Changed Again! Hmmm?
Telephone complaints still go to:
So when the Growlers fly, call the Growler noise complaint line
or send an email to let them know we hear them
and we aren’t happy!
COER FINALLY OBTAINS THE NAVY’S NDAA NOISE MONITORING PLAN!
One of the Sound Defense Alliance’s successes was to get Congress to pass a requirement in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requiring the Navy to do a comprehensive noise monitoring study at two naval air stations, including NAS Whidbey Island. COER filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request last year for details about the program, and in particular the plan of implementation. The Navy stonewalled with regard to the plan. On March 3, 2022 COER was forced to once again file a FOIA lawsuit against the Navy for the release of the plan. On March 29th the Navy finally sent (without mentioning our suit), what they claim satisfies COER’s FOIA request. Of course, we had to go back to get them to add clarifications to that submission. Now we are negotiating how much the Navy will pay us in Attorney’s Fees for having to file suit under FOIA again. They just don’t seem to understand that we will not be cowed or deceived and that we will fight tooth and nail to make sure the public’s rights are protected.
We have posted all of the documents we received from the Navy regarding their sound study on our website at:
[Please note that this link is to a large group of PDF documents and may take a minute or two to load!]
Our initial review of these documents clearly indicates that the Navy’s monitoring Plan did not comply with the congressional intent for this monitoring study. Congress wanted the Navy to perform a bona fide noise monitoring study to determine how bad jet noise is. The Navy wasn’t interested in doing that. They fought tooth and nail not to have to monitor. When Congress insisted, the Navy and its contractors devised a study to “validate” their prior noise modelling results. On its face the study report looks comprehensive. But it doesn’t do what it was supposed to do: real life monitoring of jet noise.
Many of us were worried that the Navy would play games with their operations while being monitored. Surprise, surprise that’s exactly what they did! They should have done a blind study, so that the pilots had no idea when they were being noise monitored. Instead they coordinated monitoring operations with the base and actually cherry-picked the pilots to be monitored. How do we know this? It’s in the documents they didn’t want to release to us. For instance, in the document entitled: “Aircraft Sound Monitoring Study Project Kick-off Meeting Notes,” under “Next Steps” on page 2, you will find this statement:
- “Action — BRRC will develop a data validation package and will work remotely with installations/air crews on collecting operations data.
- For better efficiency and consistency, BRRC recommends coordinating with pilots who have worked with noise modelers on prior NEPA or AICUZ studies.” [Emphasis added.]
Nobody should really be surprised that the Navy devised a way around the intent of Congress, and created a bogus study with cherry-picked pilots and data to support their desired result. They have a long history of doing just this. As the federal magistrate said in his recommendation in our NEPA suit:
The Washington State Parks Commission Decides Not to Appeal WEAN’s Victory
Thanks again to you and all who contributed time, money, and energy to this fight for our community.
The aviation navigation app Foreflght posted a military Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) stating that OLF Coupeville is closed until September 23, 2022 for concrete repairs.