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Navy gauging its effect on seas

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The Navy is once again studying the effects of its training and testing on the environment of Hawaii, Southern California and the ocean in between.

The Navy said yesterday it is preparing a new environmental impact statement and plans to host meetings in Southern California and Hawaii next month to give people an opportunity to express concerns.

Separate environmental studies were completed by the Navy for the Hawaii Range Complex in 2008 and for Southern California in 2009. The new study will reassess the environmental impacts determined in the previous studies, the Navy said.

The earlier studies allowed the Navy to receive authorization for training, including the use of sonar, from federal agencies including the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Those permits generally expire after five years, and the new study, which will consolidate three separate existing studies, is being pursued as the Navy seeks renewal of its federal permits, officials said.

The new study also will examine the environmental impacts of using the transit route between Hawaii and Southern California as well as Navy and commercial piers at Pearl Harbor.

The study additionally will analyze what impact the testing of new weapons and systems might have.

Public meetings are due to be held in San Diego and Lakewood, Calif.

In Hawaii they will be in Lihue, Honolulu, Hilo and Kahului.

On the Net: » Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing EIS/OEIS: www.hstteis.com

 

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