The grossly negligent Northwest training Range complex ... Print
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 14:02

 

Comment to Northwest Training Range Complex,

 

originally posted and submitted in 2008



Joan Russow, Ph.D.Global Compliance Research Project - From the
Environmental Impact
http://www.nwtrangecomplexeis.com/NaturalResources.aspx one might
begin to think that the purpose of their war games is to be
³environmental stewards² protecting flora and fauna. "As responsible
environmental stewards, the U.S. Navy is concerned about the potential
effects of its operations on the environment and is committed to
complying with all applicable Federal laws, regulations and policies."

In 1993, there was a US court case, which held individual military
decision-makers criminally responsible for irreversible consequences
of their actions, if they had ignored warnings about the potential
consequences.

 I made a submission last week, and I am resubmitting a comment because
of the proximity to Vancouver Island Canada. I am deeply concerned
that the Northwest Training Range Complex will be having serious
transboundary environmental impacts on Canada. On the map it shows a
significant encroachment in Canadian waters. While there is an
opportunity, in the US pacific coast, to comment; there has been no
opportunity in Canada to comment on how the increased militarism up
the Pacific Coast will impact on Canada.

In 1993, a case was reported at the annual Environmental Law
Conference at the University of Eugene, Oregon. The current proposal,
by the Northwest Training Range Complex, to expand their war games up
the Northwest Coast, will have serious environmental consequences.
Many citizens and environmental groups have warned the Northwest
Training Range Complex of the probability of serious irreversible
consequences.

Regardless of whether the anticipated consequences do occur, the US
military should finally adhere to the precautionary principle.

The US, along with every member state of the United Nations, made a
commitment to invoke the precautionary principle.

"Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of
full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing
cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation"
(Principle 15, Rio Declaration).

In addition, the Clinton regime finally signed the Convention on
Biological Diversity. Under that Convention, there is the following
formulation of the precautionary principle:

"Where there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of
biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be
used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a
threat² (Convention on Biological Diversity, UNCED, 1992).

The US has not ratified the Convention [of course this will be done
under the Obama regime because the change we need cannot be achieved
by doing things the way they were done before].

While the US has not ratified the Convention, the US is bound under
Article 18 of the Vienna Law of Treaties, in the interim between the
signing and ratifying of the Convention, to not defeat the purpose of
the Convention. The purpose of the Convention is to protect
biodiversity.

In continuing and, above all, increasing war games up the Northwest
Coast, the Northwest Training Range Complex will be in violation of
not only the precautionary principle, but also of the transboundary
principle.

The Northwest Training Range Complex has been duly warned of the
potential serious consequences, by numerous opponents, and if these
consequences occur, those responsible will undoubtedly be held to be
criminally negligent.


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.

Now Hear This: Seattle's Military Blog
« Narco-sub law forces drug runners to switch tactics | Main |
Shinseki's open letter to veterans »


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.


Now Hear This: Seattle's Military Blog
« Narco-sub law forces drug runners to switch tactics | Main |
Shinseki's open letter to veterans »


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

 

http://www.orcanetwork.org/help/nwtrange.html

The Navy is planning to vastly expand its training activities in the
Northwest Training Range Complex to include the north end of Admiralty
Inlet and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and much of Washington (out
200 miles), Oregon and part of California coastlines, including the
Olympic National Sanctuary(?).

When comments are made, in addition to recommending a "No Action
Alternative," the Navy should improve the mitigation measures to
include training by experienced whale biologists of monitoring
personnel to improve recognition of marine mammals by visual and
acoustic monitoring. The Navy has issued a "whale protection" wheel
device with tiny graphics of ten whale species (not including orcas)
and written descriptions of blows, backs and flukes, but it is not
likely to be much use even in normal sea-state conditions. Recognizing
acoustic calls is difficult in calm conditions, in ever shifting
currents and thermoclines. These exercises would take place in the
midst of multiple ships and high-powered and explosive sonars and
munitions, making recognition virtually impossible.

Even with the best monitoring by experienced people, the mitigation
measures are woefully inadequate. It's almost impossible to reliably
detect marine mammals visually or acoustically underwater or in rough
weather, especially when compounded by training conditions.
Given the current status of international tensions, homeland security
will probably trump the minor matter of exploding and polluting our
planet and its inhabitants beyond all recognition.
The challenge is to halt the need for these training exercises
altogether, which is a problem of international relations and
diplomacy. Our new president and Sec. Clinton can prevent this
particular travesty by ending US government complicity in global
corporate criminality, thus fostering improved international
communications. It can't be that hard.
In the meantime, the new administration can possibly delay the start
of training (NOAA has to comment on it, and the new NOAA
administrator, Jane Lubchenco, is a marine biologist(!) with strong
enviro cred, and eventually remove the need for it.
While recognizing the need for readiness through training, the No
Action Alternative is all that we can support due to lack of
information available to assess the impact on numerous endangered and
declining marine species, especially with proposed testing of new
systems.

See Navy training expansion draws criticism Coupeville Examiner, Feb. 5, 2009.


The Navy is planning to vastly expand its training activities in the
Northwest Training Range Complex to include the north end of Admiralty
Inlet and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and much of Washington (out
200 miles), Oregon and part of California coastlines, including the
Olympic National Sanctuary(?).

When comments are made, in addition to recommending a "No Action
Alternative," the Navy should improve the mitigation measures to
include training by experienced whale biologists of monitoring
personnel to improve recognition of marine mammals by visual and
acoustic monitoring. The Navy has issued a "whale protection" wheel
device with tiny graphics of ten whale species (not including orcas)
and written descriptions of blows, backs and flukes, but it is not
likely to be much use even in normal sea-state conditions. Recognizing
acoustic calls is difficult in calm conditions, in ever shifting
currents and thermoclines. These exercises would take place in the
midst of multiple ships and high-powered and explosive sonars and
munitions, making recognition virtually impossible.

Even with the best monitoring by experienced people, the mitigation
measures are woefully inadequate. It's almost impossible to reliably
detect marine mammals visually or acoustically underwater or in rough
weather, especially when compounded by training conditions.
Given the current status of international tensions, homeland security
will probably trump the minor matter of exploding and polluting our
planet and its inhabitants beyond all recognition.
The challenge is to halt the need for these training exercises
altogether, which is a problem of international relations and
diplomacy. Our new president and Sec. Clinton can prevent this
particular travesty by ending US government complicity in global
corporate criminality, thus fostering improved international
communications. It can't be that hard.
In the meantime, the new administration can possibly delay the start
of training (NOAA has to comment on it, and the new NOAA
administrator, Jane Lubchenco, is a marine biologist(!) with strong
enviro cred, and eventually remove the need for it.
While recognizing the need for readiness through training, the No
Action Alternative is all that we can support due to lack of
information available to assess the impact on numerous endangered and
declining marine species, especially with proposed testing of new
systems.

See Navy training expansion draws criticism Coupeville Examiner, Feb. 5, 2009.

Below are some of the pearls in the IES:

4.2.6 Marine Plants and Invertebrates
Potential cumulative impacts on marine plants and invertebrates in the
NWTRC include releases of chemicals into the ocean, introduction of
debris into the water column and onto the seafloor, and mortality and
injury of marine organisms near the detonation or impact point of
ordnance or explosives. Materials expended during training include
sonobuoys; parachutes and nylon cord; towed, stationary, and
remote-controlled targets; inert ordnance; unexploded ordnance, and
fragments from exploded ordnance, including missiles, bombs, and
shells. Materials include a variety of plastics, metals, and
batteries. Most of these materials are inert and dense, and will
settle to the bottom where they will eventually be covered with
sediment or encrusted by physical or biological processes.

D.2.2 Explosives
Explosives detonated underwater introduce loud, impulsive, broadband
sounds into the marine environment. Three source parameters influence
the effect of an explosive: the weight of the explosive material, the
type of explosive material, and the detonation depth. The net
explosive weight (or NEW) accounts for the first two parameters. The
NEW of an explosive is the weight of TNT required to produce an
equivalent explosive power. The detonation depth of an explosive is
particularly important due to a propagation effect known as
surface-image interference. For sources located near the sea surface,
a distinct interference pattern arises from the coherent sum of the
two paths that differ only by a single reflection from the
pressure-release surface. As the source depth and/or the source
frequency decreases, these two paths increasingly, destructively
interfere with each other, reaching total cancellation at the surface
(barring surfacereflection scattering loss).
For the NWTRC there are three types of explosive sources: AN/SSQ-110
Extended Echo Ranging (EER) sonobuoys, demolition charges, and
munitions (MK-48 torpedo, Maverick, Harpoon, HARM, HELLFIRE and SLAM
missiles, MK-82, MK-83, MK-84, GBU-10, GBU- 12 and GBU-16 bombs,
5-inch rounds and 76 mm gunnery rounds). The EER source can be
detonated at several depths within the water column. For this analysis
a relatively shallow depth of 20 meters is used to optimize the
likelihood of the source being positioned in a surface duct.
Demolition charges are typically modeled as detonating near the
bottom. For a SINKEX the demolition charge would be on the hull. The
MK-48 detonates immediately below the hull of its target (nominally 50
feet). A source depth of 2 meters is used for bombs and missiles that
do not strike their target. For the gunnery rounds, a source depth of
1 foot is used. The NEWs for these sources are as follows:
. EER Source—5 pounds
. Demolition charge—10 pounds in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
100 pounds in a sinking exercise (SINKEX)
. MK-48—851 pounds
. Maverick—78.5 pounds
. Harpoon—448 pounds
. HARM—41.6 pounds
. HELLFIRE—16.4 pounds
. SLAM—164.25 pounds
. MK-82—238 pounds
. GBU-10—945 pounds
. GBU-12—238 pounds
. GBU-16—445 pounds
. 5-inch rounds—9.54 pounds
. 76 mm rounds—1.6 pounds

The exposures expected to result from these sources are computed on a
per in-water explosive basis. The cumulative effect of a series of
explosives can often be derived by simple addition if the detonations
are spaced widely in time or space, allowing for sufficient animal
movements as to ensure a different population of animals is considered
for each detonation. The Navy prepared and filed with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact
Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) for
public release on December 29, 2008. The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) is a Cooperating Agency for the EIS/OEIS. The Draft
EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of maintaining
Fleet readiness through the use of the Northwest Training Range
Complex (NWTRC) to support current, emerging, and future training
activities. The proposed action serves to implement range enhancements
to upgrade and modernize range capabilities within the NWTRC, thereby
ensuring critical Fleet requirements are met. Federal agencies, State
agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to
be present or represented at the public hearings. Navy representatives
will be available during the open house sessions to clarify
information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.

In regard to marine mammals and their habitat:
"The Draft EIS addresses potential environmental impacts on multiple
resources, including but not limited to: Air quality; water resources;
airborne acoustic environment; biological resources, marine and
terrestrial; cultural resources; socioeconomics; and public health and
safety. No significant impacts are identified for any resource area in
any geographic location within the NWTRC Study Area that cannot be
mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals to
underwater sound. The Navy has requested from NMFS a Letter of
Authorization (LOA) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection
Act to authorize the incidental take of marine mammals that may result
from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the NWTRC Draft
EIS/OEIS. In compliance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fisheries
Conservation Management Act, the Navy is in consultation with NMFS
regarding potential impacts to Essential Fish Habitat. In accordance
with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Navy is consulting
with NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for potential
impacts to federally listed species. The Navy is coordinating with the
Washington Department of Ecology, the Oregon Department of Land
Conservation and Development, and the California Coastal Commission
for a Coastal Consistency Determination under the Coastal Zone
Management Act for each respective state."
Below are some of the pearls in the IES:

4.2.6 Marine Plants and Invertebrates
Potential cumulative impacts on marine plants and invertebrates in the
NWTRC include releases of chemicals into the ocean, introduction of
debris into the water column and onto the seafloor, and mortality and
injury of marine organisms near the detonation or impact point of
ordnance or explosives. Materials expended during training include
sonobuoys; parachutes and nylon cord; towed, stationary, and
remote-controlled targets; inert ordnance; unexploded ordnance, and
fragments from exploded ordnance, including missiles, bombs, and
shells. Materials include a variety of plastics, metals, and
batteries. Most of these materials are inert and dense, and will
settle to the bottom where they will eventually be covered with
sediment or encrusted by physical or biological processes.

D.2.2 Explosives
Explosives detonated underwater introduce loud, impulsive, broadband
sounds into the marine environment. Three source parameters influence
the effect of an explosive: the weight of the explosive material, the
type of explosive material, and the detonation depth. The net
explosive weight (or NEW) accounts for the first two parameters. The
NEW of an explosive is the weight of TNT required to produce an
equivalent explosive power. The detonation depth of an explosive is
particularly important due to a propagation effect known as
surface-image interference. For sources located near the sea surface,
a distinct interference pattern arises from the coherent sum of the
two paths that differ only by a single reflection from the
pressure-release surface. As the source depth and/or the source
frequency decreases, these two paths increasingly, destructively
interfere with each other, reaching total cancellation at the surface
(barring surfacereflection scattering loss).
For the NWTRC there are three types of explosive sources: AN/SSQ-110
Extended Echo Ranging (EER) sonobuoys, demolition charges, and
munitions (MK-48 torpedo, Maverick, Harpoon, HARM, HELLFIRE and SLAM
missiles, MK-82, MK-83, MK-84, GBU-10, GBU- 12 and GBU-16 bombs,
5-inch rounds and 76 mm gunnery rounds). The EER source can be
detonated at several depths within the water column. For this analysis
a relatively shallow depth of 20 meters is used to optimize the
likelihood of the source being positioned in a surface duct.
Demolition charges are typically modeled as detonating near the
bottom. For a SINKEX the demolition charge would be on the hull. The
MK-48 detonates immediately below the hull of its target (nominally 50
feet). A source depth of 2 meters is used for bombs and missiles that
do not strike their target. For the gunnery rounds, a source depth of
1 foot is used. The NEWs for these sources are as follows:
. EER Source—5 pounds
. Demolition charge—10 pounds in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
100 pounds in a sinking exercise (SINKEX)
. MK-48—851 pounds
. Maverick—78.5 pounds
. Harpoon—448 pounds
. HARM—41.6 pounds
. HELLFIRE—16.4 pounds
. SLAM—164.25 pounds
. MK-82—238 pounds
. GBU-10—945 pounds
. GBU-12—238 pounds
. GBU-16—445 pounds
. 5-inch rounds—9.54 pounds
. 76 mm rounds—1.6 pounds

The exposures expected to result from these sources are computed on a
per in-water explosive basis. The cumulative effect of a series of
explosives can often be derived by simple addition if the detonations
are spaced widely in time or space, allowing for sufficient animal
movements as to ensure a different population of animals is considered
for each detonation. The Navy prepared and filed with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact
Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) for
public release on December 29, 2008. The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) is a Cooperating Agency for the EIS/OEIS. The Draft
EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of maintaining
Fleet readiness through the use of the Northwest Training Range
Complex (NWTRC) to support current, emerging, and future training
activities. The proposed action serves to implement range enhancements
to upgrade and modernize range capabilities within the NWTRC, thereby
ensuring critical Fleet requirements are met. Federal agencies, State
agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to
be present or represented at the public hearings. Navy representatives
will be available during the open house sessions to clarify
information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.

In regard to marine mammals and their habitat:
"The Draft EIS addresses potential environmental impacts on multiple
resources, including but not limited to: Air quality; water resources;
airborne acoustic environment; biological resources, marine and
terrestrial; cultural resources; socioeconomics; and public health and
safety. No significant impacts are identified for any resource area in
any geographic location within the NWTRC Study Area that cannot be
mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals to
underwater sound. The Navy has requested from NMFS a Letter of
Authorization (LOA) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection
Act to authorize the incidental take of marine mammals that may result
from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the NWTRC Draft
EIS/OEIS. In compliance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fisheries
Conservation Management Act, the Navy is in consultation with NMFS
regarding potential impacts to Essential Fish Habitat. In accordance
with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Navy is consulting
with NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for potential
impacts to federally listed species. The Navy is coordinating with the
Washington Department of Ecology, the Oregon Department of Land
Conservation and Development, and the California Coastal Commission
for a Coastal Consistency Determination under the Coastal Zone
Management Act for each respective state."

 

Hon Peter Mackay. Minister of Defence

Hon Peter Mackay

Minister of National Defence

April 12, 2009

 

In the Greater Victoria Area, there has been continued concern about Exercise Trident Fury which I understand is going to take place again this June. There is equal concern about the potential transboundary impacts from the proposal for increased Northwest Training Range Complex along the Coast. The proposed training activities are envisioned to take place close to Vancouver Island. There is also concern along the US Northwest coast about the increased military training, and hearings are being held and the submission date continually extended. Has Canada made a submission expressing concern about the possible encroachment in Canadian waters? Has Canada been asked about the potential impact? Is there a plan to link Canada into the Northwest Training Range Complex?

 

Joan Russow, Ph.D.Global Compliance Research Project

 

 

Comment to Northwest Training Range Complex,


Joan Russow, Ph.D.Global Compliance Research Project - From the
Environmental Impact
http://www.nwtrangecomplexeis.com/NaturalResources.aspx one might
begin to think that the purpose of their war games is to be
³environmental stewards² protecting flora and fauna. "As responsible
environmental stewards, the U.S. Navy is concerned about the potential
effects of its operations on the environment and is committed to
complying with all applicable Federal laws, regulations and policies."

In 1993, there was a US court case, which held individual military
decision-makers criminally responsible for irreversible consequences
of their actions, if they had ignored warnings about the potential
consequences.

I made a submission last week, and I am resubmitting a comment because
of the proximity to Vancouver Island Canada. I am deeply concerned
that the Northwest Training Range Complex will be having serious
transboundary environmental impacts on Canada. On the map it shows a
significant encroachment in Canadian waters. While there is an
opportunity, in the US pacific coast, to comment; there has been no
opportunity in Canada to comment on how the increased militarism up
the Pacific Coast will impact on Canada.

In 1993, a case was reported at the annual Environmental Law
Conference at the University of Eugene, Oregon. The current proposal,
by the Northwest Training Range Complex, to expand their war games up
the Northwest Coast, will have serious environmental consequences.
Many citizens and environmental groups have warned the Northwest
Training Range Complex of the probability of serious irreversible
consequences.

Regardless of whether the anticipated consequences do occur, the US
military should finally adhere to the precautionary principle.

The US, along with every member state of the United Nations, made a
commitment to invoke the precautionary principle.

"Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of
full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing
cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation"
(Principle 15, Rio Declaration).

In addition, the Clinton regime finally signed the Convention on
Biological Diversity. Under that Convention, there is the following
formulation of the precautionary principle:

"Where there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of
biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be
used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a
threat² (Convention on Biological Diversity, UNCED, 1992).

The US has not ratified the Convention [of course this will be done
under the Obama regime because the change we need cannot be achieved
by doing things the way they were done before].

While the US has not ratified the Convention, the US is bound under
Article 18 of the Vienna Law of Treaties, in the interim between the
signing and ratifying of the Convention, to not defeat the purpose of
the Convention. The purpose of the Convention is to protect
biodiversity.

In continuing and, above all, increasing war games up the Northwest
Coast, the Northwest Training Range Complex will be in violation of
not only the precautionary principle, but also of the transboundary
principle.

The Northwest Training Range Complex has been duly warned of the
potential serious consequences, by numerous opponents, and if these
consequences occur, those responsible will undoubtedly be held to be
criminally negligent.


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.

Now Hear This: Seattle's Military Blog
« Narco-sub law forces drug runners to switch tactics | Main |
Shinseki's open letter to veterans »


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.


Now Hear This: Seattle's Military Blog
« Narco-sub law forces drug runners to switch tactics | Main |
Shinseki's open letter to veterans »


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

 

http://www.orcanetwork.org/help/nwtrange.html

The Navy is planning to vastly expand its training activities in the
Northwest Training Range Complex to include the north end of Admiralty
Inlet and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and much of Washington (out
200 miles), Oregon and part of California coastlines, including the
Olympic National Sanctuary(?).

When comments are made, in addition to recommending a "No Action
Alternative," the Navy should improve the mitigation measures to
include training by experienced whale biologists of monitoring
personnel to improve recognition of marine mammals by visual and
acoustic monitoring. The Navy has issued a "whale protection" wheel
device with tiny graphics of ten whale species (not including orcas)
and written descriptions of blows, backs and flukes, but it is not
likely to be much use even in normal sea-state conditions. Recognizing
acoustic calls is difficult in calm conditions, in ever shifting
currents and thermoclines. These exercises would take place in the
midst of multiple ships and high-powered and explosive sonars and
munitions, making recognition virtually impossible.

Even with the best monitoring by experienced people, the mitigation
measures are woefully inadequate. It's almost impossible to reliably
detect marine mammals visually or acoustically underwater or in rough
weather, especially when compounded by training conditions.
Given the current status of international tensions, homeland security
will probably trump the minor matter of exploding and polluting our
planet and its inhabitants beyond all recognition.
The challenge is to halt the need for these training exercises
altogether, which is a problem of international relations and
diplomacy. Our new president and Sec. Clinton can prevent this
particular travesty by ending US government complicity in global
corporate criminality, thus fostering improved international
communications. It can't be that hard.
In the meantime, the new administration can possibly delay the start
of training (NOAA has to comment on it, and the new NOAA
administrator, Jane Lubchenco, is a marine biologist(!) with strong
enviro cred, and eventually remove the need for it.
While recognizing the need for readiness through training, the No
Action Alternative is all that we can support due to lack of
information available to assess the impact on numerous endangered and
declining marine species, especially with proposed testing of new
systems.

See Navy training expansion draws criticism Coupeville Examiner, Feb. 5, 2009.


The Navy is planning to vastly expand its training activities in the
Northwest Training Range Complex to include the north end of Admiralty
Inlet and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and much of Washington (out
200 miles), Oregon and part of California coastlines, including the
Olympic National Sanctuary(?).

When comments are made, in addition to recommending a "No Action
Alternative," the Navy should improve the mitigation measures to
include training by experienced whale biologists of monitoring
personnel to improve recognition of marine mammals by visual and
acoustic monitoring. The Navy has issued a "whale protection" wheel
device with tiny graphics of ten whale species (not including orcas)
and written descriptions of blows, backs and flukes, but it is not
likely to be much use even in normal sea-state conditions. Recognizing
acoustic calls is difficult in calm conditions, in ever shifting
currents and thermoclines. These exercises would take place in the
midst of multiple ships and high-powered and explosive sonars and
munitions, making recognition virtually impossible.

Even with the best monitoring by experienced people, the mitigation
measures are woefully inadequate. It's almost impossible to reliably
detect marine mammals visually or acoustically underwater or in rough
weather, especially when compounded by training conditions.
Given the current status of international tensions, homeland security
will probably trump the minor matter of exploding and polluting our
planet and its inhabitants beyond all recognition.
The challenge is to halt the need for these training exercises
altogether, which is a problem of international relations and
diplomacy. Our new president and Sec. Clinton can prevent this
particular travesty by ending US government complicity in global
corporate criminality, thus fostering improved international
communications. It can't be that hard.
In the meantime, the new administration can possibly delay the start
of training (NOAA has to comment on it, and the new NOAA
administrator, Jane Lubchenco, is a marine biologist(!) with strong
enviro cred, and eventually remove the need for it.
While recognizing the need for readiness through training, the No
Action Alternative is all that we can support due to lack of
information available to assess the impact on numerous endangered and
declining marine species, especially with proposed testing of new
systems.

See Navy training expansion draws criticism Coupeville Examiner, Feb. 5, 2009.

Below are some of the pearls in the IES:

4.2.6 Marine Plants and Invertebrates
Potential cumulative impacts on marine plants and invertebrates in the
NWTRC include releases of chemicals into the ocean, introduction of
debris into the water column and onto the seafloor, and mortality and
injury of marine organisms near the detonation or impact point of
ordnance or explosives. Materials expended during training include
sonobuoys; parachutes and nylon cord; towed, stationary, and
remote-controlled targets; inert ordnance; unexploded ordnance, and
fragments from exploded ordnance, including missiles, bombs, and
shells. Materials include a variety of plastics, metals, and
batteries. Most of these materials are inert and dense, and will
settle to the bottom where they will eventually be covered with
sediment or encrusted by physical or biological processes.

D.2.2 Explosives
Explosives detonated underwater introduce loud, impulsive, broadband
sounds into the marine environment. Three source parameters influence
the effect of an explosive: the weight of the explosive material, the
type of explosive material, and the detonation depth. The net
explosive weight (or NEW) accounts for the first two parameters. The
NEW of an explosive is the weight of TNT required to produce an
equivalent explosive power. The detonation depth of an explosive is
particularly important due to a propagation effect known as
surface-image interference. For sources located near the sea surface,
a distinct interference pattern arises from the coherent sum of the
two paths that differ only by a single reflection from the
pressure-release surface. As the source depth and/or the source
frequency decreases, these two paths increasingly, destructively
interfere with each other, reaching total cancellation at the surface
(barring surfacereflection scattering loss).
For the NWTRC there are three types of explosive sources: AN/SSQ-110
Extended Echo Ranging (EER) sonobuoys, demolition charges, and
munitions (MK-48 torpedo, Maverick, Harpoon, HARM, HELLFIRE and SLAM
missiles, MK-82, MK-83, MK-84, GBU-10, GBU- 12 and GBU-16 bombs,
5-inch rounds and 76 mm gunnery rounds). The EER source can be
detonated at several depths within the water column. For this analysis
a relatively shallow depth of 20 meters is used to optimize the
likelihood of the source being positioned in a surface duct.
Demolition charges are typically modeled as detonating near the
bottom. For a SINKEX the demolition charge would be on the hull. The
MK-48 detonates immediately below the hull of its target (nominally 50
feet). A source depth of 2 meters is used for bombs and missiles that
do not strike their target. For the gunnery rounds, a source depth of
1 foot is used. The NEWs for these sources are as follows:
. EER Source—5 pounds
. Demolition charge—10 pounds in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
100 pounds in a sinking exercise (SINKEX)
. MK-48—851 pounds
. Maverick—78.5 pounds
. Harpoon—448 pounds
. HARM—41.6 pounds
. HELLFIRE—16.4 pounds
. SLAM—164.25 pounds
. MK-82—238 pounds
. GBU-10—945 pounds
. GBU-12—238 pounds
. GBU-16—445 pounds
. 5-inch rounds—9.54 pounds
. 76 mm rounds—1.6 pounds

The exposures expected to result from these sources are computed on a
per in-water explosive basis. The cumulative effect of a series of
explosives can often be derived by simple addition if the detonations
are spaced widely in time or space, allowing for sufficient animal
movements as to ensure a different population of animals is considered
for each detonation. The Navy prepared and filed with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact
Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) for
public release on December 29, 2008. The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) is a Cooperating Agency for the EIS/OEIS. The Draft
EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of maintaining
Fleet readiness through the use of the Northwest Training Range
Complex (NWTRC) to support current, emerging, and future training
activities. The proposed action serves to implement range enhancements
to upgrade and modernize range capabilities within the NWTRC, thereby
ensuring critical Fleet requirements are met. Federal agencies, State
agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to
be present or represented at the public hearings. Navy representatives
will be available during the open house sessions to clarify
information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.

In regard to marine mammals and their habitat:
"The Draft EIS addresses potential environmental impacts on multiple
resources, including but not limited to: Air quality; water resources;
airborne acoustic environment; biological resources, marine and
terrestrial; cultural resources; socioeconomics; and public health and
safety. No significant impacts are identified for any resource area in
any geographic location within the NWTRC Study Area that cannot be
mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals to
underwater sound. The Navy has requested from NMFS a Letter of
Authorization (LOA) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection
Act to authorize the incidental take of marine mammals that may result
from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the NWTRC Draft
EIS/OEIS. In compliance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fisheries
Conservation Management Act, the Navy is in consultation with NMFS
regarding potential impacts to Essential Fish Habitat. In accordance
with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Navy is consulting
with NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for potential
impacts to federally listed species. The Navy is coordinating with the
Washington Department of Ecology, the Oregon Department of Land
Conservation and Development, and the California Coastal Commission
for a Coastal Consistency Determination under the Coastal Zone
Management Act for each respective state."
Below are some of the pearls in the IES:

4.2.6 Marine Plants and Invertebrates
Potential cumulative impacts on marine plants and invertebrates in the
NWTRC include releases of chemicals into the ocean, introduction of
debris into the water column and onto the seafloor, and mortality and
injury of marine organisms near the detonation or impact point of
ordnance or explosives. Materials expended during training include
sonobuoys; parachutes and nylon cord; towed, stationary, and
remote-controlled targets; inert ordnance; unexploded ordnance, and
fragments from exploded ordnance, including missiles, bombs, and
shells. Materials include a variety of plastics, metals, and
batteries. Most of these materials are inert and dense, and will
settle to the bottom where they will eventually be covered with
sediment or encrusted by physical or biological processes.

D.2.2 Explosives
Explosives detonated underwater introduce loud, impulsive, broadband
sounds into the marine environment. Three source parameters influence
the effect of an explosive: the weight of the explosive material, the
type of explosive material, and the detonation depth. The net
explosive weight (or NEW) accounts for the first two parameters. The
NEW of an explosive is the weight of TNT required to produce an
equivalent explosive power. The detonation depth of an explosive is
particularly important due to a propagation effect known as
surface-image interference. For sources located near the sea surface,
a distinct interference pattern arises from the coherent sum of the
two paths that differ only by a single reflection from the
pressure-release surface. As the source depth and/or the source
frequency decreases, these two paths increasingly, destructively
interfere with each other, reaching total cancellation at the surface
(barring surfacereflection scattering loss).
For the NWTRC there are three types of explosive sources: AN/SSQ-110
Extended Echo Ranging (EER) sonobuoys, demolition charges, and
munitions (MK-48 torpedo, Maverick, Harpoon, HARM, HELLFIRE and SLAM
missiles, MK-82, MK-83, MK-84, GBU-10, GBU- 12 and GBU-16 bombs,
5-inch rounds and 76 mm gunnery rounds). The EER source can be
detonated at several depths within the water column. For this analysis
a relatively shallow depth of 20 meters is used to optimize the
likelihood of the source being positioned in a surface duct.
Demolition charges are typically modeled as detonating near the
bottom. For a SINKEX the demolition charge would be on the hull. The
MK-48 detonates immediately below the hull of its target (nominally 50
feet). A source depth of 2 meters is used for bombs and missiles that
do not strike their target. For the gunnery rounds, a source depth of
1 foot is used. The NEWs for these sources are as follows:
. EER Source—5 pounds
. Demolition charge—10 pounds in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
100 pounds in a sinking exercise (SINKEX)
. MK-48—851 pounds
. Maverick—78.5 pounds
. Harpoon—448 pounds
. HARM—41.6 pounds
. HELLFIRE—16.4 pounds
. SLAM—164.25 pounds
. MK-82—238 pounds
. GBU-10—945 pounds
. GBU-12—238 pounds
. GBU-16—445 pounds
. 5-inch rounds—9.54 pounds
. 76 mm rounds—1.6 pounds

The exposures expected to result from these sources are computed on a
per in-water explosive basis. The cumulative effect of a series of
explosives can often be derived by simple addition if the detonations
are spaced widely in time or space, allowing for sufficient animal
movements as to ensure a different population of animals is considered
for each detonation. The Navy prepared and filed with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact
Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) for
public release on December 29, 2008. The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) is a Cooperating Agency for the EIS/OEIS. The Draft
EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of maintaining
Fleet readiness through the use of the Northwest Training Range
Complex (NWTRC) to support current, emerging, and future training
activities. The proposed action serves to implement range enhancements
to upgrade and modernize range capabilities within the NWTRC, thereby
ensuring critical Fleet requirements are met. Federal agencies, State
agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to
be present or represented at the public hearings. Navy representatives
will be available during the open house sessions to clarify
information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.

In regard to marine mammals and their habitat:
"The Draft EIS addresses potential environmental impacts on multiple
resources, including but not limited to: Air quality; water resources;
airborne acoustic environment; biological resources, marine and
terrestrial; cultural resources; socioeconomics; and public health and
safety. No significant impacts are identified for any resource area in
any geographic location within the NWTRC Study Area that cannot be
mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals to
underwater sound. The Navy has requested from NMFS a Letter of
Authorization (LOA) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection
Act to authorize the incidental take of marine mammals that may result
from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the NWTRC Draft
EIS/OEIS. In compliance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fisheries
Conservation Management Act, the Navy is in consultation with NMFS
regarding potential impacts to Essential Fish Habitat. In accordance
with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Navy is consulting
with NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for potential
impacts to federally listed species. The Navy is coordinating with the
Washington Department of Ecology, the Oregon Department of Land
Conservation and Development, and the California Coastal Commission
for a Coastal Consistency Determination under the Coastal Zone
Management Act for each respective state."

 

 

Hon Peter Mackay. Minister of Defence

Hon Peter Mackay

Minister of National Defence

April 12, 2009

 

In the Greater Victoria Area, there has been continued concern about Exercise Trident Fury which I understand is going to take place again this June. There is equal concern about the potential transboundary impacts from the proposal for increased Northwest Training Range Complex along the Coast. The proposed training activities are envisioned to take place close to Vancouver Island. There is also concern along the US Northwest coast about the increased military training, and hearings are being held and the submission date continually extended. Has Canada made a submission expressing concern about the possible encroachment in Canadian waters? Has Canada been asked about the potential impact? Is there a plan to link Canada into the Northwest Training Range Complex?

 

Joan Russow, Ph.D.Global Compliance Research Project

 

 

Comment to Northwest Training Range Complex,


Joan Russow, Ph.D.Global Compliance Research Project - From the
Environmental Impact
http://www.nwtrangecomplexeis.com/NaturalResources.aspx one might
begin to think that the purpose of their war games is to be
³environmental stewards² protecting flora and fauna. "As responsible
environmental stewards, the U.S. Navy is concerned about the potential
effects of its operations on the environment and is committed to
complying with all applicable Federal laws, regulations and policies."

In 1993, there was a US court case, which held individual military
decision-makers criminally responsible for irreversible consequences
of their actions, if they had ignored warnings about the potential
consequences.

I made a submission last week, and I am resubmitting a comment because
of the proximity to Vancouver Island Canada. I am deeply concerned
that the Northwest Training Range Complex will be having serious
transboundary environmental impacts on Canada. On the map it shows a
significant encroachment in Canadian waters. While there is an
opportunity, in the US pacific coast, to comment; there has been no
opportunity in Canada to comment on how the increased militarism up
the Pacific Coast will impact on Canada.

In 1993, a case was reported at the annual Environmental Law
Conference at the University of Eugene, Oregon. The current proposal,
by the Northwest Training Range Complex, to expand their war games up
the Northwest Coast, will have serious environmental consequences.
Many citizens and environmental groups have warned the Northwest
Training Range Complex of the probability of serious irreversible
consequences.

Regardless of whether the anticipated consequences do occur, the US
military should finally adhere to the precautionary principle.

The US, along with every member state of the United Nations, made a
commitment to invoke the precautionary principle.

"Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of
full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing
cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation"
(Principle 15, Rio Declaration).

In addition, the Clinton regime finally signed the Convention on
Biological Diversity. Under that Convention, there is the following
formulation of the precautionary principle:

"Where there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of
biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be
used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a
threat² (Convention on Biological Diversity, UNCED, 1992).

The US has not ratified the Convention [of course this will be done
under the Obama regime because the change we need cannot be achieved
by doing things the way they were done before].

While the US has not ratified the Convention, the US is bound under
Article 18 of the Vienna Law of Treaties, in the interim between the
signing and ratifying of the Convention, to not defeat the purpose of
the Convention. The purpose of the Convention is to protect
biodiversity.

In continuing and, above all, increasing war games up the Northwest
Coast, the Northwest Training Range Complex will be in violation of
not only the precautionary principle, but also of the transboundary
principle.

The Northwest Training Range Complex has been duly warned of the
potential serious consequences, by numerous opponents, and if these
consequences occur, those responsible will undoubtedly be held to be
criminally negligent.


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.

Now Hear This: Seattle's Military Blog
« Narco-sub law forces drug runners to switch tactics | Main |
Shinseki's open letter to veterans »


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.


Now Hear This: Seattle's Military Blog
« Narco-sub law forces drug runners to switch tactics | Main |
Shinseki's open letter to veterans »


Navy extends public input deadline for proposed Northwest Training
Range increases
Due to ongoing public interest, the Navy has again decided to extend
the public comment period by one month for a draft environmental
impact statement concerning a proposed expansion of a series of
training ranges off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Northern
California.

The deadline was extended this week to April 13. It has been extended
four times this year, previously from February to March 11.

The Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex has been around since
World War II and several designated areas in which submarines, surface
ships and aviators practice naval warfare lie about 250 nautical miles
off the West Coast.

In its announcement, the Navy said:
"Public comments are a fundamental part of EIS/OEIS development and
key to helping the Navy make informed decisions." The plan is not to
expand the size of the ranges but its management and training
activities within them.

The Navy, while needing to maintain force readiness, says it
"understands and recognizes the potential effects training activities
may have on the environment, as well as on the communities and the
businesses that rely on these resources.,"

The service is exploring three options ranging from maintaining the
status quo to widening all training to include new targets, new
electronic signal emitters, a small underwater training minefield, and
a portable undersea tracking range.

Part of the changes are needed to accomodate the new EA-18G Growler
electronics warfare jet slated to replace the aging EA-6B Prowlers at
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, conventional guided missile
submarines converted from Trident ballistic nuclear missile
submarines, unmanned aircraft, and the new P-I multi-mission aircraft
slated to replace the Orion submarine hunting planes at Whidbey.

Fishermen, environmentalists and marine mammal experts have voiced
special concerns.
A map of the sites indicates the largest and northernmost range has
sections that overlap with the Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary.

A map on the Navy training range web site indicates the location of
the ranges, including the largest, northernmost one that has drawn
special attention with sections that overlap with the National Marine
Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

 

http://www.orcanetwork.org/help/nwtrange.html

The Navy is planning to vastly expand its training activities in the
Northwest Training Range Complex to include the north end of Admiralty
Inlet and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and much of Washington (out
200 miles), Oregon and part of California coastlines, including the
Olympic National Sanctuary(?).

When comments are made, in addition to recommending a "No Action
Alternative," the Navy should improve the mitigation measures to
include training by experienced whale biologists of monitoring
personnel to improve recognition of marine mammals by visual and
acoustic monitoring. The Navy has issued a "whale protection" wheel
device with tiny graphics of ten whale species (not including orcas)
and written descriptions of blows, backs and flukes, but it is not
likely to be much use even in normal sea-state conditions. Recognizing
acoustic calls is difficult in calm conditions, in ever shifting
currents and thermoclines. These exercises would take place in the
midst of multiple ships and high-powered and explosive sonars and
munitions, making recognition virtually impossible.

Even with the best monitoring by experienced people, the mitigation
measures are woefully inadequate. It's almost impossible to reliably
detect marine mammals visually or acoustically underwater or in rough
weather, especially when compounded by training conditions.
Given the current status of international tensions, homeland security
will probably trump the minor matter of exploding and polluting our
planet and its inhabitants beyond all recognition.
The challenge is to halt the need for these training exercises
altogether, which is a problem of international relations and
diplomacy. Our new president and Sec. Clinton can prevent this
particular travesty by ending US government complicity in global
corporate criminality, thus fostering improved international
communications. It can't be that hard.
In the meantime, the new administration can possibly delay the start
of training (NOAA has to comment on it, and the new NOAA
administrator, Jane Lubchenco, is a marine biologist(!) with strong
enviro cred, and eventually remove the need for it.
While recognizing the need for readiness through training, the No
Action Alternative is all that we can support due to lack of
information available to assess the impact on numerous endangered and
declining marine species, especially with proposed testing of new
systems.

See Navy training expansion draws criticism Coupeville Examiner, Feb. 5, 2009.


The Navy is planning to vastly expand its training activities in the
Northwest Training Range Complex to include the north end of Admiralty
Inlet and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and much of Washington (out
200 miles), Oregon and part of California coastlines, including the
Olympic National Sanctuary(?).

When comments are made, in addition to recommending a "No Action
Alternative," the Navy should improve the mitigation measures to
include training by experienced whale biologists of monitoring
personnel to improve recognition of marine mammals by visual and
acoustic monitoring. The Navy has issued a "whale protection" wheel
device with tiny graphics of ten whale species (not including orcas)
and written descriptions of blows, backs and flukes, but it is not
likely to be much use even in normal sea-state conditions. Recognizing
acoustic calls is difficult in calm conditions, in ever shifting
currents and thermoclines. These exercises would take place in the
midst of multiple ships and high-powered and explosive sonars and
munitions, making recognition virtually impossible.

Even with the best monitoring by experienced people, the mitigation
measures are woefully inadequate. It's almost impossible to reliably
detect marine mammals visually or acoustically underwater or in rough
weather, especially when compounded by training conditions.
Given the current status of international tensions, homeland security
will probably trump the minor matter of exploding and polluting our
planet and its inhabitants beyond all recognition.
The challenge is to halt the need for these training exercises
altogether, which is a problem of international relations and
diplomacy. Our new president and Sec. Clinton can prevent this
particular travesty by ending US government complicity in global
corporate criminality, thus fostering improved international
communications. It can't be that hard.
In the meantime, the new administration can possibly delay the start
of training (NOAA has to comment on it, and the new NOAA
administrator, Jane Lubchenco, is a marine biologist(!) with strong
enviro cred, and eventually remove the need for it.
While recognizing the need for readiness through training, the No
Action Alternative is all that we can support due to lack of
information available to assess the impact on numerous endangered and
declining marine species, especially with proposed testing of new
systems.

See Navy training expansion draws criticism Coupeville Examiner, Feb. 5, 2009.

Below are some of the pearls in the IES:

4.2.6 Marine Plants and Invertebrates
Potential cumulative impacts on marine plants and invertebrates in the
NWTRC include releases of chemicals into the ocean, introduction of
debris into the water column and onto the seafloor, and mortality and
injury of marine organisms near the detonation or impact point of
ordnance or explosives. Materials expended during training include
sonobuoys; parachutes and nylon cord; towed, stationary, and
remote-controlled targets; inert ordnance; unexploded ordnance, and
fragments from exploded ordnance, including missiles, bombs, and
shells. Materials include a variety of plastics, metals, and
batteries. Most of these materials are inert and dense, and will
settle to the bottom where they will eventually be covered with
sediment or encrusted by physical or biological processes.

D.2.2 Explosives
Explosives detonated underwater introduce loud, impulsive, broadband
sounds into the marine environment. Three source parameters influence
the effect of an explosive: the weight of the explosive material, the
type of explosive material, and the detonation depth. The net
explosive weight (or NEW) accounts for the first two parameters. The
NEW of an explosive is the weight of TNT required to produce an
equivalent explosive power. The detonation depth of an explosive is
particularly important due to a propagation effect known as
surface-image interference. For sources located near the sea surface,
a distinct interference pattern arises from the coherent sum of the
two paths that differ only by a single reflection from the
pressure-release surface. As the source depth and/or the source
frequency decreases, these two paths increasingly, destructively
interfere with each other, reaching total cancellation at the surface
(barring surfacereflection scattering loss).
For the NWTRC there are three types of explosive sources: AN/SSQ-110
Extended Echo Ranging (EER) sonobuoys, demolition charges, and
munitions (MK-48 torpedo, Maverick, Harpoon, HARM, HELLFIRE and SLAM
missiles, MK-82, MK-83, MK-84, GBU-10, GBU- 12 and GBU-16 bombs,
5-inch rounds and 76 mm gunnery rounds). The EER source can be
detonated at several depths within the water column. For this analysis
a relatively shallow depth of 20 meters is used to optimize the
likelihood of the source being positioned in a surface duct.
Demolition charges are typically modeled as detonating near the
bottom. For a SINKEX the demolition charge would be on the hull. The
MK-48 detonates immediately below the hull of its target (nominally 50
feet). A source depth of 2 meters is used for bombs and missiles that
do not strike their target. For the gunnery rounds, a source depth of
1 foot is used. The NEWs for these sources are as follows:
. EER Source—5 pounds
. Demolition charge—10 pounds in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
100 pounds in a sinking exercise (SINKEX)
. MK-48—851 pounds
. Maverick—78.5 pounds
. Harpoon—448 pounds
. HARM—41.6 pounds
. HELLFIRE—16.4 pounds
. SLAM—164.25 pounds
. MK-82—238 pounds
. GBU-10—945 pounds
. GBU-12—238 pounds
. GBU-16—445 pounds
. 5-inch rounds—9.54 pounds
. 76 mm rounds—1.6 pounds

The exposures expected to result from these sources are computed on a
per in-water explosive basis. The cumulative effect of a series of
explosives can often be derived by simple addition if the detonations
are spaced widely in time or space, allowing for sufficient animal
movements as to ensure a different population of animals is considered
for each detonation. The Navy prepared and filed with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact
Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) for
public release on December 29, 2008. The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) is a Cooperating Agency for the EIS/OEIS. The Draft
EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of maintaining
Fleet readiness through the use of the Northwest Training Range
Complex (NWTRC) to support current, emerging, and future training
activities. The proposed action serves to implement range enhancements
to upgrade and modernize range capabilities within the NWTRC, thereby
ensuring critical Fleet requirements are met. Federal agencies, State
agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to
be present or represented at the public hearings. Navy representatives
will be available during the open house sessions to clarify
information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.

In regard to marine mammals and their habitat:
"The Draft EIS addresses potential environmental impacts on multiple
resources, including but not limited to: Air quality; water resources;
airborne acoustic environment; biological resources, marine and
terrestrial; cultural resources; socioeconomics; and public health and
safety. No significant impacts are identified for any resource area in
any geographic location within the NWTRC Study Area that cannot be
mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals to
underwater sound. The Navy has requested from NMFS a Letter of
Authorization (LOA) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection
Act to authorize the incidental take of marine mammals that may result
from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the NWTRC Draft
EIS/OEIS. In compliance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fisheries
Conservation Management Act, the Navy is in consultation with NMFS
regarding potential impacts to Essential Fish Habitat. In accordance
with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Navy is consulting
with NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for potential
impacts to federally listed species. The Navy is coordinating with the
Washington Department of Ecology, the Oregon Department of Land
Conservation and Development, and the California Coastal Commission
for a Coastal Consistency Determination under the Coastal Zone
Management Act for each respective state."
Below are some of the pearls in the IES:

4.2.6 Marine Plants and Invertebrates
Potential cumulative impacts on marine plants and invertebrates in the
NWTRC include releases of chemicals into the ocean, introduction of
debris into the water column and onto the seafloor, and mortality and
injury of marine organisms near the detonation or impact point of
ordnance or explosives. Materials expended during training include
sonobuoys; parachutes and nylon cord; towed, stationary, and
remote-controlled targets; inert ordnance; unexploded ordnance, and
fragments from exploded ordnance, including missiles, bombs, and
shells. Materials include a variety of plastics, metals, and
batteries. Most of these materials are inert and dense, and will
settle to the bottom where they will eventually be covered with
sediment or encrusted by physical or biological processes.

D.2.2 Explosives
Explosives detonated underwater introduce loud, impulsive, broadband
sounds into the marine environment. Three source parameters influence
the effect of an explosive: the weight of the explosive material, the
type of explosive material, and the detonation depth. The net
explosive weight (or NEW) accounts for the first two parameters. The
NEW of an explosive is the weight of TNT required to produce an
equivalent explosive power. The detonation depth of an explosive is
particularly important due to a propagation effect known as
surface-image interference. For sources located near the sea surface,
a distinct interference pattern arises from the coherent sum of the
two paths that differ only by a single reflection from the
pressure-release surface. As the source depth and/or the source
frequency decreases, these two paths increasingly, destructively
interfere with each other, reaching total cancellation at the surface
(barring surfacereflection scattering loss).
For the NWTRC there are three types of explosive sources: AN/SSQ-110
Extended Echo Ranging (EER) sonobuoys, demolition charges, and
munitions (MK-48 torpedo, Maverick, Harpoon, HARM, HELLFIRE and SLAM
missiles, MK-82, MK-83, MK-84, GBU-10, GBU- 12 and GBU-16 bombs,
5-inch rounds and 76 mm gunnery rounds). The EER source can be
detonated at several depths within the water column. For this analysis
a relatively shallow depth of 20 meters is used to optimize the
likelihood of the source being positioned in a surface duct.
Demolition charges are typically modeled as detonating near the
bottom. For a SINKEX the demolition charge would be on the hull. The
MK-48 detonates immediately below the hull of its target (nominally 50
feet). A source depth of 2 meters is used for bombs and missiles that
do not strike their target. For the gunnery rounds, a source depth of
1 foot is used. The NEWs for these sources are as follows:
. EER Source—5 pounds
. Demolition charge—10 pounds in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
100 pounds in a sinking exercise (SINKEX)
. MK-48—851 pounds
. Maverick—78.5 pounds
. Harpoon—448 pounds
. HARM—41.6 pounds
. HELLFIRE—16.4 pounds
. SLAM—164.25 pounds
. MK-82—238 pounds
. GBU-10—945 pounds
. GBU-12—238 pounds
. GBU-16—445 pounds
. 5-inch rounds—9.54 pounds
. 76 mm rounds—1.6 pounds

The exposures expected to result from these sources are computed on a
per in-water explosive basis. The cumulative effect of a series of
explosives can often be derived by simple addition if the detonations
are spaced widely in time or space, allowing for sufficient animal
movements as to ensure a different population of animals is considered
for each detonation. The Navy prepared and filed with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact
Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) for
public release on December 29, 2008. The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) is a Cooperating Agency for the EIS/OEIS. The Draft
EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of maintaining
Fleet readiness through the use of the Northwest Training Range
Complex (NWTRC) to support current, emerging, and future training
activities. The proposed action serves to implement range enhancements
to upgrade and modernize range capabilities within the NWTRC, thereby
ensuring critical Fleet requirements are met. Federal agencies, State
agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to
be present or represented at the public hearings. Navy representatives
will be available during the open house sessions to clarify
information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.

In regard to marine mammals and their habitat:
"The Draft EIS addresses potential environmental impacts on multiple
resources, including but not limited to: Air quality; water resources;
airborne acoustic environment; biological resources, marine and
terrestrial; cultural resources; socioeconomics; and public health and
safety. No significant impacts are identified for any resource area in
any geographic location within the NWTRC Study Area that cannot be
mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals to
underwater sound. The Navy has requested from NMFS a Letter of
Authorization (LOA) in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection
Act to authorize the incidental take of marine mammals that may result
from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the NWTRC Draft
EIS/OEIS. In compliance with the Magnuson- Stevens Fisheries
Conservation Management Act, the Navy is in consultation with NMFS
regarding potential impacts to Essential Fish Habitat. In accordance
with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Navy is consulting
with NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for potential
impacts to federally listed species. The Navy is coordinating with the
Washington Department of Ecology, the Oregon Department of Land
Conservation and Development, and the California Coastal Commission
for a Coastal Consistency Determination under the Coastal Zone
Management Act for each respective state."

 

 

 

 

 

Flyers to take to teabag rallies:

 

Hon Peter Mackay. Minister of Defence

Hon Peter Mackay

Minister of National Defence

April 12, 2009

 

In the Greater Victoria Area, there has been continued concern about Exercise Trident Fury which I understand is going to take place again this June. 

There is equal concern about the potential transboundary impacts from the proposal for increased Northwest Training Range Complex along the Coast. 

 

The proposed training activities are envisioned to take place close to Vancouver Island. 

.There is also concern along the US Northwest coast about the increased military training, and hearings are being held and the submission date continually extended. Has Canada made a submission expressing concern about the possible encroachment in Canadian waters? Has Canada been asked about the potential impact? 

Is there a plan to link Canada into the Northwest Training Range Complex?

 

Joan Russow, Ph.D.Global Compliance Research ProjectFlyers to take to teabag rallies: