Secretary of the Navy Response
On March 8, 2019, the Secretary of the Navy signed a letter responding to the Feb. 19, 2019, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) comments on the Navy's proposed increase of EA-18G Growler airfield operations at the NAS Whidbey Island complex.
On Nov. 30,
2018, the Navy announced its decision to terminate section 106 consultation for increased Growler operations at NAS Whidbey Island. After being unable to reach agreement through extensive, in-depth consultations, the Navy has decided to terminate consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) regarding a planned increased EA-18G Growler operations at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island. Termination of consultation is an option provided to the federal agency under the Section 106 process, when the agency and consulting parties are unable to reach agreement on how to resolve adverse effects.
The Navy remains committed to resolving the undertaking’s adverse effects to historic properties. The Navy will continue discussions with community leaders regarding other potential mitigations that should be addressed outside of the NHPA Section 106 process. The Navy has a long collaborative relationship with the local community on mutual concerns, and looks forward to continuing that relationship.
The Navy has identified the following reasons for its decision to seek termination at this time.
- Negotiations have reached an impasse due to disagreement on the type and amount of mitigation appropriate to resolve adverse effects
- Operational requirements dictate that the Navy make a decision on the undertaking
Press release for the Navy’s Decision to Navy’s Decision to Terminate the Section 106 Consultation for Increased Growler Operations at NAS Whidbey Island
Notice of Termination of Consultation for EA-18G Growler Airfield Operations at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Complex, Washington (full document)
Draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
On Oct. 19, 2018, the Navy announced the Draft Memorandum of Agreement for EA-18G Growler Operations Increase at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is open for public comment.
Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island is inviting the public to review and comment on the current draft National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to resolve adverse effects to historic properties resulting from increased Growler operations at NAS Whidbey Island and Outlying Landing Field Coupeville.
The draft MOA was developed in consultation with the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and with local municipal and interested parties. The draft MOA is available for public review at the following website page:
Comments will be accepted until the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 process is complete, but are preferred before Nov. 2, 2018.
Comments may be submitted in writing to:
Commanding Officer, NAS Whidbey Island, Attn: NASWI CR PM, 3730 North Charles Porter Ave, Oak Harbor, WA 98278-5000, or sent via email to: NAVFACNWCR@navy.mil.
All comments will be considered. To ensure that your comment is routed properly, please include “Growler 106 MOA Comment” in the subject line.
All personally identifiable information of individuals who provide comments will be kept confidential and will not be released, unless otherwise specifically indicated by the commenter or as required by law.
The Navy’s responsibility under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) is to consider the effects of its actions on properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, to allow the public to express their views on how to resolve adverse effects, and to develop measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate any adverse effects.
In 2014, as part of its plan to comply with the NHPA, the Navy began the process of analyzing a proposed increase in airfield operations at Ault Field and Outlying Field Coupeville. Since then, the Navy has consulted with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer, the National Park Service, Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve, and local government agencies on the effects to eligible historic properties of the proposed increase in operations. This process resulted in a determination that certain characteristics of the Central Whidbey Island Historic District would be adversely affected; a finding concurred by State Historic Preservation Officer on June 27, 2018.
In keeping with 36 CFR 800.6, the Navy has continued consultation with these parties, holding several consultation meetings since July 2018 and exchanging information in an effort to arrive at a formal Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to resolve the adverse effect to historic properties. These meetings have resulted in robust discussions of the effects and options for resolution. The draft MOA incorporates those measures the Navy finds are consistent with the national defense mission of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, are consistent with Navy responsibilities under the NHPA and scale and scope of the proposed action, and fall within the Navy’s fiscal authority to implement.
Draft MOA Documentation
- Please click here to read the Navy’s press release for the Draft Memorandum of Agreement.
- Please click here to read the Draft Memorandum of Agreement.
In June 2018, the Navy released a document summarizing consultation efforts with respect to Section 106 of the NHPA of 1966 for the increase in EA-18G “Growler” aircraft and airfield operations at NAS Whidbey Island.
Consultation Determination Documentation
- Please click here to read the Navy’s press release for the announcement of the preferred alternative and the NHPA Section 106 consultation release.
- Please click here to read the Navy’s Section 106 consultation determination document.