SCHOFIELD BARRACKS – The Army published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in today’s Federal Register to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) which will evaluate the potential environmental effects associated with the modernization of training ranges, infrastructure, and support facilities at Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA) on the island of Hawai’i.    The PEIS will also specifically evaluate the potential environmental effects associated with the construction and operation of an Infantry Platoon Battle Area at PTA.

The Army seeks public input in order to identify community concerns and issues as part of the PEIS process, which is being conducted pursuant to the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The proposed action involves upgrading existing ranges to current standards and/or constructing new ranges; updating and/or constructing new soldier support facilities in the cantonment area, and improving or constructing roads and utilities at PTA.  The proposed action would improve the current shortfall in collective (group) live-fire training capabilities for units stationed in Hawaii.

The PEIS will evaluate constructing and operating an Infantry Platoon Battle Area (IPBA) that would include an Infantry Platoon Battle Course (IPBC),
Live-fire Shoothouse, and Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) facility.

The PEIS will also consider alternate courses of action, to include modernizing the existing training ranges, training support infrastructure, and facilities at PTA, as well as a “No Action” alternative which would just be a continuation of the present course of action for PTA.  Under the “No Action” alternative, the Army would continue to utilizing current training lands and facilities at PTA as efficiently as possible.

The PEIS will also present a range of alternatives for the IPBA at either the Western Range Area of PTA, Charlie’s Circle, or along the southwest side of Range 20; or to not build/ operate the IPBA at all.

The public is invited to attend the scoping meetings to receive information about the Army’s proposed action, and encouraged to provide written or oral
comments on environmental issues  to be addressed in the PEIS.

At the meetings, there will be table-top displays and an open-microphone for oral comments. Court recorders will be available for those who choose to
have their comments recorded.

All written comments must be postmarked or received during the 45-day scoping period to be considered in the Programmatic EIS for the
Modernization of Training Infrastructure at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawai.  Written comments must be postmarked by February 7, 2011 and mailed to: PTA PEIS, P.O. Box 514, Honolulu, HI 96809.

Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (808) 545-6808, via e-mail to PTAEIS@bah.com, online at www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil, or at the scoping meetings.

Date:       Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Hilo Intermediate School
587 Waianuenue Ave.
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
5:30-6:45 p.m. – Open House
7:00-9:00 p.m. – Open Microphone Session

Date:        Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Waimea Elementary and Intermediate School
67-1225 Mamalahoa Highway
Kamuela, HI 96743
5:30-6:45 p.m. – Open House
7:00-9:00 p.m. – Open Microphone Session

Submitted by Jack Wiers, Chief, Media Relations/Electronic Media, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii – Public Affairs

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