Category Archives: Dane County

Postpone Request for National Guard: 11 Jan 22 “Open House”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2022

Contact: Tom Boswell, 608/718-7312

 

Safe Skies Clean Water Asks Air National Guard

and Dane County Airport to Postpone “Open House”

 

Madison – The Safe Skies Clean Water Coalition has called on the Wisconsin Air National Guard and Dane County Regional Airport to postpone an “Open House” scheduled for Tuesday, January 11, at Madison College. The purpose of the event is to update the public on plans being undertaken by the Wisconsin Air National Guard (WANG) and the National Guard Bureau (NGB) to remediate PFAS pollution originating with the Truax airbase.

 

location  https://isthmus.com/locations/madison-college-truax-campus-mitby-theater

 

This is not the right time to hold this event,” the coalition wrote to Colonel Bart Van Roo, commander of the 115th Fighter Wing at Truax. “We are in the height of another public health crisis. Many of the families who are and will be most impacted by the water pollution and dangerous noise levels of F-35 fighter jets are not likely to further jeopardize their health and safety by attending an indoor event at this moment.”

 

The coalition is one of several groups that has been advocating for the Air National Guard, Dane County and the City of Madison – all designated by the DNR as responsible parties in the water contamination crisis – to be more forthcoming in communication with the public. But Safe Skies Clean Water said “this is not the appropriate time for this event.”

 

Representatives of the NGB and a Maryland-based engineering firm are to present information on the remediation process and progress to date and address questions and comments from the public. The event is scheduled for 6 pm at the Mitby Theater on the Truax campus of Madison College.

 

We are frankly skeptical concerning the motivation of the Air National Guard and Dane County Regional Airport for scheduling this Open House while the pandemic is peaking, the weather is inhospitable, the students and faculty of Madison College are on winter break, and the event was announced during the winter holiday,” said Safe Skies Clean Water.

The Air Force, National Guard Bureau and Air National Guard have proven to be toxic neighbors. Now they plan to initiate yet another assault on our public health by foisting F-35 fighter jets on an already compromised community that doesn’t want them. We are asking the Air Force and Air National Guard to be better neighbors. We know you would rather be protecting us from real threats like pandemics and national disasters rather than making war on us. We ask you to postpone this event and to halt the construction at the airbase until the site investigation and PFAS remediation is completed.”


 

Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin is a nonprofit coalition of residents and organizations in Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin opposed to the proposed bed down of F-35A fighter jets at Truax Field.

For more,  safeskiescleanwaterwi.org 


“There is a problem.  Let’s put it on the table, get people engaged in it, hold polluters accountable and clean it up.”

  • Dr. Maria Powell, MEJO
  • Brad Geyer, Veterans for Peace, Former WI Air National Guard and US Air Force

WI Environmental Health Network: Forever Chemicals Wisconsin

Madison Environmental Justice: PFAS Related

 

Living Under Warplanes Interview On WORT 89.9 FM With Documentarian Nina Berman

A Public Affair Radio: Living Under Warplanes With Documentarian Nina Berman

WORT 89.9 FM Community Radio – Thursday Talk with Allen Ruff

Nina Berman Website 

“Communities across the country are living with military fighter jets overhead. Here in Madison, F35 Jets are scheduled to bed down in early 2022, despite public outcry. A new film by documentarian, photographer, Nina Berman, “When Jets Fly” shows the experiences in Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle. The project features the people living there, whose voices are often interrupted by fighter jet.

Nina Berman is documentary photographer, filmmaker, author and educator. Her wide-ranging work looks at  American politics, militarism, post violence trauma and resistance.  She is the author of Purple Hearts – Back from IraqHomeland, and An autobiography of Miss Wish.”

 



Related article on Intercept 

WHEN THE JETS FLY: NEW WARPLANES TURN U.S. TOWNS INTO SONIC HELLSCAPES
“U.S. communities are beset by deafening roars from a generation of louder military aircraft — and they are fighting back.”
Nina Berman
December 17 2021

“THE SOUND of the U.S. military’s latest generation of warplanes is quite literally deafening. The vibration shakes your insides. Conversation stops. Stress floods your body. And just when you think it’s over, another jet, and another and another, roars above rooftops, until it feels as though the sky is going to crack open.

This is the situation on Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle and in communities across the country, where civilians find themselves living amid sonic warscapes as the U.S. military practices for battle above their homes, schools, and playgrounds. In 2016, I went to Whidbey as part of a video research project on the environmental impacts from the production and testing of U.S. weapons. The Navy operates a base on the island where pilots train on Boeing-made EA-18G Growlers, which are electronic-attack aircraft designed to disable enemy communications and defenses.

Pilots practice touch-and-go landings and take-offs to simulate conditions on aircraft carriers. They use two runways, one on the base and a smaller one that is located near homes, schools, and a national historic reserve in the town of Coupeville. I met residents who were desperate and angry. They spoke of feeling anxious, of not being able to sleep or socialize, of homes shaking from within. I met one woman who bunkers down in her basement and cries while her husband sits inside with protective ear muffs and self-medicates when the jets fly.

Multiple studies show both auditory and non-auditory impacts from noise pollution of this magnitude, including cardiovascular disease, tendency to dementia, anxiety, depression, and negative childhood learning outcomes and hearing loss. On Whidbey, noise levels can reach 120 decibels outdoors and 90 decibels have been reported in some indoor locations. A jackhammer at five feet away is about 100 decibels, for comparison. The jets fly very low, day and night for hours at a time, sometimes past midnight.

I returned to Whidbey in the summer of 2020 and the situation was worse. The Navy had increased its Growler fleet. More areas were being impacted, including the San Juan Islands and the Olympic National Forest, which the Navy uses as an electronic warfare range.

In 2019, the Navy was sued by the Washington attorney general and a local non-profit, Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve (COER). Earlier this month, in a scathing opinion, Chief Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura said 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. He also said the Navy should have more thoroughly researched training locations where there would have been less harm, such as the desert in El Centro, California.

The judge’s ruling does not provide a remedy. Instead, he has asked the parties to submit their suggestions within 30 days. For residents, the most obvious solution is to relocate the Growlers.

THE STRUGGLE against military encroachment on civilian spaces is not unique to Whidbey. Since 2019, residents in the Burlington, Vermont area have been living amid the sonic roar of  F-35 attack aircraft. Twenty F-35s are now stationed at the Vermont Air National Guard station at Burlington International Airport. Pilots fly several hours a day, Tuesdays through Fridays and some weekends and nights. They train over the most densely populated areas of the state, including the town of Winooski, just north of the airport and home to a significant refugee population.

Saddam Ali and his wife Rajaa and children are one of those new families. They escaped Iraq and every time they hear an F-35, it brings them right back to the war they had fled. “I feel like I am still living in Iraq when I hear the sound of the planes,” said Rajaa. “We feel stress. It’s from this, of course. It’s really disturbing.”

Despite vigorous opposition from Vermonters in the form of protests and local resolutions against the planes, both of the state’s senators, Democrats Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, supported the Air Force’s basing decision. They say it was needed to ensure the long term viability of the Air National Guard base but critics vigorously dispute that and say the base would exist with or without the F35s, and they point instead to Leahy’s cozy history with military contractors.

The F-35s are being rolled out at Air National Guard bases around the country, including Madison, Wisconsin, which is scheduled to receive the planes in 2023. Flight operations in Madison would increase by 47% over the current F-16s and make approximately 1,167 nearby homes “incompatible for residential use.” That doesn’t mean the Air Force will buy out these homeowners. The FAA would need to decide whether those homes should be sound-proofed or demolished and the homeowners compensated. In Vermont, if the authorities decided to sound-proof, it would take 26 years to fix 2,600 of the most-impacted homes at a cost of $4.5 million a year, according to a Burlington airport study.

But how do you sound-proof a park, or a playground, or your own backyard?”

Opposition to the Military Industrial Complex and F-35 Jets

Get a yard sign 

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT SAFE SKIES CLEAN WATER WISCONSIN

An Overview

If you are interested in participating or if you have skills to offer such as writing, media, technology or communications, please get back to us at safeskieswi@gmail.com

Be involved, get connected.  If you can connect us with those who might be interested in funding our fight, contact us or donate.

DONATE

Legal Initiatives

1.       Lawsuit #1 filed, challenging the Environmental Assessment on construction at Truax, asserting that it was not legally prepared. Best case scenario: they would have to stop construction and do a a full Environmental Impact Statement.

2.      Lawsuit #2 filed, challenging Environmental Impact Statement on the F-35 basing decision, arguing that the existing EIS uses old documents and does not include new information, including PFAS evidence and stricter noise standards currently under review. A judge will decide whether the record can be extended, with a decision possible next year.

3.       An Environmental Justice Complaint is being drafted. The Air Force is not subject to EJ policies or laws (although it should be), others are subject to it: Air National Guard, Air National Guard Bureau, Dane County, Dane County Airport, and the Governor as Commander in Chief of the Air National Guard.

4.       Our attorney is looking into whether we can file a PFAS suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) – the public law that creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste.

 

 

The Poison is here, the poison is there. Forever Chemicals

We know the poison is here.  The decision makers play a shell game and shelter the government and corporate manufacturers.

I wish the elected and appointed would speak truth, damn it.  Instead, the corporate mainstream news sources and the politicians with any real power act as a filter most of the time to serve corporate government owners.

I’m no expert, but I believe that if Truax is a polluted SuperFund site that they should not be allowed to stir up the pollution with their construction projects.  It seems as though government, especially federal, is above the laws and justice is ignored.  They are building a new terminal now and getting ready for more weapons of war [-crimes.]

That is not how republic and representative government works.  In the end, I guess, we get what we allow.  

 
We also allow the rights of human beings around the world to be violated to serve the profits of the connected and powerful. 
 
1)  “Michael Regan, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said his agency is taking a series of actions to limit pollution from a cluster of long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS that are increasingly turning up in public drinking water systems, private wells and even food. 
 
The Defense Department said it is moving to assess and clean up PFAS-contaminated sites throughout the country, while the Food and Drug Administration will expand testing of the food supply to estimate Americans’ exposure to PFAS from food. The plan is intended to restrict PFAS from being released into the environment, accelerate cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites such as military bases and increase investments in research to learn more about where PFAS are found and how their spread can be prevented.”

Associated Press

 


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
https://www.safeskiescleanwaterwi.org/pfas/