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House OKs McNamara bill extending T.F. Green Airport Air Quality Monitoring

[CREDIT: RIDOH] A map of current and proposed air quality monitoring sites around T.F. Green Airport.
[CREDIT: RIDOH] A map of current and proposed air quality monitoring sites around T.F. Green Airport.
[CREDIT: RIDOH] A map of current and proposed air quality monitoring sites around T.F. Green Airport.

STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives passed Rep. Joseph M. McNamara’s (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) bill extending the air quality monitoring program at T.F. Green Airport Thursday, which will now heads to the Senate.

The bill, (2019-H 5672A) would extend the required air quality monitoring program at the airport for two years to July 31, 2021. The act would also provide the sunset provision for the air quality monitoring program would be dependent upon the airport corporation undertaking certain specific actions regarding the collection and reporting of air quality data from monitors set up around the airport, according to the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau.

“This law was first passed in order to monitor the air quality around T.F. Green Airport,” said Representative McNamara, who serves as chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. “The citizens of Warwick have a right to know how air quality is being affected by jet engines taking off and landing at T.F. Green Airport. Two years ago we changed the location of air monitoring sites, specifically near the Winslow Park playing fields, where hundreds of children gather regularly for various sports leagues. In addition to the quarterly reports, the bill will require the Airport Corporation to compile at least 20 months of 9 complete air quality monitoring data from these monitors and submit that data to the Department of Health.”

McNamara’s bill calls for long-term air monitoring at four sites located near T.F. Green Airport to determine the impact of air pollutants, which may be harmful to public health on the densely populated, primarily residential area of the city of Warwick that surrounds the airport.

In March, McNamara and Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) hosted a public hearing reviewing air quality monitoring data collected from sites around T.F. Green Airport that showed ultra-fine particle (smaller than 0.1 microns) pollution from the airport is only slightly higher than that found in more urban cities in Rhode Island. The data also show the majority of air pollution from the airport is found east of the airport.

McNamara’s bill also requires the corporation, the Department of Health, and the city of Warwick to publish technical reports and scientific publications that resulted from the health study on their respective websites no later than July 31, 2019, and to maintain them for at least five years.

The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2019-S 90906) has been introduced by McCaffrey.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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