Contact

SMAAC Home

Links

SMAAC’s Short Term Noise Mitigation Objectives

See:

RESOLUTION: SAFETY AT MSP -- As initiated at the Annual Meeting, May 19. 2005, and released by the Board of Directors July 9, 2005.

RESOLUTION: MAC Appointments -- As initiated at the Annual Meeting, May 19. 2005, and released by the Board of Directors July 9, 2005.

RESOLUTION – Adopted by the Board of Directors January 19, 2005:
Audit Environmental Management by the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

James R. Spensley, for the Board and Members of the South Metro Airport Action Council
Minnesota Senate Transportation Committee, January 11, 2005.

Noise exposure maps, actual or projected, should be based on operations that are safe and feasible. When actual runway use varies from projected use, the impacted population must be treated even-handedly. MAC has not only failed to update the maps and revise the CIP, they also hide evidence that operational changes caused more noise exposure. MAC improperly selected before-after years for assessments (EAWs) and Part 150 Program updates.

Neighbors are not the only adversely impacted citizens. A less noisy airport with the same capacity is completely possible, but involves de-peaking (smaller NWA connection banks). De-peaking would increase airline competition, benefitting Minnesota business travelers and tourism.

A noise map based on 1996 actual use shows that about 3,500 more units were within the 65 DNL and touched blocks than projected, and subtracting these from the 7,000 in the projected 63-64 areas, another 2,600 or so remain in the original 64-60 DNL areas. More of these 6,100 units are in Minneapolis and North Richfield than in Mendota Heights and Eagan, but the noise levels had the same cause: little use could be made of runway 4-22 at the high rates necessitated by more flights and higher peak-hour use.

MAC itself has based several actions on the EIS maps and on later actual-use maps, such as not insulating areas in Bloomington and Highland Park. MAC and FAA changed runway use patterns but failed their duty to revise the noise maps and conduct valid EAW/EIS showing the impact. The impact is that as many more units experience excessive noise than have so far been treated. This is not a leading airport noise mitigation program, it is a misrepresented program.

Background.

1. The 69-65 DNL Sound Insulation Program. In 1985, MAC filed a Part 150 Noise Compatibility Program for MSP. A noise mitigation part was instituted whereby parcels subjected to airport noise in excess of 65 DNL, as indicated by a noise exposure map, would be treated (mitigated) by a Sound Insulation Program (SIP). Eligible parcels would be modified to reduce interior noise by 5 decibels. Eligible parcels were those remaining after removal and operational adjustments. The noise map was updated in 1992 -93, approved 1994, based on projected use of MSP in 1996. SMAAC believes this map understated noise exposure because of invalid assumptions and either manipulation or error in using the computer programs that produced the map.

2. Changes. Numerous changes in operations, and therefore in land use, noise abatement, and noise exposure, occurred at MSP between 1996 and 2001. A Part 150 Update was prepared and submitted in 1999. The delay was in part due to noise and other environmental impact studies leading to adoption, in 1998, of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.

Federal funding of MSP Expansion and noise mitigation was dependent on these documents. However, in late December 2001, MAC withdrew the Part 150 Update, even though 2001 use, in spite of a 20% decrease after 9/11, exceeded projections. MAC reduced its capital budget and the SIP budget for 2002 and 2003. Consequently, work on the old SIP will not be completed until 2005. No work has been authorized in the 64-60 DNL areas.
Background, continued.

3. The Extended SIP. In 1996, during debate on the bill that aborted the dual-track planning process and directed MAC to expand MSP to the capacity needed for 2020, noise exposure maps were available which showed a substantial increase in SIP eligibility and many differences compared to the Part 150 Map projected for 1996. As a result, an Extended SIP and a Part 150 Update were instituted, to be based on projected use of MSP during (1996 map) and after (2005 map) construction of the new Runway 17-35. Meanwhile, residential sound insulation proceeded based on the old map.

At the SMAAC Fall 2003 Forum, Jeff Hamiel, MAC Executive Director, reiterated that then-current Commission policy was to provide the full SIP Package (5 db insulation) to all single-family residential units (includes up to four-unit buildings) within or in blocks touching, the 60 DNL contour line in the Official 1996 Noise Exposure Map (a hard-copy large-scale map printed in 1992 or 1993). The program appears in the MAC 5-year capital improvements plan (CIP) as a line item without a start date, but no funds have been spent. In spite of pressure from Northwest Airlines, this policy is unchanged (May 2004).
However, Hamiel himself proposed, in 1999, a ceiling cost of $150 million

In February 2004, the Noise Oversight Committee voted to recommend, as a "compromise" between NWA's position – No mitigation at all beyond the for-2007 65 DNL, cutting off 7,000+ units-- and the $150 million supplemental SIP program. NOC recommended a variation: 5 db insulation in the for-2007 64 - 62 DNL areas and no more than $13,500 made available for custom treatment in the 61-60 DNL areas. NOC cut off about 4,000 units, including some parcels that were within the for-1996 63 DNL area by agreeing to “contour shrinkage” as projected in the draft for-2007 noise map. The for-2007 map will not be adopted before October 2004 or approved for several months thereafter. Consequently, the extended SIP would be postponed several more years, and this is the best case. The author of the NOC plan, Vern Wilcox, is a Bloomington City Council member, and postponement of the extended SIP benefits Bloomington by treatme
Noise exposure maps, actual or projected, should be based on operations that are safe and feasible. When actual runway use varies from projected use, the impacted population must be treated even-handedly. MAC has not only failed to update the maps and revise the CIP, they also hide evidence that operational changes caused more noise exposure. MAC improperly selected before-after years for assessments (EAWs) and Part 150 Program updates.

Neighbors are not the only adversely impacted citizens. A less noisy airport with the same capacity is completely possible, but involves de-peaking (smaller NWA connection banks). De-peaking would increase airline competition, benefitting Minnesota business travelers and tourism.

A noise map based on 1996 actual use shows that about 3,500 more units were within the 65 DNL and touched blocks than projected, and subtracting these from the 7,000 in the projected 63-64 areas, another 2,600 or so remain in the original 64-60 DNL areas. More of these 6,100 units are in Minneapolis and North Richfield than in Mendota Heights and Eagan, but the noise levels had the same cause: little use could be made of runway 4-22 at the high rates necessitated by more flights and higher peak-hour use.

MAC itself has based several actions on the EIS maps and on later actual-use maps, such as not insulating areas in Bloomington and Highland Park. MAC and FAA changed runway use patterns but failed their duty to revise the noise maps and conduct valid EAW/EIS showing the impact. The impact is that as many more units experience excessive noise than have so far been treated. This is not a leading airport noise mitigation program, it is a misrepresented program.

 
[About SMAAC] [SMAAC Positions] [Membership] [The MAC] [The FAA]