Marine Base Expansion‏

This was released today 7/27/12.

Taking over the Johnson
Valley open area within three miles of Cougar Buttes is still the Marines
beurocracy's preferred choice. We have 30 days to object.  
Bill


AGCC, Bldg. 1554, Box 788104, Twentynine Palms, CA 92278-8104
The Project
Update Notices offer a focused way to provide easily accessible, wide-spread
distribution of new Project information.
They augment the regular updating of
key Project public documents carried on MCAGCC’s Land Acquisition Study
webpage.
Please see these other Project documents for an overview and key
background information.
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)
Released for Public Review  July 27, 2012
The FEIS represents a nearly
four-year study of the environmental impacts associated with six different land

acquisition alternatives, and associated Special Use Airspace, to meet
requirements for Marine Expeditionary
Brigade sustained, combined-arms, live
fire maneuver training.
The FEIS was prepared following evaluation of
public comments on the DEIS
o The Project Team evaluated over 22,000 public
comments in response to the Draft EIS (DEIS).
o Alternative 6, the preferred
alternative, was developed directly in response to public comments during

the scoping period and is slightly modified in the FEIS. In this modified
form it remains the Marine Corps
preferred alternative.
o Many new
studies were undertaken in response to comments received on the DEIS.
Airspace sections revised and updated per coordination with the FAA.
Air
quality impacts analysis to sensitive receptors added.
Displaced
Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Study added.
New analyses of single-event
noise and noise-generated vibrations results added.
Impacts from ordnance
on water wells analysis added.
All alternatives had significant impacts to
land use, biological resources and airspace
management. All alternatives
except for Alternative 3 had significant impacts to recreation
resources.
Alternative 3 had significant impacts to transportation and air quality
resources.
The Marine Corps is proposing mitigation measures for five
resource areas, as appropriate to the
Alternative, including:
o An
additional mitigation measure for loss of recreation use in the West Study Area
(except in Alternative
3 where impacts to recreation are less than
significant).
o Four additional special conservation measures (developed in
consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife
Service (US FWS)) for impacts to
biological resources, especially the desert tortoise.
o Continued
consultation with FAA on airspace configurations and use that would meet MEB and
MEBbuilding block training while allowing for effective overall management of
the national air space.
o Measures for transportation resources in
Alternative 3.
o The Installation Cultural Resources Management Plan would be
modified to include acquired lands and
updated in 2014 to account for
mitigation measures for cultural resources to be identified in consultation

with the State Historic Preservation Office and Native American tribes.
No mitigation measures were available to address the impacts to land use.
Biological Opinion: The Marine Corps and US FWS have completed formal
consultation under the
Endangered Species Act regarding effects to the
threatened Desert tortoise. In its Biological Opinion (BO)
of the proposed
actions dated July 17, 2012 the USFWS concluded the proposed action was not
likely to
jeopardize the continued existence of the desert tortoise, nor
destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. 
The BO also
identifies specific avoidance, minimization and conservation measures, as well
as required
terms and conditions.
Future Significant Project Milestone:
Publish Record of Decision (ROD) September 28, 2012. Public
comments on the
Final EIS will be evaluated in preparation of the ROD