Testifying and Advising on Transportation and Environmental Issues

This week CNT testified at several hearings and expanded its participation in local and national transportation and environmental advisory committees.

CNT’s Director of Transportation and Community Development, María Choca Urban, spoke at a Metra commuter rail hearing about the Union-Pacific North Line viaduct improvements. She urged the board to be “more transparent and give the public greater opportunities to be meaningfully involved in planning for improvement projects.” She also offered CNT’s assistance in developing a reasonable method to accomplish that. CNT has long been an advocate for involving citizens in transportation planning projects, with tools like Transopoly. Improving the region’s transportation system is an important component in making northeastern Illinois a more sustainable place to live and work.

Earlier this week, Ed Oser represented CNT at the Joint Public Hearing of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to testify in favor of new, clearer vehicle labeling that would give people shopping for new cars a true sense of the fuel costs and environmental impact of each vehicle.

One of EPA and NHTSA’s labeling systems measures the fuel efficiency and carbon output of each new vehicle and assigns them an A through D grade accordingly. The grade-based labels show the savings, or additional spending, that comes with each new vehicle. The other labels are less effective, only displaying miles per gallon and annual fuel cost information and omitting comprehensive pollution metrics or a consumer-friendly grading system. For more information, click here.

CNT’s Vice-President of Policy, Jacky Grimshaw, has been appointed to two new committees. Governor Quinn appointed Grimshaw to the Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass Advisory Council, which will advise the governor and make recommendations about the infrastructure improvements in and around O’Hare International Airport, including the extension of the Elgin-O’Hare bypass and a complementary transit network upgrade.

Additionally, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson appointed Grimshaw to the Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee of the U.S. EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee. The committee will give advice and recommendations on the scientific and technical aspects of EPA programs related to mobile-source air pollution and motor-vehicle and engine fuels.