EA-18G Growler from NAS Whidbey Island. (U.S. Navy

EA-18G Growler from NAS Whidbey Island. (U.S. Navy

Navy ‘terminating discussions’ about impact of Growlers

The law requires federal agencies to consider the effects a project may have on historic properties.

By Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

The Navy announced after 4:30 p.m. Friday that it was terminating discussions with agencies and parties over how the Navy will mitigate impacts the increase in EA-18G Growlers will have on historic properties in Central Whidbey.

The Navy released the draft “memorandum of agreement” regarding the issue earlier this year even though there was no agreement, igniting a controversy in the community.

The law requires federal agencies to consider the effects a project may have on historic properties and to take action to either avoid or mitigate impacts.

Allyson Brooks, state historic preservation officer, explained earlier this year that the Growlers will essentially degrade quality of life and people’s experience in the historic district of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. As a result, the Navy is obligated to mitigate the impact by helping to enhance or otherwise “assist” the historic landscape, she said.

The Navy’s negotiations with the state historic preservation officer, the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, government officials on Whidbey Island and other “interested parties” haven’t resulted in an agreement.

Termination of consultation is an option provided to the federal agency under the Section 106 process, when the agency and consulting parties are unable to reach agreement on how to resolve adverse effects, according to a Navy press release.

There’s no disagreement that Growler flights at the Outlying Field Coupeville will have an impact on the adjacent reserve. The Navy already determined that indirect adverse effects to the Central Whidbey historic district would result from more frequent aircraft operations.

“Specifically, the preferred alternative would affect the historic integrity of five landscape viewpoints within the historic district,” the Navy said in a statement. “Subsequently, the Navy initiated a series of meetings and calls with all consulting parties with the intention to reach agreement on appropriate measures to resolve the effects.”

The Navy and consulting parties, however, haven’t been able to reach an agreement.

“After careful consideration,” the Navy statement said, “the Navy has determined that further consultation under Section 106 will not be productive within the time available to avoid unacceptable impacts to the Navy’s defense mission. This impasse results from an unwillingness to separate concerns about historic properties from concerns about other economic and community apprehensions surrounding increased Growler flights at the OLF. The 106 process is about historic preservation and does not address other possible impacts to the community.”

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Norton Playfield, a three-acre play field owned by Housing Hope on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vote nears on Housing Hope’s Everett playfield project

The Everett City Council will deliberate Wednesday on the multi-family, supportive housing proposal.

Two teens shot near Mill Creek, taken to hospitals

The males, 17 and 18, were in a vehicle when two males approached and got into an altercation.

Driver hits, critically injures pedestrian in Everett

A driver hit a male who ran across the road Saturday night but stayed there and spoke with police.

Marysville School Districts' McKinney-Vento & Foster Care Liaison Deanna Bashour (left to right) Andrea Wyatt, Larisa Koenig and Rosemary Peterson on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A new haven of help for homeless students in Marysville

“You name it, if they need it, we’ve got it,” says the Connections Center’s foster care liaison.

The USS Michael Monsoor has been a recent frequent visitor at Naval Station Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
New Navy ship visits Everett base while training near Canada

The USS Michael Monsoor may visit a few more times before it leaves at the end of October.

Pedestrian seriously injured in hit-and-run in Everett

He was expected to survive. A 31-year-old woman was later booked into jail as a suspect.

Everett man who fled scene of hit-and-run fatality sentenced

“I just panicked is all,” said Thomas Rock, who was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in prison.

Ian Terry / The Herald

An abandoned car sits on flooded Mann Road in Sultan on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015.

Photo taken on 11132015
County considers raising roads to skirt flooding near Sultan

Ben Howard Road and Mann Road are in line for culverts and elevation gains.

Most Read