ASAN, Guam—The U.S. Navy has completed a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with ongoing at-sea and Farallon de Medinilla military training and testing activities within the Mariana Islands Training and Testing EIS/OEIS Study Area, or the “study area.” Proposed activities are generally consistent with previously analyzed activities and are similar to those that have occurred in the study area for decades.
In the Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS, the Navy evaluated new, relevant information, such as more recent marine mammal density data and new scientific information, and updated previous environmental analyses as appropriate. The Supplemental EIS/OEIS supports the Navy’s request for federal regulatory permits and authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
The Proposed Action is to continue at-sea training and testing activities within the study area. These activities include the use of active sonar and explosives while employing mitigation measures. The need for the Proposed Action is to ensure the Navy, other U.S. military services, and the U.S. Coast Guard meet their respective missions, which for the Navy is to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas.
To achieve and maintain military readiness, the Navy proposes to:
• Continue at-sea training and testing activities at levels required to support military readiness requirements beyond 2020.
• Incorporate evolving mission requirements, including those resulting from the development, testing, and introduction of new vessels, aircraft, and weapons systems into the fleet.
The study area remains unchanged and includes the existing Mariana Islands
Range Complex, additional ocean areas outside of the MIRC, a transit corridor between the MIRC and the Hawaii Range Complex, and Navy piers located in Apra Harbor. Other activities and land components associated with the MIRC (except FDM) are not considered in the supplement because they have not appreciably changed and remain covered under the 2015 analysis and associated authorizations.
Availability of the final supplemental EIS/OEIS
In accordance with National Environmental Policy Act regulations, the Navy will wait 30 days after publication of the Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS before making a final decision on the action. The Final Supplemental
EIS/OEIS will be available to the public on the project website, www.MITT-EIS.com, beginning June 5, 2020. Copies of the Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS have also been sent to the following public libraries and are available depending on COVID-19 conditions regulating access to public facilities. Check with libraries regarding hours of operation and the availability of the document.
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library University of Guam
Mangilao, GU 96923
Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library
254 Martyr St.
Hagåtña, GU 96910
Joeten-Kiyu Public Library
Beach Road, Saipan
Tinian Public Library
San Jose Village, Tinian
Antonio C. Atalig Memorial Library, Rota
If you would like additional information, visit www.MITT-EIS.com or contact:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific
Attention: MITT Supplemental EIS/OEIS Project Manager
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100
Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134 (PR)