LINCOLN PARK — Residents can address city health officials before General Iron moves from Lincoln Park to East Side.
The Chicago Department of Public Health will host a community Zoom meeting 5 p.m. Monday, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said in a newsletter to constituents.
“The meeting will provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about current and future actions on-site,” he said. “Residents will also have the opportunity to ask questions and be heard on matters related to the facility and operations in Lincoln Park through the end of 2020.”
If you have a question you want asked during the meeting, share it with the 2nd Ward staff online.
It’s unclear if or when the plant will fully reopen in Lincoln Park. The site plans to close by the end of 2020 and relocate to East Side in 2021.
Neighbors frustrated by the lack of action against General Iron have been trying to get the plant closed since the start of the pandemic.
Timeline at General Iron:
- March 26: Neighbors call on Gov. JB Pritzker to remove General Iron from the list of “essential businesses” allowed to operate during the stay at home order.
- April 15: Neighbors ask Mayor Lori Lightfoot to close General Iron during the pandemic.
- May 18: An early morning explosion at General Iron sends two “booms” through the neighborhood and destroys a $2 million piece of equipment that brought General Iron into compliance. The Fire Department begins an investigation.
- May 20: Lincoln Park neighbors introduce a “citizen resolution” to City Council asking for Lightfoot to order the scrapyard closed through the pandemic. Hopkins signs on as co-sponsor. The resolution is ignored.
- June 24: City officials quietly allow General Iron to partially resume operations in Lincoln Park.
- June 25: After months of opposition, Pritzker’s administration approves General Iron’s move to East Side.
- July 1: Lightfoot won’t publicly commit to an executive order keeping the plant closed.
- July 8: The city modifies General Iron’s closure order, allowing its Lincoln Park site to resume non-shredding operations. An investigation into the two explosions continues.
- July 17: City leaders host a closed door meeting to discuss the future of General Iron. Hopkins, who was in attendance, said it seemed “highly probable that General Iron will be able to get the clearance needed to reopen,” pending proper permitting and an investigation into the explosions
- July 25: City announces air quality “reform agenda” in response to community concerns, though many neighbors questioned whether more regulations are the answer to a company that has repeatedly run afoul of existing rules.
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