On Wednesday, May 23, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, to provide for noise mitigation for the Highline School District.
Amendment #538  (PDF file) clarifies that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can provide funding for noise mitigation to schools that are outside the current noise contours if the FAA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the schools before September 2002:
“to an airport operator of a congested airport (as defined in section 47175) and a unit of local government referred to in paragraph (1)(B) to carry out a project to mitigate noise, if the project—
‘‘(i) consists of—
‘‘(I) replacement windows, doors, and the installation of through-the-wall air con- ditioning units; or
‘‘(II) acquisition and installation of the windows, doors, and other noise mitigation elements to be used in a school re-construction if reconstruction is the preferred local solution;
‘‘(ii) is located at a school near the airport;”
“Highline School District has been working tirelessly to meet the terms of the agreement with the FAA to help mitigate noise pollution that the schools experience,” Smith said. “Today’s amendment, crafted with bipartisan support and in coordination with the House Transportation Committee will help ensure that promises made to our local schools are kept. Having grown up in SeaTac myself, I know it is important to fight for our children’s right to a safe and healthy learning environment.”
According to a statement, Smith authored the amendment to ensure that funding for noise mitigation agreed upon in a 2002 MOA between the Port of Seattle, the FAA, and Highline School District was provided to two remaining schools that were recently deemed ineligible for funding.
Since the MOA was signed, the noise contours around the airport changed, leaving the two schools in areas where the FAA could not legally provide mitigation despite the prior agreement being in place.
This amendment will allow for the FAA to provide the promised funding to the remaining schools so that they can acquire insulated doors, windows, and other forms of sound mitigation.