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Air Force Will Delay F-35 Environmental Impact Statement

AP/Toby Talbot

The Air Force said on Thursday it will delay the release of its environmental impact statement for basing new F-35 fighter jets in South Burlington.

The Air Force says the final analysis won’t be released until the fall so that it can consider 2010 census data, and so that another public comment period can be held this summer.

The first draft of the environmental impact statement last year showed noise created by the F-35s would render thousands of homes unsuitable for residential use.

Since then, people living around Burlington International Airport have raised concerns about basing the jets at the Vermont National Guard.

Adjutant General Steven Cray says the delay in releasing the final statement shows that the Air Force is serious about the environmental impact of the jets on surrounding communities.

“Obviously we want this report to be the most comprehensive and accurate report available to give our decision makers – the chief and the secretary – the best information to make a decision,” Cray said.

The Air Force expects the written public comment period to begin this summer.

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