Stop the cargo airport at Peotone
Governor J.B. Pritzker:
Stop all funding for the planning and construction of a cargo airport at Peotone.
The people of Illinois voted NO to a third airport at Peotone. We are as opposed to the construction of a cargo airport at Peotone as we were to a passenger airport.
We ask that you cancel all funding in the Illinois budget for this project including the $1 million for a feasibility study and the $162 million for a new interchange at I 57 and local road upgrades and utilities connections.
We ask that you eliminate the South Suburban Airport Commission, remove their current funding from the Illinois budget and provide no future funding.
We ask that you transfer title to the land from the Illinois Department of Transportation to The Nature Conservancy Illinois or a similar organization that will restore the land.
Funding airport construction opposed by the majority of the people of Illinois during a financial crisis is wrong. Funding a cargo airport that will primarily benefit Northpoint and other warehouse developers opposed by the residents of Will County is particularly outrageous. Warehouse developers will flood Will County, turning it into a diesel desert.
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery will be destroyed. Current truck traffic disrupts veterans' funeral procession. Trucks use the cemetery as a means to turn around, park in the cemetery to overnight, sometimes running over or parking on veteran's graves. A cargo airport and more warehouses would exponentially increase truck traffic and the damage they cause to the A.L. National Cemetery.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will be destroyed. Current diesel pollution and traffic noise harm endangered plants and birds that live on the prairie as well as the bison. Northpoint's proposed Compass Business Park would cover nearly 3000 acres adjacent to the National Prairie. Construction noise and pollution will disrupt the lives of plants and animals dependent on Midewin. A cargo airport would increase the number of warehouse and the terrible damage they cause to the environment. Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve and the Monee Reservoir would also be threatened by the cargo airport.
The warehouses and cargo airport will be an economic disaster for Will County. These projects are funded by TIFs and other tax abatement schemes, which leave taxpayers footing the bill for corporate development. The warehouses pay wages below the minimum poverty level with no benefits, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for subsidized housing, food, and medical assistance for their employees.
Residents must navigate dangerous truck traffic on I 80 and I 55 as well as on local roads. Trucks have significantly damaged roads and bridges. Unchecked warehouse development has made traveling dangerous and time consuming. The latest IDOT study shows that 43% of accidents in Elwood are caused by trucks. Planned road construction will not support the increase in traffic caused by the construction of a cargo airport.
Our local aquifers are running dry, forcing us to buy Lake Michigan water. Paving over the land that replenishes the aquifer is irresponsible. The warehouses use large quantities of water for industrial purposes and fire suppression. The increase in warehouses due to the construction of a cargo airport will exasperate the problem.
We ask that you cancel all funding for the construction of a cargo airport at Peotone as well as funding for related infrastructure. We ask that you cancel all current and future funding for the South Suburban Airport Commission. We ask that you transfer title to the land from IDOT to an organization that will restore the land to its natural condition.