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Air Force: Madison preferred location for F-35 fighter jets

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force says Madison’s Truax Field is the preferred location for the next squadron of F-35 fighter jets, despite the possibility of environmental harm.

The Air Force’s study found about 1,019 households would be affected by average daily noise levels of about 65 decibels, which is considered beyond what’s acceptable in residential areas.

The environmental-impact study also found the noise would disproportionately affect low-income and minority residents, which would also be the case in two other top spots, the Selfridge base in Michigan and Montgomery, Alabama.

“The Final EIS for this proposal confirms what many of us already knew: that these jets are wrong for our community,” said state Rep. Chris Taylor, of Madison. “The bottom line is that it is highly inappropriate to place such jets at an Air National Guard Base in such a dense, residential and urban environment.”

The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce says the F-35s would boost the local economy, create dozens of jobs and ensure the 115th Fighter Wing remain viable.

The State Journal says Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett will make the final decision.

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