Flying training missions on weekends is not mentioned in the Navy’s Growler jet draft environmental impact statement (EIS), which is open for comment until Jan. 25. Neither is the addition of 42 …
Flying training missions on weekends is not mentioned in the Navy’s Growler jet draft environmental impact statement (EIS), which is open for comment until Jan. 25. Neither is the addition of 42 more Growlers on top of what’s in this EIS, bringing the total to 160, which doesn’t count several incoming squadrons of other types of jets.
But a Navy representative confirmed the extra 42 Growlers, and the Forest Service’s draft permit says the Navy will be allowed to fly on weekends so long as it does not interfere with “opening day and associated opening weekend of Washington State’s Big Game Hunting Season for use of rifle/guns.”
Why is this additional flight time period not mentioned in the EIS?
It has long been understood, and the EIS acknowledges, that the Navy will cooperate with local officials and populations by not flying training missions on weekends and holidays. Neither the City of Port Townsend nor any of our neighboring communities have had the opportunity to evaluate these additional noise impacts. Weekends are peak times for local economies, and to have that quiet obliterated by jet noise from a rapidly expanding mega-base spells economic downturn.
People come here throughout all four seasons to relax in peaceful, unspoiled surroundings.
To not disclose weekend flying in the EIS, and then to extend such a courtesy to the big game hunting industry without consulting with municipalities and other economically viable (and vulnerable) tourism and recreation entities, is unwise, irresponsible and does nothing to rebuild the broken trust between the Navy, the Forest Service and the public. One hundred and sixty jets and weekend flying will also invalidate the Navy’s already flawed noise-level projections. The public has until Jan.13 to comment on the Forest Service’s electronic warfare permit.