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City Council To Discuss Power Plant Emissions

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Coal-Fired Power Plant

A coal-fired power plant. (Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – A Chicago City Council committee on Thursday will take up a proposed ordinance that would clamp new restrictions on emissions from two Southwest Side power plants, both of which are fired by coal.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, this comes a day after six protesters were arrested at one of the plants. They were charged with trespassing after climbing atop a coal pile at one of the plants, Midwest Generation’s Crawford station at 3501 S. Pulaski Rd.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

The protest atop the 25-foot tall coal pile was one of many timed nationally to mark the first anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Abigail Singer of the environmental group Rising Tide-Chicago said the protesters scaled a 6-foot-high fence, climbed atop the coal pile outside of the generating station and unfurled a 7-foot-tall, 30-foot-long banner calling on owner Midwest Generation to shut down both the Crawford plant and the Fisk Generating Station, 1111 W. Cermak Rd.

The plants have been the targets of protests by environmental activists for years.

“A lot of people are reflecting on the massive amount of damage that was done to the Gulf during the oil spill last year, and a lot of these damages are still yet to be seen,” Singer said.

The protesters, three men and three women, stood atop the pile for about an hour until police arrived, arrested them, confiscated the banner and escorted them down.

Earlier Wednesday, members of the same group unfurled two smaller banners on expressway overpasses. The protesters claim that pollution from the two plants create $127 million a year in public health costs.

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