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Navy Report Delays Radar Hazard Hearing

January 09, 1998|HILARY E. MacGREGOR

Navy officials have provided a new report to activists worried about health hazards of a radar installation at Port Hueneme.

A hearing on the Port Hueneme Surface Warfare Engineering Facility scheduled for next week before the California Coastal Commission will be postponed until March to give residents time to read the report, beach-area resident Lee Quaintance said.

The Navy, citing concerns about national safety, has not released documents sought by the activists.

Release of the new 28-page report--not among the material sought--is a victory of sorts for the group. But Quaintance said they have problems with it.

"We did not find in here much more than blanket statements not backed by any data that can be independently verified," Quaintance said.

The issue of potentially dangerous radar emissions is at the center of a dispute between the Navy and Oxnard beach area residents.

About a year ago, the Navy released part of a study on whether residents are being subjected to hazardous radiation. Navy officials concluded that residents are not in any danger.

In setting the issue for a hearing, the Coastal Commission asked the Navy to answer several questions, including what the worst-case exposure level could be at nearby public recreation spots.

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