Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Changing Course, Council Backs Airport Bill
By Olin Ericksen
The Lookout (CA) News
A State bill that would single out Santa Monica Airport for increased pollution testing was pulled from Wednesday’s Assembly agenda after the City Council decided to back the measure last week. California Assembly member Ted Lieu – who is sponsoring the measure – pulled the item after the council directed staff Thursday to work with him to amend the bill, which would mandate tracking idle and take-off times for jets from Santa Monica Airport.
The council indicated it would oppose the bill, which would cost an estimated $500,000 to administer, unless the City’s administrative support costs do not exceed $35,000
The council, which remains opposed to unfunded mandates, also directed staff to “work constructively with neighbors, our state legislators and L.A. Council member Rosendahl on long-term solutions for airport issues,” according to City officials.
Nearby residents say exhausted jet fuel blown in from the jets by ocean breezes and the tarmac’s orientation is harming their health.
City officials had staunchly opposed AB 2501 because it singles out Santa Monica airport – which has about 18,000 jets fly in and out – and would be an expensive undertaking.
The bill may return for a vote in coming days, according to sources close to the legislation.
Editor’s Note: LA County has ignored Caltrans’ Division of Aeronautics Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) for years. The CLUP is provided as a ‘guide’ to assist municipalities in their development around airports. Had Santa Monica city planners, and its elected officials followed these guidelines there would not be an issue today. Now, after the fact, it’s politics as usual and the airport is blamed.
It is time for communities to hold their elected officials responsible for their actions. Santa Monica Airport plays an important role in the state?s transportation infrastructure and it doesn?t deserve this shameful display of ?politics as usual?.