Thursday, April 20, 2017

Obama legacy: Previously undisclosed toxic waste will impact opening of Pullman National Monument

Pullman Clock Tower in 2016
This is how government works--or doesn't work--my friends. For 26 years the state of Illinois owned the Pullman Clock Tower on Chicago's Far South Side, which is slated to be the centerpiece of the Pullman National Monument. The monument was declared by President Barack Obama in 2015. Pullman is a pretty neighborhood--more attractive than most--but hardly a destination most tourists feel compelled to visit. But Obama was more interested in building a leftist temple for the labor movement. Union members are a reliable source of Democratic votes, unless Donald J. Trump is on the ballot, and the Pullman Strike of 1893 is seen as a significant historical event by leftists.

The real inspiration  for Obama and his pals for the Pullman National Monument is the thought of busloads of local school children being indoctrinated there by National Park Service rangers. Capitalism is bad--unions are good. Perhaps Pullman can be half of a left-wing field trip two-fer. Obama Presidential Library in the morning, Pullman in the afternoon.

Sheesh, isn't the Chicago area Democratic enough?

But not mentioned in Obama's spirited announcement two years ago at Pullman of the new national monument was the expensive environmental cleanup that federal taxpayers are on the hook for. One that Illinois couldn't be bothered with at all.

From the Chicago Tribune:
The National Park Service has grand plans in store for Pullman National Monument, but it could take years before visitors have full access to the former factory grounds as state and federal agencies first need to undertake a massive cleanup of contaminants left at the site from decades of rail car production.

The National Park Service approved a design concept last month that seeks to restore the Far South Side factory site to the days of its founding in 1880 as a model factory town for workers of the Pullman Palace Car Co.
A visitor center is planned at the old clock tower, which the NPS superintendent of the monument claims will open in 2019.
Pullman rowhouses

But that doesn't seem likely to me.

More from the Tribune:
But before that can happen, the Illinois EPA, assisted by the Park Service and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, will have to tend to decades worth of hazardous materials that has been lying dormant in the soil of the fenced-off factory complex.

The EPA last year released the results of soil and groundwater testing done between 2013 and 2015 and, perhaps unsurprising for a former industrial site, the analysis indicated the presence of numerous soil contaminants, including lead, mercury, chromium and arsenic. The amount of arsenic and chromium in a couple of patches of land exceeds EPA guidelines for soil contamination and could pose health and environmental risks.
Thanks for finally letting us know.

Oh, how much will the clean up cost taxpayers? Can you tell us sometime? Please!

Related post:

(Photos) Pullman, Barack Obama's leftist National Monument in Chicago

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