Airport Noise Lawsuits

One of the most extensive noise mitigation programs in the country resulted from the settlement of a lawsuit in 2007 to which Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Airports Commission were parties. The $127.6 million settlement led to noise mitigation for more than 9,560 homes near the airport. This section provides historical information about that settlement. The noise mitigation program described here is now completed and closed. However, there is a different mitigation program in effect today, as a result of a 2013 Amendment to this agreement. 


City of Minneapolis, et al vs. MAC, et al

This lawsuit was filed against the MAC by the Cities of Minneapolis, Richfield and Eagan, as well as the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (plaintiffs). Northwest Airlines intervened in the case in support of the MAC. The suit was heard by Judge Stephen Aldrich in Hennepin County District Court.

Legal Basis

The Cities claimed that the MAC is in violation of the terms of the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act by –

The Cities’ (plaintiffs’) Position

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Legal Documents

Wiencke et al vs. MAC

This class action lawsuit was filed by seven homeowners on behalf of Minneapolis and Richfield homeowners living near the airport. The class action suit was also heard by Judge Stephen Aldrich in Hennepin County District Court.

Legal Basis –

According to the suit, nearby residents relied upon the MAC’s promised noise mitigation plan. That noise mitigation plan enabled the MAC to obtain approval for expanding — rather than moving — the airport.

Class Action (plaintiffs’) Position –

Class Action Timeframe –

More Information about the Class Action –

$127.6 million settlement reached

The Cities’ $127.6 million settlement will mean some form of noise mitigation for more than 9,560 homes in Minneapolis, Richfield, Eagan and Bloomington. (One block in Inver Grove Heights is also covered by the settlement.)

Noise mitigation will occur between late 2008 and 2014. The MAC will contact groups of eligible homeowners by letter over the course of the coming five years. Generally, homeowners in the highest noise contours will be contacted sooner than homeowners in the lower noise contours.

Settlement summary

Full settlement (Consent Decree)

Settlement noise contour maps

Jan. 25, 2007

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Last updated Oct 6, 2016