Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for T-7A Recapitalization at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma

Published date04 June 2024
Record Number2024-12131
Citation89 FR 47926
CourtAir Force Department,Defense Department
SectionNotices
Federal Register, Volume 89 Issue 108 (Tuesday, June 4, 2024)
[Federal Register Volume 89, Number 108 (Tuesday, June 4, 2024)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 47926-47927]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2024-12131]
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                DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
                Department of the Air Force
                Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for
                T-7A Recapitalization at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma
                AGENCY: Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense.
                ACTION: Notice of Intent.
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                SUMMARY: The Department of the Air Force (DAF) is issuing this Notice
                of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to
                assess the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts
                associated with T-7A Recapitalization at Vance Air Force Base (AFB),
                Oklahoma. The EIS will analyze the potential impacts from introduction
                of T-7A aircraft and flight operations at Vance AFB and associated
                airspace; changes to the number of personnel and dependents in the
                Vance AFB region; and construction and upgrade of operations, support,
                and maintenance facilities.
                DATES: A public scoping period of 30 days will take place starting from
                the date of publication of this NOI in the Federal Register. Comments
                will be accepted at any time during the environmental impact analysis
                process; however, to ensure DAF has sufficient time to consider public
                scoping comments during preparation of the Draft EIS, please submit
                comments within the 30-day scoping period. The
                [[Page 47927]]
                Draft EIS is anticipated in early 2025. The Final EIS and a decision on
                which alternative to implement is expected later in 2025.
                 DAF invites the public, stakeholders, and other interested parties
                to attend a public scoping meeting. Two in-person public scoping
                meetings will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on 25 and 26 June 2024. The
                location of both meetings will be at the Autry Technology Center (1201
                W Willow Road, Enid, OK 73703) and information provided at the meetings
                will be available on the project website (https://vance.t-7anepadocuments.com/). Attendees of the public scoping meeting will
                have the opportunity to submit written comments. The scheduled date and
                time for the public scoping meeting will also be published in local
                media (Enid News & Eagle) a minimum of 15 days prior to the meeting.
                ADDRESSES: The project website (https://vance.t-7anepadocuments.com/)
                provides additional information on the EIS and can be used to submit
                scoping comments. Scoping comments may also be submitted via email to
                [email protected] or via postal mail to Ms. Chinling Chen, AFCEC/
                CIE; Attn: Vance AFB T-7A Recapitalization EIS; Headquarters AETC
                Public Affairs; 100 H East Street, Suite 4; Randolph AFB, TX 78150.
                Please submit inquiries or requests for printed or digital copies of
                the scoping materials via the email or postal address above or contact
                the AETC Public Affairs office by phone at 210-652-4400. For printed
                material requests, the standard U.S. Postal Service shipping timeline
                will apply. Scoping materials are also available in print at the Enid
                Public Library at 120 W Maine Avenue, Enid, Oklahoma.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the proposed action is to
                continue the T-7A recapitalization program to prepare pilots to operate
                modern fourth and fifth generation aircraft. The need for the proposed
                action is to provide infrastructure and training systems to support the
                newer T-7A aircraft, allow for enhanced and improved flight and
                simulator training, and ensure DAF pilot training requirements are met.
                 Recapitalization entails introduction of T-7A aircraft and flight
                operations at Vance AFB to replace all T-38C aircraft assigned to the
                installation; nighttime (between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.) flight operations;
                temporary changes to the number of personnel and dependents in the
                Vance AFB region during the 2-year transition period; and construction
                and upgrade of support and maintenance facilities. DAF is considering
                three alternatives to implement the Proposed Action and the No Action
                Alternative. For Alternative 1, Vance AFB would receive up to 68 T-7A
                aircraft and phase in T-7A operations at a level sustaining pilot
                training while simultaneously phasing out the T-38C. A temporary
                increase of approximately 100 personnel is projected. Several
                construction projects including (MILCON) projects, unspecified minor
                military construction (UMMC) projects, and facilities sustainment,
                restoration, and modernization would potentially occur at Vance AFB to
                provide modern facilities and infrastructure to support T-7A aircraft
                maintenance, training, and operational requirements.
                 For Alternative 2, Vance AFB would receive up to 68 T-7A aircraft
                and perform T-7A operations at a level that is approximately 25 percent
                greater than Alternative 1. Alternative 2 is intended to cover a
                scenario in which, for either broad strategic or tactical operational
                reasons, DAF requires a surge or increase in pilot training operations
                above current plan. The number of T-7A aircraft arriving at Vance AFB
                and timeline of increased aircraft operations, new and renovated
                facilities, and personnel changes would be the same as described for
                Alternative 1. For Alternative 2, beginning in 2032, T-7A aircraft
                would perform annual operations at Vance AFB and associated SUA at an
                operational tempo that is 25 percent greater than Alternative 1. T-7A
                nighttime operations would occur with up to 873 annual nighttime
                operations at Vance AFB.
                 For Alternative 3, Vance AFB would receive up to 99 T-7A aircraft
                and perform annual operations approximately 45% greater than
                Alternative 1 once the aircraft transition is complete. Alternative 3
                is intended to provide DAF with operational flexibility, and inclusion
                of this alternative in this EIS provides analysis to evaluate future
                capacity needs.
                 For the No Action Alternative, DAF would not implement T-7A
                recapitalization at Vance AFB. If the No Action Alternative were
                implemented, the T-7A aircraft disposition would be determined
                separately. Vance AFB's existing fleet of T-38C aircraft would continue
                to be used in their current capacity even though they will reach the
                end of their service lives within the next decade.
                 DAF anticipates potential for increased air emissions, particularly
                nitrogen oxides, and increased noise from the Proposed Action.
                Increased noise could have a disproportionate impact on environmental
                justice populations and impact off-installation land use compatibility.
                The EIS will model air emissions, noise levels, and the number of
                disturbance events, that would result from implementation of the
                proposed action and alternatives and compare them to current
                conditions. DAF will also consult with appropriate resource agencies
                and Native American tribes to determine the potential for significant
                impacts. Consultation will be incorporated into the preparation of the
                EIS and will include, but not be limited to, consultation under Section
                7 of the Endangered Species Act and consultation under Section 106 of
                the National Historic Preservation Act.
                 Scoping and Agency Coordination: To identify important
                environmental issues deserving of study and to deemphasize unimportant
                issues, narrowing the scope of the environmental impact statement
                process, DAF is soliciting comments from interested Federal, State,
                Tribal, and local, officials and agencies, as well as likely affected
                or interested members of the public. Comments are requested on
                alternatives and effects, as well as on relevant information, studies,
                or analyses with respect to the proposed action.
                Tommy W. Lee,
                Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
                [FR Doc. 2024-12131 Filed 6-3-24; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 3911-44-P
                

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