HR 6038 Aviation-Impacted Communities Act (2020 version)

Discussion:

An earlier version of this bill was introduced into the 115th Congress as HR6168

Summary:

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 6038 Introduced in House (IH)]

116th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6038

To require the Federal Aviation Administration to provide funding for
noise mitigation, and for other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 28, 2020

Mr. Smith of Washington (for himself, Mr. Khanna, Ms. Jayapal, Mr.
Gomez, Ms. Norton, Mr. Rouda, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mrs. Torres of
California, Mr. Kennedy, Ms. Meng, Ms. Tlaib, Mr. Beyer, Mr. Case, and
Ms. Schakowsky) introduced the following bill; which was referred to
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

A BILL

To require the Federal Aviation Administration to provide funding for
noise mitigation, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Aviation-Impacted Communities Act”.

SEC. 2. NOISE MITIGATION FOR VERTICAL FENCELINE COMMUNITIES.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, aviation-impacted
communities that are not currently within the 65 DNL standard as
measured by the Federal Aviation Administration shall be eligible for
the Airport Improvement Program noise mitigation program funds and for
grants under section 7, and shall also be granted status under section
5 to establish community boards to address airport noise in their
communities.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES STUDY, FRAMEWORK, AND DIAGNOSTIC
TOOL.

(a) In General.–The Administrator shall enter into a contract with
the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study that–
(1) summarizes the relevant literature and studies done on
aviation impacts worldwide;
(2) focuses on large hub commercial airports and
surrounding communities, including communities currently
outside of the 65 DNL contour in–
(A) King County, WA;
(B) Boston;
(C) Chicago;
(D) New York City;
(E) the Northern California Metroplex;
(F) Phoenix;
(G) the Southern California Metroplex;
(H) the District of Columbia;
(I) Atlanta; and
(J) any other metropolitan large hub airport
identified by the Administrator.
(b) Contents.–The study described in subsection (a) shall
examine–
(1) the collection and consolidation of quantifiable,
observational, experiential, anecdotal, or other data from–
(A) the Federal Aviation Administration;
(B) airport operators;
(C) valid acoustic instrumentation on the ground;
(D) testimonials and other evidence from community
members; and
(E) organizations in the community;
(2) the Day-Night Average Sound Level, using measured data
or modeled data (or other noise metrics, as applicable);
(3) any other existing or supplemental noise metrics from
data collected by noise monitor stations;
(4) emissions generated by individual and cumulative
takeoffs and landings, including emissions that impact the
ground level;
(5) lateral trajectory and altitude of flight paths as
demonstrated by actual and comprehensive radar flight track
data in addition to published routes;
(6) how aviation impacts communities surrounded by multiple
airports;
(7) how aviation impacts communities with unique geography,
including communities situated at higher elevation or near
large bodies of water;
(8) any other data requested by the impacted community in
order to give a comprehensive understanding of the impacts on
such community, including comparative data for equity analysis;
(9) recommendations on actions or mitigation that can be
taken to alleviate–
(A) concerns raised during community outreach; and
(B) effects that are determined in the study; and
(10) any other data or information determined to be
relevant by the National Academies in analyzing aviation
impacts.
(c) Framework and Diagnostic Tool.–
(1) In general.–Using findings from the study, the
National Academy of Sciences shall provide the FAA with a
framework and diagnostic tool for–
(A) conducting appropriate community assessments
upon request of community boards (including as
described in section 5(f));
(B) measuring the impact on communities of–
(i) high frequency of overhead flights;
(ii) an increase or change in flight
operations due to adoption of new flight
procedures;
(iii) high frequency or an increase in
night time aircraft noise; and
(iv) decreased dispersion of flight path
utilization; and
(C) developing a scientifically based strategy for
evaluating structures subject to increases described in
subparagraph (A)(ii) that should be eligible for noise
mitigation.
(2) Requirement.–In developing the framework and
diagnostic tool under paragraph (1), the National Academy of
Sciences shall–
(A) seek appropriate community input and feedback
from community boards as well as open community
meetings; and
(B) ensure, to the extent practicable, that such
framework and diagnostic tool is understandable to, and
useable by, the community boards and the general
public.

SEC. 4. DESIGNATING OF COMMUNITIES.

(a) Outreach.–
(1) In general.–Not later than 90 days after the date of
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall conduct outreach
to State, regional, and local elected officials of aviation-
impacted communities to inform them of the opportunity to be a
designated community.
(2) Requirements.–The outreach described in paragraph (1)
shall–
(A) be conducted in local print and electronic
media (including social media, local foreign language
media, ethnic radio, newspapers, and television); and
(B) reflect languages regularly encountered in the
aviation-impacted community in any signs, materials,
and multimedia resources.
(b) Request.–The State, regional, or local elected officials (or
designee thereof) of an aviation impacted community may request to be a
designated community, and the Administrator shall–
(1) recognize such community as a designated community upon
request; and
(2) acknowledge each community requesting designation on
the website of the Federal Aviation Administration.
(c) Portions of Community.–The State or local elected officials
(or designee thereof) of a designated community, representatives, or a
group of representatives chosen by a community, shall select the
portions or the entirety of such community considered aviation-
impacted, including designating the community as a whole should such
community so choose.

SEC. 5. COMMUNITY BOARDS.

(a) In General.–Not later than 6 months after the date on which an
aviation-impacted community becomes a designated community pursuant to
section 4, such designated community shall–
(1) select a community board comprised of individuals that
equally represent–
(A) State, regional, or local elected officials or
city managers (or designees thereof);
(B) local airport operators;
(C) impacted community residents; and
(D) the public health and environment;
(2) in the case where such designated community decides to
maintain an existing group of primarily elected local officials
that has previously been constituted for purposes of working on
aviation-related issues, designate such existing group as a
community board pursuant to this section, so long as–
(A) affected community members who are not airport
employees or elected officials have representation on
the board; and
(B) health and environmental representatives are
added as needed.
(b) Meetings.–A community board shall meet at times and places
chosen by the members of such board.
(c) Purposes.–The purpose of a community board is to provide
information to airport operators and the Federal Aviation
Administration concerning aviation impacts.
(d) Collaboration.–The Administrator shall–
(1) designate an FAA designee; and
(2) ensure that representatives of and, when appropriate
and upon request of a community board, relevant experts from
the Federal Aviation Administration participate in meetings of
a community board.
(e) Community Reports.–
(1) In general.–A community board may draft a community
report detailing the community’s concerns and issues related to
aviation impacts.
(2) Contents.–A community report may be comprised of, or
include, community information, documents, or locally conducted
assessments.
(f) Community Assessments.–
(1) In general.–A community board may petition the
Administrator to conduct a community assessment, which shall be
conducted based on the framework and diagnostic tool
established by the National Academy of Sciences under section 3
and the community reports described in subsection (e).
(2) Limitation.–A community board may petition the
Administrator to conduct not more than 1 community assessment
under paragraph (1) every 3 years.
(3) Exception.–Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a community
board may petition the Administrator to conduct an additional
community assessment during the 3-year period described in
paragraph (2) if–
(A) a study described in part 150 of title 14, Code
of Federal Regulations, is commissioned by an airport
with flight paths that affect the community represented
by the community board; or
(B) if airport operations increase substantially
above of projected increases.
(g) Instrumentation.–Upon request of a community board, the
Administrator shall provide additional noise measurement
instrumentation to measure aircraft noise.
(h) Collaboration.–The Administrator and each community board that
petitions for a community assessment shall collaborate on the scope of
such community assessment.
(i) Regional Assessment.–Upon the request and approval of not less
than 2 community boards located in the same region, the FAA may conduct
a regional assessment based on the framework and diagnostic tool
established by the National Academy of Sciences under section 3.
(j) Accessible Format.–The Administrator shall ensure the
community assessment is culturally and linguistically accessible given
the needs or requests of the community.

SEC. 6. ACTION PLANS.

(a) In General.–Not later than 6 months after the date of
completion of a community assessment described in section 5(f), the
Administrator shall, in collaboration with community boards, devise an
action plan that seeks to alleviate or address the concerns raised in
such community reports or such community assessments.
(b) Content.–An action plan shall–
(1) include a long-term regional plan that focuses on
reducing and minimizing aviation impacts for the designated
community or communities, including sound insulation or other
noise mitigation infrastructure, air filtration systems, and
changes in flight paths or procedures; and
(2) require the appropriate district office of the Federal
Aviation Administration and air traffic control facility to
consider the implementation of changes to flight operations,
flight paths, and vertical guidance if the community assessment
described in section 5(f) indicates that such changes would
decrease the impacts on the designated community, including
examining the population density in the communities described
in such report and assessment in considering such
implementation.
(c) Implementation.–In implementing the action plan, the
Administrator will consider the implementation of changes to flight
operations, flight paths, and vertical guidance if the community
assessment described in section 5(f) indicates that such changes would
decrease the impacts of flights on a designated community (or
communities).
(d) Statement Concerning Certain Changes.–If the Administrator
determines that changes to operations, flight paths, and vertical
guidance that a community study indicated would decrease the effects on
the designated community would not be effective in decreasing community
impacts, the Administrator shall explain the rationale for this
determination in the action plan.
(e) Appeals Process.–
(1) In general.–The Administrator shall establish an
appeals process, through which a community board may appeal the
determination by the Federal Aviation Administration not to
implement a change under subsection (c) to an independent panel
comprised equally of independent public health experts,
environmental experts, and aviation experts.
(2) Recommendations.–In carrying out paragraph (1), the
Administrator shall seek recommendations from the National
Academy of Sciences for panel experts described in such
paragraph.
(3) Requirement to convene.–An independent panel convened
pursuant to paragraph (1) shall convene not later than 6 months
after the receipt of an appeal pursuant to such paragraph and
shall respond to such appeal not later than 3 months after the
date on which such panel convenes.
(f) Dissemination.–The panel described in subsection (e)(1) shall
submit any findings for an appeal described in such subsection–
(1) to the public in a culturally and linguistically
appropriate fashion given the needs or requests of the
community at issue;
(2) to the offices of the Members of Congress and Senators
representing the community at issue;
(3) to the relevant committees of the House of
Representatives and the Senate; and
(4) upon request, to appropriate State, regional, and local
elected officials.

SEC. 7. MITIGATION FUNDING.

(a) In General.–Not later than 180 days after the release of an
action plan pursuant to section 3, the Administrator shall make grants
for necessary noise mitigation in a designated community for–
(1) residences;
(2) hospitals;
(3) nursing homes and adult or child day care centers;
(4) schools;
(5) places of worship; and
(6) other impacted facilities indicated by a community
assessment under section 5(f).
(b) Standards.–Using the framework and diagnostic tool developed
by the National Academy of Sciences under section 3, the Administrator
shall develop standards to determine which of the structures in
designated communities described in subsection (a) are eligible for
mitigation funding.
(c) Mitigation Defined.–In this section, the term “noise
mitigation” means any form of mitigation that reduces the noise burden
for communities, including–
(1) sound insulation of structures;
(2) construction of noise barriers or acoustic shielding to
mitigate ground-level noise; and
(3) other mitigation as indicated by a community assessment
under section 5(f) or an action plan under section 6 using the
diagnostic tool developed by the National Academy of Sciences
under section 3.
(d) Sound Insulation for Communities Subject to High Flight
Frequency.–
(1) In general.–Using the framework and diagnostic tool
developed by the National Academy of Sciences under section 3,
in carrying out an action plan described in section 6, the
Administrator shall develop standards for determining which
communities are subject to significant frequency of overhead
flights, which shall be eligible for noise mitigation funding.
(2) Noise mitigation.–In carrying out an action plan
described in section 6, the Administrator and airport operators
shall provide grants for noise mitigation for aviation-impacted
communities that are subjected to a high frequency of flight
operations or from the adoption of new flight procedures (as
determined by the Administrator through the use of the
framework and diagnostic tool developed by the National Academy
of Sciences under section 3).
(e) Sound Insulation for Residences Impacted by Significant Night
Time Aircraft Noise.–In carrying out an action plan described in
section 6, the Administrator and airport operators shall provide noise
mitigation for a neighborhood within a 55 or higher DNL contour (or a
community that has quality-assured noise measurement data that
demonstrate 55 DNL impacts occurring outside the model contour of the
aviation environmental design tool of the FAA) in which an airport
operator or the Administrator determines, through the use of the
framework and diagnostic tool developed by the National Academy of
Sciences under section 3, that significant numbers of flight operations
are conducted between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

(a) In General.–There is authorized to be appropriated out of the
Airport and Airway Trust Fund (established under section 9502 of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986) to carry out this Act–
(1) a total of $750,000,000 for fiscal years 2021 through
2030; and
(2) such sums as necessary, but not to exceed 0.25 percent
of the annual change in uncommitted balance of such Trust Fund
in a fiscal year, for fiscal years after fiscal year 2030.
(b) Use of Funds.–Of any amounts appropriated for a fiscal year to
carry out this Act, the Administrator shall use such funds–
(1) to make grants under section 7;
(2) in an amount of not more than 5 percent, to support FAA
expenditures required for the administration this Act; and
(3) any amounts not expended under paragraphs (1) or (2),
to make grants described in section 47117(e)(1)(A) of title 49,
United States Code.

SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:
(1) Administrator.–The term “Administrator” means the
Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
(2) Aircraft operation.–The term “aircraft operation”
means a landing or take-off of an aircraft flight.
(3) Aviation-impacted community.–The term “aviation-
impacted community” means a community that is located not
greater than 1 mile from any point at which a commercial or
cargo jet route is 3,000 feet or less above ground level.
(4) Commercial or cargo jet route.–The term “commercial
or cargo jet route” means a route that is departing or
arriving at a large hub or metroplex airport, as such terms are
defined by the Administrator.
(5) Community.–The term “community” means any
residential neighborhood, locality, municipality, town, or
city.
(6) Designated community.–The term “designated
community” means an aviation- impacted community that has
chosen to be designated pursuant to section 4.
(7) FAA.–The term “FAA” means the Federal Aviation
Administration.
(8) FAA designee.–The term “FAA Designee” means a
community engagement manager or Regional Ombudsman (as
described in section 180 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of
2018) that–
(A) works with each community board;
(B) engages in meaningful, solution-driven dialogue
with the community board; and
(C) serves as the liaison between the FAA and the
community board.
(9) Impact.–The term “impact” means noise, air pollution
emissions, or any other aviation-related impact identified by a
community coming from an aircraft and that is affecting a
community or its residents.
(10) Route.–The term “route” includes both the lateral
trajectory and altitude of flight paths as demonstrated by
actual and comprehensive radar flight track data in addition to
published routes.