Airport EIS process invites public comment

My turn

Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2001

On June 20, the Federal Aviation Administration sponsored a public meeting at Centennial Hall to discuss a recently initiated Environmental Impact Statement for proposed development activities at the Juneau International Airport. FAA and its project team were pleased with the community response, and wish to thank everyone who attended or has taken the time to prepare comments for us to consider in developing the EIS.

This EIS is important to everyone in Juneau. It will evaluate proposed actions at the airport concerning some of Southeast Alaska's most sensitive issues: Aviation and flying safety, and natural and recreational resources. FAA's project team has received a number of comments and suggestions that will help us formulate a range of alternatives that meet the purpose and need for these actions, while at the same time recognizing the value of these resources to constituents of the City and Borough of Juneau.

We will do our best to continue to keep everyone informed about the proposed actions, key issues of concern, and possible impacts to the human environment. Another public meeting will be held at Centennial Hall before the summer is over, and we will meet individually with agencies and citizens on a less formal basis whenever possible. A Web site has been established for the project at www.jnu-eis.org that provides information about the EIS. It also offers a way for people to submit formal comment and suggestions for the official record. Public and agency comments that were submitted for an environmental assessment of the airport actions have been loaded onto the site for review. In the near future we will begin posting all of the scoping comments we receive concerning the EIS. In addition, repositories of relevant information about the project and EIS process are being established at the main and Mendenhall libraries.

There have been two prevalent themes expressed so far in the comments: Making sure that the operating environment at Juneau International Airport offers an appropriately high level of safety for aircraft and travelers, and protection of the quality and value of the resources around the airport. The National Environmental Policy Act provides a process to achieve both of these goals. We look forward to many discussions with the community over the coming months as the EIS is developed.

Please visit our Web site if you would like to submit comments about the EIS, and to stay in touch with upcoming events and new information. You are welcome to call Ken Wallace, project manager with SWCA, the primary consulting firm helping FAA prepare the EIS. I can be reached at 1-800-828-7991, ext. 211 or at kwallace@swca.com if you have questions or need more information.



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