Governor signs legislation to help residents affected by O'Hare noise

Legislation cosponsored by Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) and signed into law today by Governor Rauner will enhance noise monitoring at O’Hare airport and potentially increase the number of households eligible to receive federal assistance for soundproofing. Additionally it authorizes O’Hare to operate up to 10 runways without needing to obtain a certificate of approval. This would permit O'Hare to continue using the current diagonal runways when it is safe and appropriate. It also removes the urgency to dismantle the diagonal runways to keep to the eight-runway requirement.

Public Act 099-0202 (SB636) gives Chicago and Illinois standing to work with the FAA to move from a 65 DNL standard to a CNEL metric, based on “smart” noise monitoring machinery. The sponsors of SB 636 believe that because CNEL numbers are more sensitive to human noise perceptions than DNL numbers, that data gathered through this process can be used to generate one or more federal administrative rulemakings that will lead to an improved soundproofing outcome for neighbors of O’Hare Airport.

“I am proud to be part of the bipartisan group of legislators who have been working together on behalf of constituents to improve their quality of life,” said Winger. “People’s lives are profoundly impacted by the adverse noise from the airport and we will continue our efforts to provide them relief.”