The Air Force has released its draft environmental impact statement for locating a squadron of F-35A fighter jets at two locations.

It evaluated five sites including Truax Field in Madison. The environmental impact statement shows the new jets will be louder than the current F-16 jets for many people on the ground, and we could see a 47% increase in military operations. Madison is the site with the greatest environmental impacts. For example, while the Florida site will have no people living above the 65-decibel noise standard, 2,215 additional people in Madison could be exposed to noise above this standard. And hundreds of people live in areas where housing could be incompatible and people may need to move.

Unlike the other sites, Madison will experience “disproportionate impacts to low-income and minority populations as well as children.” The 65-decibel standard used for the environmental standard is old and doesn’t address current knowledge about the health and educational impacts of aircraft noise. Noise impacts will increase for the thousands of people living near Truax Field. 

Locating these new jets in Madison is a sad reflection on our values. 

Steven Klafka, Madison

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