Citing concern for the environment in the neighborhoods directly surrounding Logan Airport, Margaret Farmer, Candidate for Boston City Council, has called on Massport to work with the City of Boston to fund, explore, and implement a number of solutions aimed at reducing pollution and increasing the quality of life for the community surrounding Logan Airport.
“As instances of asthma and COPD continue to increase in our neighborhoods it is important to measure benchmarks of the current environment. Massport needs to fund an independent source to produce a scientific, peer-reviewed environmental study to serve as a benchmark for air quality,” said Farmer. “We should know what’s going on in our environment, and this study could cover a broad range of data, such as ultra-fine particulate matter. Local community groups like AIR, Inc. have been asking for this for many years.”
Farmer also supports State Representative Adrian Madaro’s proposal for the installation of “Real Time” tracking devices around the airport and within East Boston to allow for the monitoring of noise and air pollution. “Making data like this available to the public allows for more transparency, and it’s an opportunity for others to look at the data and find innovative solutions for pollution reduction,” she added.
Another area Farmer sees an opportunity for Massport to work with the surrounding community is by funding the NOAH Tree Cover Project. This project, started by local East Boston students, aims to increase tree cover in East Boston from its current 15% to 30%, the average for the City. More trees will lead to less reflected heat and light on paved surfaces, increased water retention from rain, and more natural filtration of the air. “This is a great local initiative where Massport can look to increase trees in the neighborhood, especially since the airport runways reflect so much heat, and trees can’t be planted along them,” added Farmer.
Farmer also advocates for new technology “We are seeing exciting changes happening, in Denmark especially, where large air filters are being placed around airports to collect ultra-fine particulate matter and combat the amount of carbon monoxide in the air. As MASSPORT is planning to build a garage with 5,000 additional parking spaces in the community, this is something we should consider.”
Margaret Farmer is currently running to represent District 1 in the Boston City Council. District 1 includes East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End. You can read more about her positions on Massport and other issues at http://margaretfarmerforboston.org.