FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 11, 2012) -- The Army announces the availability of the Programmatic Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for Modernizing and Operating Training Ranges on Previous or Existing Range Sites on Army Training Areas and invites the public to provide comments.

The Army needs to modernize many of its training ranges to meet future wartime requirements and to provide facilities better aligned to changes in training, doctrine and weapons systems. To streamline the documentation process, a programmatic environmental assessment has been prepared to analyze the effects of constructing a variety of types of ranges that would disturb less than 40 acres of military grounds that currently or previously have been used as a military training range.

All interested members of the public, federally-recognized Indian Tribes, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiian groups, federal, state, and local agencies are invited to review and provide comments on the National Environmental Policy Act documentation titled Programmatic Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for Range Construction of up to 40 acres on Previously Disturbed Sites.

Interested parties may view or download a copy from the U.S. Army Environmental Command website at

U.S. Army Environmental Command will accept written comments until Jan. 11, 2013.

Submit written comments or additional information to Public Comments, U.S. Army Environmental Command, 2450 Connell Road (Cube 205-005), Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7664 or send comments by email to:

Though site-specific analysis may be required at some range project sites, in general, the Army does not anticipate significant impacts associated with small arms range construction on previously disturbed sites.

This PEA analyzes the potential effects of building any of 20 different types of ranges that fire small arms. Small arms are those carried by individual Soldiers and fire ammunition such as 9mm, 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and also use weapons such as the 40mm grenade launcher, shotgun, hand grenade and the .50 caliber sniper rifle.

Environmental staff at installations requiring construction of one of the small arms ranges listed above will be able to use the Programmatic Environmental Assessment and its attached environmental review checklist to evaluate environmental impacts of proposed range construction to save time and money on future environmental reviews. Environmental staff would evaluate environmental media areas (e.g., water and air quality) and environmental issues (e.g., cultural resources, land use) that are commonly addressed in NEPA documents.

Proposals that do not meet the Army's environmental criteria would be subject to the appropriate level NEPA analysis under a separate environmental review.

If you have questions, please call NEPA Public Affairs at (210) 466-1590.