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Letter to the Editor:

Dear Editor,

Although AJR 41 is non-binding, it sends a clear message that the State of California believes the federal government should address the critical concerns of Santa Monica Airport neighbors that are delineated within the resolution text. One of the most significant “Resolved” clauses states, “That the entities memorialized above (Federal Aviation Administration, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the federal Department of Transportation, and the members of the California congressional delegation) work together to establish and implement a reasonable minimum distance between aircraft operations at Santa Monica Airport and the neighboring communities”

The results of AJR 41 will be entirely up to our Federal representatives and Federal agencies. With the FAA Reauthorization Bill in the final stages, I strongly urge Congressman Henry Waxman not to waste this opportunity to add an amendment establishing a reasonable distance between jet blast and homes. Los Angeles bans gas leaf-blowers from use within 500 feet of homes, and yet jets are blasting off as close as 250 feet. For more than twenty years, and an unknown number of cancer cases later, with several unbiased scientific studies showing high levels of pollution from jets at Santa Monica Airport; we are saying enough is enough.

Additionally, I strongly urge Congressman Waxman and/or Congresswoman Harman to consider holding a Congressional Committee Hearing near Santa Monica Airport to discuss safety, noise and air pollution issues. Senator Barbara Boxer or Senator Diane Feinstein might also initiate a hearing. The issues are critical, the community is very restless, and procrastination is not acceptable.

Assemblyman Ted Lieu took on our concerns regarding Santa Monica Airport from the start of his term in office. About six years ago Ted offered me as Director of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution an opportunity to work with him and his staff to sponsor legislation that he could champion at the state level. He has been diligent, tough, smart, and fair in his approach. He started by introducing AB 2501 followed by AB 700 followed by AJR 37 and now AJR 41. It’s a complex problem with no simple solution. It’s like untying a difficult twisted knot.

AJR 41 is a necessary incremental step that gives credence to issues that call for the Federal Government’s attention. Ted Lieu has guided the legislature through the process of polishing California’s position. All Santa Monica Airport impacted neighbors should be very grateful. Over the last six years, letters from CRAAP members and other neighborhood groups and councils as well as environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club were sent supporting Ted Lieu’s legislation. AJR 41 has the added support of Senator Fran Pavley as the resolution’s co-author as well as the Coalition for Clean Air’s support.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl has been to the Los Angeles City Council, what Ted Lieu has been to the California Legislature. Without their aggressive efforts and the ongoing commitment of my wife Joan and me, we would not have advanced the ball as far as we have. The issues addressed by AJR 41 are clear, credible, and not to be treated in a partisan fashion. The final vote in the California State Assembly was 57 in favor and 16 opposed, picking up 9 Republican votes as well as the one Democrat who originally voted no. Progress is being made.

Martin Rubin, Director

Concerned Residents Against

Airport Pollution

in Opinion
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