An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Jan. 24, 2013

Public Meetings in the Marianas Draw Interest in Navy Environmental Assessment

By Catherine Cruz Norton Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Public Affairs

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific and U.S. Commander Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) hosted public meetings on Guam and Saipan Jan. 15 and Jan. 17 to discuss the Navy's Draft Environmental Assessment/Overseas Environmental Assessment (EA/OEA) for the Mariana Islands Range Complex (MIRC).

The draft EA/OEA seeks to analyze potential environmental impacts from proposed modifications to training airspace and sea space for MIRC. 

"Our public meetings on Guam and Saipan were great opportunities to dialogue with the Marianas community in an open and transparent setting," said John Van Name, PACFLT environmental planning program manager. "We had the chance to answer questions and assist the community in understanding the Navy's proposed action in this EA/OEA."

The Navy's proposed action is to modify and extend military training airspace and sea space within the MIRC. This action is needed to enhance safety and provide a more efficient training environment and to maintain military readiness.

"We analyzed the potential environmental impacts of three alternatives in the draft environmental assessment and conducted a thorough assessment of environmental resources to determine the potential effects from the proposed action and alternatives," said Van Name. "The draft assessment indicates there would be no significant impact on the environment from proposed modifications to airspace and sea space."

Environmental experts staffed poster stations, answered questions and received oral and written comments on the analyses. 

"We are encouraged by their interest and attendance, and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Marianas community," said Van Name. 

The document has been available for public review and comment since Dec. 20, 2012, and will continue to be available for a 45-day public comment period through Feb. 4, 2013. Residents are encouraged to provide their comments on-line at