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MAC approves noise mitigation settlement

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board approved a proposed settlement in a noise mitigation lawsuit brought by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, and two other cities that could cost the organization up to $130M.

The MAC, which operates Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP), has spent $360M over the last 15 years insulating or acquiring homes and schools in the 65 Day-night Level, a federal metric used to measure noise around airports. The Federal Aviation Administration defines 65 DNL and greater as being significantly impacted by airport noise.

The suit had stemmed from disagreements over the amount of mitigation appropriate in the 60 to 64 DNL contours. Under the proposed settlement, the MAC would provide mitigation to homes in those contours with specific actions varying based on the level of DNL.

The deal still must be approved by the cities, the Housing Authority and the judge and the FAA must advise the MAC that the settlement is an appropriate use of airport revenue.