Resolution in Opposition to the Operational Beddown of F-35 Fighter Jets
The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association (TLNA) opposes the Operational Beddown of F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field Air National Guard Base.
One of TLNA’s central concerns is the impact of high-decibel noise on the surrounding community. The Air Force’s Environmental Impact Statement, issued February 19, 2020, concludes that over 2,200 residents of the area stretching from Commercial Avenue north to Highway 19 would experience 65 decibel-level noise, while around 300 residents of the Carpenter-Ridgeway neighborhood would experience sound levels between 70-75 decibels. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 65 decibels and above is “not compatible” with residential or school use. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control has found exposure to loud noise to contribute to health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hypertension, while the World Health Organization has linked high-decibel noise exposure in children to poorer reading comprehension, standardized test scores, and long-term memory. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also concluded that such high noise levels can cause preterm labor and growth restriction in babies. This high-decibel noise will have significant disproportionate impacts on the low-income and minority population that reside in the surrounding areas.
In addition to the dangers from noise exposure, TLNA is also concerned about the impact on our community’s drinking water of the bedding-down of the F-35s. Materials used in the operation of the aircraft contain PFAS, a chemical linked to development problems, thyroid disease, cancer, and weakened childhood immunity. Groundwater pollution from PFAS is already a problem in Madison because of the F-16 jets. (In May 2019, the chemical was found in ten of nineteen tested municipal wells, resulting in the well closest to the airport (Well 15) being shut down.) The construction required to expand Truax Field and the operation of the jets pose a significant risk of further groundwater contamination, not just to the immediate surrounding area, but to Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood as well as the entire city of Madison.
Whatever economic benefits are said to accrue from the bedding-down of the F-35 fighter jets, they pale in comparison with the harm that will certainly be done to the health and livelihoods of our friends and neighbors.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association opposes the basing of a squadron of F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field because it is contrary to our neighborhood’s values of promoting the health and well-being of our community and our city.
Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Council
March 26, 2020