Last week the Town Board announced its intention to proceed with closing and reopening the East Hampton Airport as a Prior Permission Required (“PPR”) facility and to study during the summer season a set of PPR rules designed to respond to community concerns about noise, pollution and other environmental issues related to airport operations. The study will inform the preparation of a draft government environmental impact study (DGEIS) that is required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Given how clearly the Wainscott community’s desires have been communicated to the Town, it is infuriating to many (including Wainscott United) that there is a legal process to navigate before the airport can be closed or otherwise gotten under control. But there is no arguing with the law or the process.
What can you do now?
Write the Town Board at EHAirportScope@ehamptonny.gov to express your support for closing the airport or significantly restricting its operations and tell the Town Board that you expect it to follow through with restrictions that reflect the overwhelming consensus of the community. Finally, tell the Town Board what environmental impacts of continued airport operations you believe should be included within the scope of its DGEIS study.
We have identified the following:
- impacts on groundwater;
- impacts on air quality;
- impacts of noise on community character, quiet enjoyment and recreation;
- impacts on energy consumption and contributions to global warming.
A form letter/email is attached to give you a start: add, subtract, embellish as you wish. Comments are due not later than March 18, 2022.
Again, we know that many you are frustrated with the nightmare the airport has become and that now there is yet another step in a process that already seems endless. But this is not the time to quit. The opposition is well funded and not backing down. They will challenge anything that the Town does. Let’s make sure that the Town Board knows that its voters fully support its making the changes that must be made.