CHICAGO (CBS) — Of all the bad about Chicago weather this week, the worst may be how it forced those people to come down off the smokestack in Pilsen.

They were up there 450 feet to remind us how nasty the smokestack pollution is at the Fisk generating station, which is spewing huge amounts of the kind of soot and mercury that damage the lung and the brain. 

That smokestack’s been spewing for a long time. So, it’s about time for an especially dramatic reminder. 

Too bad it was washed out by the weather. Fisk is too old to be regulated by the federal Clean Air Act against burning coal that’s causing asthma and heart attacks in Pilsen.

Oh, we’re working on that, says Fisk, planning to meet new federal standards being set for 2015 – four years from now. 

Meantime, here’s hoping for better weather so those people can climb back up the smokestack to make sure that Fisk keeps working at it.