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MILITARY INSTALLATIONS BILLS VIOLATE WASHINGTON STATE’S CONSTITUTION (from Save The Olympic Peninsula)
January 17, 2018, Port Angeles, WA – Two bills being considered in the Washington State Legislature expand military control of private development and land use planning in Washington State, violating several of the most basic and important provisions of the Washington and United States Constitutions.
HB 2341, now in the House Committee on Environment, and SB 6456, a companion bill in the Senate, prohibit local governments from allowing incompatible development in the vicinity of a military installation. Any commander of any military installation operated by the United States armed services within or adjacent to Washington State is given sole authority to determine whether incompatibility exists.
The bills prioritize all military uses, whether they improve or damage the State's economy, over any private, tax-paying, industrial, agricultural, residential or other development. They amend current legislation by:
1. making the prohibition of incompatible developments mandatory;
2. extending the prohibition to lands that are not adjacent to the military installation;
3. applying the prohibition to the benefit of any military installation, no matter how small;
4. allowing the State Department of Commerce to spend up to $25 million every two years to acquire property to eliminate an existing incompatible use, or to increase the availability of housing affordable to enlisted military personnel.
The bills imply that incompatibility exists if development "may interfere" with the installation's ability to carry out its "current or future mission requirements" and suggest the prohibition extends as far away from the military installation as the installation's present or future mission extends. This could result in the prohibition applying to almost any land within Washington State, whether the incompatibility arises from a current mission, or a mission proposed to begin years into the future.
By outlawing all land uses that might be incompatible with present or future missions of United States military installations, the bills accomplish an "inverse condemnation" of property, where the government takes property without compensating for it.
“If a military installation's mission is to train helicopter crews, the bill could prohibit development anywhere along the flight path from launch to landing, depending solely on the military commander's judgment. Where a military mission is to provide howitzer training, the prohibition could apply as far away from the installation as explosive sounds could create an incompatibility, again depending solely on the military commander's judgment,” explained Ron Richards, Chair of Save The Olympic Peninsula.
“By handing United States military commanders control of the State's land use powers, the bills violate Article 1, Section 18, of the Washington State Constitution that states, “The military shall be in strict subordination to civil power,” as well as violating the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, that reserves to the States the powers not granted to the federal government or prohibited by it to the States. Sacrosanct among the powers reserved to the States is the power to adopt local zoning regulations,” Richards emphasized.
Save The Olympic Peninsula ... See MoreSee Less
If you've been waiting for an excuse to step away from the rat race, this is it. The leaves are aglow and the forecast calls for sunshine. There is no better time than now to layer up and get outdoors. You owe it to yourself. Let us know where you are exploring on the Olympic Peninsula this autumn. 🍁🍂 ... See MoreSee Less
FSEEE filed a lawsuit Friday challenging a Navy proposal to conduct electronic war games on the Olympic National Forest in Washington state. The complaint alleges that the Forest Service violated the Olympic's land and resource management plan in giving the Navy a special-use permit to conduct the training. www.fseee.org/2017/09/18/fseee-challenges-navy-war-games/
Growler noise disturbing you and your household? Call the Navy hotline number to issue your noise complaint (360) 257-6665, ALSO CALL YOUR LOCAL CITY MANAGER’S or MAYOR’S OFFICE! This way local governments will know just how many are unhappy with the disturbance of the peace. ... See MoreSee Less
Forward from STOP/Save The Olympic Peninsula: ... See MoreSee Less
Navy Open House - Special Ops In W WA
May 4, 2017, 5:00pm - May 4, 2017, 10:00pm
The Navy is planning to expand Special Operations training in Western Washington into public State Parks. They are having an Open House at Oak Harbor District office (behind Tractor Supply Store) on Thursday, May 4th. No presentation is planned. On Whidbey, in addition to their own facilities, they propose using Fort Ebey, Fort Casey, Deception Pass, Joseph Whidbey and South Whidbey State Parks. On Camano they propose using Cama Beach and Camano Island Park. Public lands. "The proposed training would consist of diving and swimming; inserting and extracting trainees and/or equipment using small watercraft; launching and recovering small watercraft; using unmanned underwater vehicles; moving on foot over the beach; hiking to an observation point and using observation techniques while remaining hidden; clearing areas/structures using paint pellets as simulated munitions (used only in limited locations); conducting high-angle climbing; and using small unmanned aircraft systems on military installations, designated warning areas, or restricted airspace." For more information, please visit the website at navfac.navy.mil/NSOEA. Photo is from Navy.mil : www.navy.com/careers/special-operations Fact sheet is here: navfac.navy.mil/content/dam/navfac/NAVFAC%20Atlantic/NAVFAC%20Northwest/PDFs/About%20Us/Environme...
SILVERDALE, Wash. - The U.S. Navy is holding open house outreach meetings for conducting naval special operations training in western Washington State.
The open house outreach meetings provide a forum for the public to obtain information about the proposed naval special operations training and to provide input and suggestions on the training activities and locations. There will not be a presentation or formal oral comment session. Navy representatives will be available to discuss the proposed training activities and locations.
Three open house outreach meetings will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
North Kitsap High School Commons
1780 NE Hostmark St.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Blue Heron School Commons
3939 San Juan Ave.
Port Townsend, WA
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Oak Harbor School District
ASC Board Room
350 S. Oak Harbor St.
Oak Harbor, WA
The Navy proposes to conduct small-unit land and maritime training activities for naval special operations personnel. Activities are often combined together and performed sequentially to meet training requirements. The intent of the proposed training is to: 1) teach trainees the skills needed to avoid detection and 2) not leave any trace of their presence during or after training activities.
Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command executes its congressionally mandated roles and responsibilities under 10 United States Code Section 167. The proposed training would consist of diving and swimming; inserting and extracting trainees and/or equipment using small watercraft; launching and recovering small watercraft; using unmanned underwater vehicles; moving on foot over the beach; hiking to an observation point and using observation techniques while remaining hidden; clearing areas/structures using paint pellets as simulated munitions (used only in limited locations); conducting high-angle climbing; and using small unmanned aircraft systems on military installations, designated warning areas, or restricted airspace.
The proposed training does not include the use of live-fire ammunition, explosive demolitions, manned air operations, off-road driving, vegetation cutting, digging, tree climbing, or the building of camp fires or infrastructure. The Navy would not build training devices or structures at any site during the proposed training activities. The proposed training is needed to meet training and readiness requirements and to ensure that naval special operations personnel are prepared for worldwide deployment.
The proposed training would occur on selected nearshore lands and in the inland waters of Puget Sound, including Hood Canal, as well as the southwestern Washington coast. Proposed training would occur on private, public, state, and/or Department of Defense lands. However, training would only occur on properties with the permission of property owners or managers. Within each area, sites have been identified to support the unique training-environment requirements of naval special operations. Additionally, the proximity to several existing Navy installations in the area maximizes logistics, safety, and security.
The Navy has conducted training in the Pacific Northwest for more than 70 years, including naval special operations training for the past 30 years. Puget Sound, including Hood Canal, and the southwestern Washington coast offer unique conditions which create opportunities for realistic and challenging special operations training in a safe, sheltered, cold-water environment. The combination of military presence in proximity to sites with diverse shoreline terrain, hydrography, and bathymetry is vital to the progressive improvement of skill sets and readiness requirements.
Input and suggestions are welcome until May 18, 2017. The Navy welcomes public input and suggestions on proposed training activities and locations. There will also be an opportunity for public comment during the draft Environmental Assessment. Written feedback may be submitted in person at the outreach meetings, by email to
email@example.com, or via postal mail to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
Attention: Project Manager, EV21.AW
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101 ... See MoreSee Less
Can Forests Heal Us? Thanks to Healing Forest. For more info visit: healingforest.org
Save the Date
Monday, March 27, 6:30 p.m.
Assessing the Past,
Planning for the Future
Topic: The Marbled Murrelet
Port Angeles Library
2210 S. Peabody St.
Port Angeles, WA
Please join STOP for updates on activities and undertakings to expect in 2017! www.savetheolympicpeninsula.org ... See MoreSee Less
Citizens of the Ebey's Reserve PRESS RELEASE
(March 10, 2017)
State Board of Health & State Department of Health asks Navy for Health Impact Assessment on Jet Noise
As a result of Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve’s (COER’s) complaint actions, noise as a public health issue, has moved up on state priorities for protecting and preventing auditory and non-auditory health impacts on children in schools throughout Washington.
After a unanimous vote by the State Board of Health in late 2016, the Board moved to conduct an investigation of a complaint from Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve’s (COER’s) under RCW 70.05.120 to determine the vague directives of that provision.
The investigation against Dr. Brad Thomas, Island County Health Officer, and Keith Higman, Director and Administrator of Island County Public Health under this provision was to determine the authority of the Health Officers to act on their own discretion on noise as a health emergency. This was not an exoneration of people, as stated by the Whidbey News Times but a dismissal of a complaint. State Board of Health members felt that public health guidelines were clearer in regards to communicable diseases and dismissed the complaint against Environmental Health officers Thomas and Higman.
"As citizens, our options to highlight military aircraft noise as a public health issue have been extremely limited and challenged by local health officials and Board of Health members who, in our opinion have had enough information to take preventative or educational actions. Instead, they have done nothing and turned a deaf ear to the scores of citizens who spoke at public meetings. A state process offered by the State Board of Health provided a valuable venue to challenge the lines of public health responsibility,” commented COER Board member, Paula Spina.
The State Board’s positive action to ask for a Health Impact Assessment from the Navy is recognition that there is a problem. Asking for an assessment to understand the health implications of military jet noise exposure related to Navy Air Station Whidbey Island operations validates citizen complaints.
The Board’s action repeats a similar request by the Washington State Department of Health for a Health Impact Assessment requested in comments to the Navy’s DEIS Growler expansion at NASWI. There is a new awareness on the part of State Board of Health members revealed during discussions that showed understanding that military jet training noise has negative impact on adults and children.
There is new general agreement of state health personnel to know more and determine responsibility for prevention, education, and mitigation of auditory and non-auditory noise impacts. The Washington State Department of Health has also completed a research review and has concluded that noise is a public health issue.
The Washington State Department of Health also agreed as a result of the March 8th meeting that they will step forward with assistance to the county to help conduct a Health Impact Assessment should the Navy refuse, as funds are available.
A final motion by the Board to make recommendations to the Island County Board of Health to better understand the health implications of military jet noise exposure related to Navy Air Station Whidbey Island operations will be taken up at a future meeting. This included a recommendation to Island County to ask the Navy for a Health Impact Assessment on jet noise.
In spite of this new progress at the state level, citizens of Island County - where noise is a major issue - are left with an Island County Board of Health Resolution that restricts public comments about noise and health at public meetings. Citizens who bring up this issue currently are being asked to stop speaking or be removed from meetings.
COER activists have led the way in challenging harmful status quo impacts of military aircraft noise, locally, and at the state levels of government. “The out of step Resolution engineered by Jill Johnson at the Island County Board of Health must now be repealed as a result of the State's acknowledgment that noise is a public health issue”, stated Maryon Attwood, COER President.
"As citizens, our options to highlight military aircraft noise as a public health issue have been extremely limited and challenged by local health officials and Board of Health members who, in our opinion had enough information to take some small preventative or educational actions. Instead, they decided to do nothing and turned a deaf ear to the scores of citizens who spoke at public meetings. This state process offered by the State Board of health provided a valuable venue to challenge the lines of responsibility” added Paula Spina.
“If the military is to remain a welcome neighbor in our communities, they cannot continue to be exempted from public health regulations and they cannot be allowed to continue to harm American citizens, especially the most vulnerable. The Navy owns millions of acres of remote and restricted land where they have already conducted, and can continue to conduct, this flight training without harming civilians. They have alternatives; our citizens, towns and cities do not. Education, current science, and prevention are real tools available to us all”, concluded Attwood, COER President.
For more information about COER, go to: citizensofebeysreserve.com ... See MoreSee Less
ACTION ALERT from SIERRA CLUB :
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued two separate Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs). One, for the establishment of a Sustainable Harvest Calculation and another for a Long Term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet. The deadline for comments is 5PM on March 9th.
DEISs are available at www.dnr.wa.gov/shc and www.dnr.wa.gov/mmltcs.
The timber interests are out in force to pressure the DNR to adopt alternatives that will involve harvesting the most timber and providing the least protection for the Marbled Murrelets. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AGAIN.
There are two easy ways to comment:
Sustainable Harvest Calculation - You can sign a form letter provided by the Washington Environmental Council at: WEC Sustainable Harvest Level comment to DNR
Marbled Murrelet Strategy – You can send a message requesting stronger protection for the Marbled Murrelets at: ABC Stand Up For MM
IMPORTANT NOTES – Edit and personalize these messages and be sure and include the following statement in your Marbled Murrelet comments: I support and request a supplemental EIS that analyzes a new Conservation Alternative that fully protects and restores marbled murrelet habitat.
If you want to make detailed comments you can research background and potential talking points regarding the Marbled Murrelet DEIS and the Sustainable Harvest Calculation DEIS at:
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject line for Marbled Murrelet comments, be sure to add SEPA File No. 12-042001
In the subject line for Sustainable Harvest Calculation, be sure to add SEPA File No. 15-012901 ... See MoreSee Less
ACTION ALERT forwarded from the North Olympic Group Executive Committee:
The Navy has released its draft Environmental Impact Statement on the addition of 35 or 36 Growler jets to its fleet at Whidbey Island. Large increases in jet noise are to be expected. Comment period is open until February 24th.The North Olympic Group is submitting a comment letter (see below). We are now asking all our members to submit individual comments in your own name. The more comments received the better chance we have of being heard.
You can submit comments by:
MAIL: EA-18G EIS Project Manager
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic -- Attn: Code EV21/SS
6506 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23508
EMAIL: Compose your comments in Word or PDF format, go to www.whidbeyeis.com/Comment.aspx, fill out form and cut and paste comments into the comment box. Be sure to keep a record of your comments... ... See MoreSee Less
Action Item: Scott Pruitt, leader of the EPA. who was assigned by Trump has created plans to abolish the EPA. He created a blueprint to repeal climate change rules, slash the EPA’s staff by two-thirds, close regional offices, and permanently weaken the agency’s regulatory authority. It's time to stand up against Scott Pruitt. Call your representative and senator at (202) 224-3121. Also, we tagged Scott Pruitt above feel free to post your opinion on his Facebook, he disabled the ability to post on his wall so try to utilize the comment section on his post.
If wilderness could talk, what would it say? 🎶 Take a moment to listen to the sounds of wilderness at Olympic National Park.
"Without enough wilderness America will change. Democracy, with its myriad personalities and increasing sophistication, must be fibred and vitalized by regular contact with outdoor growths — animals, trees, sun warmth and free skies — or it will dwindle and pale."
- Walt Whitman ... See MoreSee Less
Community Impact Forum on Growler Expansion Draft EIS
February 6, 2017, 4:00pm - February 6, 2017, 9:00pm
Coupeville Community Allies invites you to learn more about the Growler Expansion Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) at our Community Impact Forum. --How could potential increased annual flights from 6,100 to 35,100 impact our economy, tourism, our schools, our reserve? --What are Accident Potential Zones (APZs) and how will their planned development impact our property values and property rights? --What are the security risks of having all electronic warfare aircraft based on Whidbey Island? --And other impacts to our Coupeville/Central Whidbey Community Learn about what YOU CAN DO to address your concerns Help us reach our goal of submitting 3,500 comments on the DEIS. You must comment on the Draft EIS if you want to comment on the final EIS. Event poster is here: goo.gl/gq0iB8 Photo Credit - Joe Kunzler: www.flickr.com/photos/avgeekjoe/20268503104 per Creative Commons attribution.
Thank you for your support! Join our movement at www.altnps.org
Thank you to Congressman Rick Larsen, Senator Patty Murray, and Senator Maria Cantwell for their advocacy. Also thank you to Mr. Dennis McGinn, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. DEIS public comment time has been extended one month, until February 24, 2017. Please be sure to follow up with them and thank them.