Navy asks court to reject wharf challenge

TACOMA — The Navy is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit over its plans to build a second explosives-handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap.

The case was filed by the Poulsbo-based Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, which said the Navy failed to fully consider how the presence of a second explosives wharf could compound the danger of an explosion. The group wants the judge to order the Navy to conduct an environmental analysis that takes into account the possibility that an explosion at one wharf would trigger further explosions at the other.

The Navy says it needs the $715 million wharf to handle missiles as they’re loaded on and off Trident nuclear submarines, because the existing one was built in the 1970s and is no longer sufficient.

In a motion filed last week, the Navy asked a federal court judge in Tacoma to reject the lawsuit. It says the chances of an explosion are less than one in a million, and that its analysis of any explosion risk is sensitive information that can’t be disclosed publicly.

Construction began last year and is due to be completed in 2016.

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