EL CENTRO – The Navy has published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register concerning the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the west coast home basing of the F-35C aircraft. The Final EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of home basing F-35C squadrons at either Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Ca., or Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, Ca. Alternative 2 (placing seven Fleet Squadrons plus the Fleet Replacement Squadron at NAS Lemoore while maintaining training operations at NAF El Centro) has been identified in the Final EIS as the preferred alternative. This alternative best meets mission requirements; optimizes operational efficiencies related to personnel, training, and logistics support functions; maximizes the reuse of existing facilities and minimizes the need for new construction; and preserves NAF El Centro as a valuable training asset.
Public input was a valuable part of the EIS process, and the Navy accepted input throughout the public comment period conducted from February 15 to May 7, 2013. The Final EIS addresses comments received during this period. The Final EIS is available for review at www.navyf35cwestcoasteis.com and has been distributed for review at the following local libraries:
For NAF El Centro area:
City of El Centro Public Library
City of Imperial Public Library
Imperial County Free Library, Holtville Branch
Imperial County Free Library, Heber Branch
Imperial County Free Library, Seeley Library
For NAS Lemoore area:
Kings County Library, Hanford Branch (Main)
Kings County Library, Lemoore Branch
Fresno County Public Library, Central Library
Fresno County Public Library, Riverdale Branch Library
West Hills College Lemoore Library
This Notice of Availability begins a mandatory 30-day waiting period, after which the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, or his representative, will sign a Record of Decision which will be published in the Federal Register.