Letter to the Editor: We Hear Them — Do They Hear Us?

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The letter by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to the secretary of the Navy echoes the region’s concerns in a long list of mitigations and considerations for the Navy to address.

Some of these include adverse effects on historical structures, agriculture and tourism. Members recognized Growler jet noise would impact more than Central Whidbey.   

This review has brought to light the magnitude of the harms causing by the Navy’s proposed increase in Growler jet flights and operations and the Navy’s failed process to protect historic properties. They have acknowledged and validated the public’s concerns expressed on the insufficient mitigations offered by the Navy to reduce, minimize or mitigate Growler jet noise.

Council members agreed the Navy’s methods of measuring noise may have been too narrow – leaving out over 40 historic properties in Port Townsend. The ACHP suggests noise monitoring, adding its voice to requests for noise monitoring by the EPA, the Governor and the department of health.

The ACHP received more than 250 written comments on the Navy’s proposed undertaking from consulting partners, members of the public, the governor’s office and from members of Congress. A December public meeting in Coupeville was attended by over 400 people from throughout Northwest Washington. The message from the public for noise reduction was clear and consistent.

The secretary of the Navy will soon make his decision on the Growler jet expansion. It remains to be seen if the Department of Defense and the secretary of the Navy will respond to the thousands of people from throughout the region who have commented on a failed process producing a proposal too big and too harmful for our region. There is still time for the Navy to reduce its Growler jet expansion proposal and to demonstrate its responsiveness to the public they serve.

Sound Defense Alliance
Larry Morrell, Port Townsend
Maryon Attwood, Coupeville
Michael Monson, Coupeville
Chris Hurley, Oak Harbor
Rhea Miller, Lopez Island
Brian Silverstein, Lopez Island
Rob Smith, Seattle
Mark Lundsten, Anacortes

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