General Iron has received state approval to build its new scrap metal recycling facility on the Southeast side of Chicago, following orders to shut its Northside facility in May.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a permit on June 25 that involves the construction of an $80mn hammermill shredder along with a ferrous and non-ferrous material separating system along the eastern side of the Calumet River on Reserve Management Group’s, property, which is an affiliate of General Iron.
The recycling company closed its operations in Lincoln Park indefinitely after a second explosion took place on May 18. The blast followed several years of complaints by local residents who were concerned about pollution. These fears were intensified by those related to COVID-19.
For the five-month period before this explosion, a public health inspector slapped the recycler with health violation fines on 11 separate days, that revealed improper control of emissions.
The health department recently approved new guidelines for recycling operations that will result in less severe air quality monitoring for General Iron. However, the state’s permit was issued based on strict conditions that will ensure the company meets air quality and public health stipulations.
General Iron said in a statement that its new operation will be among the cleanest scrap shredder facilities in Illinois and surrounding states.
A group of community environmentalists and local elected officials recently called for the Illinois Governor and the EPA to block General Iron from moving to the Southeast community. This request has been denied as the company has met the agency’s approval policies.
Operations at this facility are set to commence in early 2021.