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‘Environmental justice’ award gives $150K to mom who closed power plants

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A Chicago mother who spent 15 years shutting down two coal power plants is going to be awarded a $150,000 prize on Monday by an international body that recognizes environmental activists for their work.

The woman, Kimberly Wasserman, 36, is one of six environmentalists who are set to receive the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize, USA Today reported. Her campaign proved a link between the plants' emissions and residents' asthma attacks. The property for the coal power plants could now be used for light manufacturing, retail and a park, said Ms. Wasserman, who now heads the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, in the USA Today report.

The prize recognizes grassroots efforts around the world.

"The winners are just people next door who saw an environmental injustice in their community and couldn't take it," said Lorrae Rominger, interim executive director of the Goldman Environmental Prize, in USA Today. "They created a movement that changed the lives of thousands of people."

The prize is in its 24th year. Other 2013 winners are being recognized for work in Iraq, Indonesia and South Africa.

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