TILLAMOOK - The Navy has agreed to hold another public hearing to address concerns about a plan to expand its training operation off the Oregon Coast.

In a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, a Navy official said Wednesday that the department would hold the meeting in Tillamook County. The date has not been set, but it will be around Feb. 26.

Donald Schregardus, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, said the department would also extend the public comment period to March 11.

The Navy wants to schedule more training flights, add a dummy minefield-avoidance training course, and increase the use of sonar.

Fishermen worry about munitions debris tearing up nets and longer closures of the large swaths of ocean. Environmental groups say the increased use of sonar will harm whales and other marine mammals.


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