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The Navy has extended the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the homeporting of the Columbia Class submarines at Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay. The comment period was originally scheduled to expire on June 25, but will now expire on July 24.
The Draft EA is available for review at www.nepa.navy.mil/columbia-class. The Navy invites public comments on the Draft EA, which will help the Navy arrive at the best possible informed decision about the proposal. Comments must be received no later than July 24 to ensure consideration in the Final Environmental Assessment. Written comments may be submitted electronically on the website, or mailed to: ATTN: Ms. Sara Goodwin, code: EV22.SG, 6506 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23508-1212.
The Draft EA analyzes plans for establishment of facilities and functions at NSB Kings Bay to support the homeporting of Columbia Class submarines as replacements for the retiring Ohio Class submarines currently homeported at NSB Kings Bay. Under the Proposed Action, the Navy would construct eight facilities, modify five facilities, and demolish three facilities across three locations on NSB Kings Bay. Facility changes and development activities occur over a period of five years and completed by the arrival of the first Columbia Class submarines in 2028. The Proposed Action does not modify any existing dry-docks or conduct any in-water activity.
During the 2028 – 2042 transition period from the Ohio Class to the Columbia Class, the Columbia Class (SSBNs) will be phased in as the Ohio Class are phased out, and thus total numbers of submarines homeported at NSB Kings Bay during this time and at completion of the project will not exceed the number of Ohio Class submarines currently homeported at the base.
The personnel numbers associated with the Columbia Class submarines are expected to be comparable to those associated with the Ohio Class submarines. Therefore, the Proposed Action will not increase the number of personnel employed at NSB Kings Bay, although an increase in temporary workers will result during the demolition, modification, and construction of 16 facilities and various functions scheduled for completion in 2028.
This Environmental Assessment evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action alternative and the No Action Alternative to the following resource areas: air quality, water resources, geological resources, cultural resources, biological resources, utilities and infrastructure, public health and safety, and hazardous materials and wastes.
The Proposed Action is needed because the Ohio Class SSBNs are reaching the end of their service lives and need to be replaced before degrading to unacceptable conditions. Even with additional maintenance, these submarines would continue to suffer from reduced reliability and increased costs associated with the obsolescence of legacy Ohio system components.