Show the Navy we care | Letter

Navy Growler noise and over flights have been increasing over the past year. We have an opportunity on Wednesday, Dec. 3, between 3-6 p.m., at the Lopez Center to meet one-on-one with the Navy and express our concerns. This is the first NAVY Scoping meeting to be held in San Juan County. This is a drop-in open-house meeting – not a sit down meeting.

It’s happening because of our county’s support in mitigating the noise, residents’ use of the County Noise Reporting Map, and Representative Rick Larsen’s intervention.

The Navy is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement following its proposal to add up to 36 more Growler jets to the 82 already based Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. At the beginning of an EIS, the “scope” of actions, alternatives and impacts on surrounding communities must be determined.

This is where we all come in. Our attendance at the Dec. 3 meeting will show the Navy that we are impacted and mitigation and alternatives are needed. It’s an important time to ask the Navy leadership questions, such as “Why is San Juan County considered a “No Significant Impact” area?”  Or “Why did the Navy neglect to study the impacts of low frequency noise of the Growlers when it based EA-18G’s in our area?”  Or “What are the health impacts of living with 65 – 100 decibels of noise five days a week?” Or “Why does the new EIS not consider other locations for training operations in addition to Ault Field and OLF Coupeville?” Or “How can the flight paths of the jets be shifted so they do not fly over our school and preschool?”

Your Scoping comments can be submitted at the meeting, online (www.whidbeyeis.com, or by mail until Jan. 9, 2015. For info, on How to Write Scoping Comments, obtain the website for the County’s reporting noise reporting map, and other contact information, visit www.quietskies.info. If you would like to be on the “Quiet Skies over San Juan County” mailing list, email: quietskiessanjuan@gmail.com

Christine Kerlin, Tim Madison

Lopez Island