PLANE PAIN!

August 23, 2019 at 4:30 am

Residents living near JFK and LaGuardia airports are concerned that the constant noise from planes flying over their homes is having potentially damaging effects on their health.  Tonight, meet the Long Island legislator who’s seeking out answers and options.

Aired on June 17, 2019 and August 22, 2019.

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>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M RAFAEL PI RAMON.
RESIDENTS HAVE HAD ENOUGH FROM
THE LOUD NOISE OF PLANES
CONSTANTLY FLYING OVER THEIR
HOMES.
THAT ACCORDING TO A PAIR OF
STATE LAWMAKERS WHO SAY THEIR
OFFICES HAVE BEEN FLOODED WITH
COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE NOISE AND
HAVE INTRODUCED A BILL IN THE
STATE LEGISLATOR TO ADDRESS THE
ISSUE.
JOINING US NOW IS ONE OF THE
COAUTHORS OF THAT BILL, ASSEMBLY
WOMAN JUDY GRIFFIN WHOSE LONG
ISLAND DISTRICT IS IMPACTED BY
THE AIR TRAFFIC.
ASSEMBLY WOMAN GRIFFIN, THANK
YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
TODAY.
>> MY PLEASURE.
>> SO, ASSEMBLY WOMAN, YOU HAVE
SAID THAT THIS EXCESSIVE DAILY
NOISE OF AIR TRAFFIC IS, QUOTE,
A NUISANCE THAT HAS CONTINUED
UNABATED FOR DECADES.
SO IF IT HAS LASTED FOR DECADES,
WHY THIS LEGISLATION NOW?
WHAT HAS TRIGGERED IT?
>> WELL, I THINK JUDGING FROM
THE AMOUNT OF COMPLAINTS THAT WE
GET ON A REGULAR BASIS, IT'S
PEOPLE HAVE LIVED IN THIS AREA.
A LOT OF -- YOU LIVE CLOSE TO AN
AIRPORT, YOU CAN EXPECT SOME
NOISE.
>> SURE.
>> BUT THE PROBLEM IS THERE ARE
PEOPLE THAT HAVE LIVED THERE FOR
30 YEARS, 20 YEARS, AND ONLY
MAYBE IN THE LAST FIVE TO TEN
YEARS HAVE THERE BEEN HIGHER
FREQUENCY, HAVE THERE BEEN MORE
PLANES.
MAYBE SOME OF IT IS LOW-FLYING
CARGO PLANES THAT CREATE MORE
NOISE AS WELL.
SO IT'S A PROBLEM THAT HAS
REALLY GOTTEN OUT OF HAND NOW
AND THERE IS A CERTAIN DECIBEL
LEVEL THAT AIRPLANE NOISE SHOULD
BE UNDER.
AND WHAT WE DO KNOW IS IT
DEFINITELY ARE PERIODS OF THE
DAY IT IS HIGHER, AND WE HAVE
CONSTITUENTS -- THERE WAS ONE
MAN LIVING IN LYNN BROOK WHERE
HIS WHOLE HOUSE SHAKES FROM THE
VIBRATION.
AND THERE ARE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW,
THEY CANNOT SLEEP, SO THEY'RE
SLEEP DEPRIVED.
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE FEELING SICK,
LIKE THERE'S ALL KINDS OF --
SUCH A BIG IMPACT THAT THIS DOES
MAKE.
AND SO WHY WE WANT THIS
LEGISLATION IS WE WANT AN
ACCURATE STUDY DONE THAT REALLY
REFLECTS THE ACCURATE LEVEL OF
NOISE.
SO WHAT WE'VE HAD SO FAR IS THEY
AVERAGE THE NOISE.
SO IF A PLANE EXCEEDS THE
DECIBEL LEVEL, LET'S SAY IN THE
MORNING, THEN MAYBE AT 2:00
THERE IS A PLANE THAT DOESN'T
EXCEED IT.
SO THEY PUT THAT ALL IN AND THEN
THEY HAVE AN AVERAGE FOR THE DAY
AND CONVENIENTLY THEY CAN SAY,
OH, YOU KNOW, THIS MEETS THE
STANDARD.
IT'S NOT GOING ABOVE THE DECIBEL
NOISE.
SO WHY WE WANT THE LEGISLATION,
I HAVE INTRODUCED IT IN THE
ASSEMBLY, JIM GORAN HAS
INTRODUCED IT IN THE SENATE.
WHY WE WANT THIS LEGISLATION,
WHY WE FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT, WE
WANT A STUDY THAT ACCURATELY
MEASURES THE NOISE LEVEL AND
THEN THAT WAY WE HAVE SOMETHING
TO GO WITH.
IT'S A STARTING POINT FOR THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO MAYBE MAKE
CHANGES.
>> SO THE LEGISLATION -- LET ME
GET THIS RIGHT.
THE LEGISLATION IS SIMPLY ASKING
FOR A STUDY OF THE NOISE LEVELS,
CORRECT?
>> YES.
SO FAR THERE IS A LOT OF SUPPORT
FOR IT.
THERE'S A LOT OF NEIGHBORING
DISTRICTS, I'M IN ASSEMBLY
DISTRICT 21, WHICH RUNS FROM
FREEPORT TO THE EDGE OF
MALVERN -- I'M SORRY, VALLEY
STRIEM.
IT INCLUDES PART OF VALLEY
STREAM, PART OF LYNN BROOK.
BUT ALL OF THAT IS VERY MUCH
AFFECTED BY THE NOISE.
AND SO -- BUT THEN THERE'S
NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS THAT ARE
ALSO HAVE THE NOISE.
THESE HIGH NOISE LEVELS.
AND A LOT OF THOSE ASSEMBLY
MEMBERS AND STATE SENATORS WILL
ALSO BE ON THESE TWO BILLS IN
BOTH THE ASSEMBLY AND THE
SENATE.
SO THERE IS A LOT OF INTEREST.
THERE'S A LOT OF BIPARTISAN
INTEREST.
SO, I MEAN, I'M HOPEFUL THAT IT
CAN ADVANCE AND, YOU KNOW, I
KNOW IN MY DISTRICT WHERE I
REPRESENT ALL OF MALVERN, ALL OF
LYNN BROOK, THOSE AREAS,
DEPENDING WHERE YOU LIVE, ARE
REALLY IMPACTED BY THE NOISE
LEVEL.
AND ALTHOUGH I REPRESENT PART OF
VALLEY STREAM, VALLEY STREAM IS
HIT VERY HARD BY THE NOISE
LEVEL.
I ONLY REPRESENT A SMALL PART OF
HUGH LET, BUT THE FIVE TOWNS, OF
COURSE, IS AFFECTED.
THERE ARE OTHER AREAS ON LONG
ISLAND THAT ARE AFFECTED BY THE
NOISE LEVEL AS WELL.
JIM GORAN IS UP ON THE NORTH
SHORE, BUT THERE IS -- HIS AREA
IS ALSO IMPACTED BECAUSE OF THE
WAY THEY REROUTE PLANES AND SUCH
THAT THERE ARE VARIOUS AREAS ON
LONG ISLAND THAT MAY NOT BE
CLOSE TO AN AIRPORT, BUT THEY'RE
STILL GETTING THE NOISE.
>> IF YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK,
CHANCES ARE YOU'RE GOING TO BE
LIVING NEAR AN AIRPORT.
THE AIRPORTS THAT YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT SPECIFICALLY ARE
LAGUARDIA, JFK, RIGHT?
>> YES.
IT SEEMS LIKE AROUND THE
SOUTHWESTERN SHORE OF NASSAU
COUNTY, IT SEEMS LIKE WE HAVE
MUCH MORE OF THE PLANES LEAVING
JFK THAT IS PRESENTING THE
ISSUES.
>> SO ASSEMBLY WOMAN, WE KEEP
REFERRING TO THIS AS A NUISANCE.
BUT YOU HOLD, YOU BELIEVE IT IS
MORE THAN A NUISANCE.
IT'S A HEALTH HAZARD.
WHAT KIND OF HEALTH HAZARD ARE
WE TALKING S?
>> WELL, IF THE DECIBEL LEVEL IS
OVER WHAT -- THERE IS A DECIBEL
LEVEL THEY CONSIDER TO BE -- IT
CAN'T PASS THAT LEVEL.
SO ONCE THE NOISE LEVEL IS BEING
PASSED, YOU'RE DISTURBING
BABIES, YOU'RE DISTURBING
ELDERLY, YOU'RE DISTURBING
ANYONE.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE WAKING
PEOPLE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
NIGHT AND THEY CAN'T GET BACK TO
SLEEP, THAT'S AN ISSUE.
NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP IS A
MAJOR HEALTH ISSUE.
MANY OF -- MUCH ILLNESS IS
CAUSED JUST SIMPLY BY NOT
GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP.
AND THE AGGRAVATION, FEELING
NERVOUS, ALL OF THAT IS
INCLUDED.
BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT, IF THE
PLANES ARE FLYING AT LOWER
LEVELS, THERE IS ALSO AN IMPACT
ON YOUR AIRWAYS.
SO THERE'S A LOT OF CHILDREN --
THERE'S A MEASURE DONE WHERE
CHILDREN HAVE HIGHER LEVELS OF
ASTHMA IN AREAS WHERE THERE IS A
LOT OF LOW-LYING PLANES AND ALL.
SO THERE IS AN ISSUE FOR THAT.
BUT JUST DEALING WITH THE NOISE
ALONE, IT IS CREATED A GREAT
DEAL OF ANXIETY FOR MANY OF
THESE HOMES WHERE PEOPLE LIVE
WITH THIS CHRONIC NOISE ONGOING
EVERY DAY.
AND SO FOR THAT, THAT IS -- THAT
DOES BECOME A HEALTH ISSUE,
ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S ABOVE THE
LEVEL.
YEAH, IT'S A NUISANCE IF IT'S
JUST NOISY, BUT THEN WHEN IT'S
ABOVE THE ACCEPTED LEVEL, THEN
IT'S EVEN WORSE, AND THEN THAT
REALLY IS GOING TO SERIOUSLY
IMPACT YOUR HEALTH.
AND EVEN TO ANIMALS AS WELL.
>> SO, ASSEMBLY WOMAN, AS YOU
MENTION AIR TRAFFIC IS UNDER
FEDERAL JURISDICTION.
SO EVEN IF YOUR BILL PASSES AND
THE STUDY IS CONDUCTED, WHAT CAN
IT REALLY DO TO CHANGE THINGS?
>> WELL, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT
IF WE HAD A STUDY THAT SHOWS
THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE
HERE.
AND IF THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT
ISSUE THAT CAN BE PROVEN WITH
THE STUDY, THEN WE CAN, WE CAN
ASK FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
TO COME IN AND MAKE SOME
ADJUSTMENTS AND MAKE SOME
CHANGES.
WITHOUT -- WITH THE EXISTING
STUDY, BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN
STUDIES DONE, BUT IT'S JUST THE
AVERAGE.
SO NOW NO ONE HAS TO DO ANYTHING
BECAUSE THEY CAN SAY, OH, IT
DOESN'T EXCEED THE DECIBEL
LEVEL.
SO IT'S JUST GOING TO BE A
STARTING POINT IF WE CAN
ACTUALLY WHOLEHEARTEDLY HAVE A
STUDY THAT PROVES WHAT WE ALL
KNOW TO BE TRUE.
>> WHAT'S THE TIME LINE WE'RE
LOOKING AT HERE?
WHEN COULD THIS BILL BECOME A
LAW?
>> WELL, IF THIS BILL BECOMES A
LAW THIS SESSION, THEN WE WOULD
LOOK TO DO THE STUDY -- AND I
THINK IT WOULD BE PROBABLY THE
STUDY WOULD TAKE PLACE IN 2020.
YOU KNOW, SOMEWHERE IN THAT TIME
FRAME.
SO I HOPE THAT WE CAN HAVE THE
BILL ADVANCE THIS SESSION.
AND THEN IF IT DIDN'T ADVANCE
THIS SESSION, WE WOULD INTRODUCE
IT NEXT SESSION.
SO HOPEFULLY IT WOULD ADVANCE
THE SESSION.
WE COULD DO THE STUDY, AND THEN
AT LEAST HAVE THAT INFORMATION
READY.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, ASSEMBLY WOMAN GRIFFIN,
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THIS.
>> YOU'RE WELCOME.
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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