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Ventura County Roundup | Port Hueneme

Radar Testing Poses No Risk, Panel Says

March 26, 2000|GINA PICCALO

A state-appointed panel of scientists has announced that radar testing at the Port Hueneme naval base poses no risk to wildlife or public health, but adds that the Navy should increase its efforts to monitor safety.

The panel was formed last year by the California Coastal Commission after neighboring residents and environmentalists expressed concern that the Surface Warfare Engineering Facility could be a health hazard.

The group announced its findings Thursday.

Panelists recommended the Navy designate a special officer to monitor radio frequency at the 50,000-square-foot testing facility. Navy reports on radio frequency should be written for the public, scientists said.

The panel also recommended that video cameras be mounted to monitor tall ships in the harbor and birds roosting on antennas.

The commanding officer of the station, Capt. James Phillips, said the findings will enhance the effectiveness of his operations, which test and support the Navy's weapon systems.

Panelists included Robert Beason, a bird expert from the State University of New York; John A. D'Andrea, a biomedical researcher with the U.S. Air Force; Edwin D. Mantiply, a radio frequencies expert with the Environmental Protection Agency; Ross Ade of the UC Riverside; and Dr. J. Elder, a physician.

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