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Judge Rejects Bush’s Waiver On Navy Sonar

LOS ANGELES (CN) - President Bush overstepped his authority by exempting the U.S. Navy from complying with environmental laws banning sonar training that may be harmful to whales, a federal judge ruled.

Environmentalistssuccessfully sought an injunction against theNavy's use of sonar in anti-submarine warfare exercises conducted off the coast of Southern California, arguing that sonar training harms whales and other marine mammals.

Bush's Jan. 15 waiver shielded the Navy from a preliminary injunction creating a 12 nautical-mile "no-sonar zone" in the coastal waters of Southern California.

U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper said the waiver was not within the president's legal rights, as the Navy is not "exempted from compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and this court's injunction."

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