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Migrants Chicago: State is not going to proceed with Brighton Park migrant camp at thirty eighth and California after environmental evaluate

CHICAGO (WLS) — The state is not going to proceed with an asylum seeker shelter in Brighton Park after an environmental evaluate, a information launch from the governor’s workplace mentioned Tuesday.

My administration is dedicated to protecting asylum seekers secure

“IEPA wouldn’t approve the proposed Brighton Park website for residential use, primarily based on our regulatory requirements for remediation of contaminated properties,” Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim mentioned. “The well-being of residents and staff on the website is our highest precedence, and present and deliberate website situations don’t adequately scale back dangers of human publicity to recognized and potential environmental situations.”

IEPA cited considerations associated to inadequate soil sampling and remediation.

“Given the numerous time required to conduct extra sampling, to course of and analyze outcomes, and to implement corresponding additional remediation, the State will work with the Metropolis to determine alternate shelter choices,” a information launch from Gov. JB Pritzker’s workplace mentioned.

Information of the cancellation was a welcome aid to residents right here who’ve opposed the thought of getting a large-scale migrant camp of their yard for a number of weeks now.

However, the political fallout is simply starting as a blame recreation between the mayor and the governor begins as to who’s at fault for this whole fiasco.

It has been almost seven weeks of nonstop controversy, protests and accusations leveled in opposition to elected officers. And now, tens of millions of {dollars} and an 800-page environmental report later, the state has pulled the plug on the Brighton Park website that was destined to change into a winterized base camp for as much as 2,000 migrants.

“We is not going to proceed with housing households on a website the place critical environmental considerations are nonetheless current. The remediation carried out so far don’t fulfill IEPA requirements and are inadequate,” the state mentioned, partly.

“The state of Illinois knew that this evaluation was occurring and felt assured sufficient to proceed to construct on this website and to enter a contract with Gardaworld,” mentioned Mayor Brandon Johnson. “The state didn’t present any extra tips or any kind of methodology through which they have been requiring us to go by.”

Pritzker spoke earlier than the IEPA determination was launched, suggesting that the town might have picked a special place for the bottom camp.

“We do not decide the websites within the metropolis, proper, the town has websites that it has made obtainable. That is the one which they’d pointed to and needed to give attention to. These are for asylum-seekers,” Pritzker mentioned.

Whereas the governor’s and mayor’s places of work level fingers in one another’s route, residents and their attorneys on Tuesday clearly maintain each accountable.

“They’d this data at the very least a month in the past, they usually continued to construct,” mentioned Brighton Park resident Richard Zupkus.

“We wasted tons of cash. Our tax {dollars} have disappeared,” mentioned Frank Avila, an lawyer for Brighton Park residents.

Alderwoman Julia Ramirez, who represents the twelfth Ward, mentioned on Tuesday that higher selections ought to have been produced from the very starting.

“As manufacturing-zoned space that should not have ever been thought of. And so, trying ahead, I feel that ought to use be one thing they do not transfer ahead with if a spot is zone for heavy manufacturing,” Ramirez mentioned. “It’s unacceptable to proceed with out a complete evaluation of the well being dangers. We’re happy to see the halt of building and the continued work in direction of assessing the protection of this website.”

The query now could be what occurs transferring ahead. The state mentioned it can expedite plans to open a shelter for as much as 200 individuals, together with households and people with disabilities, at a shuttered CVS in Little Village at twenty seventh and Pulaski.

Johnson, in the meantime wouldn’t rule out inserting a winterized base camp elsewhere within the metropolis. The mayor mentioned the town will proceed different places for brick and mortar shelters and winterized tents, together with a plot of land at one hundred and fifteenth and Halsted.

“Whether or not it is 115 in Austin, or thirty eighth in California, or every other brick and mortar location that we have recognized that may serve the aim of this mission, know that my administration is planning forward,” Johnson mentioned.

The mayor was requested three separate occasions on Tuesday what his “Plan B” is, and there was no clear reply as as to whether the town has one other outside location in thoughts for a base camp location that might change the Brighton Park website.

“The mission continues to be very a lot alive. I’ve mentioned from the very starting, particularly as winter is approaching and climate is shifting is to get individuals out of police stations,” Johnson mentioned. “As other people have requested for Plan B, I have been planning for Plan B, C and D and F, E and F from the very second that I grew to become the mayor of the town of Chicago.”

The state additionally mentioned they’re working with the Archdiocese of Chicago to determine different brick and mortar websites that may be shortly turned over to be used as shelters in the course of the winter months.

“My administration is dedicated to protecting asylum seekers secure as we work to assist them obtain independence,” Pritzker mentioned. “We is not going to proceed with housing households on a website the place critical environmental considerations are nonetheless current. My administration stays dedicated to a data-driven plan to enhance the asylum seeker response and we’ll proceed to coordinate with the Metropolis of Chicago as we work to increase obtainable shelter by winter.”


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