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September 22, 2019

8/7/2019 12:22:00 PM
Jet noise is harmful

The Navy’s recent increase of low altitude flights on Whidbey Island has resulted in noise levels high enough to cause pain, deafness and ill health. Prolonged exposure to high level noise is linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
(see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5898791/ )
Senator Barbara Bailey’s column in the Whidbey News Times has it wrong. As a resident under an Outlying Field Coupeville (OLF) flight path, I can inform Ms. Bailey that these Growlers’ jet noise permeates the indoor environment of our home, our schools and the areas outside with an earth-shaking rumble and deafening roar. We have measured over 90 decibels indoors, and over 120 decibels outside. During practices, it is continuous for hours; one jet follows another.
The Navy’s use of OLF for most of its touch-and-go training (80%) and its increased operations at Ault Field are just too much. No wonder citizens were quick to speak up and say, “Enough!”
We are not anti-Navy; it’s NOT about closing a base. We are anti-Growler Jet NOISE and its harmful effects!
The Navy’s Washington D.C. decision-makers can make a more balanced decision. Increased Growler operations harm our environment and our health. Children rely on adults for their safety and health. I am grateful that the Attorney General filed suit to protect us.
We value our environment, our rural economy and our historic character. The increase in jet missions over Ebey’s Reserve will drive people and visitors away. The Reserve’s mission cannot be achieved if this community is suffering under the hardship of Growler noise.
In July, friends from Montana camped at Deception Pass and said they were “made miserable” by ear-shattering afternoon and evening Growler noise. The jets flew so low, the campers could see the jets’ lights through the ceiling of their tent. They departed the campsite as quickly as possible. Driving tourists away is sad, and a real cost to our economy.
I’m confident the Navy will see their recent decision to place increased Growlers here as unsustainable and will provide a more balanced plan for our citizens, the region and our communities.
Karen Ramey

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