2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 6 Oct 2003 14:27:53 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Groups fight to keep restrictions on military tests
Groups fight to keep restrictions on military tests
By Deirdre Fleming
Sunday, October 5, 2003

About three dozen Maine environmental groups are opposing an effort by
the military to relax rules on bombing tests and other military
exercises in the Gulf of Maine, citing risks to marine mammal life.

The Department of Defense has been lobbying for exemption from laws
protecting marine mammals, as well as laws protecting endangered
species, in order to conduct the military exercises in the Gulf of Maine
and elsewhere.

Navy officials contend that precautions already are taken during these
tests to avoid endangering marine mammal life, and that existing laws
are overreaching and vague.

A full-page ad paid for by the National Environmental Trust in the Sept.
28 Maine Sunday Telegram showed a dolphin with bold white lettering
reading: "Don't exempt the Pentagon from the Marine Mammal Protection
Act." At least 33 Maine environmental groups ranging from the Friends of
Casco Bay to the Penobscot Bay Watch signed and endorsed the ad.

Don Hudson, president of the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, said the
advertisement was aimed at Maine's congressional delegation in

"We signed on to the letter because we believe that it is unfair to
require fishermen and others to adhere to strict rules while releasing
the federal government from the same responsibilities," Hudson said. "It
is bad form, to say the least, and creates an immediate and avoidable
double standard."

The Navy is allowed to practice bombing exercises in a designated area
in the Gulf of Maine, about 100 miles east of Boston in the Atlantic
Ocean. The bombing runs are conducted within strict limits, when no
mammals are observed in the area.

The Navy wants to loosen those restrictions, and also be allowed to do
low-frequency sonar testing in more areas, including the North Atlantic
- a practice that is blocked by court order right now.

This article can be viewed at:

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