The public has had its say. Now the Coast Guard will decide if it will go ahead with a plan to conduct live ammunition gunship training off the coast of Wisconsin.
As part of its Homeland Security mission, the Coast Guard says it needs to practice firing machine guns on the Great Lakes. You can go to http://www.uscgd9safetyzones.com/ for the exact locations off Wisconsin in both Lakes Michigan and Superior.
The Commander of the Great Lakes Sector, Capt. Bruce Jones says the rounds used are about the size of the same ammo deer hunters use. He says the practice sites would be used twice a year, four tops, before and after the boating season in the spring and fall and 5 to 8 miles offshore.
Capt. Jones says the public concerns regarding safety and environmental damage have been carefully researched. The Coast Guard hired an independent environmental consultant to access the possible damage with all that lead and copper falling into the water. The Coast Guard says the report showed the affect to be insignificant.
The public comment phase is over after being extended once. The District Commander in Cleveland reviews the information and makes a recommendation to the USCG Commandant in Washington DC. He makes the final decision as to whether the plan should be scrapped, approved as originally proposed or changed to reflect the public's concerns