Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic Fleet Training in the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex and To Announce Public Scoping Meetings, 50333-50335 [E7-17360]

Download as PDF sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 169 / Friday, August 31, 2007 / Notices June 2006, the Corps of Engineers, New England District completed a Preliminary Assessment (PA) to document the need for a comprehensive DMMP for the LIS region. The PA concluded that successful completion of a LIS DMMP is critical to the Corps’ ability to maintain the region’s civil works navigation projects, and to provide future navigation improvements to the system of Federal waterways in the LIS region. Appropriate future costeffective management methods and future dredged material capacities must be identified to serve both Federal and non-Federal project needs in this region for the long-term health of the region’s economy, including its navigationdependent industries and activities. The Corps prepares NEPA documents to evaluate the environmental impacts of the actions and alternatives analyzed in dredged material management plans. In preparing the current DPEIS, the Corps expects this document to be used as part of the NEPA analysis for both Corps and non-Corps future dredging projects through tiering and incorporation by reference. Issues to be analyzed in the DPEIS may include potential impacts to: shipping and navigation; commercial and recreational fisheries and shellfisheries; water quality; sediment quality; biological resources, including threatened and endangered species; bioavailability of contaminants; cultural resources; recreational activities such as use of beaches, refuges, and natural areas; wetlands; and other potential habitat restoration opportunities. The DPEIS will be prepared in coordination with other environmental review and consultation requirements under the Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and other relevant and appropriate statutes and Executive Orders. There are many harbors, channels and navigation-dependent facilities in Connecticut and New York within Long Island Sound that must undergo periodic maintenance dredging to ensure safe navigation. Some harbors occasionally must be deepened beyond historical depths to meet changing economic and safety needs. In order to manage all of the dredged material from harbors in the LIS region generated by both Federal and non-Federal interests in the next twenty years, the DMMP and DPEIS will be identifying the potential volume of material and identifying and evaluating alternatives that could be used to manage such a volume of dredged material. Thus, future Federal and non-Federal projects can use the DMMP and its associated PEIS to help VerDate Aug<31>2005 00:43 Aug 31, 2007 Jkt 211001 satisfy legal requirements of NEPA, the Clean Water Act, and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). The LIS DMMP will include an indepth planning analysis of reasonable potential dredged material placement/ disposal alternatives, including openwater disposal, beneficial use, upland disposal, and treatment technologies, and this analysis will be used as a basis for future individual permit and project approval decisions related to alternatives analysis for dredging in the LIS region. To accomplish this, the LIS DMMP will examine dredging needs, sediment and water quality, disposal alternatives and environmental impacts on a harbor-by-harbor basis. Consistent with the Designation Rule for the Western and Central Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites, 40 CFR 228.14(b)(4), the DMMP will be identifying potential procedures and standards for the use of practicable alternatives for dredged material disposal in Long Island Sound. The various alternatives and the information associated with such plans will provide the Corps and other navigation users with an array of feasible options that will meet their dredged material management needs. The LIS DMMP and DPEIS will identify a practicable, comprehensive and coordinated regional practicable strategy for technically feasible and environmentally sound management of material dredged from Long Island Sound. These documents will identify potential environmentally acceptable, practicable management alternatives that can be utilized by various dredging proponents in their analysis of options to manage dredging projects. These alternatives will likely include, but not be limited to: ∑ Open-water placement. ∑ Alternative management strategies for treating or reusing dredged materials, including the use of decontamination and sediment processing technologies. ∑ Beneficial reuse of dredged material such as: Æ Open and closed landfills; Æ Existing upland dredged material disposal areas; Æ Current or proposed transportation improvements; Æ Temporary dredged material storage; Æ Asphalt, cement and other aggregate use; Æ Large scale development use; Æ Brownfield remediation; Æ Use at closed mines and quarries; Æ Placement at beaches for beneficial use; PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50333 Æ Agricultural use; Æ Habitat restoration projects. Full public participation of affected Federal, state, and local agencies, affected Indian tribes, and other interested private organizations and parties is invited. All interested parties are encouraged to submit their names and addresses to (see ADDRESSES), to be placed on the project mailing list to receive fact sheets, newsletters and related public notices. The Corps will hold public scoping meetings later this year or in 2008 at different locations around the LIS region. Topics and issues to be addressed in the DPEIS, identified in part from responses to this Notice of Intent, will be summarized. The public is invited to attend the scoping meetings and identify additional issues that should be addressed in the DPEIS. The actual date, place and time of the scoping meetings will be announced in respective local newspapers and on the Corps New England District Web page. It is estimated that the Draft PEIS will be made available to the public in the Fall of 2012. Dated: 22 August 2007. Lieutenant Colonel Andrew B. Nelson, Deputy District Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England. [FR Doc. 07–4274 Filed 8–30–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–24–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic Fleet Training in the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex and To Announce Public Scoping Meetings Department of the Navy, DoD. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and Executive Order 12114 (Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions), the Department of the Navy (Navy) announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) to evaluate the potential environmental effects associated with naval training in the Gulf of Mexico (GOMEX) Range Complex. The Navy proposes to support current and emerging training E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1 50334 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 169 / Friday, August 31, 2007 / Notices sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES operations and Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) activities at the GOMEX Range Complex by: (1) Maintaining baseline training and RDT&E operations at current levels; (2) increasing training and RDT&E operations from current levels as necessary to support the Fleet Readiness Training Plan (FRTP); (3) accommodating mission requirements associated with force structure changes, including those resulting from the introduction of new platforms (vessels, aircraft and weapons systems); and (4) implementing enhanced range complex capabilities. The EIS/OEIS study area is the GOMEX Range Complex, which encompasses portions of the Gulf, as well as portions of the southeastern states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The GOMEX Range Complex consists of targets and instrumented areas, airspace, surface and subsurface operations areas (OPAREAs), and land range facilities. Together the GOMEX Range Complex encompasses: 15 square nautical miles (nm2) of land area; 43,390 nm2 of special use airspace (SUA); 17,520 nm2 of off-shore surface and subsurface OPAREA; and 12,072 nm2 of shallow ocean area less than 100 fathoms (600 feet). The scope of actions to be analyzed in this EIS/OEIS includes current and proposed future Navy training and RDT&E activities within Navycontrolled operating areas, airspace, and ranges. It also includes proposed Navyfunded range capabilities enhancements, including infrastructure improvements supporting range complex training and RDT&E activities. Training activities involving use of active sonar are conducted in the GOMEX Range Complex; however, those potential effects are being analyzed in detail in a separate document, the Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training (AFAST) EIS/OEIS. This separate sonar EIS/OEIS addresses active sonar use as a whole by the Atlantic Fleet in the western Atlantic Ocean and in the Gulf of Mexico. The analysis of the AFAST EIS/OEIS will be incorporated into the GOMEX Range Complex EIS/OEIS to account for active sonar effects that could occur within the geographic area of the GOMEX Range Complex. Four public scoping meetings will be held. The meeting dates are: 1. Monday, September 24, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Panama City, FL. 2. Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Pensacola, FL. DATES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 00:43 Aug 31, 2007 Jkt 211001 3. Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Kenner, LA. 4. Friday, September 28, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Corpus Christi, TX 78401. ADDRESSES: Four public scoping meetings will be held in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas to receive oral and/or written comments on environmental concerns that should be addressed in the EIS/OEIS. These public scoping open houses will be held at the following locations: 1. Monday, September 24, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Gulf Coast Community College, 5230 West Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401. 2. Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Pensacola Junior College (Warrington Campus), 5555 Highway 98 West, Pensacola, FL 32507. 3. Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Alfred Bonnabel High School, 2801 Bruin Drive, Kenner, LA 70065. 4. Friday, September 28, 2007, 5 p.m.–8 p.m., Holiday Inn-Emerald Beach Hotel, 1102 South Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Post Office Box 30 (Building 135 North, Ajax Street), Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL, 32212–0030, ATTN: Mr. Bob Riley (Code OPC5), telephone: 904–542–6125. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Navy’s mission is to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. For that reason, Title 10 U.S.C. Section 5062 directs the Chief of Naval Operations to train all naval forces for combat. The Chief of Naval Operations meets that direction, in part, by conducting at-sea training exercises and ensuring naval forces have access to ranges, OPAREAs and airspace where they can develop and maintain skills for wartime missions and conduct RDT&E of naval weapons systems. As such, Navy ranges, OPAREAs, and airspace must be maintained and/or enhanced to accommodate necessary training and testing activities in support of national security objectives. The purpose of the proposed action is to achieve and maintain Fleet readiness using the GOMEX Range Complex to support current, emerging, and future training operations; RDT&E operations; expand warfare missions; and upgrade and modernize existing range capabilities to enhance and sustain Navy training and RDT&E. The need for the proposed action is to provide range facilities for the training and equipping of combat capable naval PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 forces ready to deploy worldwide. In this regard, the GOMEX Range Complex furthers the Navy’s execution of roles and responsibilities under U.S.C Title 10, Section 5062. To implement this mandate, the Navy needs to: Maintain current levels of military readiness by training in the GOMEX Range Complex; accommodate future increases in operational training tempo in the GOMEX Range Complex and support rapid deployment of naval units or strike groups; achieve and sustain readiness of ships and squadrons so the Navy can quickly surge significant combat power in the event of a national crisis or contingency operation, and as is consistent with the FRTP; support acquisition and implementation into the Fleet of advanced military technology and testing and training needed for new platforms (vessels, aircraft and weapons systems); and maintain long-term viability of the GOMEX Range Complex while protecting human health and the environment, and enhancing the quality, communication capability, and safety of the GOMEX range complex. Three alternatives will be evaluated in this EIS/OEIS: (1) The No Action Alternative is the continuation of current operations and support of existing range capabilities; (2) Alternative 1 consists of all elements of the No Action Alternative plus increased operational training, expanded warfare missions, accommodation of force structure changes, and implementation of enhancements, to the minimal extent possible to meet the components of the proposed action; and (3) Alternative 2 consists of all elements of Alternative 1 plus an additional increase in operational tempo and frequency of training events optimizing training in the GOMEX Range Complex in support of future contingencies, and better exploitation of the Joint National Training Capability (JNTC). Exploitation of the JNTC includes an increase in post Base Realignment and Closure Gulfbased F–18 and E–2 aircraft, and transient Navy participation in Navy and joint training opportunities afforded by proximity to DoD installations in the southeastern United States. This EIS/OEIS will evaluate the environmental effects associated with: airspace; noise; range safety; natural land resources; water resources; air quality; biological resources, including threatened and endangered species; land use; socioeconomic resources; infrastructure; and cultural resources. The analysis will include an evaluation of direct and indirect impacts, and will account for cumulative impacts from other Navy activities in the GOMEX E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 169 / Friday, August 31, 2007 / Notices Range Complex. No decision will be made to implement any alternative until the EIS/OEIS process is completed and a Record of Decision is signed by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment). The Navy is initiating the scoping process to identify community concerns and local issues to be addressed in this EIS/OEIS. Federal agencies, state agencies, local agencies, and interested persons are encouraged to provide oral and/or written comments to the Navy to identify specific issues or topics of environmental concern that should be addressed in the EIS/OEIS. Written comments must be postmarked by November 5, 2007 and should be mailed to: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Post Office Box 30 (Building 135 North, Ajax Street), Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL 32212–0030, Attention: Mr. Bob Riley (Code OPC5), telephone: 904–542– 6125. Comments can also be submitted no later than November 5, 2007 via the project Web site: http:// www.GOMEXRangeComplexEIS.com. Dated: August 23, 2007. T. M. Cruz, Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. E7–17360 Filed 8–30–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P Dated: August 27, 2007. Angela C. Arrington, IC Clearance Official, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of Management. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Office of Elementary and Secondary Education sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES AGENCY: Department of Education. SUMMARY: The IC Clearance Official, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of Management invites comments on the submission for OMB review as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 1, 2007. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Education Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., Room 10222, Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit responses electronically by e-mail to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov or via fax to (202) 395–6974. Commenters should include the following subject line in their response ‘‘Comment: [insert OMB number], [insert abbreviated collection name, e.g., ‘‘Upward Bound Evaluation’’]. Persons submitting VerDate Aug<31>2005 00:43 Aug 31, 2007 Jkt 211001 comments electronically should not submit paper copies. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) requires that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provide interested Federal agencies and the public an early opportunity to comment on information collection requests. OMB may amend or waive the requirement for public consultation to the extent that public participation in the approval process would defeat the purpose of the information collection, violate State or Federal law, or substantially interfere with any agency’s ability to perform its statutory obligations. The IC Clearance Official, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of Management, publishes that notice containing proposed information collection requests prior to submission of these requests to OMB. Each proposed information collection, grouped by office, contains the following: (1) Type of review requested, e.g. new, revision, extension, existing or reinstatement; (2) Title; (3) Summary of the collection; (4) Description of the need for, and proposed use of, the information; (5) Respondents and frequency of collection; and (6) Reporting and/or Recordkeeping burden. OMB invites public comment. Type of Review: New. Title: High School Equivalency Program (HEP) Annual Performance Report. Frequency: Annually. Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local, or Tribal Gov’t, SEAs or LEAs. Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: Responses: 61. Burden Hours: 2,440. Abstract: For the Migrant HEP program, a customized Annual Performance Report (APR) that goes beyond the generic 524B is requested to facilitate the collection of more standardized and comprehensive data to inform Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), to improve the overall quality of data collected, and to increase the quality and quantity of data that can be used to inform policy decisions. Requests for copies of the information collection submission for OMB review PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50335 may be accessed from http:// edicsweb.ed.gov, by selecting the ‘‘Browse Pending Collections’’ link and by clicking on link number 3379. When you access the information collection, click on ‘‘Download Attachments ‘‘ to view. Written requests for information should be addressed to U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Potomac Center, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20202–4700. Requests may also be electronically mailed to ICDocketMgr@ed.gov or faxed to 202– 245–6623. Please specify the complete title of the information collection when making your request. Comments regarding burden and/or the collection activity requirements should be electronically mailed to ICDocketMgr@ed.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. [FR Doc. E7–17338 Filed 8–30–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad (FRA) Fellowship Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.019A. Dates: Applications Available: August 31, 2007. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: October 30, 2007. Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The FulbrightHays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program offers opportunities to faculty of Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to engage in research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), this priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 663.21(d)). Absolute Priority: For FY 2008 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority. This priority is: A research project that focuses on one or more of the following geographic areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, East Central Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 169 (Friday, August 31, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50333-50335]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-17360]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Navy


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/
Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic Fleet 
Training in the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex and To Announce Public 
Scoping Meetings

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, as implemented by the Council on Environmental 
Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and Executive Order 12114 
(Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions), the Department 
of the Navy (Navy) announces its intent to prepare an Environmental 
Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) to 
evaluate the potential environmental effects associated with naval 
training in the Gulf of Mexico (GOMEX) Range Complex. The Navy proposes 
to support current and emerging training

[[Page 50334]]

operations and Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) 
activities at the GOMEX Range Complex by: (1) Maintaining baseline 
training and RDT&E operations at current levels; (2) increasing 
training and RDT&E operations from current levels as necessary to 
support the Fleet Readiness Training Plan (FRTP); (3) accommodating 
mission requirements associated with force structure changes, including 
those resulting from the introduction of new platforms (vessels, 
aircraft and weapons systems); and (4) implementing enhanced range 
complex capabilities.
    The EIS/OEIS study area is the GOMEX Range Complex, which 
encompasses portions of the Gulf, as well as portions of the 
southeastern states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and 
Texas. The GOMEX Range Complex consists of targets and instrumented 
areas, airspace, surface and subsurface operations areas (OPAREAs), and 
land range facilities. Together the GOMEX Range Complex encompasses: 15 
square nautical miles (nm\2\) of land area; 43,390 nm\2\ of special use 
airspace (SUA); 17,520 nm\2\ of off-shore surface and subsurface 
OPAREA; and 12,072 nm\2\ of shallow ocean area less than 100 fathoms 
(600 feet).
    The scope of actions to be analyzed in this EIS/OEIS includes 
current and proposed future Navy training and RDT&E activities within 
Navy-controlled operating areas, airspace, and ranges. It also includes 
proposed Navy-funded range capabilities enhancements, including 
infrastructure improvements supporting range complex training and RDT&E 
activities. Training activities involving use of active sonar are 
conducted in the GOMEX Range Complex; however, those potential effects 
are being analyzed in detail in a separate document, the Atlantic Fleet 
Active Sonar Training (AFAST) EIS/OEIS. This separate sonar EIS/OEIS 
addresses active sonar use as a whole by the Atlantic Fleet in the 
western Atlantic Ocean and in the Gulf of Mexico. The analysis of the 
AFAST EIS/OEIS will be incorporated into the GOMEX Range Complex EIS/
OEIS to account for active sonar effects that could occur within the 
geographic area of the GOMEX Range Complex.

DATES: Four public scoping meetings will be held. The meeting dates 
are:
    1. Monday, September 24, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Panama City, FL.
    2. Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Pensacola, FL.
    3. Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Kenner, LA.
    4. Friday, September 28, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Corpus Christi, TX 
78401.

ADDRESSES: Four public scoping meetings will be held in Florida, 
Louisiana, and Texas to receive oral and/or written comments on 
environmental concerns that should be addressed in the EIS/OEIS. These 
public scoping open houses will be held at the following locations:
    1. Monday, September 24, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Gulf Coast Community 
College, 5230 West Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.
    2. Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Pensacola Junior 
College (Warrington Campus), 5555 Highway 98 West, Pensacola, FL 32507.
    3. Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Alfred Bonnabel 
High School, 2801 Bruin Drive, Kenner, LA 70065.
    4. Friday, September 28, 2007, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Holiday Inn-Emerald 
Beach Hotel, 1102 South Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naval Facilities Engineering Command 
Southeast, Post Office Box 30 (Building 135 North, Ajax Street), Naval 
Air Station Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL, 32212-0030, ATTN: Mr. Bob 
Riley (Code OPC5), telephone: 904-542-6125.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Navy's mission is to maintain, train, 
and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring 
aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. For that reason, Title 
10 U.S.C. Section 5062 directs the Chief of Naval Operations to train 
all naval forces for combat. The Chief of Naval Operations meets that 
direction, in part, by conducting at-sea training exercises and 
ensuring naval forces have access to ranges, OPAREAs and airspace where 
they can develop and maintain skills for wartime missions and conduct 
RDT&E of naval weapons systems. As such, Navy ranges, OPAREAs, and 
airspace must be maintained and/or enhanced to accommodate necessary 
training and testing activities in support of national security 
objectives. The purpose of the proposed action is to achieve and 
maintain Fleet readiness using the GOMEX Range Complex to support 
current, emerging, and future training operations; RDT&E operations; 
expand warfare missions; and upgrade and modernize existing range 
capabilities to enhance and sustain Navy training and RDT&E.
    The need for the proposed action is to provide range facilities for 
the training and equipping of combat capable naval forces ready to 
deploy worldwide. In this regard, the GOMEX Range Complex furthers the 
Navy's execution of roles and responsibilities under U.S.C Title 10, 
Section 5062. To implement this mandate, the Navy needs to: Maintain 
current levels of military readiness by training in the GOMEX Range 
Complex; accommodate future increases in operational training tempo in 
the GOMEX Range Complex and support rapid deployment of naval units or 
strike groups; achieve and sustain readiness of ships and squadrons so 
the Navy can quickly surge significant combat power in the event of a 
national crisis or contingency operation, and as is consistent with the 
FRTP; support acquisition and implementation into the Fleet of advanced 
military technology and testing and training needed for new platforms 
(vessels, aircraft and weapons systems); and maintain long-term 
viability of the GOMEX Range Complex while protecting human health and 
the environment, and enhancing the quality, communication capability, 
and safety of the GOMEX range complex.
    Three alternatives will be evaluated in this EIS/OEIS: (1) The No 
Action Alternative is the continuation of current operations and 
support of existing range capabilities; (2) Alternative 1 consists of 
all elements of the No Action Alternative plus increased operational 
training, expanded warfare missions, accommodation of force structure 
changes, and implementation of enhancements, to the minimal extent 
possible to meet the components of the proposed action; and (3) 
Alternative 2 consists of all elements of Alternative 1 plus an 
additional increase in operational tempo and frequency of training 
events optimizing training in the GOMEX Range Complex in support of 
future contingencies, and better exploitation of the Joint National 
Training Capability (JNTC). Exploitation of the JNTC includes an 
increase in post Base Realignment and Closure Gulf-based F-18 and E-2 
aircraft, and transient Navy participation in Navy and joint training 
opportunities afforded by proximity to DoD installations in the 
southeastern United States.
    This EIS/OEIS will evaluate the environmental effects associated 
with: airspace; noise; range safety; natural land resources; water 
resources; air quality; biological resources, including threatened and 
endangered species; land use; socioeconomic resources; infrastructure; 
and cultural resources. The analysis will include an evaluation of 
direct and indirect impacts, and will account for cumulative impacts 
from other Navy activities in the GOMEX

[[Page 50335]]

Range Complex. No decision will be made to implement any alternative 
until the EIS/OEIS process is completed and a Record of Decision is 
signed by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and 
Environment).
    The Navy is initiating the scoping process to identify community 
concerns and local issues to be addressed in this EIS/OEIS. Federal 
agencies, state agencies, local agencies, and interested persons are 
encouraged to provide oral and/or written comments to the Navy to 
identify specific issues or topics of environmental concern that should 
be addressed in the EIS/OEIS. Written comments must be postmarked by 
November 5, 2007 and should be mailed to: Naval Facilities Engineering 
Command Southeast, Post Office Box 30 (Building 135 North, Ajax 
Street), Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL 32212-0030, 
Attention: Mr. Bob Riley (Code OPC5), telephone: 904-542-6125. Comments 
can also be submitted no later than November 5, 2007 via the project 
Web site: http://www.GOMEXRangeComplexEIS.com.

    Dated: August 23, 2007.
T. M. Cruz,
Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register 
Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. E7-17360 Filed 8-30-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P