Friday, May 9, 2014

Air Force schedules public hearings to review Draft Environmental Impact Statement for use of state forests


The U.S. Air Force has scheduled three public hearings to further solicit input regarding corrections or clarifications in the long anticipated Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Gulf Regional Airspace Strategic Initiative (GRASI) Landscape Initiative and to address issues that haven’t previously been addressed or to consider new information.

The Draft EIS evaluates the potential environmental consequences of the Air Force proposal to apply to be a permitted user of northwest Florida state forests for nonhazardous military training activities and to identify and use up to 12 emitter sites in northwest Florida through the GRASI Landscape Initiative.

The Air Force proposal is to partner with the State of Florida to obtain permits to use lands that the state has already identified as potentially available for training, which include both Blackwater River State Forest (BRSF) and Tate’s Hell State Forest (THSF).

The proposed training activities for BRSF and THSF are compatible with the state forests and include nonhazardous training activities that are already conducted on Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) Range.  The proposed training excludes the use of live munitions and no substantive land disturbance or construction activities will occur during the exercises.

The public hearings will begin with an open house information session at 6:00PM, followed by an Air Force presentation at 6:30PM and then an opportunity for formal public or government agency or representative verbal comments at 7:00PM.

HEARING DATES AND LOCATIONS:
  • June 3, 2014 - Carrabelle City Hall: 1001 Gray Ave, Carrabelle, FL
  • June 4, 2014 - Franklin County Commission Main Courtroom: 34 Forbes St, Apalachicola, FL
  • June 5, 2014 – Santa Rosa County Bagdad Recreation Facility: 4591 School St, Milton, FL
To review an online copy of the Draft  EIS and its appendices click HERE