> > > > > 2012 Hanscom Field Environmental Status and Planning Report in Bedford, Massachusetts

Project Experience: Hanscom Field Environmental Status and Planning Report, Massachusetts

The Challenge

HMMH recently completed the 2012 Hanscom Field Environmental Status and Planning Report (ESPR) for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport).  The ESPR was prepared in compliance with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).

The 2012 ESPR compares current environmental conditions at Hanscom Field with historical data from the 2000 and 2005 ESPRs.  Additionally, the 2012 ESPR presents future scenarios for evaluating potential cumulative environmental effects based on forecast conditions of airport activity levels for 2020 and 2030.  The ESPR is a planning tool for assessing and reviewing changes at Hanscom Field and its environs over time.

The Strategy

Two of the most important environmental issues addressed in the ESPR are noise and air quality.  For both topics, HMMH worked with Massport to collect baseline aircraft operations data for 2012 and forecasted operations for the planning years of 2020 and 2030.  HMMH then modeled noise (using INM 7.0c) and air quality (using EDMS v5.1.4.1) to generate noise contours and predict emissions levels for criteria air pollutants.  These data could then be compared to past levels (e.g., 2000 and 2005) to show trends in actual emissions as well as to compare past and future levels.  The air quality study also used MOBILE6.2 to evaluate emissions from ground traffic.

The Solution

The analysis showed that noise levels from aircraft decreased between 2005 and 2012 primarily due to a reduced aircraft operations and technological advances toward quieter aircraft.  It was also demonstrated that changes in touch-and-go patterns have decreased noise over Minute Man National Park by 22% since 2009.  The results also showed that air quality has improved significantly in the region due to more stringent regulations on a variety of emission sources.  The project was formally completed when the Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs approved the report under MEPA in a Certificate issued on March 21, 2014.

Click here to view the report.