October 15, 2018
Chicago’s 38th Ward is located less than 3 miles southeast of O’Hare, represents an area of over six square miles and is home to 56,000 residents. The 38th Ward encompasses the community areas of Dunning and western Portage Park. Since the activation of the two farthest southern parallel runways, the 38th Ward has endured jet noise and air pollution for five years.
Chicago’s 38th Ward is affected by three flight paths (black broken lines illustrated below): parallels (1) Berteau 10R/28L, (2) Wilson 10C/28C, and (3) Lawrence 10L/28R Countless schools, parks and the main commercial districts at Harlem Avenue and Irving Park Road are directly affected by these flight paths.
38th Ward residents currently experience jet noise in the range of 85 - 105 decibels on a 24/7 basis. As a result, 38th Ward residents experience consistent and sustained general annoyance, stress, and sleep disturbance. Being within the 5-mile red-zone for jet air pollution and ultrafine particulates, 38th Ward residents inhale and have skin-contact with a daily dose of toxins. The highest concentration of ultrafine particulates, black carbon, and nitrogen oxides (roughly 10 times above normal) are within a few miles of O’Hare. Schools and homes within the 38th Ward are being inundated with an overwhelming source of air pollution. The long-term impact on 38th Ward residents’ health will be catastrophic, particularly for school children and the elderly.
38th Ward residents logged 64,796 noise complaints for calendar year 2017 (compared to only fifteen annual complaints five years earlier). For the month June 2017, residents logged their greatest number of complaints at 12,641. In comparison, there was only one noise complaint in June 2012.