Public Participation

by Mary Ellen Eagan
Last night I participated in a public workshop on the TF Green Airport Expansion EIS.  See coverage herehere, and here.
Hundreds of local residents attend the Federal Aviation Administration's public meeting on the proposed runway expansion at Green Airport, at the Crown Plaza, in Warwick, Wednesday.  The Providence Journal / Ruben W. Perez

Hundreds of local residents attend the Federal Aviation Administration's public meeting on the proposed runway expansion at Green Airport, at the Crown Plaza, in Warwick, Wednesday. The Providence Journal / Ruben W. Perez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An estimated 400 people turned out, mostly to find out if their homes are eligible for mitigation (acquisition or sound insulation) as a result of a proposed runway extension at the airport.  These folks have been waiting for a very long time for this environmental process to conclude.  Imagine, if you can, holding off on routine home repairs (new roof, replacement windows) for 10 or more years while FAA sorts out which of a zillion alternatives it will finally choose to build.  Or maybe not.

I am always astounded by how polite and grateful folks are to get information; at the end of the day, most people are just looking for honest, straightforward answers to their questions.  And it’s our job to provide them.  I am often equally astounded by callous indifference on the part of the bureaucrats and/or consultants sharing the information – just another public meeting in another city.  I was proud last night to feel as though everyone on our large team took our jobs seriously, provided thoughtful and sincere answers, and respected the perspectives and feelings of the folks living with the impacts of the airport and its possible future.

Many people thanked me.  That’s the kind of job satisfaction I work for.

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