WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

Schumer urges Port Authority to expedite noise studies


In an effort to expedite the noise studies known as Part 150, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) readdressed the problem of airplane noise over houses in a letter to Pat Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Part 150 studies, which is also being called Airport Noise Compatibility Planning, are part of a program that’s expected to the amount of airplane noise being emanated over the communities closest to John F. Kennedy International Airport on the South Shore of Queens such as the Five Towns and several others, and LaGuardia Airport on the North Shore of the borough.

The studies are part of a program that requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), communities, airport operators and airlines to work together in order to reduce noise in the most affected areas.

Schumer’s letter to Foye expressed concern about the speed in which the studies are being conducted. The Port Authority agreed to conduct the studies beginning in the fall of 2013. Its contract with the Environmental Science Associates — which was intended to assist the studies — ends in 2017. The Port Authority received $6 million in federal funding from the Department of Transportation to aid and help facilitate the studies.

In the letter, Schumer said, “As you know, each day thousands of New Yorkers are adversely impacted by airplane noise. These communities need relief, and the mitigation measures that will follow the Part 150 studies will be key to improving the quality of life for the many New Yorkers living near airports.”

Once completed, the studies are intended to show data that will provide the airports and airlines to alter flight patterns, avoiding the neighborhoods they are currently being impacted. Airports that conduct studies and develop their own noise programs will be eligible for federal funds to assist in noise mitigation.

Kevin Denning, the director of the Town-Village Airport Safety & Noise Abatement Committee (TVASNAC), said the group agrees with Schumer’s assessment. “We don’t believe the Port Authority has moved quickly enough to address noise related issues in our communities,” Denning said. TVASNAC, which is comprised of representatives from a dozen municipalities, works to require the FAA and Port Authority to mitigate aircraft noise. Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, Long Beach, Malverne, Valley Stream and Woodsburgh are part of TVASNAC.

At a Technical Advisory Committee meeting held at JFK on June 22, the study consultant, Environmental Sciences Associates, unveiled a draft of the 65, 70 and 75 day-night sound level maps that Denning said did not provide enough detail. He said more detailed maps are expected to be unveiled as soon as this week.

Port Authority officials said it is committed to completing the noise studies and noted that the ESA’s time frame for conducting the studies is three to five years as the work must be done in compliance with all FAA requirements. Officials added, that at Foye’s direction, staff will “work to accelerate completion of the studies” and noted that the studies require a “more comprehensive approach and thorough analysis.”

“There is no silver bullet when it comes to addressing noise pollution around airports,” said Schumer, “but the completion of the Part 150 studies can help play an important role in providing relief to communities.”

Have an opinion about the noise studies? Send uor letter to the editor to jbessen@liherald.com.

@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { }