Coronavirus infects dispute over General Iron plant
Crain’s Chicago Business
“It’s unconscionable that they are continuing operations,” says Ald. Brian Hopkins, arguing that the coronavirus makes the scrap metal plant an even bigger danger to public health.
The coronavirus seems to be infecting a lot of things these days, so it’s only natural that it would find its way into the long-running dispute over General Iron.
The controversial North Side scrap metal recycler has been declared a public enemy by many neighbors and environmentalists who say emissions from its riverside processing plant are a threat to public health. They, along with Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd, succeeded in their campaign to shut down the facility, something General Iron has agreed to do by the end of the year.
But the coronavirus pandemic has reopened a scab, with Hopkins saying the plant at 1909 N. Clifton Ave. should shut down immediately. Its airborne emissions present an even bigger health hazard now, with a highly contagious respiratory virus spreading throughout the city, he said.
“It’s unconscionable that they are continuing operations,” said Hopkins, who represents the neighborhood. “At this point, we need the cleanest air we can have in our community, and that means shutting down the most significant source of particulate air pollution.”