Thursday, August 10, 2017

City Council to Hold Hearing at Hale Park on Possibly-Toxic Windows Supplied to Midway-Area Homeowners

Southwest Side homeowners whose homes have defective windows supplied through the Midway Residential Sound Insulation Program will have a chance to air their concerns publicly, when the City Council Committee on Finance and Committee on Aviation host a joint hearing on the matter at 12:30 p.m. 3 p.m. Wednesday, August 23 at Hale Park, 6258 W. 62nd Street.

The hearing is open to the public.

Further, the City Council has voted to order Chicago
CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans
Department of Aviation Commissioner Ginger S. Evans to appear at the hearing and discuss the matter and what CDA is doing to respond to homeowner concerns.

That order was sponsored by 14th Ward Alderman Edward M. Burke (Committee on Finance chairman) and 23rd Ward Alderman Michael R. Zalewski (Committee on Aviation chairman). It was co-sponsored by 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn and 41st Ward Alderman Anthony Napolitano.

A statement from Burke's office sent to the Southwest Chicago Post indicated that the Committee on Finance and Committee on Aviation may, in the weeks ahead, hold a similar public hearing to address concerns of Northwest Side homeowners who have had windows supplied through the O'Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program.

At the heart of the matter are RSIP windows that are
emitting foul odors--which homeowners fear may possibly be toxic. Several homeowners have had cancer diagnoses since the windows were installed--some in 2011, some as far back as 2006.

Those homeowners have asked CDA to address their concerns and say they are frustrated and even angry that CDA has reportedly dragged its feet and even lied to them at times.

CDA has responded by offering to remove the windows in question promptly, replace them with commercially available windows--ordinary windows, not sound-insulation windows--and then later replace those windows with new sound-insulation windows when they are available. Further, they have offered to test the windows in a laboratory to determine if the fumes coming from the windows are poisonous.

Until recently, CDA has refused to conduct in-home air quality tests, as requested repeatedly by homeowners. They reversed course, under pressure from elected officials and local news organizations, earlier this month--but have not yet said exactly when and how the tests will be done.

Homeowners who accept the CDA offer of replacement windows are required to sign a 10-page legal document in which they promise to not sue CDA, even if the fumes are found to be cancer-causing.

Most, if not all homeowners, have refused to sign the document. Alderman Burke, upon hearing of the 10-page document, reportedly said that he would not sign such an agreement--as did Midway Noise Compatibility Commission Chairman Thomas S. Baliga.


The story about the possibly toxic windows was reported first--and exclusively--by the Southwest News-Herald on June 9:

..and followed up by the SWNH later that month, when Congressman Lipinski weighed in:

...and then again in early July, as more homeowners stepped forward:

...and yet again when Southwest Side aldermen united to express disappointment with CDA Commissioner Ginger Evans:

...and finally, in early August, when the SWNH covered a stormy question-and answer session with the Noise Commission at Midway Banquets:

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