2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 16 Apr 2002 19:21:57 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Environmental Groups, Navy Square Off on Sonar System
Environmental Groups, Navy Square Off on Sonar System 
Sept. 11 Altered the Dispute Over Survival of Large Whales 

By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 15, 2002; Page A03 

For more than a decade, the Navy has been developing a revolutionary 
sonar system designed to detect new "quiet" submarines of the future by 
sending out extremely loud, low-frequency pings around the globe.

At the same time, environmentalists and oceanographers have grown 
increasingly worried that the intense sound waves emitted by the new 
sonar would seriously confuse, injure and eventually kill 
noise-sensitive marine mammals, and large whales in particular.

Now, with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on the verge of 
making a final decision on whether to allow deployment of the new 
low-frequency sonar -- and, if so, with what restrictions -- the Navy 
and its critics have intensified their competing campaigns to have it 
quickly approved or permanently sidetracked.

Disputes between the military and environmentalists are nothing new. But 
the Navy sonar controversy is approaching a climax in what both 
proponents and opponents say is a new atmosphere created by the Sept. 11 

The military has been for some time increasingly concerned about 
environmental "encroachments" of all kinds -- conservation-based 
restrictions on how training camps and bombing ranges can be used, and 
now on deploying new technology. Military leaders say the time has 
arrived to address these concerns, and Congress appears increasingly 
sympathetic to this viewpoint.

As a result, the Pentagon is circulating within the Bush administration 
a draft of a proposed bill that would greatly limit the reach of 
environmental laws on military training and deployment -- formally 
prohibiting the federal government from placing the conservation of 
public lands or the protection of endangered species above the needs of 
military preparedness.

The complete article can be viewed at:

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