"Ground Zero, others file ESA suit against Navy"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:32 AM
"The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action filed a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle June 26, alleging the Navy violated the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act.The suit claims the Navy should have performed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before upgrading to Trident II D-5 missiles at Subase Bangor.According to a news release from the nonviolence advocates, the lawsuit charges the Navy never has consulted with fish and wildlife agencies on potential impacts of the upgrade. It borders on the absurd that common everyday citizens are being required to modify their activities in order to assist the protection and recovery of salmon, yet the Navy moves ahead with its activities with its activities without consultation or environmental review, Wingard added.The group also is concerned about possible impacts an accidental detonation or explosion of a missile.The Navy has a duty to disclose the full impacts of its D-5 missile program and to take action to reduce or eliminate threats to salmon and the Puget Sound environment, said Mann.The Navy already did that twice - with a 1974 EIS, and again in the late 1980s with a supplemental environmental assessment, according to Lt. Kevin Stephens of Submarine Group 9 at Bangor.It found no significant impact, said Stephens, Sub Group 9's public affairs officer. We are fully compliant with any and all environmental regulations. He added that work being done at Bangor is a relatively minor upgrade to existing facilities, rather than new construction.Remember, this base was always designed to support the D-5 missiles, Stephens said.He added that one of the four Ohio-class Tridents scheduled for the missile upgrade already is finished, and one is midway through the process.Accidental detonation or sabotage of one of the D-5s during the upgrade, also is unlikely, Stephens said.Navy subs have been carrying ballistic missiles since 1960. Do you recall any of those blowing up? he said.The coalition suing the Navy includes Wingard's group, Poulsbo's Ground Zero, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Peace Action of Washington, and individuals Mary Gleysteen and Glen Milner."