Chicago’s coal-fired plants to close early

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT

CHICAGO – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the decision by Midwest Generation to close the company’s two coal-fired power plants was “important and appropriate.”

A coalition of environmental and community groups announced the agreements Wednesday, and the mayor and Midwest Generation made their announcements later in the day.

The Fisk power plant will close by the end of the year and the Crawford plant by the end of 2014.

Both are located in mostly Hispanic neighborhoods on the city’s Southwest Side, and activists for years have complained they contribute to high rates of asthma and other health problems.

Emanuel made it clear after he took office that he wanted the plants to close.

Midwest officials say market conditions were not favorable for investing in expensive pollution upgrades at the aging plants.

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