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Metra Riders Subjected to High Amounts of Diesel Soot


Earlier this month, the Chicago Tribune ran front page story exposing the dangerously high amounts of diesel pollution spewing out of Metra locomotives. The paper's tests found the air trapped inside the commuter cars contains levels of diesel soot up to 72 times higher than on the streets outside.

The agency also has created a task force of transit officials, union representatives and environmental health regulators to explore new ways to clean up the toxic exhaust. Jonathan Doster, our diesel organizer, will be a member of the "Sub-committee to Identify Capital Needs."

Over the past 6 months, the Illinois Campaign to Clean Up Diesel Pollution has highlighted particulate matter pollution's link to diabetes, cardiac arrests, and other serious health problems. This soot is a serious public health risk.

As we know, diesel pollution is preventable. In the first quarter of 2011, the Chicago City Council will have an opportunity few other major American cities have had: to limit the amount of diesel soot we breathe by passing a Clean Construction Ordinance. Rail workers, mothers, clergy, health professionals, and a whole host of other Chicagoans are counting on the city to do the right thing.

Please read the story and feel encouraged to reach out to our diesel organizer, Jonathan Doster, at 312.427.2114 x 206.

Photo courtesy of Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune.