F-35 environmental impact statement released

  • Published
  • By AFNS
Air Force officials have announced that the final environmental impact statement addressing the beddown of the Joint Strike Fighter and 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) is available for public review.

The publication of the notice of availability in the Federal Register begins a 30-day public waiting period before a Record of Decision can be signed by Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations.

The release of the final EIS is in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is a necessary step in the decision-making process on how these military organizations will be integrated into the Eglin AFB community.

The noise level associated with the Joint Strike Fighter, designated as the F-35 Lightning II, is significant, which has prompted public concerns about the noise and overall environmental impacts of the aircraft beddown.

In announcing the release, Ms. Ferguson said, "The Air Force is committed to being a good neighbor to the communities which surround Eglin AFB and the future installations selected for F-35 basing. We are diligently exploring methods to mitigate the impact.

"Our Airmen and their families live and work within these same communities and neighborhoods and are equally affected," she said. "The Air Force is committed to keeping base personnel, community leaders and the public informed as the process moves forward. The Air Force will make every effort to balance the mission essential requirements for a safe and efficient training program for the JSF with the aircraft's impact on the environment, public health and safety in the surrounding community."

The public libraries in Eglin's surrounding communities will be provided copies of the final EIS and serve as the repositories of information. The final EIS is posted on the Eglin public web site.