Larsen, Murray and Cantwell push navy to extend environmental impact study public comment period

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) along with U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), are urging the Navy to extend by 30 days the ongoing public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Study of EA-18G “Growler” Airfield Operations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Complex. This request comes after the Members heard from public entities, as well as constituents and other elected officials, who are struggling to provide feedback to the Navy within the current timeline.

The Navy is analyzing the potential environmental effects of additional Growler aircraft and increased Growler operations at Ault Field and Outlying Field Coupeville and encouraging citizens to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Study.

“We urge you to extend the ongoing public comment period…given the range of scenarios under consideration, the variety of impacts analyzed, and the resulting length of the Draft Environmental Impact Study, we believe [a 30-day extension] would give the public a greater opportunity to share comments with the Navy,” wrote the Members. “Our constituents are reading the text of the Draft EIS and appendices which total over 1500 pages. Many have told us that an extension would allow them to be more thorough in their review and comment with better understanding of the scenarios and projected impacts on their communities. In addition, some public entities with scheduled meeting dates may be unable to comment given the current timeline.”

The public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Study is currently scheduled to conclude January 25, 2017.