[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 13 (Friday, January 18, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4134-4135]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01003]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army


Availability of the Draft Finding of No Significant Impact and 
Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force 
Structure Realignment

AGENCY: Department of the Army, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: The Department of the Army announces the availability of the 
draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) and final Programmatic 
Environmental Assessment (PEA) for Army force structure realignments 
that may occur from Fiscal Years (FYs) 2013-2020. The Army must achieve 
force reductions as it transitions from major combat operations in Iraq 
and Afghanistan, while reducing spending without sacrificing critical 
national defense capabilities. The draft FNSI considers a proposed 
action under which the Army's active duty end-strength would be reduced 
from 562,000 at the end of FY 2012 to 490,000 by FY 2020. The PEA 
analyzes two action alternatives: Alternative 1: Implement force 
reductions by inactivating a minimum of eight Brigade Combat Teams 
(BCTs) and realign other combat, combat support, and service support 
units between FY 2013 and FY 2020; and Alternative 2: Implement 
Alternative 1, inactivate additional BCTs, and reorganize remaining 
BCTs by adding an additional combat maneuver battalion and other units. 
The PEA also analyzes a No Action alternative under which the Army 
would not reduce the size of the force. The draft FNSI incorporates the 
PEA which does not identify any significant environmental impacts 
associated with either alternative, with the exception of socioeconomic 
impacts at some installations where a BCT is inactivated and smaller 
organizations realigned. The draft FNSI concludes that preparation of 
an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required. Final 
decisions as to which installations will see BCTs inactivated or units 
realigned have not been made. Additional site-

[[Page 4135]]

specific NEPA analysis may be required at some installations, depending 
on the size of the force realignment.

DATES: Submit comments on or before February 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to: Public Comments USAEC, 
Attention: IMPA-AE (Army 2020 PEA), 2450 Connell Road (Bldg 2264), Fort 
Sam Houston, Texas 78234-7664; or by email to 
USARMY.JBSA.AEC.MBX@mail.mil.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: (210) 466-1590 or email: 
USARMY.JBSA.AEC.MBX@mail.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Implementation of Army force realignment 
will occur over the course of several years to arrive by 2020 at an 
optimally configured force, reduced from an FY 2012 authorized end 
strength of 562,000 to 490,000. Reductions in Army Soldiers will also 
be accompanied by some reduction in civil service employees. These 
actions are being undertaken to reshape the Army's forces to meet more 
effectively national security requirements while reducing the Army's 
end-strength. Force realignment and some level of force reduction will 
impact most major Army installations. The implementation of this force 
rebalancing is necessary to allow the Army to operate in a reduced 
budget climate, while ensuring the Army can continue to support the 
nation's critical defense missions.
    The PEA, upon which the draft FNSI is based, evaluates the largest 
potential force reduction scenarios, as well as growth scenarios from 
BCT restructuring, that could occur at select installations as a result 
of Army force restructuring. This range of potential installation 
reduction and growth (ranging from maximum losses of 8,000 military 
personnel to maximum increases of 3,000 at the Army's largest 
installations) was chosen for the environmental analysis to provide 
flexibility as future force structure realignment decisions are made; 
the specific locations where changes will occur have not been decided.
    The PEA provides information to decision makers concerning 
potential environmental impacts, to include socioeconomic impacts, 
associated with stationing actions as these decisions are made in the 
coming years. The PEA analyzed the direct, indirect, and cumulative 
environmental impacts that may occur at 21 installations. These 
stationing sites were included in the PEA as they are sites that could 
experience a change in Soldiers and civilians that exceeds a total of 
1,000 military personnel. The PEA analyzes the environmental impact of 
two Action alternatives to implement force reduction and realignment: 
Alternative 1: Implement Army force reductions and restructuring of 
BCTs, combat support units, and civilian support between FY 2013 and FY 
2020; and Alternative 2: Implement Alternative 1, inactivate additional 
BCTs and also restructure remaining BCTs by adding an additional combat 
maneuver battalion and/or an engineer battalion. Force reductions that 
may occur as part of the proposed action include the inactivation of 
BCTs and combat support and combat service support units at Army and 
joint base installations. This reduction would include the inactivation 
of at least eight BCTs. In addition to these alternatives, the Army 
also evaluated a No Action alternative. The No Action alternative 
continues current force structure, and retains the active Army at the 
FY 2012 authorized end strength of 562,000. The No Action alternative 
allows for a comparison of baseline conditions with the environmental 
impacts of each of the two Action alternatives.
    Environmental impacts associated with implementation of the two 
Action alternatives include impacts to air quality; airspace; cultural 
and biological resources; noise; soil erosion; wetlands; water 
resources; facilities; socioeconomics; energy demand; land use; 
hazardous materials and waste; and traffic and transportation. No 
significant environmental impacts are anticipated as a result of 
implementing either alternative associated with the proposed action, 
with the exception of socioeconomic impacts. Socioeconomic impacts are 
of particular concern to the Army because they affect communities 
around Army installations. Therefore, the PEA has a comprehensive 
analysis of the socioeconomic impacts to inform the decision makers and 
communities. Impacts could include reduced employment, income, regional 
population, and sales, and some of these impacts could be significant. 
An EIS is not required, however, when the only significant impacts are 
socioeconomic.
    The draft FNSI finds that there are no significant environmental 
impacts with either Action alternative. Final decisions as to which 
alternative will be implemented or which installations will see 
reductions or unit realignments have not been made. Those decisions 
will be made based on mission-related criteria and other factors in 
light of the information contained in the PEA.
    An electronic version of the PEA and draft FNSI is available for 
download at: http://aec.army.mil/usaec/nepa/topics00.html.

Brenda S. Bowen,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2013-01003 Filed 1-17-13; 8:45 am]
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