The City of Chicago denied Southside Recycling its Large Recycling Facility (LRF) permit in February 2022, preventing the company from operating its newly built facility on Chicago’s Southeast Side. Southside Recycling’s parent company, Stow, Ohio-based Reserve Management Group, has designed the yard to function as an advanced automobile shredding facility, featuring a European-style shredding enclosure to better contain noise and debris. emissions.
In early June of this year, a Chicago administrative judge reversed the permit denial decision. Administrative Law Judge Mitchell Ex determined that Southside Recycling met the standards and requirements for a permit based on evidence presented during a court hearing.
“As of March 2021, Southside Recycling had met LRF’s requirements for an operating permit,” Ex writes in its conclusion. “In accordance with Chicago Department of Public Health guidelines, [Southside Recycling] you should have received a permit or denial notice within 60 days. Instead, by order of the mayor [Lori] Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health, acting without the legislative authority of the City Council, halted the permit application process and initiated a health impact assessment, which itself lacked council authorization. as a result of the [health impact assessment], additional concerns were raised and included in the denial letter. For the most part, these additional concerns have never been raised before, although the Chicago Department of Public Health was aware, or should have been aware, of the elements prior to February 2022.”
Ex continues: “The denial letter is based on all the elements contained in the letter: the findings of the [health impact assessment], the allegations regarding the four affiliated companies, and concerns about a lack of transparency and responsiveness during the application process. As noted, some raise legal issues, others involve factual findings. It is not possible to separate one item from another to determine how much weight the commissioner gave any individual item. Consequently, for the reasons listed in the [Findings, Decisions & Order letter]the determination of the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health to deny a recycling permit to [Southside Recycling] is unoccupied.”
The City of Chicago has 35 days to appeal this order. Although the ruling reverses the permit denial decision, Southside Recycling still needs to obtain an operating permit from the LRF from the City of Chicago to begin operations, as the ruling does not require the city to provide a permit to Southside Recycling.
Southside Recycling account recycling today this ruling is “a welcome victory after years of obstacles and unforeseen delays.”
“We will persist in our effort to operate the most environmentally conscious metal recycling facility in the country, which independent experts have repeatedly found to fully meet state and federal benchmarks that protect public health and the environment,” the statement says. company. “The hearing exposed the city’s failure to comply with its own rules and ordinances. The administrative law judge determined that we had complied with all the rules and requirements for an operating permit and that a decision should have been issued within 60 days of March 2021. We will continue to pursue all of our rights and remedies, including our pending lawsuit , which has been on hold, to fully develop the facts in support of our claim for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. By allowing politics to take over the apolitical permitting process governed by law and regulation, the City has shown that it is not a trusted business partner, regardless of the risk to taxpayers.”