Department of the Navy December 8, 2006 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for the Virginia Capes Range Complex and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings
Document Number: E6-20846
Type: Notice
Date: 2006-12-08
Agency: Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, Navy Department
Pursuant to Section (102)(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and Executive Order 12114, the Department of the Navy (DON) announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas EIS (OEIS) to evaluate the potential environmental consequences associated with naval training in the Virginia Capes (VACAPES) Range Complex. The DON proposes to support and conduct current and emerging training operations and research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) operations in the VACAPES Range Complex by: (1) Maintaining baseline operations at current levels; (2) increasing training operations from current levels as necessary to support the Fleet Readiness Training Plan; (3) accommodating mission requirements associated with force structure change; and (4) implementing enhanced range complex capabilities. The EIS/OEIS study area is the VACAPES Range Complex which consists of targets and instrumented areas, airspace, surface and subsurface operations areas (OPAREAs), and land range facilities. Together the VACAPES Range Complex encompasses: 15,143 acres of land area (including 13,600 acres of land area for ranges); 5,158 nm2 of special use airspace (SUA) associated with land ranges; 27,661 nm2 of offshore surface and subsurface OPAREA; 9,589 nm2 of shallow ocean area less than 100 fathoms (600 feet); 18,072 nm2 of deep ocean areas greater than 100 fathoms; 330 nm2 of over water danger areas; and 28,672 nm2 of SUA warning areas. The scope of actions to be analyzed in this EIS/OEIS includes current and proposed future Navy training and RDT&E operations within Navy- controlled operating areas, airspace, and ranges. It also includes proposed Navy-funded range capabilities enhancements, including infrastructure improvements, which support range complex training and RDT&E operations. Training activities that involve the use of active sonar are conducted in the VACAPES Range Complex; however, those potential effects are being analyzed in detail in a separate document, the Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training EIS/OEIS. This separate sonar EIS/OEIS addresses active sonar use as a whole by the Atlantic Fleet in the eastern Atlantic Ocean (including waters that are part of the VACAPES Range Complex), and in the Gulf of Mexico. The results of this sonar EIS/OEIS will be incorporated into the VACAPES Range Complex EIS/ OEIS to account for active sonar effects that could occur within the geographic area of the VACAPES Range Complex. The DON will request the National Marine Fisheries Service to be a cooperating agency in the preparation of this EIS/OEIS. Dates and Addresses: Public scoping meetings will be held at the following four sites to receive oral and written comments on environmental concerns that should be addressed in the EIS/OEIS: Salisbury, MD; Chincoteague Island, VA; Virginia Beach, VA; and Nags Head, NC. Public scoping open houses are scheduled below: