Environmental Impact Study
OSU is currently conducting an "Environmental Assessment" (EA). This
is a relatively small scale study, usually used in situations where
there will clearly be no or little impact, such as expanding an
airport in a remote area.
An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is a complete study that addresses
all of the potential impacts that changes at an airport may
have on a surrounding community.
Why do an EIS?
- OSU has stated they will do more than the minimum required by the
FAA. Yet the EA is the minimum, and they have done the minimum
for compliance every step of the way.
- Aviation experts, and even laypeople from the community, have
found significant flaws in the data, methodologies, and assumptions
from the current studies.
A full study will not cost OSU much money. 90% of it would be paid
for by the FAA, and a large portion of the balance might be paid for
by other organizations. We believe the current studies do not draw a
complete picture because of a lack of funding. For example, one of
OSU's consultants said historic Worthington was not considered because
they did not have the money to "go out that far."
- Expansion will likely negatively impact educational activities, yet
the current studies have not considered this. If airport expansion is
only for educational purposes, the University would certainly wish to
take the time to fully understand how expansion will impact education.
- Many parts of the EIS will have to be conducted in the future
anyway. For example, if the airport wishes to add a new light landing
system, the will need to conduct a second Environmental Assessment.
If an EIS is done now, the lights can be installed without the
- The FAA has met with the University to help them correct their
studies. It is the duty of the airport sponsor to conduct the study,
and then allow the FAA to review them. These meetings seem to be an
inherent conflict of interest and put in question any FAA findings.
- A good neighbor would go to every effort to make sure their plans
do not unduly interfere with the quality of life in the neighborhood.
OSU has clearly not done this.
Who else thinks OSU should perform more study?
- Worthington City Council passed a resolution asking OSU to perform an EIS.
- The Village of Riverlea also passed a resolution asking OSU to perform an EIS.
- Worthington's Aviation Consultants have studied the draft EA and found that if it were done properly, the FAA would require them to perform an EIS.
- Franklin County Commissioners Paula Brooks and Mary Jo Kilroy have publicly stated they believe more study should be done and an EIS should be performed.
- Ohio House of Representatives members Linda Reidelbach and Jim Hughes both support more study and an EIS. Both Reidelbach and Hughes have written letters formally making this request.
- The issue is up for a vote in many more local organizations in the
coming months, and many are expected to also ask OSU to perform more
Why didn't OSU perform an EIS to begin with?
Of course we do not know the answer, but we can make reasonable
It comes down to money. A full EIS takes two or more years. Each
year that expansion is delayed, neighboring airports have more
opportunity to gain a larger share of the lucrative corporate jet
travel business. Performing only the EA is a shortcut to government
compliance and a quick dollar.
Looking at the facts, the only reasonable explanation for expanding
the airport is to attract corporate business. There may be demand,
but it is not within the mission of an academic institution to cater
to the needs of the business community.