The Department of Homeland Security will seek public input on the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility at a meeting to be held Sept. 20 in the Mahler Auditorium at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.
The public can register to provide oral comments beginning at 6 p.m. Exhibits also will be available. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. with a presentation by officials from DHS. Formal comments will be heard from 8–10 p.m.
The purpose of the meeting is to collect input on the scope and content of the Environmental Impact Statement that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act for major federal actions that may affect the environment and to provide a better understanding of the proposed action and the federal agencies involved.
A draft EIS that presents the purpose and need for the NBAF and analyzes the potential environmental and human health impacts of siting alternatives for constructing and operating the facility will be issued in spring 2008 for public comment. A final EIS will be issued in fall 2008.
DHS has identified a preliminary list of issues to be addressed in the EIS. It includes land use, air quality, acoustic environment, geology and soil characteristics, water resources, human health and safety, socioeconomic effects, public infrastructure, waste management, compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and more.
Meeting materials, more information on how to comment and a description of the EIS process are available online (www.dhs.gov/xres/labs/editorial_0803.shtm).
DHS welcomes all comments, both oral and written, during the scoping period which ends Sept. 28. All comments submitted during this period will be given equal consideration in defining the scope of the EIS.