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Senate panel reviews troubling scientific studies on Santa Monica Airport pollution
November 30, 2011
Health concerns prompt more than 120 residents to attend Senate hearing
SANTA MONICA AIRPORT – Prompted by worries over breathing toxic pollution from flight traffic at Santa Monica Airport, a standing-room-only crowd of more than 120 residents listened as a lawmaking panel charged with overseeing California air quality today conducted its first-ever hearing on this controversial airport where some homes are located less than 300 feet away.
“Scientific studies clearly show that it may be unsafe for residents to breathe the air near Santa Monica Airport,” Sen. Ted W. Lieu, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Air Quality, said during the evening hearing at the Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Senior Center. “These studies raise serious questions about the impact airport operations are having on the health and quality of life for thousands of California residents.”
Lieu said the policy-making committee will explore options for reducing negative health impacts on residents with an eye toward possible legislation. The 2012 session of the Legislature begins in January, and the deadline to introduce non-urgency bills is late February.
Joining Lieu at the hearing Wednesday were Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes the west side of Los Angeles, and numerous scientific experts. Those include Dr. Phil Fine of the South Coast Air Quality Management District; Dr. John Froines of UCLA’s School of Public Health, who outlined how air pollution affects public health; and Dr. Shahram Yazdani of UCLA, who made a presentation on health impacts.
Also testifying were: Bill Piazza, environmental assessment coordinator for the Los Angeles Unified School District; Dr. Suzanne Paulson (via video) of UCLA; and Dr. Jean Ospital of SCAQMD, who reviewed regional air pollution issues relating to Santa Monica Airport; and Dr. Kim Hoang of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Finally, witnesses Kathy Levitt, Mindy Taylor-Ross and Laura Silagi of the Santa Monica Airport ad-hoc committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council; and Martin Rubin of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution testified about the airport’s impact on the community.
For more, visit Lieu’s Web site or the Senate Select Committee on Air Quality at the addresses below.
Ted W. Lieu represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu or http://air.senate.ca.gov/