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EPA Home > Region 5 > Air > Correspondence


December 2, 1997

Paul G. Vallas
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
1819 West Pershing Road
Chicago, Illinois 60609

Dear Mr. Vallas:

Congratulations on joining the Energy Star Buildings Program. Given the size of the Chicago Public School system, some 550 schools, the economic and environmental benefits of this voluntary, energy-saving program are enormous. If all Chicago public schools implement the program, it is estimated that $12 million of lighting costs would be saved each year (at least a 40 percent return on the initial investment). That’s $12 million more that can then be spent on providing the children of Chicago with the education they need to become successful, productive adults.

The Chicago Public School system should also be proud that implementation of this program will reduce “greenhouse gas” pollutants--the equivalent of removing some 15,660 automobiles from Chicago streets or planting some 33,000 acres of trees. You are taking a leadership role in demonstrating to the public that environmental protection is economic common sense: economic growth and environmental protection are mutually inclusive, not mutually exclusive. You are also demonstrating that Federal, State, and local governments can form an enduring partnership on matters as crucial as environmental protection and public health in a manner that keeps the taxpayer in mind.

Because the Chicago Public School system is the largest school system in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA’s) Region 5 six-state area to sign onto the program, I would like to join you in a public-signing ceremony and media event. You deserve public attention for this important effort, and U.S. EPA Region 5 would like to publicize your efforts in order to hold the city as model for other school districts in Region 5. My staff will work with you, at your lead, to assure that the event will get the attention it deserves.

Please contact me at (312) 886-3000 at your earliest convenience so that we can discuss our mutual availability for such an event. Again, thank you for your ongoing leadership in this exciting partnership. I look forward to monitoring its progress.

Sincerely yours,


David A. Ullrich
Acting Regional Administrator

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This Information Last Modified On: 09/18/2008 03:58 PM