US court allows use of navy sonar

Top court permits naval sonar despite fears of injury to marine animals.

    The Bush administration cited national
    security for the necessity of the training [AFP]

    The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other environmental groups had successfully sued the navy in federal courts earlier this year on grounds of possible damage and injury to the region's dolphins, whales and sea lions, along with more than 30 other species of marine mammals in the area.

    'Narrow' ruling

    However, George Bush, the US president, intervened in the dispute by citing the necessity to US national security of the exercises and exempting the Navy from the environmental laws at the heart of the legal challenge.

    The navy also argued the area off southern California is the only location on the
    west coast that is relatively close to land, air and sea bases as well as amphibious landing areas.

    A US appeals court later rejected the Bush administration's attempt to exempt the navy from the laws, prompting the administration to appeal to the Supreme Court and argue that the judges should have deferred to the judgment of the navy and Bush.

    The ruling did not deal directly with the issue of environmental damage and Joel Reynolds, the director of the NRDC's marine mammal protection programme, said the ruling was "narrow" and did not establish "a bright-line rule".

    "The court acknowledged that environmental interests are important, but in this case that the interest in training was greater ... than interest in the
    environment," he told AP.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.