Public involvement is a fundamental aspect of the environmental analysis process.

National Environmental Policy Act Process and Public Involvement

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. 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. 

Public and agency input allows decision makers to benefit from local knowledge and consider community issues and concerns. The public participates in the NEPA process during the following stages by:
• Scoping Period: Helping to identify the scope of the analysis, including potential environmental issues and viable alternatives
• Draft EIS/OEIS Public Review and Comment Period: Evaluating and providing substantive comments on the draft analysis
• Final EIS/OEIS Wait Period: Reviewing the Final EIS/OEIS and Navy responses to substantive comments received on the Draft EIS/OEIS

The Navy encouraged the public, government agencies, elected officials, and organizations to participate by submitting comments at the public meetings, via the project website, or by mail.

The Navy completed the HSTT NEPA process in 2018.

The National Marine Fisheries Service was a cooperating agency for this EIS/OEIS.

Other Regulatory Processes and Public Involvement Opportunities

Marine Mammal Protection Act
Due to the use of active sonar and explosives during some training and testing activities, the Navy applied for permits and authorizations under the MMPA with NMFS. The Navy requested from NMFS authorization for the unintentional take of marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Study Area. NMFS requested public comments on its Proposed Rule to issue regulations and a subsequent Letter of Authorization to the Navy. After the NEPA process was complete, NMFS issued the Navy a Final Rule and Letters of Authorization for a 7-year period.

National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Consultation
Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Navy engaged California and Hawaii stakeholders in separate consultations. For California, the Navy consulted with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The Navy concluded the process by finding No Historic Properties Affected. The California State Historic Preservation Officer concurred with the Navy's determination. For Hawaii, the Navy consulted with representatives from the State Historic Preservation Division, the National Park Service, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and other interested parties. The Navy has determined there are historic properties present in the Hawaii Range Complex but the proposed training and testing will have no effect upon them. 

Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation
This EIS/OEIS analyzed potential effects to species listed under the ESA, administered by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). In accordance with Section 7 of the ESA (50 CFR section 402), the Navy completed informal consultations with the USFWS. Letters of Concurrence were issued by USFWS Carlsbad, CA and Honolulu, HI offices in 2018, concluding informal consultation. The Navy prepared a Biological Assessment that was submitted to the NMFS as part of formal consultation. A BO was issued by NMFS in 2018, concluding formal consultation. 

Coastal Zone Management Act
The Navy has determined that the activities are consistent to the maximum extent practicable with Hawaii's enforceable policies under the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program. For California, the Navy has determined that the activities are fully consistent with the applicable enforceable policies of the California Coastal Management Plan. The Navy completed the Coastal Zone Management Act Federal consistency process.

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
The Proposed Action has the potential to adversely affect essential fish habitat and managed species. The Navy prepared an Essential Fish Habitat Assessment and completed consultation with NMFS on affected species and their habitats.