Village of East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz sent a letter to the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County on Monday, asking them to file suit against the Federal Aviation Administration to reduce the number of flights over East Hills and other Nassau County communities.
“I urge you to immediately consider the institution of a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration to end the intolerable conditions being experienced by residents in our community and on the North Shore of Long Island,” Koblenz said.
Koblenz called his demand, which was sent in an email to East Hills residents, a last resort after repeated efforts by the village and other local municipalities to address the problem.
“It’s one plane after another flying loudly above the village,” Koblenz said on Tuesday.
He said the village had done all it could communicating its requests to FAA officials but the agency hadn’t taken steps to remedy the problems.
In 2013, after many complaints by residents, East Hills held a public hearing to create an action plan to combat the issue.
“We met with Congressman Steve Israel who was very supportive,” Koblenz said.
In the letter to Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Koblenz urged the two officials to consider suing the FAA on behalf of the village and other municipalities on North Shore of Long Island.
“As you are aware, the volume in the flight paths at Kennedy Airport have substantially increased,” he said. “The noise, vibrations, pollutants and other sever environmental burdens now seriously impact the quality of life in many Nassau County communities.”
Koblenz said the runways at JFK airport were extended to accommodate the big Airbus.
“This has been going on for years and it’s hard because we are just a village and we are doing the very best that we can,” he said.
He said someone besides the village of East Hills should take lead on the litigation process and expenses.
“We can’t sue the FAA by ourselves. If we did that and we got what we wanted, we would still be paying the legal fees for years,” Koblenz said.
Koblenz said the village has made every attempt to resolve the matter by involving elected officials at the highest levels of federal and state government but there efforts have been unavailing.
“We’ve had meetings with state Sen. Jack Martins and we were getting attentions with studies being done and a noise monitor being installed in the village but that’s where it ends,” Koblenz said.
He said he and other officials around Long Island affected by the airplane noise met with FAA officials in Brookville in 2014 but that their requests of equal distribution of landing patterns of airplanes have still not been granted.
“We are now left with no other alternative but to resort to judicial relief and with the high costs of litigation, we ask for your financial support, involvement and assistance,” he said.
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