President Signs Feinstein-Boxer-Harman Measure to Soundproof Lennox and Inglewood School Districts from Nearby Airport Noise
Oct 02 2008
Washington, DC – The President today signed into law a measure sponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) in the Senate, and Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.) in the House of Representatives, to help soundproof the Lennox and Inglewood schools from nearby airport noise.
The new law will allow the implementation 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 – in the amount of $111 million for the Lennox School District and $118.5 million for the Inglewood School District over 10 years.
“This is a big win for students of the Lennox and Inglewood schools, who have been distracted by the constant roar of jets flying over their classrooms every few minutes, five days a week. Help is finally on the way,” Senator Feinstein said. “The bill signed by the President today will give the school districts access to funds to help cover the sizable costs of soundproofing the schools from the nearby airport noise. I’m proud to have worked alongside Senator Boxer and Representative Harman, and members of the local community to help improve the learning conditions for these students.”
Senator Boxer said, “I am so pleased that the President signed this important legislation into law. The students at Lennox and Inglewood schools will finally be free from the distraction of the rattle and roar of low-flying planes. This law will significantly improve conditions by creating an atmosphere free from jet noise that the students truly deserve.”
“Support from my Senators was critical in helping this bill to pass. When it stalled in the House, they introduced it as a stand-alone bill in the Senate. That move made a huge difference and Lennox and Inglewood school kids are the winners,” said Representative Harman.
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.
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 over the schools. That resulted in having aircraft fly over the schools – at extremely low levels – approximately every three minutes.
A settlement was reached in February 2005 between the Lennox and Inglewood school districts and the Los Angeles World Airports to provide – over 10 years -- $111 million in noise mitigation funds to Lennox School District and $118.5 million to Inglewood School District.
Mitigation measures include replacement of HVAC equipment with pollution abatement, double-paned windows and/or sound reduction windows and doors, roofing upgrades, replacement of relocatable classrooms, and temporary housing during construction.
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.