Letter: Alarmed by plan to hike number of Navy EA-18Gs

Editor,

As a resident of Coupeville, I am alarmed by the Navy plan to increase the number of Growler operations at the OLF by 400 percent.

The draft EIS when published resulted in over 4,300 letters from the community, overwhelmingly opposed to an increase in flights.

The final EIS has not been published, yet the PR campaign the Navy is conducting actively minimizes the many valid concerns of the Central Whidbey community.

These jets are loud, well above the level which impairs hearing.

They fly low, doing touch-and-go practice on an airstrip which does not meet minimum Navy requirements.

The increase will require Accident Prevention Zone implementation, putting the 400 homes in Admirals Cove, among many others, into condemnation.

Island Transit, Whidbey Health Medical Center, Ryan’s House and WAIF will all be at risk. 100 percent of the cost will be born by Island County, likely increasing property taxes countywide.

Central Whidbey is known for tourism and agriculture and is home of Ebey’s National Historical Reserve, pristine beaches, hiking trails and the historic Town of Coupeville. The noise and pollution from nearly 24,000 operations per year will decimate our economy and destroy the tranquility that is what we come here for.

Before the Growlers arrived, we had a partnership with the Navy.

Now we have a bully willing to put their own pilots at risk with a substandard airstrip and a whole community in peril from detrimental health impacts and financial hardship.

The recent articles in local papers promoting this action is Navy propaganda. Smiling faces and distorted facts.

The citizens have been ignored. Now it is up to our elected officials to stop this insanity.

Rebecca Wagner

Coupeville

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