Des Moines Council hears proposal on potential noise control at Sea-Tac Airport


By Jack Mayne

A local attorney has proposed that the Des Moines City Council endorse a proposal that would require the Port of Seattle to control noise at the rapidly developing and growing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Des Moines resident and attorney Steve Edmiston – a vocal observer and activist about expansion of the airport – gave the Des Moines City Council a thumbnail of the talks to Port of Seattle commissioners he has been making in two-minute increments over the past years; two minutes being the allotted time for commenters to the Port Commission.

Port is uninformed
Edmiston has done the two-minute briefings for the past year and expects to finish the mini-briefings in February, or 22 such appearances – so far Edmiston has made 16 briefings

He says he views the Port as not getting the information they need to guide the airport’s continued development.

The Briefing Project is a series of responses to the Port on a previous 43-minute briefing it received from the FAA on airport growth and expansion,” Edmiston said.

He said the official briefings to the Commission had “zero percent” about “the impacts of ‘NextGen’ flight procedures on local communities,” and in “addressing aircraft noise and other questions about the Federal Aviation Administration’s role addressing noise and other community impacts” and about how those impact people’s ”quality of life.”

He plans to turn the briefings and allied information into a documentary film on the airport and on aviation development nationally and internationally.

Crises of noise
The nation is “in a crisis because of noise,” he said.

The film he is working to produce “has a point.”

“The whole point of this is all along has been this: The Port of Seattle Airport Neighborhood accords that the Port should adopt, not the individual surrounding cities. None of these are impossible for the Port to do,” Edmiston said. “The accords are consistent with our legislative agenda in the city” and consistent with comments the city has made in master plan discussions. They have been endorsed also by the Burien Quiet Skies Committee, he said, as well as Quiet Skies Puget Sound.

He pointed out one of the accords, one that establishes “a nighttime curfew to protect human health (that) shall be a policy priority and supported by Port resources.”

Agree and hold accountable
“Can anyone disagree with that?” Edmiston asked the Des Moines Council. Such a point needs to be supported “in the long term” by he port policy with port money, he said. “Then we say that magic language, Port of Seattle shall commit to undertake all available options under the law. We are not asking them to do anything they are not authorized to do – and provide some resources to establish the curfew.”

The Port commissioners could do it at their next meeting, he said. The Council and other groups need to “actually endorse these, I believe, so that we can hold them accountable for not doing it,” adding, “we have two seats up for election at the end of this year on the Port Commission.” It would “be a very easy scorecard to assess which commissioners are saying ‘yes,’” Edmiston said.

The Des Moines aviation committee will likely get soon a request to endorse the proposal, he said.

Harbormaster, new police exec
City Manager Michael Matthias told the Council he was appointing acting harbormaster Scott Wilkins to be the full Harbormaster as of Jan. 16. He has been acting harbormaster since former longtime Harbormaster Joe Dusenbury retired.

Police Chief Ken Thomas told the Council he has hired Kathy Berrens as his new “executive (office) assistant (and) office administrator who brings a lot of experience.” The chief said she worked for the Washington Legislature, and was a Sumner City Councilmember amongst other positions.

“She is going to be the face of our department with communications, essentially being in charge of a lot of the civilian staff and running the civilian operations or non commissioned” staff.

The marina was also honored by Yelp, which says it provides reviews from a large base of social community and a destination for users to read mixed reviews. “People love Des Moines Marina on Yelp,” the certificate to the city says.



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