Island County commissioners express displeasure over SBX

Now with the Board of Island County Commissioners apparently in their corner, opponents of a Department of Defense microwave radar station proposed for homeporting in Everett are spending the next three weeks ratcheting up their protests.

On Monday, commissioners issued a letter to the DOD's Ground-Based Midcourse Defense arm to express their displeasure with a plan to move a Sea-Based X-Band, or SBX, radar station into port at Everett's naval base. In the letter, the commissioners write that the DOD's own environmental impact statement shows the radar could affect the health of island residents.

In addition, the commissioners objected to the radar's proximity to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. In the letter, the commissioners ask for assurances that the radar will not affect the mission of that base.

Working against an Aug. 11 deadline for public comment on the SBX, Sound Citizens, a South Whidbey group opposed to the SBX and its homeporting in Everett, will be meeting three times over the next two weeks.

If built, the SBX radar would be a floating platform capable of ocean travel. It would stand up to 25 stories high and could be seen from portions of South Whidbey. No public revue process was undertaken by the DOD in Island County. Everett had a public process only after a group opposing the SBX, Concerned Citizens against the SBX, forced the DOD to hold public meetings in the city.

On Thursday, the group will hold a community meeting 7-9 p.m. at Living Green at 630 A Second St. in Langley.

Two other meetings, scheduled for July 32 and Aug. 7, will be held at Golden Otter Books at 124 Second St., Langley. Those meetings will also be held 7-9 p.m.

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