FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION
LOW FREQUENCY ACTIVE SONAR (LFAS)
HISTORY: In the early 1980's, the U.S. Navy identified a new generation of silent submarines as a national security threat. The Navy chose low frequency active sonar (LFAS) as the best available system to detect these submarines. LFAS is the loudest sound ever produced by humans in the water.
In 1995 the LFAS system was on the verge of being deployed in 80% of the world's oceans, when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) discovered the Navy's failure to follow the law and threatened legal action. At this point the Navy agreed to prepare a draft global Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The Navy hired scientists to study, test and define the impact of LFAS on whales. Tests of LFAS, at levels thousands of times below their previous deployment level, took place in 1997 and 1998. Even at these low decibel levels there were significant documented detrimental effects on whales and humans, i.e.: NATO LFAS TRANSMISSIONS CORRELATED WITH A STRANDING OF 12 BEACHED WHALES IN 1996.
We are deeply concerned that the Navy's testing of the LFAS at low levels, strongly suggest that this system will have devastating effects on marine life when used at higher deployment levels.
TODAY: It is clear that the Navy's current draft EIS does not address current documented scientific concerns regarding the potentially profoundly damaging affects of Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS). This failure to address relevant evidence in the draft EIS is a violation of the laws governing environmental laws.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE NAVY BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE NOW FOR ITHIS POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING TECHNOLOGY.
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