- LFAS is regarded by environmentalists as quite possibly
the loudest & most powerful sound ever produced by humankind.
- After years of delays, the US Navy has finally released
a lengthy draft document and an Environmental Impact Statement for Low
Frequency Active Sonar.
- Previous testing of the new sonar equipment was done
without review or an EIS. This is the first public disclosure of the overall
program. That's if you can read and understand it!
- The document is a challenging bound publication of over
400 pages of highly technical information containing two Environmental
- LFA Sonar produces a powerful underwater sound, which
has the potential to be audible in every ocean of the world. Overall, the
US Navy declares a favorable evaluation of the environmental impact as
afforded through a spoon-fed review conducted by a military vendor called
Marine Acoustics, Incorporated.
- Environmentalists argue that an independent firm would
conduct a truly scientific study, which would look at the overall eco-system.
- There is huge concern regarding related health and environmental
issues. Because LFAS has been associated with high level military secrets,
there has been little or no opportunity for protesters and those who are
interested to view information related to the black ops project.
- While The Department of the Navy may argue that their
secrecy benefits "National Security;" members of the public have
urged greater scrutiny over possible environmental threats.
- Injuries to animals and humans have been ignored by the
USN officials who have neither listened nor carried out follow up reviews.
- It is a function of the draft that it be released for
public criticism and review. The US Navy contends in their DEIS that there
will not be any "unavoidable harm" caused by LFA Sonar.
- Now it is important that the public seize its chance
to inquire further about health & marine life concerns, which may be
argued in the final report or FEIS. It is expected that some arguments
against deployment will be substantiated, in part, by animal fatalities.
- Last year the deployment of LFA Sonar drew protests from
people in Hawaii who observed that the US Navy had selected Humpback Whales
as test Subjects for this new technology.
- Additionally, the Navy drew ire because the playback
experiments of SURTASS LFA Sonar were conducted in a Marine Sanctuary near
feeding areas during the routine migration of the protected Humpback Whales.
- Previous testing was done on Gray Whales off the California
Coast when they were migrating. Now another debate ensues with record numbers
of Gray Whale strandings having occurred this year along the Pacific Coast.
- Environmentalists are quick to point out that LFA Sonar
tests and similar ATOC transmissions may represent one of the most dramatic
alterations which has been made to the marine environment and question
whether this has resulted in increased stress to the animals' immune systems.
- Giving less than a week's notice, the Navy has scheduled
its first public meeting next Thursday August 19 at San Pedro, California,
inviting the public to an Open House on the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor
System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) Sonar Draft Overseas Environmental
Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Statement (DOEIS/EIS).
- Thursday, August 19,1999 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Cabrillo Marine
Aquarium 3720 Stephen White Drive San Pedro, CA
- Additional information may be found at the Navy's web
site and on various sites by independent citizens and Environmental Organizations.
Visit the Navy Web site at: http://cisteam.home.mindspring.com
- Because there is a download of the DOE IS/EIS available
on this site, the public is urged to visit it.
- There is no lack of irony in the fact that it took so
long for the Navy to work on the EIS; then it turns out a document hundreds
of pages long, giving the public a couple of weeks to review it prior to
holding a public meeting. The report is less than two weeks old and the
copies were just distributed last week.
- Additional meetings are planned for Boston, Massachusetts,
Seattle Washington, and Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Contact: Cheryl Magill for further info at 12124 Saratoga-Sunnyvale
Road Saratoga, California 95070 (408) 486-9520 or e-mail: email@example.com