Public Outreach for the Beddown of the F35A

As a partner in a Joint Venture, Cardno prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed beddown of the F-35A aircraft at five candidate Air National Guard locations, leading to a Record of Decision.

Cardno provided overall management for the EIS and analyzed the following resources: noise; airspace safety; air quality; socioeconomics; environmental justice and protection of children and the elderly; land use; infrastructure; cultural resources; biological resources; earth resources; water resources; and hazardous materials, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and contaminated sites. Cardno provided GIS mapping support, document production, agency consultation support, and public outreach support during all phases of the EIS.

The project team conducted 26 on-site meetings at Andrews Air Force Base and the five candidate installations, including the public involvement meetings.

Two open-house style meetings were held at each of the 5 locations during the scoping phase, one during the day for regulatory agency staff, and one during the evening for the general public. Attendees at the public involvement scoping meetings ranged from 2 to 356 persons. Cardno prepared an extensive list of scoping materials to distribute to the public, including fact sheets, posters, flyers, public service announcements, and newspaper advertisements. Cardno also hosted a website, which contained all the material listed above, including the description of the proposed beddown and location alternatives, as well as supporting a commenting capability. 517 comments were received from the public during this scoping time period.

Public Hearing meetings were also held at each of the 5 locations following the release of the Draft EIS. These meetings were open-house style for the first 1.5 hours and then moved into a formal proceeding with an Air Force Judge presiding over the meetings. The number of attendees at the public hearings ranged from 3 to approximately 700 attendees, including more than 70 protesters. Due to the high level of public interest in the proposal, NGB extended the comment period from the normal 45 days to 85 days to accommodate the extensive public interest. During this period approximately 6,500 written comments were received via US mail, email, and on the website. Cardno reviewed, categorized, and prepared responses to all comments received. During and following the comment period Cardno assisted NGB and Secretary of the Air Force in preparing responses to several Congressional Inquiries regarding the project.

Additionally, an analysis of English as a primary language, English as a second language, and non-English speakers was conducted to determine whether any translation of public involvement materials should be conducted. It was determined by SAF/GCN that translations would not be required.