Notice of Public Hearings for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) Mission Activities Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement, 19194-19196 [E8-7461]

Download as PDF 19194 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices and that have significant ecological value. Conservation projects should advance the goals, objectives or implementation of federal, regional, state or local coastal management plans. The CELCP was created by Public Law 107–77 and codified at 16 U.S.C. 1456d. NOAA issued final guidelines for the program in June 2003. Since the program’s creation, CELCP has administered more than 150 grants for land conservation projects in 26 out of 34 eligible coastal states and territories and has run two national funding competitions under the guidelines. Based on its experience implementing this program, NOAA plans to update the CELCP program guidelines to clarify certain provisions and consider other changes. The revisions will not change the CELCP process, but will clarify certain provisions and consider other improvements. The current Final Guidelines for the CELCP can be found on the Internet at http://www.coastal management.noaa.gov/land/media/ CELCPfinalo2Guidelines.pdf or can be requested either by phone at 301–713– 3155 ext. 119, or by e-mail to Roxanne.Thomas@noaa.gov. Any proposed changes to the CELCP guidelines would be published in the Federal Register, with an opportunity for public comment, following compliance with any relevant statutes and executive orders. Dated: April 2, 2008. John H. Dunnigan, Assistant Administrator, Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. E8–7399 Filed 4–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–M DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XH01 Marine Mammals; File No. 10014–01 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for amendment. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Division of Science, Research and Technology, P.O. Box 409, Trenton, NJ 08625–0409, has applied in due form for an amendment to their Permit No. 10014 to allow them to take additional VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 marine mammals during surveys for purposes of scientific research. DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be received on or before May 9, 2008. ADDRESSES: The application and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office(s): Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301)713–2289; fax (301)427–2521; and Northeast Region, NMFS, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930–2298; phone (978)281–9300; fax (978)281–9394. Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this application should be mailed to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, F/PR1, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301)427–2521, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: File No. 10014–01. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Opay or Kate Swails, (301)713– 2289. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permit amendment is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). The NJDEP seeks permission to increase the number of marine mammals taken during research conducted to elucidate the distribution and abundance of baleen whales, odontocete whales, pinnipeds, and sea turtles. Research would include take by survey approach during shipboard and aircraft transect surveys. Researchers request authorization to take up to 2,500 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), 3,200 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and 1,280 harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) annually. The study area would continue to include PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 U.S. waters offshore of southern New Jersey out to a distance of 20 nautical miles. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed will require a supplemental environmental assessment. Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors. Dated: April 3, 2008. P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–7480 Filed 4–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Public Hearings for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) Mission Activities Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement Department of the Navy, DoD. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and regulations implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and Presidential Executive Order 12114, the Department of the Navy (Navy) has prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) on March 27, 2008, to evaluate the potential environmental effects associated with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) mission activities within the NSWC PCD Study Area, which includes St. Andrew Bay (SAB), and military warning areas W–151 (includes Panama City Operating Area), W–155 (includes Pensacola Operating Area), and W–470. The Proposed Action is to improve NSWC PCD’s capabilities to conduct new and increased mission operations for the Department of Defense (DoD) and its customers within the NSWC PCD Study Area. The research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) activities occurring in these areas include air E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices operations, surface operations, subsurface operations, sonar operations, electromagnetic operations, laser operations, ordnance operations, and projectile firing. A Notice of Intent for this Draft EIS/OEIS was published in the Federal Register on August 19, 2004 (69 FR 51453). The Navy will conduct three public hearings to receive oral and written comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS. Federal agencies, state agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to be present or represented at the public hearings. This notice announces the dates and locations of the public hearings for this Draft EIS/OEIS. Dates and Addresses: An open house session will precede the scheduled public hearing at each of the locations listed below and will allow individuals to review the information presented in the Draft EIS/OEIS. Navy representatives will be available during the open house sessions to clarify information related to the Draft EIS/ OEIS. In addition, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which is participating as a cooperating agency in the development of the EIS, will be represented at the open houses and public hearings. All meetings will start with an open house from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Presentations and public comment will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Public hearings will be held on the following dates and at the following locations: 1. May 5, 2008, Gulf Coast Community College, Student Union Conference Center, 5230 West Hwy 98, Panama City, Florida, 2. May 6, 2008, Pensacola Junior College—Warrington Campus, McMillian Auditorium, 5555 Highway 98 West, Pensacola, Florida, 3. May 7, 2008, Port St. Joe Elementary School Auditorium, 2201 Long Avenue, Port St. Joe, Florida. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Carmen Ferrer, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32407; telephone: 850–234–4146; E-mail carmen.ferrer@navy.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NSWC PCD is the United States (U.S.) Navy’s premier research and development organization focused on littoral (coastal region) warfare and expeditionary (designed for military operations abroad) warfare. NSWC PCD provides in-water research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) in support of expeditionary maneuver warfare, operations in extreme environments, mine warfare, maritime operations, and coastal operations. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 NSWC PCD is the nation’s principal repository of this expertise supported by a diverse technical workforce in these areas that are critical to the future of U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps operations. In accordance with Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5000.1, test and evaluation support is to be integrated throughout the defense acquisition process (the process that encompasses every aspect of identifying, developing, and procuring defense systems) and is structured to provide essential information to decision makers. Such testing is used to validate the technical performance parameters (whether a given system performs as expected) and to determine whether systems are operationally effective, suitable, survivable, and safe for their intended use. It is the mission of NSWC PCD to provide RDT&E, as well as in-service support for amphibious warfare, diving, maritime special operations, mine warfare (mines and mine countermeasures), and other naval missions that take place in the coastal region. The infrastructure has been established at NSWC PCD to support this mission. A unique feature of NSWC PCD that is unduplicated in the U.S. is the natural operating environment provided by the ready access to the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and its associated littoral and coastal regions. The GOM provides a surrogate environment for most of the littoral areas of the world in which the Navy will find itself operating for the foreseeable future. The NSWC PCD Draft EIS/OEIS addresses all of the identified RDT&E operations that occur within the NSWC PCD Study Area. The NSWC PCD RDT&E activities may be conducted anywhere within the existing military operating areas and St. Andrews Bay from the mean high water line (average high tide mark) out to 222 kilometer (120 nautical miles) offshore. The Draft EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of three alternatives, including two action alternatives (Alternatives 1 and 2) and the No Action Alternative. The No Action Alternative addresses historical and current mission activities (referred to cumulatively as ‘‘baseline mission activities’’) for the NSWC PCD Study Area. Alternatives 1 and 2 analyze baseline activities, as well as future growth requirements for missions and activity levels. The development process incorporated the need to support future test capabilities, expand required mission capabilities, and increase the baseline tempo and intensity of activities. Alternative 2 is the Navy’s preferred alternative. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19195 No significant adverse impacts are identified for any resource area in any geographic location within the NSWC PCD Study Area that cannot be mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals and sea turtles to underwater sound. The Navy will apply to NMFS for a Marine Mammal Protection Act Letter of Authorization (LOA) and governing regulations to authorize incidental takes of marine mammals that may result from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the Draft EIS/ OEIS. NMFS is participating as a cooperating agency in the development of this Draft EIS/OEIS. NMFS staff will be present at the scheduled open houses and public hearings and available to discuss both the MMPA incidental take authorization process and NMFS’s participation in the development of the EIS/OEIS. The Draft EIS/OEIS is being mailed to Federal, State, and local agencies, elected officials, and other interested individuals and organizations. The public comment period will end May 19, 2008. Copies of the Draft EIS/OEIS are available for public review at the following libraries: Bay County Public Library, 25 West Government Street, Panama City, FL 32401; Gulf County Public Library, 110 Library Drive, Port St. Joe, FL 32456; Fort Walton Beach Public Library, 185 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548; and Pensacola Public Library, 200 West Gregory Street Pensacola, FL 32501. The Draft EIS/OEIS is also available for electronic public viewing at http:// nswcpc.navsea.navy.mil/ Environment.htm. A paper copy of the Executive Summary or a single CD of the Draft EIS/OEIS will be made available upon request by contacting Mrs. Carmen Ferrer, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32407; E-mail: carmen.ferrer@navy.mil. Federal, State, and local agencies and interested parties are invited to be present or represented at the public hearing. Written comments can also be submitted during the open house sessions preceding the public hearings. Oral statements will be heard and transcribed by a stenographer; however, to ensure the accuracy of the record, all statements should be submitted in writing. All statements, both oral and written, will become part of the public record on the Draft EIS/OEIS and will be responded to in the Final EIS/OEIS. Equal weight will be given to both oral and written statements. E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 19196 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices In the interest of available time, and to ensure all who wish to give an oral statement have the opportunity to do so, each speaker’s comments will be limited to three (3) minutes. If a long statement is to be presented, it should be summarized at the public hearing and the full text submitted in writing at the hearing, mailed to Mrs. Carmen Ferrer, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32407 or submitted via e-mail to nswcpcpaowebmanager@navy.mil. All written comments must be postmarked or received by May 19, 2008, to ensure they become part of the official record. All comments will be responded to in the Final EIS/OEIS. Dated: April 3, 2008. T. M. Cruz, Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. E8–7461 Filed 4–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Terminate the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Introduction of F/A– 18E/F (Super Hornet) Aircraft to the East Coast of the United States (Construction and Operation of an Outlying Landing Field); To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of an Outlying Landing Field To Support Carrier Air Wing Aircraft at Naval Air Station Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk, VA; and To Announce Public Scoping Meetings Department of the Navy, DoD. Notice. AGENCY: mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: In a Notice of Intent published on June 24, 2005 (70 Federal Register [FR] 36566), the Department of the Navy announced its intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to provide additional analysis of the environmental consequences associated with the construction and operation of an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) needed to support operations of Super Hornet squadrons stationed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Virginia, and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft SEIS on February 23, 2007 (72 FR 8155). Pursuant to section (102)(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 (NEPA) of 1969 and the regulations implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR Parts 1500–1508), the Navy announces its intent to terminate the Draft SEIS for the Introduction of F/A–18E/F (Super Hornet) Aircraft to the East Coast of the United States (Construction and Operation of an Outlying Landing Field) and prepare an EIS to evaluate potential environmental consequences of the construction and operation of an OLF at new alternative sites to support Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) training requirements for carrier-based fixedwing aircraft stationed at and transient to NAS Oceana and Naval Station (NS) Norfolk Chambers Field, Virginia. The five new alternative OLF sites identified to date are: (1) Cabin Point Site, located in Surry, Prince George, and Sussex counties, Virginia; (2) Dory Site, located in Southampton and Sussex counties, Virginia; (3) Mason Site, located in Sussex and Southampton counties, Virginia; (4) Sandbanks Site, located in Gates and Hertford counties, North Carolina; and (5) Hale’s Lake Site, located in Camden and Currituck counties, North Carolina. These five site alternatives were identified by applying operational, environmental and population criteria to a list of 13 new sites provided by the State of North Carolina and the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as on the five sites examined in the Draft SEIS. Dates and Addresses: The Navy is initiating a scoping process to identify community concerns and local issues that will be addressed in the EIS. Federal, state, and local elected officials and agencies and interested persons are encouraged to provide comments to the Navy to identify environmental concerns that should be addressed in the EIS. To be most helpful, scoping comments should clearly describe the specific issues or topics the EIS should address. Public scoping meetings, using an Open House format, will be held to receive written comments or concerns that should be addressed in the EIS. Public scoping meetings will be as follows: 1. Currituck County, North Carolina. North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Currituck County Center, 120 Community Way, Barco, NC 27917 on April 28, 2008, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; 2. Prince George County, Virginia. J.E.J Moore Middle School, 11455 Prince George Drive, Disputanta, VA 23842 on April 29, 2008, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; 3. Sussex County, Virginia. Sussex Central High School, 21394 Sussex Drive, Sussex, VA 23884 on April 30, 2008, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4. Southampton County, Virginia. Southampton High School, 23350 Southampton Parkway, Courtland, VA 23837 on May 1, 2008, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; 5. Gates County, North Carolina. Gates County High School, 088 U.S. Highway 158 West, Gatesville, NC 27938 on May 2, 2008, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; 6. Camden County, North Carolina. Camden County High School, 103 U.S. Highway 158 West, Camden, NC 27921 on May 5, 2008, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and 7. Surry County, Virginia. Surry Central High School, 1675 Hollybush Road, Dendron, VA 23839 on May 7, 2008, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The dates, times, and locations of public scoping meetings are also available at (http://www.olfeis.com), and will be provided to local and regional media serving localities in the vicinity of proposed OLF sites. Comments can be made in the following ways: (1) Written statements submitted to Navy representatives at the public scoping open houses; (2) written statements mailed to Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, 6506 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, Virginia 23508, Attn: Code EV OLF Project Manager; and (3) written statements submitted via the Web site at http://www.OLFEIS.com. All written comments must be postmarked by June 7, 2008. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Navy proposes to construct an OLF that will support the FCLP operations of carrierbased fixed-wing aircraft squadrons stationed at and transient to NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia (F/A– 18C Hornet and F/A–18E/F Super Hornet squadrons and Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS)), and NS Norfolk Chambers Field, Norfolk, Virginia (E–2C Hawkeye, C–2A Greyhound, and E–2C/C–2A FRS). While NALF Fentress will continue providing necessary support for FCLP and other training requirements, this landing field alone cannot fully support training requirements of home-based and transient aircraft from NAS Oceana and NS Norfolk Chambers Field. Training requirements for aircraft based at these airfields can exceed NALF Fentress capacity up to 63% of the time during summertime when hours of darkness are limited. Capacity problems are further exacerbated when operational demands require surging additional carrier strike groups. A new OLF is required to provide year-round capacity to support FCLP training requirements under the Fleet Response Plan, provide operational flexibility needed to respond to emergent national defense requirements, and FCLP E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 69 (Wednesday, April 9, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19194-19196]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-7461]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Navy


Notice of Public Hearings for the Naval Surface Warfare Center 
Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) Mission Activities Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and regulations implemented by the Council on 
Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and Presidential 
Executive Order 12114, the Department of the Navy (Navy) has prepared 
and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS/OEIS) on March 27, 2008, to evaluate the potential environmental 
effects associated with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City 
Division (NSWC PCD) mission activities within the NSWC PCD Study Area, 
which includes St. Andrew Bay (SAB), and military warning areas W-151 
(includes Panama City Operating Area), W-155 (includes Pensacola 
Operating Area), and W-470.
    The Proposed Action is to improve NSWC PCD's capabilities to 
conduct new and increased mission operations for the Department of 
Defense (DoD) and its customers within the NSWC PCD Study Area. The 
research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) activities 
occurring in these areas include air

[[Page 19195]]

operations, surface operations, subsurface operations, sonar 
operations, electromagnetic operations, laser operations, ordnance 
operations, and projectile firing. A Notice of Intent for this Draft 
EIS/OEIS was published in the Federal Register on August 19, 2004 (69 
FR 51453).
    The Navy will conduct three public hearings to receive oral and 
written comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS. Federal agencies, state 
agencies, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to 
be present or represented at the public hearings. This notice announces 
the dates and locations of the public hearings for this Draft EIS/OEIS.
    Dates and Addresses: An open house session will precede the 
scheduled public hearing at each of the locations listed below and will 
allow individuals to review the information presented in the Draft EIS/
OEIS. Navy representatives will be available during the open house 
sessions to clarify information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.
    In addition, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which is 
participating as a cooperating agency in the development of the EIS, 
will be represented at the open houses and public hearings. All 
meetings will start with an open house from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
Presentations and public comment will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
Public hearings will be held on the following dates and at the 
following locations:
    1. May 5, 2008, Gulf Coast Community College, Student Union 
Conference Center, 5230 West Hwy 98, Panama City, Florida,
    2. May 6, 2008, Pensacola Junior College--Warrington Campus, 
McMillian Auditorium, 5555 Highway 98 West, Pensacola, Florida,
    3. May 7, 2008, Port St. Joe Elementary School Auditorium, 2201 
Long Avenue, Port St. Joe, Florida.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Carmen Ferrer, Naval Surface 
Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon Avenue, Panama City, 
Florida 32407; telephone: 850-234-4146; E-mail carmen.ferrer@navy.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NSWC PCD is the United States (U.S.) Navy's 
premier research and development organization focused on littoral 
(coastal region) warfare and expeditionary (designed for military 
operations abroad) warfare. NSWC PCD provides in-water research, 
development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) in support of expeditionary 
maneuver warfare, operations in extreme environments, mine warfare, 
maritime operations, and coastal operations.
    NSWC PCD is the nation's principal repository of this expertise 
supported by a diverse technical workforce in these areas that are 
critical to the future of U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps operations. 
In accordance with Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5000.1, test 
and evaluation support is to be integrated throughout the defense 
acquisition process (the process that encompasses every aspect of 
identifying, developing, and procuring defense systems) and is 
structured to provide essential information to decision makers. Such 
testing is used to validate the technical performance parameters 
(whether a given system performs as expected) and to determine whether 
systems are operationally effective, suitable, survivable, and safe for 
their intended use.
    It is the mission of NSWC PCD to provide RDT&E, as well as in-
service support for amphibious warfare, diving, maritime special 
operations, mine warfare (mines and mine countermeasures), and other 
naval missions that take place in the coastal region. The 
infrastructure has been established at NSWC PCD to support this 
mission. A unique feature of NSWC PCD that is unduplicated in the U.S. 
is the natural operating environment provided by the ready access to 
the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and its associated littoral and coastal 
regions. The GOM provides a surrogate environment for most of the 
littoral areas of the world in which the Navy will find itself 
operating for the foreseeable future.
    The NSWC PCD Draft EIS/OEIS addresses all of the identified RDT&E 
operations that occur within the NSWC PCD Study Area. The NSWC PCD 
RDT&E activities may be conducted anywhere within the existing military 
operating areas and St. Andrews Bay from the mean high water line 
(average high tide mark) out to 222 kilometer (120 nautical miles) 
offshore.
    The Draft EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of 
three alternatives, including two action alternatives (Alternatives 1 
and 2) and the No Action Alternative. The No Action Alternative 
addresses historical and current mission activities (referred to 
cumulatively as ``baseline mission activities'') for the NSWC PCD Study 
Area. Alternatives 1 and 2 analyze baseline activities, as well as 
future growth requirements for missions and activity levels. The 
development process incorporated the need to support future test 
capabilities, expand required mission capabilities, and increase the 
baseline tempo and intensity of activities. Alternative 2 is the Navy's 
preferred alternative.
    No significant adverse impacts are identified for any resource area 
in any geographic location within the NSWC PCD Study Area that cannot 
be mitigated, with the exception of exposure of marine mammals and sea 
turtles to underwater sound. The Navy will apply to NMFS for a Marine 
Mammal Protection Act Letter of Authorization (LOA) and governing 
regulations to authorize incidental takes of marine mammals that may 
result from the implementation of the activities analyzed in the Draft 
EIS/OEIS. NMFS is participating as a cooperating agency in the 
development of this Draft EIS/OEIS. NMFS staff will be present at the 
scheduled open houses and public hearings and available to discuss both 
the MMPA incidental take authorization process and NMFS's participation 
in the development of the EIS/OEIS.
    The Draft EIS/OEIS is being mailed to Federal, State, and local 
agencies, elected officials, and other interested individuals and 
organizations. The public comment period will end May 19, 2008.
    Copies of the Draft EIS/OEIS are available for public review at the 
following libraries: Bay County Public Library, 25 West Government 
Street, Panama City, FL 32401; Gulf County Public Library, 110 Library 
Drive, Port St. Joe, FL 32456; Fort Walton Beach Public Library, 185 
Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548; and Pensacola 
Public Library, 200 West Gregory Street Pensacola, FL 32501.
    The Draft EIS/OEIS is also available for electronic public viewing 
at http://nswcpc.navsea.navy.mil/Environment.htm. A paper copy of the 
Executive Summary or a single CD of the Draft EIS/OEIS will be made 
available upon request by contacting Mrs. Carmen Ferrer, Naval Surface 
Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon Avenue, Panama City, 
Florida 32407; E-mail: carmen.ferrer@navy.mil.
    Federal, State, and local agencies and interested parties are 
invited to be present or represented at the public hearing. Written 
comments can also be submitted during the open house sessions preceding 
the public hearings. Oral statements will be heard and transcribed by a 
stenographer; however, to ensure the accuracy of the record, all 
statements should be submitted in writing. All statements, both oral 
and written, will become part of the public record on the Draft EIS/
OEIS and will be responded to in the Final EIS/OEIS. Equal weight will 
be given to both oral and written statements.

[[Page 19196]]

    In the interest of available time, and to ensure all who wish to 
give an oral statement have the opportunity to do so, each speaker's 
comments will be limited to three (3) minutes. If a long statement is 
to be presented, it should be summarized at the public hearing and the 
full text submitted in writing at the hearing, mailed to Mrs. Carmen 
Ferrer, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon 
Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32407 or submitted via e-mail to 
nswcpcpaowebmanager@navy.mil.
    All written comments must be postmarked or received by May 19, 
2008, to ensure they become part of the official record. All comments 
will be responded to in the Final EIS/OEIS.

    Dated: April 3, 2008.
T. M. Cruz,
Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register 
Liaison Officer.
 [FR Doc. E8-7461 Filed 4-8-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P