The air is getting better inside one of Amtrak’s main stations. Venting of diesel exhaust is getting better at Chicago’s Union station. Tom Carper, Amtrak’s chairman of the board, says the issue isn’t just for local commuters. “Our customers from Macomb and Quincy and Galesburg and all around the State of Illinois come to Chicago all the time, for business, for education,” Carper said.
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“It’s important not only for the City of Chicago, not only for people in this area, but people from all over the country who come through this great station and from Downstate Illinois, that we can do all that we can do to make sure that the facilities are safe that they’re clean and the air quality is good.” There is still one building owner that isn’t fully complying with venting the soot and fumes and that has led Amtrak to file suit against the owner of the old Chicago Post Office, saying the owner has a responsibility to fix ventilation systems below the building to help prevent train exhaust from backing up inside Union Station. International Property Developers says eight of 11 ventilation fans are working fine, and the others are being sent in for repair. Diesel pollution can aggravate or cause heart and lung problems and can cause cancer over time.