The Navy has been training in the Southern California (SOCAL) Range Complex for national defense purposes for over 70 years. In line with range complex-wide management practices, the Navy has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) that comprehensively evaluates the effects on the environment of current and future training activities within the range complex. The Special Use Airspace that currently exists is not proposed to increase.
Public Involvement Process
A Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS/OEIS for current and proposed training and test activities (the Proposed Action) in the SOCAL Range Complex was published on December 21, 2006, initiating a 45-day public and agency scoping period that ended on February 8, 2007. During the scoping period, scoping meetings were held at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro on January 29, 2007; at the Oceanside Civic Center Library in Oceanside on January 30, 2007; and at the Coronado Public Library in Coronado on January 31, 2007. Agency and public comments on the Navy’s Proposed Action that were made during the scoping period were addressed in preparing the Draft EIS/OEIS.
The Draft EIS/OEIS was published on April 4, 2008, initiating a 45-day public and agency comment period that closed on May 19, 2008. During the public comment period, public hearings on the Draft EIS/OEIS were held at the Oceanside Civic Center Library in Oceanside on April 29, 2008; at the Coronado Community Center in Coronado on April 30, 2008; and at the Long Beach Public Library in Long Beach on May 1, 2008.
The Navy has prepared responses to all comments received during the public and agency comment period. The Draft EIS/OEIS has been revised as appropriate, based on the comments received and the Final EIS/OEIS is now available. The Final EIS/OEIS includes all public and agency comments received on the Draft EIS/OEIS during the 45-day comment period, and the Navy’s responses to each comment. The Notice of Availability of the Final EIS/OEIS published on December 5, 2008, initiated a waiting period that ended on December 29, 2008. During this period the Navy accepted public comments on the Final EIS/OEIS. Following the waiting period, the Navy reviewed and considered new comments before issuing a Record of Decision.
On January 21, 2009, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment, B.J. Penn, signed the record of decision, marking completion of the EIS/OEIS process for the Southern California Range Complex. With the record of decision, the Navy selects alternative 2, the preferred alternative among three that were analyzed.