Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Arctic Deep Draft Ports Navigation Improvements Feasibility Study
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announces its intention to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study the feasibility of improving the navigation infrastructure in the vicinity of Norton Sound and the Bering Strait with a focus on existing infrastructure at Nome, possible infrastructure at Cape Riley near Teller, and improved infrastructure at Point Spencer at Port Clarence, Alaska. This study will be performed through a partnership between USACE and the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation. The existing infrastructure in this region of Alaska is presently not capable of meeting existing or anticipated navigation demands for multinational, Federal, state, and local interests. Of particular concern in this region is the ability to provide a systematic approach to meeting navigation requirements in this region in response to a changing climate and thus an increasing need for environmentally and responsibly planned infrastructure. The EIS will address the potential for positive and negative environmental impacts of construction, operation, and maintenance of marine infrastructure serving the Norton Sound and Bering Strait region. USACE will hold scoping meetings in Nome and Teller, Alaska, in an effort to better define the issues associated with navigation in this region of Alaska. Teleconferencing or VTC will be set up as available to accommodate stakeholders unable to be present at the scoping meetings. Scoping will be ongoing throughout the feasibility study process.
East Bay, St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida; Restricted Areas
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to amend its regulations by revising an existing restricted area regulation and establishing six new restricted areas along the Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) facility shoreline. Tyndall AFB is surrounded on three sides by water with approximately 129 miles of unprotected coastline. This includes several areas where the lack of security or lack of restriction on access to these areas leaves Tyndall AFB personnel and resources vulnerable to unauthorized activities. This amendment is necessary to implement an enhanced security plan for Tyndall AFB, which includes four new permanent restricted areas and the ability to activate two additional restricted areas as local and national intelligence threat evaluations dictate.
Modification of Permit Application and Intent for Additional Public Scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement for the Port of Gulfport Expansion Project, Harrison County, Mississippi (Department of the Army Permit Number SAM-2009-1768-DMY)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District (USACE) announces a modification to a project proposed by the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being prepared. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. The proposed port expansion project involves impacting up to 200 acres of open-water bottom in the Mississippi Sound from the construction of wharfs, bulkheads, terminal facilities, container storage areas, intermodal container transfer facilities, dredging and dredged material disposal and infrastructure, and construction of a breakwater of approximately 4,000 linear feet. The recently received permit application modification proposes additional dredging and dredged material placement to modify the Gulfport Harbor Federal Navigation Channel (FNC) for a length of approximately 20 miles from the current federally authorized dimensions. The federally authorized turning basin would also be modified, as would the proposed turning basin expansion. The proposed project will include modifications to the authorized FNC and other navigation features to support a navigable channel depth of up to 47 feet in the Mississippi Sound and 49 feet in the Bar Channel plus advance maintenance and allowable over depth requirements. Modification to navigation features adjacent to the port facilities include deepening the existing Federal turning basin area and port berthing areas, a turning basin expansion, and new berthing areas. Widening the channel may be requested based on results of planned ship simulations. Final channel design and associated environmental impacts will be addressed during the permitting and EIS process. The EIS will evaluate the effects of construction and long term effects of the proposed expansion and channel modification, including placement of new work and maintenance dredged material in beneficial use sites or other placement areas, such as open water and ocean dredged material disposal sites. Alternatives to the proposed action will be evaluated in the EIS, which will assist the USACE in deciding whether to issue a Department of the Army permit. The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to inform and educate the public of changes to the proposed project; invite public participation in the EIS process; announce the plans for an additional public scoping meeting; solicit public comments for consideration in establishing the scope and content of the EIS; and provide notice of potential impacts to open-water benthic and other habitats potentially impacted by the project.
Pacific Ocean Off the Kekaha Range Facility at Barking Sands, Island of Kauai, Hawaii; Danger Zone
The Corps of Engineers is proposing to amend its regulations to establish a new danger zone in waters of the Pacific Ocean off the Kekaha Range Facility, Barking Sands, Island of Kauai, Hawaii. The proposed amendment is necessary for the Hawaii Army National Guard to continue small arms training operations at the Kekaha Range Facility and to protect the public from potentially hazardous conditions which may exist as a result of that use. The proposed amendment would prohibit, on an intermittent basis, vessels from entering a six mile wide section of the Pacific Ocean that narrows to a 0.7 mile wide section along the shoreline fronting the Kekaha Range Facility without first obtaining permission from the Commanding Officer of Kekaha Range Facility.