U.S. Navy Hawaii-Southern California Pacific Warfare Training and Testing EIS/OEIS Public
Comment Deadline-MARCH 11, 2013 Sonar-Bomb Blasts-Toxic Chemicals

According to a Congressman - The Navy has flatly rejected proposals to consider limiting its
activities in specific areas to reduce the impact on marine mammals or others species or habitats.
It is unacceptable that the Navy will not even consider some restriction on its activities to reduce
its potentially significant, but in many cases largely unknown, impact on marine resources . . . full quote below . .

The U.S. Navy has applied to the (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service 
(NMFS) for authorization to "TAKE" marine mammals in the Pacific Ocean -
U.S. Navy Warfare training and weapon testing activities in accordance
with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

Public Comment due by March 11, 2013
Also contact your elected officials in Washington, D.C.  Toll Free (1866) 220-0044
& Your local and state elected officials

NOAA Website for More Information on all Marine Mammal Takes both current and historical:

"NOAA Defination of "Take":

  • Defined under the MMPA as "harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect."
  • Defined under the ESA as "to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to
    attempt to engage in any such conduct."  http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/glossary.htm

  • With respect to military readiness activities, the MMPA defines ‘‘harassment’’ as: “…
    (i) any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal
    stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine
    mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns,
    including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point
    where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment]…
    training activities may expose some of the marine mammals present in the area to sound from various
    mid-frequency and high-frequency active tactical sonar sources or to pressure from underwater detonations..”
Activities with the greatest potential to harass by noise include, but are not limited to:
  • Seismic airguns
  • Ship and aircraft noise - Missile Exercises 
  • Sonar
  • Explosives detonations from bomb blasts (Also Use of Toxic Chemicals)
  • Experimental weapons testing

On 1/31/2013 12:48 PM, Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing EIS/OEIS wrote:

Dear HSTT EIS/OEIS Interested Party,    The Navy is providing this update 
based on your interest in the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing
(HSTT) Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS/OEIS). As part of the EIS process, the Navy has applied to NOAA, National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental
to Navy training and testing activities in accordance with the Marine Mammal
Protection Act (MMPA).
On January 31, 2013, NMFS published in the Federal Register
the MMPA Proposed Rule for public comment. The Proposed Rule can be found at:
Comments can be provided to NMFS by either of the following methods:
(1) Electronic submissions: submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal
(2) Hand delivery or mailing of paper, disk, or CD-ROM comments should be
addressed to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division,
Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service,
1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225.
The quantified results of the marine mammal acoustic effects analysis presented
in the Navy's Letter of Authorization application to NMFS differ from the quantified
results presented in the HSTT Draft EIS/OEIS. Modifications to the requested take numbers
outlined in the HSTT Draft EIS/OEIS are presented in the Proposed Rule and are a result of
consultation with NMFS, as well as administrative corrections to the modeling inputs for
training and testing and the use of a more accurate seasonal density for the species
(short-beaked common dolphins) having the highest abundance of any marine mammal in the Study Area.
In consultation with NMFS, the Navy has made post-model adjustments to further refine the numerical
analysis of acoustic effects so as to include animal avoidance of sound sources,
avoidance of areas of activity before use of a sound source or explosive, and implementation of mitigation. All comments received on the proposed rule that address (1) administrative corrections to the modeling inputs for training and testing; (2) use of more accurate seasonal density data; and (3) post-model quantification based on animal avoidance of sound sources and mitigation will be reviewed and addressed by the Navy in the HSTT Final EIS/OEIS. For more information about the HSTT EIS/OEIS please visit www.HSTTEIS.com: http://hstteis.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a15c167b01e85293585c92bce&id=ec6abe1097&e=0d55c1e050 ========================================================================================================== You are receiving this email because you commented on the Draft HSTT EIS/OEIS on the hstteis.com website. End
Visit the U.S. Navy Hawaii-Southern California Website for more information and to see the map of the Pacific
Ocean where the U.S. Navy is now conducting 5-year warfare testing experiments and the proposed expansion
of those areas in the Pacific Ocean:  http://hstteis.com/
For More Information on the U.S. Navy 5-Year Warfare Testing in the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico

In a letter to NOAA, dated June 19, 2009, several U.S. Senators, including U.S. Senator Feinstein and
U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman, stated: “...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..."

Editorial New York Times 

"Marine Mammals and the Navy’s 5-Year Plan"

Published: October 11, 2012

"Between 2014 and 2019, the United States Navy hopes to conduct testing and training exercises in the Atlantic and the Pacific that will involve sonars and explosives of many different kinds.

For Op-Ed, follow @nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow@andyrNYT.

Over the years, the Navy has been forced to acknowledge what science has clearly demonstrated: noise generated by sonar and underwater detonations can kill marine mammals, like whales and porpoises, and disturb their normal feeding, breeding and migration. In preparing for its upcoming exercises, the Navy has asked the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval to “take” a number of marine mammals — “take” being the broad term for everything from killing these creatures to disturbing their habits.

This all sounds as it should be, with the Navy requesting permission from the agency, as required by various laws protecting marine mammals and endangered species. But the numbers say something else. In its testing areas in the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, the Navy estimates that between 2014 and 2019 it will “take” nearly 33 million marine mammals — everything from blue whales to elephant seals.

Most of these creatures will be disturbed in some way but not injured or killed. But the damage could still be considerable. Sound travels much faster through water than it does through air, magnifying its impact, and many of the sounds the Navy plans to generate fall in the frequencies most damaging to marine mammals. More than five million of them may suffer ruptured eardrums and temporary hearing loss, in turn disrupting normal behavioral patterns. As many as 1,800 may be killed outright, either by testing or by ship strikes.

The Navy is proceeding on the basis of a 2008 Supreme Court decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, argued that the public interest in our military defense tipped the scales “strongly in favor of the Navy.” We disagree, and so do the environmental organizations that have sued the Navy in the past. Perhaps most alarming is the Navy’s conclusion — after an exhaustive list of potential injuries and the uncertainties involved in estimating them — that “impacts on marine mammal species and stocks would be negligible.” This is wishful thinking, at best.

The Navy says the exercises are necessary to test its readiness and weapons systems, and it promises to make every effort to lessen the adverse consequences for marine mammals. But the sonic chaos the Navy plans to inflict on the oceans must be added to the long list of other threats facing these mammals, some of which, like the North Atlantic right whale, are on the endangered species list.

It is up to the National Marine Fisheries Service to send the Navy back to the drawing board. The damage it intends to do is simply unacceptable.

A version of this editorial appeared in print on October 12, 2012, on page A26 of the New York editionwith the headline: Marine Mammals and the Navy’s 5-Year Plan..."
U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson Press Release May 28, 2009, Regarding U.S. Navy Mitigation Measures Reads in Part:

"...NOAA’s comprehensive review 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..."

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson made this statement in a letter dated October 8, 2010 (Pacific Ocean U.S. Navy NTWRC Range Complex):

“In that [earlier] letter I objected to the Navy’s intention to proceed with the NEPA Process while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was still in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of sonar impacts on marine mammals. This review found that “[p]rotecting important marine mammal habitat is generally recognized to be the most effective mitigation measure currently available.” Yet without providing any specifics about why the Navy requires completely unrestricted flexibility to use any and all parts of the NWTRC, in the final EIS/OEIS, the Navy has flatly rejected proposals to consider limiting its activities in specific areas to reduce the impact on marine mammals or others species or habitats. I find it unacceptable that the Navy will not even consider some restriction on its activities to reduce its potentially significant, but in many cases largely unknown, impact on marine resources…”  

(Please Note that NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service routinely rubber-stamps U.S. Navy requests for the "taking" of marine mammals without restrictions and with U.S. Navy mitigation methods effective only 9% of the time.)