Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Scientists seek to silence sonar in the Salish Sea

"The following open letter was sent today to Governmental and Naval leaders on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.  As of 3/11/2012 it has been signed by 20 biologists and bioacousticians who have studied the killer whales of the Salish Sea.  (When sent initially, 16 had signed).

To:

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, National Defence Headquarters ( dnd_mdn@forces.gc.ca )
Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy ( ray.mabus@navy.mil )
Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator, Office of the Undersecretary, US Department of Commerce ( jane.lubchenco@noaa.gov )
The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State ( clintonhr@state.gov )
Subject:

Silence Sonar in the Salish Sea

As biologists and bioacousticians who study killer whales of the Salish Sea, we ask that the U.S. Navy and Canadian Navy cease using sonar in their critical habitat.  

Polluting their environment with intense underwater noise like the “pings” from mid-frequency active sonar poses significant risks to these Federally-listed species.

On February 6, 2012, the Canadian Naval frigate HMCS Ottawa used its sonar system in critical habitat of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales during a training exercise east of Victoria, B.C. 

The calls of the Southern Residents’ K and L pods were heard 18 hours later in Haro Strait, and sub-groups of K and L pods were identified 36 hours after the sonar use in Discovery Bay – a location where Southern Residents have never been sighted in 22 years of records. 

These observations are reminiscent of an incident in May, 2003, when the USS Shoup’s sonar training exercise caused similar unusual nearshore surface milling behavior of Southern Residents in Haro Strait.

New limits should be put on the use of mid-frequency active (MFA) sonar, particularly in the critical habitat of the Southern Residents.  

Killer whales are sensitive to the frequencies emitted by MFA sonar (2-10 kHz) and use the same frequency range to communicate with calls and whistles.  Because MFA sonar is intense (source levels ~220-235 underwater decibels), it could permanently or temporarily deafen whales that are unexpectedly nearby and thereby impact their ability to forage, navigate, and socialize. 

Even temporary threshold shifts could be deleterious because the recovery of the Southern Residents hinges on their use of echolocation to find, identify, and acquire their primary prey, Pacific salmon.

Current procedures for mitigating underwater military noise are inadequate to protect either the resident or transient ecotypes. 

These procedures depend on the ability to detect whales within 1000 yards (U.S.) or 4000 yards (Canada), which neither passive acoustic listening nor visual surveillance can reliably accomplish. 

The unprecedented sighting of Southern Residents in Discovery Bay suggests that they may have been present during the pre-dawn sonar exercise on February 6 while remaining undetected by the Canadian Navy’s marine mammal monitoring procedures.  

Moreover, we know from the 2003 Shoup incident and the scientific literature that MFA sonar can disrupt marine mammal behavior well beyond the current mitigation distances, particularly in the sound propagation conditions of the Salish Sea.

We therefore urge the U.S. and Canadian Navies to restrict MFA sonar and other intense underwater sound sources in all training and testing conducted in the Salish Sea.  

By protecting the whales’ acoustic habitat, our Navies can help further their respective country’s obligations to ensure the recovery of these endangered iconic populations while still fulfilling their important National security missions.

Signed (alphabetically):

David Bain, Ph.D
Robin Baird, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
Stefan BrĂ¥ger, Research Director/Curator, The Whale Museum
John Calambokidis, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
Fred Felleman, Vice-President, Board of Directors, The Whale Museum
Andrew Foote, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Deborah Giles, MSc, PhD Candidate/Research Biologist, UC Davis
Rachael Griffin, B.Sc. Marine Biology, Aquagreen Marine Research, Victoria, BC
Erin Heydenreich, Field Biologist, Senior staff at the Center for Whale Research
Cara Lachmuth, MSc., Contract Biologist, Victoria, BC
Patrick Miller, Lecturer, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Scotland
Joseph Olson, President, Cetacean Research Technology
Richard Osborne, Ph.D., Research Associate, The Whale Museum
Paul Spong, Director, OrcaLab and Pacific Orca Society, Alert Bay, BC
Helena Symonds, Director, OrcaLab and Pacific Orca Society, Alert Bay, BC
Scott Veirs, President, Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability School
Val Veirs, Professor of Physics, Colorado College
Monika Wieland, BA in Biology, Reed College
Jason Wood, Ph.D., Research Associate, The Whale Museum
Harald Yurk, Research Associate, Vancouver Aquarium
The following recipients were copied on the email:

Senator Patty Murray
Senator Maria Cantwell
Representative Norm Dicks
Representative Jay Inslee
Governor Chris Gregoire
Will Stelle, NOAA NW Regional Administer
Lynne Barre, NOAA NW Regional Office
Brad Hason, NOAA NWFSC
Dr. John Ford, DFO
Admiral Cecil D. Haney, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet
Rear Admiral Douglass T. Biesel, Commander Navy Region Northwest
Renee Wallis, Navy Region NW
Lieutenant Diane Larose, Canadian Navy Public Affairs
Regional “Points of Contact” (POCs) for further information:

Admiral Cecil D. Haney
Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet
cpf.webmaster@navy.mil
(808) 471-9727

Rear Admiral Douglass T. Biesel
Commander Navy Region Northwest
(360) 396-1630

Lieutenant Diane Larose
Navy Public Affairs
(250) 363-5789

Source

Port Townsend City Mayor David King Letter to EIS Project Manager regarding Electronic Warfare Machines and Massive Jet Noise coming to Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula.

Click Below to Read the Letter From Port Townsend, Washington City Mayor David King to the NAVY / EIS Project Manager regarding the Electronic Warfare Training on our Coasts.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzn2NurXrSkiVjFZTmR4S05KelE/edit

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reta Laford; Greg Wahl; Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment; NEPA and the Olympic National Forest.

"Cari ? Thank you for your interest in this project. By copy of this email, your comment is being forwarded to Greg Wahl to ensure inclusion and consideration in the project record. Sincerely, Reta.

From: Cari Rene [mailto:carirene@msn.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 12:43 PM
To: Millett, Dean R -FS
Cc: Laford, Reta -FS

Subject: Navy Warfare Project

Dear Mr. Millett,

We are writing to join many other concerned local citizens regarding your decision to allow Electronic Warfare testing by the Navy on Olympic NF lands. As I'm sure is obvious to you by now, this project has come as a surprise to the residents of Clallam and Jefferson counties. Few members of the public subscribe to your SOPA (or are even aware of such a thing), few residents of these counties read the Gray's Harbor Daily World (which seems to be the only "local" newspaper you use to publish notices in), and there does not appear to have been any "other" effort to inform the general public of a project with the potential to raise substantial concerns. Not good public involvement, and not good public relations.

From reading several newspaper articles over the past couple of weeks, there are many legitimate questions and concerns about the project. Much of this is probably a result of lack of solid information - but where is that information to come from but your agency? (It is your land, not the Navy's.) A few concerns:

* has the Forest Service done any independent analysis, or have you just taken the Navy's analysis on
face value?

* what is really meant by "electromagnetic radiation"? This bald term seems to be scaring a lot of
people. The public needs some clarification.

* your DN/FONSI addresses several localized potential effects pretty well. A concern of many that is not even mentioned is the potential for aircraft overflights and possible increases in noise therefrom. (Oddly, the DN/FONSI doesn't say what happens to the radiation that is emitted from the sites - where does it go?)* what mitigation/safety measures will be used, and how will they make the project acceptable from your perspective?"

Source and More
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?List-size=25&Project=42759&SearchResultsPerPage=25&List-page=1

"Ron ? Thank you for your interest in this project. By copy of this email, your comment is being forwarded to Greg Wahl to ensure inclusion and consideration in the project record. Sincerely, Reta.

From: Ron Hansen [mailto:ron.hansen0@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2014 2:57 PM
To: Millett, Dean R -FS; Laford, Reta -FS

Subject: Electronic Warfare Testing by the Navy on Olympic NF lands

Dear District Ranger Dean Milett and Forest Supervisor Rita Laford,
I am writing you a second time because of my concerns regarding the Navy's plan to set up an electronic warfare testing site on Olympic National Forest Lands. I believe there would need to be more public information meetings on the Olympic Peninsula; Port Angeles\Sequim, and Port Townsend areas using local papers,the dates, times, and place of said meeting to answer our concerns. A representative from the Navy as well as the Forest Service could inform and answer questions..

Withdrawing the DN/FONSI and addressing all comments received before going further is the wisest way to go.

So many questions in my mind at this time and very little information; please continue this dialogue.
Sincerely,

Ron Hansen"

Source and More
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?List-size=25&Project=42759&SearchResultsPerPage=25&List-page=1

"Comments: Forwarded comment -RE: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)

Kelly ? Thank you for your interest in this project. By copy of this email, your comment is being forwarded to Greg Wahl for inclusion and consideration on the project record. Sincerely, Reta.

From: moclipsdude . [mailto:moclipsdude@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 7:57 AM
To: Laford, Reta -FS

Subject: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)

To Reta Laford,

I understand you will most likely have the final say regarding the Navy's proposal to establish the Olympic Peninsula as an Electronic Warfare Range with a fixed emitter tower at Pacific Beach.
There were three public meetings regarding this issue; at Forks, Port Angeles and last Wednesday at Pacific Beach. Although invited, no one from the US Forest Service was in attendance; not Greg Wahl or Dean Millett.

This was particularly annoying since many of us in the large crowd had questions intended for the Forest Service. Instead, there were five personnel representing the Navy.

Attached is my email sent to Congressman Derek Kilmer, Greg Wahl and Dean Millett on October 25, 2014 and was printed in it's entirety in the North Coast News on November 20, 2014.

Thank you.
Kelly Calhoun
Moclips, Washington"


Source and More
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?List-size=25&Project=42759&SearchResultsPerPage=25&List-page=1


"Forwarded comment -RE: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment #42759 Annette ? Thank you for your interest in this project. By copy of this email, your comment is being forwarded to Greg Wahl for inclusion and consideration in the project record. Sincerely, Reta.

-----Original Message-----
From: Annette Huenke [mailto:amh@olympus.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 27, 2014 2:41 PM

To: Laford, Reta -FS

Subject: Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment #42759

Why are the Navy and the Forest Service narrowing their focus to exclude potentially harmful -- perhaps deadly -- effects of these war games, when NEPA clearly states that the entire project and its impacts need to be included?

Exactly how much radiation will be projected from each of the Growler jets in one day's training?
Why is the Forest Service not demanding full transparency and full disclosure as Federal law mandates?

Why is the Forest Service considering issuance of a permit that is in direct violation of the Forest Service's Mission Statement.

Thank you in advance for your answer to these questions.

sincerely,
Annette Huenke"

Source and More
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?List-size=25&Project=42759&SearchResultsPerPage=25&List-page=1


Contact Reta Laford, Olympic National Forest Supervisor and Let her know how you feel. She is a NEPA Expert and is the top of the chain of command on the Olympic National Forest..

Supervisor's Office
1835 Black Lk Blvd SW
Olympia, WA 98512
(360) 956 2402

her eMail is
rlaford@fs.fed.us

Letters
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?List-size=25&Project=42759&SearchResultsPerPage=25&List-page=1


More Information
http://retalaford.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/protectolypen

Forest Service forging ahead on Navy plan; the Olympic National Forest is YOUR FOREST. You pay for them to Violate your RIGHTS.

"By Nicholas Johnson of the Leader

Let the waiting begin.

The public's chance to comment on the U.S. Navy's bid to use roads in the Olympic National Forest to train fighter jet pilots in detecting enemy electronic signals ended on Nov. 28, and U.S. Forest Service officials say it won't be extended.


Some 3,048 comments have been submitted, 80 of which came in after the deadline. They can be reviewed at the Forest Service's online reading room at bit.ly/12sa2Pu.

https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?List-size=25&Project=42759&SearchResultsPerPage=25&List-page=1

Dean Millett, the Forest Service ranger responsible for deciding whether to permit the Navy's use of forest roads, said the Pacific Ranger District office in Forks is now turning its attention to reviewing comments, and he doesn't expect it to go quickly.

His final decision, which he hopes to make by mid-2015, "is not going to happen real soon."
"Well, we've got more than 3,000 comments, so I'm sure there are some issues in there that we're going to have to look at," Millett said, acknowledging that only those deemed substantive will be considered in his review of the Navy's environmental assessment and its finding that the proposed use of those roads would have no significant impact on the natural environment or human communities.
By definition, a substantive comment raises, debates or questions the accuracy or adequacy of specific facts or policies, and attempts to offer some reasonable alternatives to information cited or methods used in the environmental assessment.

"We consider all comments, but substantive ones provide reasoning," Millett said. "Just saying 'I don't like this project' and moving on is not particularly useful."

CALLING IN BACKUP

Millet said he is thinking of calling in the Forest Service's TEAMS Enterprise Unit, a group created in 1994 that now boasts some 150 agency employees who assist with tasks too cumbersome for any regional office's staff resources.

"They're a good source if you have a one-time need for something," he said, such as performing a comprehensive content analysis on public comments. "They specialize in that kind of work, and we don't have the staffing to go through all that in a timely manner. We have other projects we have to be working on."

Of those 80 comments submitted after the deadline, Millet said they would be reviewed in the event something substantive is brought up, but "at some point you have cut things off."

Reviewing comments "may direct us toward doing additional analysis," he said, but he may also decide the original analysis in the Navy's environmental assessment remains sufficient.

Millet will eventually issue a second decision notice on whether to issue a permit, after which those who submitted comments will have 45 days to object to Millett's supervisor, Reta Laford, before a permit is issued. Only those who submitted a comment prior to Nov. 28 will have standing to object at that time.

PUSHING ON

The Forest Service's decision not to extend the public comment period comes after the Jefferson County Democratic Party called on elected officials on Nov. 18 to push for a more robust public process and production of a full environmental impact statement (EIS).

Karen Sullivan of Port Townsend, a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee, helped pen the party's resolution. She said she's not surprised the Forest Service did not extend its public comment period, yet intends to continue her research into how the Navy's plan got to this point.

"How did we get here with the public so unaware of all this, and how did the Navy allow this to happen?" she asked. "If we understand the process, it could provide some background for a legal challenge down the road. If there have been flaws in the NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] process along the way that are objectionable, we need to know this. It's like an Easter egg hunt, trying to find these nuggets of information and then add them up."

Sullivan, who submitted 11 comments and will have standing to object, is working to create a timeline of the process, but said she has run into roadblocks in getting related environmental review documents from the Navy dating back as far as 1989. It's that history, she thinks, that could lead to legal challenge.

Sullivan has questioned several areas of the Navy's environmental assessment, pointing out what she considers to be deficiencies in the state Department of Fish and Wildlife's biological opinion, for example. But she knows getting up to speed can be tough for many.

"We are at a stage where we still need to do a tremendous amount of public education, because all these issues have been split into separate parts and are difficult to understand," she said, pointing to the Navy's simultaneous bid to add 36 EA-18G Growler jets to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island's current fleet of 82. That proposal is in the scoping phase, which comes prior to compiling a draft environmental impact statement, and the Navy is now taking public comments through Jan. 9, 2015, after extending that deadline from Nov. 24.

BACKGROUND

The Navy wants permission to send utility trucks outfitted with mobile emitters of electromagnetic radiation to 15 preselected sites on the Olympic Peninsula's west end, 12 of which are on forest roads.
Growler jet pilots would then fly over in groups of three, with a lead jet trying to pick up on those electronic signals coming from the emitters as training in identifying enemy communications.
The $11.5 million project would be the Navy's first use of mobile emitters of electromagnetic radiation for training that pilots currently simulate with internal aircraft controls.
The Navy proposes to begin this training in September 2015.

Public meetings in Forks on Oct. 14, in Port Angeles on Nov. 6 and in Pacific Beach on Nov. 19 drew hundreds of people, almost all of whom opposed the project. Comments made during those meetings were not recorded, thus won't be considered by Forest Service officials. Comments made during those meetings were not recorded thus won't be considered by Forest Service officials."

Source
http://www.ptleader.com/testing/forest-service-forging-ahead-on-navy-plan/article_f9fa5130-0d27-5cc1-a6fd-12371b3ae346.html


Contact Reta Laford, Olympic National Forest Supervisor and Let her know how you feel. She is a NEPA Expert and is the top of the chain of command on the Olympic National Forest..

Supervisor's Office
1835 Black Lk Blvd SW
Olympia, WA 98512
(360) 956 2402

her eMail is
rlaford@fs.fed.us

Letters
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?List-size=25&Project=42759&SearchResultsPerPage=25&List-page=1


More Information
http://retalaford.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/protectolypen

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Dahr Jamail | Navy Plans Electromagnetic War Games Over National Park and Forest in Washington State"

"Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington State are two of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the United States. Majestic glacier-clad peaks rise above temperate rainforest-covered hills.

Gorgeous rivers tumble down from the heights and the areas are home to several types of plants and animal species that exist nowhere else on earth.

These protected national commons are also the areas in and near where the US Navy aims to conduct its Northwest Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program, wherein it will fly 36 of its EA-18G "Growler" supersonic jet warplanes down to 1,200 feet above the ground in some areas in order to conduct war games with 14 mobile towers.

Enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted so as to be capable of melting human eye tissue, and causing breast cancer, childhood leukemia and damage to human fetuses, let alone impacting wildlife in the area.

What is at stake is not just whether the military is allowed to use protected public lands in the Pacific Northwest for its war games, but a precedent being set for them to do so across the entire country.
If it gets its way, this means the Navy would be flying Growler jets, which are electronic attack aircraft that specialize in radar jamming, in 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day."

Source and to Read this whole article, this is VERY good information Please Read
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27339-navy-plans-electromagnetic-war-games-over-national-park-and-forest-in-washington-state

NEPA refers to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The Olympic National Forest Supervisor, Reta Laford is a NEPA Expert.

"Unanswered Questions about how the Olympic War Zone will harm people and wildlife"

"In Part 1 of this study, we described a plan by the US Navy to turn the Olympic Peninsula on the northwest corner of Washington State into an electronic warfare zone. In this section, we will review a series of unanswered questions about how this war plan might harm people and wildlife now living on the Olympic Peninsula.

List of Unanswered Questions Requires Extending the Comment Period

We believe that the public should submit substantial written comments asking the Forest Service to extend the comment period by 60 additional days to February 1 2014 to allow the public time to seek answers to numerous questions that have no been addressed in the Navy’s Environmental Assessment. 

The public needs time to fairly evaluate the 5,000 pages of technical documentation used by the Navy in their Environmental Assessment plus more than 3,000 pages of public comment on the proposal.

We also need time to seek out answers to many unanswered questions including:

1. What are the potential adverse long term health effects on people and wildlife of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the Navy’s new Growler aircraft and ground transmitters?

2. What are the adverse economic impacts to the people of the Olympic Peninsula and to the people of Washington State that would result from turning the Olympic Mountains into an electronic warfare range?

3. What is the closest elevation that a Growler aircraft would come to humans and wildlife in the Olympic National Forest? Is it really 1,200 feet (or less than one quarter of one mile)?

4. What is the maximum noise level that might result from Growler aircraft that are only 1200 feet above the surface? Is it really more than 140 decibels?

5. Would the maximum noise level of Growler aircraft cause serious harm to humans and/or wildlife in the Olympic peninsula?

6. Would the combination of increased electromagnetic radiation and/or increased noise lead to the extinction of endangered species such as spotted owls and marbled murrelets?

7. Is the Forest Service legally allowed to grant a Special Use Permit without holding official recorded public hearings in the communities of citizens who would be adversely affected by such a permit?

8. Have other affected agencies received adequate notice about his project? For example, the Navy claims it notified the Washington State DNR about this project. However, officials at the Washington State DNR claims that they were not notified.

They further claim that they have not granted the Navy a permit to use the 3 sites on State DNR forest land that have been indicated in the Navy EA. It is essential that agencies such as the State DNR and National Park Service be allowed time to review this proposal and provide comments on it.

9. Have elected officials in Washington State received adequate notice about this project?

One Congress person, Derek Kilmer, stated that he was notified but decided to take no position on this issue. However, this proposal not only affects the economic viability of the Olympic Peninsula, it affects the economic viability of the entire State of Washington.

People who visit the Olympic Peninsula fly in from all over the world and land at Seatac airport near Seattle. They stay at Seattle hotels and eat at Seattle restaurants.

They ride on the Washington State ferry system to the Kitsap Peninsula and then drive across the Hood Canal Bridge to the Olympic Peninsula. The total economic loss of this project could be $100 or more times more than three million tourists – or more than $300 million – a huge loss for the State of Washington.

Yet there has been no statement by the Governor of Washington and no statement by any member of the State legislature nor any statement by any other member of the Washington State Congressional Delegation on this project.

The people need time to seek comment from our elected officials as to whether they support or oppose this project before granting a permit on it.

10. If the Forest Service elects to ignore the harmful economic and environment effects that would occur by granting this permit, what is the process to appeal this decision? Is it true that a person or group must submit written comments opposing this project in order to have standing to appeal the decision? What is the appeal process? Who would the appeal be submitted to and when would the appeal need to be submitted by?

Official Recorded Public Hearings are Urgently Needed

In addition to requesting that the Forest Service extend the Public Comment period to February 1 2015 in order to allow the public and our elected officials time to seek answers to these important questions, we should request that the Forest Service hold official Public Hearings on the proposal not only in affected communities in the Olympic Peninsula (such as Forks, Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend), but also in affected communities across Washington State.

NEPA requires that official public hearings be held in all communities that might be adversely affected by a decision of any federal agency.

It is obvious that citizens in Seattle would be adversely impacted by this decision as there have been almost as many comments from Seattle citizens posted on the Forest Service Public Comment webpage as there have been comments from Olympic Peninsula citizens posted on the Public Comment webpage.

In particular, a Public Hearing should be held in Seattle Washington early in January 2015 in order to allow Seattle residents and elected officials to provide input to the Forest Service before the Forest Service makes a decision on this issue.

Holding a hearing in Seattle in early January would allow citizens in Seattle to provide written comments to the Forest Service by a February 1 2015 deadline.

Why is NEPA Important? 

NEPA refers to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Through this Act, the federal government recognized “each generation’s responsibility to act as a trustee of the environment for future generations.”

The Act mandates a coordination of all Federal plans, agencies, resources, policies, actions to put the protection of the environment as a law, in order to “assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive and esthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings”, “without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable or unintended consequences” (42 U.S. Code 4331).

A military program of electronic warfare on public land qualifies as a major federal action and is thus subject to a public process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, or NEPA. This process includes hearings in affected communities whenever there is environmental controversy.

These hearings must be in accordance with NEPA guidelines, which safeguard the public’s right to be heard. In addition, NEPA requires that federal agencies provide the latest available scientific evidence to back up any statements. This evidence must be thorough, accurate, and available for public scrutiny. Under the NEPA rules, your public comments must mention how the Navy’s EA violated NEPA.

This will make your comments “substantive”. Put the name of the project in heading:

PACIFIC NORTHWEST ELECTRONIC WARFARE RANGE. 

To be part of the process, it is extremely important that submit your written comments at the Forest Service website before the deadline of November 28 2014 in order for you and your concerns to “have standing” which means that you will be able to comment LATER if/when there are appeals concerning the decision.

If you have already submitted comments, you can submit additional comments and include “substantive” objections. It is not required to include all the details of the argument.

Just point out that the Navy’s Environmental Assessment is in violation of a specific aspect of NEPA. 

Any grievances the public has about electromagnetic warfare testing and training MUST be addressed in public comments first, in order to have legal standing, which means the Forest Service and the Navy were given notice that these grievances should be addressed.

If grievances are not rectified, any legal actions that follow would have more authority, because the Navy had been aware of the grievances yet chose not to address them.

Without legal standing, those legal actions on behalf of the public would likely have less authority due to the implication of no notice of grievance being given in public comments. NEPA is important because federal “agencies must address concerns regarding biodiversity and ecosystems within the EIS process.

 Otherwise, the final EIS may be voided by a reviewing court, and the agency would be forced to refrain from its contemplated action while a new EIS is prepared.” NEPA requires that agencies take a “hard look” at the environmental effects of their planned activities, even after a proposal has received initial approval.

Application of the “rule of reason” thus turns on the value of the new information to the still pending decision making process…

If there remains “major Federal Action]” to occur, and if the new information is sufficient to show that the remaining action will “affect the quality of the human environment” in a significant manner or to a significant extent not already considered, a supplemental EIS must be prepared.”

“Rule of reason” ‘ set forth by the Supreme Court in Marsh v. Oregon Natural Resources Council. The court concluded that an environmental assessment that did not fully address issues critical to the survival of the spotted owl was not a valid assessment.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1581&context=pelr

The mayor of Port Townsend, David King, stated:

“We haven’t received a formal notice of any kind about the development of an environmental impact statement. We have no knowledge of what they are doing.”

Some of the NEPA violations of the Navy electronic warfare plan include:

1. The Navy violated NEPA by their failure to adequately notify the public about their project.  Neither the Navy nor the Forest Service placed a single notice in any local papers serving Olympic Peninsula communities. Thus the public did not receive adequate notice.

2. The Navy and the Forest Service violated NEPA by failing to hold public hearings and record public comments and allow sufficient time for comments and questions (normally regarded to be three minutes for all wishing to make comments). Instead, comments and questions were not recorded, were limited to only one minute and delaying tactics were used to deny more than half of those who attended an “informational” meeting to ask a question or make a comment. Hundreds of people were denied the right to have standing because their comments were not heard and/or not recorded. The public’s right to a full hearing is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR, and in the State of Washington Revised Code, at RCW 42.30.

According to NEPA regulations, public meetings or hearings “…are required when there may be substantial environmental controversy concerning the environmental effects of the proposed action, a substantial interest in holding the meeting, or a request for a meeting by another agency with jurisdiction over the action.” (40 CFR 1506.6 (c)). Proper hearings under NEPA have not been held in affected communities, and the usual citizen’s right to register comments at public hearings has been denied.  This is a denial of due process as stipulated in NEPA. Therefore the Navy and the Forest Service have violated NEPA.

3. The Navy violated NEPA by not notifying or consulting with Olympic National Park. This project will severely impact the wilderness experience for millions of visitors to the Park every year. By law, the National Park should have been consulted when the Navy was drafting their plans.

4. The Navy violated NEPA by not notifying or consulting with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. According to the State DNR, they were also not notified. Here is an edited version of a letter written by DNR staff:

Thanks for reaching out to me today on concerns regarding Navy electronic warfare training operations in the Olympic Peninsula on state lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The US Navy has not applied to DNR to use state lands in their proposed electronic warfare exercises.

They have no permission to do so from us, nor have they asked. At this point, it is not something that is under consideration unless there were such a proposal. Since we saw DNR being mentioned in this context, we wrote the attached letter to the Navy (please excuse the draft version; a signed version has been sent but I don’t have it handy).

In the letter, we made it explicit that we have not agreed to participate; that we have not decided to agree to participate if an application were filed; and that any proposal would have to comply with various environmental public processes and that we would have to assess any proposal to make sure that the proposed vetting process is sufficiently broad and thorough.

We also made it clear that these new exercises could not happen on existing Navy leases on state lands without further permitting. I hope this helps clear things up. Matthew Randazzo, Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Public Lands Washington State Department of Natural
Resources (DNR)360-902-1099

Matthew.Randazzo@dnr.wa.govwww.dnr.wa.gov

5. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by not using the most recent and “best available science” in their conclusion that there will be “No Significant Impact” from chronic radiation as a result of their project.

Thousands of recent, peer-reviewed studies suggest there are very real harmful effects— both to humans and to wildlife— from man-made electromagnetic fields. In Section 2.1.1.4 of the Navy EA, the Navy claims that the noise and RF radiation from mobile emitters will not impact what the Environmental Assessment calls Biological Resources. This claim is based entirely on the premise that the mobile emitters are moving around the forest, so exposure at any one site is limited.

However, the 3 mobile units will be in operation from 8 to 16 hours per day, 260 days per year, among 15 different sites on the Olympic Peninsula.

According to the Navy EA, each mobile emitter site will average 11 training events per day, which also includes electronic detection and attack weapons from jets.

This is an average of 468 hours of electromagnetic radiation per site per year, or 195, 24-hour days per decade.

The Department of the Interior has criticized the FCC’s standards for cellphone radiation to be outmoded and no longer applicable as they do not adequately protect wildlife. See this 2014 study:

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/us_doi_comments.pdf

In addition, this project is to take place in critical habitats for species threatened with extinction, the Marbled Murrelet and the Northern Spotted Owl. Studies have not been conducted to investigate how this project might diminish these species chances to avoid extinction.

6. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by failing to address the impacts this electromagnetic radiation will have on birds, bees, butterflies, and bats as well as the multitude of other small animals and insects.

Because the current worldwide Bee Colony Collapse is such a threat to our food security, the President of the United States has called for all government agencies, including the Department of Defense, to make the protection of pollinators a critical priority. Scientists have found that man-made Electromagnetic Radiation radically disrupts bees’ ability to navigate and find their way back to their hives.

Not only are there acknowledged threatened bird species in the area of the training range, the coastal area of the Olympic Peninsula is highly important to migrating birds on the Pacific flyway during the spring, late summer, and fall. Migrating birds would be affected by electromagnetic waves and loud sounds of aircraft.

These birds would include shorebirds of all types, including geese, ducks, etc. Without additional studies, these could seriously compromise the intent of the Migratory Bird Treaty.

The problem with electromagnetic pulse radiation (also called electromagnetic beam radiation) is also not adequately by the Navy: “beams of electromagnetic radiation (e.g., from EW training) may expose birds in flight to increased levels of radiation; however, the birds in flight would be moving through the area and potentially out of the area of the main beam, once again keeping them from continuous or long duration exposure (especially since non-soaring birds have relatively quick air speeds); and the beam pattern emitted is directional, which minimizes the area exposed to radiation. For these reasons, long term consequences to individual marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls or populations are not expected to result from proposed training activities.”

The Navy supplies no studies (as are required by NEPA) to back up this contention. The sites designated by the plan are on National Forest land. Some of which has been designated as protected areas for spotted owl and marbled murrelet. Marbled murrelets travel up to 50 miles from the forests on the coast to the sea to feed their young.

Extensive flight training [up to for 12 hours a day, up to 260 days a year] in this area would disturb, perhaps eradicate, these threatened birds. Scientists declare the need for further study on the subject of the impacts of towers and emitting radiation on migratory birds. i.e. “This briefing paper addresses the need to cumulatively assess the impacts of communication towers on migratory birds both from collisions and radiation, especially neotropical migratory songbirds that are most impacted (Shire et al. 2000).

The paper discusses some suggested research protocols needed to conduct a nationwide cumulative impacts analysis that would assess effects of tower collisions and radiation on avifauna and on other wildlife pollinators including bats and bees.” [Briefing Paper on the Need for Research into the Cumulative Impacts of Communication Towers on Migratory Birds and Other Wildlife in the United States Division of Migratory Bird Management (DMBM), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – for Public Release LAST UPDATED: April 17, 2009].

Because there is insufficient knowledge about the effects of electromagnetic waves on living organisms, we ask that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be provided for this proposal. Over one billion birds fly up and down the Pacific Coast each year on the Pacific Flyway.

Many of these birds might also be adversely impacted by the daily war games on the Washington Coast.

http://conservation.audubon.org/pacific-flyway

7. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by not addressing the noise impact from the airplanes: The “soundscape” of Olympic National Park and the surrounding wilderness areas will be severely impacted by squadrons of noisy warplanes practicing overhead most days of the year. This noise will also greatly impact thousands of citizens’ “quality of life” who are forced to live directly underneath these practices. The Navy EA does not discuss the intensity of aircraft noise generated by this project.

There is no reporting of the noise that would be created by the jets while flying in the training range or the noise created by jets flying to and from the training range. There is no analysis of the impact that noise might have on endangered species other than the following:

“3.2.4 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES

Noise from vehicle travel, generators/operation of emitters, and temporary demolition/construction (during the renovation of Building 104 and the construction of the MRES tower), may disturb wildlife…

As discussed in the Affected Environment section, the ESA-listed bird species that may occur in this portion of the project area are the northern spotted owl, and the marbled murrelet. Critical habitat has been designated for both species, and the Proposed Action overlaps with this critical habitat (Figure 3.2-5 and Figure 3.2-6).

The two stressors that could impact the birds are noise and electromagnetic radiation.”

ESA-Listed Birds: Marbled murrelets and Northern spotted owls in the project area may be temporarily disturbed by noise associated with the Proposed Action. While owls and murrelets may be disturbed by a wide variety of human activities, the USFWS has anticipated that harassment (or “take”) would occur when the species exhibit behavior that suggests that the safety or survival of the species is at risk, or that a reproductive effort is potentially lost or compromised (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2006).

These behaviors could include species flushing from the nest during incubation, brooding, or fledging, all of which could lead to egg failure or reduced juvenile survival. Abandonment of the nest during a feeding or delaying a feeding could also lead to reduced survival of the juvenile.

Recent biological opinions for forest management activities in the Olympic National Forest have noted that these behaviors are likely to occur when (1) aircraft noise exceeds 92 decibels Sound Exposure Level (SEL) at a nest site, or aircraft approach within a distance of 110 yards (yd.), whichever is greater; and (2) ground-based activity occurs during the nesting season within 100 m (110 yd.) of a nest site” (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2013). [PACIFIC NORTHWEST EW RANGE EA FINAL (SEPTEMBER 2014]”

The Navy fraudulently claimed in their EA that their Growler Jets will have a noise level of 65 – well below the 85 decibels which can lead to permanent hearing loss and well below 92 decibels that would trigger a review.

In fact, numerous measurements including those taken by the Navy’s own auditor confirm that the Growler Jets emit noise between 120 to 150 decibels. Here is a link to one of these studies confirming Growler jets with noise levels as high as 134 decibels:

http://citizensofebeysreserve.com/References/Files/JGL%20Noise%20Report.pdf

The Navy has promised that the minimum altitude they will be flying over land is 1200 feet. That has been frequently contradicted by hikers on mountainous forest trails, who have reported seeing jets fly past beneath them. According to the Navy’s own figures, a Growler jet flying at 1000 feet produces a “Single Event Level” of 113 decibels, which is enough to damage hearing and cause medical problems in people subjected to it. In the Roosevelt-Okanogan Military Training Area the Navy is authorized to fly at 300 feet above ground level. It is not clear what would prevent them from authorizing that lower altitude in the Olympic National Forest.

As a result of the Navy’s apparent underestimation of sound levels caused by jets, the effects of loud noise on threatened and endangered species in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion for the Navy, which was begun in 2009 and issued in 2010, may be based on inaccurate or misleading information from the Navy. If this is indeed the case, that the Fish and Wildlife Service was given inaccurate or misleading information on which to base its evaluation of biological impacts, then the Biological Opinion should be considered invalid and formal consultation re-initiated under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, using actual sound measurements from real jets.

Providing deliberately misleading information to a federal agency is also considered a form of fraud or false statement under US Code, Chapter 47. There may be other applicable laws that were violated.


8. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violates NEPA by failing to address the potential of accidental loss of human life during “electromagnetic attacks.”
Page 2-7 of the Navy EA state: “The activities of the Proposed Action center on two divisions of EW, known as electronic warfare support (ES) and electronic attack (EA).” The EA goes on to provide this short explanation of only Electronic Support (ES):
“Sailors aboard Navy ships, submarines, and aircraft conduct ES and EA training as they search for, intercept, identify, and locate or localize sources of intentional and unintentional radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition, targeting, planning, and conduct of future operations. “(EA 2-7)
However, the environmental assessment references Joint Publication 3-13.1, Electronic Warfare, 08 February 2012 as a source document. This document provides the exact same explanation as above for Electronic Support (ES). But it then goes into more detail with an explanation of electronic attack (EA). Joint Publication 3-13.1 defines Electronic Attack as follow: “EA refers to the division of EW involving the use of EM energy, DE (directed energy), or anti-radiation weapons to attack personnel, facilities, or equipment with the intent of degrading, neutralizing, or destroying enemy combat capability…”
Directed energy is defined as: “An umbrella term covering technologies that relate to the production of a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy or atomic or subatomic particles. ” (GL6) “Examples include lasers, electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR), and radio frequency (RF) weapons such as high-power microwave (HPM) or those employing an EMP. (I-4) Now it’s getting serious. Additionally, Joint Publication 3-13-1 also speaks to unintended consequences of EW: “Unintended Consequences. EW planners must coordinate EW efforts … to minimize unintended consequences, collateral damage, and collateral effects. Friendly EA could potentially deny essential services to a local population that, in turn, could result in loss of life and/or political ramifications.” (III-5)
Certainly the Navy’s deliberately hiding of the fact that humans could be killed during their electronic warfare games was a violation of NEPA.
The Navy has not been truthful in their past 
Environmental Assessments:


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9. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by failing to address Pollution: The Navy did not address the pollution, both chemical and electromagnetic, that would be produced from the airplanes flying 12 hours per day 260 days per year with more than one thousand flights per year. The pollution from just one of these warplanes is tremendous.
10. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by failing to address Land-use: NEPA and Forest Service regulations require that any new uses of public lands be compatible with existing uses. Since the early 1900s, these pristine regions and forests have provided critical habitat and protected sanctuary for wildlife. This area, long used by millions of visitors every year for recreation, will radically be altered by the Navy’s project. The noise, the pollution, and the electromagnetic radiation would destroy any wilderness experience.
11. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by failing to address economic and social impacts: The Navy EA violates NEPA because it provided no economic analysis of the economic benefits or costs of the project other than to note that the Navy would save $5 million per year on fuel costs. However, the project could cost citizens who live on the Olympic Peninsula between $246 million to $500 million in economic losses. Visitors to the Olympic National Park are a driving force of the economies of this region. Degrading the Park, as this project threatens to do, thus could have a huge negative impact on the entire area. Over 3 million yearly visitors to the area. A National Park Service (NPS) report issued in July of this year showed that in 2013, 3,085,340 visitors to Olympic National Park spent $245,894,100 in communities near the park.

That spending directly supported 2,993 jobs in the local area and indirectly supported thousands of additional jobs.
12. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by failing to analyze increased fire danger resulting from jet and drone crashes. This is particularly concerning since the new Growler jets are known to crash ten times more frequently than the older Prowler jets they are replacing.
13. The Navy Environmental Assessment (EA) violated NEPA by not addressing future and cumulative impacts of the project. Federal Law requires that these be fully disclosed and analyzed.
14. The Forest Service violated NEPA by failing to conduct their own independent research. At the Port Angeles meeting, District Ranger Dean Millett acknowledged and is recorded on videotape saying that the Forest Service did not conduct any independent investigation to verify the Navy’s claims of no significant impacts.

This violates the Forest Service’s own policies as well as NEPA.  The US Forest Service has a duty to conduct its own independent scientific review of the impacts of activities that it allows. An agency cannot simply adopt the conclusions of another agency.
In Save Our Ecosystems V. P Clark E Merrell,  http://openjurist.org/747/f2d/1240 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said, “The Forest Service must do research if no adequate data exists.” 

In Foundation for North American Wild Sheep V. US Department of Agriculture, the Ninth Circuit Court said, “the very purpose of NEPA’s requirement that an EIS be prepared for all actions that may significantly affect the environment is to obviate the need for such speculation by insuring that available data is gathered and analyzed prior to the implementation of the proposed action.” 681 F.2d at 1179. 

In Warm Springs Dam Task Force V. Gribble, the Court held that an agency cured the defect in its EIS by commissioning a study about the effects of a newly discovered fault system on that dam. 621 F.2d at 1025-26. Other courts have imposed similar requirements on agencies. See, e.g., Rankin v. Coleman, 394 F.Supp. 647, 658 (highway project enjoined for inadequate EIS on effects and alternatives; alternatives must be “affirmatively studied”), mod. 401 F.Supp. 664 (E.D.N.C.1975); Montgomery v. Ellis, 364 F.Supp. 517, 528 (N.D.Ala.1973) (“NEPA requires each agency to undertake research needed adequately to expose environmental harms and, hence, to appraise available alternatives”) (project enjoined pending preparation of an adequate EIS); Brooks v. Volpe, 350 F.Supp. 269, 279 (“NEPA requires each agency to indicate the research needed to adequately expose environmental harms”), supplemented, 350 F.Supp. 287 (W.D.Wash.1972), aff’d, 487 F.2d 1344 (9th Cir.1973); Environmental Defense Fund v. Hardin, 325 F.Supp. 1401, 1403 (D.D.C.1971) (interpreting section 102(2)(A) as making “the completion of an adequate research program a prerequisite to agency action …. The Act envisions that program formulation will be directed by research results rather than that research programs will be designed to substantiate programs already decided upon”) If the information relevant to adverse impacts is essential to a reasoned choice among alternatives and is not known, and the overall costs of obtaining it are not exorbitant, the agency shall include the information in the environmental impact statement.

14. Missing and incomplete documents. Though the Forest Service’s NEPA home page links to the Navy’s Environmental Assessment and its decision documents, neither it nor the Navy web pages contain links to the 2010 EIS, which was removed from public access by the Navy, or the previous EIS’s going back to 1989 that have been cited by the Navy in meetings, or the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2010 Biological Opinion, which is not posted anywhere, or to the temporary permit that was issued by the Forest Service to the Navy three years ago, or to the Memorandum of Understanding that declared military training to be an “appropriate use” of national forest lands, or to supporting documents referenced in the Navy’s Environmental Assessment, such as Joint Publication 3-13.1, which describes the methods and intent of electronic attack weapons on the Growler jets that will be training in the Olympic National Forest. 

This is a violation of NEPA, which says such pertinent documents shall be made available to the public for scrutiny. (18CFR 380.9). Moreover, an explanation of the Forest Service’s own updated NEPA handbook says, “…NEPA procedures regulations [sic] are intended to let interested parties become more effectively engaged in the decision making process rather than merely as reviewer of proposals and final documents. Specifically, the regulations include an option for responsible officials to incrementally develop, modify, and document proposed actions and alternatives through an open and transparent process.”

In addition, the Navy Proposal violates the  National Forest Management Act and Forest Plan. The Forest Service’s Mission Statement is  “Caring for the land and serving people.” The Forest Service’s own regulations state that military use of public lands is not permissible if the military has other “suitable and available” lands for their Proposed Action, and Forest Service management policy states that when considering issuing such a permit, “…the interests and needs of the general public shall be given priority over those of the applicant.” 

The Navy has not adequately demonstrated that it has not investigated the use of private or other lands, and its reasons for wanting to move the electronic warfare program from Mountain Home, Idaho to the Olympic National Forest just to save fuel is not an adequate reason to destroy the quality of life of millions of people, destroy the economy and destroy endangered species.
Among its 14 requirements to obtain a Forest Service Special Use Permit is the following: “Use will not pose a serious or substantial risk to public health or safety AND Use will not create an exclusive or perpetual right of use or occupancy AND Use will not unreasonably conflict or interfere with administrative use by the Forest Service, other scheduled or authorized existing uses on or adjacent to non-National Forest System lands.”
(36CFR 251.54; FSH 2709.11 12.2 & 12.3; FSM 2703) Clearly the Navy Warfare Plan is not compatible with any of the current uses of the Olympic National Forest.
A public health nurse put on a presentation on the harmful effects of toxic noise. She provided studies showing that toxic noise can cause anxiety, depression, heart disease, heart attacks and even death!
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Growlers are not reliable. Growlers have had more than ten times the rate of accidents as the prior airplane. The prior plane, called the Prowler, had less than one accident per year. The Growlers have had an average of 8 accidents per year.
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Here is a 3rd Party Noise study by JGL Acoustics confirming that the noise level of Growler jets exceeds 119 decibels:
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What is the maximum noise level that might result from Growler aircraft that are only 1200 feet above the surface? Is it really more than 140 decibels?
The Navy Growler Aircraft is a new aircraft built by Boeing that became fully operational in 2012. There are currently 80 Growler aircraft but the long term plan is to have 114 of these aircraft. The Boeing EA-18G Growler Aircraft are replacing the Northtup EA-6B Prowler aircraft which were much quieter than this new generation of electronic warfare aircraft.
There has been a great deal of debate over the massive noise and electromagnetic radiation emitted by this new aircraft. People have claimed that the noise and radiation emitted by this new aircraft have caused them serious health effect. While the Navy claims that the new aircraft noise does not exceed 65 decibels, private tests have measured noise levels in excess of 134 decibels. Here is a link to one of these studies confirming Growler jets with noise levels as high as 134 decibels:
Hundreds of citizens have filed complaints about the noise level of these new Growler Aircraft. Citizens have claimed that they need to use commercial grade Ear Protectors in their homes to muffle the intense noise. One homeowner sustained $14,000 in window damage from vibrations caused by noise emitted by the new jets. It is claimed that these jets – all located on Whidbey Island – fly more than 10,000 training missions at all hours of the day and night.
Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve for a Healthy, Safe & Peaceful Environment filed a lawsuit against the Navy in July 2013 trying to get the noise level reduced. In 2005, the Navy did an Environmental Assessment in which they claimed that the new aircraft would be fewer and quieter than the older Prowler aircraft. This has turned out not to be the case as the new aircraft are much noisier than the old aircraft and are flying many more missions. To be precise, there were 7,682 training flights in 2005 and there were more than 11,200 training flights in 2013. The increase of 3,518 flights was an increase of 43%. The initial plan was also for 80 Growlers and is now for 135 Growlers an increase of 69%. This is why the general public no longer trusts what the Navy claims on their Environmental Assessments.
“Many residents talk of sleeping with ear plugs to protect their hearing, and some have registered noise as high as 139 decibels. According to the National Institutes of Health, permanent hearing loss starts with exposure in the 110 to 115 decibel range.

Some of the residents formed the Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve for a Healthy, Safe & Peaceful Environment and in July filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle arguing that the Navy should have done a complete environmental-impact statement before flying the Growlers at OLF, asking the court to stop the planes from flying at OLF and to pay their attorney fees for bringing the action. “The house shudders when they fly over,” said Robert Tank, a member of Citizens of the Ebey Reserve. He measured the noise level between 110 and 120 decibels. “You can’t do anything when they are flying. You’re locked out of using the phone, the television. You can’t have a conversation.”  Seattle Times | Dec 23, 2013
Note: The above article is incorrect. Permanent hearing loss can occur in humans at noise above 85 decibels.
Citizens have even staged protests over the excessive noise of the new Growler airplanes. This protest occurred on May 9 2014.
“Citizens from Whidbey Island and the Puget Sound region will gather at the Navy’s Outlying Field at Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Friday May 9 at 1 p.m. to protest the Navy’s resumption of Growler EA-18G electronic attack jet operations.

As part of the protest, citizens will fly the American Flag upside-down – a signal of “dire distress” according to the US Flag Code. “We are in dire distress because our homes and communities are being saturated with hazardous levels of noise and our elected officials seem to be powerless or unwilling to act,” said Michael Monson president of Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve. “The fact that citizens, including many veterans, are willing to take this statement with our flag, demonstrates the seriousness of this problem.” he said.
Noise levels in homes have been documented at 101.8 decibels and outside at 134.2-decibels, far above the 85 decibels at which hearing loss begins.  Numerous health studies have also attributed stress, heart disease, hypertension, learning disorders and other health impacts to low flying military aircraft noise.
It is outrageous and unacceptable that the military that is supposed to protect us is knowingly causing us harm and placing us in danger,” COER Board member Cate Andrews said. Growler jets fly only a few hundred feet over roof-tops and more than 400 homes are located within the OLF’s accident potential zone.  Internal Navy records recently obtained by COER revealed numerous incidences of Growler mechanical problems and falling parts during flight.
COER and a growing list of citizen organizations claim that Growler operations have harmed the health, economic welfare, tourism, property values, and natural environment of those living in and around the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, including  Victoria BC, Port Townsend, Camano Island, La Conner, Fidalgo Island, and the San Juan Islands.
Warning: Flying the US Flag upside down is a violation of federal law:
“The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” 36 US Code §176 (a)
Citizens have started a website to protest the toxic noise levels over their community:
Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve is committed to closing OLF Coupeville and removing the EA18G Growler from North Puget Sound. Our mission is to protect the health and welfare of the inhabitants of the region, including the marine, migratory and endangered species, and to preserve the historic northwest communities being threatened by military jet training flights.
They have produced a 9 minute video on vimeo: http://vimeo.com/70491452
“it is the most horrendous noise you have ever experienced and it goes on hour after hour.. Personally I cannot live here with this… It is impossible to live your life… It invades your body… It feels like you are being tortured… We were told that the new planes would be quieter… It turns out that the Growlers are significantly noisier than the Prowlers… This noise is so destructive…“
They have also produced a slideshow called
  “Jet Noise and Your Health”


Among the slides is a warning from the Washington State Parks Department that one of Washington State’s most popular overnight camping parks is no longer safe:

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The group hired a public health nurse to answer their questions about the health effects of the extreme noise.

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Noise is any sound that interferes with sleeping or conversation. Hearing loss is caused by the intensity, duration and frequency of noise.
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This level clearly exceeds both Washington State and Federal laws limiting noise:

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According to the public health nurse, toxic noise harms humans in many ways:
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Here are more ways:
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Night time toxic noise was found to be even worse than day time toxic noise. Here is more research:
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Here is more research:
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Here is the summary. Studies show that proximity to these overflights permanently damages hearing, raises blood pressure, and harms livestock and wildlife. Damaging noise levels reach us even inside our homes and on playgrounds on an almost daily basis, and our children’s learning capacity and health is harmed by direct noise and lack of sleep during the week
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This is a regional problem and a growing problem:
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Star Wars Coming to the Olympic Mountains
Meanwhile, on Friday, November 14 2014, War Department Secretary, Chuck Hagel, announced a new program called the Defense Innovative Initiative. The goal of this program is to create a new generation of high tech weapons. Hagel said, “We are entering an era where American dominance in key war fighting domains is eroding and we must find new and creative ways to sustain, and in some areas expand, our advantages.”
This concludes our summary of the Navy plan to turn the Olympic Mountains into a war zone. In the next section, we will review the history of attempts to save our spotted owls.

We will then assess the current spotted owl population in the Olympic Mountains – showing that is on the brink of extinction even before this new plan by the Navy to destroy them completely. We will then conclude with a series of ideas on what each of us can do individually and jointly to stop this monstrous assault on the Olympic Peninsula."


Source
http://citizensofebeysreserve.com/blog/unanswered-questions-about-how-the-olympic-war-zone-will-harm-people-and-wildlife/

More at
http://olympicnationalforestnews.blogspot.com/

And
https://www.facebook.com/protectolypen



eMail the Olympic National Forest Supervisor in Olympia, Reta Laford at - rlaford@fs.fed.us