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Decades Of Racist City Policies Pushed Polluters To The Southeast Side, Residents Say —

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

I understand that residents of the Southeast Side of Chicago are alleging that decades of racist city policies have led to polluters being pushed to their area, and they are calling for federal investigation into the matter. Environmental activists have filed a federal civil rights complaint against the city, arguing that the city has engaged in “intentional discrimination against protected classes” by concentrating industry on the Southeast Side and in other low-income communities of color. Source

The complaint alleges that the city deepened housing segregation by allowing polluting industry to cluster on the Southeast Side over decades. The complaint was triggered by the city’s September 2019 agreement to facilitate General Iron’s move from Lincoln Park to East Side. Source

The controversial metal scrapper currently neighbors the site of the $6 billion Lincoln Yards megadevelopment and plans to move to 11600 S. Burley Ave., blocks from George Washington elementary and high schools.

This settlement was reached between the city, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Southeast Side environmental activists 2. The settlement is a three-year agreement that aims to address unequal burdens of pollution and industry in neighborhoods across the city. Source

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