Good Neighbors? - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1814630

Good Neighbors?

I sat here in disbelief over what was written [“Good Neighbor,” Letters, August 19]. First, the pilots have never been good neighbors. The proposal for a restaurant and playground is asinine. There is one just across the street, at the Clubhouse facility, with bowling, miniature golf and assorted entertainment already in place.

The federally designated sole-source aquifer, the deepest part, lies under the airport. The Wainscott community had its wells contaminated by PFAS, along with unidentified petrochemical solvents. How long were we drinking that? A $40 million public water installation resulting from that.

The heaviest concentration came from just north of the terminal and along Industrial Road. The Suffolk County Water Authority draws the water from this aquifer. The writer fails to mention the lead pollution emitted for high RPM during takeoff, spreading the pollution over a 5-square-mile radius, compounded by wind velocity.

The Safe Drinking Water Act is to protect that source under all circumstances. So let’s move Lefrak City and pollute the aquifer! Where are the soil and air tests results? Where are the test well reports, and why was one paved over?

Then the writer mentions the conversion to unleaded fuel? Anyone with slightest knowledge knows that will require a total engine overhaul, as without lead in the fuel the valve seats will be damaged from the pounding. That requires removing the engine, replacing the valve seats. Probably between $5,000 and $10,000, considering machine shop work and removing the engine. I know, because I had to do that 20 years ago, and it was $4,500 then. So much for that misinformation.

Or use a lead substitute that is a pollutant. Imagine an engine failure as a takeoff is happening. Whose house will they crash into? This is a residential area, all built out, and families live with daily dangerous low flights from the so-called good neighbors. The disruption of daily living by the noise.

This further imperils the aquifer, and when the water becomes another Hoosic Falls, we can post blinking billboards: “Don’t Drink The Water.” A disaster in the making. Just because some self-centered “Red Baron” wannabes feel they can continue to pollute and endanger families with their intentionally low altitudes.

Re-imagine this, since we own the land and get no use of it. The economic impact is near zero, mentioned in all the findings. Turn it into open space for use by the real owners.

Airports do not belong in residential areas. Close the damn thing and go fly out of the big commercial airport to the west.

Arthur J. French