Better Public Policy

The City of Chicago has two city ordinances in place to address diesel pollution — but there are major limits to the scope and enforcability of those standards.  Here’s what you need to know and how you can help.

Anti-Idling Ordinance (9-80-095)

TailpipeExhaustAim of the Ordinance: To reduce harmful emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and non-road vehicles/equipment used on city construction projects.

Why It Falls Short: Because the ordinance is written with confusing language, the ordinance in practice only applies to a limited number of construction projects and is not properly enforced. It should be updated to clarify standards in ways that lead to expanded enforcement and coverage for taxpayer-funded projects.

What You Can Do: You can help ensure that the ordinance is better enforced by noticing and reporting idling violations — and bringing lack of enforcement to the attention of your alderman. If Chicago’s City Council members hear from enough of their constituents, they will be more likely to update the standards to make them more enforceable. Remember:

  • Watch for idling diesel vehicles
  • Call 311 to report idling of more than 3 minutes
  • Contact your Alderman to let him/her know that you’ve seen and reported the idling violation — especially if you think the incident went unenforced
  • Use the social media buttons below to share this information with your friends, family, colleagues and networks!

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Clean Construction Ordinance (2-92-595)

ConstructionEquipmentAim of the Ordinance: To reduce harmful emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and non-road vehicles/equipment used on city construction projects.

Why It Falls Short: The ordinance only applies to a limited number of construction projects, is written confusingly, and is not properly enforced. It should be updated to clarify standards in ways that lead to expanded enforcement and coverage for taxpayer-funded projects.

How You Can Help: Contact your alderman by clicking the “take action” button below to ask him/her to strengthen and expand the ordinance.

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