Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the B-21 Main Operating Base 1 (Mob 1) Beddown at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas or Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota

Federal Register, Volume 85 Issue 45 (Friday, March 6, 2020)
[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 45 (Friday, March 6, 2020)]
[Pages 13148-13149]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2020-04593]
Department of the Air Force
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for
the B-21 Main Operating Base 1 (Mob 1) Beddown at Dyess Air Force Base,
Texas or Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota
AGENCY: Department of the Air Force, DoD.
ACTION: Notice of intent.
SUMMARY: The United States Air Force (Air Force) is issuing this notice
to advise the public of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) for the B-21 Main Operating Base 1 (MOB 1) Beddown at
Dyess Air Force Base (AFB), Texas or Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. The
EIS will assess the potential environmental consequences of the
proposal to beddown the Department of Defense's new bomber aircraft,
the B-21 ``Raider,'' which will eventually replace existing B-1 and B-2
bomber aircraft.
DATES: The Air Force plans to hold six public scoping meetings:
Tuesday, March 31, 2020: Holiday Inn at Rushmore Plaza, 505 North 5th
Street, Rapid City, SD 5770; Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Sturgis
Community Center, 1401 Lazelle Street, Sturgis, SD 57785; Thursday,
April 2, 2020: Douglas Middle School, 691 Tower Road, Box Elder, SD
57719; Tuesday, April 7, 2020: Abilene Convention Center, 1100 North
6th Street, Abilene, TX 79601; Wednesday, April 8, 2020: Wylie High
[[Page 13149]]
School Performing Arts Center, 4502 Antilley Road, Abilene, TX 79606;
and Thursday, April 9, 2020: Tye Community Center, 103 Scott Street,
Tye, TX 79563.
ADDRESSES: Additional information on the B-21 MOB 1 Beddown EIS
environmental impact analysis process can be found on the project
website at The project website can also be used to
submit comments. Inquiries and comments-by-mail regarding the Air Force
proposal should be directed to Dyess AFB Public Affairs, ATTN: B-21
EIS, 7 Lancer Loop, Suite 136, Dyess AFB, TX 79607; (325) 696-4820;
[email protected]; or Ellsworth AFB Public Affairs, ATTN: Steve Merrill,
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, 1958 Scott Dr., Suite 4, Ellsworth AFB,
SD 57706; (605) 385-5056; [email protected]. Comments will
be accepted at any time during the environmental impact analysis
process. However, to ensure the Air Force has sufficient time to
consider public input in the preparation of the Draft EIS, scoping
comments must be submitted to the website or mailed to one of the
addresses listed above by April 24, 2020.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The beddown of the B-21 will take place
through a series of three Main Operating Bases (MOB), referred to as
MOB 1, MOB 2, and MOB 3. The Air Force proposes to beddown MOB 1, which
includes two B-21 Operational Squadrons, a B-21 Formal Training Unit
(FTU), and a Weapons Generation Facility (WGF) in this EIS. MOB 2 and
MOB 3 beddown locations would be evaluated in future NEPA analyses,
after the location for MOB 1 is chosen. The B-21 will operate under the
direction of the Air Force Global Strike Command. The B-21 will have
both conventional and nuclear roles and will be capable of penetrating
and surviving in advanced air defense environments. It is projected to
enter service in the 2020s, and the Air Force intends to have at least
100 B-21 aircraft built.
    The purpose of the Proposed Action is to implement the goals of the
National Defense Strategy by modernizing the U.S. bomber fleet
capabilities. The B-21 Raider is being developed to carry conventional
payloads and to support the nuclear triad by providing a visible and
flexible nuclear deterrent capability that will assure allies and
partners through the United States' commitment to international
treaties. The B-21 will provide the only stealth bomber capability and
capacity needed to deter, and if necessary, defeat our adversaries in
an era of renewed great power competition. MOB 1 will support training
of crewmembers and personnel in the operation and maintenance of the B-
21 aircraft in an appropriate geographic location that can provide
sufficient airfield, facilities, infrastructure, and airspace to
support the B-21 training and operations.
    The EIS will analyze Dyess AFB and Ellsworth AFB as basing
alternatives for MOB 1 for the Proposed Action, as well as a No Action
Alternative. The basing alternatives were developed to minimize mission
impact, maximize facility reuse, minimize cost, and reduce overhead, as
well as leverage the strengths of each base to optimize the B-21
beddown strategy. The potential impacts of the alternatives and the No
Action Alternative that the EIS may examine include impacts to land
use, airspace, safety, noise, hazardous materials and solid waste,
physical resources (including earth and water resources), air quality,
transportation, cultural resources, biological resources,
socioeconomics, and environmental justice. The Air Force is preparing
this EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) of 1969; 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 1500-1508,
the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations implementing
NEPA; and the Air Force's Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP)
as codified in 32 CFR part 989.
    Scoping and Agency Coordination: The scoping process will be used
to involve the public early in the planning and development of the EIS,
to help identify issues to be addressed in the environmental analysis.
To effectively define the full range of issues and concerns to be
evaluated in the EIS, the Air Force is soliciting scoping comments from
interested local, state, and federal agencies and interested members of
the public.
    The Air Force will hold six scoping meetings to inform the public
and solicit comments and concerns about the proposal. Scoping meetings
will be held in local communities surrounding Dyess and Ellsworth AFBs.
Scheduled dates, locations, and addresses for each meeting will be
published in the Rapid City Journal and Black Hills Pioneer newspapers
in South Dakota, the Abilene Reporter News and The Wylie News
newspapers in Texas, as well as the Native Sun News, Indian Country
Today and the Original Briefs tribal newspapers, a minimum of fifteen
(15) days prior to each meeting.
Adriane Paris,
Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2020-04593 Filed 3-5-20; 8:45 am]