Statement from Administrator Regan on RMG Permit Denial by the City of Chicago
Washington (Feb. 18, 2021) — Today, the City of Chicago issued a decision to deny a permit application for a proposed Reserve Management Group facility in the southeast side of Chicago. The decision was reached following an analysis, recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conducted by the Chicago Department of Public Health, aimed at assessing the environmental justice implications and potential environmental and health effects of the proposed facility.
“The potential addition of another polluter in this overburdened and underserved community raised significant environmental justice and civil rights concerns. I applaud Mayor Lightfoot for listening to those concerns and acting to protect the health of the residents,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This is what environmental justice looks like: All levels of government working together to protect vulnerable communities from pollution in their backyards. As we did in Chicago, EPA stands ready to work hand-in-hand with local and state partners to fix environmental wrongs and achieve shared goals of protecting all people from pollution.”
In May 2021, Administrator Regan sent a letter to Mayor Lightfoot suggesting that the City complete an environmental justice analysis, such as a health impact assessment (HIA), prior to making a decision on the RMG permit. The City of Chicago subsequently announced a suspension of the RMG permit review until the City could complete a HIA.
Since May 2021, EPA has provided Chicago with technical assistance and support, including an air quality analysis and advice on conducting a Health Impact Assessment.