Recommendations for Westchester County Airport Policy

Citizens for a Responsible County Airport released the following from Westchester County Executive, George Latimer.

On July 2nd, after the community meeting that was attended by several Round Hill Association members, and Round Hill community residents, the following statement was released. The policy implementation recommendations look to be good news for Round Hill area residents and their quality of life! Hopefully these policy plans will move ahead swiftly to sustain quality of life in our beautiful, back-country neighborhood. Air, Water, and Noise pollution prevention is so important to make sure back-country Greenwich stays a pleasant place to live for all our neighbors.

In response to the public dialogue over the past month on the County Airport, I am asking we immediately implement the following actions:

1) Full resumption of water quality testing

The prior water quality testing efforts should be resumed, with reports available for review by Airport management, County officials, Airport Advisory Board members, the press and public. As we analyze the results of the testing, please advise me of problems that need to be addressed, so we can decide on immediate action to correct whatever pollution may be found.
2) Establishment of an Air Quality Monitoring System.
We should implement, as soon as possible, an air quality monitoring system with devices to detect air quality placed in those locations deemed important. We can look at other airports, and the environmental community, for best practices, so that as with water quality, we are fully aware of levels of air pollutants that may exist.
3) Assessment and overhaul of noise monitoring system.
We have heard testimony that the current system of monitoring devices may be antiquated, and improperly placed to accurately register incidents of noise. That system should be reviewed and upgraded with new equipment. In addition, I would like to see us register peak noise incidents, and frequency of peak noise incidents, rather than just averages of noise, to better portray the level of offensive noise being experienced by residents.
4) Overhaul of noise complaint system.
Please ensure that a full review of our system for receiving, tracking and responding to noise complaints is completed, and all needed changes are made. Since this is an internal function, I’d like to see us ready with a revised program by November 1st – 120 days from today – that includes the suggestions from the many individuals who use the existing system and find it insufficient.
Separately, County Attorney John Nonna has outlined a plan to deal with the PFOA pollution from the Airport, and we should ensure that we are executing all aspects of the effort to remediate the pollution that exists, and monitor any additional sightings of those pollutants.
There are many other changes to be made at the Airport, but these five areas are wholly within our control and funds are available in Airport operations to ensure their completion. They would show a tangible willingness by our new County Administration to improve the current situation as it affects residents. This is not intended to be a complete response to the concerns raised – just Phase One of the necessary changes.
Many thanks,
George Latimer
Westchester County Executive

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