[Intel Source: SubSim.com] No time to really comment on this report, so I'll just present excerpts and let you discuss it in the comments:
"The civilian agency in charge of marine issues has sharply challenged the Navy's plans to build an underwater sonar training range in the Atlantic Ocean, saying that the military significantly underestimated the danger posed to whales and other marine mammals and that the science the Navy used to reach its conclusions is flawed.
"In a technical letter to the Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the Navy had neglected to address the likelihood that its mid-frequency sonar would kill some whales and that the highly endangered right whale makes its annual migrations near the proposed site off North Carolina and could be threatened. But most telling, the NOAA letter said that the Navy had used a measure for allowable noise 100 times as high as the level recommended by the agency..."
A discussion of the "100 times" is in the sidebar, thusly:
"Much of the letter was taken up with a technical discussion about how much noise a whale can stand before it changes its behavior and suffers harm. The Navy relied on tests involving whales in captivity and concluded they would generally not be harmed by sound below 190 decibels. But NOAA argued that whales and other marine mammals in the wild are likely to react differently to noise than captive, trained animals and said that studies of animals in the oceans supported their view. It recommended a maximum allowable noise level of 173 decibels, which is more than 100 times quieter than the 190 decibel standard."
The article goes on to discuss how "brave" the NOAA is:
"The NOAA letter is truly unbelievable," said Kyla Bennett of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a national whistle-blower organization that supports government workers who come into conflict with policymakers and elected officials.
"It takes an amazing amount of courage for a federal employee to take this kind of strong stance against the Navy under the Bush administration," she said."
I'm sure they'll be headed for Gitmo soon. [/sarcasm]
Staying at PD...