The U.S. Navy has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement EIS (EIS/OEIS) to evaluate the potential environmental effects associated with maintaining military readiness training and research, development, test and evaluation activities (referred to as “training and testing”) conducted in the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area. The Study Area consists of the seaspace and airspace within the Hawaii Range Complex (extended to the International Dateline), the Southern California Range Complex (including San Diego Bay, the Silver Strand Training Complex, select Navy pierside locations, and transit areas between the range complexes. Each complex consists of various individual ranges that are used by the Navy for training and testing. In addition, Navy ships conduct some portions of their training in transit between the Hawaii and Southern California range complexes. The land portions of those range complexes, analyzed in previous EIS documents, are not a part of the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area and were not analyzed in this EIS/OEIS.
Throughout the EIS/OEIS, the Navy:
- Reassessed the environmental analyses of Navy at-sea training and testing activities contained in three separate EIS/OEIS and various environmental planning documents, and consolidated these analyses into a single environmental planning document. This reassessment supports reauthorization of incidental takes of marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and incidental takes of threatened and endangered marine species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
- Adjusted baseline training and testing activities from current levels to the level needed to support Navy training and testing requirements beginning January 2014. As part of the adjustment, the Navy accounted for other activities and sound sources not addressed in the previous analyses.
- Analyzed the potential environmental impacts of training and testing activities in additional areas (areas not covered in previous documents) where training and testing historically occurs, including Navy ports, naval shipyards, and Navy-contractor shipyards and the transit channels serving these areas.
- Updated the at-sea environmental impact analyses in the previous documents to account for force structure changes, including those resulting from the development, testing, and use of weapons, platforms, and systems that will be operational by 2019.
- Updated environmental analyses with the best available science and most current acoustic analysis methods to evaluate the potential effects of training and testing activities on the marine environment.