The Navy is accepting public comments on the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS.
Comments may also be provided at the public meetings. All comments submitted during the public comment period will become part of the public record and substantive comments will be addressed in the Final Supplemental EIS/OEIS.
Public participation is an important part of the National Environmental Policy Act process. Submitting substantive and concise public comments is one of the most important aspects of that process.
"Substantive” comments, in the sense of an environmental analysis document, are comments on the analysis that contain practical importance, value, or effect. Submitting substantive and concise public comments is one of the most important aspects of the NEPA process.
The most effective comments are those that provide useful information to the Navy. For instance, submit comments if you find:
New information that would change the analysis and conclusions
Something that should be clarified
A substantially different alternative that meets the purpose and need statement and has not been considered
An error in analysis that may affect the outcome (applicable once the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS is released)
General recommendations to keep in mind when making comments on any NEPA document:
Support statements with details. If, for example, you are concerned about biological resources, it is helpful to focus on a particular problem or issue, such as a species that you feel should be analyzed in the Supplemental EIS/OEIS, instead of making a broad statement such as “the Navy will not adequately analyze the impacts on biological resources.”
Back up your statements with explanations, facts, and references, as appropriate.
Be as specific as possible with your comments.
Keep your comments focused on the specifics of the proposed project under consideration.
Submit your comments within the timeframes announced to ensure that your concerns are considered and addressed in the Draft Supplemental EIS/OEIS.
Request to be included on the Supplemental EIS/OEIS mailing list to receive notification of public meetings and project information.
Become familiar with the “scope” of the analysis, including the purpose and need statement, environmental issues, potential viable alternatives, and the responsibilities of the lead agency (Navy).
Review the agency website to become familiar with the proposed project, learn about the NEPA process, understand the responsibilities and authorities of the federal agency, keep up to date on public meetings and comment periods, get answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and view agency notifications. The website for the Supplemental EIS/OEIS is www.MITT-EIS.com.
Comments on the “scope” of the analysis are not counted as votes or as part of a referendum on Navy decisions. They are used during development of the document and analyses, and ensure that the impacts are adequately determined before the Navy makes a final decision on the proposed project. Therefore, avoid comments that state “I am in favor of this project,” or “I am opposed to this project.” Remember that the more clear, concise, and relevant your comments are, the more effective they will be and the more likely it is that they will be utilized to improve the draft and final documents and affect the agency decisions.