For Immediate Release

October 19, 2004
Contact: Tony Molinaro
Phone: (847) 294-7427

CHICAGO, IL — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has completed its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the proposed expansion of Gary/Chicago International Airport.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement will be used as the basis for the FAA’s future Record of Decision on the planned airport improvements. The Record of Decision is expected in December.

The airport’s planned improvements are aimed at helping it accommodate larger aircraft; increasing the operating margin of safety at the ends of the runways; and expanding the terminal so it can handle a forecast increase in passengers efficiently.

The environmental study focuses on the following proposed airport developments:

  • Extend the existing Runway 12-30 and improve both runway safety areas;
  • Move the E.J. & E. Railroad;
  • Extend parallel taxiway “A” to the new end of Runway 12, and build deicing hold pads on taxiway “A” at Runway 12 and Runway 30;
  • Expand the existing passenger terminal; and
  • Analyze sites close to extended Runway 12-30 for potential aviation-related development, including a future passenger terminal and air cargo area.

The FEIS document outlines mitigation actions for the airport in the following environmental areas:

  • Socioeconomic impacts
    • Develop an extensive public outreach component to provide affected community members with information about future land purchases by the airport;
    • Water quality and soil erosion
    • Develop a detailed, site-specific soil erosion and sedimentation control plan; Wetlands
    • Obtain federal and state permits regarding storm water discharge and regarding wetlands impacts;
    • Endangered animals and plants
    • Preserve existing and create new dune and swale habitats for endangered animals and plants, including the Northern cricket frog, prairie goldenrod, sticky goldenrod, and the Baltic rush;
    • Dune and swale wetlands
    • Where needed, replace and re-locate dune and swale wetland systems affected by construction;
  • Hazardous waste
    • Clean up hazardous waste in the soil and in groundwater from petroleum products, benzopyrene, and various heavy metals and organic compounds.
    • Beginning this week through Nov. 22, the public can view the complete FEIS document during regular business hours at:
    • Gary/Chicago International Airport, 6001 West Industrial Highway, Gary, IN
    • FAA Chicago Airports District Office, Room 312, 2300 East Devon Avenue, Des Plaines, IL
    • Gary Public Library, 220 West 5th Avenue, Gary, IN
    • Hammond Public Library, 564 State Street, Hammond, IN
    • East Chicago Main Library, 2401 East Columbus Drive, East Chicago, IN
    • Indiana University Northwest Library, 3400 Broadway, Gary IN
    • Lake County Main Library, 1919 West 81st Avenue, Merrillville, IN
    • Purdue Calumet Library, 2200 169th Street, Hammond, IN