The Navy’s Proposed Action is to construct a new multi-mission dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. The Navy is also proposing to upgrade Dry Dock 6 to meet current seismic standards, and to modify, demolish, and/or replace other piers, wharves, quay walls, buildings, cranes, and utilities to make space for the new multi-mission dry dock.
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to address critical deficiencies in dry dock capability, capacity, and seismic survivability at Naval Base Kitsap - Bremerton to enable Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) to meet its mission to support the Navy’s fleet.
The Proposed Action is needed because:
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) is the Navy’s primary provider for the maintenance, repair, modernization, and recycling of ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers in the Pacific Fleet. PSNS & IMF is the only Navy shipyard on the West Coast with a dry dock that can accommodate the large size of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for repair and maintenance. Additionally, PSNS & IMF is the only Navy shipyard that is approved to recycle nuclear-powered submarines.
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) does not have the dry dock capability to support the Navy’s newest USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) class aircraft carriers and, if the Navy does not implement this action, the Navy would eventually lose its ability to service aircraft carriers at the shipyard, thereby failing to support the operational readiness of the fleet. If the Navy does not upgrade Dry Dock 6 – the only West Coast dry dock that can service an aircraft carrier – the dry dock will continue to be at risk during future seismic events. If the Navy does not build a new dry dock, it could not service an aircraft carrier during the years it would take to upgrade Dry Dock 6.
A turning basin is an in-water area outside of a dry dock entrance that allows a ship to turn and align before it enters the dry dock. A turning basin must be wide and deep enough to accommodate the vessels that will use the dry dock.
The forge shop is an industrial building at the shipyard where the Navy manufactures parts and equipment required to repair vessels. The forge shop is in Building 452. If the Navy builds the proposed multi-mission dry dock at Dry Dock 3, this building would be demolished. Under Alternative 2, the Navy is planning to relocate the forge shop to Bangor because this type of work could be done outside of the shipyard. If it is relocated to Bangor, parts and equipment built at the new forge shop would then be transported to the shipyard.
Mooring A is a potential location for the multi-mission dry dock. Since there isn’t already a dry dock at this location, constructing the multi-mission dry dock there would require the addition of more fill to Sinclair Inlet than building it at Dry Dock 3. Also, the seafloor geology is different at the Mooring A location, and construction of the new dry dock would require different construction methods and take longer than building it at Dry Dock 3.
Dry Dock 6 is the only West Coast dry dock that can service an aircraft carrier. Completed in 1962, Dry Dock 6 was built before today’s seismic standards. Seismic upgrade of this dry dock is necessary to maintain the ability to service an aircraft carrier on the West Coast.
Upgrading Dry Dock 6 would require taking it “offline” for a number of years. During that time, aircraft carrier maintenance would be required, and there would be no dry dock on the West Coast that could accommodate an aircraft carrier. The Navy is proposing to construct a multi-mission dry dock that would be capable of servicing aircraft carriers during the years Dry Dock 6 would be unavailable to ensure the Navy always has the capability to dry dock an aircraft carrier on the West Coast. The multi-mission dry dock also would support future shipyard workload and provide operational flexibility for the Pacific Fleet.
The Navy’s mission no longer requires the Hammerhead Crane, which was built in 1933 to support large battleship gun turrets. This work has not existed for many years and the crane cannot be certified for other uses. The crane’s design is obsolete and replacement parts are unavailable. It also lacks modern safety features, and it does not meet today’s seismic standards. The crane has also degraded after a quarter century of non-use and it would be very costly for the Navy to maintain it in a safe condition. In 1996, the Navy spent approximately $4.26 million to repaint the crane to prevent corrosion. If the crane remained in place, it would require significant structural work and repainting. The cost for interior and exterior painting alone would be much higher than the previous painting effort, which occurred more than 20 years ago. Additionally, the pier foundation would require significant improvement to meet modern seismic design criteria.
The Navy has not yet decided how to mitigate adverse effects of the crane’s demolition. That will be determined through Section 106 consultation with the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer, the National Park Service, and other interested parties. The consultation will also address not just the crane, but also other historic resources that could be adversely affected by the proposed project. Some potential mitigation measures for demolition of Navy structures include photographs and written documentation as well as interpretive or educational materials. We welcome public input on other potential mitigation measures we should consider and encourage the public to submit a written comment for suggestions.
An EIS is a detailed public document that provides an assessment of the potential impacts a major federal action may have on the environment. An EIS informs decision-makers and the public of the potential environmental impacts of a proposed action and its reasonable alternatives.
An EIS is considered the appropriate document for comprehensively analyzing the Proposed Action to construct a new dry dock and improve associated waterfront infrastructure at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
The Navy will identify and assess the potential environmental impacts on a variety of resource areas (e.g., biological resources and cultural resources) during the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. The EIS will also analyze measures that would avoid, minimize, or mitigate environmental impacts. Please submit written comments on any specific concerns or considerations you may have for the environmental resource areas and alternatives.
At this time, the Navy has not determined the estimated costs for the preliminary alternatives. The project team is anticipating the release of the Draft EIS in the Spring of 2023, and that document will include a full analysis of potential environmental impacts for each identified alternative – to include the scope, scale, and socioeconomic impacts of constructing a multi-mission dry dock with any associated waterfront infrastructure improvements.
Yes. Your comments are important because of their potential to highlight a matter, suggestion, or issue you would like to see analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Substantive comments and ideas may also help shape the alternative actions analyzed in the EIS. The purpose of the public scoping process is to provide information to the public on the Proposed Action, preliminary action alternatives, and to obtain feedback on the issues the public and stakeholders believe should be considered for analysis as part of the EIS. The public has an opportunity to help shape the alternatives.
Public participation helps the Navy make informed decisions. The Navy welcomes public input on the scope of the EIS.