Tag Archives: Air National Guard

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

 

Dane County Will Ignore Harm to the Poor to Enrich the Wealthiest Few

Madison unlikely to ban future housing in area to be affected by F-35 jet noise

Original Article Link

This sounds like the novel, 1984, where the Ministry of Peace promoted war. Here in Madison, the City Council President’s Work Group on Environmental Justice promotes environmental injustice. – Steven Klafka  

 


Noise levels with F-16’s, the level is projected to be up to four times louder with the addition of f-35’s



“Despite concerns about noise, Madison appears unlikely to prohibit future housing in an area that could be affected by sound from F-35 fighter jets coming to Truax Field.

The unlikelihood of a ban is reviving a stalled proposal to build housing on 63.6 acres of farmland on the North Side, part of which could be subject to unhealthy levels of jet noise.

The City Council President’s Work Group on Environmental Justice has been exploring possible alternatives, including a development moratorium, a special district with requirements and regulations for housing or zoning changes, in an effort to protect residents in new projects from noise and avoid having poor and minority people bear a disproportionate share of the environmental impacts from the F-35s, slated to begin operations in 2023.

But last month, after hearing about legal obstacles from the city attorney’s office, the work group clarified that none of its members wish to prohibit new housing in the area around the airport subject to noise levels of 65 decibels or more, which is considered too loud for residential development without significant soundproofing. The work group hasn’t produced a formal report or recommendations.

Instead, members said it’s best to ask developers to include soundproofing in new housing in the area and noted that the city could require noise mitigation for housing projects that seek city financial assistance. The group also suggested asking the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to consider mitigation criteria in new housing or rehabilitation projects.

“The work group is asking developers to do mitigation,” said council President Syed Abbas, who appointed the group but is not a member. The work group could still make recommendations next year and any council member can always offer legislation that goes further.

After the work group’s discussion, Green Street Development Group resubmitted a previously failed proposal for 96 single-family homes, several multifamily buildings and other development on the vacant 63.6 acres, called Raemisch Farm, between North Sherman and Packers avenues.

In late July, the Plan Commission recommended approval of proposals for a preliminary plat and zoning changes from Green Street, finding the proposals consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

But in August, the City Council rejected the plan on a 15-2 vote, largely to give the president’s work group time to consider concerns about future noise from the F-35s. The refusal came despite Green Street’s commitment to not build homes in the eastern portion of the property, projected to experience an average daily noise of 65 decibels or more. The council, however, refused the requests in a way that they could be reintroduced.

“The council’s decision essentially halted all potential residential development and redevelopment projects near the airport,” said Bill Connors, executive director of Smart Growth Greater Madison. “When the President’s Work Group on Environmental Justice wisely decided not to recommend any sort of ban or new limitation on residential development near the airport, it partially lifted the uncertainty.”

Green Street’s resubmitted plans call for 96 single-family homes on 29.1 acres; multifamily housing on 12.3 acres; townhomes on 3.9 acres; commercial uses on 5.3 acres along Packers Avenue; a private park on 1.5 acres; public wetlands on 8.1 acres, and a forest preserve dedicated for parks or a school on 3.3 acres.

“We are excited to re-engage with the city on our current proposal that is compliant with the council’s recommendations and will include new market rate and workforce housing units, single-family homes, and retains over 10 acres of open green space with commercial uses to occupy the areas that have potential noise impact,” managing director Joel Oliver said.

Approvals will allow Green Street to move ahead with single-family homes as a matter of right and offer plans for other uses that would require Plan Commission approval, officials said.

“(But) until the City Council votes on something essentially declaring that we are back to business as usual for residential development near the airport, any residential development project near the airport that requires rezoning is very risky,” Connors said.

Ald. Charles Myadze, whose 18th District includes the Raemisch property, has scheduled an online neighborhood meeting for Jan. 11. He declined comment until after he gets community input at the meeting.

“Madison needs more housing construction,” Connors said. “Madison’s current and future residents can ill afford having the city government discourage residential development near the airport or in any other large part of the city.”

Madison Maps Connected to Noise  

Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin Noise Page

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.

 

 

WI State Journal : County More Reporting on PFAS

original link

Emily Hamer

 

“The Dane County Board on Thursday approved a proposal that will require additional public reporting on PFAS contamination and seek more information on much power the county has to regulate or halt airport projects if soil is too contaminated.

In another proposal aimed at supporting efforts to address PFAS contamination, the board backed a state bill that, if passed, would fund new state staff to come up with a PFAS action plan, create grants for local governments to conduct testing and remediation and other statewide initiatives to mitigate contamination due to the chemicals.

PFAS compounds are toxic, manmade chemicals that don’t break down in the environment and have been shown to increase the risk of cancer and other ailments. The “forever chemicals” have been found at the Dane County Regional Airport, where firefighters have used fluorinated foams for decades. Environmental advocates worry construction could further disburse PFAS.

Sup. Yogesh Chawla, 6th District, the author of the proposal on public reporting, said the county needs to make it “as easy as possible” for members of the community to find out about contamination levels and any remediation efforts. With the resolution’s approval, Public Health Madison and Dane County, along with county staff, will be directed to make a website for posting information on PFAS tests and minutes from any public meetings where PFAS is discussed.

The resolution also asks county staff to provide a legal opinion on “any and all ways” the county can regulate airport activities and the work to clean up PFAS. Chawla said it’s not clear exactly what the county can do to protect from PFAS contamination, and the legal opinion should shed some light on that.

“We … need to know what power the County Board has to keep our drinking water safe for our community,” Chawla said.

The resolution is the latest iteration of a series of proposals from Chawla looking to address PFAS contamination. The previous proposals failed, likely because they included language opposing the placement of F-35 fighter jets in Madison, which has faced opposition because of noise and environmental concerns. Thursday’s resolution doesn’t mention the jets at all.

Sup. Jeff Weigand, 20th District, was the only board member to vote against the PFAS resolutions. Weigand said he supported the public reporting but was against efforts to regulate airport activity. He said the proposal supporting the state bill “does nothing,” and he’s against passing a measure just “so we can all feel good.”

Car camping

Also Thursday, the board passed a resolution that directs staff in the county’s Department of Human Services to prepare a report on potential sites for lawful car camping for homeless individuals. Weigand was the only board member to vote against it, but he did not say why.

More than nine years ago, local nonprofit Madison-area Urban Ministry, now known as Just Dane, recommended that the county identify parking spots on properties owned by the county, businesses and faith communities that could be used for car camping. Just Dane also recommended creating a registration process and a community outreach program to explain the car camping to neighbors.

The new report will include ways the county could implement those recommendations and take “a fresh look” at car camping, Human Services Director Shawn Tessmann said. Staff are required to present interim recommendations no later than March 1 and a full report on the site options by June 1.

Sup. Heidi Wegleitner, 2nd District, the author of the resolution, has said implementing lawful car camping in the county is “overdue.”