Area Elected Officials Express Grave Concerns about Truax National Guard Expansion
Friday, August 9, 2019 - 10:25am
Draft of Environmental Statement made findings of significant disproportionate impact on communities of color, children, and Madison east and northsides
On August 8, 2019, Madison elected officials, including state Representative Chris Taylor, Dane County Board Supervisor Yogesh Chawla, and City of Madison Alder Marsha Rummel, expressed serious concerns regarding the proposed Air National Guard expansion and implementation of a F-35 program to bring the fighter jets to Truax field on the near eastside of Madison. Truax field is one of five sites being considered for the F-35 program, and one of two recommended sites previously announced by the Air National Guard.
An estimated 64 additional military personnel would be housed at Truax under this program.
The draft Environmental Impact Statement made findings that minorities, children, and low-income communities on Madison’s north and east side would face significant disproportionate impacts should Truax field be chosen to house the F-35 fighter jets. Included in this impact would potentially be the displacement of 292 persons who are currently living in a corridor that would be negatively impacted by noise and where "housing is incompatible absent an exception."
This is due to the conclusion that "[B]ased on context and intensity, the change in the noise environment associated with the Proposed Action would be considered significant in the area surrounding the airfield."
Rep. Taylor, Supervisor Chawla, and Alder Rummel issued the following statements in response:
"We are very concerned about the Air National Guard’s own conclusion that the F-35 program disparately impacts low-income communities and children. The anticipated significant increase in air traffic noise is estimated to affect a wider swath of our community, including 2,215 individuals. Included in this estimation is approximately 292 individuals currently living in an area which would be incompatible with anticipated increased noise levels.
Economic development should not disproportionately negatively impact the most vulnerable communities, our children, and the quality of life in our neighborhoods. We will be diligently trying to find more specific answers to these concerning consequences, including which specific communities are impacted and possible displacement, as this process moves forward.
We urge our Madison community to make your voice heard. The Air National Guard is hosting an open house on September 12th at Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center from 5pm to 6:30pm and a formal presentation from 6:30pm to 8pm. Comments can also be submitted on-line until September 27th. This is the time for the public to raise their voices about this proposal."
- Alder Marsha Rummel, 608-772-4555
- Representative Chris Taylor, 608-266-5342
- Supervisor Yogesh Chawla, 608-438-5965