SILVERDALE, Wash — The U.S. Navy has prepared a draft supplement to the 2011 Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Navy Training Activities Final Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) and the 2016 GOA Navy Training Activities Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS. In the 2020 Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS, the Navy assesses the potential environmental effects associated with continuing periodic military readiness activities in the GOA Temporary Maritime Activities Area (TMAA). The Navy welcomes public review and comments on the 2020 Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS.
The purpose of this Supplemental EIS/OEIS is to update the 2011 and 2016 impact analyses with new information and analytical methods. New information includes an updated acoustic effects model, updated marine species density data and hearing criteria, and other emergent best available science. The Navy is not proposing new activities or an increase in activities from current levels. Proposed training activities are similar to those that have occurred in the GOA TMAA for decades and are the same as those analyzed in the 2011 and 2016 impact analyses.
The Navy is preparing a Supplemental EIS/OEIS to renew required federal regulatory permits and authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, which expire in April 2022. The Supplemental EIS/OEIS supports naval training requirements to achieve and maintain fleet readiness as required by Title 10 of the U.S. Code.
The Navy’s Proposed Action is to continue periodic military training activities within the GOA TMAA. The geographic extent of the GOA TMAA and Proposed Action, including the location, number, and frequency of major training exercises, remain unchanged from the 2016 GOA Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS. Although the types of activities and number of events in the Proposed Action are the same as in previous documents (Alternative 1 in both the 2011 and 2016 impact analyses), there have been changes in the platforms and systems used in those activities. For example, the EA-6B aircraft and frigate, and their associated systems, have been replaced by the EA-18G aircraft, Littoral Combat Ship, and Destroyer. The Supplemental EIS/OEIS includes the analysis of at-sea training activities projected to meet readiness requirements beyond 2022 and into the reasonably foreseeable future, and reflects the most up-to-date compilation of training activities deemed necessary to accomplish military readiness during that time period.
The Navy is seeking public review and comment on the Proposed Action, alternatives, and the accuracy and adequacy of the environmental analysis. Visit the project website at www.GOAEIS.com to download the 2020 Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS, view project information, and submit substantive comments online.
The Navy is committed to providing the public an accessible version of the 2020 Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS during COVID-19 conditions. If you need assistance accessing the document or attending the virtual public meetings, please contact Ms. Julianne Stanford, Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs Office, at email@example.com or 360-867-8525. For all other queries or if you require additional information about the project, please contact Ms. Kimberly Kler, GOA Supplemental EIS/OEIS Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments may be submitted online at www.GOAEIS.com or by mail to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
Attention: GOA Supplemental EIS/OEIS Project Manager
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101
The Navy will accept comments throughout the public comment period from Dec. 11, 2020, to Feb. 16, 2021. To be considered in the development of the Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS, comments must be postmarked or received online by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time Feb. 16, 2021. All comments submitted during the comment period will become part of the public record, and substantive comments will be addressed in the Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS.
Due to COVID-19 travel and public event restrictions, the Navy is holding virtual public meetings, consisting of a presentation and question and answer session, to discuss the Proposed Action and the draft environmental impact analysis. Visit www.GOAEIS.com/VPM to learn more about and attend a virtual public meeting. An audio-only option will also be available.
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, 3 to 4 p.m. Alaska Standard Time
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, 5 to 6 p.m. Alaska Standard Time
Substantive questions for discussion with Navy representatives at the virtual public meetings can be submitted between Jan. 11 and 18 for the Jan. 19 meeting, and between Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 for the Feb. 3 meeting. Email questions to email@example.com or complete the form at www.GOAEIS.com.