Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Quiet Communities Act
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced Friday announced the Quiet Communities Act, legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reestablish an Office of Noise Abatement and Control and reauthorize the Office’s activities through fiscal year 2023.
The federal measure would empower the EPA to oversee airplane noise issues across the country, including airplane noise-plagued areas near JFK and LaGuardia airports. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees airplane noise issues, however, Schumer and Gillibrand explained that the EPA is better fit to address these matters, as its main focus is to protect human health and the environment.
“Empowering the same agency tasked with protecting our environment to protect our communities from excessive and burdensome aircraft noise while working alongside the FAA makes eminent sense. This legislation will once again set up an Office of Noise Abatement and Control at the EPA so that environmental experts can address airplane noise, continuing to allow science to help lead the way in both studying and crafting workable solutions,” said Schumer.
“Our communities should not have to endure excessive airplane noise that strongly impacts their quality of life, and this legislation will provide additional tools to assist communities by reestablishing an EPA Office of Noise Abatement & Control,” said Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “The federal government must take more proactive steps to address the concerns of New Yorkers who are affected by airplane noise, and this bill will give the EPA the ability to act.”
Due to budget cuts in 1981, the EPA’s Office of Noise Abatement and Control was dismantled and the FAA was given oversight into all matters regarding aircraft noise pollution. Schumer and Gillibrand’s Quiet Communities Act would restore the EPA’s Office of Noise Abatement and Control. Moreover, the legislation would require the EPA Administrator to conduct a study of airport noise and examine the FAA’s selection of noise measurement methodologies, health impact thresholds, and abatement program effectiveness.
Meng Introduces Legislation Requiring Covers On Freight Trains
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) on Friday introduced legislation that would require covers on all rail cars that transport materials such as trash and debris.
The measure comes as several Queens communities are negatively impacted by freight trains hauling waste and construction debris through their neighborhoods.
The Train Coverings for Community Safety Act (H.R. 6497) would direct the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to propose regulations that require materials transported by rail to be completely covered while in transit, including while being held, delayed or transferred.
“This is a simple bill and is the result of hearing from many constituents, who for too long, have been forced to endure the adverse effects of trains that transport waste and debris through their neighborhood,” said Meng. “Many borough residents in the western part of my district have long complained about the stench caused by this trash, and they’ve been concerned about materials flying out of traveling rail cars. Those who live near the tracks have also been subjected to trash-filled trains sitting idle for days near their homes. Placing covers on top of train cars – so that all waste is completely containerized – would help alleviate these many problems, and ensure that uncovered trains no longer affect the quality of life of area residents.”
The freight trains that travel through communities in Meng’s district transport commercial waste, municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris. The tracks run through areas in Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood.
Meng’s legislation, which can be viewed here, has been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Addabbo, Pheffer Amato Bring E-Waste Recycling Event To Rockaways
State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Rockaway) are partnering early next month with the Lower East Side Ecology Center to co-host a free e-waste recycling event in the Rockaways.
“I always enjoy hosting these free e-waste recycling events to give people in my district the ability to get rid of their unwanted or broken electronics without facing a fine for putting them with their normal garbage,” Addabbo said. “I am glad we can bring one out to the Rockaways to allow our constituents to recycle their electronics without having to travel to Forest Hills where I co-host a big recycling event. I would like to thank Stacey for joining me, and the staff at the Lower East Side Ecology Center for helping to make this event — and the other recycling events I co-host throughout the year — possible.”
“Electronic waste is a major environmental hazard. Too many people just drop computer parts and electronics in the garbage. If e-waste isn’t processed the right way, it can poison sanitation workers and our water supply,” Pheffer Amato said. “That’s why events like these are so important, and why I am so excited to partner with Senator Addabbo and the Lower East Side Ecology Center to bringing this event to Rockaway!”
Lower East Side Ecology Center will be accepting working and non-working computers, monitors, printers/scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TVs, VCRs & DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones and PDA’s.
The e-waste recycling event is slated for between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, September 8 at St. Camillus, 99-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in the Rockaways. The trucks for recycling will be located in the parish’s back parking lot off Shorefront Parkway, between 99th and 100th Streets.
For more information about this event, call Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111 or Pheffer Amato’s office at 718-945-9550.
Kim, 109th Precinct, Healthfirst Partner in Back-To-School Giveaway
Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) today will joined with representatives from Healthfirst, the 109th Precinct’s Community Council, and the 109th Precinct’s Community Affairs Department at his district office to announce the 2018 Backpack Giveaway.
They will be offering the details and official date of the annual charity event, which they host each year to provide the children of the community with essential school supplies. Speakers at Kim’s office will highlight the importance of supporting local students and offer their advice on preparing for the upcoming community event, which will be at the 109th Precinct.
While the actual giveaway is slated for this Thursday, Aug. 30, details for the giveaway are slated to be given 12 noon today, Aug. 26 in Kim’s office, 136-20 38th Avenue, Suite 10A in Flushing.