THE SENATE                           S.R. NO.              84
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  RESOLUTION

  URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO BAN ANY FURTHER TESTS OF
    THE LOW FREQUENCY ACTIVE SONAR SYSTEM IN HAWAIIAN WATERS.


 1        WHEREAS, in February and March 1998, the United States
 2   Navy conducted Low Frequency Active (LFA) Sonar System tests in
 3   California waters and off the Kona-Kohala coast of the Island
 4   of Hawaii; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, the U.S. Navy has stated that these tests of
 7   whales' responses to repeated exposure to low frequency sound
 8   are part of an environmental assessment to assist the Navy in
 9   determining rules by which it uses a low frequency system to
10   detect submarines; and
11   
12        WHEREAS, as a result of protestors' actions during the LFA
13   testing, the U.S. Navy was able to complete approximately
14   seventy percent of its planned testing; and
15   
16        WHEREAS, in addition to these demonstrations, in March
17   1998, the Hawaii County Green Party filed suit in federal court
18   seeking a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief to
19   stop the testing; and
20   
21        WHEREAS, as part of this suit, the Hawaii County Green
22   Party alleged that nine different abnormal conditions had
23   arisen, which called for suspension of the testing under the
24   mitigation requirements in the permit issued by the National
25   Marine Fisheries Service; and
26   
27        WHEREAS, three of those conditions in particular were of
28   concern to the Hawaii County Green Party and a coalition of
29   environmental organizations and community members, including
30   the reported:
31   
32        (1)  Absence of whales in the testing area;
33   
34        (2)  Injury to a human from exposure to the LFA broadcast;
35             and
36   
37        (3)  Near stranding of a baby humpback whale during the
38             testing;
39   
40   and
41   

 
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                                  S.R. NO.              84
                                                        
                                                        


 1        WHEREAS, scientists who conducted the U.S. Navy tests are
 2   now in the process of evaluating the results, but have not
 3   indicated when the final reports will be available for public
 4   review; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, in the intervening months other scientists have
 7   continued to study the effects of the LFA sonar, and have
 8   collected additional information that indicates fewer whales as
 9   well as a decrease in vocalization of whales in the areas where
10   the tests were conducted; now, therefore,
11   
12        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
13   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, that the
14   United States Congress is urged to ban any further tests by the
15   United States Navy of the Low Frequency Active Sonar System in
16   Hawaiian waters until further scientific study is adequate to
17   determine the real and long-term effect of sonar testing on
18   whales; and
19   
20        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
21   Resolution be transmitted to the Hawaii congressional
22   delegation, the Secretary of the United States Navy, and the
23   Hawaii County Green Party.
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27                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________