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Navy: Training, testing may kill marine mammals

HONOLULU (AP) — Navy environmental studies say the service could inadvertently kill hundreds of whales and dolphins during training and testing over the next five years.

The studies cover testing and training planned for waters off the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Southern California and Hawaii from 2014 through 2019 — the main area where the service branch tests equipment and trains sailors.

The Navy’s computer models say it may kill 186 of the marine mammals off the East Coast and 155 off Southern California and Hawaii.

Energy and environmental readiness division Director Rear Adm. Kevin Slates told reporters this week the Navy doesn’t expect to cause any deaths but it can’t guarantee it won’t affect marine mammals.

The Navy is releasing two final environmental impact statements on the issue Friday.

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