Public Involvement

 
 

Public Involvement

The Navy is committed to an open and transparent public process. We will keep the public informed throughout the the development of this Supplemental EIS/OEIS.

National Environmental Policy Act

NEPA is a U.S. 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.

NEPA Schedule

Importance of Public Involvement

Public and agency input allows decision makers to consider community concerns and benefit from local knowledge. The public participates in the NEPA process during the following stages:

  • Scoping Period: Helping to identify the scope of the analysis, including potential environmental issues and viable alternatives.
  • Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS Public Review and Comment Period: Evaluating and providing substantive comments on the draft analysis.
  • Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS Wait Period: Reviewing the Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS and Navy responses to substantive comments received on the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS.

Substantive Public Comments

Public participation is an important part of the NEPA process. Submitting substantive and concise public comments is one of the most important aspects of the process.

“Substantive” comments, in the sense of an environmental impact analysis, are comments on the analysis that contain practical importance, value, or effect. Submitting a substantive and concise public comment on the Supplemental EIS/OEIS Proposed Action is one of the most important aspects of the NEPA process.

The most effective comments are those that provide useful information to the Navy. For instance, submit comments if you find:

  • New information that would change the analysis and conclusions.
  • Any peer-reviewed scientific literature that should be considered in the analysis.
  • Something that should be clarified.
  • A substantially different alternative that meets the purpose and need statement and has not been considered.
  • An error in analysis that may affect the outcome (applicable once the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS is released).

General recommendations to keep in mind when making comments on any NEPA document: 

  • Support statements with details. If, for example, you are concerned about biological resources, it is helpful to focus on a particular problem or issue, such as a species that you feel should be analyzed in the Supplemental EIS/OEIS, instead of making a broad statement such as “The Navy should analyze impacts on biological resources adequately.”
  • Back up your statements with explanations, facts, and references, as appropriate. 
  • Be as specific as possible with your comments. 
  • Focus comments on the specifics of the proposed project under consideration.
  • Submit your comments within the timeframes announced to ensure that your concerns are considered and addressed in the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS. 
  • Request to be included on the Supplemental EIS/OEIS mailing list to receive notification of public meetings and project information. 
  • Become familiar with the scope of the analysis, including the purpose and need statement, potential environmental issues, viable alternatives, and the responsibilities of the lead agency (Navy).
  • Review the project website to become familiar with the proposal, learn about the NEPA process, understand the responsibilities and authorities of the federal agency, keep up to date on future public meetings and comment periods, get answers to frequently asked questions, and view agency notifications.
  • Substantive comments received during the scoping process are used to determine the scope of issues to be analyzed in depth and identify potential alternatives to be considered. Comments on the scope of the analysis are not counted as votes or as part of a referendum on Navy decisions. They are used to improve the document and analyses, and to ensure impacts are adequately determined before the Navy makes a final decision on the proposed project. Therefore, avoid comments that state “I am in favor of this project,” or “I am opposed to this project.” Remember that the more clear, concise, and relevant to the scope of the analysis your comments are, the more effective they will be and the more likely they will be used to improve the draft and final documents and affect the agency decisions.
     

Cooperating Agency

Upon request of the lead agency, any other federal agency that has jurisdiction by law shall be a cooperating agency. In addition, any other federal agency that has special expertise with respect to any environmental issue that should be addressed in the Supplemental EIS/OEIS may be a cooperating agency upon request of the lead agency. 

Due to the nature and scope of the Navy’s Proposed Action, the National Marine Fisheries Service has been invited to be cooperating agency. As a cooperating agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service reviews sections related to potential effects on marine mammals and other protected marine species.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration            NOAA Fisheries
 
Public Involvement
Public Involvement
Public Involvement