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Lack of Data Impacts Airport Report

August 21, 1994

* I am somewhat appalled by a flagrant example of the letter of the law winning out over the spirit of the law. The example exists in Draft EIR No. 552, which evaluates the potential environmental impact of all-cargo aircraft operating out of John Wayne Airport.

Big as it is, this environmental impact report is incomplete. No effect of the Federal Express aircraft (the Airbus A310) is included, and it will be flying out of John Wayne just as often as UPS' 757-200, the aircraft that is included. This omission is covered by the oft-repeated statement that the data was not available. Reasonable enough. But isn't the purpose of an environmental impact report to assess the impact? Without the data, the impact is left out, even if the report does weigh five pounds or so.

I believe we are a country that prides itself on following the rule of law, and not the rule of subterfuge or violence. But the rule of law requires following the spirit of the law, not merely the letter of the law. Surely the data, in this case, will become available in a reasonable time. Delays and costs are important considerations, but glossing over omissions just to meet the letter of the law defeats the law's purpose and denigrates the principle that our country follows.

LES WAVERLY

Santa Ana Heights

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