The current Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the EA18-G Growler jets is not to be trusted. Recently, Senator John McCain asked the Secretary of the Navy to research allegations of noise abuse from citizen groups. A letter was written providing the “Navy Position on Growler Jets” in response. (*see links to letters and other documentation below).
The letter and statements made at EIS Scoping Meeting reveal bias and foretell the coming EIS deception, as the study has not yet been conducted.
At the EIS Scoping Meetings, when confronted with conflicting information, over and over, each Navy representative, looking very embarrassed, said basically the same thing:
We see things in a different way.
Our information draws a different conclusion.
At these same meetings, Base Commander Captain Nortier stood by his letter. He said a committee did write it, but he stands by it. He speaks for the Navy in his assertion that no mitigation plan is required. He also repeatedly reverted to the above statements when presented with conflicting information in the 12 key areas below.
It is clear that, instead of an objective process to actually study possible impacts, the EIS process has degraded into a maneuver to manipulate information, laws, and guidelines to stay on track with Navy goals. There is no intent for any concession for civilian protection. No EIS has ever been conducted for activity at NASWI and, short of a judgment or Congressional intervention, no honest EIS ever will.
For each deceptive statement made by the Navy below, follow the links for documentation telling a very different story:
- There are no significant health risks to populations in the Noise Zones.
- The OLF is the best location for pilot training and no other location should be considered.
- The Navy followed NEPA guidelines to study impact before replacing Prowlers with Growlers.
- Noise disclosure has occurred since 1992 and disclosure has been a Navy priority to ensure that those purchasing property under the jet paths know the “full extent of the noise.”
- Growlers are quieter than Prowlers and both are safe flying low, 250 feet directly above homes.
- There is no Navy easement over properties in Admiral’s Cove.
- The Navy measures noise and presents it in an effective way to both determine the impact of the level of noise on health and to use when making land use recommendations. See Noise Volume, Noise Annoyance, and Health Emergency, AICUZ Brochures.
- Limits to operations can be set.
- Emitters planned for the Olympic National Park are being studied according to National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) guidelines. They will have no impact nor will the planned Growler operations associated with them. The public is receiving adequate notification and opportunity for comments.
- The Navy is a good neighbor. Read the above and visit Citizens of Ebeys Reserve.
- The Navy has an Encroachment Prevention Plan to protect the Navy from interference which it follows.
- The AICUZ process informs and protects citizens from harm.
The intent is wrong; therefore, the study will be invalid unless it is monitored by Congress
In defiance of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Growlers were based here before they were ever “studied.” The Navy merely said they would be quieter and flights would be fewer. After exposure to the noise revealed neither was true, the Navy refused requests to conduct an EIS. Legal action was finally taken to stop the flights.
Now, the language used describing the current EIS for 36 additional Growlers suggests that the “impact” of the initial transition from Prowlers to Growlers won’t be studied, even now. The validity of the outcome will depend on the intent of those conducting and presenting the study and there is no intent to protect the civilian population at the expense of military objectives.
Hundreds of emails, calls, faxes, and letters have gone out to Congress to inform members of both the Appropriations and Armed Services Committees of the impact Growler jets are having on the lives of people living in the Noise Zones. These committees will soon make decisions on whether or not to send even more. These decisions should be based on unbiased information which the EIS will not provide.
Should Congress expect the Navy to objectively study itself?
“The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.”
Protecting civilians from the impact of Growler jets is incompatible with this mission.
The conflict of interest in the Navy studying itself is substantial. Each finding of “No Impact” on the minority Noise Zone population of “complainers” results in the benefit of continued base expansion. “No Impact” will be celebrated by the huge military and civilian population which benefits from noise abuse. Objective self-regulation is clearly an unrealistic expectation. Only Congress can raise the standard. The Navy can achieve its mission AND protect citizens if Congress requires it to do so.
Conflict with civilians drains resources.
Low-flying jets and roaring noise cause serious harm. Predictably, enraged citizens have taken every measure available to defend their families. Because no clear limits to abuse have been set by Congress, the Navy must expend valuable time, energy, money, and expertise to deal with:
- law suits and legislative hearings;
- meetings with community leaders, legislative leaders, and the public;
- public relations efforts including the press and other media;
- complaint lines;
- informational materials;
- mail, email, phone, and personal exchanges.
Congress must recognize that the Navy has dangerously exceeded its limits and is on a collision course with a health disaster.
The Navy, like any government entity, cannot police itself. Congress should stop operations with obviously high potential for harm until the EIS is complete. Growler jets flying 250 feet over homes on approach to the OLF, for example, must be stopped. Alternative fields which have been in use over the past two years should be used exclusively until a permanent solution is found.
Add your voice to those asking Congress to rein in the Navy. Go to the 153 Growlers? Close the OLF! page for information.