from the ALLIANCE OF RESIDENTS CONCERNING O’HARE, Inc. to the Town Hall
Meeting on O’Hare Expansion by Jack Saporito
The Alliance of Residents Concerning O’Hare is the leading
organization protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare.
We represent residents in 41 communities, including airport workers and
many top experts; thus, we bring strong, factual evidence to the table.
People mistakenly associate aviation with “high-tech” fixes and
airport expansion with “modernization”; neither is true regarding the
issues we are dealing
with. Expanding O’Hare is not
wise for many reasons:
The Industry is the Least Sustainable Form of Transportation:
It expends a significant portion of the world’s oil supply and very
soon, will cause an extreme imbalance in the “supply/demand” equation.
What happens to ticket, cargo and mail prices then?
One of the many lies is that O’Hare Airport is the primary
“economic engine”. However…the
numbers clearly show that O’Hare is not:
Economists credit our diverse economic base for the net earnings in
Chicago of 74% and the State of Illinois’ gross product increase of 69%
between 1990 and 2000. Certainly
a small 12% growth in O’Hare flights cannot take credit.
If anything, the flight increases were a result of the economic growth.
I don’t know why anyone with common sense listens to air execs for
transportation solutions. Even
with all the huge subsidies and government support, this privately owned
aviation industry has cumulatively lost money ever since its inception.
Using the Daily Herald figures: the O’Hare expansion,
infrastructure, bonding and other interest costs could be in excess of $32
billion! Thus, a key question
is: where is the money for expansion coming from?
The answer is We, the taxpayer and it will rob us and our children of
Where are the Sierra Club and other groups?
Despite Chicago’s and the state of Illinois’ purposeful
minimization, there are significant public health impacts:
Data from both the state of Illinois and U.S. Environmental Protection
Agencies show that O’Hare’s aircraft alone, emit more Volatile Organic
Compounds than those from all Illinois electric power plants combined, with
Carbon Monoxide emissions as much as 60% of that total!
Adding the associated ground, mobile and stationary emissions would
A recent prestigious eight state-EPA study’s found that
collectively, the aircraft alone at Boston’s Logan, Bradley, and Manchester
airports emitted 3,538 tons of NOx, 4,461 tons of CO, and 700 tons of HC in
1999. The combined
aircraft-related benzene emissions were 20 tons at the three airports in 1999.
By startling comparison, aggregate benzene emissions from the
largest stationary sources in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire
combined totaled only six tons in 1996.
Most alarming, is that those three airports together, do not have as
many flights or generally as large aircraft as O’Hare.
In fact, extrapolation of the study’s
findings clearly demonstrate the fact O’Hare, with all of its related aircraft
operations, is among the worst, if not the worst, man-made air polluter in at
least the whole United States!
O’Hare is not only a major U.S. regional polluter but it is also a
horrible local source polluter. It is basically a functioning major city that has mega
aircraft operations; however, it is located on only about four (4) square miles
of land in a densely populated area. Accordingly,
a new O'Hare/Peotone study shows that 8.3 million people's health is affected
by O'Hare operations, 5.5 million significantly so.
O’Hare is a major reason that we have some of the highest cancers and
other airport-poisoning disease rates in America.
Studies show O’Hare is responsible for the deaths of at least hundreds
of people each year from cancer alone.
Mothers and our schools should be enraged that their babies will get a
lifetime worth of exposure to toxins in just the first 2-3 years of life, mainly
because of that airport.
Pollution from O’Hare results in increased healthcare costs:
approximately $7.045 billion per year for just cancer not taking into
consideration all of the respiratory or other airport-poisoning related
Addressing the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) position on
the environmental process, the airport expansion is not a done deal.
It is our job to make sure that they do their job in protecting us from
the devastating public health and environmental impacts from this airport and
also, this expansion. Nationally, I
have been involved in about 100 of these environmental processes.
In Louisville, working with the activists and community there, we were
able to get a whole town moved 10 miles away to protect them.
Certainly here in Chicago, at one of the world’s busiest and dirtiest
airports, the FAA and Environmental Protection Agency and officials would have
to do at least the same to protect the millions that are affected here.
Representative Mulligan, you know we have a small mountain of studies on
O’Hare and other airports for public viewing at: www.areco.org .
Obviously in pushing this expansion, Daley and Blagojevich don’t care
about the living, our children or the dead in St. John’s and Rest Haven
Cemeteries and; it’s all about is greed, power and massive corporate welfare!
O’Hare expansion is a huge waste of taxpayer’s money and will not fix
congestion in the air and on the ground; it will only make it worse.
We need to modernize O’Hare into a more balanced, inter-modal U.S.
of the answers are:
Expanding O’Hare is not compatible with the Wayport system and
If you don’t believe us, believe the independent research body of
Congress, the U.S. Government Accounting Office.
Much of what I have stated is backed up now by two reports.
We stand with the GAO in opposing O’Hare expansion.
Since we followed the FAA in our presentation, we made the following ad
hoc comments regarding their testimony:
“To further the issue of the FAA’s claim that NEPA will protect you
in this process, I want to point our that there is a Presidential Order and a
bill (HR 2115) that was passed earlier by both Houses of Congress and is now out
of Conference and may be up for a vote this fall session.
What they do is shortcut and/or take away your environmental protections
under the NEPA process that the FAA just explained.
This is because airport and airline executives know that they cannot
expand at least most major airports under existing Clean Air and Water Act laws.
The Order and bill make airport expansions at major airports like
O’Hare mandatory, cutting the health and soul out of the National
Environmental Protection Act. Therefore, reasonable alternatives (or better alternatives in
this case) like high-speed rail and Wayports are non-existent.”
Also: "The Chamber's plan is to make this appear that it is a done deal but nothing could be further from the truth. You can see the Chamber's plan on our website at: http://www.areco.org/mac.pdf "