FOIA Request Shows Major Environmental Organizations Oppose Longmeadow!
Recently, Taxpayers Against Longmeadow Toll Bridge obtained, through a Freedom of Information Act request, the public comments sent to the Kane County Division of Transportation regarding their seeking of an exemption from the Federal Highway Authority to construct a highway/toll bridge through forest preserve property and over the Fox River.
KDOT wants to build through Brunner Family Forest Preserve but because of federal law, they have to apply, and get approved, for a special exemption known as "de minimis." This basically is legalese that means to build a 4-lane roadway through publicly owned property will cause negligible environmental damage.
After obtaining the public comments, we realized a couple of things:
- No public comments were sent in support of KDOT receiving the de minimis finding, and
- The Environmental Law and Policy Center, Sierra Club, and Open Lands organizations sent in a joint letter in opposition to the de minimis finding!
Many of you may have recently heard about the Illiana Tollway that was a major IDOT project and was recently cut from the state budget by Gov. Rauner. These three organizations played a large part in getting that funding cut.
Many are now calling Longmeadow the "little brother" of Illiana, and are opposing it for many of the same reasons as Illiana opponents: too expensive, unnecessary, and environmentally destructive!
All tallied, 36 individuals and groups sent in letters. Among those sending letters were CPAs, biologists, environmentalists, engineers, teachers, parents, residents, retirees, environmental organizations, a Dundee Township trustee, and the Village of Barrington Hills!
You can read the entire FOIA documents below, or you can read the ELPC/Sierra Club/Open Lands letter by itself.