July 8, 2018
The City of Wood Dale and the Village of Itasca are located immediately west of O’Hare, and their communities have endured nonstop punishing noise, air pollution, and housing infrastructure damage for almost five years. Wood Dale has endured the worst impact of all municipalities surrounding O’Hare (other than Bensenville) as measured by overall residential noise complaints. The residents of Itasca (particularly northern Itasca) will soon suffer additional noise and air pollution following the opening of the final 6th runway (aligned with Granville/Devon) and the expansion of the Thorndale runway.
Wood Dale is located less than one mile from the western border of O’Hare, represents an area of almost five square miles and is home to 14,000 residents. Itasca is located less than three miles from O’Hare, represents an area of over five square miles and is home to 9,000 residents.
Currently, Wood Dale and Itasca are affected by four flight paths (black broken lines illustrated below over the two municipalities): parallels (1) Berteau 10R/28L, (2) Wilson 10C/28C, (3) Lawrence 10L/28R, and the west diagonal (4) 4L/22R. These flight paths mostly affect homeowners in the southern portion of the two municipalities. Two more flight paths will be added or expanded by the end of 2021 (red broken lines illustrated below over the two municipalities): parallels (1) Thorndale 9R/27L and (2) Granville/Devon 9C/27C. Northern Wood Dale and Itasca residents will be inundated with additional jet noise and air pollution as result of these two runways. Countless schools, parks and the Central Business Districts for Wood Dale and Itasca are directly under or adjacent to these six flight paths.
The 6th runway aligned with Granville/Devon (9C/27C) will be open in 2020. The Thorndale runway (9R/27L) will be extended to 11,260 feet and widened, and opened in 2021. Both runways are expected to take 60% of the overnight cargo traffic once they are activated.
Wood Dale and Itasca residents under the O’Hare flight paths currently experience jet noise in the range of 65 - 120 decibels on a 24/7 basis. (65 decibels is considered an ‘unhealthy’ threshold, 120 decibels is considered physically damaging to the human body.) As a result, Wood Dale and Itasca residents experience consistent and sustained general annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, and impaired cognitive performance. Noise annoyance, chronic stress, and sleep disturbance ultimately contributes to the development of cardiovascular risk of coronary artery disease, arterial hypertension, stroke, and heart failure.
Being within the 5 mile red zone for jet air pollution and ultrafine particulates, Wood Dale and Itasca residents harmfully 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 Wood Dale and Itasca are being inundated with an overwhelming source of air pollution. The long-term impact on Wood Dale and Itasca residents’ health could be catastrophic, particularly for school children and the elderly.
Wood Dale residents logged 907,858 noise complaints for calendar year 2017. For the month November 2017, residents logged their greatest number of complaints at 114,019; the highest figure ever recorded in Wood Dale’s history. In comparison, the monthly complaint average for 2012 (before the full O’Hare runway build-out and activation) was 19!