May 11, 2016 – The Board of Selectmen (“BOS”) for the Town of Milton announced today that they have called upon United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, and Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano to actively encourage Congress to make a formal request to the Health and Medicine Division (“HMD”) to convene a committee of experts to address and report on all current scientific knowledge relating to air traffic noise and pollution and their effects on human health. The HMD is a division of the Office of Congressional and Government Affairs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine who reviews and advises Congress on scientific and technical matters. The Board is asking the federal legislators, either individually or through the Quiet Skies Caucus, to make this formal request because the Board believes that a review and report by the National Academies is warranted by the FAA’s NextGen program and RNAV navigation system which has resulted in a concentration of flight paths over certain communities. Selectman Katie Conlon, the BOS designated representative working closely with the Milton Airplane Noise Advisory Committee (“ANAC”), said, “It is essential that more studies are performed. That requires resources beyond the ability and means of small localities, so we are looking to other available means and the HMD is just that resource.”
Milton has experienced, along with other Massachusetts communities, the negative impact of excessive air traffic due to the RNAV system. The Board has received countless calls, emails, and letters chronicling the impact of the air traffic noise as well as the concern raised by many as to what the potential negative impact is upon human health. While the BOS is immeasurably grateful for the critical support of elected federal and state officials, they fully recognize the frustrations of residents living under these flight paths. BOS Chair Tom Hurley said, “Residents have serious concerns about how this impacts their health. We want to assure residents that we shall continue to pursue every possible avenue to address this problem.”
The letter of request for assistance recognizes that air traffic noise and pollution are a national topic of discussion and concern. The BOS commends Senator Warren for filing the FAA Accountability Act of 2016 as well as Congressman Lynch and Congressman Capuano who cosponsored H.R.5075, The Airplane Impacts Mitigation Act of 2016, but the impact of the noise and pollution on human health need to be studied and reported and, unlike local communities, Congress has the means and the resources. “Partnering with our elected officials who continue to advocate on behalf of the Town and its residents is our most prudent and effective course of action in getting a positive response from the FAA,” said Selectman David Burnes.
The Milton Board of Selectmen encourages residents to check the airplane noise page on the town website for updates in connection with this request at www.townofmilton.org and encourages residents to contact their federal legislators to express support for this study.