Union Station riders will breathe easier after Durbin`s air win - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Union Station riders will breathe easier after Durbin`s air victory

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It's been a year-long fight for Senator Dick Durbin to clean the air inside Union Station, to turn ventilation fans on to keep diesel fumes away from people inside the terminal.

Union Station passengers as well as employees may be able to a little breathe easier – literally - after Thursday.

Sen. Durbin has been fighting to get ventilation fans to keep the fumes away from both Amtrak and Metra passengers as they pass through the central train hub. There is concern about people breathing in diesel exhaust, and tests found higher levels of soot inside the station versus outside.

A federal court judge issued a decree Thursday that requires the owner of the former main Chicago post office to run its exhaust fans 24-hours a day, several days a week.

"If this is a threat to public health, that soot and these emissions could really harm people in a serious way, why did this take so long?" Durbin asked at the press conference. "I think it's an indication of what can happen when you lawyer up and pick a fight, instead of spending the money to fix the exhaust fans. They lawyered up and decided, ‘Let's go to court - see if we can beat them.' That's unfortunate. The losers in that, ultimately, were the passengers and crew, train crew that were exposed to these emissions."

Durbin told FOX 32 News that 11 vents are expected to start running 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and hopefully will clean up some of the air inside at Union Station.

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