To The Mirror Editor:
Steve Stajich’s November 26, 2009 Editorial, Santa Monica Airport Pollution: Been There, Inhaled T­­­hat
I appreciate Steve Stajich’s colorfully styled editorial on a black and white issue. It does often fall on citizens to bring up the drumbeat as when hundreds of airport neighbors did at an April 27, 2007 Earthday demonstration at Santa Monica Airport (SMO). Santa Monica City officials seem to need a great deal of proof that there, indeed, exists air pollution from SMO. They have and continue to receive complaints about jet exhaust odors for well over a decade.
A Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) 1999 risk assessment report by Bill Piazza regarding SMO downwind air pollution showed elevated cancer risks in the North Westdale neighborhood east of the airport. The newly published UCLA report regarding air pollutants to the east of SMO adds validation to the 1999 LAUSD risk assessment and vice versa. Mr. Piazza’s report was based on dispersion modeling while the UCLA report used state-of-the-art monitoring. Both show that air pollution from SMO aircraft operations encroaches well into the North Westdale neighborhood just to the east of the airport’s runway. Both excellent studies are based on known aircraft emissions data. However, it is very disturbing that there is a lack of data about potential toxins in jet emissions. Therefore, the full impacts from SMO on the community are yet to be determined.
As a resident of North Westdale and director of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution, I would very much appreciate it if the City of Santa Monica would now pay serious heed to the conclusions of both studies, and match Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s efforts to address this critical air pollution issue. After all, it is the City’s responsibility to protect residents from toxic pollution.
Against Airport Pollution