DEMOCRATIC SENATORS REJECT PUSH TO PROTECT NEPA IN FAA BILL
Thursday April 8th Delaware's House of Representatives passed resolution number 72 to address concerns regarding the PHL expansion plans and flight patterns over Northern Delaware. See brief summary below that led to today's actions. The FAA points planes and runways at people because current Federal Law says it can.
We need to toast the fine representation we all in enjoy in the U.S. Senate and House of Reps. By the way, the house vote that sent the bill back to Senate last year -207-211 --Only 2 votes would have been needed to stop the bill from going back to the Senate in October. So let's give a special thanks to Mr. Castle and Mr. Weldon for voting with their conscience. To read more about the FAA bill passing in the Senate see article below.
Snipped email was sent while FAA reauthoriaztion bill was stalled in Congress. During the stalemate (October 2003) the FAA announced Dual Modena routing --sending more PHL traffic over Northern Delaware South Eastern Pennsylvania.
The FAA bills enjoyed broad bipartisan support, clearing the House on a 418-8 vote and the Senate on a 94-0 vote in June. But the White House warned that Bush would veto the final legislation if it included provisions that would inappropriately prohihit the conversion of FAA facilities or functions from the federal government to the private sector." The time of the vote (June) was the same time I started barking and the Pater's voiced their concerns to Carper. I would say nothing is an accurate description of their actions. Read this blurb from an email that I sent to Jane Scott (former Biden Aid) September 2003:
For the record, I am a political junky:
In closing, I was watching C-SPAN a last year. Senator Biden was eulogizing Strom Thurman after he had passed away. We all know Thurman did not support civil rights for Americans --just ask Trent Lott. Senator Biden stated very emphatically, in his address, that his own purpose for getting into politics was to aid the fight for Civil Rights in America. I assume that he meant for all Americans (even people under flight paths). It seems to me the senator and the Delaware delegation should be lacing up the gloves, because currently, the status quo in Delaware is unacceptable.... I ask who defends my CIVIL RIGHTS and how do we legislate morality?
Email from Aviation Watch after Reauthoriaztion.
From: "Jack Saporito"
Date: Wed Nov 19, 2003 3:29 pm
Subject: DEMOCRATIC SENATORS REJECT PUSH TO PROTECT NEPA IN FAA BILL
Gender Female Male
Source: Clean Air Report via InsideEPA.com
By Dawn Reeves
Date: November 20, 2003
Issue: Vol. 14, No. 24
© Inside Washington Publishers
DEMOCRATIC SENATORS REJECT PUSH TO PROTECT NEPA IN FAA BILL
Date: November 20, 2003 -
Democratic Senate sources say they have rejected an 11th-hour push by national environmental groups to protest controversial environmental streamlining provisions in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill.
A key Senate source says a deal between Democrats and the White House is possible this week on the high-profile fight over privatizing the nation’s air traffic controllers. That issue is taking priority among senators and if an agreement is reached, the environmental changes will remain in the bill, the source says.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has been leading the charge against privatization, and following a Nov. 17 failed cloture
vote, Lautenberg -- along with Sens. Trent Lott (R-MI) and John Rockefeller (D-WV) -- sent a letter for White House approval Nov. 18 that would prevent the privatizing of any air traffic controllers for one year. If the White House signs the letter, the FAA reauthorization bill is likely to be approved this week, the source says. The deal is likely despite a new push from national environmental groups that tried to raise the profile of the streamlining provisions in the bill that they believe would gut the environmental review process, and make it difficult for the public to participate in decision making over plans to expand existing airports and build new ones. One environmentalist says similar anti-environmental measures are contained
in the federal highway reauthorization bill approved last week by the Senate environment committee (see related story).
A Lautenberg source says the senator is concerned about the environmental streamlining but that maintaining federal air traffic controllers is his priority. Environmental groups unsuccessfully approached other Democratic senators to try to draw attention to the streamlining issue, including Barbara Boxer (CA), Hillary Clinton (NY), Thomas Carper (DE) and Republican Peter Fitzgerald (IL), who opposes the expansion of Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
Specifically, the environmental groups opposed two sections of bill: section 47171(j), which gives the transportation secretary binding authority over the scope of airport projects, and section 47171(k), which limits the authority of other federal agencies in conducting environmental reviews. Relevant documents are available on InsideEPA.com. “The role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the study and design of airport expansion could be dramatically curtailed,” the groups write.
“The U.S. EPA brings vital expertise to bear in the analysis of air pollution and public health impacts.” One environmentalist describes the FAA and highway reauthorization bills as “across-the-board assaults” on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Among the most disturbing changes, the source says, is that the new bill would only require that the Department of Transportation seek the consultation of other agencies rather than the concurrence, which has been the general practice.
“They are eating into the statutory authority of EPA and other resource agencies, forcing the resource agency to run permit reviews concurrent with the NEPA review . . . and giving authority to the build agency,” the source says. In a related matter, a host of environmental and state air regulators are seeking to convince EPA to develop stricter nitrogen oxide (NOx) standards than contained in a proposal the agency released Sept. 30. The proposal would take effect Dec. 31 because aircraft engine makers are already complying with the rule, which mirrors the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization standards.
At a public hearing Nov. 12, the Alliance of Residents Concerning O’Hare (AReCO) sought to convince EPA to move forward with regulations that are more stringent than the international standards rather than appease the airlines, which have been meeting those standards for nine years. Amy Royden, representing an association of state and local air regulators,
said her group was “extremely disappointed in EPA’s recently proposed NOx emission standards.”
Jack Saporito, Executive Director
The Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare
Past-president, US-Citizens Aviation Watch Association (1997-2002)
Arlington Hts., IL 60006-1702
Phone: (847) 506-0670
Fax: (847) 506-0202
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