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Navy plans to monitor jet noise

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (Jelson25/WikiCommons)

The Navy submitted a plan to Congress in March to monitor jet noise around Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and a base in California.

That plan, submitted March 19, outlines general terms for the monitoring, including using guidance from the American National Standards Institute and the Acoustical Society of America, and using 10 or more sound level monitors in the vicinity of usual flight paths.

Navy News Desk Officer Emily Wilkin said exact locations for the sound monitoring equipment and kind of equipment used remain to be determined through coordination with local officials and an agreement with a contractor.

“The details of the meters, their placement, and specific site requirements are not yet known to the Navy,” she said in an email.

The plan also generally laid out a timeline — a start to monitoring this summer and completion a year later — but that may be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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When monitoring is complete, the Navy will submit a report to Congress including the results, comparisons of the results to previous noise modeling, and any changes to operations being considered because of the analysis.

No public meetings are planned to discuss the monitoring plan, which the Navy said in a news release is being designed “to ensure community concerns are addressed.”

Around NAS Whidbey Island, residents of Coupeville, Oak Harbor and surrounding areas have raised concerns about the impact of noise from military aircraft on residents’ health and environmental health.

“We want to make sure our noise monitoring effort is comprehensive and that the data collected meets the intent of Congress and addresses local concerns,” Lucian Niemeyer, acting assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, said in the release.

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© 2020 the Skagit Valley Herald