Public involvement is a fundamental part of the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (OEIS). Public and agency input allow decision makers to benefit from local knowledge and consider local issues and concerns before making a decision. The public participates in the process by:
- Helping to identify environmental issues and potential alternatives during the scoping period
- Evaluating and commenting on the analysis of the Proposed Action and alternatives during the Draft EIS/OEIS public comment period
- Reviewing the Final EIS/OEIS and Navy responses to public comments received on the Draft EIS/OEIS during the 30-day wait period
There have been a number of opportunities for the public to participate throughout the EIS/OEIS development. In September 2011, the Navy held five open house scoping meetings to inform the public about the MITT EIS/OEIS and to receive public comments on environmental resource areas to be studied. Those comments were considered and, as appropriate, incorporated into the Draft EIS/OEIS.The MITT Draft EIS/OEIS was made available on September 13, 2013
, and public comments were accepted through December 12, 2013. Four public meetings were held
to inform the public and obtain input on the analysis of the Proposed Action and alternatives. After the close of the Draft EIS/OEIS public review and comment period, the Navy considered and acknowledged or responded to all public comments received. In the Final EIS/OEIS, the Navy addressed the comments directly, or responded to public comments by modifying the analysis as appropriate. The Final EIS/OEIS was made available for download
on May 15, 2015; after the release, a final decision will be made and a Record of Decision signed. The Navy will not proceed with the Proposed Action until public comments are considered and the NEPA process is complete.