The Department of the Navy, with the National Marine Fisheries Service as a cooperating agency, has prepared a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Supplemental Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS/SOEIS) for SURTASS LFA sonar in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Executive Order 12114. The SEIS/SOEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with two action alternatives and a No-Action Alternative to the following resource areas: air quality, marine environment, biological, and economic. Public comments on the Draft SEIS/SOEIS were received from two federal agencies, two State agencies, and one group of non-governmental organizations. The Final SEIS/SOEIS is now available for download.
As part of the environmental decision-making process, the Navy submitted an application for rulemaking and a letter of authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to take marine mammals incidental to the use of SURTASS LFA sonar for training and testing activities in the western and central North Pacific and eastern Indian oceans. Additionally, the Navy submitted a Biological Evaluation to initiate Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The MMPA Final Rule and LOA as well as the ESA Biological and Conference Opinion are expected to be authorized in early August 2019.