We need everyone impacted to go to the link below and participate in the survey that pops up about Growler noise “mitigation” ideas for the Coupeville OLF and Ault Field.
At the end of August the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) published a notice for Community Input on Noise Mitigation. This was in response to Congress directing the Dept. of Defense to look into potential noise mitigation programs. The community survey was set up online asking the public for ideas on how to mitigate military (especially jet) noise. The OLF and Ault Field were specifically designated in this survey, and they are seeking input from anyone who is within one mile of those facilities or (and this really expands the area in our case) who has a day-night average sound level of 65 decibels or greater (although we believe the day-night average should be 45 decibels). File a survey response even if you aren’t certain that you fall into either of these categories.
The survey can be accessed and filled out here:
COER has studied the various ideas for Growler noise in great detail, everything from chevrons to hush houses, and the bottom line is that there is no technologically feasible way to mitigate the harms from jet noise available today. The only realistic means of mitigation is by removing the source of the noise. In other words the only way to mitigate is to move the Growlers to a non-populated area and to close down the OLF. And this is what our elected officials and the military need to understand!
For those needing assistance doing the survey, we have put together sample responses for you to use. Below you will find both short-form and more comprehensive responses.
It is crucial that everyone answers this survey. Our goal is for there to be over a thousand responses from Whidbey.
Note that Survey Question Three asks you to identify the installation for which you filling out the survey. Do not make comments on Ault Field when filling out a survey for the OLF, and vice versa. If you want to comment on both, you should fill out separate surveys for each field.
All adult members of a family should do a separate survey.
Whether you choose to use our sample answers or not, please remember that our basic response is that the only way to mitigate the harms from Growler noise is to move the Growlers to a non-populated area and to close down the OLF.
Most of the numbered questions just ask for personal information and should be answered. The following numbered questions (in blue text) are the ones which we provide sample answers for:
Question 4. Are you aware of noise problems within your jurisdiction as a result of military fixed wing aviation activities?
Question 5. If yes, please elaborate:
Short Sample Response: Absolutely! Unlivable noise around OLF Coupeville, all due to Growler low-level flying at the OLF. Technically, it is “unfit for human occupation.”
Comprehensive Sample Response: The EA18-G “Growler” basing and training in and around Whidbey Island, and in particular FCLPs at the Coupeville Outlying Field and at Ault create noise impacts over homes, schools, the hospital and businesses that regularly exceed 100 dBL and can be as high as 130 dBL outdoors. This Growler jet noise makes normal life impossible anywhere near where the Growlers are flying. I live in proximity to the OLF and Pilots routinely fly directly over my home at 200 feet altitude and sometimes less. My house is soundproofed and yet the noise inside during Growler training is unbearable. During training you cannot safely be outside of your home.
Question 6. What type of sound attenuation activities are you either presently undertaking or believe is necessary to address the jet (fixed wing aircraft) noise issues in your jurisdiction – please provide as much detail as possible?
Short Sample Response: Chevrons don’t work. The only way to attenuate the OLF Coupeviile noise is to move the source—the Growlers—to an unpopulated area. Period!
Comprehensive Sample Response: The reality is that the only way to address the problem of Growler jet noise is to move the Growlers to a non-populated area and to decommission the OLF. If our government and the military is honest about this, there is no technology available to the military or the public which can mitigate the harm from military jet noise. Soundproofing homes only reduces noise levels from extremely dangerous levels to dangerous, and doing so only turns our homes into prisons! Hush houses do nothing at all to reduce noise during flyovers. Chevrons only reduce noise by approximately 3 dBL. High performance, low level tactical aircraft, like the Growler do not belong anywhere near civilian populations. Congress has provided the Navy with millions of acres of military reserve where the Growlers could train with no harm to or impact upon civilian populations. It is time to move the Growlers and close the OLF!
Question 7. Are there disadvantaged or underserved populations in your jurisdiction that may be unaware of this jet noise and the possibility of federal assistance to attenuate some portion of it?
Question 8. If yes, are there recommendations for reaching them directly?
Short Sample Response 1: Yes–itinerant farm laborers and yard care workers. Only if deaf are they unaware of and unharmed by Growler noise at OLF Coupeville. We cannot move their work—you can move the Growlers and close the OLF.
Short Sample Response 2: There is no federal assistance that can mitigate the harms and impacts from the Growler. It is time to move the Growler and close the OLF.
10. If you have already been responding to noise from military fixed wing aircraft, how much would you estimate you have expended and for what?
[It is up to you as to how much information you want to give them, but we would suggest ending your description by saying:]
Nothing I have done has significantly mitigated the harm from Growler noise. It is time to move the Growlers and close the OLF!
I have expended years of energy, time, and dollars, all of it knowing the Navy hears only what is convenient for them to hear. Give us a break! Move the Growlers and close the OLF