Saturday, December 17, 2011

Changes at MCBH will impact Kaneohe

Aloha,  Please see below and attached information about the proposed changes at the Marine Corps Base.  Please forward to all interested parties

The Kaneohe Marine Corps Base has submitted a plan (Draft environmental Impact Statement DEIS) to expand aircraft activity and infrastructure.
You have a short window to submit comments and concerns
Comments must be emailed (mv22h1eis@beltcollins.com) or postmarked by December 27, 2011.
Department of the Navy
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific Division
Attn: EV21, MV-22/H-1 EIS Project Manager
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100
Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134

Some of the proposed changes
●     Aircraft traffic will increase 49% over baseline activity.  This increase will be phased in starting 2012. 
●     The current planes and helicopters will be changed out for jets (P8 modified 737) additional helicopters and the hybrid Ospreys which have the combined noise of a helicopter and a high pitched turbine aircraft. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RkA47WPeX0
●     The overall effect will be significantly more activity with louder aircraft
See the draft online at  http://www.mcbh.usmc.mil/mv22h1eis/documents.html
The DEIS analysis- deficiencies
Noise
●     The DEIS noise analysis is based on a computer generated model which does not reflect actual conditions in the bay area and the surrounding mountains.
This model skews the analysis in favor of lower proposed noise levels as noted below
●     No actual measurements of existing noise levels.
●     There was no mention of measurements from different points in the surrounding communities.
●     The model did not address prolonged revving of the engines or hovering activity which is happening now and will increase if proposed aircraft arrive.
●     The model used calculated sound generated from one runway rather than several other areas including helipads which may be used simultaneously with the runways.
●     The computer modeling included a table which indicated that the P8s (737 size JETS) are not included in the sound modeling.
Effects on surrounding community
●     The DEIS fails to address the increase in wastewater issues adequately.  Wastewater is currently handled by an on base plant with overflow diverted to the Kailua Waster water facility by city contract. The analysis does not mention that the Kailua plant is only operating under a consent decree for repeated violations of governmental environmental regulations.  The EIS does not mention that the Kailua ultraviolet sanitization equipment has been inoperable for several years releasing inadequately treated wastewater into Kaneohe Bay.

●     The DEIS fails to adequately address the effect on property values. Numerous studies have shown that aircraft expansions with associated increase in noise result in a 15-43% (average 27%) decrease in property values.

●     The DEIS describes the area as low population density (it considers uninhabitable areas such as mountains in its calculation) of residential areas.   It fails to consider that most of the population is   concentrated in the area surrounding the bay- and thus will be the most adversely affected by the expansion.
Effects on Humans and other animals  
The EIS does not adequately address human health effects.
●     Increases in serious cardiac events have been detailed in previous studies.
●     Sleep deprivation Sleep disturbances are more likely to occur with helicopter operations at times of minimal background noise conditions such as in early morning and late evening. As the number of flight operations are scheduled to increase, the evening and early AM flights will likely increase as well. Sleep disturbance has been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, vascular disease stroke and heart disease.
The DEIS does not adequately address effects on quality of life of surrounding residents
●     Interference with daily life. Current levels of aircraft noise drown out or "mask” speech, making it difficult to carry on a normal conversation .Research has shown that "whenever intrusive noise exceeds approximately 60 dBs, there will be interference with speech communication."  This is already happening and will happen more frequently if the EIS is approved.
●     Irritation   More people consider helicopter noise more disturbing than that from fixed wing aircraft.
More and larger helicopters and hybrids (Ospreys) are proposed in this document.

The DEIS does not adequately address effects on children health and educational impact
●     Children - Airport noise can also have negative effects on children’s health and development. Studies of children living or attending school near airports found:
○     High blood pressure
○     Lowered reading comprehension

The DEIS did not present adequate data on the effect on wildlife
There are 68 endangered/threatened/protected species present in the affected area some of which are monk seals, whales, green sea turtles and blue herons.  Studies evaluating noise have shown disturbances of normal behavior including disruptions of feeding and mating.
●     The DEIS minimally addresses these concerns and limits its analysis of these issues to effects of bird airstrikes.
Comments must be emailed (mv22h1eis@beltcollins.com) or postmarked by December 27, 2011.
Department of the Navy
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific Division
Attn: EV21, MV-22/H-1 EIS Project Manager
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100
Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134

From the Kaneohe Bay Residents Initiative – email kbresidentsinitiative@gmail.com

Kaneohe Bay Residents Initiative
kbresidentsinitiative@gmail.com

5 comments:

Pete said...

WAY TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! Your flyer is chock-full of erroneous claims and arbitrary stats. Property values will not depreciate by 27%...people won't be dropping from cardiac arrest...sleep deprivation, blood pressure, lower reading comprehension...HA!

The P-3 Orion, in service since 1962 will be replaced by the P-8 Poseidon. P-3s have reached the end of their airframe fatigue life.

The V-22 Osprey will enable our troops to quickly enter and exit combat zones. Less time over combat zones = less time to get shot down.

The AH-1 Cobra will provide much needed close air support for the troops on the ground. (The same troops that have sacrificed EVERYTHING for you and I.)

I believe that our GREAT neighbors over at MCBH ought to have the latest and greatest tools and equipment to get the job done and to safely return home to their families.

Furthermore, since we are on the subject of complaining and you are accusing the DEIS of its validity who exactly from Kaneohe Bay Residents Initiative took it upon themselves to unlawfully help themselves to my mailbox? Normally I could care less about someone throwing a flyer in there but since you are taking it upon yourself to claim shenanigans on the DEIS I think you ought to take a step back and hold yourself accountable to those same standards. Call it what you will...tampering, invasion of privacy...IT IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE!

Bill Sager said...

Thank you for you comments. We certainly need discussion and all points of view. The new aircraft are an important upgrade for the Marines. The fact that there are more aircraft and noisier aircraft will have an impact on the Marine Base neighbors. How bad that impact is depends very much on the person being impacted by increased noise.

The people who wrote the response to the DEIS we posted are pointing out what the consider to be valid deficiencies in the EIS.

Hopefully, a careful evaluation of the EIS and appropriate community response can improve the document and hopefully minimize some of the impacts.

Please understand that the purpose of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Blog is to stimulate just this kind of discussion. The Neighborhood Board has not taken a position on the EIS. We do want people to be aware that the EIS comment period ends on 12/27 and time to evaluate the document and submit testimony is short.

Be assured that the Neighborhood Board had nothing to do with the flier place in your mailbox.

We expect healthy disagreement. We also ask that discussion respect others point of view.

We share what we consider to be important information. In this case to notify as many people as possible about the changes proposed for the Marine Base and stimulate discussion and action.

Kaneohe people who will be impacted by these changes need to be familiar with the EIS and submit their recommendation to help make the EIS a quality document that will help minimize community impacts.

Marine Corps Base Hawaii is a leader in Environmental Management. The have won numerous awards for their environmental work. They are responsive to noise complaints and in most cases I have been involved with when the situation that caused a complaint is understood the complainant is at least more understanding.

Please, everyone review the DEIS, evaluate these comments and prepare and submit your testimony. Also, add your comments here so others can benefit from the discussion.

Bill Sager said...

If you are the person who has been anonymously distributing flyers in and around the Kaneohe post office please know that we have been contacted by the postal authorities and they have asked that the person stop hand billing and soliciting on their premises. If you are using materials taken from the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board website, we ask that you make it clear that you are not connected with the neighborhood board or soliciting on our behalf.

Please also understand it is a Federal offense to place anything other than official mail in a mailbox.

LesR said...

tHANKS for having this blog available!

I am considering purchasing a home in your area and am concerned by the amount of aircraft noise currently and potentially created.

Would you please describe what it's like to live under the aircraft in your area? Can you describe just how loud 55 OR 65 DNL is?

It looks like the noise can occur 24/7/365. When I was touring your area, there happened to be no noise. How do you cope with the noise while you're trying to sleep? How about being out in a boat in the higher DNL noise levels?

Thanks for your help.

You all look like nice neighbors and my wife and I would like to consider joining your community.

Les Rosenthal
LesR321@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Kaneohe Bay is NO place to do this amount of military aircraft training. I live on the Bay and sometimes literally stand in fear waiting to see if some aircraft is crashing into my house.

I have looked up on many occasions and can literally read the information on the bottom of the planes.

We cannot have conversations in our house when this starts nor can we hear our televisions at a reasonble volume.

Children have a hard time concentrating while doing their homework.

My husband was in Iraqi. This Bay is NO place to conduct this type of training. Sure, our troops should have the latest and greatest equipment BUT they should also train in the harshest of conditions to prepare for any conflict; NOT in some neighborhood Bay. This type of aircraft and training would be more appropriate in the deserts of Nevada; not in highly populated areas with families of small children. Let's not try to use "our troops" in this scenerio.

Our foundations of our houses are being compromised. The Hilo earthquake I felt in my house that had HECO shut down all electricity on Oahu a few years back was nothing like I feel when the vibration starts from the Marine Corps Base.

Our children's hearing is being compromised. My small children cry when some of the aircraft go over our house. They cannot get 8 hours of rest for this constant noise and vibration. It vibrates our beds.

Check out the road going off the Marine Base to the "Back Gate". There's a sign posted that says "No formation running past this point prior to 0700. No chanting past this point at any time". Come on!!! You cannot possibly compare singing Marines to aircraft on top of your houses.

Supporting our troops does not mean that our children have to be deafened and our property ruined. I HAVE falling rocks on my walls and a broken glass in my window from this.

Supporting our troops means giving them the equipment and training they need in the appropriate environment.

Try looking out the window at dark and see these "headlights" heading towards your house with the aircraft banking just prior to your rooftop. Try laying in bed at night to the sound of some loud aircraft heading towards your house not knowing if it's crashing.

Our nerves are on edge. Our children cry at night.

How can anyone say that this is not bringing our property value down. IT DOES!!!

Again, this Bay is not the appropriate place to do this type of aircraft training inside a Basin...the noise bounces off the Koolaus.

Come on...support our troops??? We're retired military. This has NOTHING to do with supporting our troops. Should we loose our hearing and the hearing of our children when this training can be done more appropriately somewhere else.

How can anyone expect us to endure the C-17's from Hickam constantly circling the Bay. Let them train over there. Train on the Big Island at "PTA". The Coast Guard even cirlces in the Bay. This Base has become, or is trying to become, a full fledge airport for all the branches of the service. Who's behind it??? Try researching that one.

The Base has "quiet hours" for the people who live there. What about quiet hours for the community??? The Base is not respectful about this at all. There is absolutely NO REASON to test engines in the middle of the night.

How about respect for the community. Shame on you!

Did someone over there get out of the military and now has a DOD job at the flight line???

SHAME ON YOU!!!