Center seeks location to monitor carbon level


The nonprofit Environmental Law and Policy Center is looking for a location in Jefferson Park to monitor carbon emissions due to concerns about diesel truck traffic in the area.

"You have all that traffic that goes to the airport," field organizer Tiffany Davis said. Davis was the guest speaker at the July 29 meeting of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.

The center is seeking to install the monitor for 2 weeks in area that it is not surrounded by buildings and trees, Davis said. She said that a $200 grant is available to the owner of the property where the monitor is placed and that it has to be installed before winter because it can freeze in cold weather.

Several residents expressed concern about carbon emissions from the jet traffic over the Northwest Side. While the monitor measures the amount of carbon, it does not distinguish among the sources of the pollutant, Davis said.

The center has one monitor, and it is seeking to obtain a second one, Davis said. The monitor has been used in several neighborhoods in the city, and one of the upcoming locations is at the Shedd Aquarium.

The center asks residents to report violations of the city’s anti-idling ordinance to the city’s 311 non-emergency hotline. The ordinance limits the idling of diesel-powered vehicles to 3 minutes, and the problems tends to be most prevalent at construction sites, Davis said.

In some instances diesel pollution can be addressed by retrofitting old trucks, according to the center.

Some residents said that the idling of buses has been a problem at the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal. In recent years, the transit agency has added some energy-efficient buses to its fleet to address concerns about diesel exhaust.

The center also has grants available for neighborhood organizations to promote clean air and energy initiatives and to educate the public on the problems, Davis said.

The next meeting of the association will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, at the Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W. Giddings St. A presentation will be given on the 75th anniversary of Nadig Newspapers and on the early history of the association.