Navy already monitoring noise of its jets at NAS Whidbey

The Herald’s recent editorial, “Use noise study to get Navy, neighbors to table” expresses significant errors.

Whidbey’s “Sound of Freedom” sign was replaced years ago.

Also, the Navy did enter negotiations concerning the National Historic Preservation Act. However, this was not to resolve activist opposition toward the distinctly separate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its Environmental Impact Statement for increased Growlers. Activist determination to link the two requirements undermined the talks.

Litigation regarding Growlers was always the foreseeable outcome. Despite the state Attorney General’s allegations, the Navy spent six years attempting proper NEPA compliance. The Navy possibly expends more effort and expense in the PNW than anywhere else in the nation. Roughly 150 lawyers, scientists, and experts were devoted locally, not including numerous independent agencies and consultants.

By extension, real-time noise monitoring is a foreseeable inevitability as various global sensibilities increasingly link to available technology. Yet, the Navy’s noise modeling is the widely accepted method used by courts and land-use planning.

As you state, the Navy has a long history at Whidbey. From 1956, it includes a continuous presence of jets as loud as or louder than Growlers. Plus, there have been nearly twice as many carrier jets (previous 216 vs future 118) and average flight operations roughly equal to what is being proposed.

Since 1902, the Navy League of the United States is a nonpartisan, worldwide organization. It is dedicated to informing the American people and their government about the importance of sea-services to our national defense and economic prosperity.

Steve Bristow

Navy League

Oak Harbor

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