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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Navy

Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman, OR

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: NWSTF Boardman is the principal regional training range for aviation units located at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and is used for training by Oregon National Guard units located throughout the state of Oregon. NWSTF Boardman also supports training requirements of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and SUA activities for Department of Defense (DoD) contractors for unmanned aerial system testing and training of DoD personnel.

With the filing of the Draft EIS, the DoN is initiating a 60-day public comment period and has scheduled two public meetings to receive comments on the Draft EIS. This notice announces the dates and locations of the public meetings for the Draft EIS and provides supplementary information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Attention: Ms. Amy Burt--NWSTF Boardman EIS Project Manager, 1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203, Silverdale, Washington 98315-1101.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A Notice of Intent to prepare this Draft EIS was published in theFederal Registeron October 5, 2010 (75 FR 61452). A separate and additional scoping effort was conducted to address the modification of the proposed action to include establishment of a Military Operations Area that would join the current SUA associated with NWSTF Boardman. The Notice of Intent for the modification of the proposed action was published in theFederal Registeron December 27, 2011 (76 FR80910).

The DoN's proposed action involves construction and operation of new range facilities and changes in existing training and testing activities at NWSTF Boardman. In general, the proposed action would increase the types of training and testing activities and the number of training events conducted at NWSTF Boardman; accommodate force structure changes; and provide enhancements to training facilities and activities at NWSTF Boardman and its associated SUA.

To comply with federal mandates, the DoN proposes to maintain and enhance current levels of military readiness through improvement of training at NWSTF Boardman, accommodate possible future increases in training, and maintenance of the long-term viability of NWSTF Boardman as a military training and testing area. The proposed action is needed to provide a training environment consisting of ranges, training areas, and range instrumentation with the capacity and capabilities to fully support required training tasks for military units and personnel utilizing NWSTF Boardman.

The Draft EIS includes analysis of the potential environmental impacts of three alternatives, including the No Action Alternative and two action alternatives. The No Action Alternative constitutes the current level of baseline training and testing activities. Alternative 1 includes all current training and testing activities; the establishment and use of an additional Military Operations Area to the northeast of existing NWSTF Boardman SUA; an increase in existing training activities; new training activities; and range enhancements and facilities to meet DoN and Oregon National Guard training requirements. Alternative 2 includes all elements of Alternative 1 and the implementation of additional range enhancements, including the addition of a second (western) convoy live-fire range, a new range operations control center, and three mortar training positions.

Mitigation measures for potential effects to biological resources are being coordinated through appropriate Federal agencies. There are no Federally-listed species under the Endangered Species Act present at NWSTF Boardman, however, the DoN is conferencing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as appropriate, for potential impacts to the candidate species, Washington ground squirrel (Urocitellus washingtoni).

The Draft EIS was distributed to Federal, state, and local agencies, elected officials, and other interested individuals and organizations. Copies of the Draft EIS are also available for public review at the following public libraries:

1. Multnomah County Central Library, 801 Southwest 10th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205.

2. Boardman Branch of the Oregon Trail Library District, 200 South Main Street, Boardman, Oregon 97818.

3. Heppner Branch of the Oregon Trail Library District, 444 North Main Street, Heppner, Oregon 97836.

4. Central Branch of the Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty Street Southeast, Salem, Oregon 97301.

5. West Salem Branch of the Salem Public Library, 395 Glen Creek Road Northwest, Salem, Oregon 97304.

6. Stafford Hansell Government Center, 915 Southeast Columbia Drive, Hermiston, Oregon 97838.

Copies of the Draft EIS are also available for electronic viewing atwww.NWSTFBoardmanEIS.com.A paper copy of the Executive Summary or a single compact disc of the Draft EIS will be made available upon written request.

Dated: August 31, 2012. C.K. Chiappetta Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.