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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Judge denies motion to block new munitions wharf at Bangor

WASHINGTON — A U.S. District Court on Friday rejected a motion to block construction of a munitions wharf at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, rebuffing arguments by anti-nuclear groups and the Suquamish Tribe that the Navy failed to conduct necessary environmental review.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton of Tacoma ruled the plaintiffs failed to show the Navy withheld information required under the National Environmental Policy Act. He also rejected arguments that the Navy failed to consider other options to building the wharf and accused the plaintiffs of using the lawsuit to “second guess the Navy’s missile maintenance program.”

The Navy began construction last month in September on the $715 million wharf. The Navy said the existing 1970s-era wharf lacks capacity to handle upgrade work on Trident II D5 ballistic missiles carried aboard the base’s eight nuclear submarines.

The lawsuit was filed in June by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, an anti-nuclear group in Poulsbo, Kitsap County, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility of Seattle, among others.

Kathy George, an attorney of the plaintiffs, said the groups will continue their fight. They plan to file for summary judgment on grounds that the second wharf did not undergo proper public review.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: munitions wharf, Naval Base Kitsap Bangor

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