Just the Facts: Public Records Request Submitted for Vermont National Guard Documents
In view of huge number of F-35 complaints, platitudes are not adequate
Dear Adjutant General Gregory C. Knight and Wing Commander David Shevchik,
This a request under Vermont's Public Records Act 1 VSA 315 to 320 regarding the following statement issued by Wing Commander Col. David Shevchik, facts showing an enormous number of F-35 noise complaints, anticipated injury to a bodily organ from noise at the level of "a leaf blower next to your head" reported by a Winooski resident, and the military's own rules to protect civilians from military operations:
We remain committed to being good neighbors and stewards. We do everything in our power to mitigate noise as much as possible and then certainly to respond when people do call and complain. We stay engaged with the community members. (VTDigger, April 27, 2021, quoting Col. Shevchik).
The VTDigger article reported:
The Guard closed out 2020 with 991 total complaints from 312 callers. In four months, 2021 had brought 432 complaints as of April 20 from 148 unique callers.
These totals go far beyond the noise complaints the Guard received when the former fleet of much quieter F-16s were stationed at Burlington International airport. The Guard reported 195 complaints in 2015, 152 in 2016, 20 in 2017 and only one in 2018.
The VTDigger article also reported:
Suzanne Blain, the Winooski resident, had a baby girl during the summer and is concerned about how the jets might damage her hearing. The Blains no longer open their windows, trying to block some of the F-35s’ roar.
“It’s like a leaf blower next to your head,” Blain said. “I either have to choose between covering my baby’s ears when we’re on a walk when these are going by, or my ears. So I get hearing damage or she does.”
Please provide me with all Vermont Air National Guard documents, as defined in 1 VSA 317:
1. With the rules, including laws, regulations, orders, discipline, directives, instructions, policies, and/or doctrine, that the Vermont Air National Guard is required to follow to protect civilians from the effects of its military operations.
2. Showing actions actually taken by the Vermont Air National Guard to mitigate noise of F-35 training flights at Burlington International Airport.
3. Showing the effect on noise level of the actions taken by the Vermont Air National Guard to mitigate F-35 noise.
Regarding item (1), the request for documents with the rules to protect civilians, for each rule that is publicly available in a document on the internet, the title of the document and its URL, and the title of the rule and its page or section number is sufficient to satisfy that item of this request.
If you have any questions please contact me at 802 864-1575.
James Marc Leas