The Smoke Question in Chicago.
It is reported that Chicago’s smoke ordinance, which for several months past has practically been suspended, will now be rigidly enforced. On account of the coal strike and the labor troubles, consumers were obliged to take and use anything they could get, but now that affairs are in better condition, no leniency is to be shown offenders. It is said that the railroads and tug-boat companies are the principal offenders. Notice has been served upon the various railroads that they will be held to account for all violations reported. As for the tug men, the city claims that oil is cheaper than soft coal, and that unless the boats use that they must burn hard coal. It has been claimed until recently that hard coal could not be used in the boilers as now equipped, but as the tugs have been compelled to use hard coal or nothing at various times during thesummet. this excuse vi 11 probably now lose some of its force. One difficulty against which the bureau of smoke prevention has had to contend lay in the fact that any one with a political pull of any sort could obtain a suspension of a fine. It is now announced that this will be changed and that fines will in all cases be collected.
The city engineer of Chicago has submitted a report advising the use of West Virginia bituminous coal instead of anthracite in the North Side pumping station. Tests of the coal recommended are said to show a very high evaporation. It has heretofore been considered necessary to use anthracite coal on account of the smoke produced by the burning of the bituminous usually available. It has been found possible, however, to burn this coal successfully without taking unusual precautions to prevent smoke, and it is estimated that a saving of 25 per cent, can be effected by its use.