Blumenthal suing federal agency

John O'Brien Nov. 1, 2007, 3:00pm


HARTFORD, Conn. - Calling one of its recent decisions "unacceptable," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has decided to file suit against the Federal Aviation Agency.

Blumenthal will represent the state's Department of Environmental Protection. Nine towns are joining the State's challenge, filed Thursday, of the FAA's new flight paths that will place more large planes lower over the southern part of the state, Blumenthal says.

"We have forged a powerful partnership against the FAA's ill-conceived plan to route too many planes too low over southeastern Connecticut," Blumenthal said. "As I have pledged before, I will fight as long and hard as necessary, even to the U.S. Supreme Court."

The plan affects planes bound for and leaving from two New York airports, Westchester County and LaGuardia. Gov. Jodi Rell gave her support to Blumenthal.

An FAA spokesman said he would not comment on litigation, a report by The Associated Press says. The suit is filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District in New York.

"Safety and efficiency are critical, but the FAA can relieve airport congestion without bombarding southeastern Connecticut with the roar of low-flying aircraft," Blumenthal said. "We will fight to force complete revision of these flight paths to reduce noise pollution and environmental damage."

Blumenthal says the FAA has violated the National Environmental Policy Act because it did not consider noise impacts when rerouting flights.

The nine towns joining in the suit are New Canaan, Wilton, Darien, Stamford, Greenwich, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Purchase, N.Y.

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