Letter to the Editor: Ways for Residents to Respond to Massport’s RFP for Development at Hanscom’s North Airfield

~ Submitted by Jennifer Boles

I’ve been contacted by several residents about my September 25th letter to the editor of The Bedford Citizen, which expressed my personal concern about Massport’s aggressive drive to expand aviation facilities and operations into the North Airfield.  They, too, are concerned and have asked me, “What can we do?”

I’m speaking only for myself, not as a writer for The Bedford Citizen or for the town committee I serve on.

I don’t have all the answers, but there are some simple ways to begin.  You, too, may have ideas on how to stop, slow, or – at the very least – seek proper mitigation to help protect the town and especially the Bedford neighborhoods and families which are sure to experience the greatest impact from increased aviation noise and air pollution from Massport’s development of the North Airfield.

This is the time to share your ideas freely.  Pick and choose the ones that seem best to you, or that you might recommend to concerned neighbors or friends:

Vote in The Bedford Citizen’s snap poll regarding Massport’s RFP for North Airfield development before noon on Saturday, October 9 

Let the Select Board know of your concerns either by email or by comment during their meetings —the next Select Board Zoom meeting is on October 12 at 7 pm.

Contact our State Representative Ken Gordon by email and ask for his help

Attend Hanscom Field Advisory Commission (HFAC) Zoom meetings —3rd Tuesdays at 7 pm; the next Zoom meeting is on October 19 at 7 pm.

HFAC meetings are great for learning more about airfield issues.  Residents are very welcome and there is always a Citizen Comments period set aside for residents to ask questions or express their concerns about airfield matters.

Join the Hanscom Field Projects Impacting Bedford Facebook Group (Private, but visible; 500+members. The group was created in 2017 and is administered by longtime Bedford resident and strong airfield neighborhood advocate, Patty Dahlgren.  The Group is civil, moderate, and tolerant of all views, but is definitely sympathetic to residents’ concerns about airfield and aviation matters.  Folks from other towns impacted by Hanscom Field aviation activity are always welcome as well.

Learn more about how airfield issues at Hanscom Field impact our town by reading The Bedford Citizen —Click the search icon at the top of the Bedford Citizen page to explore these Hanscom Field topics:  aviation noise, flight school issues, HFAC environmental, leaded aviation fuel, Massport RFP.

There are additional possibilities to be explored and mitigations to seek from Massport … similar to the 2014 Logan airfield neighborhood health study, Logan’s airfield buffer parks, the intense air, and water quality sampling, and monitoring Massport routinely conducts at and near Logan Airport.

Ask HFAC to submit a second request that Massport allow airfield soil to be sampled for lead concentration levels – Massport denied their first request.  But lead has been steadily accumulating on and near the airfield through eight decades of exhaust emissions from prop planes burning leaded avgas at Hanscom Field.  And there are still tens of thousands of prop plane operations taking place at Hanscom Field every year. Each one burns leaded avgas.

Think about what HFAC Chair Christopher Eliot said during the January 19 HFAC meeting this year:  EPA health studies show that for children, “There is no safe level of blood lead.  So zero is the only safe quantity.”

Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: [email protected] or 781-430-8837

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