[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 174 (Thursday, September 8, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55653-55654]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22985]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Navy


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/
Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Military Readiness 
Activities in the Mariana Islands Training and Testing Study Area and 
To Announce Public Scoping Meetings

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, as implemented by the Council on Environmental 
Quality Regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulations parts 1500-1508), 
and

[[Page 55654]]

Executive Order 12114, the Department of the Navy (DoN) announces its 
intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas 
Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS) to evaluate the potential 
environmental effects associated with maintaining military readiness 
training and research, development, testing, and evaluation (hereafter 
referred to as ``training and testing'') activities conducted in the 
Mariana Islands Training and Testing (MITT) EIS/OEIS Study Area. The 
MITT Study Area includes the existing Mariana Islands Range Complex 
(MIRC), additional areas on the high seas, and a general transit 
corridor between Hawaii to MITT where training and testing activities 
may occur. The MIRC is the only major Navy range complex in the Study 
Area.
    The DoN is preparing this EIS/OEIS to renew current regulatory 
permits and authorizations, address current training and testing not 
covered under existing permits and authorizations, and to obtain those 
permits and authorizations necessary to support force structure changes 
and emerging and future training and testing requirements including 
those associated with new platforms and weapons systems within the MITT 
Study Area, starting in 2015, thereby ensuring critical Department of 
Defense (DoD) requirements are met.
    The DoN will invite the National Marine Fisheries Service, United 
States (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Service (Pacific Islands Fish and 
Wildlife Office), and U.S. Air Force, to be cooperating agencies in 
preparation of the EIS/OEIS.

DATES AND ADDRESSES: Five public scoping meetings will be held between 
5 and 8 p.m. on:
    1. Thursday, September 22, 2011, at the University of Guam, Leon 
Guerrero School of Business and Public Administration Building, Anthony 
Leon Guerrero Multi-Purpose Room 129, Mangilao, Guam 96923.
    2. Friday, September 23, 2011, at the Southern High School 
Cafeteria, 1 Jose Perez Leon Guerrero Drive, Santa Rita, Guam 
96915.
    3. Monday, September 26, 2011, at the Multi-Purpose Center in 
Susupe, Saipan 96950.
    4. Tuesday, September 27, 2011, at the Tinian High School 
Cafeteria, San Jose Village, Tinian, MP 96952.
    5. Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at the Sinapalo Elementary School 
Cafeteria, Sinapalo I, Songsong Village, Rota, MP 96951
    Each of the five scoping meetings will consist of an informal, open 
house session with information stations staffed by DoN representatives. 
Meeting details will be announced in local newspapers. Additional 
information concerning meeting times will be available on the EIS/OEIS 
Web page located at: http://www.mitt-eis.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Nora Macariola-See, Naval 
Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific. Attention: MITT EIS/OEIS, 258 
Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Building 258, Floor 3, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 
96860-3134.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The DoN's proposed action is to conduct 
military training and testing activities, including the use of active 
sonar and explosives, within the MITT Study Area. While the majority of 
training and testing activities take place in established training and 
testing areas, some activities, such as sonar maintenance and gunnery 
exercises are conducted concurrent with normal transits.
    The MIRC is one component of the MITT Study Area, encompassing 
501,873 square nautical miles of open ocean. In addition to the areas 
covered within the MIRC, the Study Area also includes additional areas 
on the high seas and transit corridors where training and testing 
activities may occur.
    The proposed action is to conduct military training and testing 
activities in the MITT study area. The purpose of the proposed action 
is to achieve and maintain military readiness to meet the requirements 
of Title 10 of the U.S. Code, thereby ensuring that the DoN and other 
Services meet their mission to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready 
military forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and 
maintaining freedom of the seas.
    Three alternatives will be analyzed in the MITT EIS/OEIS. The No 
Action Alternative would continue baseline training and testing 
activities, as defined by existing environmental planning documents.
    Alternative 1 consists of baseline training and testing activities 
and overall expansion of the Study Area plus adjustments to types and 
levels of activities as necessary to support current and planned 
military training and testing requirements. This Alternative considers 
activities conducted throughout the Study Area and mission requirements 
associated with force structure changes, including those resulting from 
the development, testing, and ultimate introduction of new platforms 
(vessels, aircraft) and weapons systems.
    Alternative 2 consists of Alternative 1 plus the establishment of 
new range capabilities, modifications of existing capabilities, 
adjustments to type and tempo of training and testing activities, and 
the establishment of additional locations to conduct training and 
testing activities within the Study Area.
    Resource areas that will be addressed because of the potential 
effects from the Proposed Action include, but are not limited to, ocean 
and biological resources (including marine mammals and threatened and 
endangered species), terrestrial resources, air quality, noise, 
cultural resources, transportation, regional economy, recreation, and 
public health and safety.
    The scoping process will be used to identify community concerns and 
local issues that will be addressed in the EIS/OEIS. Federal agencies, 
state agencies, local agencies, the public, and interested persons are 
encouraged to provide comments to the DoN to identify specific issues 
or topics of environmental concern that the commenter believes the DoN 
should consider. All comments provided orally or in writing at the 
scoping meetings, will receive the same consideration during EIS/OEIS 
preparation. Written comments must be postmarked no later than November 
7, 2011, and should be mailed to: Naval Facilities Engineering Command, 
Pacific, 258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96869-3134, 
Attention: MITT EIS/OEIS Project Manager.

    Dated: September 1, 2011.
L.M. Senay,
Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Alternate 
Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2011-22985 Filed 9-7-11; 8:45 am]
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