The Air Force will host a series of virtual public hearings in October to allow members of the public to learn about the B-21 “Raider” project and provide comments.
The Department of Defense is developing a new bomber aircraft, the B-21 “Raider,” which will eventually replace B-1 and B-2 bomber aircraft. The Air Force intends to beddown B-21 aircraft through a series of three basing decisions: Main Operating Base (MOB) 1, MOB 2 and MOB 3.
A Notice of Availability (NOA) has been published in the Federal Register announcing that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the B-21 MOB 1 Beddown at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, or Dyess AFB, Texas, is now available for public review. This Draft EIS considers the Air Force proposal for MOB 1 to host B-21 Operational Squadrons, a B-21 Formal Training Unit, and a Weapons Generation Facility. The publication of the NOA on September 25, 2020, begins a 46-day public comment period, which will end on November 9, 2020.
The Air Force is also providing early notice of compliance with Executive Order (EO) 11990, Protection of Wetlands, and EO 11988, Floodplain Management. State and federal regulatory agencies with special expertise in wetlands and floodplains have been contacted to request comment.
In compliance with the Centers for Disease Control best practices to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Air Force has decided to host four virtual public hearings to allow members of the public to learn about the project and provide verbal public comments. The virtual hearings will provide an overview of the Draft EIS, including a description of the project’s alternatives and the associated potential environmental impacts.
The public hearings will be held on the following dates and times. Of note, two public hearings will be held in Mountain Standard Time (MST) to accommodate South Dakota residents and two public hearings will be held in Central Standard Time (CST) to accommodate Texas residents. The content will be the same at all virtual hearings, and are open to all members of the public.
•Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CST
•Thursday, October 15, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CST
•Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. MST
•Thursday, October 22, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. MST
To register to attend a virtual public hearing and sign-up to provide a verbal comment, visit www.B21EIS.com. Meeting links and instructions will be distributed after registering and prior to all virtual public hearings. All public hearings can be accessed by phone at 1-877-853-5247, Meeting ID: 813 4560 9980, Meeting Password: 0903275.
The Draft EIS and supporting materials are available for download on the project website at www.B21EIS.com. In the event that alternate arrangements need to be made for delivery of printed or hard copy materials, please send a request via the public website or contact the 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs Office at Ellsworth AFB at 605-385-5056, or after hours at 605-391-7436.
Comments on the Draft EIS must be submitted by November 9, 2020 to be considered in the Final EIS.
•Via the public website at www.B21EIS.com.
•By mail to Leidos, ATTN: B-21 EIS, 1456 Woodlawn Way, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563.
For more information, visit www.B21EIS.com, or contact the 28th Bomb Public Affairs, Ellsworth AFB, S.D., at 605-385-5056, or via email at email@example.com.