Navy loses court battle with Whidbey Island environmental organizations and Washington State.

In a dramatic conclusion to a long running court battle over the expansion of the Whidbey Island Naval Base, the District Court of Washington Judge Richard Creatura has forced the Navy to sit down with State’s Attorney General office and the environmental groups led by Citizen’s of the Ebey’s Reserve (COER) and Paula Spina, to forge an agreement to satisfy some of the issues raised by the environmental groups. The judge was scathing in his findings against the Navy’s work in their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). His language could not be more clear,”the Navy appears to have used certain statistics “‘much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.’ “

Whidbey Island Naval Base

While the groups did not win all their demands, they won what likely will be the most critical issues. Here is a condensed version of the judge’s findings. I cannot improve on his language.

Plaintiffs challenge the Navy’s 2018 final environmental impact statement (“FEIS”) and 2019 record of decision authorizing t he expansion of EA-18G “Growler” aircraft operations at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (“NASWI”) under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”), These statutes mandate a procedure that an agency must follow before taking an action as significant as the Growler expansion at NASWI.

Under NEPA and the APA, the Navy’s decision may be overturned if the Navy acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” and failed to take a “hard look” at the consequences of the proposed action.

Here, despite a gargantuan administrative record, covering nearly 200,000 pages of studies, reports, comments, and the like, the Navy selected methods of evaluating the data that supported its goal of increasing Growler operations. The Navy did this at the expense of the public and the environment, turning a blind eye to data that would not support this intended result. Or, to borrow the words of noted sports analyst Vin Scully, the Navy appears to have used certain statistics “much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”

When reporting on the environmental impact of Growler fuel emissions, the Navy underreported the true amount of Growler fuel emissions and failed to disclose that it was not including any emissions for flights above 3,000 feet. Even after receiving a comment on the issue, the Navy failed to disclose its underreporting and dismissed the issue with broad generalities.

With respect to the impact of this increased operation on childhood learning, the Navy acknowledged numerous studies that concluded that aircraft noise would measurably impact learning but then arbitrarily concluded that because it could not quantify exactly how the increased operations would interfere with childhood learning, no further analysis was necessary.

As to the impact of increased jet noise on various bird species, the Navy repeatedly stated that increased noise would have species-specific impacts on the many bird species in the affected area but then failed to conduct a species-specific analysis to determine if some species would be more affected than others. Instead, the Navy simply concluded that certain species were not adversely affected and then extrapolated that all the other species would not be affected, either.

Regarding evaluating reasonable alternatives to the Growler expansion at NASWI, which the Navy was required to do, the Navy rejected moving the Growler operations to El Centro, California out of hand, summarily concluding that such a move would cost too much and that moving the operation to that location would have its own environmental challenges. The Navy’s cursory rationale was arbitrary and capricious and does not provide a valid basis to reject the El Centro alternative.

For these reasons, the Court recommends that the District Court find the FEIS violated the NEPA and grant all summary judgment motions in part and deny them in part. Also, the Court grants plaintiffs leave to submit extra record evidence to address certain issues. Assuming the District Court follows this recommendation, it should order supplemental briefing regarding the appropriate remedy for the NEPA violations described herein.

This blog has argued for years that the only way to stop environmental degradation is with lawsuits. Once again, as we have seen against the aquaculture industry and the Army Corps of Engineers, the legal system continues to be the last bastion of hope against the flood of money, hubris, greed and incompetence that continue to attempt (and sometimes succeed) and permeate many of our public funded agencies. Our politicians so rarely step up and stand up to these agencies, leaving it up to us to fund and fight them. To those supporters of the Navy base, including both Democrats and Republicans, it’s clear that the Navy did not do it’s job, nor did it consider moving the base, which the judge said should have been considered. The environmental argument is not anti-navy, it’s pro environment.

Thanks to Attorney General Bob Ferguson for taking a very hard stand against a very large foe. And thanks to COER for their never ending optimism in this battle. They have not won the war, but a significant battle for protection of our environment.

The actual judge’s findings are here:

Local group opposes military use of state parks

The group “No Park Warfare” has organized to oppose the state allowing the Navy to use state parks as military training sites. Count me in as this is another expansion of the never ending reach of the military here in our area. Have we ever been asked to vote on this? Nope. All done through a board of non-elected officials who apparently ignored thousands of emails in coming to their decision. 


Fellow Park Lovers,
We are challenging the
recent State Parks Commission decision to allow Navy SEAL covert
training in our coastal Washington State Parks.
We are a group of everyday citizens who believe we can stop this horrible plan if we all pull together right now. 
Read & Sign our Citizens’ Complaint Letter Here.
Please sign before March 31 when we will submit this letter.

The letter can be found at:

New tactic against Navy training expansion – loss of use of property

A new lawsuit has been filed by homeowners that claim that the expansion of the Navy training on Whidbey Island constitutes a “taking” of their property because it has made their home unlivable. These are folks who knowingly bought in the flight path, before the Navy decided to expand the program.

Whidbey Island residents sue over expansion of Navy training flights
When Marge Plecki and her husband built their retirement home on Whidbey Island in 2002, they were aware the Navy conducted training flights at a small airstrip nearby. The noise was bearable, though, and she planned around it by running errands or doing other chores while the jets roared. That changed dramatically in March, when the number of EA-18G Growlers in the skies vastly increased. The noise has sent Plecki and more than three dozen other residents of Whidbey Island’s Admiral’s Cove neighborhood to court, filing a lawsuit that seeks compensation for what they say is their inability to use their property. The neighborhood is a small enclave less than one mile from the end of the landing strip, just beneath the final approach and take-off path for the jets. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press)

Washington State sues Navy over expansion of Growler jet training on Whidbey Island – Cascadia Magazine

Finally, we get a politician with the courage to stand up to the illegal activity the Navy has been pursuing for years in the air above a huge swath of the North Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Navy started training pilots here, from what I can determine, in WWII. Think about that. Single engine prop planes, in an area that was very lightly populated. Simply add to that as you move forward in time, little by little. Now, they have decided that they want to continue to massively expand, though now there are tens of thousands of retirees and regular folks living within 30 to 40 miles radius from them. Their jets are louder than ever. Not even designed to be quiet. And most of the Navy personnel are simply here today gone tomorrow. I talked to a consultant to them, at the “public information day” a year or so back. He told me to my face that “you have it good! I live in Virginia and there are far more overflights by Navy training there than here!” That’s their perspective. At least we aren’t Virginia. They have no local knowledge nor perspective. They don’t care. They are on to the next assignment next year. They don’t care if they have huge training grounds in the middle of the Nevada desert to train in without anyone around. They don’t care if we sleep well at night. They don’t care about us at all. This is life in the modern military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about. You and I have no voice at all. Their plan is to turn the Sound into the Navy’s training ground. All of it. It’s very clear from their 100+ page EIS’s. And people who don’t hear the jets are just like people who don’t actually pay for healthcare. They don’t hear it so they don’t care. So who is on our side? Rep. Kilmer has no idea what to do other than “study the sound”.  The Governor is off polishing his defense resume for his  presidential bid. No one cares. It’s up to us and our AG. No matter what the outcome, thank you to AG Bob Ferguson and local politician Michelle Sandoval for suggesting that he look into it. We will remember you at the ballot box because we know, you took action when many others didn’t.

The Navy’s expansion of loud, low-flying Growler jet training flights on Whidbey Island drew a lawsuit on Tuesday from Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who alleges the Navy did not do enough to examine the flights’ impacts on people and wildlife. In a state that has long hosted military bases — and welcomed billions of dollars of Defense Department spending — the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle marks a rare court challenge of a Pentagon decision from state political leaders. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times) See also: ‘An egregious violation’: WA sues Navy for dumping toxic paint into Puget Sound  The copper-based paint repels barnacles — but it could add up to a larger environmental cost. John Stang reports. (Cascadia Magazine)

Washington state sues Navy over expansion of Growler jet training on Whidbey Island 

Navy wants to use more Washington state parks for stealth SEAL training – Seattle Times

Just say no to this insanity! Please let your state and federal representatives know how you feel.

The Navy wants to use 29 state maritime parks for stealth SEAL training, but state parks officials have yet to begin a review of the plan and say approval is no sure thing.

Navy taking comment on draft plan for land, cold-water maritime training -PDN

More Navy needs for our lands and parks.

PORT TOWNSEND — The U.S. Navy is hosting an open house in Port Townsend tonight to provide information on its proposed special operations training in Western Washington.

The Naval Special Warfare Command proposes to conduct small-unit land and cold-water maritime training activities for naval special operations personnel.

…The open house is set for 5 to 8 tonight at Blue Heron School Commons, 3939 San Juan Ave., Port Townsend. It is the only open house planned on the North Olympic Peninsula.

I highly recommend you come out and let them know what you think of their proposals.

The whole story is here:

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Hood Canal property will compensate for Navy construction at Bangor – Watching our Waterways

Good news. Some movement on getting property to offset the Navy’s construction on the shoreline.

Hood Canal Coordinating Council has finally found some shoreline property to compensate for environmental damage from the Navy’s $448-million Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.
The shoreline of a 6.7-acre property to be used for mitigation of the Navy’s Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. // Photo: Hood Canal Coordinating Council The 6.7 acres of waterfront property — located near Kitsap County’s Anderson Landing Preserve on Hood Canal — becomes the first saltwater mitigation site in Washington state under an in-lieu-fee mitigation program. The $275,000 purchase was approved Wednesday by the coordinating council, which manages the in-lieu-fee program. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Whidbey Island drinking-water wells polluted with firefighting chemicals near Navy airstrips – Seattle Times

Yes, we’ve been aware that this was likely for some time and the Navy kept downplaying it. They really should call for a halt to Navy activity at the base until this is fixed.

A potentially hazardous chemical, found in firefighting foam, has been discovered in a few wells on Whidbey Island. While the Navy distributes bottled water and plans for expanded testing, homeowners worry about longlasting harm.

Navy Contaminates Coupeville Wells from Navy OLF Training Site

This came in this week from the folks monitoring the Navy’s OLF base.  I think that this issue should be addressed to all public officials for Whidbey Island, including  U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (2nd district),  U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. Governor Jay Inslee should also be contacted with any concerns.

Those of us in the environmental community have known for years of the concerns with the foam sprayed to cool down the jets and fire fight them at crashes. Huge amounts of this foam were used in both Gulf Wars.

We have called for an end to using the base for training, based on the proximity of a large population base, which has grown tremendously since the Navy first moved onto the base in the 1940s. We have warned of numerous issues the base represents, from excessive sound that even the Navy admits causes harm to humans and wildlife, dangers of crashes in heavily populated areas and the possibility now realized of water contamination from toxic chemicals used by the Navy.

Residents Warned Against Drinking, Preparing Food with Their Water

The Navy has delivered bottled water and warnings to the first of what may be many homes with contaminated drinking water that are located in the area of the Navy’s Outlying Field (OLF) near Coupeville.

At least two property owners, some of the first who took the Navy up on its offer to have their water wells tested, were notified by phone that their water contained toxic chemicals above EPA Health Advisory Levels.

The Navy’s testing of private and public water wells followed the October 11 discovery of toxic chemicals in an OLF drinking water well that signaled contamination of the underlying aquifer. The fear that perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) found beneath the OLF had spread beyond Navy property prompted a November 7 letter to more than 100 private and public drinking water well owners in a one mile radius.

Some wells serve multiple properties.

The Town of Coupeville had its two water supply wells independently tested for three of the six chemicals that were found beneath the OLF. The Town’s well field located closest to the OLF was found contaminated with Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) a level close to, but not above the EPA’s Health Advisory Level. The other two chemicals, PFOS and PFBS, were not detected at the levels they were tested for.

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) has been linked to kidney and testicular cancers, birth defects, damage to the immune system, heart and thyroid disease, and complications during pregnancy. EPA’s Science Advisory Board labeled it a likely human carcinogen. Although the Navy describes the amounts found as “trace”, PFOA is hazardous in tiny doses because it accumulates in the body and takes years to excrete.

Last week, one of what may end up being many families was told by the Navy that PFOA was found in their drinking water at more than six times the EPA’s Health Advisory Level.

A neighbor’s well was also found to be contaminated and the family warned against using their water for drinking or cooking. With the Navy’s phone call came the realization that family members had been drinking a likely human carcinogen known to accumulate in the body, and have been doing so for an unknown period of time.

The Navy isn’t saying how many of the privately owned wells have shown contamination thus far. However, the distance from the OLF to the private wells showing contamination, suggests that closer wells may also be contaminated.

The Navy notifies well owners by phone and then delivers bottled water to their homes if the levels of contamination are above the EPA’s Health Advisory Levels. The Navy says it will do nothing if contaminates are found below those levels. Well owners whose water has been tested by the Navy have yet to received complete copies of the laboratory reports.

“The Navy’s approach to this pollution problem is no different than that of any big industrial polluter seeking to avoid criticism, reduce liability, and continue business-as-usual,” said Rick Abraham, an environmental consultant working with Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER). “They downplay the seriousness of the problem, drag out investigations, and keep the public in the dark,” he said.

Abraham was previously involved in PFOA investigations on behalf of industrial workers and communities in at least five states.

The Navy’s Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) containing PFOA and/or PFOS is the suspected source of the contamination. The United States, Canada, European Union, Australia, and Japan have banned new production of this fire fighting foam. However, the Navy has stockpiled large amounts for use in fighting fires until it finds a satisfactory substitute. The fire trucks sitting at the OLF and main base in Oak Harbor still have PFOA and PFOS containing AFFF.

The Navy has refused to identify the AFFF brands or formulations to be used in event of an accident, and will only say that they don’t contain “as much” of the dangerous chemicals as they once did.

According to the Navy, historical crash sites and fire training areas are the most likely sources of PFAS contamination at its installations. However, the Navy has yet to investigate the site of a 1982 crash site at the OLF. It claims to be unsure of the crash location and that investigating the site is not a priority.

COER is aware of at least one resident who witnessed the crash and the firefighting trucks at the scene of the still burning jet. The site was not considered in the Navy’s investigation plans.

The Navy claims to have no record of AFFF being used at the OLF, even though a resident recalls seeing the spreading foam on the OLF runway and the washing of fire trucks at OLF after fire fighting training. The Navy has held two large public informational meetings but has made no effort to seek such information from area residents.

The Navy has also kept its plans for investigating contamination at the OLF from the public. The Navy’s “draft” Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) was provided to the EPA and Island County Public Health. All have refused to make the plan public, claiming that “draft” status of plan exempts it from open records laws.

“The people most at risk have been kept in the dark and denied meaningful input,” said Abraham. “The Navy’s failure to consider the potential sources of the contamination raises questions about the adequacy of the investigation,” he added.

“The last thing the Navy wants to do is draw attention to an accident that highlights the risks posed by thousands of touch-and-go ‘Growler’ jet training operations at the OLF,” said Maryon Atwood, a COER board member whose home is near the OLF.

The Navy just released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement wherein it seeks to increase touch-and-go operations Growler jet operations at the OLF up to 35,000 a year, almost a six-fold increase over current levels. “Increasing operations will increase the risk of accidents and the threat to our drinking water,” said Atwood. “This is in addition to increasing noise levels that already exceed community guidelines established by the EPA, OSHA, the State of Washington and the World Health Organization,” she added.

If private and public wells are shown to contain PFOA or PFOS above the EPA’s Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion, either individually or combined, the Navy says it will provide alternative water. According to a number of health experts, the levels deemed to be acceptable by the EPA are set far too high and not adequately protective.

Navy and Air Force sites around the country have been identified as sources of PFAS contamination with the cost of remediation and providing alternate water running into the tens of millions of dollars.

###, P.O. Box 202, Coupeville, WA 9823

Navy holds Public Meeting for “noisy” Draft EIS. Public holds silent protest

The U.S. Navy began the first of five public meetings at Port Townsend today, in order to roll out their new “draft” Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to expand the use of the Whidbey Island Airbase. The airbase is primarily used for carrier and expeditionary (land based wings) training of cadets. A group of approximately 40 protesters sat in a silent protest during the event. While police looked on, no arrests were made nor was their anything other than a peaceful sit down protest.


The Navy is no longer asking for any lowering of cadet training, and in fact is looking to expand by 35 or 36 aircraft. Personnel increases range in the proposals from 371 to 664, with an expected expansion of dependents (family) of 509 to 710). They are planning to increase operations/year from 88,000 to 130,000 an increase of 33%. One thing to understand that was explained to me by Ted Brown, the Installations and Public Affairs Officer for the Navy, is that these operations actually need to be divided by 2 to more clearly understand them. A jet taking over and do a touch and go is engaging in a minimum of 2 operations. However, this increase in the levels takes us from a low range where we have been since approx 1996 to a much higher level, more closely aligned to the levels leading up to the first Gulf War (1976-1988).

The more problematic issue of all this is that the Navy will be impacting many more people with noise levels at or above 65dB. To put this in perspective, 65dB is considered “normal” level of talking to someone at 3′. However, we are talking about jet aircraft noise and not human voices. Hearing loss can occur at sustained levels above 85dB. A navy aircraft sound print lasts approx. 30 seconds usually peaking at 93.5 dBs and sustained above 80 for most of that 30 seconds.  In the summer, I routinely am roused out of sleep after 12 midnight by jets taking off and landing 16. 2 nautical miles away from my house. That qualifies for what the navy calls sleep disturbance but it does not track that from my distance, so any of us affected by this are not included in their calculations.

The Navy assumes that in our area of Port Townsend, we can expect noise levels capable of affecting speech comprehension inside an additional 4 times an hour. Outdoor events would increase up to an additional 3 events per hour. 

Events  that the Navy expects to be so loud as to disturb indoor classroom activity is expect to increase by 2 events per hour. 

Sleep disturbance events between 10PM and 7AM are expected to increase up to 48% in some locations.

It is also worth noting that the Navy primarily flies these during times when the aircraft carriers are in port. They have a window of opportunity and the pilots also need to achieve night flight status. This means that with darkness falling later and later, they end up spilling into the later evening. So expect more noise late in the summer, and with more planes, it will only get worse.

There is a hope on the horizon, much longer out, in that the touch and goes are now in the early phases of having a onboard computer fly the plane with greatly increased safety, and less wear and tear on the plane and flight deck. At some point, we may see a dramatic decrease in touch and goes, as computers take over that function, decreasing training on it. Newer F-35s have the ability installed but older ones do not. The software is not yet operational though, being in testing now.

What can be done about the intrusion into our peaceful surroundings? There is a no action alternativethat the Navy isn’t seriously considering, but should be proposed in writing by anyone concerned about this growth. However, don’t expect the Navy to choose this. If you are planning to contact any of our Congressmen or Senators, you might as well push for it. That’s the only way you will protect yourself and your family from increased unmuffled jet noise.





Navy to expand sonar, other training off Northwest coast – AP

Despite our best efforts…the military continues to turn our area into a training ground. Expanded sonar testing. Expanded jet flights. Increasing base forces. They get the National Marine Fisheries Service to buy into their assumptions on ‘no net loss’. They expand an antiquated air field  that should be shut down and moved to a more remote area. They conduct sonar tests in the same waters as our last remaining Orcas. Folks, they will never really work to protect our environment. Now we get a Federal Government that will give them carte blanche to continue to expand. And where is Representative Derek Kilmer, Senator Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell in all this? Silent.

The U.S. Navy has finalized a plan to expand sonar testing and other warfare training off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and northern California. The Navy decided to implement its preferred plan after a lengthy review that included a determination from the National Marine Fisheries Service that the exercises would not have major impacts on endangered orcas and other marine mammals. It announced its decision on Nov. 4. The fisheries service last year renewed the Navy’s five-year permit, through 2020, to conduct the activities in areas from the inland waters of Puget Sound in Washington state to the northern coast of California. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Navy, Noise and Sealife – News & Event

From the people at The West Coast Action Alliance and the Olympic Forest Coalition and

Noise in the sea is killing and injuring wildlife. The numbers are shocking. The online news organization Truthout published their top story this morning, on the excessively high numbers of marine mammals the US Navy is allowed to “take” as a result of exploding mines and bombs and using sonar in sensitive habitats during testing and training exercises. Truthout senior investigative reporter Dahr Jamail researched and wrote it after noticing this post from the West Coast Action Alliance:

Coincidentally, the New York Times wrote last week that Navy sonar “cannot be ruled out as cause of death” for dolphins in Southern California.

Which brings us to this: 23 organizations are sponsoring a showing of the movie “Sonic Sea” on Monday, May 23 from 7-9 PM at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (QUUF) in Port Townsend, Washington, 2333 San Juan Avenue. The eye-opening film reveals how noise from Navy sonar, drilling operations and everyday vessel traffic adversely impacts whales and other sea life. (Watch trailer here.)  A donation of $10 is suggested at the door.

Two world renowned experts and cast members will be at the screening – Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research and Michael Jasny of the National Resources Defense Council. They will speak and, after the film, lead a Q&A session. (Press release here.)  If you are not in the area, check this site for more screenings, or to host one in your area. To learn more, download theOcean Noise Report.

On all fronts: Army and Navy forge ahead with training plans for Northwest forests despite loud opposition – Tacoma News Tribune

Finally, a major news outlet on the “east” side of the Sound discusses, in depth, what has been happening out here over the last year. Our friends in the environmental movement in Seattle have rebuked all efforts to get them involved in any way, stating that the coal and Bakka Crude train issue is all they can handle. Luckily, there are a number of dedicated people, like Karen Sullivan quoted in the article, that have worked to keep this a front burner issue.

To be clear, jet training noise in Port Townsend, which is 16 nautical miles from the airbase, is loud enough at midnight to wake people up inside houses with windows closed. That would be the equivalent of Green Lake hearing the jets from Sea Tac at midnight. The Seattle-ites that love to come over here and use the Olympic National Forest might want to help before the expected peace and quite of the wilderness is overrun by troop training exercises. It will be too late then, folks. They are asking for over 260 days a year to use these locales, and never admit that or state it in public meetings. Just read the documents to find the truth of their demands.

Special Operations units and an Air Force survival school already use Northwest forests New plans might lead to more noticeable training on Olympic Peninsula, North Cascades. Environmental reviews draw thousands of letters from opponents

Read more here:

Navy appears to be using active sonar near Orcas – Beamreach

Beamreach has published sound patterns from the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network that appears to show active sonar blasts that could seriously impact Orcas and other marine mammals. The Navy has stated that it would avoid this kind of behavior, and we are awaiting word from them that they either mistakenly did this, or will stop it. To be clear, the intensity of these pings have scientists worried about injury to the whales.

With transient killer whales in the area and the whereabouts of J and L pods (and their many newborns!) unknown, we were concerned to hear that active sonar was utilized late in the morning on Wednesday, January 13, in Haro Strait — critical habitat for species in both Canada and the U.S.  At the same time, military training activities were planned or taking place on both sides of the border.  This is what is sounded like — – See more at:

Navy special forces use state parks for training – PT Leader

News has now officially broke in the Port Townsend Leader that the Navy has been using using our public beaches, for night time war games training for Navy Seals and others. The issue here is very clear: This is all new expansion of Navy uses of public lands without consultation of the the public.  The total number of sites includes Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, Fort Casey, The Port Townsend Launch Ramp, Port Ludlow and Mystery Bay. 

Until very recently, I lived a short walk from Fort Worden. I am astonished that public officials from the Parks decided, in secret, to allow this kind of use. While the park is technically closed after dusk, many people stay in the park, in campers. It is certainly likely that some of them are armed, legally, and could be out taking a pee or walking a dog late at night. Coming across heavily armed landing parties is a recipe for disaster. As is the notion of a PR flack running up and yelling that it’s the military and it’s ok.

We are watching our way of life changing with a Navy presence that we never were allowed to question, or debate in public. Is this what we want? Random night landings by armed troops? Low flying high speed unmuffled jets roaring right along the border of a heavily used National Park, where people come to seek solitude and peace in nature? What are we becoming?

The environmental angle to all this is that none of this is covered by the Navy EIS, unless they are interpreting it different than written. Clarity is needed.

The Navy has millions of acres, all over the US, that have been traditionally used for training. I, and many like me, did not move here because we thought that this kind of training was happening. It wasn’t happening and they have decided to do it wihout debate. 

Can any of you imagine if this was happening all along Seattle beaches and parks? What kind of outcry their would be? They do this because they believe that they can get away with it. Thanks to Truthout for surfacing the original story, and to the Port Townsend Leader for finding out the existing storyline.

We can stop this behavior now. Call your elected officials.

Washington State Parks has issued a right of entry permit to the U.S. Navy that allows nighttime training exercises at five state parks, including Fort Flagler State Park and Mystery Bay State Park.

Brian Hageman, manager of Fort Worden Area Parks, told the Leader that the Navy has used Fort Townsend and Fort Flagler state parks and has at least once in recent years used Fort Worden.

U.S. Navy to Initiate Actions Without Completing Agency Consultations – WCAA

The Navy continues to show what seems to be an arrogance in it’s interpretations of the laws of the state and the country when it comes to providing proof of non-harm of the environment.  It is quite astounding that after all the thousands of comments that have been put forward by the people living in this area against the attempts of the Navy to co-op our air, land and waters for training exercises, when there are alternative locations available, that the Navy would choose to take this route. In the face of tribal cultural resources, environmental and historical areas of significance, etc., that the Navy would choose to put this current EIS document out, and that they are giving you, the people paying their salaries and who they defend, no public comment period, seems to be  both illegal and outrageous behavior. 

Keep the momentum up people. The legal system will be used,  and your calls to Derek Kilmer, Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray and locally our State Representatives and Senators is required to show that we are not going to let the Navy simply get it’s way because it puts out thousands of pages of erroneous information, on purpose. 

Port Townsend, WA, November 8, 2015 –  The West Coast Action Alliance and Olympic Forest Coalition received the astounding news that the Navy has unilaterally declared the consultation over, on effects of Navy activities on cultural and historic properties, with Washington’s State Historic Preservation Officer. In her immediate reply letter from the State, State Historic Preservation Officer Dr. Allyson Brooks strongly objected to the abrupt termination.

Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Navy is required to consult with Washington’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

In their letter to Dr. Brooks, the Navy claimed that they have complied with the requirements as set forth in the statute and regulations.

However, Dr. Brooks’ office has made it abundantly clear, and reconfirmed this in her letter, that the process is far from complete.  Dr. Brooks strenuously objected to such abrupt termination of ongoing discussions.

As of October 2, the Navy produced a 3,400-page Final EIS on Northwest Training and Testing, with no public comment period and without completing formal endangered species and cultural/historic site consultations with the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the State of Washington. After granting itself a waiver via the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Donald Schregardus, the Navy is expected to sign a Record of Decision on Monday, November 9. This in effect gives the Navy permission to proceed with actions that require incidental take permits from federal wildlife agencies, and a determination from the State of Washington on potential harm to cultural and historic properties, without knowing what those impacts will be.


Dr. Allyson Brooks, State Historic Preservation Officer: 360-586-3066

John Mosher, Northwest Environmental manager for the U.S. Pacific Fleet: 360-257-3234

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Environment (Donald Schregardus): 703-695-5270

Karen Sullivan is the spokesperson for the West Coast Action Alliance and Olympic Forest Coalition on this topic. More information at:

Did the US Navy Break Federal Laws to Push War Games Over National Forests? – Truth Out

The continuing saga of the Navy taking over more land, sea and air space, with the implied notion that they “own” it. We need a good lawyer out here that can stop this nonsense.  A good read by Truth-Out’s local writer Dahr Jamail.

“The Navy has an astonishing sense of entitlement to public lands and waters,” Sullivan said about how the Navy has approached the public’s concerns over its operations. “Northwest Training and testing range manager Kent Mathes told me last year after a public meeting, ‘We own the airspace and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.'”

As Truthout previously reported, if it gets its way, the Navy would be flying Growler jets – electronic attack aircraft that specialize in radar jamming – in 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day. Naval surface fleet ships will also be participating by homing in on ground-based emitters – a topic that was never discussed in the Navy’s environmental assessment.

Anti Navy Electronic Warfare Group C3 calls for calling Congress

Seems like an appropriate way to show discontent with the Navy’s plans. Congress is likely the only way to really get traction for protest, as they have the contacts with the military brass back in Washington DC. If you are opposed to these plans, then this is a good way to get involved. I’ve been told by elected officials over the years that calling is better than email. It shows a deeper engagement to the issue in their minds.

C3 Campaign by Bev Goldie:
CALL Kilmer MONDAY/CantwellTuesday/Murray Wednesday


Dr Bev Goldie launches the C3 Campaign this morning– 3 days:3 Congressional Calls–to make sure our elected officials hear our voices. She asks for focused calling by EVERYONE to Kilmer on Monday, Cantwell on Tuesday, Murray on Wednesday. Calls should be short but direct asking that they be recorded (take down name of staffer answering phone). Please forward this list to your contacts so that our efforts will be multiplied. Thank you.
C³ Campaign 3 Days: 3 Congressional Calls

DC: 202-225-5916 Port Angeles: 360-797-3623
Tacoma: 253-272-3515 Bremerton: 360-373-9735

DC: 202-224-3441 Olympic Peninsula (Tacoma) 253-572-2281
King Co: 206-220-6400 Pierce/Thurston/Kitsap: 253-572-2281
NW (Everett): 425-303-0114 SW (Vancouver): 360-696-7838
Central (Richland): 509-946-8106 Chelan/Douglas Co: 509-946-8106
Okanogan Co: 509-353-2507 E WA(Spokane) 509-353-2507
SE (Richland): 509-353-2507

DC: 866-481-9186 (toll free) Seattle: 866-481-9186 (toll free)
Tacoma: 253-572-3636 Everett: 425-259-6515 Vancouver: 360-696-7797
Yakima: 509-453-7462 Spokane: 509-624-9515

Navy defends electronic warfare training project in Pacific Beach public meeting – PDN

Related news on the Navy’s expansion of electronic warfare testing.

The town with the most direct impact from the Navy’s proposal to expand electronic warfare training in Olympic National Forest had its first public meeting on the plan this week. More than 175 residents of Pacific Beach in Grays Harbor County attended the Wednesday night meeting, with many voicing opposition. A five-person team from the Navy — the U.S. Forest Service declined an invitation to attend — defended the military agency’s finding in August that the project would have no significant environmental impact. Angelo Bruscas reports. (North Coast News)

Public meeting set in Port Townsend to discuss proposal to add 36 Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island – PDN

Despite what it might appear, the issue of Navy expansion of it’s training is an environmental issue. Noise pollution from Whidbey easily reaches both Port Townsend (16 nautical miles away) and the San Juans, sometimes late into the evening (up to midnight on some evenings in the summer). Additionally, sonar testing has unknown hazards for our endangered species like orcas, and the low level flying and electromagnetic warfare training on the far west end encroaches on the very basics of what a wilderness area is supposed to provide, which is naturally quiet space, as it is in nature. That’s why they restrict helicopters over the Grand Canyon to the west end of that wilderness park. So come out and make your presence known, and please contact Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and US House Representative Derek Kilmer to let them know your thoughts.

The Navy plans a public meeting in Port Townsend in December on a proposal to increase the number of jets originating from its base on Whidbey Island. Navy officials will take public input on a proposed increase of up to 36 EA-18G Growler aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. An earlier proposal called for an additional 14 jets. The Port Townsend meeting will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at Fort Worden Commons. It will be the first held on the proposal on the North Olympic Peninsula. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

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