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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT,
Mr. WILLIAM D. RUCKELSHAUS,
DEAR MR. RUCKELSHAUS: This is in response to the request for comment on the bill proposing the Noise Control Act of 1971 and the draft 102(2)C Environmental Statement, dated January 22, 1971, which accompanies this bill.
This Department interposes no objection to the environmental impact of this bill which we find reasonable as a first step in developing a coordinated national approach to noise control.
As an editorial refinement for focus and scope, we would extend the title of Section 4 of the bill by adding the words "and policies" to the title. We would also insert the words "and policies" after "programs" in both sentences in Section 4(a). We would avoid the false inference that has been drawn from existing language to the effect that this is primarily a research program by omitting the words "noise research and" in both sentences of 4(a) and adding the words "including supporting research" at the end of both sentences. The draft environmental statement should be adjusted accordingly.
CHARLES J. ORLEBEKE,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION,
Mr. TIMOTHY ATKESON,
DEAR MR. ATKESON: As requested by your letter of January 28, 1971, we have reviewed the draft environmental impact statements for proposed legislation in the areas of ocean dumping, noise control and water pollution control. We have not yet received the impact statement on the National Land Use Policy bill.
We have had an opportunity to review previously the proposed ocean dumping legislation. The impact statement is consistent with the bill, and we have no comments on it.
The proposed water pollution legislation appears to have few transportation implications, and we have no comments on those environmental impact statements. We would, however, call your attention to the comments which the Department has sent to OMB on the "Enforcement" and "Phosphate Control" legislation under date of February 4, 1971.
We have several comments on the impact statement for the proposed Noise Control Act of 1971. These comments parallel, to some extent, our views on the legislation itself, as transmitted to OMB on January 29, 1971. Our comments on the legislation were intended to strengthen the proposed act, particularly insofar as the abatement of transportation generated and transmitted noise is concerned. If OMB revises the proposed act per the Department's suggested changes and comments, the subject impact statement should be revised accordingly.
If the proposed act is not changed as suggested by the Department, the following comments pertain to the "Analysis of Environmental Implications" section of the statement:
Par. 1(c): This paragraph is too general. It presents an oversimplified picture of the environment in the noise area. The use of the phrase "as quiet in use as technology will permit" is misleading and tells only one part of an extremely complicated problem. Economic, social, political and jurisdictional considerations are not mentioned. The second sentence should be revised to read "By means of this authority, EPA would be able to ensure that noise reduction is considered along with all other parameters in the design and manufacture of such products, and that they will be as quiet as technological, economic and other constraints will permit."
Par. 3: This paragraph is inconsistent. The Federal Government has assumed the dominant role for noise (preempted for aircraft) in three areas:
(a) P.L. 90-411: Standards for measurement and evaluation, and for control of aircraft noise and sonic boom.
(b) P.L. 91-605, Section 136: Standards for highway noise levels.
(c) Title 41 CFR, Part 50-204.10: Standards for occupational noise levels.
This dominance should be noted and the reasons for altering it presented in this paragraph on alternatives.
Another point, Section 11. (c) of the proposed act, states that the Administrator of EPA shall not approve an airport development project without certifying that "... the design and operation of the airport development will be consistent with the protection of the surrounding area from noise that adversely affects human health or welfare." This essentially places the responsibility for the "ambient level" of airport environs on EPA, since aircraft noise is predominantly the highest of any type of noise around airports. It therefore follows that the Federal Government is regulating, in effect, the "levels of perceived noise in areas where such levels are undesirably high." The impact statement says that the Federal assumption of this local responsibility is not warranted. The impact statement is not consistent with the proposed act, and should be changed.
As noted earlier (see items 3.a. and 3.b.), the Federal Government is taking effective action to control and abate noise along the routes of major transportation lines, and the impact statement should not state nor imply otherwise.
We appreciate the opportunity to comment on these draft statements, and we look forward to reviewing the draft statement on National Land Use Policy when it becomes available.
Acting Assistant Secretary for
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED
In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
SECTION 611 OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ACT OF 1958
CONTROL AND ABATEMENT OF AIRCRAFT NOISE AND SONIC BOOM
[SEC. 611. (a) In order to afford present and future relief and protection to the public from unnecessary aircraft noise and sonic boom, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, shall prescribe and amend standards for the measurement of aircraft noise and sonic boom and shall prescribe and amend such rules and regulations as he may find necessary to provide for the control and abatement of aircraft noise and sonic boom, including the application of such standards, rules, and regulations in the issuance, amendment, modification, suspension, or revocation of any certificate authorized by this title.]
SEC. 611. (a) For purposes of this section:
(1) The term "FAA" means Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
(2) The term "EPA" means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
(b) (1) In order to afford present and future relief and protection to the public from unnecessary aircraft noise and sonic boom, the FAA, after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation and with EPA, shall prescribe and amend standards for the measurement of aircraft noise and sonic boom and shall prescribe and amend such regulations as the FAA may find necessary to provide for the control and abatement of aircraft noise and sonic boom, including the application of such standards and regulations in the issuance, amendment, modification, suspension, or revocation of any certificate authorized by this title. No exemption with respect to any standard or regulation under this section may be granted under any provision of this Act unless the FAA shall have consulted with EPA before such exemption is granted, except that if the FAA determines that aviation safety requires that such an exemption be granted before EPA can be consulted, the FAA shall consult with EPA as soon as practicable after the exemption is granted.
(2) The FAA shall not issue on original type certificate under section 603 (a) of this Act for any aircraft for which substantial noise abatement can be achieved by prescribing standards and regulations in accordance with this section, unless he shall have prescribed standards and regulations in accordance with this section which apply to such aircraft and which protect the public from aircraft noise and sonic boom, consistent with the considerations listed in subsection (d).
(c) (1) If any time EPA has reason to believe that
(A) a standard or regulation (or any proposed standard or regulation) under this section, or any exemption, granted under any provision of this Act, with respect to such a standard or regulation, or
(B) the action of the FAA in issuing an original type certificate for an aircraft for which standards and regulations described in subsection (b)(2) have not been prescribed,
does not protect the public from aircraft noise or sonic boom consistent with the considerations listed in subsection (d) of this section EPA shall consult with the FAA and may request the FAA to review, and report to EPA on, the advisability of such action or of revising such standard, regulation, or exemption, as the case may be. Any such request may be published in the Federal Register and shall include a detailed statement
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of the information on which it is based. The FAA shall complete the review requested and shall report to EPA within such time as EPA specifies in the request, but such time specified may not be less than 90 days from the date the request was made. The FAA's report shall be accompanied by a detailed statement of the FAA's findings and the reasons for the FAA's conclusions; shall identify any statement filed pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 with respect to such action or standard or regulation (or exemption therefrom); and shall specify whether (and where) such statement is available for public inspection. The FAA's report shall be published in the Federal Register, except in a case in which EPA's request proposed specific action to be taken by the FAA, and the FAA's report indicates such action will be taken.
(2) If, in the case of a matter described in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection with respect to which no statement is required to be filed under such section 102(2)(C), the report of the FAA indicates that the revision (if any) proposed by EPA should not be made, then EPA may request the FAA to file a supplemental report, which shall be published in the Federal Register within such time as EPA may specify (but such time specified shall not be less than 90 days from the date the request was made), and which shall contain a comparison of (A) the environmental effects (including those which cannot be avoided) of the existing (or proposed)_standard ・or regulation of the FAA (or exemption therefrom) and (B) EPA's proposed revision.
(3) If, in the case of an action of the FAA described in paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection with respect to which no statement is required to be filed under such section 102(2)(C), the report of the FAA states that issuance of an original type certificate should not be preceded by issuance of a noise standard and regulation, the FAA shall, upon request of EPA, file a statement (of the type described in such section 102(2)(C)) with respect to the issuance of such certificate. The requirements of such section 102(2)(C) relating to consultation, obtaining comments, and the availability of statements made pursuant to such section shall apply to any statement filed under the preceding sentence.
[(b)] (d) In prescribing and amending standards [, rules,] and regulations under this section, the [Administrator] FAA shall
(1) consider relevant available data relating to aircraft noise and sonic boom, including the results of research, development, testing, and evaluation activities conducted pursuant to this Act and the Department of Transportation Act;]
(2) consult with such Federal, State, and interstate agencies as he deems appropriate;
(3) consider whether any proposed standard [, rule,] or regulation is consistent with the highest degree of safety in air commerce or air transportation in the public interest;
(4) consider whether any proposed standard [, rule,] or regulation is economically reasonable, technologically practicable, and appropriate for the particular type of aircraft, aircraft engine, appliance, or certificate to which it will apply; and
(5) consider the extent to which such standard [, rule,] or regulation will contribute to carrying out the purposes of this section.
[(c)] (e) In any action to amend, modify, suspend, or revoke a certificate in which violation of aircraft noise or sonic boom standards [, rules,] or regulations is at issue, the certificate holder shall have the same notice and appeal rights as are contained in section 609, and in any appeal to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Board may amend, modify, or reverse the order of the [Administrator] FAA if it finds that control or abatement of aircraft noise or sonic boom and the public interest do not require the affirmation of such order, or that such order is not consistent with safety in air commerce or air transportation.
For the information of the Members, section 1905 of Title 18, U.S.C., is set forth below:
SECTION 1905 OF TITLE 18, U.S.C.
§1905. Disclosure of confidential information generally.
Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, publishes, divulges, discloses, or makes known in any manner or to any extent not authorized by law any information coming to him in the course of his employment or official duties or by reason of any examniation or investigation made by, or return, report or record made to or filed with, such department or agency or officer or employee thereof, which information concerns or relates to the trade secrets, processes, operations, style of work, or apparatus, or to the identity, confidential statistical data, amount or source of any income, profits, losses, or expenditures of any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or association; or permits any income return or copy thereof or any book containing any abstract or particulars thereof to be seen or examined by any person except as provided by law; shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and shall be removed from office or employment.