Green Economic Industrial Corridor

The Green Economic Industrial Corridor aims to bring revitalization to the Calumet Region through redevelopment that addresses the past and ensures the future for its residents. This revitalization will provide job creation and business opportunities while improving the environmental health and safety of the region and serving as a showcase for sustainable development.


The mission of the Green Economic Industrial Corridor is to bring revitalization to the Calumet Region through redevelopment that addresses the past and ensures the future for its residents. This revitalization will provide job creation and business opportunities while improving the environmental health and safety of the region and serving as a showcase for sustainable development. 


The Brundtland Commission definition of sustainable development is “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.


GEIC will develop strategies, plans and projects that help to accomplish the following:

  • The highest and best redevelopment of abandoned and underutilized brownfield sites
  • Availability of business training and sweat equity/bootstrap financing for community investment in local businesses, including start ups.
  • Availability of job training for community residents with an interest in sustainable jobs. Preference for local hiring of current community residents.
  • Foster local businesses and attract outside businesses that adhere to established standards of excellence for sustainability.
  • Ensure adherence to the Environmental Justice Principles of the Environmental Justice Alliance.
  • Maximize intermodal capability to manage highway, rail, and water accessibility in such a way as to minimize the environmental burden imposed from transportation of goods.
  • Redevelop area infrastructure to reduce energy and resource demand and create locally produced energy and transportation fuels and people and maximize their local use.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle local land and resources currently being wasted
  • Respect the unique nature of the Calumet Region in a manner that preserves, protects and enhances natural areas as a right of future generations.
  • Support healthy communities.
  • Make the area a showcase of sustainability at the gateway to the City and to the State.
Design Principles

Calumet Vision Plan – Overview of the Lake Calumet area, showing green spaces and polluted places. Part of our mission is to conserve the green space, help to enhance recreational uses of our open spaces, and to encourage cleaning up of past environmental misdeeds.

The Green Economic Industrial Corridor redevelopment plan was guided by a number of previous plans (Calumet Area Land Use Plan, Calumet Open Space Reserve, Calumet Design Guidelines, Go To 2040) as well as a set of community generated redevelopment principles. It aims to integrate industry, natural areas and community harmoniously and to shape a sustainable future rather than react to ongoing development trends. These principles link land-use, planning, investment, job creation and community.

Our local level initiative will support regional initiatives and an internationally competitive economy.

Integration into Natural Systems
        • Design within limits defined by surrounding environment
        • Minimize local environmental impacts
        • Minimize global environmental impacts
        • Compliment surrounding natural systems
        • Generate Renewable energy where possible
        • Maximize energy efficiency
          • Through facility design
          • Co-generation
          • Energy cascading
        • Use renewables extensively
        • Use Water efficiently
        • Prevent runoff into nearby water bodies
        • Employ natural storm water control where possible
        • Prevent groundwater contamination
        • Use permeable pavement where possible
        • Rehab wetlands
Material Flow/Waste
        • Emphasis clean production and pollution prevention
        • Employ cradle to cradle manufacturing practices
        • Seek maximum re-use and recycling of materials among corridor facilities
Land Use
        • Practice infill principles
        • Utilize existing brownfields
        • Prevent contamination
        • Stay within footprint of defined industrial corridor
        • Provide for green buffer zones along corridor
Construction / Rehabilitation
        • Follow best environmental practices in materials selection and building technologies
        • Include recycled and reused materials
        • Consideration of lifecycle environmental implications of materials and technologies
        • Employ LEED certified construction practices
        • Maximize use of existing infrastructure.
Green Space
        • Integrate green space within EID (pocket parks, rec spaces, etc.)
        • Use native landscaping
        • Promote biodiversity
        • Public transit accessibility
        • Walkability and bikeability
        • Support renewable energy vehicles
        • Provide charging stations
        • Hire locally
        • Provide specific training
        • Community friendly – no detrimental burdens on community
        • Aesthetically pleasing to the community
        • Enhance quality of life for surrounding areas
        • Provide additional amenities
        • Promote livable communities
        • Support a healthy environment

Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015 President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Clean Power Plan (CPP) to reduce power plant carbon emissions 32% by 2030 (from 2005 levels). The administration billed it as “an historic step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change.” It is the first time the United States—historically the world’s largest emitter of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change—has committed to reducing carbon pollution from power plants, the source of more than 31% of our greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

Our Power Plan

The CPP represents an important first step by the United States government in confronting climate change – but it does not go far enough. To begin with, the Clean Power Plan addresses only one part of the equation to address climate change – fossil fueled power plants. But even in that limited context, there’s room for great improvement.

This is why the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) has issued a frontline Environmental Justice (EJ) community response to the CPP, called the Our Power Plan.

• It identifies what in the Clean Power Plan is helpful and harmful for families and communities.

• It presents clear and specific strategies for implementing the Clean Power Plan in a way that will truly benefit our families’ health and our country’s economy.

Our point of leverage as citizens now is the Federal and State Implementation Plans. States have until September 2016 to pull their plans together (2018 if extensions are approved). In this process,

  • states are encouraged to conduct equity analyses;
  • states must report to the EPA how they have conducted community engagement;
  • a voluntary Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) provides EPA matching funds for energy efficiency investments in low-income communities.Starting with a ten-city Day of Action on January 19th, members of the Climate Justice Alliance are going to step forward and speak out for what really works.
Our Power Plan Proposes…

What can the EPA and the states do to fulfill the true game-changing potential of the Clean Power Plan?

Inclusion. Ensure significant representation and decision-making power for communities overburdened by climate impacts and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan including communities of color and low-income communities.

Measure what matters. Work with frontline communities to develop definitions, indicators, and tracking & response systems that really account for impacts like health, energy use, cost of energy, climate vulnerability, cumulative risk, etc.

Do not incentivize dirty, extractive energy. Biomass and waste incineration should not qualify as non-emitting sources of energy. And in a 20-year life-cycle time horizon, natural gas is even dirtier and more dangerous than coal.

Strengthen worker protections. Require states to meet the highest standards for good jobs created through investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Do more to support worker transition for those affected by the shift away from coal.

Strengthen the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) to make sure low-income communities really benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy. Read the full Our Power Plan for specifics on trading schemes; early investments; including community infrastructure like nonprofits and small businesses; and accounting correctly for race and income. And all states should be required to participate in the CEIP.

Strengthen renewable energy provisions in a variety of ways:

  • increase set-asides from 5% to 20%
  • make sure renewable energy projects aren’t just located in low-income neighborhoods, but directly serve energy to and are owned or leased by people in these communities
  • remove the administrative and financial barriers that stand in the way of community-owned, small-scale distributed wind and solar renewable energy generation
  • protect the healthy market for renewable energy that is voluntarily purchased by businesses and households nationwide
  • when allowances go unclaimed, it’s better to use the cash for clean energy jobs rather than handing the allowances over to fossil fuel plants.

Invest more in real, clean renewables, jobs, and health… not carbon trading.

Carbon trading is a regulatory compliance tactic, but it doesn’t deal with the root causes of pollution and climate disruption. Vulnerable communities bear the brunt of harm—from dirty energy extraction to waste—and shuffling around “permissions to pollute” doesn’t change that. The EPA knows that EJ communities are also the most vulnerable to potential abuses and systemic failures of the carbon markets.

  • When a company buys credits or allowances because its plant is in jeopardy of violating pollution limits, those polluting plants tend to sit in our neighborhoods.
  • They are also a way of transferring wealth from rate-payers in heavily polluted places to investors who create new clean energy jobs and better health conditions elsewhereWe will do better as a nation by de-emphasizing carbon markets and investing more heavily in an energy infrastructure based on real clean, renewable, non-extractive sources like wind and solar.

Ban Petcoke

Residents of the South East Side of Chicago who have come together to rid the neighborhood from the fugitive dust from Petcoke stored in their neighborhood. Petcoke: the fine dust produced as a byproduct of oil refining, currently sits in massive stockpiles inside the Southeastern neighborhoods of Chicago

Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke

Clean Up Agri-Fine

Coming Soon