SOUTH BURLINGTON -- The City Council voted 3-2 earlier this week to file an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in a lawsuit seeking to block the arrival of F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport until the U.S. Air Force completes environmental reviews that the plaintiffs argue were not done properly.
South Burlington considered joining the suit as a plaintiff, but after the measure encountered stiff resistance from two city councilors and a some residents, the council settled on making its voice heard through a brief expressing support for the plaintiffs case.
The current plaintiffs are the Stop the F-35 Coalition, six Chittenden County residents and the city of Winooski, which joined the suit last year after voters passed a nonbinding ballot referendum on the issue.
The majority of the South Burlington City Council, as well as many residents, have expressed concerns that the Air Force has not divulged sufficient information about the possible impact of a jet crash or how noise from the jets could be mitigated.
The case is set for a hearing in U.S. District Court on July 5. The F-35 is expected to arrive at the Burlington International Airport in the fall of 2019.
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