General Iron facility to be demolished

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General Iron’s Lincoln Park scrap yard and auto shredding facility on Chicago’s North Side is set to be demolished, reports Block Chicago Club.

The demolition comes after the site closed in January 2021 after years of health-related complaints from nearby residents and an ongoing battle with local lawmakers. Other incidents at the site include a 2020 blast as part of the facility’s metal shredding process, which resulted in the company being fined $18,000. This was followed by a scrap metal fire later that year.

Parent company of General Iron, Stow, Ohio Reserve management grouphad previously attempted to move the facility’s metal shredding operations to the city’s East Side, but the Chicago Health Department refused to grant the final permit needed for the move.

The city rejected plans for the new location after a health impact assessment found the scrapyard operation would have added to neighborhood air pollution and risked bringing air pollution water and soil, explosions, fires and noise in the surroundings.

As previously reported by recycle todaythe company installed a $2 million regenerative thermal oxidizer to its crusher in 2020, designed to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The move followed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s assertion that the company had the potential to emit VOCs above the Title V major source threshold, although the company claims that it had not done so, nor was it operating near its authorized levels. .

After several unsuccessful attempts to relocate and apply for a permit renewal, however, Ald. Brian Hopkins called for the “permanent and immediate closure of [the] unsafe installation. »

The demolition of the General Iron site will be “carefully controlled and closely monitored,” Hopkins said in an email update to his constituents. He noted that the project will not repeat the mistakes of the 2020 implosion of a 400ft smokestack at Crawford Power Station, which blanketed the Little Village neighborhood in dust.

Hopkins said the metal grinder at the General Iron plant has already been dismantled and removed, so only the structures and buildings remain.

“There will be no detonations, explosives or toppling of towers or support structures,” Hopkins said. “Instead, a slow and methodical removal, piece by piece, will take place until the site is cleared.”

Demolition crews will also implement strict dust control measures and noise limitations, Block Chicago Club reports. In addition, the trucks will be spaced out at regular intervals to minimize their impact on traffic and their tires will be washed before leaving the yard.

Hopkins did not name the contractor who will be in charge of the demolition, but he said it is locally owned and operated. WGN9 reports that demolition could begin by the end of November.

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