ARCO Flight Tracks
Your source for
information concerning events and issues involving O'Hare Airport
Vol. 3, Issue 2
Your Voice Is Heard
ARCO Drops Peotone -- Asks SOC
It was resolved at the June
monthly meeting, that ARCO withdraw its support for the proposed third airport
at Peotone. It was a difficult decision to make, since ARCO's support of Peotone
was called "critical" by the Department of Transportation.
It was decided to unlink the two
issues of Peotone Airport and O'Hare relief for many reasons. The main reason is
because of a loss of trust of state officials. IDOT Secretary Kirk Brown's
letter to ARCO declared that "Noise impacts must be reduced...a new
commercial air carrier airport to provide additional capacity must be built...an
additional runway at O'Hare is needed to reduce delays." This was the first
we had heard that all three items must be linked together. Obviously, we cannot
support another runway.
Brown's letter was in stark
contrast to his reply to a question that ARCO asked him at a Greater O'Hare
Association meeting. At the meeting, after he spoke about the need for the
business community to support a new runway, ARCO asked him if the state was for
more flights at O'Hare. He answered, "Yes." His letter stated that
"Our (state) support of a new runway...is contingent on a restriction of
increased operations." Not only did he contradict his statement to ARCO,
but he and the governor were also aware that federal law allows no permanent
binding restriction on runway usage.
Officials, including Governor
Edgar, are aware of the serious health and safety problems associated with
O'Hare overcrowding within a fifty (50) mile radius of the airport. ARCO
provided them with overwhelming documentation.
For those reasons and the
following, ARCO members voted overwhelmingly to revoke our support of a proposed
Peotone Airport site.
Additional problems include the
site location itself, also the proposed airport is incorrectly configured, plus
it would be built in a populated area.
As a result, ARCO called on SOC
to reconsider their support of the proposed Peotone site. While acknowledging
that a mode of transportation will be needed in the near future, ARCO feels it
is not its task to support a specific alternative. It is ARCO's duty to protect
the community by strongly objecting to any proposal that would bring more
flights into O'Hare Airport. ARCO believes that supporting Peotone clouds the
issue and does not grant us the "permanent, meaningful relief" that
Governor Edgar, and other officials have promised us. *
ARCO Wins Recognition
Some of ARCO's
- Received 1996 Illinois Senate
Recognition for protecting the health & safety of millions.
- Received 1995 Arlington
Heights Environmental Merit Certificate.
- 1996 Illinois host for
International Noise Awareness Day.
- Proved no real delays at
O'Hare and was actually the most efficient; proved state was for another
- Educating the public on the
affects of O'Hare Airport overcrowding on our community
- Lobbying legislators for
change & permanent, meaningful relief
- Lobbying for compensation for
Working with the
medical/educational community to bring change, regarding airport air and noise
ARCO's Nationwide Campaign
Okayed by FAA
ARCO has won a semisweet
battle to get the LDN noise contours lowered to ~55 in order for us to get noise
pollution relief in a 25-30 mile radius of O'Hare. Details for their plan are
being worked out by the FAA and an outline should be released in October. Look
for some details to be published in the September Federal Register. *
Bits and Pieces...
ARCO demands O'Hare observe
Chicago is one of the worst
cities with respect to air quality. Chicago's O'Hare Airport is one of the worst
20 air polluters and the world's worst noise polluter. So when an Ozone Action
Alert calls for communities to restrict automobile, lawn mowers, machinery and
other outdoor activities, shouldn't O'Hare comply with these restrictions also?
Observations indicated that
O'Hare wasn't complying, ARCO stepped in. In a petition to Illinois Sen. Peter
Fitzgerald, ARCO called for O'Hare to curtail operations on Ozone Alert Days.
What makes the pollution problem
worse at the "World's Busiest Airport"? Besides the unprecedented
volume of ground and air traffic and their pollution, O'Hare Airport is allowed
to emit pollutants banned in other industries. Those carcinogen pollutants
include an annual estimated 25 tons of benzene, 21 tons of 1.3-Butadiene and 140
tons of formaldehyde.
Additionally, "Idling and
taxiing planes at airports can create as much or more volatile organic
compounds... as the largest industrial sources like factories, incinerators or
power plants," stated Ms. Stenzel, Researcher for the Natural Resources
Defense Council. O'Hare Airport creates tons of volatile organic compounds,
which are known to cause serious health problems, especially for the elderly,
sick or young.
ARCO believes that Hi-Speed Rail
will be a better environmental solution to increased travel, rather than more
Editor's note: Watch for future
issues re: O'Hare Pollution in Flight Tracks.
This legislative session -- HB
At the end of the Illinois
legislative session, ARCO was asked to back legislation that would give suburban
O'Hare communities control of sound-proofing and sound monitoring funds. ARCO
agreed to back the legislation if it would include money for health/noise
studies. Although we fought hard this session for a runway ban and other issues,
ARCO agreed that this bill could provide the additional scientific evidence to
finally initiate action by Gov. Edgar.
The bill broke down in the last
days as a result of United Airlines wanting Chicago to pay a menial amount for
the funding and that the city of Chicago would have control of all operations.
Something that the Suburban O'Hare Commission and ARCO could not agree to.
Who has been helping us...
In the next few issues and
meetings, we will discuss which legislators were responsive to our needs, and
those who were not.
Those who have been most
responsive include: Senate President Pate Philip, Sen. Marty Butler and US Rep.
Henry Hyde. ARCO also wants to thank their aides for all their effort and
We also want to mention those
who were not responsive to date. Many said that O'Hare's economic growth is more
important than our needs. Rep. Bernard Pedersen has not responded to ARCO's many
requests, even though ARCO is headquartered in his district.*
Did you know...
The FAA is giving money to
communities to expand existing airports such as Palwaukee. They plan to increase
flights to 350,000 per year--the same as Midway Airport!
The effects O'Hare overcrowding
has on our elementary school-aged children is devastating.
processes linked to coronary heart disease; central cognitive processes,
including speech perception, memory, and basic reading skills; motivation; and
emotional affect are all associated with chronic exposure to (airport) noise
among children." (Evans, Hygge, Bullinger, 1995) *
- Aug. 1, ARCO Meeting,
Heritage Park 7:30 PM
- Sept. 5, ARCO Meeting,
Heritage Park 7:30 PM
(ARCO meetings -- Heritage
Park is located at Fernandez and Victoria in Arlington Heights, IL)
24 Hour Noise Hotline
Whenever noise affects your
quality of life, call this Hotline:
Note: ARCO Flight Tracks is
published by the Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare, Inc. If you would like
to become a member, or recieve our newsletter, call, or write to the address
below. Annual membership is only $10.00 per household. Comments and questions
should be sent to:
PO Box 1702
Arlington Heights, IL 60006-1702