Draft Environmental Assessment for Mariana Range Complex Airspace NOW Available for Review

203

Guam – The U.S. Navy has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment/Overseas Environmental Assessment (EA/OEA) to analyze potential environmental impacts from proposed modifications to training airspace and sea space in the Mariana Islands Range Complex (MIRC). The document is now available for public review and comment for a 45-day public comment period, from Dec. 20, 2012, to Feb. 4, 2013.

The Navy’s Proposed Action is to modify and extend military training airspace and sea space within the MIRC. This action is needed to provide a safer and more efficient training environment and to maintain military readiness.

The Navy analyzed the potential environmental impacts of three alternatives in the Draft EA/OEA:

No Action Alternative:
· Continue training as currently authorized and implemented by the 2010 MIRC Environmental Impact Statement /Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS)

Alternative 1:
· Modify existing military airspace and establish new airspace for public safety and training efficiency
   o Extend the Restricted Area (R-7201) at Farallon de Medinilla (FDM) from 3 nautical miles (nm) to 12 nm and designate the new area as R-7201A
   o Create new Warning Areas and replace existing Air Traffic Control Assigned Airspace

Alternative 2:
· Modify and extend airspace as described under Alternative 1
· Expand the sea space danger zone around FDM from the 10 nm distance analyzed in the MIRC EIS/OEIS to 12 nm

The Navy conducted a thorough assessment of environmental resources to determine the potential effects from the Proposed Action and alternatives. The draft assessment indicates there would be no significant impact on the environment from proposed modifications to airspace and sea space.

The Navy is holding two public outreach sessions during which Navy representatives will staff poster stations and be available to answer questions about the Proposed Action and the Draft EA/OEA. Attendees are encouraged to provide written and/or verbal comments on the analysis at the sessions or any time during the public comment period.

The open house information sessions will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013
Location: University of Guam
Leon Guerrero School of Business and Public Administration Building
Anthony Leon Guerrero Multi-Purpose Room 129
Mangilao, Guam 96923

Date: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013
Location: Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe
Saipan, MP 96950

Copies of the Draft EA/OEA are available for public review online at www.MIRCAirspaceEA.com and at the following locations:

*University of Guam, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library, Government Documents Room;
*Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library(Guam)
*Joeten-Kiyu Public Library (Saipan)
*Tinian Public Library; and Rota Public Library

Comments may be submitted online, by mail or at the public outreach meetings.

Comments must be postmarked or received by Feb. 4, 2013, for consideration in the Final EA/OEA.

Written comments may be submitted to:

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific
Attention: MIRC Airspace EA/OEA Project Manager
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100
Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134

Online: www.MIRCAirspaceEA.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark Matsunaga, U.S. Pacific Fleet environmental public affairs officer, ph. 808-471-3769, email: mark.matsunaga@navy.mil