AG Ferguson suing Navy over expansion of Growler jet program on Whidbey Island

VIDEO: Whidbey Island residents join state AG in filing lawsuit against US Navy

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit against the Navy Tuesday over its expansion of Growler jet activities on Whidbey Island.

According to the AG's office, in March, the Navy approved an expansion of its Growler program at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, increasing take-offs and landings to nearly 100,000 per year for the next 30 years.

Ferguson said the jets fly low and the training program involves frequent loud take-offs and landings.

The Attorney General's Office asserts that the Navy's environmental review process for the expansion unlawfully failed to measure the impacts to public health and wildlife in communities on and around Whidbey Island.

“The Navy has an important job, and it’s critical that their pilots and crews have the opportunity to train,” Ferguson said. “That does not relieve the federal government of its obligation to follow the law and avoid unnecessary harm to our health and natural resources.”

The Navy plans to add 36 Growler aircraft to its fleet by 2022.

The lawsuit claims the Navy violated the National Environmental Protection Act and the federal Administrative Procedure Act, and failed to conduct any analysis on the impacts the expansion would have on wildlife in the area.

Watch the news conference in the video window below.

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