Air Traffic Noise and Pollution
In response to revised flight paths implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under its so-called “RNAV Next Generation Transportation System,” Congressman Lynch continues to fight on behalf of 8th District communities that are enduring a relentless frequency of commercial flights over their same residences and neighborhoods. In comparison to 2012, during which the Massachusetts Port Authority received less than 500 noise-related complaints per month statewide, the state agency in charge of operating Logan Airport is now receiving tens of thousands of noise-related complaints monthly from towns and cities across the Commonwealth – including residents in Milton, Hull, Hingham, South Boston, and other communities in the 8th District.
Congressman Lynch strongly believes that the severity of air traffic noise and pollution stemming from continuous overhead flights poses serious public health, safety, and environmental threats to our communities and must be addressed through immediate action by the FAA.
As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Lynch requested to serve on the Aviation Subcommittee in order to ensure greater transparency and accountability by the FAA in this area. In response to the flat refusal of FAA officials to visit the 8th District and hear directly from affected constituents, Congressman Lynch introduced legislation on the House Floor to strip $25 million in funding from the FAA budget. He subsequently secured a commitment from the FAA to participate in a public forum in Milton – during which senior agency officials answered questions from hundreds of residents across the 8th District on their plans to mitigate the devastating impacts of airplane noise and pollution.
Congressman Lynch also serves as a co-chair of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus, a bipartisan organization established to examine air traffic noise and pollution and develop solutions to address the serious challenges presented by the FAA’s misguided flight paths. With the strong support of his Quiet Skies colleagues, Congressman Lynch has introduced H.R. 976, the Air Traffic Noise and Pollution Expert Consensus Act, legislation requiring the FAA to solicit an Expert Consensus Report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that would compile and make available the best scientific information on the health and environmental effects of air traffic noise and pollution.
Opioids and Drug Addiction
The crisis of drug addiction, and in particular opioid misuse and abuse, has had a devastating impact on Massachusetts. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, opioids were involved in about 88 percent of drug overdose deaths in Massachusetts in 2018. It is vital that our nation continues its efforts to staunch the trafficking of illicit drugs, work with the medical community to ensure the proper use of medications and prevent drug misuse and abuse and provide vital treatment and related services to help Americans dealing with addiction.
Congressman Lynch has long worked to fight the crisis of addiction in Massachusetts. Before being elected to Congress he helped establish the Cushing Houses in Boston which provide addiction recovery services to teens and their families. In Congress, he has worked across party lines with Representative Hal Rogers as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse to bring greater attention to the need for a comprehensive national policy on this serious issue. He supports the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage of addiction treatment and mental health services and has fought to protect them in the face of efforts to undermine the ACA. Finally, Congressman Lynch has worked with fellow Members to ensure robust funding for addiction treatment, as well as the vital services to support rehabilitation, such as mental health.
In the wake of devastating natural gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley in 2018 and considering the marked increase in pipeline safety incidents nationwide, Congressman Lynch remains strongly opposed to the construction and operation of pipeline infrastructure in proximity to residential communities.
In support of South Shore residents, community safety organizations, and local and state elected officials, he continues to engage with the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to advocate for the suspension of the Weymouth Compressor Station in the Town of Weymouth, Massachusetts. This dangerous, 7,700-horsepower project is located adjacent to the Fore River Bridge, within a half-mile of nearly 1,000 households in densely-populated North Weymouth, and in close proximity to several schools, parks, and other high-traffic areas.
Congressman Lynch is also fighting on behalf of the residents of West Roxbury and surrounding neighborhoods to ensure that the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline is subject to comprehensive state and federal safety reviews. This misguided project runs through an active quarry blast zone and is similarly located adjacent to residential areas, schools, and other community facilities.
Congressman Lynch has introduced H.R. 2152, the Pipeline and Compressor Safety Verification Act – legislation that would suspend the Weymouth and West Roxbury pipeline projects until the State Fire Marshal for Massachusetts and other key safety officials certify in writing to FERC that these projects do not pose a danger to surrounding residential communities and the general public.
As a member of the bipartisan Postal Preservation Caucus, Congressman Lynch is committed to addressing the serious financial challenges facing the Postal Service and its employees and is aware of the impact this has on our district community. Due to a burdensome requirement in current law, the Postal Service, unlike other federal agencies, is required to prefund health benefits for future postal retirees decades before it is necessary - through billions of dollars in annual payments to the U.S. Treasury. Congressman Lynch strongly supports the repeal of the prefunding requirement as an immediate and practical solution towards financially stabilizing the Postal Service.
The American people regularly rate the United States Postal Service as their most trusted federal agency. Coming from a postal family, Congressman Lynch understands that quality mail services stem from the excellence of our more than 600,000 postal clerks, mail handlers, letter carriers, and postal supervisors – all working to process and deliver mail to every home and business in our community six, and in some cases, even seven days a week.