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[Teterboro Airport Index]

The Leader of Rutherford, Thursday, April 12, 2001

Teterboro pollution study will begin soon

By Debra Winters

Officials announced on April 4 that scientists will begin a preliminary study this month to determine if residents living near Teterboro Airport are breathing in toxic pollutants. If results prove what most expect to be high levels of cancer causing agents being emitted from aircrafts, a broader study then will soon follow. Other problems linked to pollution from jet fuel are heart disease and infant death.

The preliminary study will reportedly cost $100,000.

Steadfast in their efforts to make Teterboro a less-obtrusive neighbor, members of the Coalition for Public Health and Safety, with the initiation of South Hackensack Mayor Nick Brando, are staging a protest tentatively scheduled for June 7 from 3 p.m.- 8 p.m. Many agreed that in order for it to be a strong protest that it must include no less than 100 people. The route, as discussed at the meeting, may include a portion of Route 46.

A contract was recently signed by Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan with Environ International Corp., on behalf of the Coalition. Environ is the Massachusetts based company who will be conducting the study. On hand at the meeting representing Environ was manager, Alan Kao.

What is to be strictly an air study, Kao explained that cannisters placed under a vacuum-type device will collect air that’s drawn into them. These cannisters will be placed strategically around the airport and the surrounding towns. The objective of the study is to differentiate composition from airplanes and vehicles and to determine whether or not aircraft are heightening the levels of chemicals which are already discharged from vehicles.

"We will also collect examples of soot that many residents have been complaining about that has been appearing on their windowsills, pool covers, and cars," Kao said.

The total result is expected within three months.

Many residents from surrounding municipalities located right by Teterboro have been complaining of such things as the lingering odor of jet fuel in the air and oil spills on the sidewalks.

"The airplanes fly over Paterson Avenue every five minutes – you could set your watch to then," said East Rutherford Councilman Joel Brizzi.

As it stands now, seven towns including Hackensack, Carlstadt, Bogota, Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, and Moonachie have contributed $5,000 each to pay for the study, which is not to exceed $42,000.

Other boroughs such as Rutherford, Hackensack, and Teterboro said funds are set aside in their budgets. East Rutherford and Wood-Ridge are also expected to donate money.

"It’s a major concern from this area. My house is located directly in the flight path and we hear the planes constantly – we have to turn up the volume on the television set," said Brizzi.

He continued, "It’s not fair for the residents. Teterboro was built with the intentions that it be utilized as an airport for those who like to fly as a hobby but now it has turned into a corporate hub. Five thousand dollars is a small pride to pay for something so important as this."

Ironically, Brizzi added, that while at a press conference held outside recently on Paterson Avenue in East Rutherford, the speakers were continuously interrupted by noise coming from aircraft flying directly overhead coming in and out of Teterboro.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns and operates the airport, are supposedly conducting their own pollution study through Rutgers University. However, it is not slated to take place for another two years. And officials say they can’t wait any longer.

Kevin Collins who represented Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano’s office said, "We want an unbiased study done ASAP. And as always, we’re open to hearing what the residents’ concerns are on this matter."

There was a recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) scoping meeting held at the Hasbrouck Heights Holiday Inn regarding the airspace redesign project concerning ocean routing. There are particular design concepts under consideration to combat airport delays.

Officials at that meeting, when speaking about the area’s major airports included Teterboro as one of then along with Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark airports.

Carlstadt resident Brian Curreri, who has been very vocal on issues facing Teterboro, was in attendance at the scoping meeting and had a chance to speak to FAA representatives and express his feelings on the situation.

"When I told them [FAA] how bad the noise was over my house and that I was concerned for my family’s health I was asked why I would buy a house near an airport to begin with and they suggested that I sell it and move. They adamantly said nothing was going to be done and that Teterboro was expanding. Someone would have to lie their body down on the runway for something to be done they told me."

Curreri’s reply to the FAA was, "Well when I bought my house Teterboro was a playground now it’s Yankee Stadium."

"When I call up the airport’s noise hotline or the control tower to complain about the noise they just laugh in your face and hang-up," said Curreri.

Reportedly, FAA representatives have stated that the Boeing Business Jet is in fact going to be landing at Teterboro regardless of the 100,000 pound weight limit that has been in effect at the airport for more than 30 years. The FAA, who was expected to conduct a study, said that the runways could withstand the extra 70,000 pounds that the BBJ will bring.

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