Press Releases

Congressman Smith Reintroduces the Aviation Impacted Communities Act

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) reintroduced the Aviation Impacted Communities Act today, which will help communities better address noise and other environmental impacts stemming from nearby airports.

 

Communities across the nation continue to experience an increased and disproportionate share of noise and other environmental impacts stemming from commercial aviation. The Aviation Impacted Communities Act seeks to help citizens better and more productively engage with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in seeking relief from aviation noise concerns.

 

“The burden of airplane noise and environmental impacts should not fall disproportionately on any single group, neighborhood, or community. Residents of these increasingly impacted areas have been raising concerns that have yet to be adequately addressed,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “The Aviation Impacted Communities Act will allow residents to bring their concerns directly to the FAA and airport operators, empowering them to work toward achieving relief from the impacts of civil and commercial aviation.”

 

“The Aviation-Impacted Communities Act comes at a critical time and crossroads for our national aviation system. The Act provides an essential new voice and role for communities that have supported, and have been disparately impacted by, aviation industry growth. By seating impacted communities at the same table with government and industry, the Act provides a meaningful tool-kit for better, balanced, collaborative decision-making that can include noise and emission studies, long-term regional plans for reducing impacts, and expanded eligibility for mitigation.  Quiet Skies Puget Sound supports and endorses the Aviation-Impacted Communities Act! We greatly value the work, advocacy, and leadership of Congressman Adam Smith on this legislation that so directly targets the preservation of our environment, human health, and quality of life,” said Sheila Brush, Founder of Quiet Skies Puget Sound.

 

"Rep. Smith's aviation impacted communities will help our beloved Seattle Beacon Hill neighborhood and other affected neighborhoods.  We are under the flight path.  Airplanes fly over us every 90 seconds on the average. 70% of inbound flights go over our heads.  The noise is disruptive and bad for our health.  There are many poor families including elderly who live in our Beacon Hill neighborhood. This bill will help relieve this unjust burden,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director, El Centro De La Raza, located in Seattle, Washington.

 

The Aviation Impacted Communities Act would require that the FAA interface directly with and be responsive to residents and locally nominated leaders on issues of aviation noise and environmental impacts. It also ensures communities suffering from increases in aviation noise are able to partake in a process for seeking relief based on the findings of more robust impact studies. Residents will be able to assess the effects of aviation in a given area and seek mitigation through streamlined FAA engagement processes, ultimately leading to real solutions for impacted communities protecting their environment, health, and quality of life.

 

Original Cosponsors: Ro Khanna (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Harley Rouda (D-CA), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Norma Torres (D-CA), Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Don Beyer (D-VA), Ed Case (D-HI), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

 

 

The Aviation Impacted Communities Act:

 

  • Establishes a new “aviation impacted communities” designation for areas suffering from excessive noise or environmental impacts.
  • Establishes a process to bring together airport operators, designated community leaders, public health and environmental experts, and the FAA to discuss solutions.
  • Requires that appropriate FAA representatives attend community board meetings and respond to community questions and concerns about issues involving aviation or the FAA when requested.
  • Allows communities to petition the FAA for comprehensive impact studies and require that the FAA develop action plans to respond to communities’ concerns and the recommendations for mitigation provided in the impact studies.
  • Expands the availability of mitigation funding for aviation impacted communities outside of the current 65 day-night average sound level (DNL) contours.

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement on the positive test of coronavirus in King County.

“My office is closely tracking new developments regarding the coronavirus and the recent positive test in King County. At this time, public health officials continue to reiterate that currently the risk to the community is low, but that may change over time. Thank you to the public health professionals, including Public Health Seattle & King County and the Washington State Department of Health, for their tireless work protecting our community. We must ensure that our public health officials at the federal, state, and local levels have the resources they need to do their jobs.

“Now more than ever it’s critical for everyone – individuals, schools, and workplaces – to listen to the guidance of health experts. I encourage everyone to seek additional information here: https://www.doh.wa.gov/emergencies/coronavirus.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced their intention to reprogram $3.8 billion in Department of Defense funding from various procurement priorities – including critical ships, vehicles, and aircraft – to instead fund the wall through the counter-narcotics account.    

“Today’s reprogramming request confirms once again that the President is obsessed with fulfilling a campaign promise at the expense of our national security. This Administration has already stolen billions from the Department of Defense in order to begin building the President’s vanity wall and today they are doubling down on bad policy. The President loves to take credit for ‘rebuilding’ the military, but today’s reprogramming decision does the exact opposite – it will prevent the acquisition of critical ships, vehicles, and aircraft. Of the $3.8 billion that the President will raid for the wall, $1.5 billion will come from the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, robbing every state and territory of critical funds specifically added by Congress to address dual-purpose equipment shortfalls – such as fire-fighting, engineering, and communications equipment – to support local authorities for public safety and natural disaster response.

“The Trump Administration claims that every military decision they make is in support of the National Defense Strategy, and that their primary focus is the great power competition with Russia and China. But their policy simply does not match their rhetoric. Rather than investing in the procurement of critical platforms, this administration would rather dump another $3.8 billion into a wall on our southern border.

“It is clear to me, and anyone with experience in national security policy, that a wall on our southern border will do nothing to support our strategic advantage over Russia and China, support counterterrorism, address rogue states, or enhance relations with partners and allies. It’s past time for the administration to align their policy with their rhetoric and focus on the real national security challenges at hand, not the President’s re-election”
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WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after the House passage of the resolution on the Equal Rights Amendment.

“Women have been left out of the Constitution since our country’s founding. To this day, women working year-round still only make 82 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts—with even greater pay gaps experienced by women of color. I am proud to support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which will enshrine equality between men and women under the eyes of the law.

“The United States should be a leader in the fight for equality between women and men, however we have failed to address the issue in our own Constitution. Every national constitution written since World War II includes the basic principle of gender equality, and we should amend our Constitution to reflect that principle.

“The passage of this resolution marks a pivotal point in our history by clearing up legal ambiguity and honoring the people’s support for women’s equality. The ERA would finally apply judicial review to laws and policies that discriminate against women. It will help our nation achieve its economic and social potential, and most importantly, will move us one step closer to achieving equality for all.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) reintroduced the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act today, which will support our national freight mobility network through investments in critical freight infrastructure.

The Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act (FIRA) of 2020 would create a sustainable national freight discretionary grant program, expanding on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act signed into law in 2015. FIRA will provide grants for infrastructure projects across our national freight mobility network through a new National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Fund supported by a dedicated funding source – a one percent fee on the shipment of freight cargo. This program will invest in freight projects that improve the efficiency, capacity, and safety of our freight mobility system.

FIRA will support construction projects that make our roads and bridges safer and more resilient, improve marine terminals facilities, and expand rail and highway tunnels to accommodate increased cargo.

“Investments in our freight transportation system support our continued economic development by expanding our capacity to transport goods, encouraging competition, and providing job opportunities across the country,” said Congressman Smith. “Freight infrastructure is critical to our future economic growth and stimulates the demand for goods and services that will ultimately benefit millions of people.”

Statements of Support:

“The Pacific Northwest is one of the nation’s biggest trade gateways, and investments in transportation infrastructure are critical to our region’s economy,” said Kristin Meira, Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association. “Congressman Smith’s bill will help fund the maintenance and expansion of the rail, road and marine facilities that ensure our region's continued success in the global marketplace. We appreciate and support his efforts.”

Stephanie Bowman, Co-Chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance said, “A strong economy depends on an efficient freight system, especially in a state like Washington, where over 40 percent of jobs depend on trade.  Congressman Smith’s proposal will enable much-needed investments in America’s ports, roads and rail networks.  We appreciate his strong leadership and advocacy for freight.”

“A growing economy increases the burden on our nation’s freight network, across all modes. In order to accommodate this growth in demand for services, a robust campaign of infrastructure investment is necessary,” said Elaine Nessle, Executive Director of Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors. “Congressman Smith’s Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2020 seeks to meet these challenges head-on by ensuring a dedicated and sustainable funding source for strategic investments in multimodal freight projects.”

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