Alderwoman Garza

I have never supported the relocation of General Iron to the 10th Ward.  Setting The Record Straight On General Iron by Alderwoman Garza.

I have never supported the relocation of General Iron to the 10th Ward.

Since I first learned of this proposal in 2018, I have worked with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Chicago Department of Planning and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, as well as city and state officials in order to protect our neighborhood. I have also met with community members, the Southeast Environmental Task Force, the National Resources Defense Council and the Coalition to Ban Petcoke to keep them informed. Clean air and clean water are a basic human right. I will continue to advocate for an inclusive and transparent process for neighborhood development.


JULY 2018

Reserve Management Group and General Iron announce a “Strategic Partnership” to combine their two businesses. I was informed the same month by RMG and General Iron’s ownership that a merger between the companies was planned and that General Iron’s assets would be moved to the current RMG facility.

AUGUST 2018

I met with the Coalition to Ban Petcoke and the Southeast Environmental Task Force and the National Resources Defense Council to inform them of what I learned of the “strategic partnership” formed between RMG and General Iron along with Adam and Mary Labkon of General Iron. Upon learning this, I returned a check written out to me by General Iron for my Golf Outing Fundraiser.

NOVEMBER 2018

Engaged in a call with the National Resources Defense Council, the Southeast Environmental Task Force, the Coalition to Ban Petcoke to discuss General Iron and updating rules on recycling facilities in Chicago.

JANUARY 2019

Met with the Southeast Environmental Task Force to discuss General Iron and the redevelopment of the old Republic Steel site by NorthPoint.

APRIL 2019

Met with the Southeast Environmental Task Force again to follow up on General Iron and other environmental issues in the ward.

JUNE 2019

Met with the Coalition to Ban Petcoke to discuss General Iron’s move and updates to Chicago’s Bulk Materials rules.

SEPTEMBER 2019

The public has been falsely misled that I signed onto an agreement allowing General Iron to move into the 10th Ward, when in fact I was never invited nor told of this meeting. I did not learn the existence of this agreement until April 2020. As you can see, my name does not appear on this form.

JANUARY 2020

Met with the Southeast Environmental Task Force to discuss General Iron and the redevelopment of the old Republic Steel site by NorthPoint.

MARCH 2020

Met with the NRDC, Southeast Environmental Task Force and the Coalition to Ban Petcoke to go over their comments on the rules being developed for recycling facilities. The Rules were released June 5, 2020 and went into effect immediately.

The Rules require businesses to operate in a manner that prevents public nuisance and protects public health, safety and the environment. New, significant requirements include:

  • Air impact study and ongoing air monitoring for particulate matter
  • Real-time notification to CDPH when airborne particulate matter exceeds levels below regulatory stand and a contingency plan for mitigation before public health is impacted
  • Noise impact assessment and monitoring
  • Enclosure of “auto-fluff” and new auto shredder equipment
  • More stringent record keeping requirements
  • Public notice and opportunity to comment on permit variances

In addition, the Rules prohibit particulate matter from leaving the site and include many requirements to minimize fugitive dust and pollution, such as:

  • Submission and approval of a Fugitive Dust Plan
  • Paving requirements
  • Street sweeping
  • Visible dust opacity monitoring
  • Height limits on stockpiles
  • Stockpile monitoring protocol, including thermal camera to identify hot spots
  • Storm-water pollution prevention plan for facilities that discharge to storm sewers or that are near the river

MAY 2020

Met with the NRDC, Southeast Environmental Task Force and the Coalition to Ban Petcoke to discuss the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming ruling on the new General Iron/RMG facility’s air permit.

JUNE 2020

In response to the “virtual” comment period replacing the town hall originally planned for the neighborhood with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, I request that all air permits be placed on hold until the threat of COVID-19 has passed.

July 2020

I’m demanding a Town Hall to discuss General Iron with the Mayor’s Office, the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

I am calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to reinstate the Department of the Environment, with a special inspector designated to the southeast side – the largest planned manufacturing district in the city. In addition, we are calling on the Department of Planning and Development to jump start the Calumet River Industrial Modernization Plan.

Lastly, I am demanding the Inspector General to conduct a full review of the City’s permitting process.

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