The report also advocated a two-phase remediation assessment. The first phase would be a “desktop study” outlining the history, geology, hydrology, and environmental risks of the site. The second phase would test the soil, culminating in a public report recommending steps for remediation.
“When PERRO did a process of community outreach over the summer with groups of the community, we had five different forums,” Jerry Mead-Lucero, a PERRO organizer and Task Force member, said. “Remediation was one of the main topics that was raised repeatedly in that people really wanted information.”
In August, Midwest Generation closed the Fisk and Crawford plants amid pressure from 17 environmental, health, and community organizations working under the banner of the Clean Power Coalition, the Task Force report stated.
The report also stated that after the closure of the plants, Emanuel created the Fisk and Crawford Reuse Task Force, choosing important members from the city government, Midwest Generation, and the Clean Power Coalition to create a report detailing how the sites should be redeveloped.
“PERRO, through the Task Force, has tried to have Phase I and II assessments completed and their results made public,” the PERRO report stated. “Midwest Generation has resisted the demand to have these assessments conducted and made public.”
Susan Olavarria, director of communications for Midwest Generation, said this shouldn’t be a problem because the sites are fully decommissioned, no hazardous materials are stored there, all unnecessary fuel and chemical products have been removed, and the Crawford coal pile is gone.
“The fact is, these are not hazardous sites,” she said. “Hundreds of workers have walked these sites for decades.”
Mead-Lucero is unconvinced. “Without the testing there’s no way to know that for sure,” he said. “That’s why testing the soil is the only way to be sure we know what we’re really dealing with on the site.”