Feb 3, 2013

US Navy- Maine waters sonar testing 2013 plan. February 27, 2013.deadline for input


Stand up for wild Atlantis with a quick email or two, before the US Navy gets approved by Brian Swan of Maine DMR under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) to carry out sonar testing and other military actions in Maine state waters.

The deadline for Maine DMR  to accept public input on whether the sonar  and other actions are safe or not is February 27, 2013.  Details below.

WHAT IS HAPPENING The Navy has to get a Consistency Determination under the CZMA from Maine DMR that states that Maine's  marine wildlife in state waters won't be harmed by the Navy's sonar testing and other actions.  If Maine denies the Navy its approval, the Navy has to appeal directly  to President Obama for permission to override Maine. 

The Navy's proposed training and testing activities include  pier-side sonar testing at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Bath Iron Works, surface warship and submarine sonar maintenance, and anti-submarine tracking exercises in state waters.  Outside Maine state waters the Navy wants to carry out "at-sea testing of active sound navigation and ranging (sonar) devices, gunnery exercises, and torpedo tests". 

The  Navy has prepared a draft "Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Overseas EIS"  Maine DMR's  is supposed to read it and decide if it will harm Maine "marine resources". the EIS actually covers the waters along the entire east coast and Gulf of Mexico. But Maine is at the top end of the chain so what gets decided here, matters as precedent. The Navy website includes links to their environmental and conservation studiesm, including marine mammals and seabirds.

DEADLINE FEBRUARY 27, 2013 Written public comments regarding the Navy's getting a consistency determination must be submitted by email or postal mail to: Brian Swan, Maine Department of Marine Resources, P.O. Box 8, 194 McKown Point Road, West Boothbay, Maine 04575-008, brian.swan@maine.gov, on or before February 27, 2013.
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Swan has been DMR federal  liaison for a long time. He usually just approves whatever the feds, Navy or others, want. YOU have an opportunity to stiffen his resolve to stand up for the wild marine life that the state of Maine proposes to turn its back on, while the navy proceeds with its antisub war games. The deadline is  February 27, 2013, if you want to get your two cents in.

Written public comments to: Brian Swan, Maine Department of Marine Resources, P.O. Box 8, 194 McKown Point Road, West Boothbay, Maine 04575-008, brian.swan@maine.gov  on or before February 27, 2013.

DMR Notice of Federal Consistency Determination. (full text)
 Read  below or Click Here for web versionPublic comment deadline 2/27/13
(Note: I boldfaced words and made paragraph breaks for quick reading)

"Please take notice that pursuant to Section 307 of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, 16 U.S.C33.1456, the United States Department of the Navy (Navy) has determined that military training and testing activities that it proposes to conduct in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area (Study Area) are consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the Maine Coastal Program. 

The Navy has requested the State's concurrence with its determination.

The Study Area, which covers the United States East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, extends from the mean high water mark into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and thus includes state and federal coastal waters off Maine and other coastal states.

Proposed training and testing activities, which are listed in the Navy's consistency determination, include those that are proposed to occur outside state coastal waters, such as at-sea testing of active sound navigation and ranging (sonar) devices, gunnery exercises, and torpedo tests; and activities that are proposed to or may occur in state coastal waters, such as pier-side sonar testing (at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Bath Iron Works), surface ship and submarine sonar maintenance, and anti-submarine tracking exercises.

No activities are proposed to be conducted on land in Maine. Deadline for public comments are February 27, 2013

The Navy's consistency determination and supporting information, the Navy's Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which assesses the potential environmental impacts of the activities proposed in the Study Area, are available for public inspection during normal working hours at the Department of Marine Resources, 194 McKown Point Road, West Boothbay, Maine or the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Geology, Natural Areas and Coastal Resources/Maine Coastal Program, 17 Elkins Lane, Augusta, Maine.

The DEIS and related information may also be reviewed on-line and downloaded from the following Navy website: http://aftteis.com/ Written public comments regarding the Navy's consistency determination may be submitted to: Brian Swan, Maine Department of Marine Resources, P.O. Box 8, 194 McKown Point Road, West Boothbay, Maine 04575-008, brian.swan@maine.gov, on or before February 27, 2013.PUBLIC NOTICE PUBLIC NOTICE

Appeared in: Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Sunday, 01/27/2013     

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