Mayor Jim Ferrell’s requested public comment period extension was denied by the Port of Seattle on Sept. 5 due to the ample opportunities for local governments and community members to provide feedback about the proposed construction. File photo

Mayor Jim Ferrell’s requested public comment period extension was denied by the Port of Seattle on Sept. 5 due to the ample opportunities for local governments and community members to provide feedback about the proposed construction. File photo

Port of Seattle denies public comment scoping extension

Federal Way City Council requested extension of public comment to allow further study.

Federal Way City Council requested an additional 60 days during the public comment portion to further research the effects of the construction for the airpoirt.

The Port of Seattle denied this request on Sept. 5.

This was a disappointing response to the city and Mayor Jim Ferrell.

“While we are disappointed that the Port denied our request for an extension, we will do whatever we can to continue to advocate strongly for our residents to be heard when it comes to this important issue,” Ferrell said.

In a letter from the City Council to the Port Commision Board, the city expressed concerns that many residents have voiced since talks of construction began.

The proposal itself would add a 19-gate passenger terminal as well as new taxiway extensions and additional facilities for air cargo and 30 other infrastructure projects, according to the letter.

The letter reads in part, “Needless to say, these expansion plans have only exacerbated the concerns of our constituents, many of whom feel that Sea-Tac has already reached its capacity.”

The request would ask that the scoping period for public comment be extended 60 days after Sept. 28.

The Port cited “ample opportunities for review and comment” as the reason behind denying the request.

The Port’s response letter reads in part, “To ensure that federal, state, and local agencies, as well as interested community members, have sufficient time to provide comments during the scoping process, the Port and FAA established a 60-day scoping period.”

The next public scoping meeting is going to be held Sept. 17 at the Federal Way Comunity Center, as well as three other meetings in Des Moines, Beacon Hill and Sea Tac, according to the Port’s response.

The meetings will be free and open to the public to provide comments or ask questions, but if that is not an option questions and comments can also be sent online through the online open house.

Federal Way residents have grown increasingly concerned about the added noise and pollution additional aircrafts would cause, which was the main reason behind Ferrell creating the Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force.

Tyler Hemstreet, the city’s communications coordinator, said the city asked for the extenion to allow as many Federal Way residents as possible to find out information about the Sustainable Airport Master Plan and provide feedback if they choose.

“This is an issue that greatly affects the quality of life of Federal Way residents, and we will do whatever we can to continue to advocate for residents to be heard on this issue,” he said.

Hemstreet also said that while the Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force’s job is complete, the city will continue to use their knowledge of the situation should any questions or issues arise.

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