[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 92 (Friday, May 11, 2012)]
[Pages 27742-27743]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11410]



Department of the Navy

Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic 
Fleet Training and Testing

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and regulations implemented by the Council on 
Environmental Quality (40 Code of Federal Regulations parts 1500-1508), 
and Presidential Executive Order (EO) 12114, the Department of the Navy 
(DoN) has prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas EIS 
(OEIS). The Draft EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental 
effects associated with military readiness training and research, 
development, test and evaluation activities (training and testing) 
conducted within the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study 
Area. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is a cooperating 
agency for the EIS/OEIS.
    The Study Area is in the western Atlantic Ocean and encompasses the 
waters off the east coast of North America and the Gulf of Mexico. The 
Study Area covers approximately 2.6 million square nautical miles of 
ocean area, and includes designated DoN operating areas and special use 
airspace. The following DoN testing ranges and range complexes fall 
within the Study Area: Northeast Range Complexes; Naval Undersea 
Warfare Center Division, Newport Testing Range; Virginia Capes Range 
Complex; Navy Cherry Point Range Complex; Jacksonville Range Complex; 
South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility Testing Range; Undersea 
Warfare Training Range; Key West Range Complex; Naval Surface Warfare 
Center, Panama City Division Testing Range; and Gulf of Mexico Range 
Complex. The Study Area only includes the at-sea components of these 
range complexes and testing ranges, with the exception of the 
Narragansett Bay, lower Chesapeake Bay, St. Andrew Bay. Navy pierside 
locations and port transit channels where sonar maintenance and testing 
occur, and bays and civilian ports where training occurs are also 
included in the Study Area as indicated on the map. The remaining 
inland waters and land-based portions of the range complexes are not a 
part of the Study Area and will be or already have been addressed under 
separate environmental planning documentation.
    With the filing of the Draft EIS/OEIS, the DoN is initiating a 60-
day public comment period beginning on May 11, 2012 and ending on July 
10, 2012. During this period, the DoN will conduct five public meetings 
to receive oral and written comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS. This notice 
announces the dates and locations of the public meetings and provides 
supplementary information about the environmental planning effort.

DATES AND ADDRESSES: Public information and comment meetings will be 
held at each of the locations listed below between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 
p.m. The meetings will provide individuals with information on the 
Draft EIS/OEIS in an open house format. DoN and NMFS representatives at 
informational poster stations will be available during the public 
meetings to clarify information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.
    The public meetings will be held between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
following dates and at the following locations:
    1. May 30, 2012 (Wednesday) at Hotel Providence, 139 Mathewson 
Street, Providence, RI;
    2. June 5, 2012 (Tuesday) at Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 
1000 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL;
    3. June 6, 2012 (Wednesday) Hilton Garden Inn Panama City, 1101 
North Highway 231, Panama City, FL;
    4. June 11, 2012 (Monday) at Virginia Beach Convention Center, 1000 
19th Street, Virginia Beach, VA;
    5. June 12, 2012 (Tuesday) at Hampton Inn and Suites Swansboro, 215 
Old Hammock Road, Swansboro, NC.
    Federal, State and local agencies and officials, and interested 
groups and individuals are encouraged to provide comments in person at 
any of the public meetings or in writing anytime during the public 
comment period. At the public meetings, attendees will be able to 
submit comments orally using a voice recorder or in writing. Equal 
weight will be given to oral and written statements. Comments may also 
be submitted via the U.S. Postal Service to Naval Facilities 
Engineering Command Atlantic, Attn Code EV22 (AFTT EIS Project 
Managers), 6506 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23508-1278 or 
electronically via the project Web site (http://www.AFTTEIS.com). All 
statements, oral or written, submitted during the public review period 
will become part of the public record on the Draft EIS/OEIS and will be 
responded to in the Final EIS/OEIS. All written comments must be post 
marked or received by July 10, 2012, to ensure they become part of the 
official record.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naval Facilities Engineering Command 
Atlantic, Attn Code EV22 (AFTT EIS Project Managers), 6506 Hampton 
Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23508-1278.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare this 
DEIS/OEIS was published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2010, (75 
FR 41163).
    The DoN's Proposed Action is to conduct training and testing 
activities--which may include the use of active sonar and explosives--
primarily within existing range complexes and testing ranges along the 
east coast of the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, Navy pierside 
locations, port transit channels, and the lower Chesapeake Bay. The 
purpose of the Proposed Action is to conduct training and testing 
activities to ensure that the DoN meets its mission to maintain, train, 
and equip combat-ready U.S. naval forces capable of winning wars, 
deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas. This Draft 
EIS/OEIS will also support the renewal of federal regulatory permits 
and authorizations for current training and testing activities and to 
propose future training and testing activities requiring environmental 
    The Draft EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of 
three alternatives, including the No Action Alternative and two action 
alternatives. The No Action Alternative continues baseline training and 
testing activities, as defined by existing DoN environmental planning 

[[Page 27743]]

Alternatives 1 and 2 analyze adjustments to Study Area boundaries and 
the location, type, and level of training and testing activities 
necessary to support current and planned DoN training and testing 
requirements through 2019. The analysis addresses force structure 
changes, including those resulting from the development, testing, and 
ultimate introduction of new vessels, aircraft and weapons systems into 
the fleet.
    No significant adverse impacts are identified for any resource area 
in any geographic location within the Study Area that cannot be 
mitigated. Additionally, due to the exposure of marine mammals to 
underwater sound, NMFS has received an application from DoN for a 
Marine Mammal Protection Act Letter of Authorization and governing 
regulations to authorize incidental take of marine mammals that may 
result from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the Draft 
EIS/OEIS. In accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, 
the DoN is consulting with NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as 
appropriate, for potential impacts to federally listed species. In 
accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act, the DoN is consulting with NMFS on federally managed 
species and their essential fish habitat. The DoN will initiate 
consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act regarding 
impacts to historic properties, and will comply with other applicable 
laws and regulations.
    The Draft EIS/OEIS was distributed to Federal, State, and local 
agencies, elected officials, and other interested individuals and 
organizations. Copies of the Draft EIS/OEIS are available for public 
review at the following libraries:
    1. Anne Arundel County Public Library, Annapolis Area Branch, 1410 
West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.
    2. Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 
    3. Ben May Main Library, 701 Government Street, Mobile, AL 36602.
    4. Boston Public Library, Central Library, 700 Boylston Street, 
Boston, MA 02116.
    5. Camden County Public Library, 1410 Highway 40 E, Kingsland, GA 
    6. Carteret County Public Library, 1702 Live Oak Street, Suite 100, 
Beaufort, NC 28516.
    7. Charleston County Public Library, Main Library, 68 Calhoun 
Street, Charleston, SC 29401.
    8. Corpus Christi Public Library, La Retama Library, 805 Comanche, 
Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
    9. East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie, 
LA 70001.
    10. Hatteras Library, 57709 Highway 12, Hatteras, NC 27943.
    11. Havelock-Craven County Public Library, 301 Cunningham 
Boulevard, Havelock, NC 28532.
    12. Houston Public Library, 500 McKinney Street, Houston, TX 77002.
    13. Jacksonville Public Library, Main Library, 303 North Laura 
Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.
    14. Kill Devil Hills Branch Library, Main Library, 400 Mustian 
Street, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948.
    15. Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library, 2517 7th Street, 
Meridian, MS 39301.
    16. New Hanover County Public Library, 201 Chestnut Street, 
Wilmington, NC 28401.
    17. New Orleans Public Library, Main Library, 219 Loyola Avenue, 
New Orleans, LA 70112.
    18. Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch Library, 111 West Ocean View 
Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23503.
    19. Onslow County Public Library, 58 Doris Avenue East, 
Jacksonville, NC 28540.
    20. Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101.
    21. Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street, Providence, RI 
    22. Public Library of New London, 63 Huntington Street, New London, 
CT 06320.
    23. Southmost Branch Library, 4320 Southmost Boulevard, 
Brownsville, TX 78521.
    24. Walton County Coastal Branch Library, 437 Greenway Trail, Santa 
Rosa Beach, FL 32459.
    25. Webb Memorial Library and Civic Center, 812 Evans Street, 
Morehead City, NC 28557.
    26. West Florida Public Library, Main Library, 200 West Gregory 
Street, Pensacola, FL 32502.
    27. West Florida Public Library, Southwest Branch, 12248 Gulf Beach 
Highway, Pensacola, FL 32507.
    28. West Palm Beach Public Library, 411 Clematis Street, West Palm 
Beach, FL 33401.
    Copies of the AFTT Draft EIS/OEIS are available for electronic 
viewing or download at http://www.AFTTEIS.com. A paper copy of the 
Executive Summary or a single compact disc of the Draft EIS/OEIS will 
be made available upon written request by contacting: Naval Facilities 
Engineering Command Atlantic, Attn Code EV22 (AFTT EIS Project 
Managers), 6506 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23508-1278.

    Dated: May 4, 2012.
J.M. Beal,
Lieutenant Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, 
Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-11410 Filed 5-10-12; 8:45 am]