LTE: Trenton Threatened Skies (TTS) demands comprehensive environmental impact statement for Trenton-Mercer Airport Expansion Plan

To the Editor:

We are constantly reminded that balance is the chief challenge of modern life. This is equally true in the stewardship of our communities, the environment and essential natural resources.

The all-volunteer Trenton Threatened Skies (TTS) has devoted years to monitoring, documenting, and questioning the ambitious expansion plans at the Trenton-Mercer Airport.

Most of us active in TTS are absolutely not opposed to the modernization of this regional airport.

We are, however, concerned about accountability and the transparency of a process that impacts us. We must be able to assure our families and our neighbors that ambitious expansion does not threaten the natural environment, public health, financial stability, property values and quality of life of this very special region. 

Initiatives like the Trenton-Mercer Airport expansion plan must be given the most rigorous public review. Beyond the promises of jobs and economic growth, which are arguable at best, we must put the environmental health and safety of this community above all other considerations.

Trenton-Mercer Airport plans are taking on a frightening environmental and public health dimension that could impact the entire Central NJ region with devastating contamination to local groundwater, wetlands and the Delaware River Watershed. 

A new lawsuit by the NJ DEP against the United States Government for contamination at the Naval Air Warfare Center Trenton (NAWC) SuperFund site which adjoins and is partially owned by the Trenton Mercer Airport, sheds new light on the seriousness of this environmental and public health threat. The DEP lawsuit is based on the imminent risk posed by highly toxic PFOA and PFOS chemicals used and stored at the now closed NAWC facility. 

These PFOA/PFOS “forever chemicals” don’t break down in nature and slowly accumulate in the body. They have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer in humans and other adverse health effects including immune disorders, thyroid dysfunctions, liver problems and delayed puberty. These dangerous compounds migrate from the soil into the ground and surface water and from there into public and private water supplies.

Moreover, TTS is opposed to the Trenton-Mercer Airport moving forward with a program of segmented expansion approvals, expressly designed to skirt NJ DEP and EPA regulatory oversight. This short-sighted strategy is not just politically risky; it is a commercially motivated gamble that could destroy the health, property values, and quality of life of Mercer County residents for generations to come.

This Trojan Horse airport expansion plan promises jobs and economic growth but we have no idea what’s inside. The entire plan must be thoroughly reviewed to prevent unintended consequences that could forever alter the region’s way of life.

TTS demands that the Trenton-Mercer Airport submit a full and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before proceeding with expansion plans. This is the bare minimum of accountability we citizens of the region deserve.

To help assure the future safety and prosperity of Mercer County please visit and sign our online petition demanding the EIS on the airport expansion plans immediately!

Robin R. Karpf, MD

Resident of North Lawrence Township, NJ
Officer of the Trenton Threatened Skies 501(c)(3) community advocacy group

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  1. This is just the latest angle Trenton Threatened Skies has taken to stop the expansion of the airport. They’ve failed their arguments about the noise from the planes and now they are looking for something to argue to stop the expansion. This group is just members of BRRAM who live in NJ. They say they are for the modernization of the airport but that requires a larger space. The terminal is not even adequate for the current flights it offers. The terminal needs to be at least doubled or perhaps even tripled in size to accommodate what is offered now. The extra space is just good common sense so that the county doesnt have to spend more money and time if flights were to expand.

    They cite misleading specifics about how the number of flights have already expanded past what is projected 10 years down the road, what they don’t tell you is that was all general aviation planes like corporate jets. The expansion is for the passenger terminal those flights are have not increased anywhere near the amount projected. TTS is essentially the PA chapter of BRRAM. BRRAM claims that if the new terminal is allowed, Trenton will turn into LaGuardia. LGA has 72 gates while Trenton will have 4, I’m sure the Port Authority would be open to hearing how to squeeze that many flights into 4 or even 10 gates.

    Trenton Threatened Skies and BRRAM are a small but very vocal portion of the towns they claim are affected. They are the true definition of NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard). I guarantee that the members of these groups fly on vacations all the time. They are not concerned for the populations of Newark, Elizabeth, Philadelphia, Tinicum Township, Chester who have 20X-30X more planes and noise and even environmental issues. So its fine for it to be in other backyards but not theirs. Tinicum Township is a community of lots of residential homes that are right off of the runways at Philadelphia Airport but I’m certain that the members of TTS fly out of PHL.

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