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AReCO in the News

Source: The Times

    Jack Saporito, Executive director, The Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare

Date: September 25, 2004

Copyright 2004, nwitimes.com

Letter to the Editor

QUESTION: What should the state of Indiana be doing to help develop the Gary/ Chicago International Airport?

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QUESTION: What should the state of Indiana be doing to help develop the Gary/ Chicago International Airport?

RESPONSE: Our first concern about Gary airport expansion is the significant public health problems that airport and aircraft poisoning will cause to a large percentage of the population. Also, that there is not enough space to provide an adequate environmental protection buffer to protect the populace.

Airport-aircraft toxic air emissions can significantly harm a population's health 20 miles or more from an airport. And poisoning Lake Michigan, our water supply, with toxic dioxin and other aircraft deicing/anti-icing fluids, jet fuel, etc. is also of concern.

But what concerns us most is that the public will not be protected or even sufficiently informed by the so-called "environmental process," which is nothing more than a rubber stamp for airport expansion. Our environment and public health goes by the wayside when money (and patronage) is involved.

There are better options, but no one wants to pay heed to them. They include independent government reports such as GAO-02-185 by the U.S. General Accounting Office. It shows that we need to be looking into
long-term transportation capacity needs, not just short-sighted aviation industry bandages, to patch up what is the least sustainable form of transportation.

The better solutions will provide a lot more new jobs and businesses, better health, a cleaner environment, better transportation and have enhanced sustainability, since they do not necessarily depend on oil, as commercial aviation does.

Jack Saporito
Arlington Heights
Executive Director, The Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare