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Take Action to Reduce Deadly Diesel Pollution in Chicago

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The Chicago City Council is considering changes to an existing ordinance that could alleviate some of the most concentrated incidents of diesel pollution – at construction sites where heavy equipment is used intensively for weeks or months at a time, often near homes, schools and businesses. Please use the form below to contact your Alderman about this important issue.


  • Chicago has it especially bad. Diesel pollution causes an average of 482 deaths, 585 heart attacks, 845 cases of acute bronchitis and 17,847 asthma attacks each year in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Our asthma hospitalization rate is nearly double the national average.
  • Diesel exhaust is tiny and toxic. Diesel pollution particles are so small – less than 1/30th the width of a single human hair – that they evade the body’s natural defenses, such as coughing and sneezing, and penetrate deep into the lungs. Once there, the 40+ toxins in the particles can enter your blood stream. The damage is both cumulative and irreversible.
  • Policy changes can help. People who live, work or play near “diesel hotspots” – such as  construction sites – are at the highest risk of exposure. A current city ordinance (2-92-595) aims to reduce harmful emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment used at construction sites contracted by the City of Chicago. But that ordinance only applies to projects for certain agencies within the city, is written confusingly, and is not enforced routinely. ELPC and our allies are proposing changes to the ordinance that would clarify standards in ways that lead to expanded enforcement and coverage for taxpayer-funded projects.

Please use the form below to tell your alderman that you want the Clean Diesel Contracting Ordinance clarified and improved to help protect public health. A “clean construction” site typically limits idling of diesel-powered equipment, requires the use of cleaner-burning engines, and places compliance responsibility on the contractor. Some local construction companies are already utilizing these policies.

Bottom line: Chicago is a world-class city, and our residents have the right to breathe clean air. Please take action today.

Your Contact Information

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Your Message to Your Alderman

Please improve the Clean Construction Ordinance (2-92-595) to improve public health

Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]