LETTER TO GOVERNOR INSLEE
November 6, 2016
Dear Governor Inslee,
This request follows our unanswered letter to you of August 29, 2016. We received a receipt acknowledging its delivery and are concerned that we have not received a response. We are writing again, as a coalition of organizations, to request a meeting with you about a regional issue of growing importance.
At the heart of this issue are the Navy’s ongoing and planned warfare-training operations. These operations are having, and will have, significant economic, environmental and public health impacts on our state.
This is not an issue that can be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or because Environmental Impact Statements are being pursued. Our environment, our local economies, and our health are already being impacted, in some cases severely.
Our state and local agencies, especially those addressing health and environmental issues, are trying to figure out how to respond to citizens’ pleas for help. The harms being done and threatened are being reported in the news and gaining national attention.
- Over 125,000 petitions signatures have been gathered opposing U.S. Navy plans to expand Electromagnetic Warfare Training in the Olympic National Forest.
- Toxic noise from training operations on Whidbey Island has created what a noted health professional described as a “Public Health Emergency.”
- Deception State Park, Washington’s most visited State Park is losing about $1000 each day that Navy sends ‘Growler’ Jets flying low over campgrounds. (as reported in the Seattle Times).
- The US Navy and its Seals are in the process of commandeering 68 beaches, in western Washington for combat training, including some residential neighborhoods.
- A citizen noise reporting website has been established and maintained by the San Juan County Council to document Growler noise in the San Juan Islands. More than 5000 citizen complaints about Navy jet noise have been entered since May,2014.
Our public and private lands are being misused for military warfare training with little more than token or no opportunity for comment. Citizens, whose complaints often seem to fall on deaf ears, are losing confidence in their elected officials. They need to hear that you and your cabinet care and will do what you can to address our concerns.
Please meet with representatives of our organizations and invite whomever you deem appropriate to the meeting. We will identify the representatives that we will be sending and will provide written information to you and others in advance.
The following is a list of organizations signing on to this letter. Please respond to the following contact person. Your response will be shared with all organizations listed below. This is an issue that demands your attention and one that will not go away. We look forward to hearing from you.
Ken Pickard (Contact Person)
Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER)
P.O. Box 202
Coupeville, WA 98239
Quiet Skies Coalition
Save the Olympic Peninsula (STOP)
North Olympic Group Sierra Club
Protect Peninsula’s Future
Olympic Environmental Council
Veterans for Peace
Concerned Island Citizens