Colorado bill seeks to reduce impacts from aviation

Photo credit: Stas Knop

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

To the many groups across the country combating the impacts of aircraft noise and pollution, the title “Coloradans are on edge about noise and pollution. Lawmakers want to help” must be heartening. State legislators in Colorado have introduced a bill aimed to protect residents from noise and potential lead exposure. This bill was introduced in response to the growth of several airports in Colorado, as well as thousands of complaints from local residents and several lawsuits. A large number of residents attended a town hall meeting in Superior to let lawmakers know how airport noise and lead affect their health and well-being.

The bill would charge an impact fee on leaded fuel sales starting in the fall of 2024. Airports could then use that money to come up with an unleaded alternative. One Colorado airport stated it already has plans to move away from using leaded fuel before the federal goal of 2030. With respect to noise, the bill would require the state health department to install noise monitors at some of the airports. To monitor the impacts of lead, there is a plan to test the blood of residents and children who live near runways.  

It was also comforting to read that one state representative said he “shared the concerns of [his] residents about the noise and lead in our community.” Yet, the article informs readers that there is opposition to the bill from the aviation industry. No surprise there.

Bri Leman, who leads a group called Save Our Skies, stated that she and her members do not wish to stop people from flying. They just want accommodations that will protect them from the harmful impacts of aviation. The bill also plans to give residents, like Leman, two seats on the Colorado Aeronautical Board. This would give them a voice on aviation development in their state.

The bill has simply been introduced, so we’ll have to wait on public hearings and further discussion to learn if Coloradans will indeed see concrete actions to lessen aircraft noise and pollution.  

*The Feb. 29 run of this blog post incorrectly spelled Leman’s name, and used incorrect gender pronouns. QC apologizes for the errors. The correct spelling and pronouns are now in the article.

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