«FOREWORD The Theater Missile Defense (TMD) Extended Test Range Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) comprises two volumes. Volume I begins with ...»
Return to Contents
Return to Contents
Return to Contents
The Theater Missile Defense (TMD) Extended Test Range Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
comprises two volumes.
Volume I begins with the Executive Summary and Acronyms and Abbreviations. Section 1.0 of the
Final EIS contains the introduction. Section 2.0 contains the additions and revisions to the Draft EIS
and to the Supplement to the Draft EIS. Section 3.0 contains the responses to comments that were made on the two documents, and Section 4.0 includes an index to the commenters. Section 5.0 contains the agency comment letters and responses that pertain to the Draft EIS and the Supplement to the Draft EIS, while Section 6.0 lists the references used in the preparation of the Final EIS.
Section 7.0 contains the list of preparers of the EIS, and Section 8.
0 contains the distribution list for the document. Section 9.0 contains copies of the transcripts, exhibits, and written comments pertaining to the Draft EIS relevant to the Western Range Candidate Test Area. Section 10.0 contains copies of the transcripts, exhibits, and written comments pertaining to the Draft EIS relevant to the Eglin Air Force Base Candidate Test Area. Appendix A contains a discussion of cumulative impacts for the EIS, and Appendix B contains information pertaining to health and safety.
Volume II begins with an introduction as Section 1.0. Section 2.0 contains copies of the transcripts, exhibits, and written comments pertaining to the Draft EIS relevant to the White Sands Missile Range Candidate Test Area. Section 3.0 contains copies of the transcripts, exhibits, and written comments pertaining to the Supplement to the Draft EIS. No comments were received pertaining to the Kwajalein Missile Range Candidate Test Area.
TMD Extended Test Range Final EIS wp/fore-v1.162f-07/31/01 Return to Contents LEAD AGENCY: U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command COOPERATING AGENCIES: Ballistic Missile Defense Organization; United States Air Force; United States Navy; Federal Aviation Administration TITLE OF PROPOSED ACTION: Conduct extended-range tests of U.S. Army ground-based Theater Missile Defense missiles and sensor systems at one or more of four alternative test range areas located within and outside the United States AFFECTED JURISDICTION: White Sands Missile Range and Fort Wingate Depot Activity, New Mexico; Green River Launch Complex, Utah; Eglin Air Force Base (Santa Rosa Island and Cape San Blas), Florida; Naval Air Warfare Center- Weapons Divisio
DOCUMENT DESIGNATION: Final Environmental Impact Statement ABSTRACT: The proposed action is to conduct extended range flights of target missiles and tests of defensive missiles and sensor systems at one or more of four alternative test range areas. The tests would involve target and defensive missile launches from existing test ranges and from off-range locations. Potential off-range launch locations may include land areas and sea-based platforms.
Missile-to-missile intercepts would occur over existing test range areas or over open sea areas.
Approximately 100 flight tests could occur during the period 1995 to 2000, from more than one offrange location, and potentially from more than one test range area. Alternative locations for conducting these missile flight tests and intercepts, which are evaluated in the Theater Missile Defense Extended Test Range Final Environmental Impact Statement, are White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Western Range, California; and Kwajalein Missile Range, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement addresses, to the extent possible, the potential environmental impacts that would result from test site modifications, launch preparation requirements, missile flights along the proposed flight paths, and intercepts of targets over existing ranges or open sea areas. Environmental resource topics evaluated include air quality, airspace, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, hazardous materials/waste, health and safety, land use, noise, socioeconomics, infrastructure and transportation, and water resources. The potential for cumulative effects for each of these areas has also been addressed.
Return to Contents
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) Extended Test Range consists of the Draft EIS released for public review in January 1994, the Supplement to the Draft EIS released in July 1994, and the Final EIS released in November 1994. These documents were prepared in accordance with Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Department of Defense (DOD) regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The U.S.
Army Space and Strategic Defense Command is the lead agency for the EIS. Cooperating agencies included the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The Draft EIS analyzes the potential environmental consequences of conducting missile program demonstration and operational test flights and target intercept tests involving both proposed offrange missile flight path extensions and existing test ranges at four candidate test areas: White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico; Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida; Western Range, California; and the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the mid-Pacific.
In order to reduce environmental impacts identified in the Draft EIS resulting from off-range booster drops, the U.S. Army proposed new potential booster drop zones at the WSMR Candidate Test Area based on revised target vehicle flight trajectory analysis, consultation with appropriate government agencies, meetings with the public and environmental groups, contacts with local land owners, and additional technical analysis. The Supplement to the Draft EIS documents the analysis of these additional potential booster drop zones located along the missile flight paths from the Green River Launch Complex (GRLC), Utah, and Fort Wingate Depot Activity (FWDA), New Mexico, to WSMR.
The Final EIS makes additions and revisions to the Draft EIS and Supplement to the Draft EIS and provides responses to all comments documented in public hearing transcripts and written comments received. The two volumes of the Final EIS, the two volumes of the Draft EIS, and the Supplement to the Draft EIS constitute the complete EIS. A Record of Decision will be issued no sooner than 30 days after publication of the Final EIS.
ES.2.0 RELATED NEPA DOCUMENTATION
The TMD Programmatic Life-Cycle EIS was completed in January 1994. This programmatic EIS is an umbrella or "first-tier" document which provides a description of the potential environmental impacts over the entire life-cycle of the proposed TMD program and alternatives. As such, it addressed in the broad terms that were possible at that time the potential environmental impacts of the proposed research, development, and testing; production; basing (not deployment); and eventual decommissioning activities supporting all of TMD. The Record of Decision for the TMD Programmatic Life-Cycle EIS was signed in August 1994. It necessarily focused on the technologies involved and is neither system- nor site-specific. It also committed to preparation of lower-tier documents to assess site- and program-specific environmental impacts as the TMD program matured and possible locations were identified for the individual actions. Some of those documents have been prepared; others will be.
In order to provide environmental support to the wide range of Army TMD activities, the Army's
TMD program has been divided into three basic program efforts:
The current and future environmental documents being prepared in connection with these three efforts are related to each other. However, each effort is being analyzed as a separate element because it requires a separate decision. In order to adequately incorporate environmental considerations into program decisions for TMD, this tiered-document approach is necessary. The environmental documentation for each program effort is described as follows.
1. Specific TMD Weapons Development
In the case of specific TMD weapons, the TMD program encompasses the potential for developing and testing several types of ground-based defensive radar and missile interceptor systems. The Army is preparing individual environmental assessments (EAs) for each of these systems as they reach decision points. Consequently, an EA has already been prepared for the Phased Array Tracking to Intercept of Target (PATRIOT), Extended Range Interceptor (ERINT [also known as the PAC-3 missile]), Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), and Ground-Based Radar (GBR). An EA is currently in progress to assess HERA target missile launches from the Firing in Extension area north of WSMR with intercepts by defensive missiles on WSMR with particular emphasis on cumulative impacts. An EA for the Corps Surface-toAir Missile (Corps SAM) has not yet been started because the weapon system is still in the conceptual stage.
2. Extended Test Range Development
The Army needs to identify one or more occasional-use, off-range extensions of existing test ranges where development of ground-based TMD systems can be conducted over longer distances than currently available. Unlike weapons which can be developed individually, the Army must find the right combination of extended test range sites that allow all TMD program testing needs to be met.
Consequently, the TMD Extended Test Range EIS addresses all of the potential extended test range alternatives in a single document. This approach will allow decisions to be made that will address all TMD test range needs rather than making the decision on a weapon-by-weapon or site-by-site basis without the benefit of an analysis of cumulative and related impacts. This current EIS represents a second-tier document which is site-specific but takes a broad, programmatic approach in covering types of programs over multiple years. It describes the potential environmental impacts resulting from test site modifications and launch preparation requirements and from multiple missile demonstration and operational flights along extended-range flight paths with intercepts of targets occurring over existing ranges or open sea areas. These tests are in support of developmental and operational requirements for various planned ground-based TMD missile and sensor systems being developed by the DOD.
3. TMD Program Development Support Activities
In addition to weapon and test range development, there are other TMD program experiments and tests that must be conducted in order to develop the tools and criteria by which the Army can evaluate whether a proposed TMD weapon is effective or not. Program activities include the development of target missiles for flight testing the TMD weapons and tests to determine what constitutes sufficient damage ("lethality") to a theater missile or its warhead to remove it as a
threat. To date, these program development support activities have generated the need for several environmental documents, including the TMD Bulk Chemical Experiment EA (April 1991), the TMD Lethality Program EA (August 1993), and the TMD HERA Target Systems EA (January 1994).
Installation Environmental Documents--Various military installations are also in the process of preparing environmental documents that examine their continuing use and potential changes or additions to their present missions. These include WSMR (an EIS), Eglin AFB (an EIS), the USAKA (a Supplemental EIS), and Wake Island (an EA). The potential addition of a TMD program activity at a particular installation would be one of the items that an installation-wide EA or EIS would typically address. These subsequent installation-wide environmental documents may use the research and analysis found in TMD program environmental documents when assessing those aspects of the TMD program that are proposed for possible siting at their installation. This is an accepted procedure under the CEQ regulations implementing the NEPA and is referred to as "incorporated by reference."
As the TMD program continues to develop and mature into subsequent stages of production, basing, and decommissioning, the U.S. Government will undoubtedly identify other environmental analyses that need to be conducted to support the decision-making process. The timing of these analyses will be determined by the progression of the programs through the various stages that require decisions.
ES.3.0 PURPOSE AND NEED
In the Missile Defense Act of 1991 Congress called for the provision of a highly effective TMD program to defend forward deployed and expeditionary elements of the armed forces of the United States and U.S. friends and allies. Additional Congressional guidance in the fall of 1992 directed that all "theater and tactical missile defense activities of the Department of Defense... be carried out under the Theater Missile Defense Initiative" which will be established as the responsibility of an office within the DOD (Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, 1993). The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) (previously known as the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization [SDIO]) has been designated as the management office, with various elements of the TMD program being delegated to the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Each service will participate in the defense acquisition process in developing and acquiring its respective TMD program elements.