More than three dozen Whidbey Island, Wash., residents filed suit against the U.S. Navy last week seeking compensation for their inability to use their property due to excessive EA-18G Growler jet noise, The Seattle Times reported.
The lawsuit, filed by residents of a small Admiral’s Cove neighborhood less than one mile from the end of the landing strip on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, alleges increased jet noise from the recently expanded Growler program has made their property unpleasant. The neighborhood is situated just beneath the final approach and takeoff path for the jets, according to the report.
In March, the Navy authorized the expansion of its Growler program at NAS Whidbey Island by up to three dozen jets, adding to the 82 already based on the 55-mile long island north of Seattle.
The Growlers, which conduct electronic warfare to jam enemy communications and weapons launch systems, are louder than prior ones the Navy used, including the EA-6B Prowler, the Admiral’s Cove lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S Court of Federal Claims, is the second recent case challenging the Navy’s operations. In July, the state of Washington sued arguing the Navy failed to adequately consider the effect the expanded jet program would have on people or wildlife, as On Base previously reported.
Marge Plecki, an Admiral’s Cove plaintiff, said that four days a week and for hours on weekday afternoons, evenings or even late at night, the jets scream just 200 feet to 250 feet overhead as they practice “touch-and-go” landings similar to those on aircraft carriers, according to the report.
Steve Morrissey, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said that if the operations continue, the Navy should purchase residents’ properties that could be most vulnerable to a crash. He also said damages should be paid to residents who have lost the use of their property because of the noise, according to The Times.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marc Cuenca