Staff from MSP airport's environmental team asked MSP FairSkies Coalition to present some of our requests to the airport's Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) on September 20th. My fellow Co-Founder Steve Kittleson and I addressed the NOC regarding our proposal for "Less Noise, No Surprises" with respect to aircraft noise. Here we lay out a path to get there, including:
- Aligning around the nature of the problem
- How to use new and existing data to create a more transparent fact base for better decision-making on noise in general, and with respect to any proposed changes the FAA has in store for MSP
- Establishing a firm goal for noise reduction (we propose a 50% reduction by 2025)
- Enhancing the NOC, with the addition of citizen (non-elected) representatives to truly bring the "Voice of Citizen" to the decision making process. We also suggest that the NOC's mission and name should change from "Noise OVERSIGHT Committee" to "Noise REDUCTION Committee".
We conclude the presentation with a very specific set of decisions for the NOC on what they can do to inform the community and align the stakeholders around the goal of reducing aircraft noise from MSP airport.
You can't see the (4-part) screen that well, but you should be able to hear the presentation, and the back and forth on questions. You can download the PDF of the presentation and follow along here:
"That helps us all get to data-driven decisions based on citizen expectations. Which I think should be a common goal of everyone on the room."
Afterwards we heard from MAC staff about their interpretation of the recent DC Court of Appeals decision striking down FAA actions in Phoenix (panic alert in DC). You can read my (non-legal) interpretation of that decision here.
MAC staff also told the room that the FAA is finally preparing to announce how it might change the metrics and/or threshold for the significant impact of noise. Staff expects that to happen by the end of the year, though we'll see how that plays out. I expect the timing of that announcement to affect the response we get from the NOC.
Thanks to Chad Leqve and Dana Nelson of the MAC, and to Connie Carrino of our team for making this happen.
Midnight Monkey Business Undone: Rep. Jason Lewis move to strike down Obama's MPO rule and reel in Twin Cities Met Council
I had a chance to talk with Mike Max on WCCO Radio today about Start Reading Now. It's a short 10 minute interview, but it hits on all the key aspects of how we address summer setback and closing the achievement gap.
From The Economist: Stephen Rhoads is a fisherman in Alaska who saw how destructive indiscriminate fishing can be to local stocks, as "by-catch" of otherwise valuable species is killed and tossed overboard.
Mr. Rhoads did not wait for the government to solve his problem - he started his own cooperative initiative to reduce by-catch and improve the sustainability of fishing waters near his home. Within two years they have reduced one type of by-catch by 20%, and the group has grown to 85 fishermen.
A toast to citizen action!
Sure, e-books have a place in the world. I just prefer real ones, in order to make the job a bit harder for any real life Winston Smith who might be out there.