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woose.org: News - Summary of November 18, 2004 MORPC Meeting

Summary of November 18, 2004 MORPC Meeting
Posted Thu Nov 18, 2004 5:53 pm EST

OSU and the City of Worthington presented their sides of the Don Scott
Field expansion issue at today's meeting of the Mid-Ohio Regional
Planning Committee.

Bud Baeslack of OSU spoke briefly of the purpose and need and what the
expansion would include. He reviewed the preliminary Environmental
Assessment (EA) results. He emphasized the preliminary nature of
these results, and that changes may force them to do a full
Environmental Impact Study (EIS). They are focusing on lower flight
profiles that should have been originally included, as well as the mix
of aircraft that are based at the airport, including the nosiest jets
that were not considered in the first study. He also spent a great
deal of time emphasizing the difference between an EA and an EIS. He
also ask that a decision be made based on the final EA, and not on the
preliminary drafts available now.

Baeslack revealed that the timeline has again changed. After
consultation with the FAA, they have decided to perform a second
draft of the Environmental Assessment which will then be open for
public review during the month of April. WOOSE.org has revised the
timeline at http://www.woose.org/timeline.html .

Bonnie Michael of Worthington next presented. She pointed out that
expansion is unnecessary for OSU to meet its mission. She also
discussed the differences between an EA and an EIS, in that the EIS is
a much more detailed document. She reiterated three major flaws with
the EA. She pointed out OSU has mentioned community support in their
presentations, but regularly fails to mention the overwhelming
community opposition. She also presented a letter from representative
Linda Reidelback asking that an EIS be completed.

She concluded by pointing out that OSU could request to do an EIS, and
asked MORPC to consider passing a resolution requesting a full EIS
before the EA enters the public comment period.

Slides of both presentations will be made available at
http://www.woose.org/documents/ once we receive them.

Mary Jo Cusak of Riverlea gave a short presentation. She pointed out
OSU has still failed to comply with several outstanding Freedom of
Information Act requests. She circulated a copy of a resolution
passed by Riverlea requesting an EIS be completed.
She also disputes OSU's claim that they "continue" to work with the
community, citing 20 years Riverlea has tried, unsuccessfully, to work
with OSU to mitigate existing noise issues.

The issue was then opened for discussion. The consensus was that it
was unnecessary to vote on a resolution immediately, especially in
light of OSU's extended schedule. Micheal Cope of MORPC summed up the
feeling of many concisely. He made clear to OSU that regardless of
whether and EA or EIS is performed, there is a problem now that have
many in the community livid. He criticized OSU for their
"cookie-cutter" EA, saying that OSU has "an obligation to do better
for the community."

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