Crowley, Ackerman Meet with Transportation Secretary to Highlight Potential Danger to Queens Community, Flying Public by Proposed Garbage Tower at LGA

June 17, 2009
Press Release

**** Click here for video of Congressman Crowley speaking in support of the amendment on the House floor ****

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressmen Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) and Gary Ackerman (D-Queens, Long Island) met with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood late yesterday regarding the looming construction of a Marine Transfer Station (MTS) at the foot of a runway at La Guardia Airport (LGA) in Queens.  Last month, Congressman Crowley and Congressman Ackerman jointly called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reexamine the danger to the Queens community caused by the construction of an MTS at LGA through an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act.

"It is ironic that LaGuardia is both the site of a recent near-tragedy caused by a bird-strike and now it is on track to become the only airport in the country with a garbage dump at the foot of one of its runways," said Congressman Crowley.  "A 100 foot garbage tower at the end of a La Guardia runway is more than just an invitation for birds – it is an invitation for disaster.  Officials have failed to recognize the very real threat bird strikes continue to pose at La Guardia Airport by allowing this project to move forward.  Congressman Ackerman and I met with Secretary LaHood about this critical issue to highlight the grave danger to millions traveling through La Guardia Airport as well as Queens residents in nearby neighborhoods.  Congressman Ackerman and I will continue to fight for the safety of our constituents and the millions of travelers at La Guardia Airport each year."

“We are pleased that the secretary met with us, and is considering our concerns,” said Congressman Ackerman. “We continue to question the wisdom of the Sanitation Department’s insistence on placing this 100-foot tall garbage facility directly opposite one of the world’s busiest runways."

Passed by the U.S. House last month as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act, the Ackerman-Crowley amendment calls on the Agency to reconsider their approval of the project and take into account the potential hazard to the surrounding community by the increased threat of bird strikes caused by the hundred-foot garbage pile.