[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Pages 56682-56684]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22296]



Department of the Navy

Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Military 
Readiness Activities in the Mariana Islands Training and Testing Study 

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, and regulations implemented by the Council on 
Environmental Quality (40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 1500-1508), 
and Presidential Executive Order 12114, the Department of the Navy 
(DoN) has prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental 
Impact Statement (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 Mariana Islands Training and Testing 
(MITT) Study

[[Page 56683]]

Area. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the U.S. Air Force, 
and the U.S. Coast Guard are cooperating agencies for this EIS/OEIS.
    The MITT Study Area is composed of established ranges (at-sea 
ranges and land based training areas on Guam and the Commonwealth of 
Northern Mariana Islands [CNMI]); operating areas; and special use 
airspace in the region of the Mariana Islands that are part of the 
Mariana Islands Range Complex (MIRC) and its surrounding seas; includes 
a transit corridor between the MIRC and the Hawaii Range Complex; and 
Navy pierside locations where sonar maintenance and testing activities 
    With the filing of the Draft EIS/OEIS, the DoN is initiating a 60-
day public comment period and has scheduled four public meetings to 
receive 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: The 60-day Draft EIS/OEIS public review period 
will begin September 13, 2013 and end November 12, 2013. The DoN will 
hold four public meetings to inform the public about the Proposed 
Action and alternatives under consideration, and to provide an 
opportunity for the public to comment on the Proposed Action, 
alternatives, and the adequacy and accuracy of the analysis in the 
Draft EIS/OEIS. Each of the public meetings will include an open house 
information session and an opportunity to present oral comments. DoN 
representatives will be available during the public meetings to clarify 
information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS. Federal and local agencies 
and officials, and interested organizations and individuals are 
encouraged to provide comments in writing during the public review 
period or in person at one of the scheduled public meetings.
    The public meetings will be held between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on 
the following dates:
    1. October 7, 2013, 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. October 8, 2013, at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in 
Susupe, Saipan, MP 96950.
    3. October 9, 2013, at the Tinian High School Cafeteria, San Jose 
Village, Tinian, MP 96952.
    4. October 10, 2013, at the Sinapalo Elementary School Cafeteria, 
Sinapalo I, Songsong Village, Rota, MP 96951.
    Attendees will be able to submit oral and written comments during 
the public meetings. Oral comments from the public will be recorded by 
a court reporter. In the interest of available time, and to ensure all 
who wish to provide an oral comment to the court reporter have the 
opportunity to do so, each speaker's comments will be limited to three 
(3) minutes, which may be extended if meeting attendance permits. 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 Pacific, Attention: MITT EIS/OEIS Project Manager, 
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134, or 
electronically via the project Web site (www.MITT-EIS.com). All 
comments, 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 public comments must be 
postmarked or received by November 12, 2013, Chamorro Standard Time 
(ChST) to ensure they become part of the official record.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naval Facilities Engineering Command 
Pacific, Attention: MITT EIS/OEIS Project Manager, 258 Makalapa Drive, 
Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Intent to prepare this Draft 
EIS/OEIS was published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2011 
(Vol. 76, No. 174, pp. 55653-55654).
    The DoN's Proposed Action is to conduct training and testing 
activities, which may include the use of active Sound Navigation and 
Ranging (sonar) and explosives, primarily in established operating and 
military warning areas of the MITT Study Area. The Proposed Action also 
includes pierside sonar maintenance and testing alongside Navy piers 
located in Inner Apra Harbor, and land-based training activities at 
existing ranges and other training locations on Guam and the CNMI.
    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 military services 
accomplish their mission to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready 
military 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 
activities requiring environmental analysis.
    The Draft EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of 
three alternatives, including the No Action Alternative. The No Action 
Alternative continues baseline training and testing activities, and 
airspace and seaspace reconfigurations, as defined by existing 
environmental planning documents. Alternative 1 (Preferred Alternative) 
consists of the No Action Alternative, plus adjustments to the Study 
Area boundaries and to the types and levels of training and testing 
activities as necessary to support current and planned requirements. 
This alternative consists of 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 vessels, aircraft, and weapons systems into the 
Fleet. Alternative 2 consists of all activities that would occur under 
Alternative 1, plus additional adjustments to the types and levels of 
training and testing activities. Alternative 2 is contingent upon 
potential budget increases, strategic necessity, and future training 
and testing requirements.
    In this EIS/OEIS, the DoN analyzes potential impacts on 
environmental resources resulting from activities under the 
alternatives. Resources evaluated include sediments and water quality, 
air quality, marine habitats, marine mammals, sea turtles, marine 
birds, marine vegetation, marine invertebrates, fish, terrestrial 
species and habitats, cultural resources, socioeconomic resources, and 
public health and safety.
    DoN is requesting from NMFS a Marine Mammal Protection Act 
incidental take authorization and governing regulations for the 
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 on the 
potential impacts of training and testing activities on 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 Draft EIS/OEIS was distributed to Federal and local agencies, 
elected officials, and other interested organizations and individuals. 
Copies of the Draft EIS/OEIS are also available for public review at 
the following public libraries:

[[Page 56684]]

    1. University of Guam Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library, 
Government Documents Tan Siu Lin Building, University of Guam Station, 
Mangilao, GU 96923.
    2. Tinian Public Library, P.O. Box 520704, Tinian, MP 96952.
    3. Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, Insatto St., Beach Road, Susupe P.O. 
Box 501092, Saipan, MP 96950.
    4. Nieves M. Flores Memorial Public Library, 254 Martyr St., 
Hagatna, GU 96910.
    5. Rota Public Library, P.O. Box 537, Rota, MP 96951.
    The Draft EIS/OEIS is also available for electronic viewing at 
www.MITT-EIS.com. A compact disc of the Draft EIS/OEIS will be made 
available upon written request by contacting: Naval Facilities 
Engineering Command Pacific, Attention: MITT EIS/OEIS Project Manager, 
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134.

    Dated: September 5, 2013.
N.A. Hagerty-Ford,
Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, Federal 
Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2013-22296 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]