Joint Flight Campaign (JFC) Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment/Overseas Environmental Assessment (PEA/OEA)
The Proposed Action, Joint Flight Campaign (JFC), is sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and by the United States Department of the Army (U.S. Army). These agencies have designated the United States Department of the Navy (U.S. Navy) Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) and the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) as the lead agencies for the Proposed Action. The U.S. Army RCCTO, the U.S. Navy SSP, and the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), as Participating Agencies, along with the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, and the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing as Cooperating Agencies, have prepared this PEA/OEA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 United States Code 4321, as amended), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500-1508, 1978, July 1, 1986), the Department of the Army Procedures for Implementing NEPA (32 CFR Part 651), the Department of the Air Force Procedures for Implementing NEPA (32 CFR Part 989), Chief of Naval Operations Instruction 5090.1E, and Executive Order 12114, Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions.
The Proposed Action entails up to six flight test launches at up to four different launch locations per year, over the next 10 years. Test objectives are expected to dictate range selection from Atlantic and Pacific test ranges. Due consideration will be given to existing launch ranges to avoid any unnecessary changes to the environment. The launch range for each test will be determined based on the test objectives, and the availability and technical suitability of the test range. Test scenarios are planned to include broad ocean area (BOA) impacts of the spent stages and the hypersonic payload, and do not include any land-based impacts. This PEA/OEA is being prepared as a Programmatic EA to provide an analysis of multiple launch locations that will be available to the test directorates over the next 10 years. The launch selection process will utilize this PEA/OEA and will include a check of the relevancy of this document to support specific launch scenarios. It is anticipated that this PEA/OEA will support most future decisions; however, tiered NEPA documents could occur if there are significant changes to the proposed missile or facilities at a proposed launch location.
The U.S. Army RCCTO and U.S. Navy SSP determined that four launch locations meet the screening criteria/evaluation factors and the test requirements for vehicle performance and data collection. They also considered the No Action Alternative, as required by the CEQ regulations. There is one launch location on the west coast and one in Hawai`i, both with impact sites in the Pacific Ocean, and two launch locations on the east coast, with impact sites in the Atlantic Ocean. The Pacific locations analyzed are the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawai`i; Vandenberg Space Force Base, California; and BOA impact sites in the Pacific Ocean. The east coast locations include the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia; Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida; and Atlantic BOA impact sites.
The Draft JFC PEA/OEA and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available at https://jfceaoea.govsupport.us. Public comments on the Draft JFC PEA/OEA and Draft FONSI will be accepted from June 11, 2021 to July 10, 2021 and can be provided in either of the following ways: (1) E‑mail comments by July 10, 2021 to firstname.lastname@example.org; (2) Mail comments, postmarked no later than July 10, 2021, to: USASMDC, ATTN: SMDC-EN (D. Fuller), P.O. Box 1500, Huntsville, AL 35807.