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Notice of Availability of Finding

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Department of the Navy, DoD.




Pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), implementing procedural provisions of NEPA, the Department of the Navy (DON) gives notice that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been issued and is available for the Combined Carrier Strike Group Composite Training Unit Exercise/Joint Task Force Exercise that will occur during July and August 2007 (CSG COMPTUEX/JTFEX (Jul/Aug 2007)). In addition, pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 12114, Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions, a Finding of No Significant Harm (FONSH) has been issued and is available for Combined CSG COMPTUEX/JTFEX (Jul/Aug 2007).


The effective date of availability is June 21, 2007.


Electronic copies of the FONSI and FONSH are available for public viewing or downloading at Single copies of the FONSI and FONSH may be obtained by written request from: Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, 6506 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23508-1278 (ATTN: Code EV 21ES).

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Commander, Second Fleet Public Affairs, Commander Phillips 757-443-9822 or visit

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Combined CSG COMPTUEX/JTFEX (Jul/Aug 2007) is a major Navy Atlantic Fleet training exercise proposed to occur in July and August 2007 in the offshore Virginia Capes, Cherry Point, and Charleston/Jacksonville Operating Areas (OPAREAs) and adjacent military installations. The purpose of this exercise is to certify naval forces as combat-ready. Activities conducted during the exercise include air-to-ground bombing at land ranges, gunnery Start Printed Page 34231exercises, small craft interdiction operations, maritime interdiction operations, mine exercises, missile exercises, combat search and rescue exercises and anti-submarine warfare, including use of mid-frequency active (MFA) sonar.

The FONSI is based on analysis contained in a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment (EA) addressing environmental impacts associated with land-based training for Major Atlantic Fleet Training Exercises on the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. The FONSH is based on analysis contained in a Comprehensive Overseas Environmental Assessment (OEA) and Supplement to the Comprehensive OEA (SOEA) for environmental impacts associated with Navy's conduct of major exercise training in offshore operating areas along the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. Environmental concerns addressed in the EA included land use, community facilities, coastal zone management, socioeconomics, cultural resources, airspace, air quality, noise, geology, soils, water resources, biological resources, munitions and hazardous materials management, and safety. The OEAs addressed potential impacts to the ocean physical environment, fish and Essential Fish Habitat; sea turtles and marine mammals; seabirds and migratory birds; endangered and threatened species; socioeconomics; and cultural resources. The SOEA included an updated analysis of MFA sonar use and the potential for gunnery use associated with Combined CSG COMPTUEX/JTFEX (Jul/Aug 2007). Gunnery events using live ordnance were initially scheduled but are not currently proposed as part of the exercise. Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation between the Navy and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) resulted in a biological opinion from NMFS concluding that the proposed exercise is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any threatened or endangered species nor to adversely modify or destroy any designated critical habitat.

This action includes mitigation measures to reduce impacts to a level that is less than significant. Based on information gathered during preparation of the Major Atlantic Fleet Training Exercise EA and OEA and the SOEA, consultation with NMFS, and the evaluation of the nature, scope and intensity of the proposed action, the Navy finds that the conduct of the Combined CSG COMPTUEX/JTFEX (Jul/Aug 2007) will not significantly impact or harm the environment and, therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement or Overseas Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

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Dated: June 13, 2007.

L.R. Almand,

Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, Administrative Law Division, Federal Register Liaison Officer.

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[FR Doc. E7-12026 Filed 6-20-07; 8:45 am]