Port Townsend Author Nancy Alverez’s open letter to Gov. Inslee

​​​​​​5629 Kuhn Street
​​​​​​Port Townsend, WA 98368
​​​​​​January 28, 2014

Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
P.O Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Dear Governor Inslee,

The Navy on Whidbey Island has been testing a new military jet, the ‘Growler’, over residential areas there with plans for further test flights over Port Townsend and the San Juan Islands. Unlike commercial jets, which have regulations to control the noise they create, military jets have no such limitations. The studies I have seen, and those reported for the commercial airports in Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago show that the health of citizens living beneath these large aircraft routes have been severely impacted with stress related illness, sleep disruption and even cardiac arrest and death. In addition, house prices begin to drop because folks who move to these bucolic and quiet locations no longer want to do so. The citizens of Whidbey have formed a committee to try to halt this testing, and we in Port Townsend are doing the same.

The EIS report that was conducted by the navy was very lax. It did not include any statistics on the effects of noise pollution on human beings, and there are ample statistics that could have been found and used. JGL Acoustics, for one, reported that sound levels from the Growlers were ‘well above the levels requiring hearing protection and are high enough to potentially result in permanent hearing loss.” Studies have been conducted by the World Health Organization, The U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the relationship of noise pollution to health problems in humans. The results are not heartening. We are not making this stuff up, and are very concerned. In 2012 there were 9,669 such flight tests, and 5,688 in the first half of 2013. The Navy had promised there would be no more than 6,120 tests a year at the OLF when the residents on Whidbey began to complain.

The Navy no longer accepts phone calls about this issue; instead you have to leave a message on a machine and never hear back from anyone. My guess would be they were receiving too many phone calls.

Should nothing be done about this situation, the last third of my life will be severely impacted. If our property values drop I would not even be able to move to yet another place, which I shouldn’t have to do in any event.

It is time for our elected officials to look into this situation, and ensure that the Navy ceases these tests. I am told they have over a thousand acres in the Mojave. Let them test their planes there, where there is no human habitation, as long as they don’t destroy wildlife indigenous to that area.

I would appreciate your attention. You have fought for every issue I hold dear, and am sure you will have your staff look into this issue, and then take action. I hope to hear that you plan to take this problem seriously for residents that live in this part of the state of Washington.


Nancy Alvarez

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