- FOR IMMEDIAT E RELEASE -
NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER DIVISION
610 DOWELL STREET
KEYPORT, WA 98345-7610
PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
Contact: Diane Jennings September 12, 2008
Cell (360) 340-5619
NAVSEA NUWC KEYPORT RANGE COMPLEX DRAFT EIS/OEIS READY FOR PUBLIC
Keyport, WA— The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas (EIS/OEIS) Environmental
Impact Statement for proposed extension of ranges operated by Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Division, Keyport is released for a 45-day public comment period beginning today.
Public hearings are planned for:
October 1 at the Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport
October 2 at the North Mason Senior High School;
October 6 at Gray’s Harbor Fire District #8
October 7 at Quilcene Public School Multi-Purpose Room.
All hearings are preceded by an “open house” session at 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. to provide an opportunity to
learn more from Navy representatives about the proposed action and alternatives, and the associated
effects analysis results. The public hearings begin at 7:00 p.m. with a formal presentation followed by
public comments. The public may offer comments orally or in writing. Written comments on the draft
EIS/OEIS will be accepted through October 27, 2008.
The purpose of the proposed action is to enable NUWC Keyport to continue fulfilling its mission of
providing test and evaluation services and expertise to support the Navy’s evolving manned and
unmanned undersea vehicle program. Since 1914, NUWC Keyport has provided facilities and
capabilities to support testing of torpedoes (unarmed and with no explosives), other unmanned vehicles,
submarine readiness, diver training, and similar activities that are critical to the success of undersea
Preparation of the EIS began in 2003 with four public scoping meetings in Kitsap, Mason, Jefferson, and
Grays Harbor counties. The current ranges, identified on nautical charts, are located in the Port Orchard
Reach near Keyport; on Hood Canal in Dabob Bay and between Toandos Peninsula and Naval Base
Kitsap-Bangor; and on the coast of Washington State near Kalaloch.
Each range has diverse characteristics of depth, bottom type, and sea state. In the preferred alternatives,
the size of each range would increase, and two of the three ranges would have a slight increase in the
number of days per year that they are used by the Navy.
Keyport range would increase from 1.5 square nautical miles to 3.2 nm2; and the average use
would increase five days to 60 days per year.
The Dabob Bay Range Complex on Hood Canal is comprised of the north and south Military
Operating Areas near Naval Base Kitsap Bangor and the Military Operating Area in Dabob Bay.
The DBRC would increase from about 32.7 nm2 to 45.7 nm2, and the number of days used per
year would remain the same, at 200. Proposed extension from the southern boundary of the
current range to the mouth of the Hamma Hamma River, and from the northern boundary of the
current range to within one nautical mile of the Hood Canal Floating Bridge, would afford a
straight run of approximately 27.5 nautical miles for testing.
The Quinault Underwater Tracking Range would increase from about 48 nm2 to 1,840 nm2 under
the preferred alternative, to the full size of W-237A, a current military air space on nautical
charts. The proposed extension is beyond 12 nautical miles from shore and so is examined
according to the requirements of an Oversea EIS. This proposal includes a 7.8 nm2 surf zone
area at Pacific Beach, a shoreline owned and maintained for recreational use by the Navy. The
average annual number of days of use for offshore activities would increase two days, from 14
to 16 days per year. The average annual use of the surf zone area would be about 30 days per
Public access through these extended range areas will remain open. There should be little inconvenience,
if any, to the public in these areas. The operation of the range in Dabob Bay remains the same, where
lights continued to be posted at key points on the shore line to inform boaters of Navy range activities.
NUWC Keyport works with the Coast Guard in the issuance of Notices to Mariners to notify the boating
community of the Navy’s testing activities. Safety is of extreme importance on the range, and all range
activities are conducted under strict requirements of NUWC Keyport’s Range Operating Plan.
NUWC Keyport has operated ranges safely and responsibly for over 90 years, and Navy range operators
have assisted the public in distress calls on the water. The relatively small areas in Hood Canal and Port
Orchard Reach provide full, open views of the ranges for visual observation for presence of the public
and marine mammals. Current NUWC technologies and the training of range personnel by National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists enhance public safety and protection
of marine mammals.
The draft EIS/OEIS for the NAVSEA NUWC Keyport Range Complex is posted at http://www-
keyport.kpt.nuwc.navy.mil . Written comments will be taken during the public hearings or must be
postmarked no later than October 27, 2008, and be addressed to Mrs. Kimberly Kler (EIS/OEIS PM),
Naval Facilities Command, 1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203, Silverdale, WA 98315-1101 or faxed to her
at (360) 396-0857.
Media queries may be directed to Mrs. Diane Jennings, Public Affairs Officer, NUWC Keyport, at (360)
396-2699 or cell (360) 340-5619.