Alderman Demands Lightfoot Release Report On Crawford Coal Plant Demolition Incident

by J. J. Quincannon, The Chicago Times

November 11, 2021

Crawford Coal Plant demolition in April 2020

CHICAGO – Alderman Michael Rodriguez has demanded Mayor Lori Lightfoot to release a report from the city’s Inspector General into a mishandled Crawford Coal Plant demolition in April 2020 that blanketed Little Village in a thick cloud possible contaminated dust.

In a statement Wednesday, Rodriguez said “I stand with community members today to continue to ask for the release of this report so that we can better understand the circumstances leading up to this event and if there was negligence on the part of city departments or workers in this process.  My constituents and my neighbors deserve accountable and transparent government.”

Rodriguez stated that the report, which is currently being reviewed by the Lightfoot administration, recommended that three city officials be disciplined, with one being fired.

Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson revealed in October that his office had completed an investigation into the debacle that engulfed the West Side community on Easter weekend last year after an almost 400-foot smokestack at the former Crawford Coal Plant came crashing down as part of the plant’s demolition.

Several community groups, including the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, have called for environmental monitoring of the community’s air and soil and have demanded that Lightfoot both discipline officials and apologize for the 2020 incident.