Submarine, support vessel collide off Washington coast – AP via Q13Fox

While not fatal to the environment (at least that we know about due to Navy secrecy), it is a reminder of how at risk our Strait and Coast are to possible radioactive contamination if one of these vessels has a catastrophic failure due to a crash. How their support vessel crashed into them is something  I hope we get more information on, from the Navy. Perhaps Derek Kilmer’s staff can ask for clarification?

BANGOR, Wash. (AP) — The Navy says a ballistic-missile submarine and a support vessel collided off the coast of Washington state.

There were no injuries from the Thursday evening incident in the Strait of Juan de Fuca involving the USS Louisiana and the offshore support vessel. In a statement, the Navy said the collision occurred during routine operations.

From http://q13fox.com/2016/08/19/submarine-support-vessel-collide-off-washington-coast/

 

Navy set to train SEALs on public beaches? 

Just in this AM. Appears to be accurate and very disturbing. The Navy appear to be set to expand SEAL training to some very public beaches. If you feel you want to take action on this, call our elected officials and demand an accounting about this. 

Dear Colleagues,

The Navy  SEAL teams are apparently proposing conducting a massive 4-month amphibious landing combat training program at 68+ beaches, state parks and residential coastal areas in Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and along western coastal beaches, starting in mid-January and going through mid-April. Training events range from 2 to 72 hours, are to be held from 2 to 24 times per year per site, and in some cases involve mock battles with “realistic” simulated weapons. No NEPA process has been conducted, the public has evidently not been notified, and other evidence points to the fact that local, state and federal agencies are also largely unaware of the Navy’s plans. 

(Olyopen states: these locations including Ft. Worden, Ft. Casey, and many other public locations! View the map in the article’s link)

This begs the question: what provisions for public safety, wildlife and habitat, and cultural and historic property protection have been made? 

This article by investigative reporter Dahr Jamail, 

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34367-exclusive-navy-uses-us-citizens-as-pawns-in-domestic-war-games published today in Truthout, has details and links to internal Navy documents with color-coded maps of targeted areas showing what types of combat training activities will be held in each area. From looking at these files, it appears that 2016 is not the first year for this training. Obviously it’s going to be a big concern throughout the region, and our purpose in writing to you is to ensure that you know, and that the public is made aware of it so that issues concerning public safety, cultural and historic property, and fish, wildlife, and habitat concerns are not ignored. 

As an aside, the Navy is having a public meeting in Port Angeles tomorrow, Tuesday January 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Elks Naval Lodge, 131 E. First St. They plan to discuss the pier proposal at Ediz Hook and will only accept written comments, but it is a public meeting, and the same people who have handled (and mishandled) NEPA for the region will be there. Here’s the notice:

http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/installations/navbase_kitsap/news/nbkNR/environmental-assessment-for-port-angeles-support-facilities-pro.html

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.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33387-us-navy-allegedly-broke-federal-laws-to-push-forward-electromagnetic-war-training-over-national-forests

Navy Final EIS contains numerous flaws-West Coast Action Alliance

In my email today. There are steps you can take to continue the opposition to this unnecessary and likely illegal expansion of Navy training over our quiet corner of the country. Illegal because the Navy itself, in a joint memorandum with the Forest Service back in the 70s, established that they cannot use FS land if there is an alternative available. The FS and Navy continues to ignore this fundamental legally binding document and allow the expansion of the use of Navy planes over the edge of the Olympic National Park and it’s ecology of quiet. The upshot is that it is likely to cause the Navy and FS substantial taxpayer funded monies to fight this expansion against the taxpayers funding it! You can do something. Read on.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We would like to bring your attention to the publication of a new Navy document: the Final EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for Northwest Training and Testing (http://nwtteis.com).  While impacts from the Growler jets, the Electronic Warfare Range, and the Northwest Training and Testing are all functionally connected, they have been separated into multiple documents covering an area from Northern California to Alaska.

The latest EIS is unlawful and fatally flawed for a number of significant reasons, listed briefly below. These are explained in detail in a Joint Memorandum by the West Coast Action Alliance and the Olympic Forest Coalition. It was sent to senior Navy officials in Washington DC and the Pacific Northwest, selected federal and state legislators and County Commissions in Northern California, Oregon and Washington, plus city councils on the north Olympic Peninsula, and a variety of other organizations and individuals. Supporting materials can be found on the WCAA web site at: http://westcoastactionalliance.org

Reasonable concerns by the public have long been ignored, and this controversy intensifies by the day. For example, Congressman Derek Kilmer requested several months ago that the Navy undertake a “neutral” sound study on the effects of jet noise over Olympic National Park, under the auspices of the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise (FICAN). But the Navy ignored his request and reconstituted an old study using data that applied to Prowler jets, which are no longer being flown and are less powerful and less noisy than Growlers. They inserted that old study in the new EIS and claimed “no significant impacts” on the soundscapes of Olympic National Park.

The reasons we believe the latest EIS is unlawful and fatally flawed are:

  • Failure to provide reasonable notice to the public
  • Failure to provide adequate comment process 
  • Failure to address functionally connected activities and their cumulative impacts
  • Failure to adequately consider impacts to Olympic National Park’s World Heritage designation 
  • Failure to wait until completion of Final EIS and Record of Decision before initiating actions 

We believe that the government should follow federal law and policy, and that it is neither unpatriotic nor unreasonable for citizens to ask them to do so.

What can you do?

  1. Read the joint memorandum and its attached letter from UNESCO on the WCAA web site;
  2. Write letters to your elected representatives; a list is here: http://westcoastactionalliance.org/location
  3. Write letters to the editors of local papers;
  4. Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Olympic Peninsula Protection Fund. Monies will be used for advocacy, outreach, and legal defense. You can use PayPal here (http://olympicforest.org/?page_id=121) or write a check to: Olympic Forest Coalition, PO Box 461, Quilcene, WA 98376.

The West Coast Action Alliance invites you to respond to this email or submit comments. However, on the advice of counsel, we cannot commit to preparing responses or answering questions in this forum.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

The West Coast Action Alliance and the Olympic Forest Coalition

EarthJustice wins lawsuit against the Navy over sonar sites

This just in. EarthJustice, an environmental group that often sues to protect species and habitat, have claimed to have won a major victory against the Navy, to protect marine mammals from sonar testing. I have not yet seen the ruling, so I am unclear as to how much area it protects. For example, Earthjustice only mentions Hawaii and Southern California in their press release. It is unclear as to whether the Navy will honor the Washington/Oregon and Alaska coastal areas. In Alaska, for example, whales have been washing up dead in numbers unprecedented in recent history,during and  just after Navy training exercises in June. This web site will work to better understand the ruling and how it might affect us in the Pacific NW. More to follow.

For the first time ever, the U.S. Navy has agreed to put vast swaths of important habitat for numerous marine mammals off limits to dangerous mid-frequency sonar training and testing and the use of powerful explosives.

Until it expires in late 2018, the agreement will protect habitat for the most vulnerable marine mammal populations, including endangered blue whales, for which waters off the coast of Southern California are a globally important feeding area. It will also protect numerous small, resident whale and dolphin populations off Hawai‘i, for whom the islands are literally their only home.

Judge dismisses lawsuit against easement that blocks ‘pit-to-pier’ project on Hood Canal – PDN

And so it goes. The Pit to Pier people never seem to give up, and seem to have an inexhaustible amount of money to spend fighting anything that stands in their way. I wonder if this is the end of the line for them though?

A federal court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Navy challenging a conservation easement that would block development of a 998-foot pier and gravel-loading project sought by Hood Canal Sand and Gravel. U. S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on Tuesday granted a motion to dismiss, ruling that the Navy did not exceed its authority in granting the 55-year easement on state-owned tidelands along Hood Canal…. The easement is an agreement between the Navy and the state Department of Natural Resources announced in July 2014 that would block development on more than 4,800 acres of state land along Hood Canal, stretching from the Hood Canal Bridge south to just below the border between Jefferson and Mason counties. (Peninsula Daily News)

lhttp://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150903/NEWS/150909989/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-against-easement-that-blocks-pit-to-pier

Letters of opposition needed now on Navy Electronic Warfare Range

This in from the Protect Olympic Peninsula people:
The Executive Director of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics told citizens that letters to Mr. Bonnie may be the best shot we have to defeat the plan of the Navy’s to turn the Olympic Peninsula into an Electronic Warfare Range.  We only have a few weeks left before the Forest Service makes its “decision”.
The letters don’t have to be long…but we need a lot of them! Can you spread this Alert through your own network, and perhaps share it with the younger generation who are so adept at social media? Know any groups who would post it on their Facebook page?
ACTION ALERT: SAVE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
Please help save beautiful Olympic National Park from becoming a Warfare training Range! We have only a few weeks before the decision is made. YOUR voice is needed! See how you can help:
It has been recommended that the letters to Mr. Bonnie also be cc’d to our representatives. Thank you for caring and taking action.
Derek Kilmer’s exec secretary’s email address:
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