Aurora IL residents protected from gas station health impacts

Residents of the Aurora, Illinois, Marywood community recently formed the Healthy Neighborhoods Alliance in response to a proposal to site yet another gas station in their community.  The proposed gas station, a Circle K, was proposed for the site shown in the aerial below, which was at the northwest corner of Molitor Road and Farnsworth Avenue.

The Alliance retained Community & Environmental Defense Services (CEDS) to assess the potential effects of the proposed gas station on the health and quality-of-life of area residents.  Unfortunately, the CEDS analysis determined that the project would likely result in adverse health effects to area residents living within the red circle in the aerial above, and possibly those living in the yellow 1,000-foot circle too.

These adverse effects would result from:

  • Benzene and other compounds released to the atmosphere from underground gasoline storage tank vents and while gas is being dispensed at the pump which can cause nausea, cancer and low-birth weight.
  • Area residents could have also been at risk of well contamination due not so much to leaking underground storage tanks but from gas spilled at the pump.

Alliance leaders Steven Brengman, Jennifer Fearday and Jackie d’Escoto mobilized widespread support among area residents.  Thanks to the leadership of their representative, Alderman Emmanuel Llamas, the Aurora City Council voted 8 to 5 to deny approval for the Circle K gas station on April 27th.

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