Below are links that search the city data portal for Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) inspections or complaints of MAT Asphalt at 2055 W Pershing Rd. For best results, open it in Firefox or something that can properly format a JSON response.
You can also download a CSV of all CDPH inspections from MAT’s opening through the end of 2019.
The Chicago Department of Public Health has conducted dozens of odor nuisance inspections of MAT Asphalt. Reading through them, it’s clear that they were effectively useless in ensuring the plant complied with its permit.
Inspections were conducted hours or even days after the complaints were made. Many complaints specifically mentioned the plant’s early start times, and referenced foul odors between 7 and 10am in the park and surrounding neighborhood. But by the conclusion of 2019, not a single CDPH inspection had taken place before 11am. Most were in the afternoon, and some were days after the initial complaint.
“I ISSUED NO CITATIONS AND LEFT.”
A typical investigation consisted of walking around the park or neighborhood and sniffing the air, looking at the plant to gauge the opacity of its emissions (there were frequently none, as most of the inspections took place after the plant had stopped production for the day), and occasionally telling the plant operators to be careful. They often end with some variation on “I ISSUED NO CITATIONS AND LEFT.”
Even when an investigation found there was a noticeable asphalt smell blocks away, no citations were issued. Whether a noticeable smell constitutes “odor nuisance” is the subjective judgment of the inspector.
Specifically missing from all CDPH inspections to date:
- Any request for the production logs of MAT Asphalt
- Any measurement of the plant’s particulate matter (PM) levels
- Any measurement of the plant’s emissions of toxic chemicals (sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, Volatile Organic Materials (VOMs)