Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Palo Alto hates airplane noise

The following is in regards to a meeting in Palo Alto, not Pacifica -


Come to City Hall Council Chambers on Monday April 9!

At 5:30 pm, and/or at 9:30 pm. Airplane noise is scheduled at two separate times on the Agenda:

5:00-6:30 PM Closed Session CONFERENCE WITH CITY ATTORNEY-POTENTIAL LITIGATION Subject: Noise and Other Impacts Arising From Management of Aircraft in the Northern California Airspace Authority: Potential Initiation of Litigation Under Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(4) (One Potential Case, as Plaintiff)”

Members of the public may speak to the Closed Session item(s); three minutes per speaker.

9:30-10:30 PM “Policy and Services Committee and Staff Recommendations on Next Steps Related to Airplane Noise.”

Please show on Monday to support our speakers! If you are unable to attend, write to Council members a few comments on the items that follow:

PACC Contact info:

Negative impacts brought about since 2014 need to be corrected:

Palo Alto City Council must bring attention to the unanimous Select Committee recommendations (crafted together with FAA) to assess alternatives to address the problematic Menlo waypoint and vicinity; including to assess new waypoints to use the Bay for SFO arrivals, and recommendations to design new procedures to correct the severe noise problems brought about since 2014.

Adequate environmental reviews are imperative:

FAA mandated environmental reviews are meant to consider modeled noise increases/decreases in communities before FAA takes airspace actions which can impact the natural and human environment. When these analysis are done without the right tools and with inadequate information, it results in FAA documenting determinations such as "no impact," which then allows FAA to look no further at the impacts of their actions, or to consider alternatives to minimize negative impacts. The Select Committee was convened to address the problems with FAA’s actions and flawed environmental review that took Palo Alto and neighbors by surprise in 2014, yet FAA appears to continue to “surprise” the public by taking actions without adequate environmental assessments (see below). Inadequate analysis which fails to consider impacts on the City’s environment, schools, neighborhoods, natural habitats, health and the quality of life of its citizens must be taken up Palo Alto City Council (whose pledge is to defend Palo Alto), and Council actions to ensure compliance with environmental statutes is critical.

Deadlines to file petitions for review cannot be missed:

victory was recently handed to FAA when Georgetown was deprived of having the courts look at the merits of their case due to missing the 60 day deadline to file a petition for review. An excerpt from the court’s opinion, written by Judge Tatel:

  • “The FAA’s efforts to inform the residents of Georgetown about the evaluation of the D.C. Metroplex were hardly a model of sound agency practice. But neither the FAA’s stumbles nor those of its contractor excuse Georgetown’s failure to timely file a petition for review given that the agency provided adequate notice of the EA process and never indicated that it might change its position. Filing deadlines, replete throughout the United States Code, promote prompt and final judicial review of agency decisions and ensure that agencies and affected parties can proceed free from the uncertainty that an action may be undone at any time”

The court’s opinion puts on notice any city that fails to meet a deadline for filing a petition for review or choosing not to challenge the FAA in a timely manner. The courts guarantee  FAA the ability to proceed "free from the uncertainty that an action may be undone at any time" or free from the uncertainty that prior actions can be questioned.

Last week FAA reached out to various news outlets in the Bay Area about SERFR 3, a procedure published on March 29th (the 60 day clock started on this date for SERFR 3). To publish SERFR 3, FAA chose to apply a Categorical Exclusion. A three page Memo, starting on page five of thislink basically states that there is nothing to register, in terms of environmental impacts. SEFR3, and various actions have obvious negative impacts unresolved from the 2014 actions such as concentration of impacts, and low altitudes. To determine the potential for noise impacts (and to arrive at their CATEX decision), FAA did not do the environmental analysis with FAA’s mandated AEDT tool. Instead, FAA used a “MITRE Guidance noise screening Lateral Movement Test (LAT Test).” Future actions will use this basis (a memo) for future determinations, and the public still has no information about what the "MITRE Guidance" test is or what inputs or criteria were used. The Mitre test is not mentioned in Order 1050.1F, which guides FAA environmental reviews.

In our communication last month, we shared FAA’s announced plan to involve communities in PBN procedures design, which has specific steps to improve the way the public is kept informed and engaged. Clearly there is a disconnect between what FAA is communicating about PBN community involvement (to have communities engaged early on before changes are made) to what is happening with the various and impending actions affecting Palo Alto and neighbors. FAA has the brief 60 day deadline to their advantage; keeping affected people busy talking in forums like roundtables and committees while running out the clock seems to work best for FAA but not so for the affected public. Congressional representatives wrote to FAA to request an update on FAA’s Initiative to address noise concerns, and to ask about environmental review and to respond by March 15, but FAA did not respond by the requested deadline. An industry journal Aviation Noise Report has reported that they reached out to FAA to ask about the Bay Area situation, and FAA responded (to ANR) stating that they “expect to provide an update soon.”

On Monday April 9th, we need Palo Alto City Council to be focused and clear that COUNCIL must lead on taking on this problem with FAA, and with officials at all levels of government.

News and Updates

SJC South Flow Ad Hoc Committee - Meetings and Audio Recordings.

Victory for East Hampton - The FAA has ruled that the town can use airport revenue to fund a legal defense in the ongoing helicopter noise battle.

The Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Roundtable produced its first annual report in mid-February. See the Conclusion"The DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable was created at the insistence of the FAA to act as the vehicle for addressing the harmful noise issues associated with the NEXTGEN/DC Metroplex project. Unfortunately, it appears to be a largely unsatisfactory approach. At this time, we believe there must be a change in approach in order to achieve broader results. "

"Because the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA’) airspace redesign projects throughout the United States have apparently negatively impacted hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people, and because we have received a number of requests for a discussion of the bases for the currently pending challenge to the FAA’s SoCal Metroplex airspace redesign project, a copy of the Opening Brief of Petitioners City of Culver City, California; Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association; Donald Vaughn; and Stephen Murray in Benedict Hills Estates Association, et al. v. FAA, et al., D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 16-1366 (consolidated with 16-1377, 16-1378, 17-1010 and 17-1029) can be accessed by clicking here. Also filing briefs as Amici Curiae, or friends of the court, in support of Petitioners are the City of Los Angeles and the West Adams for Clear Skies. "

Report intrusive jet noise!

Use any of these methods: 

SFO PHONE 650.821.4736/Toll free 877.206.8290.
SFO traffic: click here for the link
SJC traffic: click her for the link
Other airportsclick here for more info

Spread the Word!
Share Sky Posse updates and this LINK with your neighbors to join the efforts to reduce jet noise. 

Thank you!

Sky Posse Palo Alto 

Submitted by Jim Wagner


Anonymous said...

I'm sure our city council is on it! I mean, they talked about it and how tough they were going to get by sending strongly worded letters. Go get 'em! Rah

Anonymous said...

I am sure everyone will listen to Pacifica! Yawn.

This is the group Fred Howard started so he can get free windows and his house insulated. We all know how much good Fred has done for Pacifica. YAWN

Anonymous said...

The Enemies of Pacifica Mantra....
What's mine is mine. What's yours is mine.
I pay for nothing. You pay for everything.
Get out of my town!!

Anonymous said...

Get ready, FAA, because Pacifica's about to bring the pain.

Oh yeah, here comes the STERNLY WORDED LETTER, BABY!

Anonymous said...

Oh no. The wrath of Digre is about to re-ignite. She's capable of melting brains with her confusion and stupidity. Keener and Deirdre are desperately seeking another useful idiot to replace her on council this November. Stegink? Duffy? Loeb? Verby? Lancelle? Kaufman?
Lot's to choose from.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica needs a savior.Not lots to choose from this bunch 10:51AM.

Anonymous said...

It’s very clear that Pacifica’s reaction of sending letters to the FAA isn’t working. It’s time for something more than a letter. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a sternly worded letter.

Just not too stern. Firm. But not too firm. Almost milquetoast. Add a “pretty please” at the end. Send it, then sit back and watch the immediate results. The FAA will be hopping around trying to fix this faster than a one-legged man at an ass kicking contest.

Anonymous said...

Much respect to 11:26, but we already tried the sternly worded letter approach and it didn’t work.

What Pacifica needs to do is sent TWO sternly worded letters!

Lookout, FAA, cuz it’s go time — here comes the tiny Pacifica hammer!

Anonymous said...

city council is afraid of making the faa so mad that they’ll turn around and prevent pacificans from getting on a plane.

i mean, this has been going on for years and years now: what else explains the total inaction of council on this issue? other than rampant stupidity of course. laziness and stupidity?

Anonymous said...

Pacifica needs to send The Commander in Chief to the FAA. Have her flap her arms and get stern with them. Deidre, will fix them.

Anonymous said...

i like your idea, 8:03. deirdre can wag her finger at the faa and tell them how smart she is and how dumb they are. she does this at most city council meetings so she has lots of practice at it.

Anonymous said...

Pac council management of SFO noise issue is amateur. Had Obama for 8 years; Pelosi, Feinstein and S[peier coulda called him up for a solution. Dead silence. Council sends the most incompetent of the 5 to SFO roundtable and Digre gets ignored. Letter writing to bureaucrats who do not care. Lawsuits from other cities Pacifica knows nothing about and does not join. The remaining 4 councilmembers say nothing on their own to seek a solution. So we got the noise. Better off watching Palo Alto council tonight for info:

Sterny Sterner-Stuff said...

Has the stern letter been sent off in a stern manner reflecting the stern reservations of stern council of this stern coastal town?

Anonymous said...

Honest to god, this is malpractice from our council. We’ve had a council member sitting on the Airport Roundtable for more than a decade and she was completely unaware of the new routes and unable or unwilling to do a thing about it. I was just as effective as she has been and I’m just some schlub on the internet.

You would think the other four would step up, but nope, we’re told all we can do about it is report overhead flights with some dumb app and wait for the “sternly worded letters” to take effect. Really?

ZERO LEADERSHIP on council unless it’s to impeach Trump. That we’ll put on the agenda four times (so far) because it’s obviously such a high priority for this city.

Anonymous said...

if you’ve ever heard digre speak at any length, her word salad gobbly-gook makes it apparent she barely knows her own name, let alone what any of the issues are and how to go about tackling them. this isn’t a time for niceties. boot her ass off the airport committe cuz she hasn’t done sh—.

Stormy Daniels said...

Remind them to video tape everything!!

Wagner said...

I found the statement towards the end interesting "On the upside, this Council decision is a much more public process than 2014 when the City more quietly chose to not challenge the FAA, when it had opportunity and reason to do so. At the time, the strategy City staff explained to concerned citizens, was that they thought best to apply to the SFO Roundtable"
I guess they understand now that the roundtable is just that, around and arouond in circles.

Sky Posse Palo Alto

Dear Friends,

Thank you to all who spoke last night at Palo Alto City Council meeting! Also thanks to everyone who showed to support speakers, and all who wrote to Palo Alto City Council on the topic of airplane noise.

Special thanks to those who attended the 5PM speaker topic and returned to PACC chambers at 9:30 PM to find confusion and mishandled communications about the cancelled 9:30 PM airplane noise item. PACC voted to postpone the 9:30 PM item last night due to the Housing issue going longer.

The Airplane Noise that was not covered last night will be rescheduled to a date to be determined. Please be on hand for this future meeting because we have a lot of work to do.

The Palo Alto Weekly is reporting that Council has opted to not sue the FAA and instead to go the route of “regional cooperation.”

We have no further information about the Council’s reasoning for choosing to not challenge the FAA (other than what is in the Weekly article), but the next weeks will be a good opportunity to learn what Council’s thinking is. And to keep making our case for the City to more vigorously address our concerns.

We are preparing a detailed analysis about what the the potential legal challenges available to the City are, plus an historical perspective on regional cooperation. Regional cooperation is a good thing; however, for there to be credibility for these efforts, some things need to change (urgently).

The comments from the public delivered to Council last night were spot on about the reasoning for challenging the FAA; we will expand on these comments, keep pointing them to the City. Beyond the PACC meetings, we also look forward to hearing from Council members more directly, we will look to schedule some meetings or forums with each of them.

On the upside, this Council decision is a much more public process than 2014 when the City more quietly chose to not challenge the FAA, when it had opportunity and reason to do so. At the time, the strategy City staff explained to concerned citizens, was that they thought best to apply to the SFO Roundtable (when we hardly knew what that was, or that Palo Alto had been rejected twice before).

Def Comedy Jam said...

Your comparing Palo Alto to Pacifica. That's a good one!

Hardy har har

Professor Peabody said...

8:55, I would think it's more of a compare and contrast exercise.
PA is a city. So is Pac
PA has a city council. We do too.
PA has money.
We're broke.
PA has an active city council
Ours is comatose.
PA citizenship get involved
Ours get involved in progressive bullshit we can't pay for.
The list goes on.................