SILVERDALE, Wash - The U.S. Navy will hold eight open house public meetings to provide information, answer questions, and give the public an opportunity to comment on the 2015 Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) Final Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS). The Navy prepared the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS to reassess the potential environmental impacts associated with conducting proposed ongoing and future military readiness activities within the NWTT Study Area, referred to as the "Study Area." Military readiness activities include training and research, development, testing, and evaluation activities, referred to as "training and testing." The Navy welcomes substantive public comments on the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS.
The Navy's Proposed Action is to conduct training and testing activities at sea and in associated airspace within the Study Area beyond 2020. These activities continue to include the use of active sound navigation and ranging, known as sonar, and explosives while employing marine species mitigation measures. Proposed activities are similar to those conducted in the Study Area for decades and analyzed in the 2015 document.
The purpose of the Proposed Action, which remains the same as the 2015 analysis, is to conduct training and testing activities to ensure the Navy can accomplish its mission to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas, consistent with Congressional direction in section 8062 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code.
In the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS, the Navy evaluated new, relevant information, such as more recent marine mammal density data and new scientific information, and updated the environmental analyses as appropriate. The Navy prepared the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS to support the issuance of federal regulatory permits and authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
To achieve and maintain military readiness, the Navy proposes to:
. Conduct training and testing activities, at sea and in associated airspace, at levels required to support military readiness requirements beyond 2020.
. Accommodate evolving mission requirements, including those resulting from the development, testing, and introduction of new vessels, aircraft, and weapons systems into the fleet.
The Study Area remains unchanged since the 2015 NWTT Final EIS/OEIS. The Study Area is comprised of established maritime operating areas and warning areas in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, including areas within the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and the Western Behm Canal in southeastern Alaska. The Study Area includes air and water space within and outside Washington state waters and established special use airspace, Navy pierside and harbor locations within Washington state waters, and air and water space outside the state waters of Oregon and Northern California. In the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS, the Navy analyzed only those training and testing activities conducted at sea and in associated airspace within the Study Area.
Visit the project website at www.NWTTEIS.com to download the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS, view other project information, and submit substantive comments online.
Open house public meetings:
The Navy will hold eight open house public meetings to provide information, answer questions, and give the public an opportunity to comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS. The public may arrive at any time between 5 and 8 p.m., as there will not be a presentation or formal oral comment session. A stenographer will be available for the public to facilitate one-on-one oral comments; written comments can be submitted at any time during the meetings.
The open house public meetings will be held at the following locations: Washington:
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 Hampton Inn Seattle/Everett Downtown Salish Room 2931 W. Marine View Drive Everett, Wash.
Thursday, April 25, 2019 Ridgetop Middle School Cafeteria 10600 Hillsboro Drive NW Silverdale, Wash.
Friday, April 26, 2019 Naval Elks Lodge #353 131 E. First St. Port Angeles, Wash.
Monday, April 29, 2019 Astoria High School Student Commons 1001 W. Marine Drive Astoria, Ore.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 Newport Performing Arts Center Lobby 777 W. Olive St. Newport, Ore.
Northern California: Thursday, May 2, 2019 Red Lion Hotel Eureka Ballroom 1929 Fourth St. Eureka, Calif.
Friday, May 3, 2019 Dana Grey Elementary School Multipurpose Room 1197 Chestnut St. Fort Bragg, Calif.
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Ted Ferry Civic Center Naha and Alava Bays 888 Venetia Ave. Ketchikan, Alaska