Northwest Training and Testing Final EIS is available to public
SILVERDALE, Wash. — The U.S. Navy has completed the Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) Final Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS), which is available for public review.
The completion of the Final EIS/OEIS follows years of research, analysis and public involvement. The Navy held nine public scoping meetings in March 2012, eight public meetings in February and March 2014 for the Draft EIS/OEIS, and four public meetings in January 2015 for the Supplement to the NWTT Draft EIS/OEIS.
In the Final EIS/OEIS, the Navy evaluated the potential environmental effects from military readiness training and testing activities conducted primarily within existing range complexes and testing ranges in the NWTT Study Area.
The Final EIS/OEIS is available for public review online at www.NWTTEIS.com and at the following locations:
· Everett Main Library
· Gig Harbor Library
· Jefferson County Library – Port Hadlock
· Kitsap Regional Library – Poulsbo
· Kitsap Regional Library – Sylvan Way (Bremerton)
· Oak Harbor Public Library
· Port Angeles Main Library
· Port Townsend Public Library
· Timberland Regional Library
· Timberland Regional Library – Hoquiam
· Astoria Public Library
· Driftwood Public Library
· Newport Public Library
· Tillamook Main Library
· Hatfield Marine Science Center
· Fort Bragg Branch Library
· Humboldt County Public Library,
Arcata Main Library
· Humboldt County Public Library,
Eureka Main Library
· Redwood Coast Senior Center
· Juneau Public Library,
· Ketchikan Public Library
Regulations provide for a 30-day wait period after the Final EIS/OEIS is published before the Navy may make a decision and take action on the proposal. During this time, the public has the opportunity to see how the Navy has adjusted the document from the Draft EIS. No public meetings will be held during this wait period.
All tribal government, agency and public comments received during the Draft EIS comment period (Jan. 24 –April 15, 2014) and the Supplement to the Draft EIS comment period (Dec. 19, 2014 – Feb. 2, 2015) were reviewed and considered in the development of the Final EIS. Also included in the Final EIS is a list of comments received, and the Navy’s responses to those comments, including references to any sections that may have been modified based on a comment.
The Final EIS is also being reviewed by agency and Navy leadership, including the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, who will ultimately make the decision regarding which Alternative will be selected to accomplish the Proposed Action.
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to ensure that the Navy accomplishes its mission to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. This mission is achieved in part by training and testing within at-sea areas collectively referred to as the NWTT Study Area. The NWTT EIS/OEIS also supports the renewal of federal regulatory permits and authorizations for current training and testing activities and future activities requiring environmental analysis.
The Navy proposes to conduct training and testing activities primarily within existing range complexes, operating areas (OPAREAs), and testing ranges located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, to include portions of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and the Western Behm Canal in southeastern Alaska. Navy training and testing activities may include the use of explosives and sonar sources within the Study Area.
The NWTT EIS/OEIS reassesses the environmental impacts of Navy at-sea training and testing activities contained in three previous EIS/OEISs and various earlier environmental planning documents, including the following:
o Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC) Final EIS/OEIS
o Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Keyport Range Complex Extension Final EIS/OEIS
o Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility (SEAFAC) Final EIS
The NWTT EIS/OEIS consolidates these analyses into a single environmental planning document, adjusts baseline training and testing activities from current levels to the level needed to support Navy training and testing requirements beginning November 2015, and updates environmental analyses with the best available science and most current acoustic analysis methods to evaluate the potential effects of training and testing activities on the marine environment,
Visit the project website at www.NWTTEIS.com to learn more about the project. For other information about your Navy in the Northwest Region, please visit the Navy Region Northwest website at www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw.