PDK's Environmental Impact to Be Studied
An environmental health expert has been hired to analyze air and noise pollution from the airport.
After decades of heated debate about what types of aircraft should be allowed to use DeKalb County’s DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK), DeKalb County, PDK Airport and Open DeKalb Inc., have partnered to retain an environmental health expert to analyze air and noise pollution from the facility.
P. Barry Ryan, PhD, a professor in the Department of Environmental Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, is one of the foremost experts in the United States analyzing air pollution from aircraft operations.
Ryan designed the study with significant input from Open DeKalb, the county, and PDK. The purpose of the study is to secure reliable environmental impact data upon which all stakeholders can rely upon when making decisions about airport operations.
The study is being funded by airport-generated funds that are not available for other county uses.
“The study covers a full year so that seasonal changes in noise and air pollution impacts can be properly assessed,” said Ryan. “We will measure fine particulate matter, or soot, directly upwind and downwind of the airport as well as along take-off and landing paths near the airport.
"Noise data will be collected at four, fixed-site monitors in the community as well as a portable monitor moved from place to place.”
Monitoring began the week of Feb. 25, 2013.
Commissioner Jeff Rader said the study "will provide solid data to guide the County Commission in making decisions about this major public facility that impacts air quality and economic development in our county.”
The work should be completed by the early winter of 2014.