U.S. Navy invites public comment

Silverdale, Wash. – The U.S. Navy invites you to participate in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Navy Training Activities Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) development process. The Navy is preparing this analysis to supplement the GOA Navy Training Activities Final EIS/OEIS, completed with community input in May 2011. A supplement to an environmental impact analysis is prepared when there are new circumstances, information or substantial changes to an action or environmental analysis, relevant to environmental concerns.

The Navy’s Proposed Action is to conduct training activities in specific areas of the Gulf of Alaska. To ensure critical training requirements are met, the Navy will:

Evaluate new, relevant information and incorporate that information into revised analyses where appropriate 

Analyze data using a new acoustic model to estimate potential effects on various marine species

Renew current federal regulatory permits and authorizations

The Navy’s original purpose and need, Proposed Action and alternatives as presented in the GOA Final EIS/OEIS remain unchanged and therefore will not be reanalyzed in the Supplemental EIS/OEIS. No new activities or alternatives to conduct Navy training in the Gulf of Alaska are planned.

The Proposed Action of the Supplemental EIS/OEIS is the Preferred Alternative of the 2011 GOA Final EIS/OEIS and Record of Decision, which includes two large-scale joint force exercises, occurring over a maximum time period of up to 21 consecutive days during the summer months (April through October).

The Navy will comply with and/or consider all applicable federal regulations, such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, and National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

Given that the Navy’s Proposed Action and alternatives have not changed, public scoping meetings will not be held, but public comments will be accepted during the scoping period from January 16, 2013 to March 18, 2013. Government agencies and the public are encouraged to submit written comments on the scope, content and concerns to be considered in the development of the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS, tentatively scheduled for release in summer of 2014.

The Navy is accepting comments throughout the 60-day public comment period, from Jan. 16, 2013 to March 18, 2013. All comments must be postmarked or received online by March 18, 2013, for consideration in the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS. Written comments may be submitted via the project website at www.GOAEIS.com or by mail to:

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest

Attention: Mrs. Amy Burt – GOA Supplemental EIS/OEIS Project Manager

1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203

Silverdale, WA 98315-1101

Visit the project website at www.GOAEIS.com to learn more about the project and submit comments.

Media seeking further information should contact Ms. Liane Nakahara, Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs Specialist, at 360-396-1630 (office) or 360-340-5372 (cell).

U.S. Navy press release