Air Force to hold public hearings regarding new B-21 “Raider” aircraft basing decisions

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE  BASE, S.D. — The U.S. Department of Defense has announced plans for a new aircraft, the B-21 “Raider”, will eventually replace the B-1 and B-2 bomber aircraft and will hold public hearings for input.

In other words, the Air Force is looking for the public’s input on the plans for the new plane and its base.

A Notice of Availability (NOA) that was published in the Federal Register has announced that a draft of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the B-21 locations at Dyess AFB, Texas or Ellsworth AFB, in Box Elder, South Dakota. The draft is now available for public review and can be viewed here.

In the draft, it considers the Air Force’s proposal for the Main Operating Base (MOB 1) to host B-21 Operational Squadrons, as well as a B-21 Formal Training Unit and a Weapons Generation Facility.

The draft, which was published on September 25, 2020, starts a 46-day public comment period that ends on November 9, 2020.

The Air Force will also provide early notice of compliance with Executive order 11990, Protection of Wetlands, and Executive Order 11988 and Floodplain Management.

State and regulatory agencies have also been contacted to provide their level of special expertise in wetlands and floodplains.

The public hearings will be held virtually in order to comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s guidelines in containing the spread of COVID-19. The hearings will give the public an overview of the Draft EIS that will also describe the project’s alternatives and the associated potential environmental impacts.

The public hearing will be held during the below dates/times.

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CST
  • Thursday, October 15, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CST
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. MST
  • Thursday, October 22, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. MST

Click here to register for the online public hearing and signup to provide a verbal comment.

To find the password and Meeting ID, you can view the press release below.

PSA 011020 B-21 EIS Public Hearings.doc






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