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Weiner asks feds to watch jet emissions near airports

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U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) has called on a federal agency to monitor jetliner emissions in an area around John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports.

Weiner, who represents Rockaway, Howard Beach, Corona and Elmhurst, neighborhoods directly beneath commercial flight paths, said emissions from jets taking off and landing threaten such communities.

“Together, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports handle about 2,000 takeoffs and landings every day,” Weiner said. “These emissions also contribute to New York City’s failure to live up to the federal Clean Air Act.”

Weiner asked that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitor an area within a five-mile radius around the two airports.

He said a 1999 report by the EPA found that commercial aircraft represents a growing source of the region’s ground level ozone, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and particular matter.

“Respiratory ailments, cardiovascular damage, headaches and other health and environmental problems are a result of these emissions.” Weiner said.

“A greater attention needs to be paid to the air quality in the communities surrounding our airports. This study will be an important first step toward ensuring a cleaner environment in Queens.”

Weiner also has long called for an end to flights at Kennedy by the supersonic jetliner Concorde, which he contends produces more than four times the amount of carbon monoxide as subsonic jetliners during takeoffs and landings.

The Concorde is not required to abide by a federal requirement that commercial jetliners be equipped with Stage III engines to suppress noise.

Concorde service by British Airways and Air France resumed in November after 15 months. The suspension of such flights followed a Concorde crash that left 113 people dead at Charles DeGaulle International Airport in Paris.

The Concorde entered service in 1976 after months of demonstrations against the plane, particularly by residents of Rosedale and other communities close to Kennedy.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

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