[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 122 (Monday, June 26, 1995)]
[Page 32946]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-15491]



Department of the Army

Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for 
the Creation of Artificial Reefs Within the U.S. Continental Shelf 
Using Surplus Armored Vehicles (REEF-EX)

AGENCY: Army Material Command, DOD.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: This notice of availability is for the Environmental 
Assessment (EA) and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) which 
were prepared for the program known as Reef-Ex. The EA analyzes the 
environmental impacts of transportation, cleaning, and offshore 
placement of obsolete surplus armored military vehicles into artificial 
reef placement sites pre-approved by the appropriate state and Federal 
regulatory authorities. The FNSI briefly presents the reasons why the 
proposed action will not significantly affect the human environment and 
why an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not prepared.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Persons wishing to review or receive 
further information on the EA and FNSI should contact LTC Dale, (703) 
274-7115, Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command, ATTN: AMCSA-AR, 
5001, Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA 22333-0001. For due 
consideration, comments must be received no later than 30 days from 
publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of Reef-Ex is to provide 
practical and challenging U.S. Reserve Component training while 
enhancing national fishery resources. Benefits to the military include 
training for the Reserve Component personnel responsible for preparing 
and implementing transportation plans, scheduling and conducting and 
cleaning operations, and executing the final placement of vehicles at 
designed reef sites. National fishery resources will benefit from the 
increase of valuable habitat. Reef-Ex will concentrate primarily on the 
offshore deployment of obsolete armored vehicles. The obsolete armored 
vehicles will come largely from two classes: tanks and combat vehicles. 
The primary tank considered for the Reef-Ex program will be the M60 
main battle tank. The Viet Nam-era M60 tank became obsolete by the end 
of the cold war. In addition, earlier model tanks such as the M48 and 
M551 ``Sheridan'' tanks may also be used in the Reef-Ex program. The 
combat vehicles will consist of members from the M113 Family of 
Vehicles (FOV), which have been used for a variety of missions 
including transport of infantry and engineering units, medial 
evacuation, fire support, and command and control functions on the 
battlefield. Under this program, it is proposed that up to 1,000 
surplus/obsolete armored vehicles and similar types of equipment will 
be deployed in offshore artificial reef sites annually. If a reef site 
lies within state waters, a state permit and a Federal (U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers) permit are required. If a reef is established in Federal 
waters (beyond the 3 miles from the ocean shoreline), only a Corps of 
Engineers (COE) permit is required. The holder of the COE permit; i.e. 
a state agency, is responsible for complying with all terms and 
conditions of the artificial reef permit and obtaining the necessary 
regulatory approvals. No armored vehicles will be transported for 
artificial reef placement without the necessary regulatory approvals. 
Cleanup standards and inspection procedures for the M48 and M60 tanks 
were developed as a result of extensive coordination with Federal and 
state agencies. Similar cleanup standards and inspections procedures 
will be developed for combat vehicles and other types of tanks. In 
addition to the proposed action, the EA considered several 
alternatives. They were: (1) No action, (2) sell for scrap/salvage, (3) 
sales to other countries, and (4) mothballing. The direct, indirect, 
and cumulative impacts associated with implementation of the Reef-Ex 
program by the U.S. Reserve Component personnel will not have 
significant adverse effects on the quality of the human environment. No 
threatened or endangered species, historical sites, or known 
archaeological resources are expected to be adversely affected by any 
of the activities associated with the Reef-Ex program. Coordination and 
cooperation with regulatory and technical environmental agencies has 
and will ensure that this action will be environmentally beneficial by 
creating valuable habitat for undersea life and providing for enhanced 
offshore fishing and diving on the artificial reef and surrounding 
areas. Based upon the analysis of the economic, social, and 
environmental considerations addressed in the EA, it was determined 
that the Reef-Ex program will not cause any significant impacts to the 
environment. Therefore, no EIS is required and a FNSI was prepared.
Gregory D. Showalter,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 95-15491 Filed 6-23-95; 8:45 am]