NORFOLK, Va. –
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the United States (U.S.) Department of the Navy (Navy) announces its intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Improving Homeport Facilities for Three NIMITZ-Class Aircraft Carriers in Support of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. This SEIS will address current mission objectives, routine pier-side maintenance activities and proposed electrical power infrastructure. This may result in three aircraft carriers being in port at the same time at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island for more days per year than analyzed in previous NEPA documents. The Navy will study how this action may impact traffic, air quality, socioeconomics, environmental justice, and other environmental resource areas.
IMPORTANT DATES: The 45-day public scoping period begins June 9, 2023, and ends July 24, 2023. The public should submit written comments for consideration in development of the Draft SEIS by July 24, 2023. Public scoping meetings will be held on June 27, 28, and 29, 2023 at various locations in the San Diego area.
PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS: The Navy will host three public scoping meetings. The meetings will be open-house style information sessions with project team members available to answer questions. The public may arrive at any time during the hours specified. Spanish speakers will be available. There will not be a formal presentation. The meetings will be held at the following locations:
• June 27, 2023, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Logan Memorial Educational Campus
Building K101, MPR Room
2875 Ocean View Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92113
• June 28, 2023, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Coronado Community Center
1845 Strand Way
Coronado, CA 92118
• June 29, 2023, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
South Bay Union School District
601 Elm Ave.
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENTS:
Comments must be submitted by July 24, 2023, to be considered in the development of the Draft SEIS. The Navy encourages the public to attend a public scoping meeting and to visit the project website to learn more. Comments should be related to the scope of the analysis, including potential environmental issues and viable alternatives.
The public may submit written comments in one of the following ways:
• Through the project website: www.nepa.navy.mil/northislandCVNs/
• In person at one of the public scoping meetings
• By mail, postmarked no later than July 24, 2023, to the following address:
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Atlantic
Attn: EV21, CVN SEIS Project Manager
6506 Hampton Blvd, Building A
Norfolk, VA 23508
ABOUT THE PROPOSED ACTION: The Navy is proposing to update its analysis in the 1999 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Developing Homeport Facilities for Three NIMITZ-Class Aircraft Carriers in Support of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and its 2008 Final SEIS. The 1999 FEIS anticipated a need for three aircraft carriers to be in port simultaneously for 13 days per year. By the time of the 2008 SEIS, the anticipated need had changed to 29 days per year. That estimate has again changed to address current maintenance, training, and deployment requirements and an SEIS is required to update the environmental analysis based on this changed estimate.
Because of the number of variables involved with predicting aircraft carrier berthing requirements, the Navy plans to analyze the impacts of an anticipated need for three aircraft carriers to be in port simultaneously for an average of 180 intermittent, non-consecutive days per year. Although it is considered unlikely that this 180-day scenario would ever occur, the Navy has chosen a conservative average number of intermittent, non-consecutive days per year in order to ensure a “hard look” at the potential impacts of this ongoing project.
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to meet the Navy’s mission requirement to support its West Coast fleet and to maintain military readiness of naval forces for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations at sea to meet the needs of war, now and into the future, consistent with Title 10, Section 8062, of the United States Code.
The Proposed Action is needed because (1) aircraft carrier capable berths at NAS North Island do not currently have the capability to support the Navy’s next generation aircraft carriers (FORD-Class), and (2) current mission objectives, which include operational, deployment, and maintenance schedules, may result in three aircraft carriers being in port at NAS North Island at the same time for more intermittent, non-consecutive days per year than previously analyzed. The presence of three aircraft carriers may include all three NAS North Island-homeported aircraft carriers or two NAS North Island-homeported aircraft carriers and one transient aircraft carrier. Transient FORD-Class aircraft carriers may berth at NAS North Island once deployed on the West Coast. The proposal does not include homeporting any additional aircraft carriers at NAS North Island.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES TO BE STUDIED: The Navy has identified the following key resources for analysis due to changes since the 2008 study: traffic; air quality; socioeconomics; and environmental justice. The Navy also plans to review impacts to the following resource areas: biological resources; cultural resources; geology and soils; hazardous materials and waste; infrastructure; land use; noise; public health and safety; visual resources; and water resources. The Navy welcomes public input for the environmental review process, including resource areas to study.
The scoping process is helpful in identifying public concerns and local issues to consider during the development of the Draft SEIS. Federal, state, and local agencies; federally recognized tribes; and interested persons are encouraged to provide substantive comments to the Navy on environmental resources and issue areas of concern that the commenter believes the Navy should consider. Comments submitted at the scoping meetings, via the project website, or by mail, will be considered during the development of the Draft SEIS.
PROJECT LOCATION: NAS North Island, which is part of Naval Base Coronado, is located in Coronado approximately one mile (1.5 kilometers) west of and across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego, California. NAS North Island is a major port for aircraft carriers and a key support facility for the West Coast fleet. NAS North Island and its aircraft carrier berths are critical to the Navy’s presence and military readiness in the Pacific Ocean.