Members of the Winthrop Air Pollution, Noise and Airport Hazards Committee came before the Winthrop Town Council Tuesday night to request a summary report be placed on the town’s website.
Committee member Richard Bangs asked for the summary of the latest risk assessment report to be placed online so the community at large can look at it. The last report was released in 2014 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. At that time the committee hired an outside consultant to analyze the findings of the airport study. He added that the data only goes up to 2009 and he questioned how valid it is.
“There are statistical flaws in the report,” Bangs said. “It’s just the way it was designed.”
Bangs related that the consultant, Dr. George Thurston, of New York University, found that the study used too small of a sample size for its survey.
“We’re not getting a reliable study,” said Committee Chair Tony Majahad. “The data should be reanalyzed.”
Suzanne Condon, director of the health department’s Bureau of Environmental Health, oversaw the study. At the time the study found some respiratory and lung cancer issues, but it could not determine whether it was from the airport or just general urban pollution. The study was done in 2005 with more than 6,000 adults and 2,200 children living in the 17 communities within a 5-mile radius of the airport.
Majahad said the committee wants the information online so people can analyze the info themselves.
“The state spent $1.8 million to do this report and now it’s not reliable,” Majahad said. “We’re back to stage one. Thurston suggested a sample size of 13,000.”
The council voted to put the summary online.
Also Tuesday night, resident and Point Shirley advocate Dawn Manning, of Elliot Street, asked the council to be placed on a future agenda to discuss the weight of the trucks traveling to Deer Island and the treatment plant. One 48-foot truck got stuck in front of her house Memorial Day. She also said her husband, a combat veteran, has PTSD. She said the trucks go up on the curb and bang down shaking her house and startling her husband. She said she has videotape on YouTube of many oversized trucks traveling by in the early morning.
“The point is getting hammered,” Manning said. “This is about quality of life and it’s time you address this.”
The Town Council will meet again next Tuesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. to hear an update the DCR work on Winthrop Beach. There will also be a discussion of the possible closing of Cross Street. Finally, there will be a discussion of the Miller Field/Lewis Lake Drainage project.