Shuttering the damn things would be my preference – I can see the Fisk Coal plant from my window, spewing all sorts of toxins, and I don’t even live that close by.
Owners of two coal-fueled power plants on Chicago’s Southwest Side would have to clean them up within the next five years — or shut them down — under a proposal being pushed by an interesting coalition of aldermen and a Chicago environmental group.
The proposed ordinance is aimed at the circa-1920s Fisk plant in Pilsen and the Crawford plant in Little Village, both now operated by Midwest Generation LLC.
Under its terms, scrubbers and related anti-pollution equipment would have to be installed by 2013-15, four to five years earlier than now required by state regulators.
“The purpose is to get two of the oldest, dirtiest coal plants located in any urban neighborhood cleaned up soon,” said Howard Learner, executive director of Chicago’s Environmental Law and Policy Center.
“These are the two biggest (single) point sources of pollution in the city,” Mr. Learner added. But modernization of the plants repeatedly has been deferred, and the city now has an interest in making the plants “clean up or shut down,” he said.
A statement e-mailed by Alderman Joseph Moore (49th) said the measure will be co-sponsored by him and colleagues including Sandi Jackson (7th), Eugene Schulter (47th) and Toni Preckwinkle (4th).
Ms. Preckwinkle’s presence is particularly notable since she is the Democratic nominee to head the Cook County Board and is heavily favored to win that position in the November general election.
[Click to continue reading Push begins to 'clean up or shut' Fisk, Crawford coal power plants | Greg Hinz | Crain's Chicago Business]
Cleaning them up so they fit current EPA standards would be a positive step, but would mean that lots of toxins would still be allowed, just not quite as much.