Assemblymember Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance) announced the introduction of a Joint Resolution urging the federal government to end the toxic emissions and excessive noise problems at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO).
Assembly Joint Resolution 41 (AJR 41) urges the Federal Aviation Administration, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Transportation to work together and review unhealthy aircraft noise levels and pollution at SMO.
“The federal government, especially the FAA, can no longer ignore the dangerous public health risks at Santa Monica Municipal Airport,” said Lieu. “It is time for California to send a strong message to them that the environmental and health risk caused by jet aircraft must be addressed.”
A recent UCLA study found that airport operations, particularly jet take-offs and landings, are contributing to elevated levels of black carbon and ultra-fine particles in the surrounding areas. With both ends of the airports runways less than 300 feet from densely populated residential communities, SMO is one of the most residentially encroached airports in the entire nation.
More high-polluting jet aircraft use this airport than ever before. The number of jet traffic at SMO has increased from an annual total of 1,000 in 1984 to tens of thousands today. This massive increase in jet operations has caused significantly increased health risks to those residents who live near the airport and inhale jet exhaust on a daily basis, especially from jets that idle for long periods of time on the tarmac.
“We appreciate Assemblyman Lieu’s efforts on our behalf with regard to the toxic air pollution coming from Santa Monica Airport’s jet operations into neighboring homes,” said Martin Rubin, Director, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution, sponsor of the resolution. “I would expect that our federal representatives would introduce legislation establishing a standard minimum distance from jet aircraft operations and residences. The lack of any such standard has caused many hundreds of families surrounding SMO much suffering.”
AJR 41 will be taken up by the Assembly in the coming weeks. It is important to note that a resolution not legislation and does not legally change anything. Resolutions are passed as formal messages, often used to declare a body’s intent to do something, to support somehting, or to denounce something.
For instance, many Santa Monica city government commissions and council passed resolutions declaring the body’s support for Measure A – the parcel tax measure to fund Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District school to be voted on by district voters in May.