Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Active Sonar Use For RIMPAC Denied

A District Court judge for the Central California District Court on Monday issued a temporary injunction against the use of active sonar during RIMPAC 2006 off the coast of Hawaii. This order, at least temporarily, overrides the national security exemption that was issued last week to allow ships to use active sonar during the exercise despite possible damage to marine mammals. Until this is resolved, the warships involved will be reduced to using passive sonar (a.k.a. a "different type of sonar", according to today's AP article on the flap).

I expect the Navy to argue that this injunction could cause irreparable harm to the participant's ability to practice anti-submarine warfare, and will present evidence that these exercises, which only happen every two years, present a unique training opportunity. Since the lawsuit was filed in the Central California district court (as opposed to the Hawaii District Court -- maybe the plantiffs did a little court-shopping, no?) I'm not sure how eager the courts would be to overturn the injunction. Eagle1 would probably have a better idea of what might happen next.

Staying at PD...

Update 0051 06 July: The Navy's press release is here.

Update 0818 06 July: The Navy yesterday asked the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block the order; given the history of the Ninth Circuit, though, I'm not too optimistic.


Blogger Trickish Knave said...

Yeah, compliance doesn't mean agreement and when a bubblehead doesn't agree with someting they usually just do it anyway.

A good friend of mine returned from the RimPac exercise over the weekend for the festivities in P.H. Don't worry about the U.S. Navy's active sonar proficiency.

7/05/2006 1:27 PM

Blogger Eagle1 said...

Sorry, been off on other matters. According to the news, what happens next is: "In her ruling, Cooper also ordered the parties to meet to discuss mitigation measures to avoid further litigation.

Cooper's order was to remain in effect until July 18, when a hearing will be held on whether to replace the temporary restraining order with a preliminary injunction. Lawyers were ordered to report by July 12 on the results of their meeting."

I guess RIMPAC is over on July 25, so I can imagine the judge simple extending the order, or "allowing" the Navy to use the sonar under certain very limiting conditions.

We must be at peace because whales have gotten more protection than the American people will have by undertraining our sonar operators. A temporary injunction is usually granted when a judge is convinced that the party seeking it will prevail on the merits...

7/05/2006 8:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best idea I have heard in years is to create a new judical district, so that the Ninth is limited to San Francisco. The rest of the west including HA would have a new district, so the whackos on the 9th (the most overturned district court in history) will not mess up the country.

7/05/2006 10:51 PM

Blogger Alex Nunez said...

The way the media portrays active sonar usage, you'd think they have the destructive effect of the Death Star on marine ecosystems. Last I checked, there are still whales, even where subs operate.

This is so, so dumb.

I'm waiting for a judge to order the subs to "simulate" the use of active sonar, or some other such ridiculousness.

7/06/2006 10:37 AM

Blogger greenInk said...

Mr. Nunez,

Just because whales still exist where subs operate does not mean active sonar is not damaging to cetaceans and other marine mammals. That's like saying nuclear weapons must not be all that bad, because there are still Japanese. jeebus.

Just because the Bush administration tried to cover up the science on this (gee, what a surprise...) doesn't mean it didn't happen.

7/10/2006 12:45 AM


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