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US NAVY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY

 

 

By Rosalind Peterson
February 21, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

The United States Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense have decided that their Northwest Training Range Complex, in the State of Washington, should be expanded, and have devised a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), dated December 2008, for public review and comment. The expansion of their area of operation will include all of the State of Washington, all of the State of Oregon, part of the state of Idaho, and Northern California. This area will also include large areas of the Pacific Ocean from California to Washington. (The map designating this program area also extends throughout Northern California to the San Francisco Bay Area under a “warning area” designation.)

The U.S. Commander of the Pacific Fleet has given American citizens and residents of these states only a very short time to comment on their draft EIS: Published on December 30, 2008, with a final public comment deadline extended to March 11, 2009, this document is approximately 1,000+/- pages in length with attachments. In addition to a short comment time the Navy limited public hearings to five, with only one held in Oregon, one in California and no hearings in Idaho. The Navy has allegedly failed to place information about this EIS in major newspapers or inform our elected representatives about this program.

Thus, citizens in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington are asking for a realistic extension of time to read, study, and comment on this decision by the Navy and the Department of Defense, past the March 11, 2009, deadline. It should be noted that most elected representatives in California and Oregon were not aware of this EIS or the consequences of this action by the Navy.

The Navy has declared that this draft was distributed to our elected representatives. If so, then why haven’t our elected officials spoken up to defend our rights to be heard, required more public meetings and hearings in California, Washington, Idaho (where not one was held), and Oregon?
The U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet have decided, without our consent, that that are going to use the Pacific Ocean off the Coast of California, Oregon and Washington and the land over four states to test weapons of war. They did not contact Senator Harry Reid of Nevada to obtain permission to use the Nevada Test Site for these warfare experiments. Instead they decided to use public lands, the Pacific Ocean, private property, wildlife, and humans as test subjects for warfare testing in four states.

The Navy also has decided to contaminate our air, water, and soils with the chemicals used in these programs. They fail to list many of the chemicals that are to be used in these programs. Thus, under the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting a complete listing of all chemicals that will be used during these testing programs. It is easy for the Navy EIS to state that they can mitigate for such toxic usage but fail to disclose a complete listing of said chemicals. Also copies of contamination studies conducted at other military test sites where contamination problems were found and at bases (like Fallon Air Force Base).

The draft EIS does not fully address the potential environmental impacts on multiple resources, like air quality, water resources, airborne acoustic environment (on land and in the ocean), biological resources, marine and terrestrial impacts and human health and safety. Without a complete understanding of their programs it is impossible to determine any impacts…thus, their EIS states that “…there are no significant impacts…” This statement is made throughout the entire document even though many of the chemicals used are highly toxic.

With the failure of the EIS to identify all of the air quality, water quality, and soils impacts of their programs this EIS appears to be a whitewash designed to stampede this program through as fast as the Navy can implement it. And in listing only a few of the EPA list of toxic chemicals that will be released by military aircraft (like jet fuel emissions), the Navy has avoided any discussion of negative impacts on air and water quality. It is not sufficient to state that our air is already polluted and that additional pollutants will make no difference in air quality.

There is a short listing of hazardous materials, air pollutants, and pollutants from munitions, expended materials, and radioactive materials to will be used in this project. I am requesting a complete listing of all chemicals that will be used by the Navy, Air Force, and any other branch of the Department of Defense in this project. Inshore and offshore detonations may or may not be considered hazardous – however, until a complete listing of these chemicals is provided to the public there can be no public discussion of their hazard to public health, marine life, wildlife, public drinking water sources or our oceans. The avoidance of making this specific list public leads one to believe that these hazardous materials and chemicals are toxic and do pose environmental hazards.

It is interesting that Table ES-5 Summary of Effects (Page ES-16) – Hazardous Material does not list the name of any hazardous materials but tells the public that there is no problem with their use. How is it possible to have a summary table and list none of the chemicals to be used during the Navy program? They do note petroleum products, heavy metals, and combustion products but fail to list all of them along with the number of pounds to be used each year.

The public and marine life in the ocean will be subjected to various sonar and aviation noise, target noise, surface ship noise, weapons and target noise, EOD (no definition found), and underwater explosions. The Navy does admit that marine life will be harmed but harming our food supply, (fish like salmon), or the whales is not deemed important by the Navy, as they are expendable according to the EIS.

The Navy and the Department of Defense have decided that massive warfare expenditures for testing war products and weapons using marine life and the public as guinea pigs is in our best interest. And since a lot of the equipment and other items to be tested are experimental this leads one to believe that they are testing them on us for the first time to see how they work and if the public is harmed by their usage.


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Just when did the citizens of the United States agree to be warfare test subjects when the Nevada Test Site and/or Area 51 which could be used for these tests? And why use the Pacific Ocean which is a migratory haven for our food supply and valuable marine life – including those that migrate along the Pacific Coast? And if this Navy project is approved and the health of the citizens, marine, or wildlife is threatened who will be held responsible for this action and its negative consequences?
The EIS does not give the public standing to say no to this project or the consequences of being used as guinea pigs during the testing. In addition, the EIS does not state how long the testing process will last – providing us with the information that once implemented testing could be conducted forever in these areas.

I am requesting, under the freedom of information act, answers to the above questions, listings of the chemicals used and their exact harm to the public, animals, marine life, water supplies, trees, agriculture, and soils. This includes information on whether or not depleted uranium, red and white phosphorus, weather modification and mitigation chemicals will be used, whether or not atmospheric testing will occur along with aviation over-flights and bombing runs. Will sonic booms rattle our homes and low flights of planes shake our houses and wake us up at night? I am also requesting complete documentation and information on Electronic Combat Training and how it will impact human health. Noise and electronic levels should also be made public.

My freedom of information act request also includes the following questions:

1 - Will aluminum coated fiberglass be used (CHAFF) and how many pounds will be released each year?

2 - What are the health effects of Chaff particulates on humans, wildlife, soil and water? Please provide a study on these human and wildlife health effects.

3 - Will weather modification or mitigation programs be initiated during the Navy program? If so, what chemicals will be used in this program?

4 - Will jets be allowed to fly at heights that leave persistent jet contrails that exacerbate global warming and change our climate (NASA Studies)?

5 - A complete listing of jet fuels to be used (+ additives), and the components of said jet fuel with information on the number of chemicals released and their impact on human health, agriculture, soils, water supplies, and wildlife. (Include JP-8, JP-10, and other new experimental jet fuels.

The Jet Emissions report is available online at the EPA Website.

6 - A complete study of depleted uranium showing human health and animal health effects.

7 - A complete study of the health effects of the compounds listed in Table 3.3-5 Page 3.3-11 and definitions of RDX and HMX (use and toxicity).

8 - Toxicity of Red and White Phosphorus – humans, wildlife, soils, water supplies, marine life.

9 - A complete listing of the propellants, explosives, pyrotechnics, chemical and riot agents, and smoke canisters (type of smoke and toxicity) is requested. And a complete listing of obscurants which will be used in these programs and their toxicity.

10 - How much money will Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho be reimbursed for hazardous waste disposal and other toxic site clean-up from the Navy and the Department of Defense? It is requested that the reimbursement be 100%.

11 - A complete listing and studies of the synergistic effects of all chemicals used in the Navy program with associated health effects. This includes cumulative and synergistic effects as well.

12 - Studies of the synergistic effects of project chemicals on bioaccumulation in fish and other marine food supplies.

13 - Will Maxwell MOAs (1, 2 & 3,) be used in this Navy Project? If yes, what will be the actions taken over this area by all branches of the military?

A rough study of the EIS leads one to believe that the Navy and the Department of Defense intends to leave behind a toxic pea soup of chemicals and other toxins in their wake along with the human health effects and dead marine life. Many areas of California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho would be contaminated from these experiments through airborne and water migration across these regions.

It also appears that nothing would be spared in testing weapons of war on the public (with the Nevada Test Site and Area 51 available for much of this testing and the Atlantic Ocean also available near Washington, D.C.); it appears that these Western States will be sacrificed for building and testing more weapons of mass destruction. Remember that sacrificing California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho is just the beginning…your state will be next.

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I am requesting that the State of California be excluded from this Navy project. Citizens in all four states should say “no” to this proposed project and others like it. Contract your elected representatives today and let them know how you feel about this project. We are appealing to Congressman Mike Thompson, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to delay this project, allow more time for public comment, hold hearings in Mendocino County, CA, and to eventually oppose allowing California to become part of this costly, toxic warfare project. END

For more information and copy of the U.S. Navy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Comment Form.

2009 - Rosalind Peterson - All Rights Reserved

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In 1995, Rosalind, now retired, became a certified California United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency Agriculture Crop Loss Adjustor working in more than ten counties throughout California. Rosalind has a BA degree from Sonoma State University in Environmental Studies & Planning (ENSP), with emphasis on using solar power, photosynthesis, agriculture, and crop production.

Between 1989 and 1993 Rosalind worked as an Agricultural Technologist for the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture. After leaving Mendocino County she took a position with the USDA Farm Service Agency as a Program Assistant in Mendocino, Sonoma, and the Salinas County Offices, where she worked until becoming certified as a crop loss adjustor for the State.

E-Mail: info@californiaskywatch.com


 

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The public and marine life in the ocean will be subjected to various sonar and aviation noise, target noise, surface ship noise, weapons and target noise, EOD (no definition found), and underwater explosions. The Navy does admit that marine life will be harmed but harming our food supply...