This is one of the actual Growler EIS scoping comments COER obtained from the navy who redacted the name of the contributor.




s proposed introduction of two additional Growler Expeditionary squadrons (10 aircraft) and the addition of three Growler aircraft to the  training squadron. I am also concerned that the Navy is proposing to continue and  increase Growler Operations at both Ault Field and OLF Coupeville and has agreed to a s, which will add an additional 12 aircraft to NAS Whidbey. I live on Lopez Island and often experience jet noise which  makes it difficult to have a conversation, sleep or concentrate. Noise often continues until 11PM and not infrequently until 12 midnight and occasionally until 2AM. This is highly intrusive noise which rattles windows and contains a low frequency component I can feel raising the anxiety level in my body. I would like the EIS to study the following areas:

How would the proposed additions of aircraft affect the profile of real-time high noise events that we now experience? We are told that we live in a low noise area because the Navy chooses to measure the noise we receive using averages
time high noise events need to be measured and used for determining community noise impacts. Three to four hours of 90+s occurring after 9pm.

What would the Navy do to mitigate the noise from engine run-ups on the tarmac? Right now we are told this extremely invasive noise can legally go on until 12 midnight. This persistent noise affects children who cannot sleep, and adults who need rest for work. Ear protection does not even begin to dampen the sound. One solution might be to pointtoward the west shore of Vancouver Island 70 miles distant instead of toward Lopez Island 8 miles away. Installation of baffles might help direct the noise away from populated areas.

What correlations are there between health problems and proximity to the areas most affected by F-18 flights? I have been experiencing a neurological skin problem that my doctor is linking with the anxiety that is produced from the ongoing invasive noise of the F-18’s. There is well documented evidence showing correlations between – heart disease, myocardial infarction, elevated triglycerides and cholesterol, strokes, hospitalizations, immunotoxicity, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety and stress related disorders – and noise – especially noise over 90 decibels. The noise generated by the Growlers is happening – to real people – in real time – and – real numbers need to be used to access this problem – not averages.

How will the Navy mitigate the effects of jet emissions, exhaust and residues on humans, endangered species, the Salish Sea and air quality? I particularly would like the EIS to study:

  • What about jet fuel residues that sift down to the ground?
  • How are our agricultural lands affected?
  • How has jet fuel dumping that has been witnessed over Smith and Minor Islands affected the National Wildlife Refuges and the large kelp beds that surround these islands?

I am very concerned about air quality and the emissions and exhaust from the jet propellant fuel (JP-5) used by the F-18’s. How will additional planes impact our air quality? Testing air quality and soil for residues of jet operation should be conducted in the four counties affected by the jets. Since the F-18’s burn roughly 1,200 gallons (8,000 pounds) of jet fuel per hour these tests should be a priority. Post combustion exhaust from jet engines contain carcinogenic pollutants which affect air, water and soil and are capable of poisoning animals as well as plant and aquatic life. The south end of Lopez experiences occasional inundations of what smells like jet fuel. Also grayish residues have been reported on fruit crops.

How will San Juan County’s economy be affected by the proposed additions of jets? A large component of our economy is tourism. Visitors arrive from all over the world to enjoy the National Monument lands, wildlife refuges and parks. They come for the beauty and the quiet not the noise of a war zone. NAS Whidbey’s intrusive noise and over-flights are incompatible with local land use in the region.

The 12 Australian EA-18’Gs and their 3 year training program mentioned in the Navy’s November 8, 2013 press release needs to be included in the EIS. Adding these aircraft to the original 13 proposed brings the total to be added to 25 EA-18G “Growlers”. Impacts need to be based on 25 EA-18G’s not 13.

The scope of the EIS should be amended to include the cumulative impacts study of all the EA-18G aircraft and P-8’s which are scheduled to be based at NAS Whidbey. I understand that the numbers of aircraft will be 10 Attack squadrons (5 aircraft /squadron) and 10 EA-18G Expeditionary aircraft for a total of 60 EA-18G’s and 69 P-8’s. This number of aircraft is incompatible with local land use in this region of expanding tourism, recreation and sensitive environmental areas.

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