Tag Archives: Ban

Schiff, Feinstein, Boxer Introduce Bill to Regulate Helicopter Traffic over Neighborhoods

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced legislation today that would require the Federal Aviation Administration to provide Los Angeles County residents relief from the noise and safety concerns caused by low-flying helicopters above residential neighborhoods.

The Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act would establish regulations on flight paths and minimum altitudes for helicopter operations in Los Angeles County. Feinstein and Schiff hope that the legislation will prompt the FAA to act, and if passed, will require the agency to finally address numerous resident complaints. They were joined by other Los Angeles congressional colleagues, including Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).

“Los Angeles area residents living in Glendale, Pasadena, the Valley, the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood and other areas are especially affected by intrusive, disruptive and often non-emergency related helicopter traffic above their neighborhoods,” said Congressman Schiff. “The terrain of canyons around the Rose Bowl concentrates low-flying helicopter noise to high levels, and Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood residents frequently suffer from noise generated by celebrity news media that follow stars to the beach, the grocery store, or for court appearances. The residents in these areas deserve peace and quiet, and if the FAA won’t act, Congress must pass this legislation to give residents the relief they need.”

“LA County residents suffer from high levels of disruptive, low-flying helicopter traffic over their neighborhoods. This bill would address that problem by requiring the FAA to create regulations for how helicopters operate in the skies above Los Angeles,” said Senator Feinstein. “In addition to reducing noise, this bill would increase safety and minimize commercial aircraft delays while exempting first responders and military aircraft from its limitations. I look forward to working with Congressman Schiff and Senator Boxer to get this bill passed.

“This legislation will ensure that the FAA sets responsible guidelines that allow helicopters to continue to operate above Los Angeles while protecting residents from excessive noise associated with low-altitude flights,” said Senator Boxer.

“I hear complaints about helicopter noise from every part of the 33rd District—from Malibu to Brentwood to Benedict Canyon,” said Congressman Waxman. “FAA regulation of the thunderous helicopter traffic over LA is long overdue.  And if the FAA won’t act, Congress must.”

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation to urge the FAA to implement enforceable measures that provide meaningful more relief for Valley communities impacted by helicopter noise and to protect the safety of aircraft in the crowded skies above our metropolitan area,” said Congressman Sherman. “The active participation of the FAA, community leaders and the helicopter industry can also help lead to substantial progress in developing solutions to better balance public safety and relief from excessive helicopter noise.”

Last year, Schiff and Feinstein wrote to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to form a working group at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to solicit input from local communities and stakeholders on helicopter noise and safety issues across Los Angeles County. For the past year, that working group has been meeting with local residents, stakeholders and officials to discuss ways to move forward and adequately address the concerns and complaints of affected residents.

Under the legislation sponsored by Schiff, Feinstein and Boxer, the FAA would be required to exercise its legal authority to set guidelines on flight paths and minimum altitudes for helicopter operators in residential areas in Los Angeles County within 12 months of being signed into law. Exemptions would be provided for law enforcement, emergency responders and the U.S. military.

“I’m heartened that Congressman Schiff and Senator Feinstein will be taking up the mantle of helicopter noise regulation next year. They have been steadfast partners with me on the LA Helicopter Noise Relief Act,” said former Congressman Howard Berman. “Los Angeles County residents should know that they will have an important voice in Washington who will continue to fight for common sense reforms to protect their safety and quality of life from intrusive helicopter flights.”

Schiff Takes Up the Fight to Curb Helicopter Noise

After a meeting today between regional Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives and local stakeholders, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) continued his call on the agency to provide Los Angeles County residents relief from the noise and safety concerns caused by low-flying helicopters above residential neighborhoods.

“While I appreciate the FAA’s willingness to engage residents and hear their concerns directly, it is plain that voluntary actions will not be sufficient to address the real quality of life and safety issues raised by these persistent fly-overs,” said Rep. Schiff.  “Residents living throughout Los Angeles are deeply impacted by the intrusive, disruptive and often non-emergency related helicopter traffic above their homes and neighborhoods. The canyons and mountains across our region concentrate the low-flying helicopter noise to extremely high levels. Add to that the problem of tourist and press helicopters tracking celebrities in the Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood or perusing the Rose Bowl, and you have a significant impact on the quality of life of thousands of constituents. The residents in these areas deserve peace and quiet, and I will be taking up the legislation shepherded by Congressman Berman in the new session of Congress.”

After the meeting, Schiff announced he will re-introduce the Los Angeles Helicopter Noise Relief Act.  This bill requires the FAA to exercise its legal authority to regulate helicopter operations above Los Angeles within 12 months of being signed into law. Specifically, the bill calls on the Administrator of the FAA to set guidelines on flight paths and minimum altitudes for helicopter operators in residential areas of Los Angeles County. Exemptions would be allowed for law enforcement, emergency responders, and the US military.

“I’m heartened that Congressman Schiff will be taking up the mantle of helicopter noise regulation next year. He has been a steadfast partner with me on the LA Helicopter Noise Relief Act,” said Rep. Howard Berman. “Los Angeles County residents should know that they will have an important voice in Washington who will continue to fight for common sense reforms to protect their safety and quality of life from intrusive helicopter flights.”

Congressman Schiff Calls for Ban of Assault Weapons After Colorado Murders

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a former federal prosecutor, today released the following statement after the shooting in Aurora last week:

“I was deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Our priority must be aiding and comforting the victims and their families. I also believe we should take this moment to examine our laws and determine how we can prevent horrendous acts like this one in the future. We will never be able to stop all senseless acts of violence – there will always be those, who, for reasons unfathomable to us all, decide to take the lives of innocent people around them. But there are some common sense steps we can take to make these types of shootings more rare and less destructive.

“First, my colleague Senator Feinstein led the charge almost twenty years ago to pass the Assault Weapons Ban, but it has since been allowed to expire. It is past time to put that law, which would have outlawed the type of gun used by the shooter, back in place. Second, we should pass the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act sponsored by Congresswoman McCarthy, which would prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines that can hold more than ten rounds at a time. The ability to fire 30 or even 100 shots without reloading increases the destructive capacity of shooters while serving no legitimate purpose. Third, we must also examine legislation to close the gun show loopholes and crack down on straw purchasing, both of which help divert guns out of legal channels and into black markets where they are easily obtained by criminals and the mentally ill.

“I realize, of course, these steps will not stop all mass killings, or even all mass shootings. As the Governor of Colorado pointed out, if this killer didn’t have access to the weapons and ammunition he used, he might have built a bomb instead. But it is also true that we do not need to make such killing easy, and I do not believe that anything in the Second Amendment, or any desire to hunt or for self-protection requires ready access to assault weapons with extended ammunition clips.”

Schiff Calls for Ban on “Pink Slime” in Public School Cafeterias

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fully ban “finely textured lean beef trimmings,” more commonly known as “pink slime” from school lunches. The USDA, after facing outcry from parents and students around the country, announced that they would allow local school districts to opt-out of purchasing beef containing pink slime. However, this announcement does not fix the problem, and will likely result in many school districts throughout the country continuing to purchase the less expensive, pink slime beef. Schiff issued the following statement:

“As a father of two kids in public school, I am appalled that pink slime is being served in school cafeterias to our children. While the USDA quickly took action after hearing complaints from lawmakers, parents and students, their announcement earlier this week does not go far enough to protect school kids from this poor quality ‘food.’

 “Pink slime should be banned from school cafeterias, and it’s my hope that Secretary Vilsack takes immediate action to ensure our kids have access to the healthiest food possible.”

Earlier this week, Schiff joined with Congressional colleagues led by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), in writing to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking him to immediately ban the use of the product in school lunches. More on the USDA decision can be found here.

The letter sent by Members is below:

 

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

Thank you for your recent attention to the issue of “finely textured lean beef trimmings” or “pink slime” in our children’s school food.  While we appreciate your recent statement that schools may ‘opt out’ of purchasing the slurry meant for animal feed, we are writing to urge you to completely end the purchasing of pink slime for school food.

As you know, “pink slime” is a term used for an industrial slurry of beef scraps and connective tissue. This product, produced by two companies in the United States, Cargill Meat Solutions and Beef Products, Inc., is treated with ammonia hydroxide to remove E. coli and Salmonella.

Although fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King have stopped using pink slime in their food, the USDA has not yet made this policy change, and recently authorized the purchase of ground beef containing an additional seven million pounds of pink slime destined to be served in school cafeterias.  If these fast food chains won’t serve pink slime, why should school cafeterias?

We are also concerned with the consequences of creating an ‘opt out’ or two-tier system for schools. If pink slime laced ground beef is less expensive to make, we are very concerned that lower funded districts will be forced to use it. Creating a two-tiered school lunch program where kids in less affluent communities get served this low-grade slurry is wrong.

We share the concerns of people around the country about this bi-product being fed to our children. We hope you will do everything in your power to eliminate it from the National School Lunch Program.