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MVCC Backs Lieu’s Request to Investigate SMO Toxins

The Mar Vista Community Council will send a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency calling on it to carry out Senator Lieu’s request for a formal investigation into the toxic impacts of Santa Monica Airport.

At its monthly board of directors meeting Tuesday night, the Mar Vista Community Council unanimously approved a letter to be sent to Environmental Protection Agency Director Debbie Raphael.

The letter officially backs Senator Ted Lieu’s request for a formal investigation by the EPA’s Department of Toxic Substance Control into the toxic impacts from Santa Monica Airport on adjacent neighborhoods.

At Tuesday night’s meeting at the , Senator Lieu’s District Representative Robert Pullen-Miles thanked the council for backing Lieu and encouraging the formal investigation.

Community Council Vice Chair Sharon Commins recommended that a map showing the neighboring daycare centers, schools and colleges be attached to the letter, to clearly highlight the affected areas in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The letter and Commins’ recommendation was officially approved by the board. The text of the letter to be sent to the EPA is as follows:

Dear Director Raphael,

The Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), an official Neighborhood Council of Los Angeles, extends our full support for Senator Lieu’s July 18, 2011 letter of request to you; asking that the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) conduct a formal investigation of the pollutants stemming from aircraft operations at Santa Monica Airport.

Mar Vista is part of the flight path loop that student pilots use for practice flights. Approximately half of all the aircraft operations at SMO are practice flights. Aviation gasoline contains lead. Recent studies have shown elevated lead blood levels in children in close proximity to airports.All these facts have the Mar Vista community very concerned.

The MVCC also supports the study of other potential toxic substances that are a result of the jet aircraft operations at SMO. As Senator Lieu points out in his letter to you, scientific studies have shown extremely high levels of ultrafine particles and black carbon in the adjacent downwind Los Angeles community. These spikes in pollution are directly associated with jet idle and jet blast.

We are very grateful to Senator Lieu for his letter of request to you, as we are very much in need of this investigation by our California Environmental Protection Agency’s DTSC. Santa Monica Airport is the busiest single-runway general aviation airport in the United States and it has densely populated residential neighborhoods, two parks and a college campus adjacent. In addition there are several schools and daycare centers in the neighborhood. Please accept this opportunity to demonstrate strong leadership and help protect the many thousands of people who find themselves in harm’s way from exposure to toxins produced by SMO’s aircraft operations.

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