FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) are provided for additional project information.

1. Why is the Navy preparing an EIS/OEIS?

  • The Navy is preparing the HSTT EIS/OEIS to:
    • Support the issuance of federal regulatory permits and authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act
    • Update activities based on evolving military readiness requirements
    • Re-evaluate potential environmental impacts associated with ongoing naval training and research, development, testing, and evaluation (hereafter referred to as “training and testing”) activities conducted within the HSTT EIS/OEIS Study Area (hereafter referred to as the “Study Area”)
      • Training and testing activities include the use of active sound navigation and ranging (sonar) and explosives while employing marine species protective mitigation measures.
      • Proposed activities are similar to the types of activities that have occurred in the Study Area for decades.
      • This EIS/OEIS supports future training and testing activities beginning in 2018.

2. What are the key differences between the 2017 Draft EIS/OEIS and 2013 Final EIS/OEIS?

  • Training and testing activities proposed in the 2017 Draft EIS/OEIS are generally consistent with those activities analyzed in the 2013 Final EIS/OEIS and earlier environmental planning documents. In the 2017 Draft EIS/OEIS, the Navy:
    • Includes a No Action Alternative in which Marine Mammal Protection Act authorization would not be issued by NMFS; therefore, proposed training and testing activities would not be conducted
    • Refines the analysis of anti-submarine warfare activities, resulting in reduced levels of active sonar and fewer hours of sources of underwater sound
    • Reduces the number of sinking exercises
    • Includes analyses of increases in training for maritime security operations, such as drug interdiction and anti-piracy operations
    • Includes analyses of increases in testing of some new vessels, aircraft, weapons systems, and unmanned vehicles, and decreases in other testing activities
    • Includes improved acoustic models, updated marine mammal and sea turtle densities, and updated marine species criteria and thresholds
    • Continues to use the most current and best available science and analytical methods
    • Reviews procedural mitigations, where appropriate, and considers additional geographic and/or temporal mitigations, where applicable

3. Where does the Navy train and conduct tests within the Study Area?

  • Navy training and testing activities occur in the Pacific Ocean. The Study Area includes:
    • At-sea areas off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California
    • Areas on the high seas between the Navy’s Hawaii and Southern California range complexes where training and testing may occur during vessel transit
    • A Temporary Operating Area north and west of the Hawaii Operating Area
    • Select Navy pierside and harbor locations
  • Land components associated with these areas are not included in the Study Area and no activities on these land areas are included as part of the Proposed Action.

4. Why does the Navy need to train and test in the Study Area?

  • The Study Area plays a vital role in in the execution of the naval readiness mandate. It has unique attributes, including location, proximity, environment, infrastructure, and size, that make it an ideal venue for training military personnel and testing equipment and systems.
    • Southern California is home to the largest concentration of U.S. naval forces in the world, and the Southern California Range Complex is the Navy’s most capable and heavily used range complex in the eastern Pacific region.
    • Naval forces based in Hawaii and those transiting across the Pacific Ocean use and rely on the Hawaii Range Complex because of its capabilities and strategic location in the mid-Pacific region.
      • Within the Hawaii Range Complex is a one of a kind strategic national asset, the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, a designated Major Range and Test Facility Base. It is the world’s largest instrumented multi-environment test and training range, capable of supporting ocean surface, subsurface, air, and space operations simultaneously.
    • The transit areas adjoining these two critical range complexes provide ample area for ships and aircraft to conduct valuable en route training and testing.
  • For decades, Navy training and testing areas within the Study Area provide a safe and realistic environment for training Sailors and testing systems. The proximity of theseareas to naval homeports allows for:
    • Greater efficiencies during training and testing
    • Shorter transit times
    • Reduced fuel use, costs, and emissions
    • Reduced wear and tear on vessels, submarines, and aircraft
    • Increased safety with closer proximity to airfields and medical facilities on land
    • Access to established at-sea and shore training and testing infrastructure, such as instrumented ranges
    • Maximizing Sailors’ training time and reducing time away from their families
  • The Navy uses simulators and other advanced technologies for some training and testing; however, simulation cannot completely replace training and testing in a live environment.

5. Can’t you use simulators for training and testing?

  • When possible, Sailors use simulators and other advanced technologies when training and testing, and recent advancements and improvements in simulator technology has led to an increase in usage. Simulation, however, can only work at the basic operator level and cannot completely replace training and testing in a live environment.
  • While simulators provide early skill repetition at the basic operator level and enhance teamwork, there is no substitute for live training in a real-world environment. The Study Area provides a range of realistic training environments and sufficient air and sea space necessary for safety and mission success.
  • Despite advancements and improvements to simulator technology, there are still limits to the realism technology can provide.
    • Simulation cannot provide the real-world accuracy and level of training needed to prepare naval forces for deployment
    • Simulation cannot replicate a high-stress environment nor the complexity in coordinating with other military personnel
    • Simulation cannot replicate dynamic environments involving numerous military forces and cannot accurately model sound in complex training environments
  • For Training: Simulators are used for the basic training of sonar technicians, but are of limited utility beyond basic training.
  • For Testing: Although simulation is a key component in the development of vessels, aircraft, and systems, it does not provide all the critical data on how they will perform, whether they will be able to meet performance and other specification requirements in the environment in which they are intended to operate, or how they work in relation to other systems. For this reason, vessels, systems, and components must undergo at-sea testing.

6. Will the Navy use sonar in the Study Area?

  • Yes. The Navy proposes to conduct training and testing activities, which include the use of active sonar while employing marine species protective mitigation measures, within the Study Area. The Navy analyzed the potential environmental effects of sonar use in the EIS/OEIS.
  • For decades, the Navy has used various types of passive and active sonar for training and testing in the Study Area and has analyzed those activities in previous environmental documents. 

7. Why does the Navy need sonar training and testing?

  • Defense against enemy submarines is a top warfighting and training priority for the Navy. Newer-generation submarines are quieter and more difficult to detect, making them, as well as torpedoes and in-water mines, true threats to global commerce, national security, and the safety of Sailors. For example, in March 2010, the Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) Cheonan sank in the Yellow Sea killing 46 seamen. It is presumed that the warship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo fired by a submarine. To detect and counter potential hostile submarines, the Navy uses both passive and active sonar.
  • Navy anti-submarine warfare training and testing activities include the use of active and passive sonar systems and small explosive charges (used as sound sources), which prepare and equip Sailors for countering threats. The development of anti-submarine detection and weapons systems is also a priority for the United States.
  • Sonar proficiency is a complex and difficult skill that requires constant training in realistic conditions at sea. Lack of realistic training will jeopardize the lives of Sailors in real-life combat situations. The Navy uses simulators and other advanced technologies for some training; however, simulators cannot completely replace training in a live environment
  • Scientific research, acquisition, maintenance, and repair of sonar systems require at-sea and pierside testing to deliver combat-ready systems to naval forces. Conducting scientific research on new sonar technology and acquiring new systems is necessary to equip and maintain combat-ready forces capable of winning wars. At the same time, maintaining and upgrading existing sonar systems to ensure their continued reliability requires periodic testing and evaluation.

8. Some people say that sonar from Navy ships harms marine mammals. Is that true?

  • Since 2006, the Navy has funded surveys and data collection efforts to inform the Navy about marine species occurrence, behavior, exposure, and response to Navy training and testing activities. This body of scientific research has provided several indicators that Navy training and testing activities are unlikely to have long-term consequences on marine mammal populations. Some species have displayed short-term behavioral responses during or following certain activities. This holds true at any of the intensively monitored Navy range complexes in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where the Navy routinely trains and conducts tests using sonar.
  • Different species of marine mammals have widely varying sensitivities to sound based on frequency. This is a reflection of how different species have evolved to thrive with life in the marine environment, including differences in size, prey, habitats, and the predators they try to avoid.
    • The most current and best science indicates that effects from sonar depend on how loud the sound is, how close the animal is to the sound source, movement of the animal, the duration of exposure, the animals behavior at the time it hears the sound, and the sensitivity of an individual animal or a particular species.
  • The Navy, NMFS, and independent scientists are working to improve the state of science and our understanding of this complicated question through research into how sonar use affects marine mammals, and finding ways to minimize any effects.

9. Does Navy sonar cause marine mammal strandings?

  • In the past, there have been incidents around the world of marine mammal strandings (when a whale or dolphin washed ashore is unable to return to its natural habitat). Strandings can be traced as far back as ancient Greece; however, exactly why animals strand is still uncertain. Scientists have identified potential contributing factors for strandings including age, illness or disease, ingestion of marine debris/plastics, contaminant load, and manmade sources. Some stranding incidents have been coincident to Navy training with sonar and explosives, which is of great concern to the Navy.
  • Since 2006, scientific monitoring has found no evidence of strandings resulting from the use of sonar in any U.S. Navy range complex training or testing area. However, sonar use during exercises involving the U.S. Navy (most often in association with other nations' defense forces) has been identified as a contributing cause or factor in five specific mass stranding events over the last 16 years: Greece in 1996; the Bahamas in March 2000; Madeira Island, Portugal in 2000; the Canary Islands in 2002, and Spain in 2006. These five mass strandings have resulted in about 40 known cetacean deaths consisting mostly of beaked whales, but none of these occurrences were in the Study Area. The factors leading to these strandings are not well understood although various research projects have been underway to better understand these rare occurrences. For more information, please see the Navy's Technical Report on Marine Mammal Strandings Associated with U.S. Navy Sonar Activities (June 2017).
  • Current reporting concludes there is no causal connections between training and testing in the Study Area and any of the aforementioned strandings.
  • Natural and human causes can act alone or in combination to lead to a marine mammal stranding. For instance, an animal suffering from one ailment can become susceptible to various other causes due to its weakened condition.
  • The Navy recognizes that active sonar may affect marine mammals under certain conditions, which is why the Navy actively works to minimize its impacts on the marine environment. Several factors can contribute to the occurrence of stranding events, including disease, parasites, unusual oceanographic or weather events, trauma, starvation, ship strikes, and pollution. The Navy has reviewed training requirements, safety procedures, and possible mitigation measures and implemented changes to reduce the potential for acoustic related strandings to occur in the future.
  • Through the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act permitting processes, the Navy updates regional marine mammal Stranding Response Plans in coordination with NMFS, as needed. The Stranding Response Plan specifies the Navy’s requirements for reporting marine mammal strandings and assisting with post stranding data collection in association with major training exercises.

10. Where can I find more information about sonar and the effects on marine mammals?

11. Why is training and testing with explosives necessary?

  • To the extent possible, Sailors train and conduct tests using inert (non-explosive) practice munitions. Non-explosives, however, cannot completely replace training and testing in a live environment.
  • Testing with explosive ordnance is essential to ensure systems function properly in the type of environment they will be used.
  • Training and testing at sea with explosives significantly enhances the safety of U.S. forces in combat and improves readiness and equipment reliability.
  • Training in a high-stress environment, including the use of and exposure to explosive ordnance, is necessary for Sailors to be fully prepared to respond to emergencies, national security threats, and to ensure their safety.
  • Training and testing with in-water explosives is limited, occurs only in established operating areas, and only after the Navy issues notices to mariners and pilots to ensure public safety. 

12. How much money does the Navy spend on marine mammal research?

  • The Navy has committed approximately $250 million over the past decade to marine mammal and sound in water research. For example, in 2014, the Navy contributed nearly $30 million to marine mammal research and monitoring programs. The Navy’s research has generated more than 800 open source publications and has helped the Navy develop more effective measures to protect marine species.
  • The Navy funds research on:
    • Detecting and tracking marine mammals
    • Understanding marine mammal behavioral responses to sound
    • Establishing hearing thresholds; determining species location and abundance
    • Mitigating the effects of underwater sound to assist environmental planners, range operators, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders in making informed decisions as part of the permitting process for Navy at-sea training and testing activities.
  • This scientific research helps environmental regulators, scientists, and the Navy to:
    • Better understand the abundance, distribution, foraging, reproduction, physiology, hearing and sound production, behavior, and ecology of marine mammals and sea turtles, which is needed to assess the effects on species from Navy activities
    • Assess behavioral responses of marine species to sonar and explosives
    • Develop and improve models to better predict potential effects of underwater sound and explosives on marine species
    • Develop effective protective measures
  • As the vast majority of these activities take place on ranges, the Navy commits significant funding and manpower to improve understanding of the behavior and abundance of marine mammals within and in near proximity to areas where the Navy trains or tests. In addition, the Navy maintains a scientifically robust marine mammal monitoring program specific to Hawaii and Southern California. This program has been ongoing since 2008. Additional information can be found on the Navy Marine Species Monitoring Program website at navymarinespeciesmonitoring.us.

13. What resources were analyzed as part of the Draft EIS/OEIS?

  • The Navy analyzed the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on the following environmental resource areas:
    • Physical Resources:
      • Air quality
      • Sediments and water quality
    • Biological Resources:
      • Vegetation
      • Invertebrates
      • Habitats
      • Fishes
      • Marine mammals
      • Reptiles
      • Birds
    • Human Resources:
      • Cultural
      • Socioeconomic
      • Public health and safety

14. How will marine mammals be impacted by proposed activities?

  • Minimizing impacts on the marine environment is important to the Navy. The Navy’s use of sonar and explosives may affect certain marine species. Based on current research, monitoring, and modeling data, the analysis indicates that the majority of effects on marine mammals would be behavioral responses (i.e., movement in another direction or a minor change in behavior). The Navy will implement mitigation and monitoring measures to avoid or minimize effects on marine species. All final mitigations measures will be included in the HSTT Final EIS, the Record of Decision or final consultation documents, such as the Letter of Authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Biological Opinion under the Endangered Species Act.

15. What measures are implemented to protect marine life?

  • All Navy units are required to follow the standard operating procedures during training and testing activities as discussed in Chapter 2 of the HSTT Phase II EIS/OEIS, in addition to event- specific mitigation measures. In this Draft EIS/OEIS, the Navy is proposing some changes to certain procedural mitigations. These procedural mitigations are explained in Chapter 5 (Mitigations) of the Draft EIS/OEIS. In addition, the Navy is continuing to implement geographic mitigation measures presented in the 2013 HSTT EIS/OEIS in addition to proposing new geographic/temporal mitigation measures in this Draft HSTT EIS/OEIS, as discussed in Chapter 5 and Appendix K.
  • All units conducting such training and testing at sea use the Protective Measures Assessment Protocol, a decision support and situational awareness tool that facilitates compliance with mitigation measures for training and testing activities.
    • Protective Measures Assessment Protocol (PMAP): PMAP is a software tool available aboard Navy vessels that the Navy uses prior to conducting all training and testing activities. PMAP provides a map that displays the location of the training or testing activity relative to any protected or sensitive marine resources in the vicinity. Based on the location, date, and type of activity being conducted, PMAP generates a report of the specific measures that naval units must implement to protect marine resources and to ensure compliance with mitigation requirements. The final suite of required mitigation measures contained in the Navy and NMFS Records of Decision, the Marine Mammal Protection Act Letters of Authorization, Essential Fish Habitat consultations, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act recommendations, Coastal Zone Management Act consultations, and the Endangered Species Act Biological Opinions are integrated into the PMAP.
  • Mitigation Measures: Avoiding impacts from training and testing on the marine environment is important to the Navy. In its commitment to environmental protection, and in compliance with existing laws, permits, and authorizations, the Navy follows strict guidelines and employs measures to reduce potential effects on marine species while training and testing. The measures provided here include some, but not all, of the Navy’s existing mitigation measures at sea.
    • Posting qualified Lookouts: Navy personnel undertake extensive training to qualify as Lookouts in accordance with the Navy’s Lookout Training Handbook. All Lookouts must complete Marine Species Awareness Training Program approved by NMFS. Navy Lookouts visually observe for the presence of marine species within mitigation zones.
    • Observing the area prior to activities: Marine mammals and sea turtles can only be detected visually while at the surface, and marine mammals can only be detected acoustically while vocalizing underwater. Therefore, before certain activities are conducted, the area is scanned visually and, when possible, monitored acoustically.
    • Establishing mitigation zones for seafloor resources: The Navy establishes mitigation zones around important seafloor features, such as shallow coral reefs, live hardbottom, artificial reefs, and submerged wrecks. The Navy does not conduct precision anchoring or explosive mine countermeasure activities within these mitigation zones.
    • Implementing geographic and temporal mitigation measures: The Navy restricts some types of training and testing activities during certain times of the year and in specific geographic locations to further avoid impacts on marine mammals.
    • Navigating safely: While in transit, Navy vessel operators are alert at all times for objects in their path. Operators follow Coast Guard navigation rules, operate at a speed consistent with mission and safety, and take proper action if there is a risk of collision. Vessels avoid approaching marine mammals head on and maneuver to maintain a mitigation zone of 500 yards around whales and 200 yards around other marine mammals.
  • Mitigation Measures for Sonar and Explosives
    • Observing for protected species, including marine mammals and sea turtles, and floating vegetation and jellyfish (as indicators that marine mammals or sea turtles may be present), prior to the start of an activity
    • Monitoring areas visually and acoustically (when practical) for marine mammals and sea turtles prior to certain activities
    • Establishing mitigation zones
    • Using highly trained Lookouts
    • Powering or shutting down active sonar or stopping explosive activity if marine mammals, sea turtles, or scalloped hammerhead sharks are observed within the mitigation zone

16. Would the Navy limit public access to certain areas?

  • The Navy trains and conducts tests in a manner that is compatible with civilian activities.
  • Sailors share the ocean and coastal areas with the community and recognize the importance of public access. The Navy strives to be a good neighbor by minimizing access restrictions and limiting the extent and duration of closures of public areas whenever possible while ensuring safety at all times. Some access restrictions must occur, however, for public safety.
  • The Navy has designated operating areas, warning areas, and restricted areas for both airspace and marine waters to indicate where and when it may not be safe for recreational and commercial activities to take place.

17. How does the Navy ensure its training and testing activities do not cause safety issues?

  • The safety of the public and Navy Sailors is of utmost importance. The Navy implements multiple safety precautions when planning and conducting training and testing activities. These measures, along with the cooperation of the public, enable safe at-sea training and testing. Some precautionary measures include:
    • Ensuring impact areas and targets are unpopulated prior to conducting potentially dangerous activities
    • Canceling or delaying activities if public or personnel safety is a concern
    • Notifying the public of the location, date, time, and duration of potentially dangerous activities
    • Implementing temporary access restrictions to training and testing areas when appropriate to ensure public safety
    • Conducting thorough environmental and safety reviews for all test systems before tests are conducted on range sites
  • The Coast Guard publishes and broadcasts notices to mariners with location, activity, and duration information. Mariners are requested to read and adhere to the published notices.
  • Prior to going into the water, most systems go through land-based testing and many have been tested in smaller fresh water areas or tanks. After an initial review, modifications are made, as needed, to minimize the potential impacts on public safety and the natural environment.

18. The Navy always says they are good environmental stewards, but what specifically do they do?

  • For more than 240 years, the Navy has been operating on, over, and within the world’s oceans. These waters are the home and workplace of America’s Sailors. The Navy is committed to minimizing impacts on the marine environment as it trains Sailors and tests new technologies to defend the United States and its interests. Protecting the coastal and ocean areas of the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California is very important to the Navy and the Navy has implemented successful environmental programs to ensure their protection across their installations, training ranges, and the marine environment where the Navy may train and conduct tests.
  • Navy environmental protection efforts in Southern California include:
    • Implementing programs on San Clemente Island to enhance the recovery of threatened and endangered animal and plant species
    • Monitoring endangered black abalone and assessing habitat
    • Performing fish inventories to assess abundance, diversity, and biomass of fish in San Diego Bay
    • Enhancing and restoring habitats such as mudflats, river mouths, and shorelines
    • Controlling and removing invasive and predator species
    • Developing programs and materials for public education
    • Conducting San Diego Bay-wide eelgrass mapping and managing the Eelgrass Mitigation Bank
    • Investigating plankton population dynamics, productivity, and human impacts and determining food sources for endangered species that feed on plankton
    • Breeding and releasing captive birds, including the endangered loggerhead shrike, into the wild
    • Ensuring no net loss of existing structure and function of beach and dune habitat to protect native species and eliminate invasive species
    • Monitoring, managing, and conserving the Island fox, including conducting population analysis, veterinary care, and pathology services
    • Rocky intertidal monitoring, including evaluating the health of the communities and monitoring ocean acidification
    • Monitoring abundance, distribution, and reproductive status of birds
  • Navy environmental protection efforts in Hawaii include:
    • Supporting the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
    • Participating in the:
      • Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team
      • Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale Recovery Team
      • Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Scientific Advisory Council
      • Pacific Islands Region Marine Mammal Stranding Response Network
      • Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council
    • Designating the Nohili ditch area and nearby beach as a keep-out zone to minimize disturbance to green turtles
    • Removing invasive vegetation, such as the long-thorn kiawe, to improve and protect coastal dune flora habitat, and improving wetland habitat for the endangered Hawaiian stilt, or aeo; the stilt population is increasing as a result
    • Relocating adult Laysan albatross and eggs to the Campbell National Wildlife Refuge and other areas to protect both the birds and aircrews
    • Monitoring, tracking, and protecting endangered shorebirds, including the Hawaiian stilt, the Hawaiian coot, and moorhen, to better determine the appropriate avoidance, minimization, or mitigation measures needed
    • Partnering with local Hawaiian civic club members and the ’Aiea community to restore the Loko Pa’aiau fishpond by clearing the area and planting native vegetation, which re-establishes habitat for fish and birds.
    • Monitoring and managing threatened and endangered species
    • Managing and eradicating invasive species, such as the coconut rhinoceros beetle
    • Instituting the Dark Skies Initiative to reduce the use of non-essential lighting and modifying nighttime operations, minimizing effects on night-flying protected seabirds
    • Testing and tapping alternative energy sources ranging from wave energy buoys in Kaneohe Bay to photovoltaic arrays at Pearl Harbor
    • Implementing a protective-measures protocol to prevent further erosion of approximately 33,000 square feet of protected archaeological cultural deposits
  • In its role as a responsible steward of the environment, the Navy protects the unique and sensitive resources present in areas where it trains and conducts tests, while still providing the realistic experiences necessary for the readiness and safety of its Sailors.
  • The Navy invests in scientific research and collects data, applies the most current science and latest technologies to improve its environmental analyses, and implements successful environmental and cultural stewardship programs.

19. What is the National Environmental Policy Act?

  • NEPA is a U.S. federal law that requires federal agencies to identify and analyze the potential environmental impacts of a proposed action before deciding whether to proceed with that action. The law encourages and facilitates public involvement to inform decision makers on actions that may affect the community or the environment.

20. Who decides whether or not to accept/implement the Proposed Action?

  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations, and Environment), is the decision maker regarding the selection and implementation of an alternative. The decision is based on many factors, including the details of the Navy’s environmental analyses, breadth of public comment, recommendations from Navy commands, and mission requirements.

21. Who will provide independent oversight of the Navy’s environmental analysis?

  • The Navy requests and actively solicits feedback and comments from the public, government agencies, elected officials, nongovernmental organizations, Native Hawaiian groups, and federally recognized tribes. Substantive public comments are considered and incorporated into the EIS/OEIS, as applicable. 

22. Will my input actually have any impact on this process?

  • Yes. The purpose of the public involvement process is to provide information to the public about the Proposed Action and to solicit comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS. The Navy welcomes and appreciates your comments.
  • All substantive comments received during the 60-day public comment period will be reviewed and considered in the preparation of the Final EIS/OEIS.

23. When and where are the public meetings being held?

  • Public involvement is an important part of the NEPA process, and a number of opportunities are available for the public to participate throughout the development of the EIS/OEIS. In November 2017, the Navy held five open house public meetings in Hawaii and San Diego to inform the public about the Proposed Action and to receive public comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS.
  • Public meetings included an open-house information session, during which time Navy representatives were available to provide information and answer questions. A Navy presentation and public oral comment session occurred during the meetings. Written and oral comments were accepted throughout each public meeting. Click here for more information about the locations and times of the November 2017 public meetings.

24. How can my concerns be heard?

  • Public involvement is a critical part of the NEPA process and there are a number of opportunities for the public to participate throughout the EIS/OEIS development.
  • The public were able to participate in several ways during the Draft EIS/OEIS public review and comment period, including:
    • Discussing your questions or concerns with one of the Navy representatives during the November 2017 public meetings. The Navy encouraged you to provide written or oral comments to ensure your comments are reviewed and considered in the preparation of the Final EIS/OEIS.
    • Visiting the project website at www.HSTTEIS.com to submit substantive comments, learn more about the project, and link to other resources
    • Submitting substantive comments by mail
  • Comments were to be postmarked or received online by Dec. 12, 2017, for consideration in the development of the Final EIS/OEIS.

25. When will the document be ready?

  • Conducting a thorough analysis generally takes about one year following the Draft EIS/OEIS phase. The Draft EIS/OEIS was released for public review on Oct. 13, 2017, and was available for public comment through Dec. 12, 2017.
  • The Final EIS/OEIS and the Record of Decision are expected in fall 2018. Please know that the release dates may change. The Navy’s focus is to ensure that accurate and complete information and data, including your comments, are collected and appropriately analyzed.
  • When the documents are available, a notice will be published in the Federal Register and in local newspapers, and the document will be available for viewing and download on the website. 

26. When will a final decision be made?

  • The Record of Decision is expected in fall 2018. Please know that the release date may change. The Navy’s focus is to ensure that accurate and complete information and data, including substantive public comments, are collected and appropriately analyzed.