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Northwest Alliance Letter to Town Board

September 23, 2009

William McGintee, Town Supervisor
Peter Hammerle, Town Board Member
Julia Prince, Town Board Member
Brad Loewen, Town Board Member
Pat Mancir, Town Board Member
Town of East Hampton
159 Pantigo Road
East Hampton, NY 11937

Dear Supervisor McGintee and Town Board members,

For almost thirty years, the Northwest Alliance has worked to protect the natural environment in the western part of Northwest Woods. We have seen investments in the millions of dollars by the Town, County, and State in the protection of this area from pollution of various sorts. Despite this, in the last two years, the area and its wildlife have been subjected to deliberate noise pollution from helicopters that may be having very damaging effects. In particular, we write now in response to the Environmental Impact Statement developed for the Airport Master Plan and its failure to address the control of helicopter noise. At the September 17 hearing , our views on this matter were expressed ably by our member Patricia Hope and we are in strong sympathy with the views expressed by Peter Van Scoyoc`. To summarize, our position on this issue is as follows:

1. Helicopters should not be allowed to fly over East Hampton Airspace. The evidence indicating the harmful effects of airport noise on wildlife present in the area is unequivocal and non-emergency helicopters, with their current level of noise production, should not be allowed.
2. If the town cannot ban non-emergency helicopters from Town airspace, then a seasonal control tower should be installed and its authority used to require and enforce flight patterns that do not encroach destructively on nature preserves.
3. If a control tower is installed, we encourage the use of the shortest overland route to and from the airport, which is over Georgica Pond.

We appreciate the many conflicting interests with regard to the use of helicopters but it is our strong feeling that this form of transportation has not achieved a level of technical maturity that will allow it to be used in a manner that is respectful of the people and wildlife below.

Sincerely,

T. James Matthews, Chair

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