Legislation in Winger’s O’Hare Noise Initiative Moves Forward

State Representative Christine Winger filed a series of bills concerning the noise from O’Hare Airport and the effects the noise has on the surrounding areas. Today, Rep. Winger moved two bills from this O’Hare Airport Noise initiative forward. Both bills are part of the package of legislation introduced in the 100th General Assembly to bring relief to area residents in the surrounding area from the airport noise, and find more answers to the longer term effects of the airport on the surrounding area.

Today, both pieces of legislation, House Bill 3240 and House Bill 3248 were presented by Rep. Winger to the Transportation Committee in the House, where both passed with no opposition.

House Bill 3240 is an extension of a previous bill passed during the 99th General Assembly, and enforces the measures created in that legislation. The bill mandates the city of Chicago’s Department of Aviation to change and modernize the way it conducts noise monitoring around O’Hare Airport. Winger’s legislation adds a deadline of June 30, 2018 for implementation of an upgraded noise monitoring system. The previous network of noise-monitoring machines will be replaced with new smart meter technology so that airport noise can be measured in real time. The data collected by these noise-monitoring machines will be run through an algorithm that can weigh airport noise by sound pressure and time of day. This number will be calculated to gauge the overall impact the airport noise has on the surrounding communities. HB3240 will move the process along, and urge the city to comply with state law.

The constant expansion of O’Hare Airport and the changing of the airport’s runway layout has not only created noise but also had other adverse effects on the surrounding communities and residents. Representative Winger’s second bill, House Bill 3248, will conduct a study to measure these environmental effects. The bill directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), to study the noise around the airport and determine the environmental side-effects. Not only does this legislation require an environmental study, but it calls for a report to be presented to the General Assembly no later than October 31, 2019.

In this legislation, the specific environmental concerns that will be assessed include air pollution, gas and fluid emission by aircrafts, and the quality of life, health and property values of the residents living nearby.

HB3240 and HB3248 will move forward to the House for further consideration.

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