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COER starts jet noise complaint line
Citing a lack of trust for the Navy’s public input hotline, the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve has created its own jet noise complaint hotline.
The Navy resumed touch-and-go operations Monday, Jan. 6, at Outyling Field Coupeville. Residents in the area have complained about the increase in the number of operations at OLF in recent years. COER sued the Navy in July and is calling for a closure of OLF.
“When the planes resume flying over our homes, schools, and hospital, we’ll be ready to take complaint calls,” said Michael Monson, COER president.
“Callers can talk to real people starting on Thursday, Jan. 9 and not a recorded voice. We expect complaints from all of Whidbey Island and beyond.”
The Navy created a new complaint line and online complaint form last year in response to community concerns about noise.
Monson said the COER hotline is needed because “many people do not trust the Navy to keep track of complaints or to treat them seriously.”
NAS Whidbey representatives had no comment at press time.
It is COER’s intention to keep track of the complaints it receives and forward them to the Navy, according to a COER news release.
COER also plans to analyze the complaints and use them to support the closure of the OLF and transfer of the EA-18 Growlers, which perform the touch-and-gos at OLF, to another base.
“Aircraft noise, in particular low-altitude over-flights, is a public health issue that must be addressed to reduce the negative health outcomes of community members. COER looks forward to assisting people who are being harmed by unsafe noise levels in the coming weeks, by listening and recording their comments,” said Monson.
“Requests for anonymity will be respected.”
COER claims to have more than 3,000 supporters. The Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association recently joined COER in opposing Growler training flights at OLF Coupeville.
COER’s tollfree complaint hotline number is 800-830-4078. Monson said it will be staffed 24 hours a day.