Coast Guard Great Lakes Lead Bullet Live Fire Training

Coast Guard Great Lakes Live Fire Proposed Rule
The United States Coast Guard proposed dumping thousands of pounds of lead each year onto the lake beds of the Great Lakes as part of a newly announced live fire training program.  The Coast Guard paid for a study by CH2M/Hill that states there is no elevated risk necessitating further review.  The study has so many limitations that it cannot be viewed as a credible assessment of the training exercise on human health and the environment.  The study was limited to the cumulative effect of only five years, it ignored existing levels of lead in the Great Lakes, and it assumed the fish stay in the target area and therefore only ever come in contact with fishermen in boats.  So much for the credibility of that study.

Furthermore, the lake bed is titled in, and held in public trust by the the Great Lakes states. It is not a federal facility and the DoD should not act as lead agency over any environmental assessment pursuant to the CWA, RCRA, or CERCLA. 

Public Comments To Proposed Rule

November 9, 2006 - Blue Eco Legal Council submitted public comments to the U.S. Coast Guard's proposed live fire training exercises.  These comments detail violations of several environmental laws.  These comments also serve as our sixty-day notice of intent to sue as required by most environmental statutes.  The purpose of the notice is to first allow the agency to remedy the violations so a lawsuit is not necessary and second to allow the regulatory community an opportunity to pre-empt the suit by dilligently prosecuting the violations.

Blue Eco Files Sixty-Day Notice Of Intent To Sue On Coast Guard and U.S. EPA
November 9, 2006 - Blue Eco Legal Council today filed the pre-requisite notice required by several environmental statutes before litigation may start under their citizen suit provisions.

According to this notice, the Coast Guard live fire training begun January of 2006 is violating the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, RCRA, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and CERCLA.  As administrator, the U.S. EPA is violating its non-discretionary duty to enforce these statutes against the discharge by the Coast Guard of hazardous waste (lead is a persistent bioaccumulative toxin) into the waters of the United States.

Coast Guard Withdraws Rulemaking And Suspends Training
January 5, 2007 - The Coast Guard claims that suspending training until further notice makes further litigation moot on the matter. (until they decide to reinstate training that is)  In our view, this does not make this case fit the wholly past violation bar on citizen suit standing imposed by the Supreme Court decision in Gwaltney.

Blue Eco Files Suit For Systematic Discarding of Lead Bullets by Federal Government
January 14, 2008 - Blue Eco has found that the federal government systematically discards its lead bullets into the Nations waters and have filed suit to enjoin this illegal practice.  This case joins the Coast Guard live fire issue with the FBI's North Chicago training range where bullets are discarded into Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard/FBI case filings have been placed online and updates to the case updates will be made on the FBI North Chicago page.