May 28, 2013
The Queens Chronicle spoke to Professor Rebecca Bratspies about the continuing battle between residents of Queens and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over airplane nose resulting from new flight patterns at LaGuardia Airport. State and local politicians met with representatives from the FAA in Washington, DC, arguing that the FAA’s environmental review process was insufficient when it changed the flight patterns. Both sides agreed to meet again to continue the discussion along with lawyers and other experts.
The FAA had previously issued a categorical exclusion (CATEX) rather than do a full environmental impact study on the impact of the flight pattern change. “My hope is that the FAA is going to reconsider the decision to approve the CATEX,” said Bratspies. “That’s the best outcome. …The worst-case scenario is that they do nothing, at which point the community looks at their legal options.”
Prof. Bratspies’ Environmental Law class worked with Community Board 11 in northeast Queens to analyze the new flight patterns.
Prof. Bratspies is the director of CUNY Law’s Center for Urban Environmental Reform. Her teaching and scholarly research focus on environmental and public international law, with a particular emphasis on how legal systems govern the global commons and how law can further sustainable development. She has published widely on the topics of environmental liability, regulatory uncertainty, regulation of international fisheries, and regulation of genetically modified food crops.