But the Coast Guard now acknowledges the poorly-publicized plan -- which was quietly published in the federal register in August -- ignited an outcry in part because the agency failed to properly inform the media and the public.Tried to sneak it through? No, say it ain't so.
"They tried to sneak it through," said Michael Bradley, the mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, a Canadian town of 75,000 at the southern tip of Lake Huron.
The Coast Guard halted the firing exercises in August and scheduled public hearings that are nearly complete, saying it will listen to public comment before deciding whether to proceed.
Mayors on both sides of the border including Toronto's David Miller, Chicago's Richard Daley and Bradley have criticized the Coast Guard's proposal as ill-conceived and dangerous.
Later the article swings around to environmental concerns:
Environmental groups are demanding the Coast Guard perform a full-scale environmental impact study and secure a government permit for what they say would amount to dumping 7,000 pounds of lead as well as other metals in the lakes each year.Wait a minute. Lead from fishing tackle has been banned... but we want to shoot more than 3 tons into the lakes every year?
"A lot of the public criticism was that there's already a lot of military waste at the bottom of the lakes that we've been trying to clean up," said Marc Fink, who belongs to a group in Duluth, Minnesota, that has threatened a lawsuit to block the plan.
Lead is a dangerous toxin to animals and humans that is already prohibited from use in fishing tackle, said Jennifer Nalbone of the environmental group Great Lakes United.
Well, doing it in the name of homeland security makes it okay, right?