The Record, Thursday, November 30, 2000, Local News Section
11 towns consider study
Carlstadt Officials from 11 towns fed up with Teterboro Airport will meet tonight to discuss whether they should fund a study on the airports environmental impact.
"If you dont have the facts, youre not going to get anything done," said Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, co-chairman of the Committee for Public Health and Safety, a coalition of towns primarily in southern Bergen County.
Residents and officials in Hackensack, Carlstadt, Bogota, and other towns have said the noise caused by Teterboro air traffic, long a source of complaints, has gotten worse in the past several months. Some also believe residue of airplane fuel is falling on lawns, cars, pools, and buildings.
The 8 p.m. meeting, which is open to the public, will be at Carlstadt Borough Hall on Madison Street.
Officials and others will hear an expert discuss the possibility of conducting an independent environmental study.
"A lot of information is probably already out there," said the speaker, Philip Brilliant, vice president of Toms River-based Environmental Evaluation Group. "We just need to put our fingers on it."
It was unclear Wednesday how much a study would cost or how much the committee has to spend. During the committees first, unofficial gathering Oct. 12, officials were asked to spend at least $5,000 from their local funds toward the fight. Lonegan said he expects to know within two weeks how many towns will contribute.
Greg Trevor, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Teterboro Airport, said his agency also is considering commissioning an environmental study with Rutgers University, but he could not give details.
Meanwhile, Trevor has said the Port Authority wants to work with local officials to soundproof schools, and with aircraft manufacturers to make quieter planes.
Teterboro is one of the nations busiest general aviation airports.
The group of local officials came together partly in response to news that a group of business people has formed to lobby for Teterboro Airport. That group maintains the airport helps boost the states economy.
Lonegans group originally wanted the state Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study of Teterboros environmental impact.
Last week, the DEP notified Lonegan that a Teterboro study was not within its purview, and that the Federal Aviation Administration would conduct that kind of study.
Having the FAA do a study is "like asking the fox to watch the chicken coop," Lonegan said. "I dont believe that the FAA or the Port Authority has performed adequate health studies regarding the impact from Teterboro Airport. Were talking about the health impact of all of these jet fumes."