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AReCO in the News

Source: Journal and Topics Newspapes

Date: October 21, 2004

Copyright 2004, Journal and Topics Newspapes

Local Man To Speak At National Conference


Arlington Heights resident Jack Saporito will speak next month at a conference on aircraft pollution in New York co-sponsored by the Pace Center for Environmental Legal Studies and Environmental Defense.

Saporito, of the Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare, grew up in the shadow of O'Hare Airport. Today he is an outspoken advocate against aircraft pollution and airport expansion.

"I watched O'Hare being built as a kid and I used to walk every inch of O'Hare before it was there," Saporito said.

Saporito worked at a flight deck in Vietnam during the war, and he said he first noticed aircraft pollution when watching the fighter jets hit their burners. He later lived in Rosemont near the Allstate Arena, and he said the jet fuel started eating the paint off of his family cars.

"We were wondering what this was doing to our kids' health," Saporito said. Saporito moved his family to Arlington Heights in an area outside of O'Hare Airport's flight path. But in the late 1980s, O'Hare extended a runway that caused planes to fly over Saporito's home every 48 seconds.

"I started an organization with the members here, and I moved again," Saporito said. "Then I started turning over every rock and finding a snake under it."

At the conference, Saporito plans to address technological solutions he sees that could alleviate public health problems associated with aircraft pollution.

According to Saporito, voluminous cases of cancer and respiratory diseases surrounding major airports can be attributed to the aircraft pollution, in addition to climate change.

"Of man-made polluters, it's probably one of the worst in the world," Saporito said. "It's a whole toxic cocktail of a subspecies of toxic emissions."

Saporito said he is also suspicious of the money trail of individuals that would benefit from an O'Hare Airport expansion.

The Pace Air Quality forum will take place Friday, Nov. 5 at Pace University Law School in White Plains, New York. Saporito's additional sponsors include the New York and Atlantic Chapters of the Sierra Club and the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County, New York.