Tribe asks for review of Project ELF
Article Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
Sept. 10, 2001
Ashland - An American Indian tribe is asking the
U.S. Navy to study whether a military communications system
has caused health and environmental problems, but the
Navy called such a study unnecessary.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa band of northwestern
Wisconsin wants to know whether electromagnetic fields
from the Navy's Project ELF, an extremely-low-frequency
antenna system, are having any detrimental effect on the
The Navy uses the system near Clam Lake and one like
it in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to communicate with submarines
around the world.
The tribe will explain why it wants the study at five
public meetings in September and October, when it hopes
to garner support for its request. The Navy said it hasn't
decided whether to send a representative to those meetings.
Scientists found no detrimental effects from the system's
electromagnetic fields in previous studies of the Clam
Lake site, but the tribe is asking for more information.
The tribe believes studies costing at least $3 million
are needed to make sure the U.S. Department of Defense
is not violating the treaty rights of Chippewa tribes
in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, said Dan Peterson,
coordinator of the Lac Courte Oreilles Department of Defense
The tribe believes Project ELF could pose health and
safety dangers to all northwestern Wisconsin residents,
The tribe wants the Navy to study the incidence of cancer
among people in four counties around the site and to look
at any stray current in the area.
Five Great Lakes-area universities conducted Navy-sponsored
studies costing $25 million between 1969 and 1993 and
found no major effects from the ELF system. Further testing
would be a waste of money, Navy spokesman Richard Williamson