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IDOT's green construction policies yield public health and air quality benefits


July 30, 2010
Illinois Pollution Campaign Touts IDOT for Green Construction Practices
IDOT Action Yields Public Health and Air Quality Benefits
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig announced today that a statewide environmental oversight group has recognized the Illinois Department of Transportation’s efforts in implementing green construction provisions of Governor Pat Quinn’s order to reduce environmental impact of state government operations.

The recognition by the Illinois Campaign to Clean Up Diesel Pollution, a joint project of Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago and Citizen Action/Illinois, praises IDOT  for its “dedication and commitment” to implementing the Green Construction provisions in  Governor Quinn’s Executive Order 11 (2009), directing executive agencies to help reduce negative environmental impacts by state government.

“We are honored to be recognized by this prestigious environmental group,” said Secretary Hannig.  “We will continue our actions to become more ‘green’ and do our part to help save taxpayers’ money, become more energy efficient, reduce pollution and improve air quality in llinois.”

The Illinois Campaign to Clean Up Diesel Pollution acknowledged IDOT for requiring cleaner diesel equipment to be used on projects beginning with the June 2010 bid letting.

“Construction vehicles and equipment are a major source of diesel pollution,” said Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs, Respiratory Health Association of  Metropolitan Chicago.  “By requiring cleaner equipment to be used on site, IDOT has raised the bar in promoting cleaner technologies and speeding up the turnover of dirty equipment.”

IDOT also was recognized for requiring the use of ultra low sulfur fuel (ULSD) and limiting diesel engine idling on construction sites, a measure that has been in place since 2009. According to the Illinois Campaign to Clean Up Diesel Pollution, the use of ULSD alone can reduce diesel soot pollution by as much as 9 percent, compared to using fuel with a higher sulfur content.  The organization adds that limiting idling also eliminates unnecessary air pollution in and near Illinois  communities, while saving fuel and reducing emissions that contribute to global warming.

Other environmental efforts implemented by IDOT include recycling up to 50,000 aluminum  highway signs each year.  This practice saves over 190,000 gallons of water, 427,000 pounds of  aluminum annually and saves taxpayers $600,000 a year.  IDOT also recycles 1,000 tons of scrap rubber picked up by work crews along the roadways and utilizes E-85 and hybrid vehicles to reduce the agency’s carbon footprint.

To learn about more green practices at IDOT, please visit: