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Waking up the Military

by Trustees for Alaska

Reprinted from Earthpulse Flashpoints, Series 1 Volume 2.

Editor's Note: The following letter is reprinted with permission of Trustees for Alaska. This organization is pursuing inquiries into the HAARP program. We are cooperating with them in their attempt to help in this matter. The letter encapsulates the latest information on this project.

The primary support for our efforts in opposing the HAARP program has come from conservative organizations who have, over the last year, asked us where the environmental community was on the issue. We are pleased to be joined in our opposition to HAARP with what is quickly becoming a coalition of both conservative and liberal organizations. The true American character is demonstrated when issues of mutual importance can be embraced by diverse interest groups and, most importantly, by remarkable individuals.

Please forward your own letter to John Heckscher expressing your concerns and opinions on this project. May 8, 1996 John Heckscher PL/GPIA Hanscom AFB, MA. 01731-5000 Re: High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) Dear Mr. Heckscher,

Trustees for Alaska, on behalf of itself, Greenpeace, National Audubon Society, Alaska Center for the Environment, Sierra Club, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Northern Alaska Environmental Center and National Wildlife Federation, hereby request that the United States Air Force prepare a supplement to the July 1993 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the operation of the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). As you have correctly noted in various fora (including at the recent State of Alaska House of Representatives, State Affairs Committee HAARP Oversight Hearing), the Air Force has a continuing duty to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by preparing a supplemental EIS should certain conditions be met.

As detailed below, given the apparent substantial changes in the project and significant new information relevant to environmental concerns about HAARP, we believe this duty has been triggered. Should the Air Force disagree as to the mandatory nature of this duty, we still request that a supplemental EIS be prepared using your discretionary authority to do so. Finally, the Air Force should fund and support an independent review and monitoring effort to alleviate the public's concerns about the project.

I. The National Environmental Policy Act

To put our request in context, and before we enter into a discussion of the changed factual circumstances mandating the preparation of a supplemental EIS, we set out a brief overview of the relevant legal structure. As you know, NEPA requires a federal agency to prepare an EIS whenever it undertakes a "major...action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment." 42U.S.C.'4332(2)(C). The Air Force recognized that HAARP triggered the NEPA duty to prepare an EIS and, in the summer of 1993, the Air Force, in cooperation with the Navy, released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for HAARP. See FEIS Volumes I and II (July 15, 1993). Later that year, the Air Force issued its decision to proceed with the project. See Record of Decision (ROD) (October 18, 1993).

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is the principal agency responsible for the administration of NEPA. 42U.S.C.'4342. CEQ has enacted regulations implementing NEPA. 40 C.F.R. 1500.1 et seq. The CEQ regulations require federal agencies to supplement an EIS when: (i) The agency makes substantial changes in the proposed action that are relevant to environmental concerns; or (ii) There are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts. 40 C.F.R. ' 1502.9(c)(1).

In addition to the CEQ regulations, each federal agency has its own set of regulations adapting the CEQ regulations to the activities of each agency. See e.g. 32 C.F.R. Part 187 (Department of Defense); 32 C.F.R. Part 989 (Department of the Air Force); 32 C.F.R. Part 775 (Department of the Navy). Consistent with the CEQ regulations, the Department of Defense regulations require EIS supplementation when: substantial changes to the proposed action are made relative to the environment of the global commons or when significant new information or circumstances, relevant to environmental concerns, bears on the proposed action or its environmental effects on the global commons. 32 C.F.R. Part 187, Enclosure 1, para. D4; see also 32 C.F.R. Part 18, Enclosure 1, para. D4 (requiring supplementation for Department of Defense actions with effects in the United States); 32 C.F.R. 989.20(b) (same for the Air Force).

As the United States Supreme Court has stated, the test for supplementation is based on a "rule of reason": If there remains a "major federal action" to occur, and if the new information is sufficient to show that the remaining action will "affect the quality of the human environment" in a significant manner or to a significant extent not already considered, a supplemental . . . [impact statement] must be prepared. Marsh v. Oregon Natural Resources Council, 490 U.S. 360, 373-74 (1989).

Finally, an agency also has the discretion to prepare a supplement to an EIS if it "determines that the purposes of [NEPA] will be furthered by doing so." 40 C.F.R. ' 1502.9(c)(2).

II. Factual Background

As you know, in late 1993, the Air Force, in cooperation with the Navy, began construction of HAARP in Gakona, Alaska. The main element of HAARP is a large radio wave transmitter which "utilize[s] powerful, high frequency (HF) transmissions and a variety of associated observational instruments to investigate naturally occurring and artificially induced ionospheric processes that support, enhance or degrade the propagation of radio waves." ROD at 1. Construction of the HAARP facility is currently scheduled to be completed within six or seven years and presently it runs at about ten percent of projected power levels. See O'Harra, HAARP's Mixed Signals; Solid Research Or Menace To Alaskans, Anchorage Daily News (April 7, 1996).

As the Air Force originally explained, HAARP is aimed at studying the ionosphere, "with particular emphasis placed on being able to better understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civil and defense purposes." FEIS Vol. I at iii. As an example, one touted potential military benefit from the project is the development of a communication system for use with submerged submarines.

The Air Force, in the FEIS, detailed its view of the impacts of the project. The Air Force focused almost exclusively on the local and regional impacts of HAARP, primarily on things such as impacts to animals, degradation of air quality and vegetation loss due to construction activities. FEIS at 3-1 to 3-165. The Air Force deemed HAARP's effects to the atmosphere and biological effects to be non-existent or insignificant. See id; see also ROD at Table 2.4-1. The only admitted potentially significant impact is "interference to radio communication systems and electroexplosive devices during transmitting periods." Id.

In the years since the EIS process was completed, several groups and individuals have raised questions concerning the uses to which HAARP will be put and the likely effects flowing from those uses. Some of these assertions are set forth in a book, published in 1995, called Angels Don't Play This HAARP. Manning, Begich, Angels Don't Play This HAARP, Earthpulse Press (1995).1 In this book, the authors set forth a detailed and fully-referenced description of HAARP and its potential uses and effects. During the course of their research for the book, the authors found that, rather than the innocuous project described by the Air Force, HAARP represents a technology which could lead to a new class of weapons that could change our world profoundly - an all-purpose military tool. If misused, the tool could mess up the weather. It could be used against humanity in a way that would change what people think, believe and feel. . . . [HAARP could]:

  • manipulate global weather;
  • hurt ecosystems;
  • knock out electronic communications; or
  • change our moods and mental states.

A detailed recitation in this discussion of the assertions and facts contained in Angels Don't Play This HAARP would serve no useful purpose; the book stands on its own as a question mark affixed to the Air Force's contrary description of the uses and effects of HAARP.2 As set out below, this request is based upon questions and concerns about HAARP raised by facts surrounding both the Air Force's current intended uses for the project and scientific evidence raising questions about HAARP's effects.

III. The Air Force Should Supplement the HAARP EIS

The following discussion is organized into three sections. In the first section we set out the information, gathered since the completion of the FEIS, which suggests that substantial changes have been made to the purposes of the project as originally described and analyzed in the FEIS. These changes implicate environmental concerns with HAARP and require supplementation of the EIS.

In the second section we describe the significant new information concerning HAARP, information which is relevant to environmental concerns about the project. The data in this section also leads to the conclusion that the EIS must be supplemented.

Third, even if the Air Force does not determine that NEPA mandates it to supplement the EIS, it should do so voluntarily. As the Air Force is well aware, HAARP has resulted in a tremendous outpouring of concern about its purposes and potential effects. This controversy - well-founded in science or not - convincingly demonstrates that the public participation purposes of NEPA have not been satisfied. Thus, it is highly advisable for the Air Force to re-do the process, reaffirming its oft-stated position that HAARP is an open and above-board project and quelling the fears and concerns of so many people.

A. HAARP Has Undergone Substantial Changes

Again, as described by the Air Force, HAARP is a "scientific endeavor aimed at studying basic properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis placed on being able to better understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civil and defense purposes." (FEIS Vol. I at iii). As the Air Force has stated both in the ROD and FEIS, the environmental concerns which flow from this rather benignly-presented project are not significant. (See e.g., ROD at Table 2.4-1).

Clearly, the Air Force's treatment of HAARP has been less than confidence-building. For example, it is incongruous for the Air Force to conclude that no significant effects will flow from HAARP (with the exception of electromagnetic and radio frequency interference which the Air Force has pledged to mitigate when an EIS is required only for those federal actions which have a "significant impact on the quality of the human environment." 42 U.S.C. ' 4332(2)(C); compare 40 C.F.R. '' 1501.4(b), 1508.9 (1988) (EIS unnecessary for major federal action that does not significantly affect the environment). Certainly, the Air Force should recognize this incongruity and realize that it provides a reasonable basis for the public to question the accuracy of other assertions made by the Air Force.

In any event, plentiful evidence exists that raises questions about HAARP and its current and intended uses and effects. In 1994, for example, the Senate Committee on Armed Services stated the following in a report attached to its passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995: The committee is aware of the promising results of the high frequency active auroral research program (HAARP). This transmitter in Alaska, besides providing a world class research facility for ionospheric physics, could allow earth-penetrating tomography over most of the northern hemisphere. Such a capability would permit the detection and precise location of tunnels, shelters, and other underground shelters. The absence of such a capability has been noted as a serious weakness in the Department of Defense plans for precision attacks on hardened targets and for counterproliferation. 103d Congress, 2d session, Report 103-282 at 86 (June 14, 1994).The Armed Services Committee went on to state that it would condition future funds for a "full-scale HAARP facility" on the Department of Defense's commitment to exploring the counterproliferation possibilities of HAARP.

The very next year, the Committee on Appropriations recommended passage of the Department of Defense Appropriation Bill for 1996, with specific recommendation that the Senate include substantial monies for HAARP. 104th Congress, 1st session, Report 104-24 at 190 (July 28, 1995). This appropriation appeared under the heading "Counterproliferation support - advanced development."

Nowhere in the HAARP FEIS does the Air Force so much as mention, much less evaluate, the earth-penetrating tomography aspects of HAARP or its use for counterproliferation purposes. Indeed, the Index to the FEIS does not even contain a reference to these terms. (See FEIS Vol. I at 8-1.)

In response to a letter from a concerned citizen who raised this issue, the Air Force admitted that earth-penetrating tomography was "not specifically documented in the EIS" yet stated that this use is "within original design and operating parameters which have been identified in the FEIS." (Letter from John Heckscher, Air Force, to Arthur Gray, NTIA November 17, 1994). Given the total lack of reference to earth-penetrating tomography and counter-proliferation in the FEIS, this statement does not appear supported by the record. (See 40C.F.R.'1502.8 EIS' "shall be written in plain language . . . so that decisionmakers and the public can readily understand them"); 40 C.F.R. ' 1502.13 (agency shall "briefly specify the underlying purpose and need" of the proposed action). Indeed, given the attention focused on this specific application of HAARP and the substantial federal monies apparently dedicated to it, the Air Force should not so easily dismiss this issue.

In the same Senate Report referencing the counterproliferation purposes of HAARP, the Senate also recommended substantial appropriations for HAARP under the heading "advanced weapons." 104th Congress, 1st session, Report 104-24 at 190 (July 28, 1995). The Committee provided no explanation for this appropriation. Available literature on advanced weapons systems seems to support the ability of a HAARP-type facility to be used for these purposes. See e.g., International Committee of the Red Cross, Expert Meeting on Certain Weapons Systems and on Implementation Mechanisms in International Law (July 1994); see also Metz, Kievit, The Revolution In Military Affairs And Conflict Short Of War, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College at 9 (July 1994); Heating Up The Air Waves, Jane's Defense Weekly, Vol. 23, No.13; Hayeslip, Preszler, NIJ Initiative On Less-Than-Lethal Weapons, National Institute of Justice! at 16-18 (March 1993); Edwardson, The Right To Prevent The Commission Of International Crimes, International Health And Alternative Medicine Conference (October 9-10, 1993); Smith, Best, Electromagnetic Man, Chapter 10 (St. Martin's Press, N.Y. 1989).

Nevertheless, "advanced weaponry" is certainly not within the Air Force's claimed purposes for HAARP. See FEIS. Further, in several fora, the Air Force and other project participants repeatedly have assured the public that there is no "classified" aspect to HAARP. See e.g., Tape of Alaska State House of Representatives, Committee on State Affairs, HAARP Oversight Hearing (April 2, 1996); see also O'Harra, "HAARP's Mixed Signals; Solid Research Or Menace To Alaskans", Anchorage Daily News (April 7, 1996). Thus, if indeed there is an "advanced weaponry" aspect to HAARP, the Air Force's "open-project" pronouncements counsel that such use would be public knowledge.

Consequently, it appears that HAARP has indeed taken on a different direction than the Air Force originally reported. NEPA thus requires supplementation of the EIS to address these uses of HAARP and their effects on the environment. 40 C.F.R. ' 1502.9(c)(1)(i)

B. Significant New Information Exists Concerning HAARP

The question whether significant new circumstances or information will require EIS supplementation turns on several factors. These factors include the environmental significance of the circumstances or information, its probable accuracy and the degree to which the agency had considered the circumstances or information and evaluated its impact. See e.g., Warm Springs Dam Task Force v. Gribble, 621 F.2d 1017 (9th Cir. 1980).

Based on three draft and final reports concerning the Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR) bioeffects of HAARP, the Air Force concluded in 1993 that there would be "[n]o bioeffects from RFR." (ROD at 9; see also FEIS Vol. I at 3-146, 3-149, 3-150.) The primary concern with non ionizing radiation such as RFR, as outlined by the Air Force, is the potential for "gross heating"; that is, heat produced at relatively high RFR intensities exceeding the thermoregulatory capabilities of a given animal and thus causing deleterious effects. See FEIS Vol. I at 3-147.

The Air Force also noted, however, that "[s]ome researchers have reported bioeffects at RFR levels below those giving rise to gross heating." The Air Force dismissed these effects because "such reports are not universally accepted by the large majority of the research community."

New scientific information, gathered since the 1992 date of the studies relied upon by the Air Force, strongly counsel that the Air Force rethink this conclusion and reexamine the bioeffects of HAARP. As an initial matter, it is important to note that while HAARP generates electromagnetic waves at frequencies "between approximately 3 kilohertz (kHz) and 300 gigahertz (Ghz)," (FEIS Vol. I at 3-146,4) it does have a secondary effect in the ELF range. (HAARP Research and Applications, A Joint Program of Phillips Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research, Executive Summary at June 6, 1995). Specifically, the Office of Naval Research stated that HAARP, "using the ionosphere as an active medium, can provide secondary radiation sources in the IR, visible, and ULF/ELF/VLF ranges."

A frequent scholar and renowned expert in the field of biophysics writes that "there is evidence from a number of studies that extremely low frequency (ELF) fields in the range 0-100 Hz and radiofrequency (RF) fields amplitude-modulated in this same ELF range . . . are involved in essential physiological functions in marine vertebrates, birds and mammals." Adey, W.R., "Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields", Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 51:410 at 410-411 (1993). Further, "evidence has mounted confirming occurrence of bioeffects of RM fields" in the low-frequency range. (see also Polk, Handbook of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Chapter 12 (2d ed. CRC Press, Fla. 1996); Litovitz, Montrose, Doinov, Brown and Barber, "Superimposing Spatially Coherent Electromagnetic Noise Inhibits Field Induced Abnormalities In Chick Embryos", Journal Bioelectromagnetics, Vol. 15, No.2 at 105-113 (1994); Adey, Whispering Between Cells: Electromagnetic Fields And Regulatory Mechanisms In Tissue, Frontier Perspectives, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Fall 1993); Smith, Best, Electromagnetic Man, Chapter 10 (St. Martin's Press, N.Y. 1989).

Indeed, the Air Force itself, at least at some levels, is aware of the biological effects of ELF fields. For example, Dr. Cletus Kanavy, chief of the biological effects group of the Phillips Laboratory's Electromagnetic Effects Division at Kirkland Air Force Base in New Mexico has stated that "the entire issue of human interaction with electromagnetic (RF & microwave) radiation is...a major national population health concern." Biological Effects of Microwave Radiation: A White Paper, Microwave News at 12 (September/October 1993). Dr. Kanavy noted the "large amount of data [], both animal experimental and human clinical [], to support the existence of chronic, nonthermal effects." Id. These effects include behavioral aberrations, neural network perturbations, fetal (embryonic) tissue damage (inducing birth defects), cataractogenesis, altered blood chemistry, metabolic changes and suppression of the endocrine and immune systems.

Dr. Kanavy also notes that:

"[r]esearchers stress the chronic, nonthermal nature of these effects as opposed to acute exposure level thermal effects.6 Ample experimental evidence exists from credible researchers from well-established and highly regarded institutions, both government and university, to justify a national research program into the full spectrum of biological effects of electromagnetic radiation".

Further, the Air Force's reliance on standards established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to downplay the likelihood of adverse bioeffects, FEIS Vol. I at 3-149, is seriously misplaced. In discussing the IEEE and the issue of bioeffects, Dr. Kanavas states:

"The U.S. has lagged behind badly in this kind of research. Initially, the principal concern for human exposure to microwave radiation was that of thermal heating of the tissues. Permissive exposure limits were based on such criteria. These limits...are...derived by the...IEEE. Under IEEE, a blue-ribbon panel of experts periodically reviews the research database and assesses the need to revise the standards. Until 1991, these standards did not consider the possible biological effects of "pulsed" microwaves. The 1991 standards do address the pulse condition (rather shabbily, I believe), place [some] restrictions...and continue to use the continuous wave time averaging technique for thermal criteria. The existence of non-thermal effects is essentially denied by omission...The literature published in the late 1980s is abundant with information on nonthermal effects which are produced at levels below the [IEEE-derived] standards."

Perhaps the Air Force rejected full consideration and analysis of the biological effects of ELF fields in 1993 (when the Air Force issued its ROD for HAARP) due to the rather cutting-edge nature of then-available information. This excuse no longer exists. Scientific understanding of bioeffects has evolved now to the point where the Air Force can no longer deny its existence or simply dismiss this information as "not universally accepted by the large majority of the research community." FEIS Vol. I at 3-147. This is especially true when the Air Force's own expert states that bioeffects are a "major population health concern." White Paper at 12.

NEPA regulations mandate the preparation of a supplemental EIS when there "are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts." 40 C.F.R. ' 1502.9(c)(1). The scientific information on the bioeffects of ELF fields, coupled with the fact that HAARP causes ELF fields, mandates that the Air Force supplement the HAARP EIS.

C. NEPA Purposes Counsel Supplementation

The increasing controversy over the type and range of HAARP's effects and public concern and outright fear of the project, especially among those who live near the HAARP site, counsel that the Air Force reopen the EIS process, if only to quell these fears and concerns. Indeed, NEPA and its implementing regulations contemplate just this type of action. The Air Force "may also prepare supplements [if it] determines that the purposes of [NEPA] will be furthered by doing so." 40 C.F.R. ' 1502.9(c)(2). As described below, NEPA purposes would certainly be furthered by supplementing the EIS.

Congress established through NEPA that it is the policy of the federal government to "create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony." 42 U.S.C. ' 4331(a). The goals of NEPA, intended to further this policy, are to "place upon [a federal] agency the obligation to consider every significant aspect of the environmental impact of [a] proposed action [and to] ensure[] that the agency will inform the public that it has indeed considered environmental concerns in its decisionmaking process." Baltimore Gas & Elec. Co. v. NRDC, 462 U.S. 87 (1983). An EIS, furthermore, "serves as an environmental full disclosure law, providing information which Congress thought the public should have concerning the particular environmental costs involved in a project." Silva v. Lynn, 482 F.2d 1282 (1st Cir. 1973); see also Sierra Club v. Hodel, 848 F.2d 1068, 1094 (10th Cir. 1988); City of Aurora v. Hunt, 749 F.2d 1457, 1465 (10th Cir. 1984).

As the CEQ states, "public scrutiny [is] essential to implementing NEPA" and "NEPA's purpose is not to generate paperwork -- even excellent paperwork -- but [rather] to foster excellent decisions." 40 C.F.R. ' 1500.1(b), (c). CEQ speaks to the importance of the public participation purposes of NEPA in various regulations. For example, the regulations provide that federal agencies "shall to the fullest extent possible . . . [e]ncourage and facilitate public involvement in decisions which affect the quality of the human environment." 40 C.F.R. ' 1500.2(d); see also 40 C.F.R. ' 1505.5(a) (agencies should make diligent efforts to involve the public).

Evidence of this concern emanates from Alaska, where some long-time members of the State legislature have stated that they have never had so many constituents voice fear and concern on one topic. (See e.g., Tape of Alaska State House of Representatives, Committee on State Affairs, HAARP Oversight Hearing, April 2, 1996); see also O'Harra, "HAARP's Mixed Signals; Solid Research Or Menace To Alaskans", Anchorage Daily News (April 7, 1996). In response to the concerns of their constituents, several members of the State Legislature have held oversight hearings on HAARP and stated that they would seek agreement from the Air Force for a thorough, public, review of the project.

Furthermore, significant public debate about HAARP has occurred in many other areas of the globe, including a significant debate played out on the internet over the last couple of years. See Att. A at F-11. Indeed, HAARP has been the subject of numerous documentary and investigative television programs aired in Canada, Great Britain, Japan and the United States. Additionally, radio talk shows have held innumerable programs focused on HAARP.

The vast majority of these programs have focused on the types of concerns expressed above; that the purposes and effects of HAARP were never fully disclosed and that the effects have the potential to be much more far-reaching than those noted in the FEIS.

In contrast, the EIS process resulted in comments from the public primarily focused on construction, physical presence and radio-interference effects of HAARP. See e.g. FEIS Vol. II, sec. 11.0. The commenting public was most concerned with issues such as gravel source, specific siting questions, impact on migrating birds and impact to communication and transportation from HAARP.

In the end, NEPA's integrity is tied to the participation of the public in the process. Sierra Club v. Hodel, 848 F.2d 1068 (10th Cir. 1988); Note, The Tenth Circuit Rediscovers NEPA's Public Participation Policies In Sierra Club v. Hodel, 30 Natural Resources J. 203, 215 (1988). While the Air Force may have made a good faith effort to further the purposes of NEPA through the EIS process, for whatever reason, intense controversy about the HAARP continues. Therefore, we request that the Air Force exercise its discretion to supplement the EIS through a NEPA process which addresses the concerns of the affected public.

IV. The Air Force Should Support Independent Review And Monitoring

Finally, regardless of whether the Air Force agrees to supplement the HAARP EIS, the Air Force should establish and support an independent review and monitoring effort for HAARP. This effort would be aimed at objectively confirming for the public the Air Force's representations about HAARP. In this manner, the concerned public's distrust and fear of HAARP could be directly confronted and diffused. An independent monitoring effort would result in increased confidence among both the local people, who must live with HAARP in their backyard, and those far away but who are concerned about the reach of HAARP, that it cannot and will not cause the biological and other effects of which they are so concerned.

Such a program need not be complicated. The purpose of the effort would be to independently verify that the HAARP facility is operating in the manner espoused by the project participants and to make independent determinations about whether the facility is operating with safe levels. This is exactly the type of program members of the State legislature have requested and is also supported by many concerned members of the public and the scientific community.

Specifically, the Air Force could work with the public, the State Legislature and perhaps the University of Alaska to convene a conference on HAARP. Different viewpoints could be represented at such a conference, which could then provide a foundation for an independent review and monitoring effort.

Finally, implementation of an independent monitoring program could also be relevant to whether or not a supplemental EIS is necessary. See e.g., Portland Audubon Soc'y v. Babbitt, 998 F.2d 705 (9th Cir. 1993); State of California v. Watt, 683 F.2d 1253 (9th Cir. 1982), rev'd on other grounds sub nom, Secretary of Interior v. State of California, 464 U.S. 312 (1983) (alternative agency procedures relevant to need to prepare a supplement to an EIS); New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution v. Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n, 582 F.2d 87 (1st Cir. 1978) (same).

V. Conclusion

While seemingly benign if one were to look solely to the government's description of the purpose, use and effects of HAARP, information from the popular press, independent scientists and investigative researchers raises flags of caution. This information suggests that HAARP might be a government project with potential impacts on many levels, including far-reaching and little understood biological effects on humans and animals.

Despite the data supporting the claims of these project critics, the Air Force has not analyzed these admittedly Jules Verne-esque qualities or potentials of HAARP. Nevertheless, an evaluation of the history of the technology used in HAARP suggests the possibility of exactly these kind of uses for HAARP. To the extent that the government is either unknowingly or intentionally exploring and implicating these types of uses and effects of HAARP, HAARP represents a potentially significant global threat.

To be perfectly clear, we do not suggest by this request that the Air Force, the United States or other project proponents have intended to deceive or otherwise mislead the public about HAARP, its purposes and effects. The fact of the matter is, however, that there simply is not enough information about HAARP to answer all the questions raised and referenced above and in various other fora. Perhaps it is, as the ROD and FEIS suggest, an environmentally-benign project which may bring only beneficial effects to mankind. If this is the case, Alaska would rightfully be proud to be the site for such a worthy endeavor. On the other hand, significant controversy has surrounded the project since its inception and, as detailed above, the questions raised about HAARP have a reasonable basis in fact.

The continuing and serious questions about HAARP reveal that, regardless of the attempts of the Air Force to comply with the law and otherwise inform the public, these efforts have failed. Supplementing the EIS to address these concerns, and establishing an independent review and monitoring program to provide objective evidence of the Air Force's honesty and good faith, would go a long way in changing the current climate of uncertainty and mistrust.

Thank you very much for your careful consideration of this request. Given the rather lengthy time it can take for an agency to consider a request such as this, we would appreciate some indication of the time frame in which you feel it would be reasonable for us to expect a decision. For this purpose, and to direct any comments, questions or further information having to do with this request, please contact:

Peter Van Tuyn, Litigation Director
725 Christensen Dr., #4
Anchorage, Ak, 99501
e-mail : trustees@igc.org

Sincerely,
Peter Van Tuyn

cc (w/out att.): Vice President Al Gore
Governor Tony Knowles
United States Senator Ted Stevens
State of Alaska Representative Gene Kubina
State of Alaska Representative Jeannette James
Tim Wirth, United States State Department
Katie McGinty, United States Council on Environmental Quality

  1. We assume that the Air Force is familiar with this book and has a copy of it. If this is not the case, please let us know and we will gladly provide one for the record. Throughout the remainder of this request letter, we reference multiple authorities, most of which, due to their HAARP-focused subject matter, we assume the Air Force has in its possession. To the extent this is not true, again, just let us know and we will provide copies for the record. Other, less HAARP-specific or more recent references are provided as attachments to this request.
  2. Several other popular press articles have raised similar questions about HAARP and its purpose and effects. See e.g., Farmer, "Mystery in Alaska", Popular Science (September 1995); Zickuhr, "Project HAARP: The Military's Plan To Alter the Atmosphere", Earth Island Journal (1994). Most recently, the Anchorage Daily News presented a cover story on HAARP in its We Alaskans Sunday magazine. O'Harra, "HAARP's Mixed Signals; Solid Research Or Menace To Alaskans", Anchorage Daily News (April 7, 1996).
  3. The Air Force recently stated that "biologists and environmental specialists advising HAARP indicated that there is no rational reason to be concerned" about biological and geophysical issues regarding ionospheric facilities. Letter from John Heckscher, Air Force, to NTIA (Nov. 17, 1994).
  4. A recent report from the Office of Naval Research describes HAARP's operating frequency somewhat narrower than the FEIS: "the primary energy of [HAARP] is confined in the frequency range from 2.8 to 10 Mhz." HAARP Research and Applications, A Joint Program of Phillips Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research, Executive Summary at 6 (June 1995).
  5. There are over 50 references dealing with the topic of electromagnetic fields and bioeffects cited in this article alone. See id. at 415-16.
  6. Compare FEIS at 3-146 to 3-147 (noting "gross heating and subsequent thermal distress" concern).
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