We have taken on the mantle of environmental equity for our beloved Beacon Hill community where the population is 70% people of color, 44% born outside the US with 36% not speaking English well, and one out of 5 live in poverty.
Beacon Hill is surrounded by air and noise pollution emission sources from roadways (I-5, I-90, Rainier and MLK) and airplanes that fly overhead every 3 minutes. Road traffic is getting worse. As to airplanes, from 2012 to 2016, flight landings increased by 33%. In 2016, 70% of ~200,000 landings flew over Beacon Hill at 3,000 feet at times 2,000 feet. Airplane passengers will increase from 38 million in 2014 to 66 million in 2035, and international flights will double and cargo volume to triple from 2017-2021.
Air and noise pollution health impacts include asthma, reduced lung capacity, irritation of eyes, nose, mouth and throat for air pollution; and heart disease, stress and sleep disturbance for noise pollution along with many other factors. Neighborhood residents and workers have repeatedly complained to no avail.
The last couple of years, we learned about Beacon Hill’s environmental and health situation, hosted 24 community meetings in Chinese, English, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese and talked with 467 concerned community members to get their ideas and guidance for the Community Action Plan. Noise measurement, reduction and getting mitigation funding is on the top half of the list.
We are launching a petition to Congress and the Administrator of FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to ask them to:
- expand communities eligible for mitigation and funding to include adversely affected communities that are not adjacent to airports such as Beacon Hill,
- provide systematic ground measurements of noise when asked in addition to the FAA annualized average noise measurement,
- reduce the maximum allowable levels from 65 decibels to 55 decibels to be consistent with local and US laws, and
- host regional airport planning to mitigate undue burden on affected communities given increased regional demand.
The timing is right because FAA’s authorization will expire this March 30, 2018 and Congress needs to reauthorize FAA.
Our goal is to collect 1,000 online and hard copy signatures from concerned residents, workers and friends.
Our deadline is February 28. Please sign the petition and help us gather online and/or hard copy signatures. Please note translated versions of the petitions will be coming soon.
- To sign the online signature, click https://goo.gl/LvCBKL
- Please feel free to forward this email and post the link on your social media.
- To sign the hard copy petition, get copies to collect signatures, and/or turn in signed petitions, you can either print the attached document or come to El Centro during:
- Weekdays from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, see Veronica Gallardo at Room 304
- Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm, see Maria Batayola at El Centro building 2524 16th Avenue South, Seattle WA 98144.
If you want to get more involved or have any questions, please contact our volunteer organizer Maria Batayola at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206 293 2951.
I learned that during the community meetings, it was not unusual for attendees to say that there “is nothing we can do about it” and to just “ask for what little you can get” because the “problem is too big”. Environmental equity covers the natural and the built environment. We believe that what we have built, we can be rebuild for the sake of our beloved communities. We believe and call for “Equal benefits, equal burdens.”
Si se puede. Yes, we can. Mil gracias.