February 2008

Federal judge rejects sonar waiver

A federal judge struck down a White House effort to exempt the U.S. Navy from obeying a key environmental law during sonar training exercises off the southern California coast. A month earlier, NRDC had won a court order requiring the Navy to put far-reaching safeguards in place during maneuvers with high-power sonar in order to protect whales from needless injury and death. The Navy's exercises would take place near the Channel Islands one of the world's most sensitive marine environments. The far-reaching precautions imposed on the Navy included a ban on mid-frequency sonar within 12 miles of the California coast a zone that is heavily used by migrating whales and dolphins and between the Channel Islands.