O’Hare Noise Measures
Several measures were introduced in the Illinois General Assembly this year by a bipartisan group of lawmakers that would provide relief to constituents impacted by adverse noise from O’Hare airport. Rep. Christine Winger was a sponsor on all of these bills. Only one of these bills became law, the others will be reworked and introduced again next year. Here is the list of legislation that was considered:
SB636 (Moylan/Matwick) enhances noise monitoring at O’Hare airport and potentially increases the number of households eligible to receive federal assistance for soundproofing. The new law 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 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. SB636 was signed into law on July 30. Now Public Act, 99-0202.
SB637 (Currie/McAuliffe) was the companion bill to SB636 and would have prohibited the existing diagonal runways from being decommissioned. This language was stripped from the bill by a House amendment making the bill a placeholder for future legislation on O’Hare noise. SB637 as amended remains on second reading on the House floor.
HB4273 (Winger/McAuliffe) creates an income tax credit in an amount equal to the amount paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year for the purpose of purchasing materials and professional services to soundproof a residential home against aircraft noise generated. Remains in House Rules Committee.
HB4076 (Winger/D’Amico) requires the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, with the assistance of the Department of Transportation, to conduct a study describing the environmental and human health impacts caused by runways and air traffic at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Remains in House Rules Committee.
HR500 (Winger/McAuliffe) rewards airlines for utilizing voluntary federal Fly Quiet protocols when landing at and departing from O’Hare International Airport. The measure calls for a trusted third party to collaborate with O’Hare officials to rank airline compliance with Fly Quiet guidelines. It then requires officials to take the compliance ranking into consideration when allocating departure gates. Airlines that regularly adhered to Fly Quiet, when it is safe to do so, would be rewarded with favorable departure gate assignments for passenger flights. Or, in the case of air freight, the assignment of support facilities. Remains in House Rules committee.
HB3657 (Winger/McAuliffe) requires permanent noise monitoring reports to include noise contour maps showing the 65 CNEL, 70 CNEL, and 75 CNEL zones (instead of “65 Ldn, 70 Ldn and 75 Ldn zones”) around the airport. It would make it possible for homeowners affected by adverse airport noise, who reside in areas impacted by new runways, to qualify for Federal assistance to soundproof their homes. Remains in House Rules committee.