, Bans Implosions For 6 Months

Contractor In Little Village Smokestack Fiasco Was Cited In March For Blowing Dust — But City OK’d Demolition Anyway

Little Village Neighbors Sue Developer Hilco Over Demolition Dust Disaster

Little Village Demolition Dust Samples Don’t Contain Asbestos, City Says Initial Investigation Shows

Developer Fires Contractor, Apologizes For Little Village Dust Disaster, But Some Neighbors Want Them Gone

What Was In Dust Cloud That Covered Little Village? City Aims To Release Report This Week, Lightfoot Says

Planned Explosion Covered Little Village In Dust During Respiratory Pandemic — Why Did The City Let It Happen?

Mayor Shuts Down Crawford Coal Project After ‘Unacceptable’ Dust Cloud Descends On Little Village

Dust Cloud Envelops Little Village After Smokestack Demolition: ‘My Lungs Started Hurting’

After Old Crawford Coal Plant Smokestack Blown Up, Little Village Residents Worry About Dust During Global Pandemic

Old Crawford Coal Plant Smokestack Will Be Blown Up Saturday In Little Village

After Worker’s Death, Hilco Resumes Work At Old Crawford Coal Plant Site In Little Village

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After Little Village Residents Told To Stay Inside During Coal Plant Demolition, City Says It Will Inspect The Crawford Site Every Week

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After Post-Arrest Absence, Ald. Muñoz Returns To City Hall To Argue For Tax Break For Little Village Project

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