Senators Feinstein, Boxer Introduce Legislation to Soundproof Lennox and Inglewood School Districts from Nearby Airport Noise
Mar 27 2007
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) today introduced legislation to help soundproof the Lennox and Inglewood schools from nearby airport noise.
Specifically, the bill offered by Senators Feinstein and Boxer would allow the enactment of the settlement reached between the City of Los Angeles and the Lennox and Inglewood School Districts to allow the schools to use passenger facility fees for noise reduction projects – to the tune of $110 million over ten years.
“Currently, an airplane flies a few hundred feet above the Lennox and Inglewood schools about every three minutes. The noise is deafening. It rattles windows, disrupts lessons, and makes it very difficult for these students to learn,” Senator Feinstein said. “The bill Senator Boxer and I have put forward would help to soundproof the schools from the aircraft noise. This legislation offers a straightforward solution to an untenable problem. I encourage my colleagues in the House and Senate to support this legislation.”
Senator Boxer said, “Right now, students in Lennox and Inglewood schools are constantly interrupted by the rattle and roar of low-flying planes. This bill will help improve conditions at those schools so that every child has the opportunity to learn in the most conducive environment possible.”
The bill was drafted with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration, and it has the support of the Lennox and Inglewood School Districts, the Los Angeles World Airports, and the Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.
Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.) will introduce companion legislation in the House today.
Representative Harman said, “Lennox students are essentially attending class on an airport runway, and that is no way for a child to learn. These funds are essential. They will be used to help replace mobile units with permanent soundproof facilities and soundproof other, existing buildings. Our legislation will right a wrong and give Lennox kids a quiet environment that better promotes a quality education.”
In 1980, the Lennox School District and the City of Los Angeles settled a lawsuit, allowing aircraft carrying up to 40 million people per year to fly overhead the schools. That resulted in having aircraft fly over the schools – at extremely low levels – approximately every 3 minutes.
A settlement was reached in February 2005 between the Lennox and Inglewood school districts and the Los Angeles World Airports to provide $110 million in noise mitigation funds over 10 years.
However, the Federal Aviation Administration interpreted federal law in a way that prevents the payment of the funds under the 2005 agreement. Thus, federal legislation is necessary to allow the use of passenger facility fees for noise reduction projects at the Lennox and Inglewood schools.