2015-10-28 CPLC Press Release

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Waukegan Faith Leaders to Hold Dia de los Muertos March and Vigil for People Impacted by NRG Energy’s Coal Plant

Participants Emphasize Health Effects from Coal Plant’s Pollution,
Ask NRG Energy and Mayor Wayne Motley to Move Waukegan Beyond Coal

WAUKEGAN, ILL. (October 28, 2015)—Waukegan faith leaders and community members will commemorate Dia de los Muertos on Sunday, November 1, by marching from Bowen Park to NRG Energy’s generating station on the lakefront—then praying for people impacted by air and water pollution from coal-fired power plant, which was originally built in 1923.

The NRG plant, the largest source of air and water pollution in Lake County, was named one of the nation’s worst environmental justice offenders in a 2012 NAACP report.

One out of every three children in Waukegan and North Chicago has asthma or exhibits asthmatic symptoms, according to a 2012 Lake County Health Department study. Across Illinois, it’s only one out of 10 children.

Community members participating in the Dia de los Muertos March and Vigil for Environmental Justice will gather at Al Grosche Field in Bowen Park at 3 p.m. They will march east on Greenwood Avenue to the coal plant.

At the coal plant, Father Justo Espinoza-Perez of Sagrado Corazon Lutheran Church, Father Narciso Diaz of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Episcopal Church, and Reverend Eileen Shanley Roberts of Christ Episcopal Church will lead the prayer vigil.

Susana Figueroa, Lake County Outreach Director for Faith in Place, will emcee the event. She will be joined by Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign Director Mary Anne Hitt.

In addition, members of the Clean Power Lake County coalition will call on Mayor Wayne Motley and the Waukegan City Council to convene a transition committee to address the future of the coal plant site.

Event Summary

What: Dia de los Muertos March and Vigil for Environmental Justice
Where: Marchers step off from Al Grosche Field in Bowen Park, 1917 N. Sheridan Road, Waukegan, IL 60087
When: Sunday, November 1, 2015, 3 p.m.

The Dia de los Muertos March and Vigil for Environmental Justice is organized by the Clean Power Lake County Campaign, a grassroots coalition of community, faith and environmental groups dedicated to building a healthy, clean energy future for Lake County.

About the Clean Power Lake County Campaign

The Clean Power Lake County Campaign aims to bring community members together to build a just future based on clean air, clean water, and a revitalized lakefront in Lake County. The coalition consists of Agg’in Tribe, Christ Episcopal Church of Waukegan, Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Exchange Club of North Chicago, Faith in Place, Father Gary Graf Center, Incinerator Free Lake County, Knights of Columbus, Lake County Bike Project, League of Women Voters-Lake County, League of Women Voters-Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Area, Moms Clean Air Force-Illinois, Most Blessed Trinity Parish of Waukegan, NAACP-Lake County Branch, Organizing for Action-Lake/McHenry Chapter, Respiratory Health Association, Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands Group, Tufo Art, and Waukegan Community Church.