Sims Metal is working to fix glitches in Pilsen air monitors

We are a recycling business, and protecting our environment, including clean air, has not only been fundamental to our business and important to our employees but it is also our purpose.

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A machine picks up scraps of metal and loads it into a container at Sims Metal Management in the Pilsen neighborhood, Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 12, 2022. Sims Metal Management is a meta| and electronics shredding company.

A machine picks up scraps of metal and loads it into a container at Sims Metal Management in the Pilsen neighborhood, Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 12, 2022.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file photo

Sims Metal agrees with the recent Sun-Times editorial that highlighted the concerns over the high-grade air monitors we installed. Pilsen residents do indeed deserve to breathe easy. We are a recycling business, and protecting our environment, including clean air, has not only been fundamental to our business and important to our employees for more than 30 years, but it is also our purpose. It is important to us that our neighbors are aware of us and our business principles.

We are currently seeking a renewal to our long-standing permit to operate in Pilsen. While doing so, we have openly welcomed rigorous new operational regulations set by the City of Chicago for recycling facilities, and we are committed to meeting each requirement. This is precisely why we are investing $15 million in advanced emissions controls, a project that has been approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

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The air monitors in question were approved by the federal EPA. We hired environmental engineering experts to complete their installation and to conduct the monitoring and data collection program as outlined by the agency. We are confident any technical issues will be resolved quickly between the environmental engineers and regulators.

We will continue to measure the ambient air in our community for particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and metals from a variety of local sources. We are deeply invested in doing the right thing and being a good community partner, and these controls will be an environmental win for Pilsen and the City of Chicago.

George Malamis, director of operations, Sims Metal

Future home of mHUB was a childhood landmark

David Roeder’s column on the mHub’s planned repurposing of the building at 240 N. Ashland Ave. brought back fond childhood memories. Growing up in the Near West Side enclave circumscribed by factories, warehouses and trucking lots, we knew the building — a stone’s throw from nearby Union Park — that loomed over our neighborhood and was known as the Cameron Building.

The building’s ever-present clock tower served as the community’s “Big Ben” and stood as a sentinel that enforced our nightly curfews. Sadly, it is, today, the only remaining landmark of a community that has been erased but that shaped my formative years growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mark Allen Boone, Lisle

O’Donnell’s talents won’t be forgotten

Maureen O’Donnell will be missed as the Sun-Times’ obituary writer. I think I have a few years left in me, but I was hoping that when my time comes, my kin might persuade Maureen to do a write-up.

Perhaps thanks to her Irish background, she has a knack for telling folks’ stories in a way that makes readers wish they had known them.

Dan McGuire, Bensenville

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