On April 3, 2015 (HST) the Department of Defense (DoD) published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS) that evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with the establishment of a series of live-fire ranges, training courses, and maneuver areas in the CNMI (Tinian and Pagan) to reduce existing joint service training deficiencies and meet U.S. Pacific Command Service Components’ unfilled unit and combined level training requirements in the Western Pacific.
The Draft EIS/OEIS contains a description of the affected environment and a thorough examination of sixteen resource areas for a range of alternatives. The Draft EIS/OEIS will be available for review by the public at the Antonio C. Atalig Memorial Rota Public Library, Tinian Public Library, Joeten-Kiyu Public Library in Saipan, Olympio T. Borja Memorial Library in Saipan, Tinian Mayor’s Office, Northern Mariana Islands Mayor’s Office and digitally on the EIS website (www.CNMIJointMilitaryTrainingEIS.com) on April 3, 2015 HST (April 4, 2015 ChST).
With the release of the Draft EIS/OEIS, the DoD has also identified its Preferred Alternative. After considering operational requirements, infrastructure capabilities, environmental factors, and scoping input from the public, resource agencies, and the CNMI government, the DoD has selected Tinian Alternative 2 and Pagan Alternative 2 as its preferred alternative. This combination of alternatives best fulfills DoD’s statutory mission and responsibilities, giving consideration to economic, environmental, technical, and other factors. This preferred alternative is not a final decision and may change from the release of the Draft EIS to the release of the Final EIS.
A public comment period is now open until June 2, 2015 HST (June 3, 2015 ChST). The public may submit comments using the following methods:
1) U.S. Postal Service to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific
Attn: 09PA, Public Affairs Office
258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100
JBPHH, HI 96860-3134
2) Digitally at the EIS website, www.CNMIJointMilitaryTrainingEIS.com
3) In person through verbal or written comments at one of our public meetings (see schedule below)
Formal opportunities for the public to provide input will be provided at three public meetings, two meetings in Tinian and one in Saipan. The public meetings will be held as listed below (ChST):
The public meetings will be open house style with informational posters and materials on the Draft EIS/OEIS, including a period of time for attendees to provide verbal comments. Written comments will also be accepted at the meetings.
The DoD will not make a decision until the completion of the Final EIS/OEIS and anticipates issuing a Record of Decision in 2016.
For additional information about the proposed action and the associated EIS process please visit our EIS website at www.CNMIJointMilitaryTrainingEIS.com