home news links events political tech action

Quotes from Flying Off Course, 1996

The following are quotes from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report, Flying Off Course.

San Francisco International Airport is"currently operating under mandate from state water quality board to clean fuel and solvent polluted soil"

"The emissions from aircraft engines, particularly carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and water vapor, play an increasingly significant role in global climate change, and in ozone depletion."

"The aviation community has an obligation to the world's population(many of whom have never been on an aircraft)--and to future generations---to act responsibly on environmental issues, particulary global ones". statement by Phillipe Rochat, Sect. General of the International Civil Aviation Organization(l993)

"From Hearing loss to disruption of speech communication and other daily activities, noise has been widely documented to be potentially injurious to human health and welfare".

"Imagine that is six o'clock a.m. and you are jarred out of sleep by an early morning flight from your local airport. While this noise event would be included in the DNL metric, its full impact would not be represented--instead, it would be diluted by the DNL averaging"

"In adapting a threshold of 65 dbDNL, FAA rejected EPA's health based recommendations and chose, instead, to balance the protection of public health and welfare with competing economic and technological considerations".

"While the Clean Air Act Amendments of l990 effectively targeted motor vehicles and industrial sources for emissions reductions, it left state and local officials essentially unable to control air pollution from an airports planes."

"The very young, the elderly and people with respiratory illnesses are most susceptible to ozone-related respiratory problems, but ozone pollution can effect anyone".

"According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) ethlene glycol "causes eye irritation, central nervous system depression, and kidney and liver damage" in lab tests."

"Because much of their exhaust is emitted at high altitudes, where the atmosphere is thinner and more susceptible to damage, aircraft pose a unique threat to the global atmosphere".

"NRDC's Airport Survey demonstrates that the aircraft noise problem in the United States will probably worsen: at least 32 of the 50 busiest airports in the country have plans for expansion".

"Air pollution totals from cars and many major industries have stabilized or decreased with time, while aircraft emissions at U.S. Airports have more than doubled since l970".

"while the water pollution generated by airports is regulated under the umbrella of the national stormwater program and federal laws such as the Clean Water Act, major obstacles to adequate water protection remain".

"Airports should be required to report releases of hazardous substances under the Toxic Release Inventory".

* "Airport noise has been shown to have an effect on the learning ability of children. Several studies have been conducted that appear to link lower educational tests scores with a significant amount of aircraft noise"

"NRDC's inventories and emissions data furnished by state governments illustrate the extent to which airports, and the airlines that serve them, are getting a free ride on the backs of other industrial polluters."

"The EPA should carry out a thorough investigation and risk assessment of toxic aircraft emissions an a nationwide basis. If findings * similar to its southwest Chicago study are reached elsewhere, then airports should be placed on the agency's list of major hazardous pollution sources. Meanwhile, airports should have to report their toxic emissions to the Toxic Release Inventory(TRI). They should not be exempt from reporting requirments that similarly sized hazardous air pollution sources must obey".