Environmental Justice / Good Neighbor Campaigns

In Chicago, monitoring program part of neighborhood’s clean energy push

Samual Corona and Chris Coward are concerned a push to clean up other parts of Chicago will push more polluting industry into their neighborhood (Credit: Kari Lydersen / Midwest Energy News).

CHICAGO, IL — “‘Make sure you note the barbecue,’ Samuel Corona told his 21-year-old nephew, Chris Coward, as they walked by Leon’s BBQ joint on 106th Street on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

The aroma coming from Leon’s was mouthwatering, but that wasn’t their focus. Corona explained that smoke from the barbecue could impact readings on the air monitoring equipment Coward carried in a backpack, as his smart phone showed real-time levels of nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide (379 ppm) and particulate matter along with temperature, humidity and other indicators.

Early almost every morning in July, Corona has led a team of volunteers walking routes on the Southeast Side with backpack monitors, in hopes of acquiring data about the neighborhood’s air quality that could help residents argue against more polluting industry and for their vision of a green economic industrial corridor with renewable energy generation and clean transportation.

— Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

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