Environmental Impact Statement
for the Basing of MV-22 and H-1 Aircraft in Support
of III Marine Expeditionary Force Elements in Hawai'i
The Department of the Navy (DoN), on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps, has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the basing and training of MV-22 tiltrotor Osprey and H-1 Cobra and Huey attack/utility aircraft squadrons in support of III Marine Expeditionary Force elements in Hawaii. The decision is to proceed with the preferred alternative to implement projects at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, conduct aviation operations at training facilities and state airports statewide, and construct improvements at selected training facilities. Under the selected alternative, the Marine Corps will use Kalaupapa Airport for H-1 squadron training within the existing number of 112 annual operations by decreasing current CH-53E operations. This will accommodate a limited number of H-1 operations for pilots to become familiar with conditions at the airport.
Implementation of this action will be accomplished as described in the ROD, the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of June 2012, and the Programmatic Agreement (PA) of July 28, 2012. The PA resulted from consultations completed in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
Potential impacts associated with the preferred alternative were analyzed in the EIS. The Final EIS contains public comments received on the Draft EIS and responses to the comments. The Final EIS was made available during a 30-day waiting period (June 8-July 11, 2012). The Final EIS, ROD, PA, and comments on the Final EIS can be viewed on this website by selecting “Documents” on the menu above.
The selected alternative is to base and operate up to two Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) squadrons (up to 12 MV-22 Osprey per squadron, for a total of 24 aircraft) and one Marine Light Attack Helicopter (HMLA) squadron (15 AH-1 Cobra attack and 12 UH-1 Huey utility helicopters, for a total of 27 aircraft). Facilities to accommodate the squadrons would be developed on the southeast side of the runway at MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay. Projects would include demolition, new construction, and renovation. Approximately 1,000 active-duty personnel, 22 civilian personnel, and 1,106 dependents would be associated with the VMM and HMLA squadrons.
Implementation of the selected alternative will comply with all applicable regulations and standards. Potential impacts were disclosed in the Final EIS for aircraft noise, soils, biological resources, cultural resources, and traffic. Mitigation measures were identified for several of these impacts, while other impacts will be addressed through implementation of existing management measures. Final agreements regarding adverse effects on historic properties and measures to be implemented to minimize or mitigate those effects are included in the PA referenced above.
The DoN reviewed and considered comments contained in 37 letters/emails received during the Final EIS 30-day waiting period. The only additional measure to be implemented as a result of comments on the Final EIS is coordination of Marine Corps aviation training operations at Pohakuloa Training Area with the Mauna Kea observatories, following current Army procedures.