Prevent Construction of Explosives Handling Wharf in Washington

 Target: U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton

Goal: Prevent construction of a new explosives handling wharf at a nuclear submarine base in ecologically sensitive Hood Canal, Washington.

The U.S. Navy plans to build a new explosives handling wharf at the Bangor Submarine base on Hood Canal in Bremerton, Washington. Part of the Puget Sound, The Hood Canal houses several endangered species and is a sensitive ecological zone. However, the Navy has not done an adequate environmental review even though the project would have a huge impact on the area. In addition, at a price of $715 million it would be an economic burden to the region on top of endangering the environment and human health and safety.

The Navy has already been sued by peace, environmental and physician groups, along with the Suquamish Tribe which argues that the project violates treaty rights regarding the Hood Canal. Requiring the drilling of over a thousand new piles and covering an enormous area in the Sound, this project would jeopardize habitats of many aquatic species and birds, as well as raise the risk of radiation and pollution of air and water in surrounding areas. Furthermore, the new wharf would be insufficiently spaced from the old to be safe if an explosion took place.

Although concerned groups in the community have proposed designs that would be safer, requested a complete environmental review, requested revelation of more information about the project to the public, and suggested the project be implemented at a less risky location in Georgia, the Navy has not complied and proceeds with the project. The ruling is left with a Judge in Tacoma, Washington; please ask that he consider the serious consequences of this project and prevent it from passing without further review.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton,

As the Navy takes steps to build a new explosives handling wharf at Bangor Submarine Base, they risk putting the environment and people of the region in danger. Adequate environmental and safety review has not been completed, and several concerned groups have sued the Navy because it is evident that this project would endanger habitats and species, pollute air and water, and violate environmental and treaty rights.

The project would affect an enormous area and would include the drilling of over a thousand piles. The cost of $715 million is infeasible at this time when government budgets are cutting educational and social funding. In addition, the safety to wildlife and humans is doubtful as pollution, potential radiation and risk of explosion are all possibilities. Without further review, these risks are not fully accounted for and thus other safer designs or locations are not considered.

Please prevent the construction of this project until the Navy conducts more thorough environmental and safety review, including consideration of other possible designs or locations for the project.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr

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