“Save the Olympic Peninsula” is asking for comments to be sent regarding use of the beaches and areas by the US Navy. I hope you will consider lending support to this effort to preserve the environment by writing to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest.
Your comments (due by March 23, 2018), including a demand for a comprehensive environmental impact statement, should be sent to:
“We urgently need your help. The Navy is proposing special operations warfare training along 265 miles of Washington state shorelines and 65 state parks at launching sites, marinas, and within cities and towns.
Although the Navy has conducted SEAL training in the Northwest for the past 30 years, it intends to significantly expand operations well beyond what has been conducted in the past without providing a comprehensive environmental impact statement.
According to the Navy’s Draft Environmental Assessment, “The Proposed Action supports small-unit, intermediate and advanced cold-water maritime and land-based training activities for naval special operations personnel on selected nearshore lands and in the inland waters of Puget Sound, including Hood Canal, as well as the southwestern Washington coast. Training would start in 2018 and occur into the foreseeable future.”
The specific, long-term environmental consequences of innumerable military assault exercises to each of the public and private shoreline areas is not addressed in the Navy’s assessment.”
An article in a recent Saanich News article about the noise from the US aircraft stationed on a nearby US island. No mention of the wargames and the increase in the aircraft and the number of flights that will result, not to mention the increase in EMR. After all the letters and calls to various levels of government, why is this not known?
Some very sad news. The US Navy has been given permission to hold EMR wargames over the Olympic Peninsula (and, no doubt over areas of BC) for the next 5 years. The notice that was sent out is below. Despite many of us having written to various levels of government, I have never seen anything from local, provincial or federal government representatives about this.
(Project Documents – Decision – Final Decision – Appendix A Maps; Appendix C Permit; Appendix F Wildlife Effects Table; Appendix B Response to Comments; Appendix D Alternatives Considered and Eliminated; July 31, 2017 Signed; Appendix E Reviewing Officer Instructions
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Dear Interested Party:
We want to let you know that a decision was made to authorize issuance of a Special Use Permit that would allow the U.S. Navy to conduct ground-to-air training using mobile electronic transmitters from eleven designated roadside locations on the Pacific Ranger District of the Olympic National Forest for a period of up to five years.
The decision adopts the Navy’s 2014 Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality regulations at 40 CFR 1506.3, to eliminate duplication by federal agencies. The decision is to select Alternative 1 as described in the 2014 Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment with modifications. The decision also incorporates by reference analysis associated with the Navy’s 2015 Northwest Training and Testing Final EIS/OEIS and its 2016 Record of Decision as well as other materials. The decision is documented in the 2017 Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range, which can be found https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=42759&exp=overview. Additional project materials may also be found at this location.
In making the decision, we considered public comments received during the designated scoping, comment, and objection periods, as well as input received outside of these designated periods. The main concerns profiled were potential impacts to public health and wildlife. Additional to standard permit Terms and Conditions, the decision includes Forest Service Project Design Features and Navy Standard Operating Procedures to address public health/safety and resource concerns. Compliance with the decision will be ensured through the Special Use Permit administration process.
Thank you for your interest in the Olympic National Forest.
Due to numerous citizen requests for more time to analyze the Navy’s 1400-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the proposed addition of 36 more Growler aircraft at NAS Whidbey Island, the Navy has extended the comment period to February 24.
The DEIS calls for an increase in the number of air field operations at Whidbey’s Ault Field of up to 38,700 each year. It is not immediately clear how many of these activities will be operating over the Electronic Warfare Range, where the Navy has previously promised an increase of only 10% over its historical level of 1250 flights per year. Click here to
On January 20 the Navy presented an update on the status of NWTT Phase II Environmental Impact Statement and monitoring program, along with advance information on NWTT Phase III EIS project to the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council in Port Angeles.
John Mosher/ U.S. Navy; Jackie Queen/ USN; Andrea Balla-Holden/ USN; Naval Undersea Warfare Center/ USN provided outreach materials that referred to large increases in Navy activities as “mission adjustments”, which include another EIS for the NWTT, with scoping starting this summer. In the time between 2016 and 2018, at least 34 Navy FONSIs and RODs are scheduled in the Puget Sound-coastal Washington region alone.
During the public comment period STOP’s representative stressed that the Navy’s “averaging” model for noise pollution would underestimate the jet noise and its effect on marine wildlife and the Marbled Murrelet; and the increased fuel consumption (from more Growler jets) would exacerbate climate change.
Pacific Northwest Coast Alliance Update
On January 20 representatives of Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve, Quiet Skies Coalition, Save The Olympic Peninsula, Protect The Peninsula’s Future, Olympic Environmental Council, Friends of The San Juans, and the Marrowstone Island Committee met to share the concerns of their constituencies about the Navy’s ongoing expansion of military training in the region.
The Alliance expects to pursue a number of initiatives to raise public awareness of the value of preserving the incomparable recreational environment provided by communities on the Northwest Washington Coast. Stay tuned for opportunities to participate in the months ahead!
It’s full-court press time for western Washington and Southwestern Vancouver Island and all the islands in between. The Navy is coming to 5 communities to talk about the new Growler Jet Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS.) They are not, however, extending this courtesy to Canada, despite subjecting them to significant jet noise. Attached are some talking points and questions about the DEIS that are like Cliff’s Notes for some of the major public concerns. This DEIS is starkly alarming on so many levels.