Hilco was responsible for an appalling failure during remediation that put local residents, an immigrant-heavy, environmental justice community, at risk. As part of the remediation process, they had to demolish the former smoke stack from the Plant. Although they had all of the permits necessary, they still completed it in such a way that sent a cloud of potentially toxic chemicals into the air. Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, commented that “The city was given repeated assurances that Hilco had a solid plan to contain the dust. Clearly that didn’t happen,” Lightfoot said. “This is absolutely and utterly unacceptable. It’s unsafe, it’s unsanitary. I would not tolerate this in my neighborhood and we’re not going to tolerate it here either.” Ultimately, because of the danger that Hilco created to the community, Hilco agreed to pay $370,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the State.

Evergreen provided this question to Hilco Redevelopment Partners, who provided the following response: We have partnered with a best in class demolition contractor who has a great deal of experience demolishing refineries and a strong presence in Philadelphia.  They will be implementing an extensive dust mitigation plan and will be working with all appropriate agencies and stakeholders throughout the duration of the project.  Every project that we undertake provides lessons learned that we apply to other projects.   The demolition in Chicago was conducted according to plan but resulted in dust unintentionally migrating off site.  No one was injured, HRP took immediate action to address concerns of community members, and independent testing of the dust by the Chicago Department of Public Health and the United States Environmental Protection Agency revealed it poses “no apparent health risk to the surrounding community.”  HRP is proud of its successful history of redevelopment and renewal.