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Opinion

Long Island gets serious about noise pollution, energy

Sherri Hurwitz, of Roslyn Heights, speaks to the

Sherri Hurwitz, of Roslyn Heights, speaks to the panel at the Nassau County Aviation Committee meeting on April 30, 2019 in Uniondale. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Daily Point

Noise, noise, noise

What’s that up in the sky? A bird? A plane? A really, really loud plane?

This calls for a study! Do we really need another one?

Last month, a newly formed airplane noise-pollution group, the Nassau County Aviation Committee, held its first meeting to hear from residents affected by noise at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. The committee, which consists of representatives of 17 Nassau and state elected officials, heard from dozens of people who live near the airports who are upset that loud, low-flying planes are spoiling their quality of life. What they got was politicians seeing a hot issue and springing into legislation.

Two weeks ago, Northport Sen. James Gaughran and Rockville Centre Assemb. Judy Griffin, both Democrats, introduced legislation to mandate a state study of the two airports, citing increased air traffic and changing flight patterns that have led to low-flying planes bothering residents at all hours.

Not wanting to be left behind, Republicans on the Nassau County Legislature introduced a resolution last week that noted the same complaints of more planes flying lower and at all hours. If passed, it, too, would “conduct a study of the noise produced by planes arriving at and departing from both airports, look at historical data, and recommend next steps to reduce aircraft noise."

Complaints of too much noise by those who live near the airports of one of the world’s largest cities are not new.

There was a big move spurred by complaints of residents to conduct similar studies in 2013 and 2014. And it got results. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued an order to the Port Authority to address the complaints of residents in March 2014, and seven months later the authority agreed to pay $8 million to conduct noise studies at the airports and recommend ways to reduce unwanted sound.

The noise studies for JFK and LGA were completed in 2017 and can be found here and here.

The Noise Compatibility Program Report for JFK, which includes suggestions to alleviate the problem, is to be completed in August, according to the schedule found here.

And the one for LaGuardia will be done in July, according to the schedule found here.

What’s that up in the sky, coming to save the day? It’s certainly not going to be another study by the county or state legislatures.

- Lane Filler @lanefiller

Talking Point

Winds of change are blowing

Developers seeking multibillion-dollar, offshore leases from New York State have had to adjust their sails many times as they seek the destination for the governor’s highly anticipated announcement of a massive renewable energy project.

A few weeks ago, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was expected to hold a news conference on Long Island to announce the winning bidders. But the event is now to be anchored in New York City. A sudden breeze then blew the event into this week but some of the expected lease winners couldn’t make landfall in time.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the possible end of the journey for the four wind companies might be Monday in Manhattan as Cuomo reveals which NYSERDA selected to provide at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind power — power that is likely to come onshore at several Long Island substations.

While the wind companies were difficult to get together, sources tell The Point that Cuomo also wanted to power up the economic development part of his announcement. The announcement will include an emphasis on training for the new jobs that would be available as the state transforms to a renewable energy economy.

- Rita Ciolli @RitaCiolli

Pencil Point

No spying

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Data Point

Seeking a fix for long commutes

Long Island's commuting population has grown and so have commuting times and mass transit demands.

Some work already has begun to address capacity and expanded service -- the LIRR’s third track, for example -- but there is still so much to do.

To find out more, read here.

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