Complaint filed against the Environmental Assessment on December 7, 2020 in the federal Western District Court of Wisconsin.
Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin (“Safe Skies”) challenges a decision of the National Guard Bureau (“NGB”) to issue an Environmental Assessment (“EA”) and Finding of No Significant Impact (“FONSI”) for Construction and Demolition Projects at the 115th Fighter Wing Installation, Dane County Regional Airport, Madison, Wisconsin, instead of issuing an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”).
Update and summary
These construction projects were supposedly only to support the existing F-16 fighter jet training program and had nothing to do with the proposal to replace the F-16’s with F-35 fighter jets.
The initial lawsuit was filed in late 2020. During 2021, many briefs and support documents were filed. The next step in the lawsuit will be oral arguments to be held before the judge on January 6, 2022.
Note that Safe Skies later filed a separate lawsuit against the NGB for the Environmental Impact Statement it prepared for the F-35 fighter jets proposed for Truax Field. I’ll prepare an update and summary on that lawsuit soon.
Below is a summary of the case and a link to all of the EA lawsuit documents:
December 7, 2020 – Safe Skies files suit in the federal Western District of Wisconsin against National Guard Bureau preparation of environmental assessment for construction projects at Truax Field to support existing F-16 fighter jet training operations.
Safe Skies asks the court to confirm that:
A. In issuing an EA and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), the NGB failed to comply with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to issue an EIS;
B. The NGB violated NEPA by failing to prepare a Supplemental EA;
C. The NGB failed to comply with NEPA by improperly segmenting this Project from the F-35 Beddown Project;
D. The NGB failed to comply with NEPA by failing to consider cumulative impacts;
E. The NGB violated NEPA by failing to adequately consider environmental justice concerns;
F. The NGB violated NEPA by failing to take a hard look at alternatives;
G. The NGB violated NEPA by failing to adequately consider Climate Change;
H. The NGB violated NEPA by failing to provide adequate public notice; and
I. The NGB violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to comply with NEPA.
Safe Skies also asked the court to: 1) stop construction until the NBG prepares a supplemental EA or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and 2) award Safe Skies relief including litigation fees.
February 12, 2021 – National Guard Bureau files response to Safe Skies suit.
June 14, 2021 – Safe Skies files a Motion for Summary Judgement including its Brief, Findings of Fact and Declarations from Ed Blume, Tehmina Islam and Steve Klafka.
July 30, 2021 – NGB files its response to Motion for Summary Judgement.
August 30, 3021 – Safe Skies files its response to the July 30th NGB response.
September 30, 2021 – NGB files response to Safes Skies request of Summary Judgement and Findings of Fact.
January 6, 2022 – Oral Arguments Scheduled via Zoom.
Here is a link to the Google Docs folder. It contains the draft and final EA, and all Safe Skies and NGB submissions to the court.
Complaint filed against the Environmental Impact Statement on March 10, 2021 in federal District Court for Washington, D.C.
Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin, Inc. (“Safe Skies”) challenges a decision of the U.S. Air Force (“Air Force”) and the National Guard Bureau (“NGB”) selecting the Air National Guard (“ANG”) location at the 115th Fighter Wing Installation, Dane County Regional Airport, Madison, Wisconsin (also known as Truax Field (“Truax”)), for Operational Beddown of F-35A Aircraft following the issuance of an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”).