The 99th Regional Support Command (RSC) Environmental Division has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) from an Environmental Assessment it performed to examine the potential environmental impact of building an Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) in Danbury, Conn., on April 29, 2011.

Based on the findings of the Environmental Assessment and the comments received from interested parties during the 30-day public review period, an 18-acre parcel on the Lee Farm property south of Wooster Heights Road in Danbury, Conn., was selected by the Army as the primary construction site for the project.

The $45 million construction project in the vicinity of Newtown is being funded out of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC 2005) account.

The Army's original proposal was to combine the Newtown, Conn., AFRC project (Base Realignment and Closure) with a Bridgeport, Conn. Army Reserve Center (ARC) project (Grow the Army) with the intention of building a joint-use AFRC in Danbury, Conn. Initially a 30-acre parcel of the Lee Farm property that included 12 acres north and 18 acres south of Wooster Heights Road in Danbury was considered by the Army to reasonably meet the needs of the joint-use project.

In response to comments received during the Environmental Assessment (including input from the local mayor), and at the request of Representative Christopher Murphy, Senator Joe Lieberman, and with the support of newly elected Senator Sidney Blumenthal, the Army revised its plans to better meet the needs of the local community. Taking into consideration repeatedly expressed desires by the Congressional delegation and the community to preserve their open space options, the Army removed the Bridgeport ARC project from the current project plans.

This has the effect of reducing the BRAC-funded project's acreage and footprint, and eliminated the need to acquire the 12 acres of land north of Wooster Heights.

Mr. Joseph Calcara, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Housing, and Partnerships, said "This is the right solution at the right location. The Army has worked extremely hard in partnership with Rep. Murphy, Senator Lieberman, and Senator Blumenthal to sort through a variety of land use and citing issues. This is a great example of everyone working together to meet the needs of our Soldiers through collaboration with the local residents and their elected officials."

The reduced footprint AFRC project will include a 400-member training facility, similar to a small community college facility, with administrative, educational, assembly, library, learning center, vault, weapons simulator, and physical fitness areas able to accommodate eight U.S. Army Reserve and two Connecticut Army National Guard units.

"The construction of the center at this site is an important development that will strengthen the bonds between the Army and the local communities in which Army Reservists work and live." said Mr. Tad Davis, Chief Executive Officer for the U.S. Army Reserve Command. "Additionally, completion of this project will enable us to close down several older facilities whose suitability for more advanced Soldier education and training had reached their end. The properties we vacate will be made available to nearby communities, like Waterbury and Fairfield, so that their residents can make better use of them."

Under the National Environmental Policy Act, a FNSI is signed and released after an environmental assessment performed on a proposed action indicates that no significant impact on the environment is likely. The finding enables the project to proceed.

The documents can be view at:
http://www.hqda.army.mil/acsimweb/brac/env_ea_final.htm
http://www.scribd.com/doc/54693316/Danbury-CT-FNSI

At the request of the Connecticut Congressional delegation, a public meeting is being organized so that local Danbury residents can learn more about the project, including details of compromise. A media advisory is anticipated to be issued by Rep. Murphy in the near future, with date, time, and location.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16