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AIT (Atmospheric Interceptor Technology) EA

5.0 MITIGATION MEASURES

5.1 GEOLOGY AND SOILS, WATER, LAND USE, SOCIOECONOMICS, RECREATION, VISUAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES

The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding mitigations for potential impacts to Kodiak Island from 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 mitigation measures for geology and soils, water, land use, socioeconomics, recreation, and visual and cultural resources. The FAA EA is included as Attachment 1 to this USAF EA.

5.2 AIR QUALITY

Pre/postlaunch ground operations to support the USAF ait program at KLC, as executed by the USAF, are the same as those proposed by the AADC and do not substantially change the impacts as related to such activity. The USAF adopts the analysis and conclusions of the FAA EA with regard to mitigation measures associated with potential air quality impacts.

5.3 BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES

1. The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding mitigations for potential impacts to biological resources from 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 mitigation measures for biological resources.

2. Because of the recent listing of the Steller's eider as a federal threatened species, and specific characteristics of the USAF ait test vehicle trajectory near Ugak Island and potential impacts to the Steller sea lion, the USAF will participate in the mitigation monitoring programs developed by FAA. In accordance with the Endangered Species Act, the USAF has completed informal Section 7 consultation with the USFWS for the first 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. USFWSÌs 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 becomes 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 StellerÌs 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.

3. The USAF will participate in monitoring programs established by FAA. For marine birds, which include the Steller's eider, monitoring includes surf-zone surveys from shore one day prior to launch and two to five days after each launch. Results of these surveys will be utilized to determine any changes in habitat-use patterns and whether there is evidence of site abandonment following a launch event. In addition, for the two USAF ait test vehicle launches, the USAF proposes to monitor onsite facilities to document any evidence of birds striking lights, with particular attention to any light strikes by StellerÌs eiders.

4. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information is provided: The current plan is for the two USAF ait launches to occur outside the peak whale migratory periods of April through May and November through December. Before any proposed rescheduling of launches into these peak periods, the USAF would first consult with, and gain approval from NMFS.

5. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information is provided: The USAF has consulted with the NMFS regarding the Steller sea lion haulout areas on Ugak Island. Because the USAF assessment of the potential impacts to Steller sea lions is based on the predicted rather than measured noise levels expected to occur from the USAF ait launches, the 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. The second USAF ait launch will be conducted in accordance with consultation with NMFS regarding the monitoring results from the first launch so as to avoid adversely affecting the Steller sea lion.

5.4 NOISE

The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding mitigations for potential noise impacts from the proposed processing and launch of the USAF ait test vehicle. The USAF adopts the analysis and conclusions of the FAA EA in regard to mitigation measures associated with potential noise impacts. Therefore, no additional mitigation measures are provided in this document. The reader is referred to the FAA EA for a discussion of mitigation measures for noise.

5.5 HEALTH AND SAFETY

1. The USAF will participate in the AADC emergency response plan for the KLC, as described in the FAA EA. Additionally, USAF will confirm that the established AADC quantity distance zones and launch facility design criteria for the KLC are sufficient to meet USAF requirements.

2. 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 after required safety evacuations have been accomplished, thereby assuring that no unauthorized personnel are present in any hazardous area. Because established NWCS range safety procedures described in Section 4.5 would reduce potential impacts to less than significant, no additional mitigation measures would be required.

3. 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.

4. During a launch, various contingency plans will be in effect to cover emergency situations. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Rocket Motor Mishap: There will be an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Plan in place with appropriate personnel and equipment.
  • Fire: There will be a firefighting crew in place during launch countdown.
  • Injury: An evacuation plan will be in place to transport injured persons by appropriate means as dictated by seriousness of injury.

5.6 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND WASTE

The FAA EA has been reviewed regarding mitigations for hazardous substances related to operation of KLC. The USAF adopts the analysis and conclusions of the FAA EA in regard to mitigation measures associated with potential hazardous materials and waste. Therefore, no additional mitigation measures are provided in this document. The reader is referred to the FAA EA for a discussion of mitigation measures for hazardous materials.



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