Marines expansion threatens to “radically change” aircraft stationing and training in Hawai’i

The Marine Corps is threatening a major expansion in Hawai’i including basing of new aircraft, an increase in troops and dependents and expanded training.  The Navy/Marine Corps is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for this expansion.  There will be public scoping meetings held in Aug 24-30. From the project website  http://www.mcbh.usmc.mil/mv22h1eis/:

Public Scoping Open Houses

Federal, state, and county agencies and interested parties are invited to attend any of these open houses and encouraged to provide comments. The Navy will consider these comments in determining the scope of the EIS. Five meetings, using an informal open-house format, will be held on the islands of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu, and Moloka‘i as follows:

Meeting Dates/Locations

August 24, 2010 | 5-8pm

Hilo High School Cafeteria

556 Waianuenue Avenue

Hilo, HI 96720

August 25, 2010 | 4-7pm

Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School Cafeteria

68-1730 Ho’oko Street

Waikoloa, HI 96738

August 26, 2010 | 5-8pm

King Intermediate School Cafeteria

46-155 Kamehameha Hwy.

Kāne‘ohe, HI 96744

August 28, 2010 | 1-4pm

Kaunakakai Elementary School Library

Ailoa Street

Kaunakakai, HI 96748

August 30, 2010 | 5-8pm

Waimānalo Elementary & Intermediate School Cafeteria

41-1330 Kalanianaole Hwy.

Waimānalo, HI 96795

Project Overview

The Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement MV-22 Aircraft (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kelsey J. Green (Released))(EIS) for the basing and operation of MV-22 tiltrotor Osprey aircraft and H-1 Cobra and Huey attack helicopters in support of III Marine Expeditionary Force elements stationed in Hawai’i. Because the squadrons would train on land owned or controlled by the Department of the Army, the Navy has requested that the Army be a cooperating agency for preparation of this EIS.

AH-1Z Aircraft (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin (Released))The EIS will evaluate a proposal to introduce up to two Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) squadrons with a total of 24 MV-22 aircraft, and one Marine Light Attack Helicopter (HMLA) squadron composed of 18 AH-1Z and 9 UH-1Y helicopters, construction of improvements to accommodate the new aviation squadrons, improvements to training facilities in Hawai’i used by the Marine Corps, and use of Department of Defense training areas statewide.

UH-1Y Aircraft (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin (Released))This website provides information about the proposed action and alternatives, the EIS schedule, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, and points of contact. Project documents will be posted here as they become available.

The Marine Corps requests your input to identify community concerns and issues to be addressed in the EIS. You can participate in a variety of ways:

  • Attend a public scoping open house.
  • Visit this website to learn more about the EIS throughout the process.
  • E-mail us at mv22h1eis@beltcollins.com to submit comments.
  • Mail written comments to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Attn: EV21, MV-22/H-1 EIS Project Manager, 258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134.

Written comments must be submitted no later than September 7, 2010. Thank you for your interest.

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