09.25.13

Following is the summary of the revised EIS on F-35 basing that the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation received late Wednesday from the Air Force:

Following is the summary of the revised EIS on F-35 basing that the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation received late Wednesday from the Air Force:

(SOURCE: U.S. Air Force –)

F-35A OPERATIONAL BASING FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT SUMMARY

*Preferred Alternative only; Record of Decision will be made in the Fall of 2013

The “Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for United States Air Force F-35A Operational Basing” analyzes the Air Force proposal to base F-35A aircraft at one or more alternative locations. The alternatives analyzed in this EIS include:

? Burlington Air Guard Station (AGS), Vermont*

? Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah*

? Jacksonville AGS, Florida

? McEntire Joint National Guard Base (JNGB), South Carolina

? Mountain Home AFB, Idaho

? Shaw AFB, South Carolina

For the Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve locations, the EIS analyzed three basing (e.g., beddown) alternatives that include 18 or 24 F-35A Primary Aircraft Authorized (PAA) that will replace existing complement of fighter attack aircraft. For the active duty locations, the EIS analyzes three beddown alternatives that include 24, 48, or 72 F-35A PAA.

At Burlington AGS, Hill AFB, Jacksonville AGS, McEntire JNGB, and Shaw AFB, the F-35As would replace current fighter attack aircraft, irrespective of the alternative basing location. No existing aircraft would be replaced at Mountain Home AFB.

An Executive Summary was not produced for this iteration of the EIS because there were no substantive changes made from what was already published in the Revised Draft EIS Executive Summary disseminated to you in May 2013. However, there was a 45-day comment (no hearings) period associated with the Revised Draft EIS. In total, 11,172 comments were received in letter, note, email, and postcard format. Of these, 823 were in letter, handwritten note, and email format and 10,349 were in post card format. In addition a petition, signed by 2,460 people, was received supporting the basing action at Burlington AGS. The following is a summary of the comments:

Burlington AGS: The majority of all comments were from Vermont citizens expressing either their support of or opposition to the basing action at Burlington AGS. There were 809 letters, handwritten notes, and emails received: 644 were in opposition to the basing action and 165 were in favor of it. Of the 10,349 postcards received, 9,655 were in support of basing F-35A aircraft at the Burlington AGS and 694 were in opposition. As was mentioned above, a petition in support of the basing action was signed by 2,460 people. More detailed is provided in the Final EIS in Section BR2.5.3.

Hill AFB: Of the 823 comments, two were received in response to the basing action at Hill AFB; one that expressed support and one that was in opposition to basing F-35As at Hill AFB.

No general public comments were received associated with the four other basing alternatives.

The Air Force began public distribution of the Final EIS the week of September 23, 2013. Concurrently, the Air Force will file the EIS with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday, September 27, 2013. In turn, the EPA will file a notice of availability (NOA) that will appear in the Federal Register on October 4, 2013.

The publication date of the NOA marks the start of the mandatory 30-day waiting period before the Air Force's Record of Decision (ROD) can be signed. The Air Force is currently planning to sign the ROD in the fall of 2013.

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