On November 30, 2018, the Department of the Navy terminated consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act regarding effects on historic properties from the increase in aircraft, to include the EA-18A Growler, and aircraft operations and development of support facilities at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
The ACHP joined consultation on this undertaking in 2014. Since June 2018 consultation has focused on identifying measures to mitigate the adverse effect on historic properties from increased aircraft at the installation, since avoidance and minimization are not possible due to the nature of the undertaking. The consulting parties were unable to reach agreement on such measures. Due to contracting requirements and timelines established by the U.S. Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014, the Navy decided to terminate consultation.
The ACHP has 45 days to provide comment back to the Secretary of the Navy. However, due to the lapse in federal funding necessitating a partial government shutdown, the 45-day timeline for the ACHP to provide its final comments to the Secretary of the Navy was stopped on December 21, 2018. Consequently, the timeline began again on January 26, 2019 when the government was reopened. The new deadline for the ACHP to submit its comments is February 19, 2019.
The ACHP’s comments will be conveyed to the Secretary of the Navy by the Chairman of the ACHP and will take into account public comments.
A public meeting was held Wednesday, December 19 at Coupeville High School in Coupeville, WA during which comments were heard and written comments were collected. Those comments plus any comments submitted to the ACHP in writing will be considered in the ACHP comment to the Secretary.
All comments submitted by 5 p.m. EST, January 3, 2019, will be part of the public record and reviewed by the ACHP prior to the finalization and transmittal of its formal comments.