AG Ferguson: Court rules Navy failed to consider the damaging impacts of its Growler jet program

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Growlers over Shoreline. Photo by Jan Hansen
Navy unlawfully expanded its Growler program without considering impacts of frequent, noisy flights

SEATTLE — A federal judge ruled that the U.S. Navy’s environmental review process for the Growler jet program expansion on Whidbey Island illegally failed to analyze the impacts of the noisy, often low-flying jets on classroom learning and local birds — a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is the latest legal setback for the Navy in Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit challenging the Whidbey Island Growler expansion.

The Attorney General’s Office is challenging the Navy’s March 2019 decision to authorize a significant expansion of its Growler program, increasing flight operations on Whidbey Island to more than 110,000 per year.

“The Navy has an important job,” Ferguson said. “But that does not relieve the federal government of its obligation to follow the law and take a hard look at the public health and environmental impacts of its programs. Today the judge ruled that the Navy fell short of its obligation.”

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