Excessive “Growler noise” | Letter

We recently moved to Lopez Island, attracted by its remoteness and serenity. You can imagine our surprise and dismay when a “Growler” came thundering over our house, making it impossible to converse even when standing next to each other! This disruptive roaring has since happened numerous times.

Unlike us, there are families that have lived here for six generations. For them to be subjected to this invasion of physical and psychological space must be doubly frustrating. Their roots run deep, they are bonded to the land; it has been their home, and the prospect of a worsening situation is doubly disconcerting. They are entitled to the peaceful existence their forbears experienced, which they enjoyed until the coming of these exceedingly noisy aircraft.

Many scientific studies verify deleterious psychological and physical effects resulting from exposure to loud noise for humans as well as wildlife. Among consequences are hearing loss and stress. From our experience, we know only too well how disturbing jets flying at low altitudes and high speeds can be. Therefore, we feel there is a need for detailed subjective monitoring of noise levels experienced by all Lopez Island inhabitants.

We submit that if anyone in charge of Growlers’ flight path decisions had neighbors who were making comparable levels of noise, complaints would be lodged and corrective action would be taken. It is in the spirit of appealing for reciprocity with common concerns that our request for changes in flight paths is being made.

Given apparent maneuverability, operating range and speed of the EA-18G, it would seem feasible to alter the flight paths and altitudes to decrease the negative impacts they produce on this island. We ask for a reduction in the noise level at Lopez and request that you take whatever steps are necessary to ameliorate this egregious situation.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and co-operation.

Harold and Ruth Van Doren