April 17, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Op-Ed: Clearing The Air Around Santa Monica Airport:

By Martin Rubin, Director of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution

When pro-aviation advocates brought forward Measure D to preserve Santa Monica Airport (SMO), they tried to trick Santa Monica residents into believing if SMO were to close there would begin a massive Century City-type development.

They also said that, if SMO were to close, large airliners would fly low over Santa Monica when they approach LAX to land, bringing more noise and air pollution than we experience now. Although 3/4 of a million dollars was spent by aviation lobbys, Santa Monica residents were not fooled and voted no on Meaure D by a 60 percent ‘no’ to 40 percent ‘yes vote.

What Measure D accomplished for the community was huge. The City of Santa Monica, in an effort to preserve its control over the airport, placed the alternate Measure LC on the ballot. Measure LC was passed by the same vote percentage by which Measure D lost. Now, no development, other than park and open space, could happen at the land now occupied by the airport unless approved by a majority vote of S.M. voters in an election.

But what if the airport stays? What controls will there be to limit the growth of aircraft operations at SMO?

The 1984 Santa Monica Airport Agreement expires July 1, 2015. No one argues that fact. What does that mean for the future of SMO? Is it a good thing? The 1984 agreement has kept the City of Santa Monica from falling under the thumb of the 1990 Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA). After June 30, will Santa Monica even retain the limitations that exist today; like noise limits and curfews?

It was only shortly before the signing of the 1984 Agreement when the Santa Monica City Council voted to close SMO as soon as practicable. What will Santa Monica do now? Longtime Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Moutrie has dismissed attempts to curtail toxic air pollution by saying that any attempts would be preemted by the federal Clean Air Act. How ridiculous does that sound? If the City can’t attempt to minimize toxic air pollution because it goes against the Clean Air Act, it makes one wonder how the EPA defines clean air. 

Knowledgeable attorneys opine that Marsha Moutrie is wrong about the Clean Air Act preemption, and that the City, as owner and operator of SMO, maintains clear proprietary rights under the 1984 agreement.

The Santa Monica Airport Commission recently passed an air pollution ordinance that would limit aircraft use of SMO based on engine-emission ratings. It’s similar to drawing limits on how noisy an aircraft can be before it’s banned from using SMO. 

City Council members must enact and have the air pollution ordinance in place before July 1, 2015. The City Council needs to act NOW. Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution strongly supports the ordinance, and believes that it would go a long way toward protecting the public health of SMO’s downwind neighbors.

If all of the community theories that have been put forth about the future of Santa Monica Airport play out against the community’s interests, will Santa Monica have this safety net in place? I urge all to understand the importance and urgency of this ground-breaking air pollution ordinance. If Santa Monica truly believes itself to be a green city, then it must address this critical public health concern immediately.

in News
Related Posts

Edify TV: $2 Billion Beverly Hills Development Proposed Near Westside

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

A developer wants to build a $2 billion condo and retail development flanking the Beverly Hilton hotel. Learn more in...

State Funds Two Additional Sustainable Housing Proposals in Santa Monica

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

Proposals are designed to help with affordability and sustainability  By Toi Creel California is paving the way for environmentally-friendly housing...

Santa Monica City Council Rejects Proposed Ban of Certain Items at Protests

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Lawmakers vote down item 4-3 at meeting this week  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers rejected a motion this week...

Edify TV: LAFD Announces Likely Cause of Ballona Wetlands Fire

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

The LAFD has revealed the cause of a March fire that destroyed five acres of the Ballona Wetlands. Learn more...

Shake Shack Set to Open in Santa Monica

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

NYC-based burger chain to open at Wilshire and 5th this weekend By Kerry Slater East Coast burger joint Shake Shack...

Restaurant Spotlight: Piccolo Bringing Fine Italian Dining to Santa Monica and Venice

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Latest restaurant from Chef Antonio Mure with two locations on Westside  By Timothy Michael An esteemed chef with deep ties...

Edify TV: Venice Handball Courts Encampment Cleared

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Sanitation crews Thursday cleared a homeless encampment at the Venice Beach handball courts. Learn more in this video made possible...

ArcLight Cinema Santa Monica Closing

April 14, 2021

April 14, 2021

Pacific Theatres will not reopen locations across country due to pandemic  By Sam Catanzaro  The 12-screen ArcLight Cinema complex in...

Westside Cafe Helping Save Monarch Butterflies

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This Westside cafe is doing its part to keep its namesake insect, the monarch butterfly, safe. Learn more in this...

Junior Lifeguards Returning This Summer

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

County-run program returns to LA County beaches July and August  By Sam Catanzaro A few weeks are left for prospective...

Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Santa Monica Beach

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism organizing April 22 event  On Earth Day next week join a “micro-cleanup” to help beautify...

Six Vendors Released on Citation for Fight at Santa Monica Pier

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Santa Monica police cite and release six people involved in Sunday incident By Sam Catanzaro Six individuals were released on...

City Council Passes New Measure to Meet State Affordable Housing Mandate: Santa Monica Beat – April, 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Passes New Measure to Meet State Affordable Housing Mandate...