Deputation regarding proposed expansion of Island Airport
December 9, 2013
My name is Dr. Miriam Garfinkle. Thank you giving me the opportunity to speak today.
The serious health and safety impacts and risks arising from the continually expanding Billy Bishop Airport are paramount concern.
It is regrettable that the health impact assessment was rushed to fit into the timeline imposed by Porter which precludes the consideration of other variables like the runway extension and a more comprehensive study.
The report is clear however, on the need to look at health as the major criteria for planning the waterfront and clearly expresses concerns about the health impacts of the status quo.
The negative impacts of this scheme – increased air pollution in an already highly polluted area, massively increased traffic and congestion in an already congested area, serious concerns about water quality, noise pollution, fuel transport and storage and the risk of planes taking off and landing within a few hundred metres of homes and schools are clear and unnacceptable.
It is particularly alarming for the children who live, study and play in the Bathurst Quay in terms of interference with learning and short and long term health risks.
The waterfront is also a highly utilized collective space that we have highly invested in to be used for recreational activities that promote health and fit into the city's vision of increasing green space. Why would we destroy it with an expanding airport?
Public health has done its job and now it’s up to the city councillors to do theirs and vote against the further expansion of this airport.