Noise News for Week of October 13, 1996

Environmental Group's Study: Air Pollution from Airports Goes Largely Unchecked

PUBLICATION: Los Angeles Times
DATE: October 19, 1996
SECTION: Part A; Page 20; Zones Desk
BYLINE: Rene Lynch
DATELINE: Los Angles, California area
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Gail Ruderman Feuer, Natural Resources Defense Council, environmental group that conducted the pollution study described; Betty Del Rio, opponent of proposed El Toro airport; Clarence Turner, proponent of El Toro airport and former Newport Beach mayor

The Los Angeles Times reports that a Natural Resources Defense Council report says that airports -- such as John Wayne Airport in the Los Angeles area -- put out air pollution that does not receive the attention it deserves. This is a major concern in the already smog-prone area.

According to the article, as airports continue to grow the problem will worsen in areas where dense populations demand quicker air transportation. Although other sources are often seen as causing most air pollution, airports add significantly to the problem. Specifically, airports: don't have to report their toxic output as industry does, and downplay noise pollution by averaging it over time. In the South Coast Basin, pollution from airports contribute 10 percent of air pollution, and 432 tons came from commercial flights at John Wayne Airport alone in 1993.

The article goes on to say that suggested action include: increasing the Environmental Protection Agency's role by asking it to regulate airport emissions, reducing airplane idling, using alternative fuels in ground vehicles, and offering better public transport to the airport.

The article reports that the proposed commercial airport at El Toro Marines Base is involved in the pollution issues. Opponents of the airport said that El Toro -- which would be five times the size of John Wayne -- would worsen pollution. Natural Resources Defense Council said that while it doesn't oppose the airport, any airport should have strict pollution controls in place. Some of those in favor of the airport supported the report, and said that vehicle emissions for those people driving to John Wayne -- which were more than half of the amount that the airport itself produces -- would be reduced by an El Toro airport that would reduce driving time for many passengers.

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