The U.S. Army has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to construct and operate a modern Infantry Platoon Battle Course (IPBC) and associated infrasructure to support current and future Army training requirements at Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA), Hawaiʻi. The proposed IPBC would support the live-fire collective training needs of the Army, Army Reserves and the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard units, as well as service components that are stationed or train in Hawaiʻi.
To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Department of the Army prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluated the potential environmental and socioeconomic effects associated with alternatives to construct and operate the IPBC. In the Final EIS, published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2013, the Army identified the Western Range Area Alternative as the preferred alternative and has selected this alternative in the ROD. Prior to making its decision, the Army considered comments received during the EIS scoping and comment process, and the 30-day waiting period after publication of the Final EIS.
The 2011 Draft Programmatic EIS (PEIS) included a programmatic level analysis of future modernization of ranges, training and support infrastructure, and the Cantonment Area. A number of factors caused the Army to reconsider the programmatic portion of this analysis: the highly uncertain nature of the future projects in the modernization program, a rapidly changing austere fiscal environment, as well as the many public and agency comments received on the Draft PEIS. After thorough consideration of all of these factors, Army leadership has decided to defer analysis of the programmatic portion of the EIS.
In the 2011 Draft PEIS, the IPBC was analyzed as part of a larger Infantry Platoon Battle Area, which included a Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) Assault Course and a live-fire Shoothouse facility. Due to funding constraints, the MOUT Assault Course and Shoothouse are no longer part of the project. Further NEPA analysis will occur when funding becomes available for these projects and sites are identified.
The Final EIS analyzes the Army’s site-specific action to construct and operate an IPBC at PTA, and identifies the Western Range Area Alternative as the preferred alternative. the Western Range Area Alternative is located in an under-utilizied portion of the PTA impact area where no ranges currenlty exist. The location has been exposed to indriect munitions fire; constructing the IPBC in the impact area here will reclaim a portion of the impact area. Through consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Army identified mitigation measures that could minimize impacts on historic resources and threatened or endangered species, respectively. The ROD includes the final measures the Army adopted to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts on the identified cultural resources.
This project website provides information about the ROD, Final EIS, proposed action and alternatives, the NEPA process, and points of contact.
UPDATE: The ROD and Final EIS are available to download from the "Project Documents" page.