Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Expansion of the Powder River Complex Near Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and Air Force policy and procedures (32 CFR Part 989), the Air Force is issuing this notice to advise the public of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will assess the potential environmental consequences of a proposal to expand and enhance the Air Force's existing Powder River Complex (PRC) which currently has both airspace and ground-based Air Force training assets in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The Air Force proposal would establish the Powder River Training Complex (PRTC). The PRTC would more effectively use limited resources and finite flying hours by providing locally the realistic training needed by B-1 and B-52 aircrews flying from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) and Minot AFB, respectively. This would address the training and other limitations affecting the existing PRC training assets as they are currently configured. The proposed action would restructure and reconfigure the existing PRC Military Operations Areas (MOAs) and associated Air Traffic Control Assigned Airspace (ATCAA), establish additional MOA/ATCAA combinations in portions of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana, and include Gap MOAs to link these airspace units together for anticipated quarterly exercises. The resulting PRTC would provide a versatile, scalable complex with more realistic, effective, and efficient air combat training. Under each action alternative, the proposal would add new airspace with a floor of 500 feet above ground level (AGL) and eliminate some existing airspace. The proposed PRTC would also support additional ground-based simulated threat emitters under the MOAs, authorize use of defensive chaff and flares throughout the special use airspace, and permit supersonic flight above 10,000 feet AGL (above ground level) within the special use airspace. Changes to the airspace would permit increased local training throughout the MOAs and ATCAAs and provide for almost a full range of required combat training missions which replicate the combat conditions faced by Ellsworth AFB and Minot AFB aircrews. The modular design of the airspace would provide for more viable combat training with today's technological systems, and support missions such as dissimilar air combat training, network linked operations, and large force exercises. Three action alternatives and a no-action alternative have currently been identified for analyses (per 40 CFR 1502.14(d)). Alternative A, Full PRTC, would establish low (MOAs) and high (ATCAA) airspace that would expand the area overflown at low altitude from the existing approximately 5,900 square miles to approximately 31,700 square miles. Under Alternative B the low-altitude MOA airspace would overfly approximately 22,800 square miles. Under Alternative C the low- altitude MOA airspace would overfly approximately 24,500 square miles. The proposed ATCAA airspace would overfly approximately 37,800 square miles under Alternatives A, B, or C. Under the no action alternative, the existing PRC would continue with low altitude MOAs overflying approximately 5,900 square miles and ATCAAs overflying approximately 14,100 square miles.
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for Disposal and Reuse of Buckley Annex, Colorado
The United States Air Force is issuing this notice to advise the public that the Air Force intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) to assess the potential environmental impacts of the disposal and reuse of Buckley Annex, Colorado. This notice signifies the beginning of the Air Force's NEPA ``scoping'' and invites interested members of the public to participate in the NEPA process. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations at 40 CFR 1501.7 require an early and open process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed in the environmental analysis and for identifying the significant issues related to the proposed action. The scope identifies the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts to be considered in detail in the environmental analysis. This process of soliciting public input is called ``scoping.'' Scoping ensures that any significant issues are identified early and studied properly, and that minor issues do not consume the agency's time and effort. Site Description. The Buckley Annex property consists of about 72 acres located just west of the former Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, CO. The land is improved with 6 buildings containing nearly 640,000 square feet. Environmental information about this site can be found in the environmental condition of property documents at the following Web sites: http://www.airforcebrac2005.org/Buckley%20Docs2.htm. http://www.afcee.brooks.af.mil/products/ecp/default.asp. Need for the Proposed Action. In accordance with the Base Closure and Realignment Act amendments contained in Title XXX of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (Pub. L. 107-107), the Secretary of Defense submitted a consolidated Department of Defense (DoD) list of recommended actions to an independent commission appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (Commission) evaluated the recommendations and sent its findings to the President, who forwarded the recommendations to Congress on September 23, 2005. The Base Closure Act provides that, unless disapproved by Congress within a specified period, the recommendations are to be implemented. In the absence of Congressional disapproval, the Commission's recommendations became binding on November 9, 2005. Action with respect to Buckley Annex is being implemented as required by the Base Closure Act. In its 2005 report to the President, the Commission recommended closure of the Buckley Annex. Pursuant to that recommendation, all Air Force missions at Buckley Annex must cease or be relocated. Following closure, the property will be excess to the Air Force needs. Accordingly, the Air Force proposes to dispose of its real property interests at the Buckley Annex. The Base Closure Act requires the Air Force to treat the reuse plan of the local redevelopment authority as the Proposed Action for purposes of the environmental analysis if the plan is approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as meeting the requirements of the Base Closure Act. The redevelopment authority for the Buckley Annex property is the Lowry Redevelopment Authority. After conducting considerable public outreach, the redevelopment authority developed a proposed reuse plan and has submitted the plan to HUD for review and approval. HUD has not issued a final decision on whether the plan fulfills the requirements in the Base Closure Act. Proposed Action. As explained above, if the redevelopment authority's reuse plan is approved by HUD, the Air Force Proposed Action for purposes of NEPA environmental assessment will be the reuse plan. The redevelopment authority's reuse plan, dated February 2008, can be found at the following Web site: http://www.lowry.org. The reuse plan involves the demolition of all installation facilities to allow construction of mixed use commercial/residential (800 low- and medium- density residential units) with components involving a boulevard, open space, park, and storm water detention. Alternatives to the Proposed Action. The Higher Density Residential Alternative involves the demolition of all installation facilities to allow construction of a higher density residential use with commercial development and associated outdoor recreation areas and roadways. The Lower Density Residential Alternative involves the demolition of all installation facilities to allow construction of a lower density residential use with commercial development and associated outdoor recreation areas and roadways. The Facility Reuse Alternative involves the retention of Building 444 and associated Building 445 for reuse as an office complex. Other facilities on the property would be demolished to allow for recreation and open space uses. The No-Action Alternative involves the Air Force retaining the Buckley Annex property and maintaining it in caretaker status. Scope of the EA. The EA will address the potential environmental impacts of disposal of the property to public or private entities. In analyzing the environmental impacts of property disposal, the Air Force will consider the reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts associated with the likely reuse of the property, as well as the potential environmental impacts of reasonable reuse alternatives. Although NEPA does not require publication of a notice-of-intent (NOI) to prepare an EA or formal scoping process, it encourages public input opportunities. The Air Force invites full public participation in the NEPA process to promote open communication and better decision-making. All persons and organizations that have a potential interest in the Proposed Action, including minority, low-income, disadvantaged, and Native American groups are urged to participate in the NEPA environmental analysis process. To ensure sufficient time to adequately consider public comments concerning environmental issues and disposal alternatives to be included in the EA, the Air Force recommends that comments and reuse proposals be forwarded to the address listed below at the earliest possible date. NEPA and Scoping Process. Public participation opportunities with respect to the Proposed Action and this EA are guided by the provisions of 32 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 989, Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP) for Air Force actions. If during the environmental review process the Air Force finds that no significant adverse environmental impacts are associated with the Proposed Action, then a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) would be issued. The draft EA and a draft Finding of No Significant Impact, if appropriate, will be made available for a 30-day comment period. During this time, the Air Force will consider any comments submitted by agencies, organizations, or members of the public on the Proposed Action, the draft EA, or the draft FONSI. The Air Force is issuing this NOI to facilitate the environmental review process by soliciting scoping comments in advance of the 30-day period for submission of written comments on the EA. At the conclusion of the comment period, the Air Force may, if appropriate, execute the FONSI and proceed with the Proposed Action. However, if the Air Force finds that significant adverse environmental impacts would be associated with the proposed redevelopment, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be prepared. In that event, the Air Force would provide a forum for public officials and the community to provide information and comments; a scoping meeting would be held in Denver, Colorado, probably during the months of October or November 2008. Notice of the time and location of this meeting would be provided at a later date, and publicized in the community. The purpose of this meeting would be to help identify issues that need to be assessed and discussed in the EIS. During this meeting, the Air Force would discuss the proposal to close and dispose of Buckley Annex, describe the process involved in preparing an EIS, and ask your help in identifying alternative uses for Buckley Annex and any significant environmental impacts that may result from its closure and disposal. In soliciting disposal and reuse alternatives, the Air Force would consider reasonable alternatives offered by any federal, state, or local government agency, and any federally sponsored or private entity or individual. The resulting EIS would be considered in making disposal decisions documented in the Air Force's Final Disposal Plan and Record of Decision.
U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Notice of Meeting
Under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150, the Department of Defense announces that the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board meeting will take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, June 25th, 26th and 27th, 2008 at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Conference Center, 100 Academy, Irvine, CA 92617. The meeting on Wednesday, June 25th, will be from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. The meeting on Thursday, June 26th, will be from 3:30-4:45 p.m., and the meeting on Friday, June 27th, will be from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. The purpose of this meeting will be for the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board to reach a consensus and vote on the findings for the FY08 studies directed by the SECAF. The results will also be briefed to USAF senior leadership during the last two days of the meeting. This year's studies were: Airborne Tactical Laser Feasibility for Gunship Operations, Kinetic Precision Effects, Implications of Spectrum Management for the Air Force, and Defending and Operating in a Contested Cyber Domain. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.155, the Administrative Assistant of the Air Force, in consultation with the Office of the Air Force General Counsel, has determined in writing that the public interest requires that all sessions of the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board meeting be closed to the public because they will be concerned with classified information and matters covered by sections 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1), (4), and (9)(B). Any member of the public wishing to provide input to the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board should submit a written statement in accordance with 41 CFR 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the procedures described in this paragraph. Written statements can be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer at the address detailed below at any time. Statements being submitted in response to the agenda mentioned in this notice must be received by the Designated Federal Officer at the address listed below at least five calendar days prior to the meeting which is the subject of this notice. Written statements received after this date may not be provided to or considered by the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board until its next meeting. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submissions with the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Chairperson and ensure they are provided to members of the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board before the meeting that is the subject of this notice.
U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors Meeting
Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 9355, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) Board of Visitors (BoV) will meet in the Russell Senate Office Building (note, this is a new meeting location), Washington, DC, on 8 May 2008. The purpose of this meeting is to review morale and discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the Academy. Meeting sessions will begin at 9 a.m. on 8 May 2008, in room 232-A of the Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.155, the Department of Defense has determined that a portion of this meeting shall be closed to the public. The Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, in consultation with the Office of the Air Force General Counsel, has determined that one portion of this meeting be closed to the public because it will involve matters covered by subsection (c)(6) of 5 U.S.C. 552b. Public attendance at the open portions of this USAFA BoV meeting shall be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis up to the reasonable and safe capacity of the meeting room. In addition, any member of the public wishing to provide input to the USAFA BoV should submit a written statement in accordance with 41 CFR 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the procedures described in this paragraph. Written statements must address the following details: the issue, discussion, and a recommended course of action. Supporting documentation may also be included as needed to establish the appropriate historical context and provide any necessary background information. Written statements can be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the address detailed below at any time. However, if a written statement is not received at least 10 days before the first day of the meeting which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to, or considered by, the BoV until its next open meeting. The DFO will review all timely submissions with the BoV Chairperson and ensure they are provided to members of the BoV before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. For the benefit of the public, rosters that list the names of BoV members and any releasable materials presented during open portions of this BoV meeting shall be made available upon request. If, after review of timely submitted written comments, the BoV Chairperson and DFO deem appropriate, they may choose to invite the submitter of the written comments to orally present their issue during an open portion of the BoV meeting that is the subject of this notice. Members of the BoV may also petition the Chairperson to allow specific persons to make oral presentations before the BoV. Any oral presentations before the BoV shall be in accordance with 41 CFR 102- 3.140(c), section 10(a)(3) of the FACA, and this paragraph. The DFO and BoV Chairperson may, if desired, allot a specific amount of time for members of the public to present their issues for BoV review and discussion. Direct questioning of BoV members or meeting participants by the public is not permitted except with the approval of the DFO and Chairperson.