Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement Released for Public Review and Comment

The Navy has prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas EIS (OEIS) for public release on June 30, 2017, to evaluate the potential environmental effects from training and testing activities conducted within the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study Area.

The Navy’s Proposed Action is to conduct military readiness training and testing activities in the AFTT Study Area. These military readiness activities include the use of active sonar and explosives within existing range complexes and testing ranges and additional areas located in the Atlantic Ocean along the eastern coast of North America, in portions of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, at Navy pier-side locations and port transit channels, near civilian ports, and in bays, harbors, and inland waterways (e.g., the lower Chesapeake Bay). The Study Area covers approximately 2.6 million square nautical miles of ocean area and includes designated Navy operating areas and special use airspace.

These military readiness activities are generally consistent with those analyzed in the AFTT EIS/OEIS completed in December 2013, and are representative of training and testing that the Navy has been conducting in the AFTT Study Area for decades.

With the filing of the Draft EIS/OEIS, the Navy has initiated a 60-day public comment period and has scheduled five public meetings to receive comments on 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:

  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017, Hotel Providence, 139 Mathewson Street, Providence, RI 02903.
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2017, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, 3431 Arendell Street, Morehead
  • City, NC 28557.
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Nauticus, One Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23510.
  • Tuesday, August 1, 2017, Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 1000 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204.
  • Thursday, August 3, 2017, Gulf Coast State College Conference Center, 5230 W. Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.

Each of the public meetings will be conducted in an open-house format with informational stations staffed by Navy representatives. These representatives will be available during the public meeting to clarify information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS. 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 during the public comment period.

Attendees will be able to submit comments in writing or orally using a voice recorder at the public meetings. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. Comments may also be submitted by U.S. postal mail or electronically via the project website (www.AFTTEIS.com).

Written comments may be submitted by mail to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, Attn: Code EV22KP (AFTT EIS Project Managers), 6506 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23508-1278 and through the project website; all written comments must be postmarked or received by August 29, 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 considered in preparation of the Final EIS/OEIS.

Copies of the Draft EIS/OEIS are available for public review at the following libraries:

– Anne Arundel County Public Library, 5 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401

– Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401

– Ben May Main Library, 701 Government Street, Mobile, AL 36602

– Boston Public Library, Central Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

– Camden County Public Library, 1410 Highway 40 E, Kingsland, GA 31548

– Carteret County Public Library, 1702 Live Oak Street, Suite 100, Beaufort, NC 28516

– Charleston County Public Library, Main Library, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401

– Corpus Christi Public Library, Central Library, 805 Comanche, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

– East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie, LA 70001

– Dare County Library, Manteo, 700 Highway 64/264, Manteo, NC 27954

– Havelock-Craven County Public Library, 301 Cunningham Boulevard, Havelock, NC 28532

– Jacksonville Public Library, 303 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

– Dare County Library, Kill Devil Hills, 400 Mustian Street, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

– Houston Public Library, 500 Mickinney Street, Houston, TX 77002

– New Hanover County Public Library, 201 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, NC 28401

– New Orleans Public Library, Main Library, 219 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112

– Monroe County Public Library, 700 Fleming St., Key West, FL 33040

– Onslow County Public Library, 58 Doris Avenue East, Jacksonville, NC 28540

– Pascagoula Public Library, 3214 Pascagoula Street, Pascagoula, MS 39567

– West Florida Public Library, Pensacola Library, 239 North Spring Street, Pensacola, FL 32502

– Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101

– Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street, Providence, RI 02903

– Public Library of New London, 63 Huntington Street, New London, CT 06320

– Slover Memorial Main Library, 235 East Plume Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

– Walton County Library, Coastal Branch Library, 437 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 28557

– Webb Memorial Library and Civic Center, 812 Evans Street, Morehead City, NC 28557

– West Florida Public Library, Southwest Branch, 122248 Gulf Branch Highway, Pensacola, FL 32507

– West Palm Beach Library, 411 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Copies of the AFTT Draft EIS/OEIS are available for electronic viewing at www.AFTTEIS.com. A paper copy of the Executive Summary and a single compact disc (CD) of the Draft EIS/OEIS will be made available upon written request by contacting: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, Attn: Code EV22KP (AFTT EIS Project Managers), 6506 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23508-1278.