DuPage County Green Party opposes Navistar heavy industrial diesel engine testing complex

A DuPage County Green Party press release from November 24, 2009. The contact person is Patrick Kelly at patrick.kelly at dupagegreens dot org

Greens Oppose Proposed Navistar Facility

The DuPage County Green Party is speaking out against the proposed
Navistar heavy industrial diesel engine testing complex to be built in
Lisle, IL. The group has sent out letters to  DuPage County Board
Members and Forest Preserve Commissioners detailing a number of
health, environmental and public policy concerns with the proposed
facility.

Plans for the 335,000 square foot Navistar heavy industrial diesel
engine testing facility include the storage of 162,000 gallons of fuel
on the site of the former Lucent Technologies building. Diesel engines
will be tested 24-hours a day, likely resulting in significant
emissions into the nearby air, soil and water.

The plan includes the sale of three acres of Forest Preserve property
to Navistar. The land also lies near homes and a school for children
with autism.

“Residents should fully understand the impact this facility will have
on their community,” said William Edgar, co-chair of the DuPage County
Green Party. “The plant is about the size of two IKEA stores, and will
be testing engines 24 hours a day, every day of the year. There are
emissions concerns, noise concerns, traffic concerns. This proposed
facility does not fit with the surrounding community.”

“The Navistar plan will clear-cut mature trees on the Lucent
Technologies campus right next to the Danada Forest Preserve and will
result in the loss of Forest Preserve property to an industrial
polluter,” explained Bob Mueller, Green Party candidate for State
Representative, 47th district. “This puts the health of our air, soil
and water, and everyone who lives nearby, at risk.”

The letter also asks Cook County Board members to recover $1.5 million
in corporate welfare paid by DuPage County and Lisle taxpayers to
Navistar to purchase the property.

For more information about the DuPage County Green Party, visit
www.dupagegreens.org

For more information about the community’s effort to stop the Navistar
project go to Web site: www.citizensforhealthydevelopment.org

————————————————————————————–

Letter to DuPage Forerst Preserve Commissioners and County Board Members
November 23, 2009

Dear Commissioners:

The DuPage County Green Party has deep concerns about the proposed
Navistar facility located at 2600 Warrenville Road in Lisle. Our
concerns are as follows:

1) Danger to Surrounding Communities. Harmful chemicals will be stored
on the site in above-ground containers near homes and schools. While
we understand that Navistar has promised to take precautions to secure
these chemicals so they do not leak or explode, there is no fail-proof
containment system. Every day, there are dangerous leaks of toxic
chemicals at plants like this one, despite the best intentions of the
owners of these facilities. It is the responsibility of DuPage County
government leaders to protect the public by following best practices
in zoning and keeping industrial facilities like this one far apart
from residential areas.

2) Significant Loss/Destruction of Environmental Assets. According to
Friends of the Great Western Trail, a local environmental advocacy
group, some 350 mature trees on the property in question will be
destroyed. Furthermore, 3 acres of land currently owned by the Forest
Preserve will be transferred to Navistar without replacement or proper
compensation.

3) Pollution. Commonsense will tell you that a facility like this will
emit pollution and toxins into the air, soil and water nearby, and its
close proximity to the Forest Preserve means that much of this
pollution will be absorbed by the Forest Preserve. Furthermore,
pollution from the facility will no doubt find its way into nearby
residential gardens. Any person or animal who relies on ground water
may be exposed to toxins as well.

4) Asthma and Cancer. Many of the likely emissions from this facility,
including exhaust from the nearly 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel to be
burned there per week, are likely carcinogens and can lead to an array
of health problems. According to Cancer.org, diesel exhaust is linked
to asthma and lung cancer, and is suspected to cause larynx, pancreas,
bladder, kidney and other cancers.

5) Corporate Welfare. According to a report in the Daily Herald, the
“sale” of the land was made possible by a $1.5 million donation to
Navistar from DuPage County and Lisle. According to a company press
release, Navistar took in near record revenues of $14.7 billion in
2008, despite the global economic downturn. By comparison, the DuPage
County budget is a mere fraction of that at $450 million. Furthermore,
as the global economy was melting down, Navistar tripled its CEO
compensation $6.64 million last year, while DuPage County on the other
hand has budgeted for layoffs. It is our firm belief that a public
entity struggling to balance its budget should not cut welfare checks
to an extremely well-funded private corporation, and this money should
be refunded to taxpayers.

6) Noise. With round the clock testing, along with heavy equipment
being transported in and out of the Testing Facility, there is very
likely going to be noise created by the facility above and beyond what
could be expected from the usual office building.

With these concerns in mind, it does not appear that Navistar’s plans
for the facility are the right fit for the community, and we urge you
to work with Navistar to either scale down or halt the plan.

Signed,

The DuPage County Green Party

Steve Alesch
Co-Chair

William Edgar
Co-Chair

Patrick Kelly
Secretary

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