OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The plan to expand the Oakland International Airport could be a big boost to the economy and create more jobs. But some are concerned that it will be more noise and more pollution.
The group Stop OAK Expansion - has an even bigger concern -- one they claim is not addressed in the draft environmental impact report.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao says the expanding of the Oakland airport would be a big boost to the city's post pandemic recovery.
But local environmental groups say there is one problem.
They claim that the draft environmental impact report doesn't address the emissions that come from the actual airplanes that take off and land here at the airport.
"There are big concerns for those opposed to the proposed expansion of the Oakland International Airport," said Ariella Granett of Stop OAK Expansion
The biggest of these concerns has to do with the airplanes.
"It is important to be aware that 99% of a modern airport's emissions are actually from their flights," Granett said.
Stop OAK Expansion is a coalition made up of 62 local grassroots organizations. They argue that the new draft environmental impact report released by the Port of Oakland - which owns and operates the Oakland airport - doesn't take into account the greenhouse gas emissions from the actual airplanes.
"They claim that the impact of pollution and climate global warming emissions are significant, but unavoidable. And that's because they don't actually regulate the emissions from the flights," Granett said.
The Oakland airport expects its number of passengers to more than double over the next 15 years. The proposal is to add 16 new gates and expand the international arrival facilities.
Colleen Liang with the Port of Oakland spoke to ABC7 News in July.
This is definitely a milestone for Oakland airport. As i mentioned earlier, we have not modernized the airport since it was built," Liang said in July.
In an email to ABC7 News, the Port of Oakland responded to claims about the draft EIR by saying:
"OAK continues to explore the new zero emission aviation technologies that will help us achieve our zero emissions goals."
The Port of Oakland says it wants to reach zero emissions by 2040 for the airport.
It says it is working with airlines to increase the use of what's called "Sustainable Aviation Fuel," which is not a fossil fuel. OAK says it already has commitments from Southwest Airlines.
OAK also joined Airport Carbon Accreditation, an international program that requires airport members to a complete review of greenhouse gas inventories.
"The Port of Oakland, they are starting a process to inventory their emissions. And we applaud them in this effort," Granett said.
But Granett says local, state and federal agencies need to work more closely with the aviation industry to come up with a plan to reduce airline emissions and for investments in alternative modes of transportation.
"Traveling is very important. But faced with a climate emergency, there really is no economy on a dead planet. And there is no tourism and pleasure on a dead planet," Granett said.
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