WARWICK, R.I. — Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) says a bill he sponsored extending state mandated air quality monitoring in neighborhoods near TF Green Airport and moving existing monitors near Winslow Park and the recent runway extension is taking fire from a misleading WPRO-AM commercial.
The bill, (2017-H 6055) extends the Permanent Air Quality Monitoring Act for two additional years, and calls for the relocation of four existing monitors to the park, areas near the extended runway, and neighborhoods adjacent to the airport.
The bill would also require measurement of particles less than 0.1 microns, and black carbon. This act would also require the department of health to prepare a report based on the data collected by those monitors and to submit that report to the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Governor, the AG, Mayor and the Warwick City Council.
McNamara said the extension and the narrowing of the air particles tested for are a vital change, particularly at Winslow Park, “So that we know that it will be safe for the children there,” he said. McNamara,
Without the extension, the Act expires July 31. The extension is supported by the Department of Health, the Department of Environmental Management, and the Attorney General’s Office. It has been sponsored by McNamara, Camille Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21), House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Rep. David Bennett, (D-Dist. 20).
McNamara said he heard the radio spot on WPRO today, which he said criticized the bill by stating it would increase monitors required by the Act. He said he made a call to the Airport Corporation to ask about the ad, which was paid for by an organization called The Gaspee Group, McNamara said.
“The airport in no way was involved with that ad or knew of that ad,” said Patti Goldstein Sr. VP, External Affairs at Rhode Island Airport Corporation. He said he received a number of calls from constituents concerned about the apparent intent of the radio ad to mislead the public about the Act.
Goldstein said the airport’s relationship with McNamara has been amiable. “It’s always been respectful,” she said.
“This law was first passed in order to monitor the air quality around T.F. Green Airport,” said McNamara, “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.”