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Port Townsend Petition

We the undersigned citizens of Port Townsend and Jefferson County petition you to protect our right to know about safety risks associated with the West Coast’s major weapons transfer depot NavMag Indian Island by specifically objecting to the National Defense Authorization Act Section 1014: Treatment under Freedom of Information Act of Certain Department of Defense Critical Infrastructure Information.

The Department of Defense is attempting to nullify the outcome of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Milner v. Navy, decided on March 7, 2011.   The 8-1 decision by the Supreme Court addressed whether the Navy could withhold specific explosives information at NAVMAG Indian Island.  Explosives Safety Quantity Distance (ESQD) arc information is used for safety purposes.  The Navy released this same type of information for the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington. 


The Navy would like Congress to pass Section 1014 for two specific reasons involving NAVMAG Indian Island:


1. The Navy increased the amount of explosives at the explosives handling wharf by 33 percent in order to accommodate a larger type of container ship. If the Navy is out of compliance with rules regarding safe distances for explosive handling we have a right to know.

2. In the case of a burning ammunition ship the Navy’s plan is to tow the ship to a scuttling area near the center of Port Townsend Bay and sink the ship before it explodes. NMII is located a little more than two miles across open water from Port Townsend and a little more than a mile across open water from Port Hadlock and Irondale. How safe are we, our hospital, and our homes?

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