Patrick Tuohey
According to the so-called Fact Sheet that the Kansas City Aviation Department produced in April 2013 regarding the Kansas City International Airport (MCI):
The current terminal infrastructure does not allow the airport to meet the EPA’s new standards for capturing deicing fluids, which require capturing about 30% of run-off. The new single terminal will capture nearly 100% of the run-off and resolve Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues the airport is currently facing. The single terminal will also require less [sic] bus trips to and from the consolidated rental car facilities than the current three terminals significantly reducing carbon emissions.

This is misleading, as it suggests that MCI is under some sort of EPA requirement to improve its ability to capture deicing fluids. The EPA is fine with how MCI performs this task now. While MCI could do a better job of collecting these fluids, the EPA allows for several much cheaper ways to do it than the one method called for in the proposed $1.2 billion new terminal plan.

For example, MCI could attempt either greater efficiency in use of deicing or greater collection of runoff. Ways of reducing runoff include using highly concentrated type IV fluids, anti-icing fluids before inclement weather, hot-air deicing, and infrared deicing. As for capturing more runoff, the EPA considers using collection trucks, improvements in drainage systems, and mobile deicing pads as viable options. These options are certainly cheaper than building a new terminal, aprons, roadways, and parking structures.

The airport's fact-checking goes on to include:
The new single terminal, built as a replacement facility on the reclaimed Terminal A site, will be built to LEED standards. The  New Terminal’s enhanced daylighting concepts , thermally designed building envelope, and new high-efficiency systems will maximize energy performance to achieve sustainability goals.

Yet we learned from a recent study of LEED-certified buildings in Washington, D.C., that the rating is apparently meaningless (emphasis added):
The free-market group analyzed the first round of energy usage data released by city officials Friday and found that large, privately-owned buildings that received the green energy certification Leadership in Energy Design (LEED) actually use more energy than buildings that didn’t receive this green stamp of approval.

The Show-Me Institute has argued that it is unlikely that a new terminal will increase revenue or provide sufficient savings to make it a viable alternative. Now we know there is no environmental or energy necessity for it either.


About the Author

Patrick Tuohey
Patrick Tuohey
Senior Fellow of Municipal Policy

Patrick Tuohey works with taxpayers, media, and policymakers to foster understanding of the conse