Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. Tina Orwall, and constituents will hold a press conference on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024 to advocate for legislation aimed at mitigating the environmental and health impacts of Sea-Tac Airport on surrounding communities.

The bill(s) would reduce noise and air pollution for residents by providing soundproofing for residences, air purifiers for schools, and increased green space, among other interventions.

Senate Bill 5955 and its companion House Bill 2103 would require port districts, like the Port of Seattle operating Sea-Tac, to dedicate a portion of new tax revenue to address noise and air pollution concerns near large airports. The legislation comes amid growing awareness of environmental justice issues disproportionately affecting minority and low-income communities.

In King County, where Sea-Tac is located, a 2019 study by the Department of Health revealed that a majority of Black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander residents live within 10 miles of the airport. This population faces higher risks of premature birth, asthma, stroke, diabetes, and other health problems, the study found.

The proposed measures outline steps like providing soundproofing for homes, air purifiers for schools, and expanding green spaces to combat noise and air pollution.

Press Conference on Monday, Jan. 15

The press conference, scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in the Senate Rules Room, will feature remarks from Sen. Keiser, Rep. Orwall, and constituents impacted by airport operations. The lawmakers will discuss the legislation’s details and answer questions from reporters. It will be streamed live on TVW here.

The legislation marks a potential turning point in addressing environmental justice concerns around Washington airports. With Monday’s press conference and upcoming hearings, advocates hope to build momentum for the bills’ passage and bring relief to communities burdened by the environmental consequences of air travel.

Hearings Set for Tuesday, Jan. 16

Hearings for the bills have been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024:

  • SB 5955: Senate Local Government, Land Use & Tribal Affairs Committee, 8 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Senate Hearing Room 3 and on TVW
  • HB 2103: House Local Government Committee, 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, in House Hearing Room E and on TVW.