Although King County Executive Dow Constantine is a proponent of the proposed Seattle SODO NBA arena, he continues to push for a comprehensive study of that proposal. Why? Because state law, according to the Department of Ecology, requires “an impartial discussion of significant environmental impacts, reasonable alternatives, and mitigation measures that would avoid or minimize adverse impacts.”
That same law applies to assessments for proposed scheduled air service at Paine Field. Like King County, we need a County Executive that will fully implement the law. It is inconceivable to assume that starting and growing unrestricted scheduled service won’t cumulatively produce significant impacts, especially if subsidized by the FAA and impacted communities. The FAA failed to consider this “potential outcome” as required by federal law. We need the County to reject the minimally scoped FAA study and require the comprehensive study the FAA chose not to do.
Now, the County must recognize this reality and address it; they have an obligation to comply with State and Federal laws. Nothing in Federal Law requires the County to build a terminal. No Federal Law requires the County to yield to the FAA's strong-arm tactics and threats about losing "discretionary" grants. Our County leadership must not allow the FAA to use grant funding or other threats to force the County to shrink from its legal responsibilities. Instead, they should inform the FAA that their study and “Finding of No Significant Impacts” decision on Paine Field does not fully comply with Federal Law and that their fundamentally flawed study can’t be used to comply with State law. County leadership must ensure a proper and lawful study is conducted to comply with State law – it is their duty to do so. Studying the introduction of scheduled service is no less significant or different than the NBA Arena proposal in Seattle or the proposed bulk/coal terminal near Bellingham both of which will involve a much broader scope of study and timeline than the Paine Field FAA study.
We expect clear communication, good governance, and strong leadership that will follow-through on commitments. We need a strong leader that will work with FAA on Paine Field issues (safety, operations, grants, etc.) while not allowing the FAA to inappropriately use grant funding to push a commercial service agenda.
Call on the County Executive County.firstname.lastname@example.org and Council email@example.com to uphold the longstanding County policy to "strongly discourage" scheduled air service at Paine Field, to reject the FAA study/decision as unacceptable for compliance with state law and to require a properly scoped study to fully identify all the impacts and mitigation associated with starting and growing scheduled service. And, let’s ask the Snohomish County Democrats to nominate a new County Executive who will ensure the laws are fully complied with while upholding County policy to "strongly discourage" scheduled air service at Paine Field. Write to them at http://www.snocodems.org/contact-us
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