Comments on EIS for GMD Test Expansion

March/April, 2002

Carloyn Heitman comments - April 7 | Bruce K. Gagnon comments - March 29

(See also: Missile defense meeting veers to address purpose
More Star Wars Tests - EIS Scoping;
and Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Extended Test Range Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) v Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Validation of Operational Concept Environmental Assessment (EA))

From: Carolyn Heitman

Here's an example of concerns to those of us in Kodiak (which the BMDO has never publicly addressed), and which, I am going to send comments to Julia Hudson-Elliot at [email protected]  BEFORE the April 16th Kodiak Public Scoping Meeting.  Since the rest of you will be commenting for the SAME Draft EIS, feel free to use any of the following ideas in your written comments (or verbal comments at the Scoping meetings).  Of course, re-worded , because the examples I am giving you here, is what I am sending in myself.  Also, your verbal comments will be 'recorded' at the Scoping Meetings, and have as much weight as your written ones, at least that is what Lt. Col. Lehner said.
Here are some of my comments.
(1) What are the hazards and risks associated with the Strategic Target System (STARS) launcher, booster stages and payloads (Navy Polaris A3 stage 1 and 2, and Orbus-1 stage 3) and any other proposed launch vehicles to be used from Alaska  or Vandenberg AFB ( will PAC-3 be used?)
(2) List all Hypergolic Missile Fuels, Oxidizers, Pesticides, and other hazardous materials for future storage and use at proposed launch sites for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Program (and any health hazards associated with such).
(3) An up-to-date Seismic Study needs to be done for Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island before any further KLC infrastructure takes place. The results need to be made public and included in the Draft EIS before completion. 
(4)  The MDA must eliminate the 225 degree SW launch trajectory down the east side of Kodiak Island.  That particular trajectory puts the whole south end of Kodiak Island within the 70 nm Warning Zone, and will jeopardize the safety of Kodiak Island village residents from any potential missile accident, missile fallout and contaminates.
(5) List the names of ALL Alaska regions or communities which will be potentially affected by the MDA's proposed activities (short or long-term).
(6) What is the Waste Water Plan and hazards? Where will the run-off go from the hosed down launch pads and launch pad flame trenches, and what are the hazards to surrounding areas, waters and wildlife from any chemical run-off?
(7) The Research and Development Launchers list for the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Memorandum of Understanding Accountability (R&D Launchers for INF MOU Accountability), states that Launchers will be 'fixed' and 'above ground'.   Interceptors CAN NOT be launched from Deployment locations.  Launching missile interceptors from Kodiak Island and Vandenberg AFB would be in violation of the INF Treaty MOU, as would any future MDA plans to launch interceptors from Ft. Greeley, Alaska.
(8)  What will be the short and long-term impacts to subsistence and commercial fisheries from the GMD Extended Test Range activities ( all coastline communities and Open Water areas in the N. Pacific)?
(9) List all radars and locations (portable or fixed), high-frequency radar antennas, and/or 'Directed Energy' tests proposed for the GMD ETB, along with the power transmission capabilities of each, and any human health hazards from the electromagnetic frequency transmissions.
(10)  The No Action Alternative should be taken for the GMD ETR program. The MDA has not proven to public satisfaction that the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Program is needed, or worthy of  hundreds of billions of taxpayers dollars, at the expense of loss revenue to social and educational programs in our country.  Our homeland should not be further contaminated and polluted by the testing of new weapons systems, which are being developed solely for the purpose of selling to U.S, allies as soon as technology feasible. The testing of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Program, will not protect the U.S. from terrorists attacks, and that is what the Department of Defense should be concentrating on at this time, rather than developing 'new' weapons systems to test in environmentally sensitive areas, such as Alaska.
Hopefully, this will be helpful and give you some ideas on what to comment on for the Draft EIS.

From: Bruce Gagnon

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
Mrs. Julia Hudson-Elliott
106 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35805

Dear Mrs. Hudson-Elliott:

I am writing concerning the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Extended Test Range Environmental Impact Statement now under development by the Pentagon.

Our organization, made up of 159 affiliates around the world, wishes to express our objection to any expansion of testing of Star Wars technology at any of the proposed locations.  In fact, we strongly object to all so-called "missile defense" tests now underway at these sites.

It has long been our contention that "missile defense" is actually a Trojan Horse.  We have read countless times the words of leaders of the U.S. Space Command, as outlined in their Vision for 2020 and Long Range Plans, that call for U.S. "control and domination" of space and for the development of space technologies that would allow for the U.S. to "deny" other countries access to space.  Missile defense thus becomes the sales pitch, the way to get the American people to spend hundreds and hundreds of billions of our hard-earned tax dollars on this spark that will create a new arms race.

We must ask who the real enemy is?  North Korea, who has suspended their missile testing program and who today has zero nuclear weapons capable of hitting the U.S.?  China, who today has twenty nuclear weapons capable of hitting the U.S. while we have 7,500 that we could hit them back with? Obviously there is no real threat.

The real threat actually is that the development of Star Wars will threaten world peace.  Star Wars will trigger responses by other countries.  Star Wars will be destabilizing.  We cannot help but wonder if this is the true intent of U.S. policy.

An arms race in space will allow the military industrial complex to essentially drain the federal budget.  Cuts in education, health care, social security and other human needs programs will be the only way to pay for a space arms race.  In the end life for the people will become worse.

The alternative to the Pentagon is clear.  Suspend plans to expand Star Wars testing.  Cancel the current testing program.  Save the American people hundreds of billions of dollars.  Promote real peace in the world.

If the U.S. would join Canada, China and Russia's invitation to sign a global ban on weapons in space then there would clearly be no need to develop Star Wars.  But up to this point the U.S. position has been that "there is no problem, therefore no need to negotiate a ban on weapons in space."  This of course is a disingenuous position by our country.

The ultimate environmental impact is that this proposal to expand testing could help lead to the destruction of our Mother Earth.  Could there be any greater reason not to go forward?

In peace,

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 90083
Gainesville, FL. 32607
(352) 337-9274
[email protected]


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