Rosalind Peterson: Urgent! Take Action! Protect Our Marine Mammals, National Marine Sanctuaries, Recreation & Fishing Industries…


From ROSALIND PETERSON
Redwood Valley

I have sent the attached and/or same letter to our Senators and U.S. Congressman Thompson today. We need to send out as many letters as possible to all of our elected officials at every level of government. Please feel free to use this one or make any changes you deem necessary to make your wishes known. Toll Free Number for all elected officials in Washington, D.C. (1866) 220-0044

The closest event is in Fort Bragg, CA for us….see the links below for more information.

Right now we need a lot of pressure placed on our elected officials and others today.

March 6, 2012

RE:

  • U.S. Navy Open House Information Sessions under NEPA
  • U.S. Navy NEPA Violations
  • Formal Request for a U.S. Navy Formal Presentation & Q&A Period With Proper NEPA Notice
  • Protect Our Marine Mammals, National Marine Sanctuaries, Recreation & Fishing Industries

Dear                                                    :

On Saturday, March 3, 2012, I received a postcard from the U.S. Navy inviting the public to participate in the National Environmental Policy Act Process.  However, the U.S. Navy is only holding Open House Information Sessions in easily accessible places in California, Oregon, Washington (State), and Alaska.

We believe, for the following reasons, that the U.S. Navy is not following NEPA requirements:

1)    The Open House Information Sessions will be staffed by Navy representatives, which means as many times in the past, private contractors who have no authority to answer questions presented by the public.  (U.S. Navy personnel should be present to answer questions not their private contractors.)

2)    The Notice Periods for the Navy Open House Information Sessions all have less than 30 days notice, in some cases, less than two-weeks notice.

3)    The U.S. Navy is not making a public presentation of any kind in violation of requirements for a scoping notice under NEPA.

4)    In further violation of NEPA, the U.S. Navy will not be taking formal oral comments or questions from the public since their new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS), is in the process of being written at this time.

5)    The purpose of the new EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts from military from experiments resulting from the development, testing, and introduction of new vessels, aircraft (including drones and drone surveillance over both sea and land areas), and weapons systems experiments and testing.  However, as the U.S. Navy notice provides no specific information on what new vessels, aircraft, and weapons systems they plan to test, or have tested in the NWTRC or other testing ranges;  such notice precludes any meaningful public comment and further violates both the intent and substance of NEPA.

6)    The expansion of the testing areas of the NWTRC (Northwest Trailing Range Complex), to encompass additional areas, land based sonar, and areas in Alaska. The Navy’s failure to provide any specific information on land and ocean expansion or the extent of new weapons system testing on its proposed actions precludes meaningful public comment and further violates both the intent and substance of NEPA.

7)    The Federal Register and Post Card Notice did not give the public 30 days to read any associated materials which are not available on the U.S. Navy website, associated with these open houses, and the Navy clearly states that they will make no presentation so that the public may ask questions and raise issues before the public comment deadline of April 27, 2012.  (This is clearly a violation of NEPA.)

8)    The Navy should be required to hold valid Open House Information Sessions with actual information presented by Navy officials rather than PR firms and other Navy contractors, and to answer questions from those attending said meetings.  Such meetings should be held not only in remote communities, but also in urban centers and the State Capitol of each state involved so that state officials and members of Congress could easily attend (Sacramento, CA, Salem, Oregon, Seattle, WA, Boise, Idaho & Juneau, Alaska).

9)    The first Navy NEPA Open House is in Washington (State), on March 13, 2012.  The Meetings in California are on March 22-23, 2012.

Some of Our Questions:

A)   We are formally requesting that the U.S. Navy (not their contractors), be required to give a presentation on these issues (after 6:00 P.M. so that most people who work can attend), and answer questions on their experimental weapons systems, their impacts on marine mammals, and why they need to expand their programs, which types of new weapons systems they are testing (including sonar), and where they plan to expand their testing and experimental testing range areas.    (Also need to address impacts regarding commercial shipping and fishing issues.)

B)   We have questions on why they are failing to protect any National Marine Sanctuaries, Marine Reserves, breeding habitats, sensitive biological areas, and won’t stop testing while the whales and salmon migrate along the coastal regions or refuse to protect breeding, feeding, and fishing areas along our coastal regions?

C)   We are requesting that the U.S. Navy also hold meetings in the State Capitol of each State that will be impacted by these experiments and expansion.  Why has the Navy refused to have additional meetings in our respective State Capitol cities?

D)   NOAA representatives should also be requested to attend meetings or the National Marine Fisheries Service in order to address questions about the impact of U.S. Navy testing on Marine Mammals, fish and other aquatic life.  Why are they excluded from these NEPA Open House Meetings?

We have attached links to the U.S. Navy Website regarding this issue.  There is very little information provided by the Navy (website), on this expansion and new EIS/OEIS. Please notice that the U.S. Federal Register Notice did not provide 30 days notice with regard to these open house sessions under NEPA.  We believe that this is a violation of public notice requirements.

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/02/27/2012-4458/notice-of-intent-to-prepare-an-environmental-impact-statementoverseas-environmental-impact-statement

U.S. Navy Home Page- Website & Information on Filing Public Comments: 

https://nwtteis.com/Home.aspx

U.S. Navy Website for Filing Public Comments by April 27, 2012:

http://nwtteis.com/GetInvolved/OnlineCommentForm.aspx

Comments in Writing Must be Received by the U.S. Navy in Writing no later than April 27, 2012:

Naval Facilities engineering Command Northwest

Attn:  Mrs. Kimberly Kler, NWTT EIS/OEIS, Project Manager

1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203, Silverdale, WA 98315-1101

 1.    We are formally requesting under NEPA that the Navy (not private contractors hired by the Navy), attend these meetings, provide information on their experimental weapons testing programs and reasons for their expansion in a formal presentation after 6:00 P.M. (so that those who work may attend the meetings). 

2.    We are also formally requesting that the Navy answer questions from the audience and provide information on their proposals so that the public can make informed formal comments by April 27, 2012.

3.    We also formally request that public meetings be held in the State Capitol of each State in both the U.S. Navy NWTRC and the NWTT expanded training ranges so that our elected representatives may attend said meetings.

We look forward to hearing from you in the near future with regard to these formal requests.  Time is important as these meetings are scheduled to start in California in less than three weeks – other states have earlier meeting dates.

Sincerely,

~~

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