Summary of Testimony for the MSP 2016-2022 Environmental Review

The South Metro Airport Action Council (SMAAC) reminded the MAC of many requests to include atmospheric pollution in its Annual Environmental Effects (AOEE) Report, EA Worksheets, and its Annual Report to the Legislature.  The Draft AOEE Report lacks even a space-holder for air or water pollution topics.  The proposed CIP has some boilerplate about managing pollution during construction or subsequent use of facilities on the airport property. 

                                                                           

Quick Summary of SMAAC’s Testimony on MAC's                                                                              November 12, 2015 

MSP 2016-2022 Capital Improvements & Environmental  Review Draft              

The South Metro Airport Action Council (SMAAC) reminded the MAC of many requests to include atmospheric pollution in its Annual Environmental Effects (AOEE) Report, EA Worksheets, and its Annual Report to the Legislature.  The Draft AOEE Report lacks even a space-holder for air or water pollution topics.  The proposed CIP has some boilerplate about managing pollution during construction or subsequent use of facilities on the airport property. 

KEY POINTS MADE:

In our 2014 AOEE testimony, we presented scientific evidence of dangerous accumulations of ultra-fine organic compounds under flight paths due specifically to the low altitude jet operations. The study area was  east of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). We cited that peer-reviewed study by University of Southern California scientists and attached a link to it as confirmation.  We noted that the jet airliner fleets using LAX are quite similar to MSP’s.  These comments and the USC study were not mentioned in the Staff Memo suggesting findings of no significant impacts and the evidence was omitted from the public record of that AOEE Hearing  The Darft 2014 AOEE was adopted without open deliberation.

In our 2015 AOEE testimony we reiterated the 2014 failure to consider particulate pollution or report the testimony,  In California, several public media articles about the LAX study included persuasive analyses and calls for mitigation and changes in flight patterns from over land to over ocean.  A more recent article was recommended to Chair Cramer by letter as confirming that the 2014 omissions were material and the should be specifically redressed in the 2015 AOEE .  At the Hearing, Chair Cramer ordered that the article be considered testimony received at the Hearing and included in total in the public record.

[[http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/05/29/44433/air-pollution-from-lax-jets-worse-than-previously/]].

We testified that the 2015 Findings by FAA/EPA that overflights reduce air quality and contribute significantly to global warming caused public harm; pending regulation of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from aviation sources in or over the US will likely affect MSP operations. We connected this to airport operations,  specifically jet fuel consumption due to longer city-hub-city routes and increased airport operations compared to use of MSP in 2005.  SMAAC was informed by communications with FAA that the regulations would further increase runway use intervals or possibly reduce daily schedules at MSP. 

FAA found that GHG emissions per hour of jet-engine operation were minimized at cruise altitude: per pound of fuel consumed at these heights, GHG emissions as a percent of engine exhaust volume and less total exhaust volume per hour. Congested airport operations increase the total hours of operations per passenger-mile and hours operating below the cruise altitudes the aircraft engines are tuned for decreases fuel-efficiency. The greater opportunity for GHG reductions is consistent with our recommendation that  FAA  revise the MSP Airspace Management Plan to fewer operations per hour as safer, environmentally sounder, and less expensive than the current plan.  

SMAAC holds, and MAC Counsel Tom Anderson agreed, we think, that a qualitative assessment of off-site effects, such as particulate pollution or GHG emissions was required in the AOEE by Minnesota Law. Otherwise, the public's legitimate concerns about safety, health risks, global warming, and other aspects of increased low altitude overflights at MSP will not be acknowledged or lead to EAWs. Neither will environmental impacts (effects) be properly reported under Minnesota and Federal Law.


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  • South Metro Airport Action Council - SMAAC posted about Summary of Testimony for the MSP 2016-2022 Environmental Review on South Metro Airport Action Council - SMAAC's Facebook page 2015-11-24 19:48:46 -0600
    Summary of Testimony for the MSP 2016-2022 Environmental Review
  • @smaacmn tweeted this page. 2015-11-24 19:48:42 -0600
  • Forum Manager
    commented 2015-11-14 20:46:08 -0600
    I meet today with Rep. Jean Wagenius. She said that the MPCA had (verified) that aviation operations at MSP (cause increased mortality).

    She said Sen. Scott Dibble had written the MAC (about the study?) and asked that ‘Air Quality’ be considered in (the LTCP Update). This was the reason for the delay of the LTCP Draft Release, she said.

    She also said the the City of Minneapolis was (going to) ask the Met Council to [require] a full EIS for MSP [growth?] as part of the Metro Transportstion Policy Plan Update.

    1. The MPCA offerred no information used by MAC in any AOEE.
    2. Sen. Dibble’s letter was a welcome statement of concern, but the sole reason for the delay in releasing the Drafy MSP 2035 LTCP Update stated by the MAC was waiting for small CRO adjustments before modeling noise exposure.
    3. Rep. Wagenius somehow thinks the State laws that require only he AOEE and make the MAC the decider and the sponser in EAWs do not apply.