SMO — The Santa Monica Airport Commission voted unanimously this week to recommend that the City Council put its weight behind an attempt by a West Los Angeles group to impose air quality controls on SMO.
Mitchell Tsai, an attorney with Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP), sent a letter to the South Coast Air Quality Management District asking for the agency to put limits on the amount of pollution coming out of the airport.
The airport has a “disproportionate environmental health impact on local residents” because there is no buffer between the airport and neighborhoods which surround it on all sides, according to a statement released by CRAAP on Friday.
According to a study sponsored by the Los Angeles Unified School District, cancer risk arising from maximum exposure to air pollution caused by activities at SMO for local residents ran 13 to 26 in 1 million. That’s far above the one in a million risk under the Federal Clean Air Act.
The letter calls on the AQMD to regulate the pollution coming from SMO with help from the California Air Resources Board, which has the power to do so under the Clean Air Act.
Putting the call for stricter environmental controls up before the people of Santa Monica on a City Council agenda is the right thing to do, said Martin Rubin, director of CRAAP.
“Council owes it to the neighboring communities to do something about the air pollution problem from their airport, and this is something they should certainly support,” he said.