By Associated Press - Friday, April 17, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) - A developer and two contractors overseeing the destruction of a defunct coal plant’s smokestack that covered a southwest side neighborhood in dust face nearly $70,000 in fines, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday.

City agencies have issued 16 citations against Hilco Redevelopment Partners and its general contractors, MCM and CDI. Lightfoot said the associated fines are up to $68,000.

Lightfoot said the three companies “utterly failed” to follow a plan to minimize dust during Saturday’s implosion of the smokestack at the former Crawford Coal Plant. The city found dust from the site reached homes six blocks away.

“We will continue to fully cooperate with the City of Chicago and will be implementing all of the remediation efforts that have been requested,” Hilco CEO Roberto Perez said in a statement released Friday. “The health, safety and welfare of the Little Village community is of paramount concern to us as we work toward completing this project.”

Early air quality testing by city, state and federal authorities found no asbestos in the surrounding area. Tests also found that levels of particulate matter in the area have not exceeded national standards, said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The city is halting all implosions for six months as officials overhaul Chicago’s process for reviewing and permitting similar demolitions, Lightfoot said.

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