The Madison chapter of the
National Organization for Women
Madison NOW Expresses Opposition to the Potential Addition of F-35As at Truax
Secretary, Madison NOW
As Madison’s 115th Fighter Wing has become a finalist for the siting of 20 new F-35As, Madison NOW would like to formally state its opposition to the project. Two of our organization’s core commitments are to promoting Economic Justice and Racial Justice. Both the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) commissioned by the National Guard and the City of Madison’s own research raise troubling questions about the disproportionate impact of F-35As on low income communities and particularly on people of color.
In terms of economic injustice, the areas immediately surrounding Truax have lower household incomes than elsewhere in the city, with some neighborhoods experiencing poverty rates in excess of 30%. Many residents are renting. City of Madison estimates consider that 1000 homes or more may be displaced or otherwise be incompatible with residential use if the F-35As are sited here. While FAA grants may be available to some homeowners to remediate harm from increased noise, those grants do not address renter concerns, will only be available to a narrowly defined geographic area (where average daily noise levels are estimated to exceed 65 decibels), and will exclude anyone in a mobile home or those structures the FAA decides are not permanent. A mobile home park off Sherman Avenue falls within this narrow 65 decibel zone, but being “non-permanent” the FAA leaves residents there few options besides moving if they can find an affordable alternative or staying and coping with a detrimental physical environment.
In regards to racial injustice Madison already sees disproportionately negative impacts on communities of color. City of Madison maps estimate neighborhoods closest to Truax have minority populations of 40-50%. Areas of poverty overlap and intersect with these areas. Again, their recourse is limited if the F-35As make the area unlivable or hostile to additional economic development.
None of this even begins to address the myriad environmental and pollution concerns around Well 15 and PFAS contamination from Truax. We echo the concerns raised by the Safe Skies and Clean Water Coalition.
The Federal Government is ultimately responsible for the decision of where to site these new, $90 million apiece aircraft, but it would be a grave mistake to ignore the disparate impacts that are already felt on the Northside of Madison and the increasing harm to populations who can least afford to cope.
Madison NOW is opposed to adding F-35As to Truax and hopes everyone will join us in registering feedback with the Air National Guard at http://www.angf35eis.com during their open comment period which runs through September 27, 2019. Madison NOW also encourages everyone to write and call Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, as well as 2nd Congressional District Representative Mark Pocan, to express opposition.
We are contacting you on behalf of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Our mailing address is:
National Organization for Women
PO Box 45671
Madison, WI 53744