10 April 2006


[Federal Register: April 10, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 68)]
[Page 18108-18109]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Coast Guard


Environmental Assessment for Homeporting of Four National 
Security Cutters at Alameda, CA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice; request for public comments.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces its intent to prepare an 
Environmental Assessment (EA) for the homeporting of four new 418-foot 
National Security Cutters (NSCs) at Coast Guard Island (CGI) in 
Alameda, California, and requests public comments. Preparation of the 
EA is being conducted in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act and its implementing regulations. The new NSCs will replace 
the four existing 30-year old 378-foot High Endurance Cutters (HECs) 
currently homeported at CGI, starting with one in 2007/2008 and 
continuing with one replacement per year until 2010/2011, under current 

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before May 10, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket 
number USCG-2006-24258 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. 
Department of Transportation. To avoid duplication, please use only one 
of the following methods:
    (1) Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov.

    (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (3) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (4) Delivery: Room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif 
Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, 
call LCDR Mike Woolard, Coast Guard, telephone 571-218-3382. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call 
Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-493-


Request for Comments

    All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov
 and will include any personal information you have 

provided. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation 
(DOT) to use the Docket Management Facility. Please see DOT's ``Privacy 
Act'' paragraph below.
    Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include your 
name and address, identify the docket number for this notice (USCG-
2006-24258) and give the reason for each comment. You may submit your 
comments by electronic means, mail, fax, or delivery to the Docket 
Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES; but please submit 
your comments by only one means. If you submit them by mail or 
delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 
inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them 
by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please 
enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will 
consider all comments received during the comment period.
    Viewing comments and documents: To view comments, go to http://dms.dot.gov
 at any time, click on ``Simple Search,'' enter the last 

five four digits of the docket number for this rulemaking, and click on 
``Search.'' You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in room 
PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, 
SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: Anyone can search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the 
Department of Transportation's Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit 

Background and Purpose

    To continue to meet America's 21st century maritime threats and 
challenges, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) initiated the 
Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) Program, the largest and most 
innovative acquisition in the Coast Guard's history. The IDS will 
significantly contribute to the Coast Guard's maritime domain 
awareness, as well as the improved ability to intercept, engage, and 
deter those activities that pose a direct challenge/threat to U.S. 
sovereignty and security. IDS will provide the means to extend our 
layered maritime defenses from our ports and coastal areas to hundreds 
of miles out to sea.
    The underlying need for the IDS is to provide upgraded, modern 
assets for the Coast Guard's Pacific Area (PACAREA) Command, in support 
of executing the wide range of Coast Guard missions in the Pacific 
area. PACAREA has operational responsibility for waters as far south as 
Central America and over 1,000 miles offshore. CGI is the critical 
facility that currently provides the support functions for meeting 
Coast Guard missions in the Pacific area. These missions are currently 
met with aging (Legacy) 378 ft cutters of the SECRETARY class whose end 
of economic service life is 2008.
    Under the Coast Guard's Deepwater Program, the NSC will be the 
flagship of the new fleet of cutters. The sweeping modernization and 
new assets acquisitions of the Deepwater Program will bring much needed 
capability and

[[Page 18109]]

capacity to the Coast Guard. When fully implemented, the interoperable 
Deepwater system will comprise three classes of new cutters and their 
associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, a 
combination of new and upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and 
land-based unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). All of these highly capable 
assets are linked with Command, Control, Communications and Computers, 
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, and are 
supported by an integrated logistics system. These new assets, which 
possess common systems and technologies, common operational concepts, 
and a common logistics base will give the Coast Guard a significantly 
improved ability to detect and identify all activities in the maritime 
arena, a capability known as ``maritime domain awareness,'' as well as 
the improved ability to intercept and engage those activities that pose 
a direct threat to U.S. sovereignty and security. The NSCs will be the 
flagships of the IDS, capable of meeting all maritime security mission 
needs and operating with a maximum range of 12,000 nautical miles and 
up to 60 days continuously without replenishment.
    The existing base on CGI in Alameda, CA provides the shore support 
necessary to meet the logistical requirements of four large cutters. 
This existing support includes security considerations, easy access for 
Coast Guard personnel, administrative and support buildings and 
services, and required shore ties to service in-port cutters.
    The Coast Guard plans to homeport four NSCs at CGI in Alameda, 
California. The four NSCs would replace, on a one-for-one basis, the 
four aging 378-foot High-Endurance Cutters (HECs) currently stationed 
in Alameda.
    In addition to the proposed vessel homeporting, minor improvements 
to the existing waterfront pier and construction of a new 18,000 sq. 
ft. administration building would be required at the existing base on 
CGI in Alameda to provide adequate shore-side support. No other actions 
or projects are anticipated at this time to support this proposed 
homeporting plan.
    The USCG is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to comply 
with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (section 
102[2][c]) and its implementing regulations at 40 Code of Federal 
Regulations, part 1500, and other related environmental laws, 
regulations, and Executive Orders. The EA will evaluate the potential 
direct, indirect and cumulative impacts associated with the NSC 
homeporting plan. The EA will tier from the USCG's Programmatic 
Environmental Impact Statement for the IDS Program, completed in March 
of 2002.

    Dated: March 22, 2006.
J.E. Mihelic,
Capt, USCG, Chief, Deepwater Transition Management Division, (G-DTM).
 [FR Doc. E6-5205 Filed 4-7-06; 8:45 am]