The owner of a metal crushing business banned from operating on the southeast side hopes it will help reverse a city decision last year to deny permits to the company based on pollution and health concerns. There is conclusive evidence,” he said.
Aldo. Susan Sadrowski-Garza provided business owners with unannounced local communications showing the city is preparing to issue a draft permit to Southside Recycling in April 2021, said Scrap Metal Business. attorney said this week.
Southside Recycling is the relocated, rebranded and restructured General Iron automotive and metal crushing business that was denied city approval to open on East 116th Street on the Calumet River last February.
The operation’s owner, Reserve Management Group, is appealing the decision in the city’s administrative court.
Chicago Public Health Director Dr. Alison Alwadi, appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, denied the permit last February. But a document provided by Garza, titled “Alwadi’s remarks at press conference – draft,” suggests the city was preparing to conditionally approve the facility, company lawyers say. .
The document has no date other than the handwritten “April 22, 2021”. The date comes about two weeks before Lightfoot halted the permitting process at the request of the Joe Biden administration and ordered community health impact assessments to analyze the impact. of further pollution to the southeast side of heavy industry.
Terrence Sheehan, an attorney at Reserve Management, said at a hearing on Wednesday that the memo and other internal communications were “conclusive evidence” proving the company’s claim that the permission denial was unreasonable. rice field.
City attorney Bradley Wilson said at the hearing that the documents were only a pre-final discussion.
Administrative Law Judge Mitchell Echs denied Reserve Management’s request to produce documents as evidence to support the case.
Business attorneys say the documents will inform witnesses called at upcoming hearings of their questions.
Reserve Management alleges that Alwadi did not follow the city’s own rules regarding permit applications. According to company attorneys, health assessments conducted to determine the impact of additional contamination on residents were inadequate and outside the scope of these regulations.
The southeast side has poor air quality. When plans to move scrap metal operations from Lincoln Park to the Southeast Side were made public in 2018, community groups organized years of opposition, including hunger strikes.
“Many supporters and community members want us to deny the permit outright,” says Arwady’s draft document. and permission must be granted if legal standards are met.”
Alwadi and other city officials declined to comment.
After last year’s permit denial, Garza, the outgoing 10th district alderman, lashed out at Lightfoot, Alwadi and others, saying the permit decision was political and not objective.
“I have no comment at all,” Garza told The Sun-Times when asked about filing the paperwork with Reserve Management.
Reserve Management has also filed a pending state court lawsuit.
The company says it has a deal to follow the city’s timeline to demolish the North side location and move it to the East 116th Street location.
Reserve Management has built a new operation, which is expected to begin operations in early 2021. He says he spent $80 million building the facility and continues to lose tens of millions of dollars in lost business.
The administration of Lightfoot is also in talks with the federal housing authority, and the city of Lightfoot’s role in the plan to move General Iron from wealthy white Lincoln Park to a low-income community of color on the Southeast Side. found to be discriminatory.
Brett Chase’s report on the environment and public health was made possible by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.