Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dumke updates on Chicago's Toxic Dirt Ordinance

Chicago Reader: Soil and rubble, toil and trouble
by Mick Dumke on May 13th 2009 - 7:34 a.m.

Virginia Rugai, chair of the City Council’s energy and environment committee, wanted to clarify an important point for the record Tuesday before aldermen began reviewing a proposal to allow the reuse of soil and rubble dug up in city construction projects.

While it was true the measure had been tabled three times before, and while it was true that its vehement opponents on all sides of the political spectrum had said all sorts of bad things about it (dubbing it “the toxic dirt ordinance”), and while it was true that some of those opponents had bombarded members of the committee with automated phone calls, Rugai insisted that delays in passing the proposal had nothing to do with political pressure, as a certain unnamed reporter had written.

Rugai said that last month she had decided on her accord that the plan needed a fourth round of revisions in order to satisfy her colleagues and make sure community leaders across Chicago wouldn’t be freaked out or angry that the council had passed something that critics dubbed—quite incorrectly, mind you—“the toxic dirt ordinance.”

“I had decided to hold this long before our offices received hundreds of robocalls using inflammatory language,” she declared. “I’d asked for revisions long before those calls came. I just wanted to make a note of that.”

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