Background > EIS/OEIS
Background
For more than 240 years, the U.S. Navy has been operating on, over, and within the world’s oceans. For Navy Sailors, the world’s oceans can be their workplace as well as their home.

The Navy’s mission is to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas. Naval forces must be ready to respond to many different situations, in different settings, often under crisis conditions. From large-scale conflict to maritime security to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Sailors must be fully trained and prepared to perform these various and demanding duties at a moment’s notice.

Using the best available science and methods of analysis, the Navy is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with conducting naval training and testing activities within the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing (HSTT) Study Area, including activities that involve the use of active sonar and explosives. Most of these training and testing activities have been previously analyzed and authorized, and are similar to the types of activities that have been occurring in the Study Area for decades. The Navy is inviting the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to be a cooperating agency in preparation of the EIS/OEIS.

The Study Area consists of the in-water areas of the Southern California (SOCAL) Range Complex (including San Diego Bay); in-water areas of Silver Strand Training Complex (SSTC); the Hawaii Range Complex (HRC); areas on the high seas where training and sonar testing and maintenance may occur during vessel transit between the Hawaii and Southern California Range Complexes; the Temporary Operating Area west of the Hawaii Range Complex; and specific Navy pierside, port, and harbor locations.
HSTT EIS/OEIS Study Area Map

Proposed Action and Alternatives
The Navy proposes to conduct training and testing activities within the HSTT Study Area, including activities that involve the use of active sonar and explosives. Training Sailors and testing systems are necessary to achieve and
maintain military readiness. Proposed activities are similar to the types of activities that have been occurring in the HSTT Study Area for decades and are generally consistent with those analyzed in the HSTT EIS/OEIS, completed in 2013, and earlier environmental planning documents.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to evaluate a range of reasonable alternatives to achieve the purpose of and need for the Proposed Action. The Navy is developing alternatives based on the levels and types of training and testing needed to meet future requirements. Proposed activities would begin in 2018. Refurbishment of existing undersea instrumented ranges is also being considered.