The temporary restraining order that prevented the U.S. Navy from using mid-frequency active sonar during the 2006 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise has been lifted following successful negotiations between Navy and the plaintiffs.
"It is critically important that we have been able to turn active sonar on for the rest of the RIMPAC exercise," said Rear Admiral James Symonds, Director of Environmental Readiness. "We want to ensure that the U.S. Navy and its partner navies get the benefit of this opportunity to train in anti-submarine warfare."
In addition to the mid-frequency sonar mitigation measures adopted as part of the National Marine Fisheries Service's Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) from June 27, 2006, the Navy has agreed to adopt a small number of additional mitigation measures, resulting in the plaintiff agreeing to remove the lawsuit and hence the lifting of the temporary restraining order.
Sonar operations associated with the RIMPAC 2006 exercise with the full set of mitigation standards could commence as early as this weekend.