Monday, February 25, 2013

Update 25 February 2013

Good Morning!

Wow, it is already the end of February, where does the time go?  It's time for an update on what we have been working on over the past month.  There’s a lot going on concurrently right now, so I’ll break up my update by subject to more easily highlight what’s happening.  

While the Kodiak Airport EIS includes several measures to avoid and minimize impacts, we are continuing our work on developing and refining a mitigation plan to mitigate those significant environmental impacts that are unavoidable.  As a quick recap of impacts detailed in the EIS, the preferred RSA alternatives would not completely avoid long-term environmental adverse impacts to wetlands (0.1 acres), waters of the US (17.8 acres), the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (17.8 acres), and subsistence.

As part of developing the appropriate mitigation, we have upcoming agency and tribal coordination meetings in Kodiak and Anchorage the week of March 4th.  We will be discussing potential mitigation measures to develop a reasonable compensatory mitigation package for identified significant impacts.  We are still developing the details of the plan, but I will send everyone an update as the mitigation measures continue to get flushed out.  

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA)
In my last message, I mentioned that we would be scheduling ANILCA Title XI hearings to receive comments on the potential impacts on those lands protected by ANILCA, such as the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.  ANILCA requires that we will hold a hearing in both Kodiak and Washington D.C.  Based on our current schedule, the hearings should be held around mid-March.  I’ll send a message out once we officially have those hearings on the calendar.

Since our last update, the FAA has determined that an ANILCA Section 810 Subsistence evaluation will be prepared for the project.  Section 810 applies to projects that could affect subsistence resources on federal lands and because the proposed projects affect subsistence resources, FAA is preparing an 810 Evaluation for the preferred alternatives.  This evaluation will be released publically for review and comment.  As with Title XI, Section 810 also requires public hearings and we plan to hold the hearings for the 810 Evaluation at the same time as the Title XI ANILCA hearings.  

We will also provide a comment period for both Title XI and the Section 810 Evaluation, likely during the month of March.  The comment period will last approximately one month.  Again, once we have these dates cemented, we’ll get the word out.  The team will also place advertisements in local news sources for the hearing times, locations, and comment periods.

Final EIS Release
The team is busily developing responses to all comments received on the Draft EIS.  As mentioned in my last update, responses to all comments will be included in the Final EIS, along with any necessary changes to the document itself based on the comments.  As a reminder, we uploaded all the comments received on the Draft EIS onto the website, so if you have not already gotten a chance to open them up and are interested in what was submitted, take a look.  The link is provided below.

The Final EIS is scheduled to be released later this summer.  As usual, I’ll provide updates as we go.

As always, thank you for your interest in this project.  As we move forward on this project, I will continue to keep you updated with our progress.  But in the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions.  You can always reach me at 907-271-5453 or via email at

Best Regards, Leslie

Leslie A. Grey
Environmental Protection Specialist
FAA - Alaskan Region, Airports Division

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FAA Update 1/23/13

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope all of you are off to a great start in 2013.  First and foremost, I want you to know how much I appreciate your participation in the whole EIS process, and most recently for the review and comment and public hearing of the Draft EIS.
We received all comments by the due date on December 18 and are starting the process of responding them.  All comments received will get a response and will be available in the Final EIS.  We will be working on this for the next few months.  
For anyone interested in seeing all the comments received, as well as the testimony from the public hearing, we have uploaded them to the project website.
In addition to working on the response to comments, the team is working on the compensatory mitigation plan.  The Kodiak Airport DEIS includes several measures to avoid and minimize impacts, but the preferred RSA alternatives would not completely avoid long-term environmental adverse impacts.  As a result, we are coordinating with others to determine the appropriate compensatory mitigation for these impacts.  We will continue to provide updates on both the status of the comment resolutions and the compensatory mitigation process as we move forward.
Finally, because the EIS alternatives involve fill into the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge an Alaska National Interests Land Conservation Act (ANILCA) Title XI application is required including public hearings in Kodiak and Washington D.C.  We are planning to have the hearings in late February/early March.  As we solidify these hearing details, I will most certainly get the information out to everyone.
That’s all for now, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone (907) 271-5453 or email:  
Best regards, Leslie

Leslie A. Grey
Environmental Protection Specialist

FAA - Alaskan Region, Airports Division