[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 197 (Friday, October 13, 2017)]
[Pages 47729-47731]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-22195]



Department of the Navy

Notice of Public Meetings of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Hawaii-Southern 
California Training and Testing

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: 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). It is the 
role of DoN to maintain, train and equip combat ready naval forces 
capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom 
of the seas. To fulfil its role, the DoN will continue ongoing military 
readiness activities, which include training and research, development, 
testing, and evaluation activities (hereafter referred to as ``training 
and testing'') conducted within the Hawaii-Southern California Training 
and Testing (HSTT) EIS/OEIS Study Area (hereafter referred to as the 
``Study Area''). In the Draft EIS/OEIS, the DoN re-evaluates potential 
environmental impacts associated with training and testing in the study 
area. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is a cooperating 
agency for this 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 meetings will include an open-house 
information session, followed by a short presentation by the DoN and 
public oral comment session. DoN representatives will be available 
during the open-house information sessions to clarify information 
related to the Draft EIS/OEIS. Federal, state, and local agencies and 
officials, and interested organizations and individuals are encouraged 
to provide substantive comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS in writing during 
the public review period or in person at one of the scheduled public 
    Public meetings will be held in Hawaii from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and 
in San Diego from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. A DoN presentation and public oral 
comment session will occur twice during the meetings. Public meetings 
will be held on the following dates and at the following locations:

1. Monday, November 6, 2017, at Oahu Veterans Center, Fred Ballard 

[[Page 47730]]

1298 Kukila St., Honolulu, HI 96818.
2. Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at Maui High School, Cafeteria, 660 S. 
Lono Ave., Kahului, HI 96732.
3. Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at Kauai Veterans Center, Main 
Ballroom, 3215 Kapule Highway, Lihue, HI 96766.
4. Thursday, November 9, 2017, at Waiakea High School, Cafeteria, 155 
W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI 96720.
5. Monday, November 13, 2017, at Portuguese Hall, Main Hall, 2818 
Avenida de Portugal, San Diego, CA 92106.

    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 and each speaker's comments will be limited to three 
(3) minutes. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. 
Comments may also be mailed to Naval Facilities Engineering Command 
Pacific, Attention: HSTT EIS/OEIS Project Manager, 258 Makalapa Drive, 
Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134, or electronically via the 
project Web site (www.HSTTEIS.com). All comments, oral or written, 
submitted during the 60-day public comment period will become part of 
the public record and substantive comments will be addressed in the 
Final EIS/OEIS. Comments must be postmarked or received online by 
December 12, 2017, for consideration in the Final EIS/OEIS.
    Concurrent with the NEPA public involvement process, the DoN is 
conducting National Historic Preservation Act section 106 consultations 
regarding potential effects of the Proposed Action on historic 
properties. Historic properties include districts, sites, buildings, 
structures, or objects listed or eligible for listing in the National 
Register of Historic Places. During each of the meetings, an 
information station will be available, where subject matter experts 
will explain the section 106 process and solicit public input.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naval Facilities Engineering Command 
Pacific, Attention: HSTT 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 November 12, 2015 (80 
FR 59952).
    The Proposed Action is to conduct DoN training and testing 
activities within the Study Area. These activities include the use of 
active sonar and explosives while employing marine species protective 
mitigation measures. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to maintain 
a ready force, which is needed to ensure the DoN 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 5062 of Title 
10 of the U.S. Code (U.S.C.).
    To achieve and maintain military readiness, the DoN proposes to: 
(1) Conduct training and testing activities at levels required to 
support DoN military readiness requirements beginning in 2018; and (2) 
Accommodate evolving mission requirements, including those resulting 
from the development, testing, and introduction of vessels, aircraft, 
and weapons systems into the fleet.
    Proposed training and testing activities are similar to those that 
have occurred in the Study Area for decades. The tempo and types of 
training and testing activities fluctuate because of the introduction 
of new technologies, the evolving nature of international events, 
advances in warfighting doctrine and procedures, and changes in force 
structure (organization of ships, weapons, and personnel). These 
factors can influence the frequency, duration, intensity, and location 
of training and testing activities. This EIS/OEIS reflects the most up-
to-date compilation of training and testing activities deemed necessary 
to accomplish military readiness requirements. The types and numbers of 
activities included in the Proposed Action account for fluctuations in 
training and testing to meet evolving or emergent military readiness 
    In the Draft EIS/OEIS, the DoN evaluates the potential 
environmental impacts of three alternatives, including a No Action 
Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, the DoN would not conduct 
the proposed training and testing activities in the Study Area, and no 
authorizations or permits would be issued from NMFS. Under Alternative 
1 (the DoN's preferred alternative), the DoN proposes to conduct 
military readiness training and testing activities, as needed to meet 
current and future readiness requirements, including new activities and 
activities subject to previous analysis that are ongoing and have 
historically occurred in the Study Area. Alternative 1 reflects a 
representative annual level of training and testing to account for the 
natural fluctuation of training cycles and deployment schedules that 
generally limit the maximum level of training from occurring year after 
year in any five-year period. Using a representative annual level of 
activity rather than a maximum level of training activity in every year 
has reduced the amount of active sonar estimated to be necessary to 
meet training requirements. Under Alternative 1, the DoN assumes that 
some unit-level training would be conducted using synthetic means 
(e.g., simulators). Alternative 2 includes new and ongoing training and 
testing activities to enable the DoN to meet the highest levels of 
required military readiness. Alternative 2 reflects the maximum number 
of training and testing activities that could occur within a given 
year, and assumes that the maximum level of activity would occur every 
year over any five-year period. Alternative 2 would allow for the 
greatest flexibility for the DoN to maintain readiness when considering 
potential changes in the national security environment, fluctuations in 
schedules, and anticipated demands.
    Additional project information, including details on the key 
differences between the 2013 Final EIS/OEIS and the 2017 Draft EIS/
OEIS, can be found on the project Web site at www.HSTTEIS.com.
    Minimizing impacts on the marine environment from training and 
testing activities is an important goal for the DoN. The DoN will 
implement mitigation and monitoring measures to avoid or reduce 
environmental impacts from naval activities. Due to the exposure of 
marine mammals to underwater sound from sonar and explosives, NMFS has 
received an application from the DoN for a Marine Mammal Protection Act 
Letter of Authorization and governing regulations to authorize the 
unintentional takes of marine mammals incidental to the activities 
conducted in the Study Area. In accordance with section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act, the DoN will consult with NMFS and the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, as appropriate, 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 will consult with NMFS on federally managed 
species and their managed essential fish habitat, as appropriate. As 
applicable, the DoN will comply with the Coastal Zone Management Act, 
National Historic Preservation Act, and the National Marine Sanctuaries 
    The Draft EIS/OEIS was distributed to federal and local agencies in 
which the DoN consulted with. Copies of the Draft EIS/OEIS are 
available for public review at the following local public libraries:

[[Page 47731]]

1. Hawaii State Library, 478 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813.
2. Hilo Public Library, 300 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo, HI 96720.
3. Kahului Public Library, 90 School St., Kahului, HI 96732.
4. Kailua-Kona Public Library, 75-138 Hualalai Road, Kailua-Kona, HI 
5. Lihue Public Library, 4344 Hardy St., Lihue, HI 96766.
6. City of San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 
7. Coronado Public Library, 640 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118.
8. Long Beach Main Library, 101 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, CA 90822.

    The HSTT Draft EIS/OEIS is available for electronic viewing or 
download at www.HSTTEIS.com. A compact disc of the Draft EIS/OEIS will 
be made available upon written request by contacting: Naval Facilities 
Engineering Command Pacific, Attention: HSTT EIS/OEIS Project Manager, 
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134.

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 4332, EO 12114, and 40 CFR 1500-1508.

    Dated: October 10, 2017.
A.M. Nichols,
Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, 
Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2017-22195 Filed 10-12-17; 8:45 am]