Studies have never been done on the heath risks associated with the extreme noise levels directly under the flight path of Growler jets because the levels are off the charts and illegal everywhere. Ignoring guidelines from the World Health Organization, OSHA, and the Department of Defense, the Navy has already proclaimed there is no health impact associated with NASWI operations. (see Noise Volume)
A summary of the problem was presented in the July 27, 2015 article, Sounds of War: Navy Warplanes Producing Deadly Noise Around US Bases.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) currently underway is not likely to be valid. It should conduct on-the-ground measurements instead of the computer modeling currently used that shows noise levels far lower than what was professionally and independently measured in the Lilly Report. Those same Navy computer measurements also determined that the Growler is quieter than the Prowler, a finding that was disputed by hundreds of people submitting comments for the EIS, including those that avidly support the Navy.
A return to normal training after the current EIS will again put Growlers on their established flight path, at altitudes between 250-440 feet over densely populated neighborhoods with engines pointed down at almost full thrust; and, the Navy plan is to double the number of planes. Because there are no previous studies on the health effects of noise at these levels, they must be conducted. If common sense alone does not point to the obvious conclusion that no one should be subjected to this extreme noise, hard data will. Of course all training should cease as these studies are completed.
It must be remembered that national defense needs could, at any time, again require 30,000 operations a year at the outlying field (OLF), which would be 24,000 beyond present “limits,” another reason that the OLF cannot be used dependably and safely and should be moved now.
Though studies are limited at these extreme levels, there are many sources that predict an escalating health emergency.
COER health report
The Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve commissioned a health study and presented the findings at a number of health workshops in a variety of locations on Whidbey Island, Port Townsend, and other Puget Sound locations.
Read through the report here:
Here is a video of this COER presentation.
Navy and Department of Defense Reports
Here is another report below that demonstrates the reluctance of the Navy to protect even enlisted personnel from the harmful effects of noise despite the