Chicago migrants: Brighton Park base camp site environmental report shows soil was contaminated


CHICAGO (WLS) — A new report released by the city shows the soil at the site of the Brighton Park migrant camp was contaminated, but the city says the contaminants have been addressed, and the site is still safe for temporary housing.

Construction crews have made significant progress on building the tents in the last few days.

According to the nearly 800-page environmental report, some soil samples tested positive for metals and other chemicals, but the mayor’s office said they have already begun removing those contaminants from the site and are moving ahead with plans.

The long-awaited report was done by outside contractor Terracon Consultants, which was hired by the city to investigate the site.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said, “According to the report, soil with mercury levels was identified at one location and was removed and properly disposed offsite at a landfill. Likewise, soil with a high level of a semi volatile compound was identified at another location, and will be removed and disposed of offsite.”

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Crews are also placing a clean crushed stone barrier around the site that will be regularly inspected.

The statement goes on to say in part, “With the limited soil removal and placement and maintenance of the barrier, the site is safe for temporary residential use.”

But earlier Friday, people who live by the nearly 30,000 square foot site at 37th and California continued their weeks-long fight to stop the project and to keep up to 2,000 migrants from moving in.

“It would have been far, far cheaper to put our wonderful new residents in real humane housing instead of this quasi-prison concentration camp on toxic soil,” said Richard Zopkus, who opposes the migrant base camp.

City officials have said they hope to have the site up and running by mid-December.

Alderwoman Julia Ramirez and her office are reviewing the new findings and plan to comment soon.

Post source: Abc7chicago

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