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Senate Dems call for solutions to O’Hare noise burden

oharepresser060815-300State and federal lawmakers and local officials came together at a press conference today about concerns with rising noise levels from O’Hare International Airport.

The FAiR Coalition is a group of local organizations pursuing solutions to a mounting number of complaints from residents unhappy with a major increase in airport-related noise. They attended the press conference with officials today to call for action on these complaints, numbering 350,000 in March 2015 alone. House Joint Resolution 83, passed by both chambers of the General Assembly this spring, urges the City of Chicago to meet with the FAiR Coalition, federal officials and citizens to discuss solutions.

The noise issues stem from a dramatic shift in air traffic capacity from diagonal runways to east-west runways. The resolution calls for timely and open communication about hearings in areas surrounding the airport and a halt to runway expansion until public input is complete.

“It is past time to bring officials with the city, the airport and the FAA together to reduce the burden on O’Hare’s neighbors,” Sen. Silverstein said. “I co-sponsored this resolution to find an open, transparent means to compromise for neighboring communities and reasonable airport capacity. O’Hare is a critical transportation and economic hub to our region and our nation, but it can’t continue to be an unbearable burden on surrounding neighborhoods,” Silverstein said.

"The noise problem that was created as a result of the reconfiguration of the runways as laid out in the O’Hare Modernization Act that passed over 13 years ago," said Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago). "This urges the city to work with the GA to fully implement the terms to better understand FAiR’s proposal to preserve and utilize the intersecting runways. It also requests of the FAA to delay any action on the diagonal runways that would lead to irreparable damage until the three separate meetings have been held.”

State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) was a cosponsor of the resolution.  “The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission reported over 350,000 complaints in one month, March of this year. This is totally unacceptable. We owe it to these families to ensure that construction is stopped until they have a chance to voice their concerns and be heard.”

“Residents of DuPage and Cook counties have legitimate complaints. There continues to be a definite negative impact on the quality of life for the residents of these communities,” said Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park). “We need to take action to find a long-term solution to alleviate these communities from unnecessary disturbances.”

 

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