by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies
In 2019 the U.S. Navy was sued by the Washington State attorney general and a citizen’s group, Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve, claiming that the horrific noises of the U.S. Navy’s military’s warplanes have made their lives essentially “unlivable.”
Thus, it was with delight that the citizens of Whidbey Island, as well as individuals nationwide who have been exposed to overhead aircraft noise, read about the recent decision by Chief Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura. Judge Creatura ruled that “the Navy violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to consider war-training impacts on childhood learning, on the region’s bird population, and on greenhouse gas emissions.”
The judge added that the Navy should have “researched training locations where there would have been less harm.”
While the decision did not suggest a remedy to the aircraft noise situation, the Navy has to respond to this decision appropriately.