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Record #: R2018-38   
Type: Resolution Status: Failed to Pass
Intro date: 1/17/2018 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Health and Environmental Protection
Final action:
Title: Call for Commissioner of Public Health to testify regarding problems of harmful dust particles from residential demolitions
Sponsors: Cardenas, George A., Hopkins, Brian , Villegas, Gilbert, Solis, Daniel, Munoz, Ricardo, Reboyras, Ariel, Arena, John, Taliaferro, Chris, Santiago, Milagros, Osterman, Harry, Mell, Deborah, Waguespack, Scott, Moreno, Proco Joe
Topic: COMMITTEE/PUBLIC HEARINGS - Committee on Health and Environmental Protection
Attachments: 1. R2018-38.pdf
Related files: R2019-362

WHEREAS, Each year in the City of Chicago, hundreds of residential demolitions are conducted in our neighborhoods to houses that contain hazardous building materials no longer in use in modern houses; and
WHEREAS, When a residential demolition is done improperly or the debris from the demolition is not removed in a timely fashion, dust particles from the demolition containing these dangerous and deadly pollutants like asbestos or lead can migrate and affect nearby neighbors; and

WHEREAS, To protect the public from the potentially harmful effects of contaminants released by building demolitions, demolitions are subject to environmental regulations outlined in the Municipal Code of Chicago and enforced by the Department of Public Health; and

WHEREAS, Despite these environmental regulations, many residential demolition projects carry out their work in violation of the City's safeguards, potentially exposing the neighboring residents to harmful contaminants; and

WHEREAS, A recent article by WBEZ found a lack of oversight and enforcement against bad actors, illustrated by the fact that in 2017, while over 1,200 demolition permits were issued by the City, only 50 citations were issued for improper removal of debris, and of those 50 citations issued, only 5 led to a fine; and

WHEREAS, The same article reported that in 2017, the Department of Public Health issued only one citation that led to a fine to a contractor who failed to minimize dust during a demolition or renovation; and

WHEREAS, The harmful effects of hazardous building materials has been well-documented and is well-known—with asbestos leading to diseases like mesothelioma, dust implicated in respiratory issues, and the ingestion of lead leading to developmental delays in children—this lack of oversight by the City regarding residential demolitions is putting our residents and the workers of these demolition projects in serious risk; and

WHEREAS, It is the legal obligation of the Department of...

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