Air emissions are generally defined as "The release of pollutants into the atmosphere from stationary sources and vehicles" (Business Dictionary). This indicates that the multi-source context should include air emissions from the expansion of the airport, the existing airport, local industries, homes, and vehicular exhaust. In order to be in the proper context it must also consider other exposure risks of asthma within the communities of concern. The Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports these risks to include animal dander, pollen, cigarette smoke, weather changes, scented products, food products, medications and emotional stress to name a few (Topic; January 2007).
It is my belief that the airport acted properly by responding to concerns that the citizens put forth. The Federal Aviation Administration order titled Prevention, Control and Abatement of Environmental Pollution at FAA Facilities specifically requires the establishment of policies pertaining to environmental pollution at all of its facilities (1). These concerns are required to be addressed according to the National Environmental Policy Act: Implementing Instructions for Airport Projects at a very early stage and must be prepared to address the concerns of the community to avoid just such a conflict (Chapter 5). It is my belief that the proper multi-source context was established by the airport. That context requires them to include the air emissions of the existing airport to allow them to establish the risk of exposure due to the expansion. However, to consider the exposure risks of the existing airport as part of the exposure risks of the expansion is out of context.
In this case it appears that the proper context has not been clearly defined and established between the concerned parties. The citizen groups maintain that their source of asthma is attributed solely to the air emissions as a result of the operations of the airport, and have thus failed to approach to problem in proper context. Clearly the citizen groups will benefit from the expertise of health care and risk professionals for help with their concerns.
It is commonly accepted that citizens expect experts and officials to get involved in making decisions that affect communities; they do not think they should be left to the desires of corporate decisions without proper investigation and monitoring by local and national agencies designed to protect them. For this reason it is important that the airport planning staff recruit expert help from both local and national levels. The Framework for Environmental Health Risk Management (FEHRM) indicates that the inclusion of experts in environment, health, risk management, regulatory agencies and related industries allows for collaboration toward an acceptable conclusion for all concerned (17). The FEHRM goes on to report that collaboration of this nature is necessary to engage, interpret and deal with the variety of perspectives that each stakeholder brings to the table (17).
The FEHRM clearly states that identification of problems and stakeholder involvement should occur in synchronicity early in the process and continue throughout the stages of developing a risk management assessment (13). The FERHM clearly states recommended guidelines for stakeholder invol