March 23, 2015
Santa Monica Mayor and City Council;
Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP) STRONGLY SUPPORTS the implementation of an Ordinance to limit Santa Monica Airport’s Aircraft Air Pollution Impacts before the 1984 Santa Monica Airport Agreement expires on July 1, 2015.
The Santa Monica Airport Commission passed along to the City Council a draft Ordinance that would limit excessively air polluting aircraft from the use of Santa Monica Airport (SMO), based on the amount of pollution an aircraft emits at idle and/or takeoff, generated by each specific aircraft’s engine(s). Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Suzanne Paulson, your newest Airport Commissioner, worked with Attorney Andrew Henderson to draft a responsible ordinance aimed at significantly reducing aircraft air pollution downwind of SMO.
There are just four months until the Santa Monica Airport 1984 Agreement expires. It is critical to enact such an ordinance promptly while the City still maintains its Proprietary Powers to do so, grandfathered into the 1984 Agreement. Given that access to an airport can be limited by the amount of noise an aircraft makes using proprietary powers, as the federal court ruled in 1979 and 1981, then access can be limited by the amount of pollution an aircraft emits at idle and takeoff.
I strongly urge that you adopt the ordinance now. It will go a long way toward addressing public health and safety concerns. It would be unconscionable for Santa Monica, the owner and operator of SMO, to continue to expose downwind residents to these massive amounts of toxic emissions. The City does not need to seek the approval from the FAA at this late stage. The FAA will not reply back in a timely fashion and, while you wait for their reply, the City will lose its proprietary powers. Do the right thing. Time is of the essence.
I have a two minute video segment, taken from the video linked below, that I plan to play at the Council Meeting Tuesday, March 24 to remind those who are aware, and to educate those who are not, just how critical this issue is. Although the video was taken before the construction of the “blast-wall”, several air monitoring studies measured extremely high air pollution levels downwind of SMO in North Westdale.
Director, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution
President, North Westdale Neighborhood Association
- September, 2009: “Aircraft Emission Impacts in a Neighborhood Adjacent to a General Aviation Airport in Southern California”
- July, 2013: “Neighborhood-scale air quality impacts of emissions from motor vehicles and aircraft”
- 2015: Proposed Ordinance Limiting Emissions for Aircraft using SMO – Based on draft ordinance developed by Andy Henderson
- 1989 DOT/FAA Memo — warns of the health impacts to workers within 300 feet of idling jets and jet blast. Two pages of a Department Of Transportation (DOT) / Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) document dated 5/26/89. See the top of page 2 on “Critical Jet Blast Areas”.
- 1995/1996 Home Video on Santa Monica Airport Jet Fumes — by Virginia Ernst, also shows jet blast damage.
- August, 2000: Plaintiffs’ Position Concerning the City of Santa Monica’s Ongoing Legal Right to Regulate Aircraft Operations at Santa Monica Airport — by Andrew R. Henderson, Attorney.
- November, 2006: Evaluation of the City of Santa Monica’s authority to address environmental impacts from Santa Monica Airport’s operations — by Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, UCLA School of Law.
- August, 2010: South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) – Santa Monica Airport Air Quality Monitoring Studies – General Aviation Airport Air Monitoring Study (PDF – 4.70 MB) – of Air Toxics in Communities Adjacent to the Van Nuys and Santa Monica Airports.
- April, 2011: A Supplemental Monitoring Campaign at the Santa Monica Airport (PDF – 1.02 MB) was also conducted to Study the Short-Term Impact of Aircraft Emissions on the Surrounding Communities.