A view of I-5 and I-90 from Dr. José Rizal Park in Beacon Hill • Photo by Chetanya Robinson

El Centro de la Raza and the EPA recently  shared information on air and noise pollution health impacts in 24 meetings and asked the community for their input. Some 467 people who live, work, play and/or pray in Beacon Hill attended the meetings and gave 282 suggestions.  El Centro de la Raza is inviting the public to the launch of the Community Action Plan to address air and noise pollution health impacts in Beacon Hill.

The event is free, but people are requested to RSVP for food planning and child care purposes here  or call 206 293 2951.

What: Beacon Hill Air & Noise Pollution Community Action Plan Meeting

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017, 2 to 4 pm.

Where: Centilia Cultural Center, 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, WA 98144

Website: http://www.elcentrodelaraza.org/ejbeaconhillseattle/

Who: El Centro de la Raza and the EPA

Contact person: Maria Batayola, Project Coordinator for Implementation, [email protected]. Phone: 206 293 2951


The following is a statement from the Environmental Justice, Beacon Hill project:

The El Centro and EPA collaboration project is launching the Beacon Hill Air and Noise Pollution Health Community Action Plan (CAP) on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm at Centilia Cultural Center at 1660 S. Roberto Maestas Festival Street in Seattle.  All are invited.

Through the years, Beacon Hill residents have been concerned air and noise pollution.  In particular, they organized from 2010 to 2012 to address Greener Skies that resulted in increasing airplanes flying over Beacon Hill.  This time 467 people who live, work, play and/or pray in Beacon Hill gave ideas to address air and noise pollution and health impacts in the CAP in the 24 community meetings held this summer.  The community meetings were at times dynamic, and mostly sobering.

“We had to conduct the meetings in 5 ethnic languages other than English. Our population is close to 80% people of color with 44.4% born outside the US and 30+% who don’t speak English well.  Without our multilingual teams, in particular our outreach coordinators – Cacima Lee for the Chinese community, Johan Rashid for the Somali community, Roger Rigor for the Filipino community, and Katherine Ly for the Vietnamese community, we would not have had an inclusive dialogue.” said Maria Batayola, project coordinator.

Air and noise pollution information was shared at the meetings.  Beacon Hill is surrounded by air and noise pollution vehicular sources such as I-90 (120,000 vehicles a day), I-5 (200,000 vehicles a day), Rainier Avenue and Dr. MLK Way and overhead from airplanes flying in and out of Sea-Tac Airport, King County International/Boeing Air Field.  

Also, the vehicular emission sources are likely to increase.  Currently, Seattle is #10 in traffic congestion in the USA and #20 in the world and more people are moving to Seattle.  The Port of Seattle has projected that Sea-Tac Airport’s 38 million passengers in 2014 will likely increase to 66 million in 2034; aircraft landings from 2012 to 2016 increased by 33%; and the 2017 to 2021 plan shows that international flights will double and cargo volume triple.  As it is, aircraft landing increased from 2012 to 2016 by 33%. Note that in 2016, 70-80% of 200,000 airplanes arriving at Sea-Tac flew over Beacon Hill at 3,000’, sometimes at 2,000’.  At one community meeting, the attendees clocked one airplane flying every 3 minutes.

The health impacts of air and noise pollution have been documented in many studies.  Air pollution can cause asthma attacks, reduced lung capacity, eyes/nose/throat/lungs irritation, heart disease, and cancer.  Noise pollution can cause heart disease, sleep disturbance, stress, general annoyance and, lower math and reading test scores for schools without noise insulation.  Many other factors in addition to air and noise pollution that can contribute to or worsen these health effects such as poverty rates, safety, lack of access to health care and social and behavioral influences such as smoking.

Erik Stanford, long time noise activist and co-chair of Quieter Skies Task Force SE Seattle said it best. “People get active in the summer when they get annoyed by air plane noise and every ten years when the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) gets authorized.”   Batayola thinks that Beacon Hill has a fighting chance.  The FAA is getting re-authorized this year, the community has spoken, there’s plenty of annoyance going around and organizational partners are stepping up.  

The Community Action Plan (CAP) will be launched on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm at Centilia Cultural Center at 1660 S. Roberto Maestas Festival Street in Seattle.  All are invited.

The El Centro and EPA collaborative problem solving project is guided by a Steering Committee.  Members include Asian Counseling & Referral Services, Got Green, Interim Community Development Association, International Community Health Services, Puget Sound Sage and Quieter Skies Task Force of SE Seattle.

To rsvp or obtain more information go to facebook EJ Beacon Hill Seattle, http://www.elcentrodelaraza.org/ejbeaconhillseattle/  or contact Maria Batayola at [email protected]

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