Navy begins EIS process for construction at Pearl Harbor shipyard

By Justin Katz / September 15, 2020 at 9:05 AM

The Navy today announced it would begin drafting an environmental impact statement for its proposed demolition and construction of facilities at Pearl Harbor, an extended but necessary process associated with improving the four public shipyards.

The service aims to build a new submarine dry dock and waterfront production facility at Pearl Harbor as part of its Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan, an upgrade the Navy says is necessary for the installation to remain useful to the future submarine fleet.

"Following the phasing out of the Los Angeles Class submarine in 2022, [the current dry dock] would no longer be capable of servicing any active submarines due to size limitations," the Navy wrote in a Sept. 15 notice announcing its intent to prepare an EIS.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires the Pentagon to consider a wide range of effects its construction and operations could have on the environment as well as solicit feedback from local and state governments and the general public.

"The Navy is initiating a 32-day public scoping process beginning on September 11, 2020 and extending through October 13, 2020. The purpose of the public scoping process is to identify community interests and to receive comments on the scope of the EIS and the project’s potential to affect historic properties," according to the public notice.

A virtual public meeting will also be held Sept. 29.

As part of the drafting process, the Navy is offering several scenarios in which it constructs a covered or uncovered dry dock, a crane and a waterfront production facility; the alternatives differ in where each facility is placed around the shipyard.

There is also a "no action" alternative in which the current facilities are left standing and the service is unable to maintain its future fleet.