The US Supreme Court heard a case today in which the justices sounded closely split on whether environmental laws can be used to protect whales and other marine mammals from the Navy’s use of sonar off the coast of Southern California. This is an issue that we have been making known to our network of Partners for the last few years , including last Janurary, and has important ramifications for marine mammals and other life in our world’s ocean.This closely watched case, Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, has turned into a major dispute over whether judges, acting on a suit brought by environmentalists, have the power to stop the government from conducting a large-scale military exercise because it had not carried out an environmental impact statement. If a federal agency can sidestep conventional environmental protections by declaring an emergency, the Pentagon and potentially other federal agencies, may make such emergency declarations more common with repercussions farther reaching than sonar. The justices are likely to hand down a ruling in the case in a few months.
Read full article in the LA Times.