Navy Plans to Conduct EIS to Expand Range Operations at Dahlgren

Dahlgren, Virginia  The Navy (NSWC Dahlgren) is planning to expand range operations on the Potomac River Test Range Complex and the Explosives Experimental Area to meet mission requirements. The ranges are used for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) purposes that include the firing of munitions into the Potomac River.

Following NEPA guidelines and requirements, the Navy announced that it would prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of expanding RDT&E activities conducted on the ranges. The notice published in the Federal Register (see download link below) outlines three alternatives that will be evaluated including a no action alternative. One alternative includes assessing the existing baseline mission activities, as well as future RDT&E mission activities to satisfy known workload requirements over approximately the next seven years. The other alternative assumes that the activities will increase by 15% over the first alternative and looks 15 years out.

The EIS will evaluate the potential environmental effects resulting from the identified alternatives. Issues to be addressed include (but are not limited to): water quality, noise from detonations and the firing of guns; and the UXO issues. The Navy is currently in the scoping process and as such, is identifying community concerns and local issues that should be addressed in the EIS. The Navy is looking for comments on the scoping of the EIS and has scheduled several public meetings in order to capture some of those comments. Information on submitting comments as well as the schedules for the public meetings can be viewed in the announcement published in the Federal Register which can be viewed using the download link below.

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