Chicago migrant crisis: Brighton Park migrant camp needs IEPA approval for construction to move forward, governor's office says
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Environmental report reveals site of proposed tent camp contaminated with metals, chemicals

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Sunday, December 3, 2023 12:49PM

Brighton Park migrant camp requires IEPA approval, Gov. Pritzker says

CHICAGO (WLS) — Another possible hurdle has sprung up for the city’s migrant base tent camp in Brighton Park.

A recent long-awaited environmental report revealed the soil where the camp is being developed on was contaminated with metals and other chemicals.

Governor JB Pritzker’s office said the site at 38th and California will not be used as a migrant tent base camp if the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency does not sign off on the findings.

The state is funding the project.

Neighbors near the Brighton Park site have spent weeks protesting against the city’s decision to move in what could be up to 2,000 asylum seekers.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s Office told ABC7 that crews have already begun removing the contaminants from the site, and the location is safe to house migrants temporarily.

READ MORE | City’s goal to get Chicago migrants out of police stations by Friday likely to be unmet

Theresa Reyes McNamara with the Southwest Environmental Alliance urged the mayor to reconsider the plans.

“In regards to these asylum seekers, they have nothing,” McNamara said. “How did they go through from their country, how they went through jungles, and how they’ve gotten sick and having their babies come with them and the dangers that they went through to get here to find that they’re going to put them on a piece of property that’s dirty. I don’t think it’s right.”

City leaders have said they hope the site is ready by the middle of the month, but only time will tell as the governor awaits the okay from IEPA.

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