Airport Committee Seeks Help of Legislators

A letter is being sent from the Airport Hazards Committee to local and state officials asking them to support U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch’s bill to mandate the study of the health impacts of airports with the support of government funded research.

HR976 states the research should be on the health impacts of air traffic noise and pollution.

 “We’re a very impacted community,” said Board of Health vice president Dr. Astrid Weins.

“The key component is the involvement of the national academy of science and engineering,” said Airport Hazards member Gina Casetta, who lives on Point Shirley.

The letter will be sent to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Sen.Ed Markey, US Congresswoman Katherine Clark and State Sen. Joseph Boncore, Speaker of the House and Winthrop’s State Rep. Robert DeLeo.

This letter comes on the heels of a meeting between Massport officials and mostly residents of Winthrop on March 18.

Weins also said she filed a public records request with Massport for two years worth of noise monitoring data. So far she has received information for noise monitors including monitor four at Point Shirley and 2,500 pages worth of events (an event is any noise made and picked up by the monitor) 36 per page.

The lower the decibel numbers the better for impacted homeowners. For outdoor noise it should not be higher than 65 dBL. The safe limit for the indoor noise level is 45 dBL or less. The report linked to single airplanes with peak exposure over 85 dBL for over 10 seconds at a time  – 90,036 events in 2018 alone – Massport is cooperating in providing the information. Most of the events stem from runways 9 and 27 both departures and arrivals, Weins said.

She noted a few details from the information she received.

“By the seconds and hours of offence I can tell you that Jet Blue is the greatest offender,” Weins said of the decibel level.

Weins shared information about soundproofing in the last 10 years in Winthrop. A total of 12 homes were soundproofed in 2008 and the last home soundproofed was in 2014.

“Its sobering to say the least,” Weins said. “If you ask me — I wonder if the Point will be uninhabitable soon. These numbers are really terrible.”

Weins also had a list of the loudest events in the last year in Winthrop and their decibel levels.

The 20 loudest events recorded on the number four sound monitor in town were:

The Winthrop Fireworks 113 dBL

“The following 19 are not linked to the Winthrop Fireworks,” Astrid said. “They range from 101 to 108 dBL – those are really loud damaging noises,” Astrid said.

The FAA report states everything above 65 dBL is not for residential use other than mobile homes and transient lodging

“We’re way above that even in the 2016 contour, for 2017 and 2018 I know we will be way above it – probably about 70 dBL at the Point,” Weins said.

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