Many of you have received a postcard from the Navy regarding the availability of the Supplement to the Draft EIS. The Supplement constitutes a delay in the Navy’s EIS program and was required due to omissions in the Draft EIS and new information for assessing impacts to the marbled murrelet, an endangered bird in Hood Canal. The 74-page Supplement is at http://ehw.nbkeis.com.
The comment period for the Supplement to the Draft EIS is through November 21, 2011. Comments may be submitted online at:
or by mail to:
Christine Stevenson, EHW-2 EIS Project Manager
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
1101 Tautog Circle
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101
There are many issues that can be raised. If you are inclined to submit another statement, it is worthwhile. A sustained effort will be necessary to delay and hopefully stop the second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.
The Navy addresses three issues, and the website states, “the Supplement addresses the methodology used to assess the potential for injurious impacts to the marbled murrelet from impact pile driving; the construction and operation of four new facilities proposed to be built to replace the functions of five buildings to be demolished and the associated infrastructure; and compensatory mitigation options under consideration in regard to Dabob Bay Conservation and Washington State Parks Mitigation.”
The Navy states that previous comments do not need to be submitted again to be considered in the Final EIS. However, we can comment on any issue we wish, any of the three new issues, or any new issue related to the proposed second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.
The final deadline for comments on the Draft EIS had been on May 17, 2011. Since that time many issues have changed. The looming defense cuts are a significant issue which may affect the Trident program.
The Congressional Deficit Reduction Committee, or Super Congress, was created on August 2, 2011. The committee is charged with issuing a recommendation by November 23, 2011 for at least $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction steps to be undertaken over a ten‐year period. If the committee fails to agree on a package or the full Congress fails to pass it, a so-called "trigger mechanism" would enact $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts with a split between the national security and domestic programs.
On November 7, 2011, Defense Secretary Panetta announced the consideration of cuts in the nuclear weapons arsenal to help cut DOD spending and balance budgets. These cuts are for the previously announced $450 billion in cuts to defense spending over 10 years. The Deficit Reduction Committee’s cuts to defense spending, or the automatic spending cuts, are in addition to the $450 billion.
Reducing the nuclear arsenal is an obvious choice for the Department of Defense. It is likely the reductions would alleviate the claimed need for the second Explosives Handling Wharf for the Navy. See http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20111107_7226.php and http://www.military.com/news/article/2011/pentagon-takes-preliminary-look-at-nuclear-cuts.html.
We have also witnessed the unfolding of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (tsunami on March 11, 2011) which shows how a publicly accepted technology can suddenly become an unexpected tragedy.
In addition, one of the four added buildings to the proposed second Explosives Handling Wharf is a new pure water facility for the submarines that covers approximately 0.5 acres along the shoreline of Hood Canal. It is surprising how little information is given on the new buildings.
If you are inclined, additional statements on this would help our case. These additional statements, as well as previous statements, will be considered in the Final EIS by the Navy.
(Editor's Note: Thanks to Glen Milner for this post as well as his continuing work to stop the construction of the Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.)