Study: LGA Noise Pollution Soaring – QNS.com

Study: LGA Noise Pollution Soaring

Congressman Joseph Crowley released a study last week showing higher air and noise pollution levels produced by LaGuardia Airport than previously estimated.
The study took into account noise and emissions produced by a wider range of sources, such as trucks and buses that serve the airport, that have been ignored in past studies. Crowley said the study would boost support for a bill to fund soundproofing for area homes.
"Whether it is soundproofing of homes around the airport or using natural gas buses at the airport, critical steps need to be taken to improve the quality of life for people living near the LaGuardia vicinity," said Crowley. "I look forward to seeing some real changes occurring at LaGuardia in the near future."
Noise and air pollution experts from New York University and City University of New York put monitors in 12 homes around the airport. The monitors registered noise and air pollution levels during a 24-hour period, and the researchers also surveyed residents about their ability to tolerate noises.
Though only a small number of homes were included in their study, Arline Bronzast, a retired Lehman College professor and a lead researcher, said the results were significant and hopes the methodology will be repeated in a larger project.
"What made our study unique, is that, for the first time, we went into homes," she said.
According to Bronzast, Federal Aviation Authority studies usually rely on models that estimate average daily noise levels from airplanes landing and taking off. The FAA "underestimates the impacts on people" by flattening the noise of a single loud disturbance into a daily average and not including vehicles other than aircraft, said Bronzast.
The FAA did not offer a comment on the study, but the Port Authority, who owns and oversees New York City airports, said they had already soundproofed many schools near airports and were open to other methods for reducing pollution.
"Its something weve been very aggressive at adopting," said Pasquale DiFulco, a Port Authority spokesperson, of school soundproofing. He was hesitant to say the PA would consider expanding the program to residential soundproofing as recommended by Crowleys study, however. "Theres a limited number of dollars to work with," said DiFulco.
DiFulco was optimistic that airlines will begin using alternative fuels and quieter engines in the near future and said the Port Authority would actively promote the changes.
"We applaud the Congressmans efforts," he said. "Were very conscious about being a good neighbor to the community, but we cant do it alone."

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