October 19, 2010
We are requesting the following:
We should be asking our elected officials to put a moratorium on the issuance of any permits
for the taking of marine mammals until all stakeholders in the NWTRC have had sufficient time
to review all pertinent documents.
To make sure that we protect the Oregon’s Marine Reserves and all National Marine
Sanctuaries, including the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary in Washington, from U.S. Navy
Warfare Testing. Working to protected biologically sensitive areas in Northern California.
Our elected officials, at every level, work to obtain an extension of the NOAA deadline for
public comments until all stakeholders and the public have had time to review information that
NOAA has obtained since their last public comment period ended early last year.
Questions raised by the public, many government, state, and local agencies and our elected
officials have apparently not been answered, at this time, either adequately or at all. Thus,
there should be a new public comment period prior to any permit being issued by NOAA for the
Navy to “take” any marine mammals in the NWTRC.
The draft letter that may be approved by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on
October 19, 2010, should be supported by all local, county, and other entities with regard to all
areas in the NWTRC FEIS.
U.S. Congressional hearings should be requested in order to protect public health, marine
mammals, the tourism, fishing and related industries, along with birds, other marine life, and
public health. These hearings should be held before NOAA issues any permit to the Navy for
the “taking” of any marine mammals.
President, Agriculture Defense Coalition
Post Office Box 499
Redwood Valley, CA 95470
See Supporting Exhibits & Information Below
October 19, 2010
The Honorable Members of the
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
501 Low Gap Road
Ukiah, California 95482
RE: U.S. Navy NWTRC Final Environmental Impact Statement & NOAA Permits
U.S. Navy FEIS Public Comment Deadline: October 24, 2010
NOAA Final Public Comment Deadline: October 31, 2010
Dear Chairman Brown & Members of the Board of Supervisors:
I am formally requesting that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors take the following actions
on Tuesday, October 19, 2010:
A) (NOAA) Request Incorporation of Additional Mitigation Measures into the Marine Mammal
Protection Act Permit for the Navy’s Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC). The
question: What mitigation measures are you requesting, at this time, that work more than 9%
of the time?
Note: NOAA still is promoting mitigation measures that won't protect fish, birds, habitat,
human health, the tourism and fishing industries, and coastal communities. Their most
prominent mitigation measure (U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson has noted is effective only
9% of the time), is having lookout towers on ships to spot marine mammals like turtles. (Press
Release May 8, 2009 by Congressman Thompson to NOAA. Exhibit 1A)
Sonar and toxic chemicals, for example, do not stay within line-of-sight activities or range
complex boundaries. Thus, sightings from ships used as the primary mitigation measure
would be ineffective with the use of sonar. Bomb blasts destroy breeding and fishing habitats
along with the food supply for migrating species like gray whales. Fish, birds and other sea life
are not protected by NOAA (NMFS), or the U.S. Navy. (NOAA Permits are issued to the Navy
only for the “taking” of marine mammals-thus by default allowing the “taking” of all other marine
species and wildlife.)
B) Request that Congressman Thompson and Senators Boxer & Feinstein obtain a delay in
NOAA (National Marine Fisheries Service) issuing a permit to the Navy (NWTRC), for the
“taking” of marine mammals. All city, county, and state elected officials should be informed of
current NOAA information, studies, and proposed mitigation measures in time for public
comment before any Navy activities are conducted in the NWTRC under the proposed FEIS.
Note: When the 2009, NOAA & Navy Public Comment Periods ended early in 2009, many of the
studies and questions raised during the public comment period were to be addressed. The public,
local city, county and local governments in the affected areas have not had time to address these
new studies or know which ones have been completed.
Stakeholders should be allowed a second public comment period on mitigation measures, based
upon questions raised in the first public comment period and completed or ongoing studies.
Stakeholders need time to evaluate them and make recommendations prior to NOAA issuing a permit
to the U.S. Navy (NWTRC).
In addition, the U.S. Navy has ongoing 5-year warfare testing programs in Southern California and
Hawaii (See Navy Maps Exhibit 2), with a final Navy Rule of Decision (ROD), just announced for the
Marinas Islands in the Pacific. Other areas with new proposed Pacific Ocean 5-Year Warfare Testing
EIS documents are online involving the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico (See Navy Map of
Ranges Exhibit 1).
There is no possible way to evaluate the coastal and marine mammal impact of current and ongoing
Navy testing where NOAA has already issued permits for the taking of marine mammals. (We do
know that the California Coastal Commission has had some problems with Navy actions in Southern
California and is challenging the Navy on these issues.)
The addition, by the Navy on July 15, 2010, of a new U.S. Navy 5-Year Warfare Testing Range in the
Pacific Ocean between the Hawaiian Range Complex and the Southern California Range Complex
will also increase the number of “takes” and other impacts in the entire Pacific region (See MAP &
EIS Exhibit 2B).
The addition of a new U.S. Navy 5-Year Warfare Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Complex / Range
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) + Overseas (OEIS) on July 15, 2010, will add to the 11.7
million estimated “takes” in the NOAA permit process. These additions should also be evaluated
before any actions are taken in the NWTRC or NOAA permits are issued. (See MAP & EIS Exhibit 2A
- The number of living marine mammal figures may have to be revised by NOAA due to unknown
marine mammal impacts in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP oil spill.)
No government agency is protecting fish, birds, other marine wildlife, habitats, national marine
sanctuaries and marine reserves, breeding habitats, and other biologically sensitive areas. The
following statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein, and other senators is chilling and is another reason
that our biologically sensitive areas should be protected:
Letter from several senators including Senator Barbara Boxer to NOAA-June 17, 2009:
"...In many regions, the Navy plans to increase the number of its exercises or expand the
areas in which they may occur, and virtually every coastal state will be affected. Some
exercises may occur in the nation's most biologically sensitive marine habitats, including
National Marine Sanctuaries and breeding habitat for the endangered North Atlantic right
whale. In all, the Navy anticipates more than 2.3 million takes (significant disruptions in
marine mammal foraging, breeding, and other essential behaviors) per year, or 11.7 million
takes over the course of a five-year permit..."
C) The Board should ask for government protection of all marine life and habitats not just for marine
mammal (in order to protect the fishing and tourism industry), in the NWTRC. City, county, and
state agencies should be engaged in a comprehensive stakeholder process before redundant
military testing begins in the NWTRC. The ongoing Southern California warfare testing, with the
addition of the NWTRC testing and training area will negatively impact almost the entire coastline
areas of Washington, Oregon, and California if implemented. (Toxic chemicals-air quality-fish-
habitats-earthquake faults, and other issues.)
According to the final EIS the Navy plans to release some toxic chemicals directly into many
ocean areas and conduct sonar testing during gray whale migrations. The permit from NOAA only
involves marine mammals and is thus allowing the Navy to “take” all other marine life without a
permit or any government oversight. It is alleged that no government agencies are now working to
protect fish and ocean habitat destruction during Navy exercises nor any oversight of Navy
activities that would impact these areas. (Both motivation and funding is limited.)
Note: NOAA is a “cooperating agency” working with the Navy and not an oversight agency. The Navy
also funds many NOAA projects. This is a direct conflict of interest when enforcing the U.S.
Endangered Species Act and other laws. The protection of all marine life should be under the
jurisdiction of an agency that has oversight responsibilities, no financial ties to the Navy, and is not
working as a “cooperating agency” with the Navy.
All state and local stakeholders should be informed and working within this process along the entire
coastline of California. State senators and assemblymen should also be engaged in this stakeholder
process in order to protect California coastal regions. (It is alleged that the Navy did not notify our
state elected officials about the Navy and NOAA exercises for the NWTRC, thus limiting their ability to
participate in the stakeholder process to protect California interests between 2008-2010.)
(The Navy’s public notification process has been highly limited and many coastal regions along
the California coastline were not notified by the Navy of possible impacts in their areas even
though habitat, food and breeding areas, the tourism and fishing industries, and migration patterns
would be altered by Naval actions. It is alleged that Sonoma & Marin Counties were not given
either advance notification (2008-2009-2010), or time to participate in the entire stakeholder
process with NOAA and the Navy. (Mendocino County was not notified in either 2008 or 2009, by
the Navy or NOAA, until a resident of Mendocino County accidently found out about the NWTRC.)
D) In the past two years the Navy has noted new sonar technologies and electromagnetic weapons
testing plans. Since these are new technologies it is alleged that there are no reports or studies of
their impacts on marine life, and in specific, marine mammals. Thus, the Board should request
that these new technologies be included in public comment questions to both NOAA and the U.S.
Navy during the public comment period (See Exhibit 16).
Note: The Navy has stated that it will use sonar during gray whale migrations along the Pacific
Coast: September 10, 2010: U.S. Navy Final EIS Volume II Page G113 Answer to public
comment question: ‘…No, the Navy does not plan on suspending sonar operations during the
gray whale migration seasons…” Five-year warfare testing is ongoing in Southern California at
this time, including sonar use.
The entire California, Oregon, and Washington Coastline would be dangerous for migrating
species while the Navy uses sonar, chemicals, and bomb blasts. In addition, some fish, like
salmon, migrate and they need to be able to navigate, feed, and sustain themselves when
returning or leaving coastal rivers and streams. Disruptions to habitat, food supplies, and travel
patterns could be detrimental to their survival. Gray whales protect their young, for example, by
hugging the coastline areas with their young wedged between them and the coast and using their
bodies to protect their young from being preyed upon by other species. Sonar could cause them
to change patterns which would endanger their young. We need safe passage for migrating
species and protection of their food supplies and habitat.
E) The U.S. Navy under their CARE program (Charged Aerosol Release Experiment), put up an
aluminum oxide dust cloud over the east coast on September 19, 2009. Now they are planning
more experiments in 2010-2011. Will this experiment be conducted over the Pacific or the
California as part of the NWTRC warfare testing program? What are the possible health effects
from conducting this type of experiment on both ocean acidity, marine life, soil, air and water
pollution? (See Navy Documents – Exhibit #15)
F) Bomb blasts, missile testing, and other experiments could trigger earthquakes along the Northern
California coastline, in Oregon, and Washington. It is alleged that these issues have not been
addressed by any government agency at this time. If these issues have been addressed and
studies or reports have been completed, then they should be made public. This is another area
where questions were raised to both NOAA and the Navy during public comments early in 2009.
G) Congressman Mike Thompson along with Senators Feinstein and Boxer have sent letters to both
the Navy and NOAA, in 2009, addressing some of the above issues. It appears that neither
agency has supplied answers to their questions to date or that their responses are inadequate.
(See: Congressman Mike Thompson, in an October 8, 2010, letter to the Navy.) The Board
should support Congressman Thompson’s efforts to obtain more information and also should
request more information regarding the questions Congressman Thompson addressed in his May
28, 2009, letter to NOAA.
The Board should also request that these questions be answered and made public prior to any
action being taken by NOAA or the U.S. Navy. The NOAA permit process should be delayed until
all stakeholders have had time to review this information and the Board should request that
Congressman Thompson and Senators Boxer and Feinstein work to stop any permit being issued
by NOAA for the “taking” of any marine mammals in the NWTRC along with obtaining U.S.
H) Since warfare exercises are already taking place in Washington, parts of the Pacific along a small
part of the Oregon coast, and in Southern California, the Board should ask for a total exemption
from (NWTRC FEIS), activities until such time as a full investigation is conducted and all
stakeholders are included in this process.
I) We request that the Board also contact other local governments, cities, and counties along the
Pacific Coast and ask them to join in these efforts. The Marin County Board of Supervisors has
the Navy / NOAA issue on their agenda because some of the issues raised earlier by Mendocino
County will also affect their area due to species migration and habitat destruction. We hope that
you will support their efforts as they are supporting your efforts. (Please note that the Sonoma,
Humboldt, Del Norte, and Marin County Board of Supervisors should be contacted in order to
support your efforts along with stakeholders in Oregon and Washington.)
J) The Navy has stated in Volume II-Page G-417 of their FEIS (Final Environmental Impact
Statement) that "...All weapons and platforms coming to the NWTRC as a result of the proposed
action have been tested in other training ranges..."
Thus, the Navy is planning redundant training and testing in the NWTRC area with heavy
environmental costs along with increased taxpayer costs for this move. Each EIS for multiple
ranges in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico is redundant in most cases, as the Navy, will
be using the exact same missile tests, sonar, and other warfare testing and training in all of these
areas while using the least effective mitigation measures: Sighting tower platforms on a very few
Navy or other ships.
Since the testing and training proposed in the NWTRC is redundant in nature and used in many
other areas the Board should ask for a postponement from both Navy and NOAA until all
information can be reviewed and stakeholders can evaluate new information and be part of the
process…not just dictated to us by NOAA and the Navy.
K) The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has the U.S. Navy on their agenda on October 19,
2010. Item #5: Board of Supervisors Comments Related to Final EIS Northwest Training (Navy)
Range complex. (Supervisor J. Smith)
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize Chair to sign letter reaffirming the Board's concerns related to
the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with particular reference to the Northwest
Training Range Complex (NWTRC).
Supporting Documents for their meeting include the following letter:
19/bosagendaitem.pdf Please note that their draft October 19, 2010 letter to the U.S. Navy
includes the following quote: “…Humboldt County would like to state that the only viable
mitigation for our coast is complete avoidance…we are especially concerned about the impacts
resulting from sophisticated sonar and any explosive devices. Clearly, these important resources
should not be subjected to your exercises…”
Mendocino County should support the stand taken by the Humboldt County Board of
Supervisor both to the U.S. Navy and NOAA.
Warfare Practice in almost all areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico is redundant
overkill. War cannot mean that the military is empowered to destroy our ocean environment without
protecting and exempting some areas from massive testing exercises. Many people feel that the
NWTRC, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, should be exempt from further
practice which is redundant and being carried out currently in other ranges. We hope that everyone
will weigh in on this important issue because the Navy and the U.S. Air Force are currently expanding
or increasing their 5-year warfare testing ranges every year.
Should some areas be protected from the effects of multiple redundant warfare testing ranges? Yes!
And should the Pacific Coast in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho be exempt from
this type of redundant training and testing in order to protect this area? Yes!
I would like to thank the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for their support in working to
protect our coastal marine environment. And I fully support your letter to Congressman Mike
Thompson for working so hard on our behalf.
Post Office Box 499
Redwood Valley, CA 95470
The Agriculture Defense Coalition Website has even single document that we could find regarding the
U.S. Navy 5-Year Warfare Testing Programs: http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=us-navy
In the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. I hope that you will find this information of value.
Each government document on the Navy section of the website, with few exceptions, has a link at the
bottom of the first page. If you ctrl-click on the link it will take you to the actual hot link site. My
website will be updated with any new information daily for the next several weeks during these public
Exhibit 1) U.S. Navy Map of Range Complexes (Almost all have 5-Year Warfare Testing FEIS
or EIS Issued through 2009)
http://afasteis.gcsaic.com/docs/Range%20Sustainability.pdf United States & Island
areas Map. (The new Navy Range Complex areas in the Pacific and the Atlantic added
on July 15, 2010, have separate maps and the links are located below – See Exhibit #2
CC: Congressman Mike Thompson - California
Senator Dianne Feinstein - California
Senator Barbara Boxer – California
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey - California
Marin County Board of Supervisors – California
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors – California
Del Norte County Board of Supervisors – California
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors – California
Michael Payne, Chief Permits, Conservation and Education
Office of Protected Resources - National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225
Exhibit 1A) U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson’s Letter to the Navy on October 8, 2010.
Exhibit 2) Two New 5-Year Warfare Training Ranges EIS Documents Issued by the U.S. Navy in
2010. The introduction of these two ranges will increase the number of marine
mammals that will be "taken" during the course of U.S. Navy exercises in the Atlantic,
Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico.
2A) This new U.S. Navy 5-Year Warfare Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Complex/Range
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) + Overseas (OEIS) Notice of Intent in the U.S.
Federal Register on July 15, 2010 Navy Website: http://www.aftteis.com/ Atlantic
2B) This new U.S. Navy 5-Year Warfare Hawaii-Southern California Range Complex
Training & Testing Environmental Impact Statement Notice of Intent in the U.S. Federal
Register on July 15, 2010 Navy Website: http://hstteis.com/ Pacific Ocean. (This
range complex combines to complexes that are already engaged in 5-Year warfare
testing at this time-see separate FEIS documents for each range.)
Exhibit 3) NOAA Website - U.S. Navy Final Environmental Impact Statement NWTRC Website:
Exhibit 4) A 2002 GAO Report Defines Training Ranges: GAO 2002 Report: “…We use the term
“training ranges” to collectively refer to air ranges, live-fire ranges, ground maneuver
ranges, and sea ranges…”
Exhibit 5) This NOAA website has information for about the permit process for the
NWTRC. And it is updated on a regular basis. (Note that all of the Navy Warfare
Testing/Training 5-Year Programs are listed here along with all documents - the
NWTRC FEIS has not been put on this website yet because not finalized.)
Exhibit 6) U.S. Navy Final FEIS/OEIS Hawaii Range Complex Table of Contents 2008-2009:
Exhibit 7) U.S. Navy Final FEIS/OEIS Southern California Table of Contents 2008-2009:
Exhibit 8) U.S. Navy Final FEIS/OEIS Marinas Islands Range Complex Table of Contents Final
ROD July 2010:
Exhibit 9) Other links to information regarding the U.S. Navy NWTRC range:
U.S. Federal Register June 13, 2009 NOAA Proposed Rule for NWTRC
Many questions were raised at this time under their public comment period.
National Marine Fisheries Service NTRC Monitoring Plan Draft April 20, 2009
NOAA Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports-California, Oregon Washington
9D) NOAA Fisheries Service NWTRC Search-Website
Exhibit 10) Listing of Threatened or Endangered Species can be found at this site:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/ Note those in California, Oregon & Washington
Exhibit 11) http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/consultations/biop_navy_nw.pdf
June 15, 2010 - Important Link National Marine Fisheries Service Endangered
Species Act – Section 7 Consultation Biological Opinion-NWTRC
Question: Does this include the impacts of other ranges or just the NWTRC?
Their most prominent mitigation measure (U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson has noted is effective
only 9% of the time), is having lookout towers on ships to spot marine mammals like turtles. (Press
Release May 8, 2009 by Congressman Thompson to NOAA.) Once marine mammals are spotted, on
rare occasions, will multi-million dollar testing and exercises be delayed or stopped while the
mammals move out of the way? (Thus, the need for the Navy to have a permit to “take” marine
mammals from NOAA.)
(My father, Carl Peterson, was a tugboat captain in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 38
years. And he would note, at many times, that it was hard to spot debris, small marine mammals
and other items in the ocean due to fog, night conditions, white caps, cloudy conditions, rain, storms,
white caps, waves, and other events. On clear days and in calm seas sometimes whales and
dolphins can be seen but not at great distances.)
Exhibit 12) Please note that a new Navy 5-year EIS will be released soon for the Alaska Range as
noted in the USA Today August 2010 article.
USA TODAY News: “Navy Plans Could Affect More Marine Mammals” August 5, 2010
Exhibit 13) A partial listing of U.S. Navy Range Complexes can be found on this site with links to
documents regarding each range complex including Hawaii.
Exhibit 14) Other Navy Range Complexes NEPA-See Partial List Below-Some have already started
5-Year Warfare Testing:
Jacksonville Range Complex EIS/OEIS
Virginia Capes EIS/OEIS
Navy Cherry Point Range Complex EIS/OEIS
Southern California Range Complex EIS/OEIS
Gulf of Mexico Range Complex EIS/OEIS
Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training
NSWC Panama City Division: EIS/OEIS
NAVSEA NUWC Keyport Range Complex EIS/OEIS
Public Comments should be directed to NOAA prior to November 1, 2010, make sure that they are
considered before NOAA issues its Final Decision to grant a permit to the Navy. NOAA has so far
granted all permits asked for by the Navy, at this time, with little in the way of mitigation measures. In
addition, NOAA does not protect habitats, national marine sanctuaries or reserves, food supply
chains, fish, and other sensitive breeding habitats or other critical areas. (Please note that NOAA is
not an oversight agency for the Navy...it is a "cooperating agency" and receives funding from the
Navy. Thus, it is not independent of the Navy. We need an agency which is independent and has
oversight which is making these decisions...not one financially dependent upon the Navy in some
Exhibit 15) The U.S. Navy is also engaged in upper atmospheric testing using aluminum oxide
which could have consequences if used in the NWTRC with ocean acidity and water
This test was conducted on September 19, 2009. They do plan additional upper
atmospheric testing...possibly over the Pacific Ocean or the West Coast of California.
These dust clouds remain airborne and then the aluminum oxide returns to the Earth.
The effects of these programs on our oceans and water supplies have not been
investigated and may be part of the NWTRC testing plans. Since we first learned of this
test long after their EIS draft deadline comment period we were not able to address this
issue until this FEIS comment period.
Exhibit 16) New Types of Sonar not addressed in NWTRC FEIS September 20, 2010:
16A) http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=48201 Next Generation of
Mine-hunting Sonar 2009 U.S. Navy
2009 - U.S. Navy Article We also don't know if this type of laser sonar will be
used in the NWTRC and what impacts it will have on marine mammals
Exhibit 17) Also note use of U.S. Navy directed energy weapons systems 2009. U.S. Navy
Thursday, October 01, 2009 - Will the Navy be testing this technology in the NWTRC?
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren News New Energy Center to Impact Future
Weapons for Naval and Joint Forces DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy
demonstrated its commitment to "game-changing" directed energy technological
programs at the Naval Directed Energy Center (NDEC) ribbon cutting ceremony held at
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Sept.17, 2009.
Exhibit 18) U.S. Navy Press Release June 26, 2010
“…Complete with the ceremonious champagne christening, the USNS Howard O.
Lorenzen (T-AGM 25) is the second ship in U.S. Navy history to honor an NRL scientist
for contributions made to Naval and civilian scientific research. Operated by the Military
Sealift Command the missile range instrumentation ship, equipped with a new dual
band phased array radar system and other advanced mission technology, will
replace the USNS Observation Island launched in 1953…” Do we know what impact
this new radar system will have on marine mammals?
Exhibit 19) U.S. Navy Press Release February 12, 2010
“…The new device, called the Swept Wavelength Optical resonant-Raman Device
(SWOrRD), illuminates a sample with a sequence of as many as 100 laser wavelengths
and measures the spectrum of light scattered from the sample at each laser
wavelength…” This type of laser might be used in the NWTRC and may negatively
impact marine life in this area.
Exhibit 20) U.S. Navy Press Release September 4, 2009
“…Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory are developing a new technology for
use in underwater acoustics. The new technology uses flashes of laser light to remotely
create underwater sound. The new acoustic source has the potential to expand and
improve both Naval and commercial underwater acoustic applications, including
undersea communications, navigation, and acoustic imaging….” This type of laser
technology used in the NWTRC may negatively impact marine mammals and
other marine life.
Exhibit 21) GAO 2002 Report: “…Unexploded ordnance are munitions that have been primed,
fused, armed, or otherwise prepared for action, and have been fired, dropped,
launched, projected, or placed in such a manner as to constitute a hazard to operations,
installations, personnel, or material and remain unexploded either by malfunction,
design or any other cause. Munitions constituents consist of such things as propellants,
explosives, pyrotechnics, chemical agents, metal parts, and other inert components that
can pollute the soil and/or ground water.
Exhibit 22) Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk Annual Report NCI
Presidential Cancer Panel Report April 2010
NCI – Presidential Cancer Panel 2008-2009 Report Released April 2010
See: Chapter 5 Exposure to Contaminants and Other Hazards from Military Sources
(Report Contains Many References)
Exhibit 23) There are 59 abstract studies regarding Acoustic Bubbles listed on this site some of
which were conducted by the U.S. Navy-none of them involve sea life or marine mammal impacts:
Exhibit 24) Oceans Studies are also showing that sound travels farther as the ocean becomes
This could be problematic with ever-increasing sonar usage and the chemicals that
Navy uses that would increase ocean acidification. The Navy E.I.S., does not address
this issue nor do the NMFS proposed rules.
Exhibit 25) Oceans are 'too noisy' for whales – September 15, 2008
Exhibit 26) Air Pollution: Jet Fuel Emissions are highly polluting along with rocket fuels and
airborne obscurants.http://www.epa.gov/oms/regs/nonroad/aviation/r99013.pdf EPA Jet
Fuel Emissions Study
Exhibit 27) California EPA Information - EPA Perchlorate Health Effects Report March 2008
The toxic chemical listing by the Navy in their E.I.S., show that many chemicals will be used during
their NWTRC Warfare Testing Program Expansion. The California EPA lists the health hazards for
most of these chemicals. Many of them are toxic to fish or accumulate in the food chain like
Mercury. Thus, the toxicity of the chemicals used by the Navy should also be assessed before the
MNFS grants a permit for the NWTRC.
Exhibit 28) U.S. Navy Chemicals Usage – Warfare Weapons Range Complexes in the United
States. These chemicals are on the NWTRC List:
28A) *Titanium tetrachloride is a colorless to pale yellow liquid that has fumes with a strong
odor. If it comes in contact with water, it rapidly forms hydrochloric acid, as well as
titanium compounds. Titanium tetrachloride is not found naturally in the environment
and is made from minerals that contain titanium. It is used to make titanium metal and
other titanium-containing compounds, such as titanium dioxide, which is used as a white
pigment in paints and other products and to produce other chemicals. Military use it as a
component of spotting charges. Titanium tetrachloride is very irritating to the eyes, skin,
mucous membranes, and the lungs. Breathing in large amounts can cause serious
injury to the lungs. Contact with the liquid can burn the eyes and skin.
_ Red phosphorus or Titanium tetrachloride
References: ATSDR The Aviation Ordnance man; TRI-DDS website; MIDAS; Global
28B) MK-20 Rockeye
Description Physical Characteristics The MK-20 Rockeye is a free-fall, unguided cluster
weapon designed to kill tanks and armored vehicles. The system consists of a clamshell
dispenser, a mechanical MK-339 timed fuze, and 247 dual-purpose armor-piercing
shaped-charge bomblets. The bomblet weighs 1.32 pounds and has a 0.4-pound
shaped charge warhead of high explosives, which produces up to 250,000 psi at the
point of impact, allowing penetration of approximately 7.5 inches of armor. Rockeye is
most efficiently use against area targets requiring penetration to kill. Fielded in 1968, the
Rockeye dispenser is also used in the Gator air delivered mine system. During Desert
Storm US Marines used the weapon extensively, dropping 15,828 of the 27,987 total
Rockeyes against armor, artillery, and antipersonnel targets. The remainder were
dropped by Air Force (5,345) and Navy (6,814) aircraft.
28C) Filling: 247 bomblets
*Red Phosphorus may be harmful if absorbed through skin, ingested, or inhaled, and
may cause irritation of the skin, eyes, upper respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and
mucous membranes. Inhalation of red phosphorus dust may cause bronchitis. Ingestion
of red phosphorus may also cause stomach pains, vomiting, and diarrhea. Effects may
vary from mild irritation to severe destruction of tissue depending on the intensity and
duration of exposure. Prolonged and/or repeated skin contact may result in dermatitis.
Chronic exposure may cause kidney and liver damage, anemia, stomach pains,
vomiting, diarrhea, blood disorders, and cardiovascular effects. Chronic ingestion or
inhalation may induce systemic phosphorus poisoning. If red phosphorus is
contaminated with white phosphorus, chronic ingestion may cause necrosis of the jaw
HAZARDS: Explosive; Red phosphorus or Titanium tetrachloride;
28D) **Pyrotechnic and screening devices contain combustible chemicals which, when
ignited, rapidly generate a flame of intense heat, flash, infrared radiation, smoke
or sound display (or combinations of these effects) for a variety of purposes.
Compared to other explosive substances, pyrotechnics are more adversely
affected by moisture, temperature, and rough handling. Some compositions may
become more sensitive, and even ignite, when exposed to moisture or air.
Mixtures which contain chlorates and sulfur are susceptible to spontaneous
combustion. Most pyrotechnics produce a very hot fire that is difficult to
extinguish and most burn without serious explosions. Many chemicals used in
pyrotechnics produce toxic effects when ignited. Other pyrotechnics, which
contain propelling charges, create an extremely hazardous missile hazard if
Final Note: According to the U.S. Navy FEIS – September 10, 2010 the Navy intends to dump
many toxic chemicals overboard into the ocean. See Toxic Chemicals Section-Final Navy EIS.
October 7, 2010
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230
RE: The U.S. Navy NWTRC 5-Year Warfare Testing Range
Dear Dr. Lubchenco:
It should be noted that there are many ranges and environmental impact statements (EIS), for
multiple 5-Year Warfare ranges in the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. These EIS documents
are redundant in nature because they are testing the same bombs, sonar, chemicals, missiles, and
other warfare methods in each range. Thus, it is not necessary for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air
Force to include their 5-Year Warfare Testing program in the NWTRC.
Thus, the NWTRC should be exempt from this 5-Year warfare expansion and testing due to the
biologically sensitivity of this area with regard to earthquakes, marine mammals, fish, the tourism and
fishing industry, human health, air quality, and associated breeding habitat, food availability, and
In a Press Release dated Congressman Mike Thompson made the following statement with
regard to the use of sonar: “…the Navy has estimated shipboard visual monitoring for marine
mammals – the most commonly employed sonar mitigation measure – to be effective only 9%
of the time…” Then we have missile testing, toxic chemical usage, and bomb blasts to contend with
during this 5-Year Warfare Testing period. What mitigation measures will be taken to protect the
NWTRC from these impacts?
We are writing to urge you to ensure that the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (“NMFS”) Final Rule
authorizing the “take” of marine mammals in the Navy’s Northwest Training Range Complex
(“NWTRC”) prohibits training and testing activities in all National Marine Sanctuaries, breeding
habitats, feeding grounds, and in all biologically sensitive areas where endangered or threatened
species are found.
We are concerned about the United States Navy’s ability to properly review the environmental
impacts of proposed 5-Year Warfare Testing in its Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC).
There does not seem to be proper oversight of the Navy’s activities by independent scientists not
connected with the Navy or NOAA.
We are particularly concerned that NOAA’s existing mitigation measures may not be best suited for
the protected marine mammals and endangered salmonids present in the Pacific Northwest. It is
essential that the review of mitigation measures includes a hard look at the cultural, economic and
ecological consequences of NWTRC training for the Pacific Coast’s invaluable ocean resources,
including endangered Southern Oregon/Northern California Coastal Coho salmon and blue and gray
The Navy’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) acknowledges that these changes, particularly
those related to its increased use of mid-frequency sonar, are likely to have measurable impacts on
32 protected marine mammal species known to inhabit the NWTRC. Toxic chemicals dumped into
the ocean as outlined in the U.S. Navy FEIS will also have severe consequences for marine life as
will the toxic debris from these activities. As the Navy moves forward with plans to train on new
weapons systems, it is essential that NOAA identifies the environmental impacts of these new
aircraft, sonar, ships and submarines – and their accompanying mitigation measures – specifically
with reference to the productive ocean habitats and species that define the Pacific Coast.
In Volume I of the U.S. Navy Final EIS they note that they will be dumping overboard sulfuric,
hydrochloric acid, and other combinations of acids, heavy metals, cyanide, and a wide variety of
solvents. The list of chemicals to be used in the NWTRC listed in Volume I is extensive. Some of the
toxic will be containerized for shore disposal but the Navy does not state where it will be stored…may
in one of the 900 hundred military hazardous waste sites waiting for cleanup around the United
States. The Navy feels that anything left in the ocean, excepts for plastics and other debris, is safe
because it will fall to the bottom of the ocean to be covered with sediment…thus out of sight and out
The Navy will be using Chaff (aluminum coated fiberglass), that can float in the air for up to 20 twenty
hours according to the U.S. Air Force. Thus, this type of particulate will float onto land areas creating
water and soil pollution as the normal wind patterns float them inland. Human health will be
negatively impacted as the EPA has identified particulates as a human health problem. The U.S.
Navy makes lots of claims that all their activities are safe but the use of these same toxic chemicals in
the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico is overkill. The Navy does admit that there could be
synergistic and cumulative impacts from their menu of toxic warfare testing chemicals but offer no
studies to show how they impact fish, bottom marine life, birds or humans.
The Navy solution to any debris that washes ashore is that local counties and other entities are
responsible for the clean-up and disposal of this waste. In addition, old military ordinance has been
washing ashore (some live bombs), for years creating hazards in some location. NOAA has a listing
of these dumping sites (also maps of some areas where the dumping occurred), which could be
disturbed by the warfare activities of the Navy. These issues are not address by NOAA or the U.S.
Navy in their FEIS.
Until there is a full and complete evaluation of current and proposed weapons systems no activities
should take place within the NWTRC. It should be noted that NOAA, after the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico, admitted that they had little knowledge about the underwater regions of that area. Their
limited knowledge of the Gulf of Mexico also leads us to believe that they have limited knowledge of
the NWTRC and its underwater habitat. Thus, the NWTRC should not be part of the 5-Year warfare
testing areas and NOAA and the NMFS should deny any permits for the “taking” of any marine
mammals at this time.
The Navy issued its NWTRC Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”) on September 10, 2010,
and anticipates issuing its Record of Decision this month.1 With the Record of Decision (R.O.D.),
pending, we are writing to you on the assumption that NMFS, likewise, is close to issuing its Final
Rule on NWTRC training activities.
We are not aware of any specific elements included in the evaluation and are concerned that
the review will be inadequate to address the Navy’s EIS with respect to protection of Pacific
Coast ocean ecosystems. NOAA’s denial of a take permit is particularly important given that
the Navy has estimated shipboard visual monitoring for marine mammals – the most
commonly employed sonar mitigation measure – to be effective only 9% of the time according
to U.S. Congressman Thompson.
What data will NOAA use to identify those mitigation measures best able to protect all species in the
NWTRC from sonar and bomb blasts since the most commonly employed mitigations measures are
not effective in protecting marine mammals, fish, and other ocean life? Who will oversee the
mitigation measures that are independent of both NOAA and the U.S. Navy which are cooperating
We wanted to stress that the endangered salmon will be migrating in the U.S. Navy testing areas
should be free from any harassment during their migration. In addition, the NMFS should stop all
training and testing activities during all whale migrations up and down the coastline areas in the
NWTRC. This would include the cessation of all sonar testing.
All testing and training should be prohibited in Northern California and Oregon due to the massive
amount of testing ongoing in the Southern California and Hawaiian Ranges at this time. (The
introduction of the new Southern California & Hawaiian Range Complex is another reason why these
areas in the NWTRC should be prohibited.) All of the activities to be conducted in the NWTRC will be
conducted in almost a dozen ranges in the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. Thus, the
redundant nature of these warfare testing activities that would negatively impact the NWTRC and the
marine life therein should be prohibited at this time until U.S. Congressional Hearings are undertaken
to make sure that our oceans, public health, and all marine life are protected.
The NWTRC Offshore Area completely encompasses an entire region of extraordinary biological
diversity. More than twenty-nine species of marine mammals occur in these areas, including eight
threatened or endangered species of whales, pinnipeds, and otters. All of the areas within the
NWTRC range encompass important regular foraging habitat for humpback and killer whales,
including the critically endangered Southern Resident killer whale, whose sensitivity to mid-frequency
sonar was documented during a 2003 incident in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. These areas in
Washington, including the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary, should be exempt from any military
The Navy’s NEPA schedule can be found at
Recent Blue Whale deaths should also be considered by the NMFS and those areas in which they
migrate should be restricted from any training, sonar exercises or bombing and missile experiments
during their migration inside the NWTRC. Gray whales use the National Marine Sanctuaries during
biannual migrations between calving and feeding areas, and a small, possibly distinct, group of gray
whales known as “summer residents” use certain areas for feeding every summer within the NWTRC
range. The U.S. Navy FEIS states that sonar testing will be used during gray whale migrations. The
NMFS should require that the Navy not use sonar in these areas.
The Caifornia, Oregon/Washington harbor porpoise stock, an acutely sensitive species that is
expected to bear the brunt of the Navy’s activities (accounting for the majority of all expected marine
mammal takes on the range) has primary habitat within the coastal waters in parts of the NWTRC.
Sea otters and pinnipeds such as Steller and California sea lions, harbor seals, and elephant seals
use near-shore areas within the NWTRC, haul out on land at a number of locations along the coast,
and use deeper waters for foraging. In addition to marine mammals, the NWTRC range includes
habitat for abundant fish and invertebrate species, including many commercially important fish and
shellfish and important prey fish for marine mammals. All of these species rely on the continued
health of the areas within the NWTRC and its resources and thus should be protected.
In this regard, a 2008, NOAA report specifically identified both military activities and underwater noise
pollution as two of several emerging threats within the NWTRC. The report recognized that noise
pollution has the potential to compromise habitat quality for the marine mammals, fish, and other
wildlife that inhabit the sanctuary. In particular, it found that “an increase in Navy activity or areas of
operation, if not properly controlled, could have potential to disturb the seabed, introduce pollutants
associated with test systems, and produce sound energy that could negatively alter the acoustic
environment of areas within the NWTRC.
The Navy has not established any exclusion areas—or even special management areas requiring
greater mitigation or procedural checks—anywhere within its range. Nor does its EIS provide any
specific analysis, beyond generic statements of need, for why certain important areas cannot be
subject to additional mitigation.
Avoiding biologically important habitat is the most effective available means of reducing the impacts
of mid-frequency sonar training, bomb blasts, toxic chemicals, and many other sources of intense
ocean noise, on marine animals. We urge you to ensure that NMFS’ Final Rule provides additional
protection for all areas of the NWTRC and completed excludes all biologically sensitive areas.
In addition the final public comment date for the Navy FEIS should be extended to allow more time for
public comment and U.S. Congressional Hearings should be held in order for testimony to be heard
regarding the protection of our ocean areas. We need to be able to review the current status of
mitigation measures and to review the latest studies by NOAA and other scientists, not connected to
either the Navy or NOAA, which could shed light on the impacts of these warfare games on the
It should also be noted that sonar seems to be the only area in which NOAA is engaged and their
focus is only on marine mammals for mitigation measures. Fish, birds, and other sea life now
appears to be expendable for multiple redundant warfare testing in the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Gulf
of Mexico. Thus, we request that NOAA will deny any permit for the NWTRC to “take” marine
mammals until further studies and investigations take place in order to protect all marine life and that
the EPA be engaged to protect human and animal health on land areas from the Navy’s list of
airborne pollutants including particulates.
NOAA is working as a cooperating agency with the Navy and does receive funding from the Navy.
Therefore, they are not an independent agency working as an oversight or protective agency. Thus,
NOAA has a vested interest in rubberstamping the Navy FEIS and authorizing every requested permit
without exception for every 5-year warfare testing range complex in the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Gulf
of Mexico as the Navy finalizes each new 5-Year warfare testing range complex. So far NOAA, to our
knowledge has approved all 5-Year Warfare Range permits. We feel that NOAA should make an
exception in this area and deny any Navy permits in the NWTRC until further independent study can
be conducted on current Navy operations where NOAA has given the Navy permits.
Thank you for considering this request this proposal. And we welcome the opportunity to discuss
these issues with you prior to the issuance of NMFS Final Rule.
President, Agriculture Defense Coalition
Post Office Box 499
Redwood Valley, CA 95470
Hardcopy with additional documents for consideration sent by FED EX today.
Attachments are included to be considered by NMFS (NOAA)
CC: The Honorable Vice-President Joe Biden
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Barbara Boxer
Congressman Mike Thompson
Congresswoman Lynn Woosley