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Groups sue over Navy sonar use off Northwest

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 5:23 a.m. HST, Jan 26, 2012


SEATTLE >> A group of conservationists and American Indian tribes are suing over the Navy's expanded use of sonar in training exercises off the Washington, Oregon and California coasts, saying the noise can harass and kill whales and other marine life.

In a lawsuit being filed Thursday, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice and other groups claim the National Marine Fisheries Service was wrong to approve the Navy's expanded training plan.

They say regulators should have considered the effects repeated sonar use can have on those species.

The groups want restrictions on where and when the Navy can conduct sonar and other loud activities to protect orcas, humpbacks and other marine mammals.

Instead, the Navy is only required to look around and see if whales are present before they conduct the training.

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