4.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES
4.1 GEOLOGY AND SOILS, WATER, LAND USE, SOCIOECONOMICS, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, RECREATION, VISUAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding potential impacts to the geology
and soils, water, land use, socioeconomics, environmental justice, recreation,
visual and cultural resources of Kodiak Island and the proposed KLC site,
the area potentially affected by the proposed processing and launch of the
USAF ait test vehicle. The USAF adopts the analysis and conclusions
of the FAA EA with regard to geology and soils, water, land use, socioeconomics,
environmental justice, visual and cultural resources. Therefore, no further
discussion with regard to these matters is provided. The FAA EA is included
as Attachment 1 to this USAF EA.
4.2 AIR QUALITY
4.2.1 PROPOSED ACTION
The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding potential impacts to air quality
from the construction and operation of KLC. The USAF adopts the analysis
and conclusions of impacts to air quality in the FAA EA with regard to pre/postlaunch
operations in general. The USAF determined that a specific analysis of air
quality impacts related to the launch of the two USAF ait test vehicles
would be included in this USAF EA. The results of that analysis are discussed
below. A detailed air quality analysis for the launch of the two USAF ait
test vehicles is included in Appendix B.
18.104.22.168 Lower Atmosphere ait Emissions
1. The USAF ait sub-orbital test vehicle will not require the
use of Class I or Class II ozone depleting substances (ODS) in the operation
or maintenance of the USAF ait systems, subsystems, components or
processes. Therefore, no ground-level ODS will be emitted as a result of
processing the USAF ait test vehicle at KLC. Since prelaunch processing
of the two USAF ait test vehicles will be minimal, ground-level activities
involving substances other than ODS also are not expected to impact air
2. Within the lower atmospheric region, ground-level air emissions from
launch of the USAF ait test vehicle are the primary consideration.
Computer model calculations have been performed to estimate air emissions
from both normal launches and ground-level catastrophic aborts of the USAF
ait test vehicle at KLC. A description of the Rocket Exhaust and
Effluent Diffusion Model (REEDM),Version 7.07 used for these calculations
is provided in Appendix B.
3. To model and calculate the ground-level emissions, two meteorological
cases were analyzed to correspond to the proposed launches of the USAF ait
test vehicle from KLC in the time period from July through September 1998
and March 1999. Normal temperatures and wind speeds for the months
of March and July were obtained from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) data available for Kodiak. Onsite year-round records are not available
for Narrow Cape.
4. On Kodiak, wind direction is independent of the time of year, with
the main seasonal variations being temperature and wind speed. The average
wind speeds used in the REEDM analysis for the USAF ait program are
5.55 meters per second (m/s) in March and 3.45 m/s in July. These values
are close to the yearly average of 4.9 m/s from a prevailing northwest
direction. The calculations would not change significantly if a different
launch month was selected. The dispersion model is not highly sensitive
to temperature, but typical temperatures of 12.4 Celsius (C) for July
and 0.5 C for March were used for the USAF ait analyses. The wind
conditions most likely to produce adverse air quality impacts, which are
nearly calm winds out of the west, were also analyzed. These conditions
occur 2 percent of the time throughout the year (FAA, 1996). No meteorological
constraints on launching due to vehicle emissions have been identified for
the USAF ait flights from KLC.
5. Pollutant concentrations versus distance downwind were calculated
for a normal USAF ait launch and for an aborted launch for the
two launch periods and for typical and calm wind conditions. The resultant
peak pollutant concentrations versus distance downwind are shown in Appendix B,
Figures 1 through 8. For a normal launch case, five pollutants are predicted;
Al2O3, HCl, CO, NO and Cl2. For the abort case, only three pollutants are tracked
since the model does not predict the formation of NO or Cl2.
Because KLC is near the ocean, a significant fraction of the gas phase HCl
will condense in the marine aerosol. This will lower the gas phase concentrations,
but will also retard ground deposition and will reevaporate in several minutes,
leaving downwind concentrations unchanged (Brady, 1997).
6. For normal launches, the four wind/month conditions result in similar
maximum concentrations of the five pollutants. The concentrations for gas
phase pollutants are less than 0.5 parts per million (ppm) for locations
downwind; none but HCl exceeds 0.05 ppm. Figures 1 through 4 in Appendix
B show where the peak concentrations of each pollutant occur for each of
the nominal launch conditions. As the wind speed increases, the peak is
reduced and occurs a greater distance from the launch site.
7. Figures 5 through 8 of Appendix B show that, for the USAF ait
launch abort cases, the three pollutant concentrations downwind are expected
to be lower than for normal launches. This is because solid propellant burns
more slowly in the open than in a rocket motor, and because the explosion
is expected to scatter chunks of solid propellant over a wider area. The
downwind range of peak concentrations is larger for the abort cases; this
is consistent with the scattering of solid-rocket propellant in an explosion.
The peak concentrations are lower for the calm wind cases in the abort scenario.
Season does not affect peak concentrations.
8. The one-hour average exposure for a person coincidentally situated
at the location of peak concentration downwind from an USAF ait
launch is less than 0.025 ppm (see Figure 9, Appendix B)
for the conditions analyzed. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration
(OHSA) personnel exposure limit for HCl is 5 ppm on an eighthour basis.
The USAF Space Command Surgeon's Office recommends an instantaneous maximum
HCl exposure of no greater than 10 ppm to sensitive human populations
on or near Vandenberg AFB and Cape Canaveral Air Station. That level of
exposure would pose some risk to the average individual but would not cause
permanent health effects. For exposures above 10 ppm, persons should
seek shelter or remove themselves from the area. Discomfort may also be
felt at a 2 ppm onehour average, or at instantaneous exposure of 10
ppm, but no hazard to healthy individuals occurs at that level. The HCl
concentrations of 0.025 ppm resulting from the USAF ait launches
fall far below these levels.
9. The concentrations of Al2O3
downwind from an USAF ait launch or abort are given in milligrams
per cubic meter (mg/m3) in Figures 1 through 9 of Appendix
B. The USAF has not established exposure standards for alumina particles.
However, the concentrations of A12O3
may be used for cumulative air quality considerations of particulate matter
(aerodiameter less than 10 microns [PM10]). Figures
1 through 8 of Appendix B show that Al2O3
concentrations are expected to be less than 2 mg/m3,
while 60-minute maximum exposures would be less than 0.25 mg/m3.
10. Because the FAA EA for KLC indicated that the highest concentrations
of launch emissions were found on an uninhabited mountain 5 km east of the
launch site, that location was evaluated for each USAF ait scenario
discussed above. In the prevailing wind cases, concentrations at the mountain
site are zero except for Al2O3.
For the calm wind cases, the Al2O3
concentration is approximately 30 percent smaller than the peak concentrations;
the other chemical species are a factor of 5 to 10 smaller than their respective
11. The difference between the results presented in the FAA EA and
those in this USAF EA are due to the fact that the mountain site is located
inland from the launch pad, whereas many of the peak concentrations shown
in Figures 1 through 8 in Appendix B, especially in the prevailing
wind cases, will occur over the open ocean.
12. In conclusion, HCl is the main gas phase pollutant released during
the USAF ait launch events. Its peak concentrations will be below
0.5 ppm, while the 60-minute mean concentrations will be below 0.025 ppm.
The peak levels are expected to occur at unpopulated locations downwind
of the launch site. In addition, the levels would not be harmful to individuals
should exposure occur. As addressed in the FAA EA, these levels would not
result in significant impacts to plants or animals from the two USAF ait
test vehicle launches. Other gas phase pollutant concentrations will
be an order of magnitude smaller.
22.214.171.124 Upper Atmosphere ait Emissions
1. The first and second stage solid rocket motors of the USAF ait
test vehicle produce exhaust emissions containing chlorine compounds. The
primary chlorine compound produced at the nozzles of each of the two stages
is HCl. Through high temperature afterburning reactions in the exhaust
plume, the HCl is partially converted to atomic chlorine and molecular chlorine (Cl and
Cl2) (Burke and Zittel, 1997;
Zittel, 1994). These more active forms of chlorine can contribute to localized
ozone depletion in the wake of the launch vehicle, and also to the overall
global chlorine loading which contributes to long-term ozone depletion.
The HCl remains in the stratosphere for about three years, and then diffuses
down to the troposphere. Details of the computer models used to generate
the emission quantities are provided in Appendix B.
2. The USAF ait test vehicle will spend approximately 25 seconds
in the stratosphere between 15 and 40 km. The first stage of the USAF
ait test vehicle will deposit approximately 400 pounds (lbs)
of HCl and approximately 550 lbs of combined Cl and Cl2
between 15 km and 34.6 km (burnout). This represents less than 30 lbs
of active chlorine being distributed per km of altitude by the first stage.
The second stage, which ignites at an altitude of 34.6 km, will contribute
a total of approximately 6 lbs of HCl, Cl and Cl2
between ignition and 40 km altitude. It is estimated that less than 1 lb
per km of altitude of the active forms of chlorine would be emitted by the
second stage. Due to the large air volume over which these emissions would
be spread, and because of rapid dispersion by stratospheric winds, the active
chlorine from the two USAF ait test vehicle launches would not contribute
to localized ozone depletion. Since the two proposed USAF ait launches
are spaced eight months apart, there is no local cumulative effect in the
stratosphere from chlorine compounds generated by the USAF ait launches.
On a global scale, a total of 1,912 lbs of chlorine will be added to the
stratosphere from both launches. This amount is a very small fraction of
chlorine compared to other solid rockets in use.
3. Two other types of substances, Al2O3
and nitrogen oxide (NOx) species, are also of concern
with respect to stratospheric ozone depletion. The Al2O3, which is emitted as solid particles, has been the subject
of study with respect to ozone depletion via reactions on solid surfaces.
The studies (Molina, 1996) indicate that Al2O3 can activate chlorine. The exact magnitude of ozone depletion
that can result from a build-up of Al2O3
over time has not yet been determined quantitatively, but will be insignificant
bases on existing analysis.
4. Exhaust from the first stage of the USAF ait vehicle is approximately
27 percent by weight Al2O3, and
the second stage exhaust is 35.4 percent Al2O3 by weight. The total amount of Al2O3 deposited between 15 and 40 km by each USAF ait flight
is approximately 1,180 lbs from the first stage and 83 lbs from the second
stage. The Al2O3 is in the form
of smooth particles with sizes varying in diameter from less than 1 micron
to 10 microns (Beiting, 1997). Depending on the altitude of injection,
the particles diffuse out of the stratosphere in time periods varying from
weeks to a few years. The particles will participate in reactions which
may cause ozone depletion (Molina 1996) during the limited time they stay
in the stratosphere (Jackman, 1996). The Al2O3 solid particles would add to the overall atmospheric burden
of particles until they eventually migrate downward to the ground, but because
of the large volume of the stratosphere and rapid horizontal mixing, they
would not significant cause localized effects on stratospheric ozone. On
a regional or global scale, the chlorine and alumina will add to the total
chemicals in the stratosphere, but the amount is so small that it is difficult
to assign statistical significance to their effects on the ozone layer.
5. Nitrogen oxide, like certain chlorine-containing compounds, contributes
to catalytic gas phase ozone depletion. The production of NOx
species from solid rocket motors is dominated by high temperature reactions
known as "afterburning" in the exhaust plume. As the temperature
of the exhaust decreases with increasing altitude, less NOx
is formed. In the USAF ait case, the first stage afterburning
production of NOx is nearly shut down before the vehicle
reaches the stratosphere. The total NOx deposited in
the stratosphere is approximately 4 lbs from the USAF ait first stage
and less than 1 lb from the second stage. Diffusion and winds would disperse
these quantities rapidly, therefore, no significant effect on ozone levels
is expected from these emissions.
6. In summary, HC1, A12O3 and
NOx emissions from USAF ait test vehicle launches
into the stratosphere would be insignificant because of the rapid dispersion
predicted for such small quantities of substances. The small quantity of
these compounds from the USAF ait program would not have a significant
impact on stratospheric ozone.
4.2.2 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS
Due to the wind dispersion at Narrow Cape and the eventual gravitational settling of Al2O3, there would not be significant cumulative impacts to air resources associated with the two launches of the USAF ait test vehicle. Cumulative impacts to the upper atmosphere would be minimal in comparison to the impacts caused by other launch vehicles. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information is provided: The expected emissions from worldwide space launches annually during the years 1998 to 2010 is 2,161 tons of alumina particles and 1,468 tons of inorganic chlorine (Brady, 1994). As noted in Section 126.96.36.199 of the USAF EA, the two USAF ait launches proposed to occur eight months apart, will release 1.26 tons of alumina particles (Al2O3) and 0.956 tons of inorganic chlorine into the stratosphere. This equates to an annual contribution to worldwide space launches of 0.058 percent for alumina particles and 0.065 percent for inorganic chlorine should both the USAF ait vehicles be launched in the same year. Furthermore, worldwide space launches represent 0.25 percent of the total inorganic chlorine produced in the stratosphere (Brady, 1994). These small amounts of emissions would not significantly contribute to a cumulative impact to stratospheric ozone. Section 4.1.3 of the FAA EA provides additional information on the negligible cumulative impact of launches from KLC.
4.2.3 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE
If the No Action alternative is selected, the USAF ait program
would not take place at Kodiak Island. The potential impacts cited
above would not occur as related to the proposed USAF ait program.
4.3 BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES
1. The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding potential impacts to the biological
resources of Kodiak Island and environs in general, and the proposed KLC
site in particular, the areas of concern relative to the proposed USAF ait
test vehicle. The USAF adopts the analysis and conclusions of the FAA EA
with regard to the potential impacts to biological resources from site operations
and vehicle launches, including the two proposed USAF ait launches.
However, the recent listing of the Steller's eider and location of the USAF
ait vehicle launch trajectory near Ugak Island where Steller sea
lions, now listed as endangered species, haul out necessitate additional
discussions. In accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act,
the USAF has consulted with the USFWS on the Steller's eider and NMFS for
the Steller sea lion to assure that the proposed USAF action is not likely
to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or result in destruction
or modification of the species habitat.
2. For a detailed description of potential impacts to other biological
resources, the reader is referred to the FAA EA.
4.3.1 PROPOSED ACTION
188.8.131.52 Steller's Eider
1. The Stellerís eider, a seabird commonly found in this area during the winter, was recently listed as a federal threatened species. In accordance with the Endangered Species Act, the USAF has completed informal Section 7 consultation with the USFWS for the first USAF ait launch. In a letter dated October 28, 1997, the USFWS concurred with the USAF conclusion that the first proposed USAF ait launch is not likely to adversely affect threatened or endangered species, and stated that further consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act is not required at this time. USFWS's concurrence is based upon a proposed first launch date no earlier than July 1998, and upon an USFWS-approved fully funded, statistically valid USAF surrogate seabird monitoring plan being in place prior to the first USAF ait launch. The specific monitoring requirements are set forth in the October 28, 1997, USFWS letter in Appendix D of the EA. Consultation pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act will commence for the second launch (currently proposed for March 1999) within 30 days of the first launch, and will be based, in part, on the results of the monitoring efforts associated with the first launch. If the first launch is delayed past September 15, 1998, or if project plans change, additional information on listed or proposed species become available or new species are listed that may be affected by the project, the USAF will reinitiate consultation with the USFWS regarding the first USAF ait launch. Without the completion of the required additional consultation with, and approval by, the USFWS, the USAF will not conduct the first launch between September 15, 1998 and April 1999 to avoid the first launch occurring while the threatened Steller's eiders are present. The second launch will be conducted in accordance with the USFWS consultations regarding results of the monitoring that occurred prior to, during and after the first launch so as to avoid adversely affecting threatened or endangered species.
2. Based on discussions with the USFWS, there is concern for potential
impacts to Steller's eiders from onsite lighting at KLC. This concern is
based on reports of strikes by Steller's eiders and other sea birds on unshielded
lights of fishing vessels and at an airport radar facility during periods
of "low weather" and fog. Bird strikes during stormy weather are
also common to crabbing vessels in the Bering Sea (Balogh, 1997). Lighting
at KLC will consist of low-level safety and security lighting on the exteriors
of facilities at the site. Such lighting is typically downcast and shielded.
Processing of the USAF ait test vehicle prior to launch will occur
within an enclosed facility and therefore will not require exterior lighting.
It is important to note that KLC facilities are sited some distance from
the ocean. The nearest structure is the water pumphouse, about 600 meters
(2,000 feet) from shore, while the Launch Pad is about 1,050 meters (3,500
feet) and the Launch Control and Management Center is about 1,800 meters
(6,000 feet) from shore. Also, there is intervening topography and vegetation
between KLC facilities and the shore. As a result of these factors, onsite
lighting is not expected to attract seabirds, including the Steller's eider.
Potential impacts related to onsite lighting are not expected to be significant.
3. In the event of a major launch failure during approximately the first
minute of flight of an USAF ait test vehicle, debris could fall in
the ocean off Narrow Cape. The debris would not fall in a concentrated pattern
and the chance of hitting even a single sea bird sitting on the ocean surface
is remote. However, the chance of a launch failure during the first minute
of launch is also remote. Therefore, it is anticipated that Steller's eiders
would not be significantly impacted in the unlikely event of catastrophic
failure and subsequent debris scatter of the USAF ait test vehicle
over the Narrow Cape area.
184.108.40.206 Steller Sea Lion and Other Marine Mammals
1. Potential impacts to the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) would be related to the launch trajectory of the USAF ait test vehicle, which will fly near Ugak Island immediately after liftoff (see Figure 4.5-1). It is estimated that approximately 300 to 400 Steller sea lions utilize Ugak Island as a haulout, but not a rookery, during the late summer and early fall postbreeding period (FAA EA, 1996; ENRI, 1997) (see Figure 4.4-1).
2. Based upon public comment to the Draft USAF EA, the following information
is provided: In a letter dated October 24, 1997, and in subsequent conversations,
the NMFS concurred with the USAF's opinion that predicted launch and overflight
noise will not have significant effects on marine mammals. The maximum predicted
noise levels at Ugak Island from the launch of the USAF ait vehicle
are between 85 and 90 A-weighted decibels (dBA) (see Figure 4.4-2). The
NMFS advises that, based on its experience at Vandenberg AFB, launch noise
levels must exceed 100 dBA to produce significant impacts to similar species.
However, because the USAF assessments are based on predicted rather than
measured noise levels, NMFS has requested and the USAF has agreed to perform
NMFS approved monitoring of Steller sea lion haulouts before, during and
after the first USAF ait launch. This monitoring will be similar
to that described above with regard to the Steller's eider. As with the
Steller's eider, the second launch will be conducted in accordance with
consultation with NMFS regarding the monitoring results from the first launch
so as to avoid adversely affecting threatened or endangered marine mammals.
In addition, the USAF will not conduct either USAF ait launch during
the peak gray whale migrating periods of April through May and November
through December without prior consultation with, and approval by NMFS.
3. As shown in Figure 4.5-1, the trajectory for the USAF ait test vehicle is approximately one mile from Ugak Island. As a result, the debris scatter from a potential major failure of the USAF ait test vehicle would not impact Ugak Island. Therefore, a major failure of the launch of the USAF ait test vehicle would not impact Steller sea lions or harbor seals hauledout on Ugak Island.
4. Based upon public comment to the Draft USAF EA the following information
is provided: The USAF recognizes that whales are protected species. Section
220.127.116.11 of the FAA EA specifically analyzed and addressed the potential
impacts from launch operations from KLC to marine mammals. The USAF adopts
this FAA EA analysis and findings (see USAF EA section 1.3 para 2 and section
4.3). This included an analysis of the seven whale species found in the
waters near Kodiak Island. In its analysis, the FAA EA indicated that of
the seven whale species, only the humpback whale and the gray whale use
the nearshore waters of Narrow Cape and Ugak Island.
The FAA EA determined that, due to the following, humpback and gray whales are not expected to be affected by launch operations from the KLC:
- Relatively small number of launches planned per year.
- Whales are found in the Narrow Cape area during only part of the year with the peak migratory periods occurring in April through May and November through December.
- Calving and breeding would not be disrupted.
- Expected attenuation of launch noise at the air-water interface.
5. During the flight of the USAF ait test vehicle, the expended
first and second stage of the vehicle and the instrumentation package would
impact in the Pacific Ocean. The expended first stage would impact in the
ocean approximately 300 km downrange, and the expended second stage and
instrumentation package would impact the ocean approximately 1,800 km downrange
and approximately 300 km off the coast of southern Washington state. Depending
on the season, these areas could be used by marine mammals, including migratory
whales and pelagic species. The chance of an expended stage or the instrumentation
package hitting a marine mammal on the surface or near the surface of the
ocean is remote. Therefore, it is anticipated that marine mammals, including
migratory whales and pelagic species, in the open ocean would not be significantly
impacted by the expended USAF ait stages or instrumentation package
as the splashdown in the water.
6. In the event of a major launch failure during the flight of an USAF
ait test vehicle, debris would fall in the ocean. Depending on the
time of the failure, some debris could potentially fall in areas of the
Pacific Ocean used by marine mammals, including migratory whales and pelagic
species. The debris would not fall in a concentrated pattern. Based on public
comments on the Draft EA the following information is provided: As an example,
if the booster were to fail 30 seconds into flight, the debris pattern is
expected to land in an oval pattern, no closer than one mile northeast of
Ugak Island. The debris pattern is predicted to be made up of 113 pieces
of the detonated first stage, most of which will be in the 50 to 200 pound
range, plus the second stage and payload which will remain intact. The debris
oval for this example is predicted to be approximately 1 mile long by mile
wide comprising an area of 335 acres. This results in a debris density of
about one piece per three acres of open ocean. In addition, the chance a
marine mammal would be near the surface in the debris area is limited. Therefore,
it is anticipated that marine mammals, including migratory whales and pelagic
species, would not be significantly impacted in the event of a major launch
failure and resulting debris scatter of an USAF ait test vehicle.
18.104.22.168 Noise and Sonic Boom
1. Noise impacts associated with launch of the USAF ait test vehicle
are addressed on a comprehensive basis in Section 4.4. Specific to Steller
sea lions and harbor seals that utilize Ugak Island, noise from the
USAF ait would not be significant. Launch noise from the USAF ait
test vehicle will be approximately 85 dBA at Ugak Island. This noise
would be of low frequency, short duration and likely near ambient levels,
depending on wind and surf conditions. As a result, the impact to Steller
sea lions and harbor seals hauled out on Ugak Island is not expected to
be significant (Stewart, 1997).
2. As discussed in Section 4.4, a focused sonic boom is expected to occur
during the ascent phase of the USAF ait test vehicle. Responses to
a sonic boom depend on the intensity of the boom and biological chronology
of the affected species (Stewart, 1997). The maximum focused boom at the
surface from the USAF ait launch would be 2.7 psf (equivalent to
136 dB), a relatively low amplitude, about 40 nautical miles downrange
from the launch pad and more than 35 miles from Ugak Island (see Figure
4.4-3). As a result, the ascent phase sonic boom from the USAF ait
test vehicle would not be heard at Ugak Island and would not have the potential
to impact marine mammals on Ugak Island.
3. The focused sonic boom from the ascent phase of the USAF ait test vehicle will occur in an area of the Pacific Ocean used by marine mammals, including migratory whales and pelagic species. The chance of a marine mammal being on or near the surface of the ocean in the limited area affected by the focused sonic boom is remote. However, in the event a marine mammal is on the surface in the area, the impact would not be significant due to the relatively low amplitude of the sonic boom (Stewart, 1997).
4. The underwater pressure of the focus sonic boom from the USAF ait
ascent phase is expected to impact a water column ranging to a depth of
about 100 meters and have an estimated pressure range of 0.01 pounds per
square foot (psf) (equivalent to 120 decibels [dB]) to 2.0 psf (equivalent
to 160 dB). It is known that, with marine mammals, a noise of 120 dB may
result in behavioral effects and noise of 160 dB may cause some harm (Stewart,
1997). However, based on the short duration of this sonic boom (200
milliseconds [Cheng, 1997]) and on the limited impact area, these impacts
are not expected to be significant.
5. As discussed in Section 4.4, a carpet boom with a maximum amplitude
of 3.2 psf (equivalent to 138 dB) is expected to occur about 1,300 nautical
miles downrange from the launch pad, during the descent phase of the USAF
ait test vehicle (Figure 4.4-3). The descent phase sonic boom would
not affect species on Ugak Island. As discussed above for the ascent phase
focused sonic boom, the chance of a marine mammal being on or near the surface
of the ocean in the limited area of the descent phase sonic boom is remote.
However, in the event a marine mammal is on the surface in the area, the
impact would not be significant due to the relatively low amplitude of the
sonic boom (Stewart, 1997).
6. While little is known of the potential effects of exposure to impulse
noise on marine mammals below the sea surface, the small USAF ait
test vehicle would produce relatively small overpressures of the ascent
and descent booms. As a result, any responses from marine mammals within
a few tens of meters below the surface would likely be limited to minor
behavioral changes. The locations and relatively small impact areas of the
sonic booms would likely affect only a few individuals of marine mammals,
and impacts would not be significant (Stewart, 1997).
7. The area of impact for the two focused booms and two carpet booms
is relatively small. As a result, given the relatively small number
of marine mammals, including migrating whales and pelagic species, that
might be near the surface within either of the boom-impact zones at the
time of impact, significant impacts are not expected.
4.3.2 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS
Cumulative impacts as a result of launching the two USAF ait test
vehicles would be insignificant as compared with other past, present, or
reasonable foreseeable future actions at the KLC. Potential impacts from
a single launch are not expected to be significant. Due to the eight months
between the two USAF ait launches, cumulative impacts also would
not be significant.
4.3.3 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE
Under the No Action alternative the proposed two launches of the USAF
ait test vehicle would not occur. Therefore, potential impacts to
biological resources also would not occur.
1. The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding noise impacts of construction
and operation of the KLC site, the area potentially affected by the proposed
processing and launch of the USAF ait test vehicle. The USAF adopts
the analysis and conclusions in the FAA EA with regard to pre/postlaunch
operations. Additionally, the USAF determined that a specific analysis of
noise impacts related to launch of the USAF ait test vehicle is appropriate
for this USAF EA.
2. To address launch specific noise and sonic boom impacts associated
with the USAF ait program, additional analyses were conducted, and
the results are discussed below. The detailed noise analyses completed for
the USAF ait program are included in Appendix C.
4.4.1 PROPOSED ACTION
22.214.171.124 Launch Related Noise Impacts
126.96.36.199.1 On-Pad Rocket Noise
1. On-pad rocket noise occurs when the vehicle engines are firing. While
the noise levels from a launch are highest at the launch pad, on-pad noise
levels away from the launch pad itself are typically much lower than inflight
noise levels because the sound source is low, and the sound waves move along
the ground and tend to experience significant attenuation over long distances.
2. On-pad rocket noise levels for the launch of the USAF ait test
vehicles are shown in Figure 4.4-1. As shown in Figure 4.4-1, noise
levels for the USAF ait test vehicles are 95 dBA approximately
6,250 feet from the center of the pad, decreasing to 70 dBA at a distance
of 5.6 to 15 miles from the launch pad. For a perspective on these noise
levels, Table 4.4-1 shows that 95 dBA is comparable to noise generated
by a DC-9 aircraft as heard from a distance of 6,000 feet, and 70 dBA is
comparable to the noise level from a heavy truck at a distance of 50 feet.
Noise generated by the launch of the two USAF ait test vehicles will
be present for approximately one minute. Noise from the launch of the two
USAF ait test vehicles will not be significant due to the short
duration of the noise event and low frequency of noise generated.
188.8.131.52.2 In-Flight Rocket Noise
1. In-flight rocket noise occurs when the vehicle is clear of the launch
pad, and sound propagates from the vehicle to the ground without significant
attenuation. The major sources of rocket noise are from interaction of the
exhaust jet with the atmosphere, noise from the combustion chamber, and
noise from the postburning of fuel-rich combustion products in the atmosphere.
The emitted acoustic power from a rocket engine and the frequency spectrum
of the noise can be calculated from the number, size and thrust, and flow
characteristics of the engines. To evaluate the potential noise impact associated
with launch and ascent, it is necessary to consider not only the overall
sound level, but the frequency spectrum and duration of exposure.
2. Launch noise and ascent noise for the USAF ait test vehicle
were computed using the RNOISE model recently developed for launch vehicle
analysis (see Appendix C.1). Figure 4.4-2 shows the maximum noise level
contours in the near field for the USAF ait test vehicle during flight.
The maximum in-flight noise level (see Figure 4.4-2) is generally higher
than the launch pad noise level, as shown in Figure 4.4-1. This is
a direct result of the sound source (i.e., the vehicle) being aloft.
3. As shown in Figure 4.4-2, in-flight noise levels for the USAF ait
test vehicle range from 90 dBA at a distance of approximately 9,000
feet from the launch pad, to 70 dBA at a distance of between 8.7 to 12.3
miles from the launch pad. Noise levels from launch of the USAF ait
test vehicle will not be significant due to the noise levels generated and
the short duration of time that they are present.
184.108.40.206.3 Sonic Boom
1. Sonic boom from launches occurs when the vehicle is at supersonic
speeds and has pitched over sufficiently for the boom to propagate to the
ground. The generation of ascent related sonic boom from the USAF ait
depends on vehicle geometry and the rocket exhaust plume size and drag.
For the USAF sub-orbital ait test vehicle, there will also be a sonic
boom during the descent phase the USAF ait instrument package. Descent
related sonic boom depends on the geometry of the reentry of the instrument package.
2. Sonic booms for the launch of the USAF ait test vehicle were
computed using the PCBoom3 model (see Appendix C.1). Figure 4.4-3 shows
the sonic boom footprints for the USAF ait sub-orbital test
flights. There are two distinct footprints: a crescent shaped focal zone
about 75 km (46 miles) south of the launch point associated with the ascent
phase of the USAF ait test flight; and a concentrated carpet boom
region at the splashdown point of the USAF ait instrument package
approximately 1,800 km (approximately 1,130 miles) from the launch
site and 300 km off the coast of southern Washington state. Both of these
footprints occur over open ocean.
3. The ascent phase of the USAF ait test flight focal zone footprint
has the characteristics of an ascent accelerated boom: a small, high amplitude
focal zone at the leading edge, followed by a lower amplitude carpet boom.
The maximum ascent phase focus boom amplitude at the water surface for the
USAF ait test vehicle is 2.7 psf (see Appendix C.1). The trailing
carpet boom from the ascent phase diminishes rapidly as the vehicle gains
4. The USAF ait descent phase carpet boom footprint surrounds
the splashdown point of the instrumentation package. This type of footprint
would be circular for a pure vertical descent. Because the USAF ait
descent is at an angle, the footprint is distorted somewhat in the uptrack
direction. The maximum sonic boom, generated when the vehicle is at an altitude
of approximately 2,400 meters (approximately 7,875 feet) when the USAF ait
instrumentation package is about to become subsonic, is about 3.2 psf at
the water surface (see Appendix C.1).
5. The USAF ait test vehicle will generate focused sonic booms
ranging from 2.7 psf to 3.2 psf at the water surface. This is comparable
to military fighter aircraft which generate focused sonic booms up to 3.0 psf,
with occasional focused booms that range from 5 to 10 psf. Therefore, the
focused sonic booms from the USAF ait test vehicle are similar to
those generated by fighter aircraft (Plotkin, 1997).
6. As shown in Figure 4.4-3, both USAF ait sonic boom footprints
(e.g., ascent and descent) are over water. The ascent sonic boom, with an
overpressure of 2.7 psf, generates an underwater noise level of approximately
160 dBA for 200 milliseconds which can travel to a depth of 100 meters below
the ocean surface. This noise will attenuate to approximately 10 percent
of its original 160 dBA at 100 meters and will be spread over a limited
area (see Appendix C.2). The descent sonic boom generates an overpressure
of 3.2 psf at the water surface for 200 milliseconds. It will affect
an extremely small column of ocean, as the sound distribution across the
boom pattern on the surface of the ocean will be concentrated in the center.
Therefore, the impact will not be significant.
7. Based on the above, the USAF has concluded that, due to the extremely
short duration of time in which both sonic booms take place, and the minimal
areas they affect, the sonic booms generated by the two USAF ait
test vehicles would not result in a significant impact.
4.4.2 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS
Two launches of the USAF ait test vehicle are proposed. These
launches are scheduled eight months apart (July 1998 and March 1999), so
they are effectively isolated events. The single event noise impacts discussed
above represent the total impact. Therefore, since each launch presents
no significant impact, the sum of both launches would not result in a significant
cumulative impact as compared with other past, present, or reasonable foreseeable
future actions at the KLC.
4.4.3 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE
Under the No Action alternative, the USAF ait program would not
occur. While the noise levels and sonic boom overpressures from the USAF
ait program are not significant, these impacts would not occur under
the No Action alternative.
4.5 HEALTH AND SAFETY
4.5.1 PROPOSED ACTION
220.127.116.11 Public Health and Safety
1. Missile components and support equipment for the USAF ait program will be transported by military aircraft to the Kodiak Airport and then on over-the-road trucks from the Kodiak Airport to KLC, where they will be placed in the Integration and Processing Facility until needed. The transport and handling of hazardous materials will be conducted in accordance with applicable DoD procedures and in accordance with applicable DoD explosives safety standards. Explosive safety quantity distance will be established in accordance with applicable directives and maintained around facilities where the missile components are stored and handled (Navy Air Warfare Weapons Division, 1997). Applicable regulations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Mil-Std-1971 - Designing for Internal Aerial Delivery in a Fixed Wing Aircraft.
- AFJM 24-204 - Preparing Hazardous Materials for Military Air Shipments.
- Mil-Std-1366C - Transporting Criteria.
- Mil-Std-1784 - Mobility Towed and Manually Propelled Support Equipment.
- CFR Title 49, Part 213 - Code of Federal Regulations Packaging and Transportation of Hazardous Materials, Truck Safety Standards.
Hazardous Materials and Explosives:
- NAVSEA OP 5, Volume 1, technical Manual for Ammunition and Explosive Ashore, Safety Regulation for Handling, Storage, Production, Renovation and Shipping
- AFM 91-201 - Air Force Explosive Safety Standards.
- AFTO 11A-1-47 - DoD Explosive Hazard Classification Procedures.
- DoD 4145.26-M - DoD Contractors Safety Manual for Ammunition and Explosives.
- DoD 6055.9 - DoD Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards.
2. The USAF ait rocket motors will be transported in a rocket motor semitrailer designed to protect them from damage in the event of an accident. Because the fuel and explosives are sensitive to heat, there is the potential for ignition of propellant in an accident. However, as these boosters are solid propellant, they are much more stable than liquids or hypergolic fuels. DoD has considerable experience with shipment of missiles and other sensitive components. Analysis of past experience has shown the following potential for an accident involving the transport vehicle:
Air Transport: In 1987, the USAF reported that the accident rate for military cargo aircraft was 1 x 10-3 for every 1,000,000 aircraft miles flown. Based on this, there is a one in 1 million probability of accident for every 1,000 miles of missile air transport.
Road Transport: Representative data from the National Highway Transportation
Safety Administration show a major accident rate of 6 x 10-8 per truck mile, or a probability of one accident in 16,000
trips of 1,000 miles each (U.S. Army, 1995).
3. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information
is provided: The rocket motors used for USAF ait are inherently safe.
It would take an extraordinary event to cause an accidental detonation.
USAF ait plans involving U.S. Coast Guard personnel or facilities
will be submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard for coordination prior to implementation.
Included among these plans is the emergency response plan, Recovery Guide
for Rocket System Launch Program Motor Transportation Mishaps, dated June
1993, addressing potential mishaps during the actual transportation of the
4. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information
is provided: Only a small fraction of accidents involving a transport vehicle
would potentially affect a missile system being transported, as specialized
shipping containers are used to protect the shipment. The USAF ait
motors will be contained in specially designed trailers during transit to
KLC. These trailers are designed for the transportation of Minuteman rocket
motors and meet all legal guidelines required during transportation. The
trailer has an environmental control system which maintains the temperature
inside the trailer. It was designed for use with commercial tractors and
has been used for over the road shipment of Minuteman rocket motors for
over 30 years. The USAF ait motors will not have to leave the trailer
during shipment to KLC. A modified version of this trailer has been certified
for air transportation of a similar launch vehicle. The certification for
air transportation of the USAF ait version of the trailer will be
accomplished prior to shipment. This trailer is also DoD approved for transporting
high explosives on public roads. Even though there have been transporter
vehicle mishaps there has never been a rocket motor detonation. Similar
rocket motor configurations have been transported on public roads from Hill
AFB, Utah to White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico over a dozen times.
The roads to WSMR are dirt roads similar to the gravel roads leading to
KLC. Consequently, potential health and safety impacts from transporting
missile components are not expected to be significant.
5. The assembly of missile components, accomplished within enclosed facilities
at KLC, has the potential to affect worker health and safety but, due to
the design of the facilities, not public health and safety. Assembly activities
are considered routine and are conducted in accordance with established
regulations and applicable DoD procedures. As a result, potential impacts
to worker health and safety are not considered significant.
6. Prelaunch evacuations, clearances and road closures will be conducted
to assure safety for workers and the public for both a normal launch and
an aborted launch of the USAF ait test vehicle. The impacts of these
closure activities are not considered to be significant. Prior to launch,
in accordance with DoD range safety procedures, the range safety officer
will be responsible for the planning and control of evacuation activities
to assure the safety of all persons within the flight path of the USAF ait
test vehicle. The safety exclusion zone around the launch pad for the launch
of the USAF ait test vehicle is a radius of up to 10,000 feet,
as shown in Figure 4.5-1. However, further detailed analysis for the two
USAF ait launches may favor the use of a smaller exclusion zone.
Evacuation includes establishing appropriate roadblocks at least four hours
prior to launch activities, and to no more than one hour after launch, coordinating
and assisting local authorities, and conducting appropriate ground and air
surveillance sweeps to assure that all areas are evacuated in accordance
with agreements between the NAWC and state and federal agencies. Medical
and fire response units will be permitted to pass through roadblocks in
the performance of their duties, depending on time remaining prior to launch.
7. Based on public comment on the Draft EA, the following information
is provided: The U.S. Coast Guard Loran Station Kodiak (LORSTA Kodiak) is
normally unoccupied. Should personnel be present, there may be a requirement
to evacuate LORSTA Kodiak during the USAF ait launch period, approximately
five hours. The final analysis of the launch site safety zone will determine
which facilities and area must be cleared prior to a launch. If emergency
maintenance is required at LORSTA Kodiak, the launch will be delayed until
LORSTA Kodiak is operational and the area is clear. During the launch period
the U.S. Coast Guard will have access to the USAF ait countdown
communication network and have the capability to delay the launch if required.
8. Personnel inside the launch hazard area would be limited to those considered mission essential, and would remain within facilities rated to provide adequate blast and debris protection and to which positive communications would be maintained at all times. Nonessential personnel would be evacuated to outside the impact limit line. Missionessential personnel would be instructed in safety procedures and equipped with any necessary safety devices.
9. As a result of the above procedures, the potential for health and
safety impacts associated with the USAF ait program is not considered
to be significant for program personnel and the public. The population of
Kodiak Island is well removed from KLC and the flight path of the USAF ait
18.104.22.168 Range Safety
22.214.171.124.1 Prelaunch Activities
1. Although there is no existing test range associated with the proposed
action, standard range safety for the USAF ait program will be in
accordance with procedures established for Sea Test Ranges at the Naval
Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWC), Point Mugu, California and the
Pacific Missile Range Facility (U.S. Navy, 1997). NAWC has extensive
experience in providing range safety support worldwide.
2. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information is provided: Launches by their very nature involve some degree of risk and it is for this reason that DoD has specific launch and range safety policies and procedures to assure that the public and government assets (i.e., launch support facilities) are not put at risk. The following documents will be published by the NAWC prior to the first proposed deployment of the USAF ait test vehicle:
Range Safety Operation Plan
Formal Range Safety Approval of Flight Termination System
Hazardous Operation Procedures
Ground Safety Plan
Frequency Coordination Plan
These procedures provide for range surveillance, clearance and air traffic
control. The NAWC range safety officer will be responsible for implementing
range safety plans and approvals.
3. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information
is provided: DoD has successfully launched eight vehicles that consisted
of the same configuration of Minuteman II second and third stages that would
be used by the USAF ait test vehicle. Additionally, DoD has launched
99 various configurations of two and three stage excess ballistic missiles
for a number of years, with a success rate of 96 percent.
4. The NAWC will establish ground hazard areas at the launch site area
and areas over the ocean beyond where debris from an early flight termination
may fall (early termination is not expected). Failure of a missile guidance
system that would cause debris to fall outside the ground and launch hazard
areas would be detected by the range safety officer, who would terminate
the missile flight before it could cross the hazard area (Navy Air Warfare
Weapons Division, 1997). The range safety program includes redundant airborne
command destruct systems aboard two Navy NP3D Orion aircraft that will
permit in-flight tracking of the USAF ait test vehicle. The remote
area safety aircraft will be used for real-time monitoring of missile performance
and evaluation of flight termination criteria (U.S. Navy, 1997).
5. This NAWC-provided range clearance and surveillance will occur for three designated areas of potential impact:
Ground Hazard Area - Prior to launch, all personnel not designated as "essential" will be evacuated from the ground hazard area shown in Figure 4.5-1.
Flight Hazard Area-there will be every practical effort to keep this area clear of nonparticipating aircraft and ships by establishing warning and restricted areas, publishing notices to airmen and mariners and by maintaining close liaison and coordination with agencies controlling both air and surface traffic (U.S. Navy, 1993).
USAF ait Test Vehicle Impact Area-All intended impact areas and
the applicable airspace above will be surveyed to assure that ships or aircraft
are not in the vicinity at the proposed time of impact, as necessary (U.S. Navy,
6. Prelaunch hazardous operations will be conducted in accordance with
established procedures that implement applicable DoD regulations. Prior
to launch, positive control of hazardous areas will be established. Unauthorized
entry into hazard areas will result in delay of the operation until the
"All Clear" signal has been reestablished. The USAF ait
test vehicle will be launched only after all required safety evacuations
have been accomplished, thereby assuring that no unauthorized personnel
are present in any hazardous area.
7. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information
is provided: The USAF ait program is working closely with the U.S.
Coast Guard and NAWC on RF issues. Possible RF signal interference will
be analyzed and, if necessary, the USAF ait telemetry will be modified
to eliminate interference. The USAF ait rocket motor vulnerability
to signal strength intensity will be evaluated. Based upon the results,
the USAF ait program will take whatever steps are necessary to preclude
inadvertent detonation. Decisions and agreements required for RF protection
will be submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard for coordination prior to implementation.
126.96.36.199.2 Flight Activities
1. During missile flight operations, the potential impact zone includes
the launch pad and surrounding area, and all locations along the flight
corridor. The impact zone for public safety includes those areas within
and adjacent to the site within up to a 10,000-foot radius of the launch
pad. However, further detailed analysis for the two USAF ait launches
may favor the use of a smaller exclusion zone. The public will be excluded
well outside the potential impact zone.
2. The principal concerns are launch-site and in-flight malfunctions.
A missile may malfunction on the launch pad or may deviate from its anticipated
flight path after takeoff, requiring the flight to be terminated. Debris
resulting from a launch-site malfunction can result in the scattering of
missile debris anywhere within the launch hazard area, which would have
been cleared of all nonessential individuals prior to the launch. Debris
resulting from an inflight malfunction would impact within the flight
corridor footprint shown in Figure 4.5-1. Impacts would not be significant.
3. The USAF ait vehicle will have an in-flight termination system, capable of terminating thrust and/or aerodynamic lift, or destroying the missile throughout the entire powered portion of the flight. The NAWC will initiate flight termination action when:
Data indicate that the missile impact point will violate impact limit lines and impact outside the designated protected impact area.
Position of missile is unknown due to the loss of tracking data.
Vehicle has the potential to violate range safety impact limit lines.
Missile performance diminishes such that continuation of flight creates a safety hazard and loss of range safety control.
Such system provides a mechanism so that impact limit lines would not
be violated in the event of a malfunction during flight. Therefore, potential
impacts would not be significant.
188.8.131.52.3 Post-Flight Activities
In the event of a flight termination, debris-recovery activities would
be conducted in accordance with DoD regulations and would not pose an impact
to public health and safety. Any mishap would be investigated in accordance
with established USAF procedures (AFI 91204).
4.5.2 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS
1. The two USAF ait launches require thorough health and safety
planning at the earliest stages, and health and safety requirements are
implemented during all phases of operation. As a result, potential health
and safety hazards are avoided or reduced to extremely low probabilities.
Cumulative impacts from the two USAF ait launches will not be significant
as compared with other past, present, or reasonable foreseeable future actions
at the KLC.
2. The two USAF ait launches require evacuation of the KLC area
and closure of all access roads, assuring that the public would not be exposed
to any health or safety hazards. Consequently no cumulative impacts to public
health and safety are expected to occur.
4.5.3 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE
Under the No Action alternative, there would be no impacts, as the two
USAF ait launches would not occur.
4.6 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND WASTE
4.6.1 PROPOSED ACTION
184.108.40.206 Gas Phase Emissions
As discussed in Section 4.2, some potentially hazardous substances would
be released from the solid rocket propellant during launch of the two USAF
ait test vehicles. The primary gas phase hazardous substance released
from the USAF ait test vehicle is HC1, with an instantaneous
concentration below 0.5 ppm and a 60-minute mean concentration below 0.025 ppm.
Peak concentrations are expected to occur at unpopulated locations downwind
of the launch site. Exposure to these levels is not expected to be harmful
to individuals. Other gas phase pollutant concentrations will be an order
of magnitude smaller and would not be harmful to individuals. Therefore,
impacts related to exposure to these substances would not be significant.
220.127.116.11 USAF ait Vehicle Components
1. Both motors for the USAF ait test vehicle contain solid propellant, the constituents of which are itemized in the following:
First Stage (Class 1.3 Hazard Classification):
- Ammonium Perchlorate
- Polybutadiene (as binder)
Second Stage (Class 1.1 Hazard Classification):
- 2-Nitrodiphenylamine (2-NDPA)
- Cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX)
- Ammonium Perchlorate
- Resorcinol (1,3-Dihydroxybenzene)
2. The potentially hazardous substances associated with the USAF ait
test vehicle are contained within the various subassemblies and motors of
the vehicle. Therefore, under nominal operating conditions, no hazardous
materials are released before launch.
3. The USAF ait first stage flight control mechanism, the thrust
vector control system, begins the flight with 1.85 gallons of hydraulic
fluid which is vented during flight, resulting in up to 90 percent of the
fluid being used during the mission. The second stage flight control mechanism
is a closed system which contains 0.06 gallon of hydraulic fluid. While
in flight, the hydraulic fluid released from the first stage will be vaporized
as a result of vehicular velocity and dissipated by stratospheric winds.
The second stage hydraulic reservoir is expected to survive the splashdown
intact. Over time, the container is expected to decompose, thus allowing
the 0.06 gallon of hydraulic fluid to be released. Subsurface currents will
cause rapid dispersion of this very small quantity to be spread over a large
area; therefore, there would be no significant impact to marine mammal or
4. The first stage of the USAF ait test vehicle may contain approximately
25 lbs of residual propellant at splashdown. The second stage may contain
less than 1 lb of residual propellant at splashdown. In addition, the first
stage will contain approximately 0.18 gallon of hydraulic fluid at splashdown,
and the second stage will contain approximately 0.06 gallon at splashdown.
Subsurface currents will cause rapid dispersion of these small quantities
to be spread over a large area; therefore, there would be no significant
impact to marine mammal or fish species.
5. There are seven batteries on board the USAF ait test vehicle,
one of which is composed of 600 milliliters (37 cubic inches) of water
with a 33 percent concentration of potassium hydroxide (KOH). The other
six batteries are composed of nickel and cadmium. The batteries are expected
to survive the impact with the water and will decompose over time. Subsurface
currents will cause rapid dispersion of materials released from the batteries;
therefore, there would be no significant impact to marine mammal or fish
6. As discussed above, due to rapid dispersion of the small quantities
of materials released in the ocean from the expanded first and second
stages of the USAF ait test vehicle and the instrumentation package,
there would be no significant impact to marine mammal or fish species.
4.6.2 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS
The two USAF ait launches are planned the period from July
through September 1998 and March 1999. Cumulative impacts related to release
of gas-phase emissions and the release of residual materials from the expended
stages of the USAF ait test vehicles would not be significant as
compared with other past, present, or reasonable foreseeable future actions
at the KLC.
4.6.3 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE
Under the No Action alternative, the two launches of the USAF ait
test vehicles would not occur. As a result, none of the impacts described
4.7 KLC CONSTRUCTION
1. The original 18 month construction time estimate in the FAA EA covered
all potential construction aspects of AADC's proposed action. Since the
issuance of the FAA EA, the AADC has received Alaska state funding and has
completed several preliminary actions, to include pre-qualification of contractors.
A construction support team has been established and has been working to
develop an effective construction strategy to include the introduction of
more off-the-shelf components and a streamlined materials ordering process.
The potential contractors have complete drawing sets and specifications
and are familiar with the requirements. AADC has provided contractors with
clarifications as needed to support a rapid construction start-up. These
actions have reduced the administrative and construction schedule. Thus,
AADC has been able to adjust the original FAA EA schedule without changing
the construction personnel or equipment utilization described in the FAA EA.
2. As a result of these factors, the USAF has concluded that the schedule analyzed in the USAF EA for completing the three facilities at KLC to support the two USAF ait launches, will have no significant impacts on the environment.
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