The United States Forest Service is accepting public comments for a few more days (4 p.m. November 30) on the Navy’s proposal to install and test an electronic warfare facility on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, as well as in the northeast part of the Washington. Even if you read this after the comment deadline, your comments will probably be noted. The government tends to move slowly, especially during holidays (unless of course it is trying to “pull a fast one”). To submit comments, go to https://cara-cecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=42759.
Why should you care if you don’t live in northeast Washington? Perhaps you love nature and might someday want to enjoy the birds that migrate through the Olympic Peninsula in huge numbers. Perhaps you think Native Americans should be allowed to thrive on the limited lands they still have. Perhaps you think the US should not spend huge sums of money on electronic warfare. Perhaps you have friends or family in Washington state.
The project consists of a very large antenna and 6 mobile antennas, as well as aircraft referred to as Growlers. The main antenna will be round, about 40 feet off the ground, and the size of a house. It has been estimated from data submitted in the Environmental Impact Statement that the main antenna would consume about 5 million watts of power, much of which would be emitted as radio waves in the 2 to 18 Ghz. This is roughly in the frequency range of the beloved smart meters that give people headaches, insomnia, dizziness, confusion, tinnitus, perhaps cancer, and probably more. (Those new to the issue of electrical pollution might want to check out various earlier articles on the subject, mine included. Those who already oppose smart meters can feel justified, knowing that this technology is viewed by the military as a weapon.)
The mobile antennas would be carried to various sites in 3 National Parks on trucks. These antennas and the main antenna would operation 8 to 16 hours per day 260 days per year, according to the Environmental Impact Statement. There are 2 Indian reservations that are in between the main antenna and some of the sites for the portable antennas.
The aircraft that are involved, called Growlers, will emit considerable noise of a more physical kind. The US Environmental Protection Agency has authority over noise pollution, but their activities related to noise have been unfunded for many years. Many state and local governments have noise control laws, but there is probably no authority over federally generated noise.
For those who have enough information to “just say no,” read no further. For those who would like more information about this proposed project, please visit one or more of the following websites. https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/11/35/18764638.php, and http://washingtonenvironmentalprotectioncoalition.org/part-w-the-Olympic-war-zone-unanswered-questions Among the unanswered questions are the following. For a project of this magnitude, shouldn’t there be public hearings? If people observe effects far worse than anticipated or if they did not even know about this project, is there any recourse if they do not submit comments during the comment period? (Will they have “standing?”) Who has standing to represent nature?