• Petitioned Sec. of the Air Force Michael Donley, Cong. Buck McKeon, Sen. Carl Levin

This petition was delivered to:

Sec. of the Air Force Michael Donley, Cong. Buck McKeon, Sen. Carl Levin

The Air Force must stop fooling the public with phony studies.

    1. Tucson Forward
    2. Petition by

      Tucson Forward

      Tucson, AZ

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is being manipulated by the Military-Industrial Complex. The 2013 military budget will cost the taxpayers more than $630B. The Air Force must stop playing games with their Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and think about the U. S. communities they are impacting with excessively loud and unsafe aircraft.

Here in Tucson when thousands of citizens complained to Washington about the fact that Davis-Monthan AFB's Operation Snowbird (OSB) combat training program had not had an environmental study of the impact on the community since 1978, what did the Air Force do? They came up with an EA proposal for a "new" Operation Snowbird program that added the F-22 while pilots were refusing to fly them due to safety concerns. Since the late 1990s, the Air Force had quietly introduced F-15s, F-18s, Harriers, and Tornados to fly over the densely-populated city of Tucson. All with no recent environmental study. In the proposal, instead of going back to the last OSB EA in 1978, they used the 2002 Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) EA as their baseline claiming that the Operation Snowbird aircraft had been analyzed in that 300-page environmental study. The problem is that neither Operation Snowbird nor Operation Snowbird aircraft are even mentioned in the CSAR document.

The Air Force is also doing an EIS for basing the F-35 at the Air Guard Station at Tucson International Airport (TIA). The proposal clearly stated that the F-35 training will have a disproportionate negative impact on a low-income and mostly Hispanic minority population, yet none of the materials or announcements relating to the EIS was in the Spanish language. The public hearings were held at locations distant from the 8,500 people who would be living in the "incompatible with residential use" zone should the F-35s be assigned to TIA. There is no mention of how the negative impact from the F35 would be mitigated or who would pay for it.

Federal funding needs to be increased to the Council on Environmental Quality, the agency that oversees NEPA, in order to put some teeth in the law. The Air Force knows how to structure their environmental studies so that they get the results they want with little cost and the unsuspecting public doesn't have a clue as to what's going on.

 

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    1. Reached 100 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Jessica Rafka TUCSON, AZ
      • over 2 years ago

      Training foreign neophyte pilots on unsound aircraft that require live ordinance (bomb) and have only one engine over a metropolitan area of 1.2 million people here in Tucson is unconscionable! And yet the Military ignores our local protests and demands to test the F-35 before our local government and citizens get the chance to have a say in the future of our community. It just tells me that the US Military has finally become the all-powerful engine it has been created to be, with the exorbitant amount of money (our military budget is larger than the next top 16 nations combined!!!) that is spent annually... when will WE the people finally get our voice (rights) back?

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    • Joe Watkins TUCSON, AZ
      • over 2 years ago

      It is shameful that we have a military hierarchy that goes about the business of obfuscation with outcomes that negatively impact health and safety of citizens that the military is meant to protect.

      It is beyond odd to me that we will spend 1.4 trillion dollars on an aircraft like the F-35 with no clear military purpose. We already have the F-22 that is so unsafe for the pilots that it has been reduced from having a military purpose to being a toy.

      Fiscal conservative feel the need to reduce funding for meals on wheels. What about this boondoggle of a plane as a target for budget cuts?

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    • therese coles TUCSON, AZ
      • over 2 years ago

      noise, pollution, safety, environmental, quality of life ......do I need to say more?

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    • Majel Ebner TUCSON, AZ
      • over 2 years ago

      Because they will be flying over my house and I don't want that. I have enough noise with the ones that fly over now every day and night.

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    • Rob Kulakofsky TUCSON, AZ
      • over 2 years ago

      We, the citizens, who pay your salary, aren't asking too much when we want to be treated with respect. This is an essential part of your obligation as a public servant. Anything less is a breach of your duty.

      Therefore, the Air Force must be honest, open and forthright with all studies, especially EAs and EISs.

      Unfortunately, that's not what we have received. This must be changed immediately.

      Any normal human being would realize in a nanosecond that flying a machine that produces noise at such a high decibel rating over a populated area is unethical, immoral and downright insane.

      Any environmental study that ignores or glosses over this reality is at best a farce and at worst an illegal attempt to "cook the books" in favor of perceived military needs over the needs of citizens.

      On top of all this, the people who would suffer the most from placement of the F-35 and from Operation Snowbird are the same disadvantaged population who have already suffered from the TCE Superfund site and an inordinate number of polluting industries.

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