As O'Hare grows, so do health, environmental concerns
A bipartisan bill to monitor and study the environmental and health effects of Chicago O’Hare International Airport and its runways unanimously has passed the Illinois House and is awaiting Senate reading.
State Rep. Christine Winger (R-Bloomingdale) introduced HB 3248 to investigate the potential consequences of expansion by the nation’s second-busiest airport. The effort will be led by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
“HB 3248 calls for the IEPA, with assistance from IDOT, to study the environmental effects of the O’Hare expansion as it relates to air pollution, noise pollution and emissions of gases and fluids.” Winger said. “Due to ongoing expansion of O’Hare Airport runways, the creation of noise and other effects is not fully understood. What this does is calls for the report to be given by Oct. 31, 2019.”
The bill stressed that the IEPA would need to pay meticulous attention to air pollution, gas emissions, noise pollution and fluid emissions, and how they influence property, health and quality of life for people living near the airport.
The IEPA and IDOT would be required to monitor the noise levels for 2018 and 2019 and deliver a written report to the General Assembly by Oct. 31, 2019.
O’Hare services 231 destinations with 56 active carriers using it as a hub for national and international travel. American Airlines and United are the dominant carriers invested in O’Hare, with both companies -- as well as other carriers -- in negotiations with the city regarding expansions, renovations and a new lease that will determine the next 10 years of payments and tenants. The current lease expires in May 2018.
With expansion comes concerns for the safety and quality of life for residents who live near the airport. HB 3248 is one bill that Winger and other lawmakers have introduced to bring relief to those people. She previously proposed legislation that would give soundproofing tax credit to homeowners and that would force airlines to adhere to noise reduction programs.
Sponsors for HB 3248 include state Reps. Patricia Bellock (D-Hinsdale), Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) and John C. D'Amico (D-Chicago). It passed the House with 111 votes.
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1 Tiffany Pointe
Bloomingdale, IL - 60108