Video recording of the press conference announcing the recent lawsuit. It’s available here on Youtube.
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Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin filed a lawsuit on March 10, 2021 in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C. against the U.S. Air Force for preparation of a faulty and illegal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS evaluated the consequences of basing F-35A combat fighter jets at five locations including the Air National Guard base at Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin.
After finalizing the EIS on February 28, 2020, the Air Force confirmed its plans to station a squadron of F-35 jets in Madison and Montgomery, Alabama. Safe Skies claims the Air Force acted illegally by failing to adequately study and disclose the significant environmental effects of the F-35 jets and acted arbitrarily and capriciously by failing to follow procedures required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The complaint identifies specific topics the Air Force failed to adequately address in its EIS including use of outdated noise standards and failure to assess impacts on the 60,000 people living within three miles of Truax Field; PFAS contamination of already-polluted drinking water, groundwater, surface water and fish in Starkweather Creek, Lake Monona and the Yahara chain of lakes; environmental justice including significant impacts on low income and families of color living adjacent to Truax Field; viable alternatives including consideration of locations with lesser environmental impacts and evaluation of other missions for the 115th Fighter Wing; and climate change and historic flooding around the chain of lakes.
The suit also claims the decision to base the jets at Madison and Montgomery had already been made years before completion of the EIS, and that the Air Force had failed to notify low income and families of color and provide them an opportunity to comment by holding an inaccessible public hearing far from Truax Field.
Safe Skies is asking the federal court to stop all activities including construction related to basing the F-35 jets at Truax Field until the Air Force fully complies with NEPA.