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New Noise Law Variance Given Burbank Airport

TIMES STAFF WRITER

State officials have granted Burbank Airport another three-year variance, a permit which allows it to continue operations despite failing to meet state noise limits, airport officials said Thursday.

The state noise law was adopted in the 1970s as an “ideal” standard for airport noise, but virtually no commercial airports can meet its conditions and all require variances to continue operating, said Victor Gill, a Burbank Airport spokesman.

The variance was issued after Administrative Law Judge Richard J. Lopez concluded in a mid-November order that the airport had attempted to reduce the impact of noise on surrounding neighborhoods, Gill said.

The state Department of Transportation adopted the order Dec. 22, and it will take effect January 21, 1994, Gill said.

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Gill said the variance was issued by the judge after the suburban airport complied with the findings of a federally funded study begun in 1988 that helped the airport acquire $6 million in federal grants for noise insulation projects at two nearby elementary schools.

Work is nearly completed on a $3.8-million insulation project at Luther Burbank Middle School. A similar $2.5-million project at Glenwood Elementary School, which is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is scheduled to begin next spring, Gill said.

Lopez also ruled that airport officials had worked with “various interested parties” to reduce noise. Lopez rejected an argument from Los Angeles city officials that the public nuisance created by airport-related noise outweighs the public good, Gill said.

The variance also does not include two conditions sought by Los Angeles city officials and a coalition of homeowner groups that would have required the airport to change takeoff patterns as well as hire an outside firm to conduct an “independent analysis of noise monitor locations.”

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In his ruling, Lopez ordered the airport to eliminate the noise area by the year 2000 and prepare by January, 1995, a program to accomplish such a goal.


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