About the Project
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires federal agencies to examine the environmental effects of their proposed actions. The Department of the Navy is preparing the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake Land Withdrawal EIS/LEIS to assess the potential environmental effects associated with the proposed action.
The proposed action includes:
- Renew (by act of Congress) the 1994 withdrawal of lands at NAWS China Lake to accommodate continued Navy use for research, development, acquisition, test, and evaluation (RDAT&E) and operational training activities for an additional 25 years.
- Revise and implement the Comprehensive Land Use Management Plan (CLUMP).
- Maintain Navy readiness by accommodating an up to 25 percent increase in RDAT&E and training activities.
Land Withdrawal Renewal
In 1994, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 103-433, known as the California Military Lands Withdrawal and Overflights Act of 1994, a portion of the California Desert Protection Act (CDPA). China Lake is one of several lands withdrawn from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for military use under the CDPA.
The withdrawals and reservations established by the CDPA terminate 20 years after the date of the act’s enactment, which was October 31, 1994. On October 31, 2014, the legislative land withdrawal will terminate unless it is extended by an act or joint resolution in Congress. Due to the continued Navy need for the withdrawn lands at NAWS China Lake, the Department of the Navy, in partnership with BLM as the cooperating agency, will request the renewal of the land withdrawal to allow for continued RDAT&E and training.
Increase In Military Training and Testing Tempo
Since the last withdrawal, there has been an increased need for training and testing at China Lake. Additional training is required to keep the service men and women proficient in their skills and safe on the front lines. Given the changing nature of technology, the Department of the Navy needs to be able to increase the testing of various weapon platforms. Due to this, one component of the EIS/LEIS is to address the need for an increase of testing and training tempo at China Lake.
Update of the CLUMP
The proposed action also includes the update and implementation of the CLUMP. A CLUMP is a long-term, strategic plan that formalizes the process for land use planning and management at NAWS China Lake. This plan provides an integrated framework for the management of military operations, public health and safety process, and environmental resource conservation programs. The CLUMP incorporates approved management plans, reports, or applicable components of plans currently in development. The CLUMP update will include changes to the land use patterns since the 2004 Final EIS and a refinement of existing land use management policy, procedure, goals, and guidelines.
The NEPA Process
The NEPA process is planned to continue through fall 2013. During the NEPA process there are several opportunities for you to get involved. To learn more, go to Get Involved. Learn about the NEPA process.
2005 CLUMP and Related Environmental Documents