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FAA RELEASES DRAFT NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE IMPACT STATEMENT

FAA RELEASES DRAFT NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE IMPACT STATEMENT
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today released the congressionally mandated draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the Expanded East Coast Plan (EECP). The DEIS represents a preliminary step to mitigate aircraft noise and bring some relief to New Jersey residents.
 In addition, the FAA will schedule a series of six public hearings in New Jersey to garner public comment and help determine which DEIS alternative, or combination, could lead to a resolution of this complex situation.
 "Once these hearings are completed, we intend to move quickly in an attempt to bring relief from aircraft noise for New Jersey citizens. Today's report represents the first phase of the legal process to examine environmental implications of various alternatives," FAA Administrator Thomas C. Richards said.
 The environmental study, which applied only to New Jersey and to aircraft flying over 3,0000 feet, reviewed alternatives developed as a result of a series of public New Jersey meetings, as well as by the FAA.
 "This report illustrates the overwhelming complexity of the issue. Any decision must consider the effect on safety, operational efficiency, delays and the potential economic impact to not only the New Jersey/New York region, but to the nation as well," Richards said.
 One alternative would "roll-back" the entire 1987 Expanded East Coast Plan which initially reduced air traffic delays in the New York/New Jersey area and increased capacity. The study revealed that a return to 1986 routes, with the additional 1991 traffic load, lowers the noise impact for about 45,000 residents of several New Jersey communities, but at least 1.4 million people would suffer a substantial noise increase due to the concentration and cumulative effect of more aircraft on fewer routes.
 "Other options include routing aircraft over the ocean at night when there is less air traffic, or fanning out Newark southbound departure traffic," Richards added.
 The possibility of routing air traffic 24 hours each day over the ocean was considered, but determined not feasible because of serious safety concerns, severe cutbacks, delays and other operational disruptions in the Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy flight patterns.
 "We are committed to doing all we can to work with New Jersey public officials, citizens and the aviation industry to seek solutions," Richards said.
 The DEIS addressed changes caused by the implementation of the EECP. It is the broadest noise impact study ever done by the FAA since it evaluates the noise impact for an entire state.
 For example, instead of one airport or flight path, this study encompasses 16 airports, 1,300 routes and more than 5,000 flights per day, plus overflights.
 Written comments on the DEIS must be received at the following address by Jan. 22, 1993: Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, Docket Number 26987, 800 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20591.
 -0- 11/12/91
 /CONTACT: Paul Steucke of the Federal Aviation Administration, 202-267-8521/ CO: Federal Aviation Administration ST: District of Columbia; New Jersey IN: AIR SU:


TW -- DC021 -- 0302 11/12/92 15:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1992
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