Status Report

Federal Register: National Environmental Policy Act; NASA Ames Development Plan

By SpaceRef Editor
August 20, 2002
Filed under ,

[Federal Register: August 20, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 161)]

[Notices]

[Page 53977-53980]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr20au02-120]

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

[Notice 02-099]

National Environmental Policy Act; NASA Ames Development Plan


AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Notice of availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental

Impact Statement (FPEIS) for the NASA Ames Development Plan (NADP).

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
(NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the regulations of the
Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural
provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and NASA “Procedures for
Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)” (14 CFR
part 1216 subpart 1216.3), NASA has prepared a FPEIS for the proposed
NADP. The purpose of the FPEIS is to assess the environmental
consequences associated with development under the proposed NADP, which
is intended to bring new research and development (R&D) uses to the
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) in Santa Clara County, California. NASA
is planning to develop a world-class, shared-used educational and R&D
campus focused on astrobiology, life sciences, space sciences,
nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and aeronautics.
As part of the NADP, NASA officials plan to create partnerships with
federal, state and local government agencies, universities, private
industry and non-profit organizations in support of NASA’s mission to
conduct research and develop new technologies.

DATES: NASA will take no final action on the NADP before September 9,
2002, or 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register
of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Notice of Availability of
the NADP FPEIS, whichever is later.

ADDRESSES: The FPEIS can be reviewed at the following locations:

  • (a) Mountain View Public Library, Reference Section, 585 Franklin
  • Street, Mountain View, CA (650-903-6887).
  • (b) Sunnyvale Public Library, Reference Section, 665 West Olive
  • Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA (650-730-7300).
  • (c) NASA Headquarters, Library, Room lJ20, 300 E Street SW,
  • Washington, DC 20546 (202-358-0167).
  • (d) Access electronically at http://researchpark.arc.nasa.gov.
  • In addition, the FPEIS may be examined at the following locations
  • through the NASA Freedom of Information Act Offices as follows:
  • (a) NASA, Dryden Flight Research Center, P.O. Box 273, Edwards, CA
  • 93523 (661-276-2704).
  • (b) NASA, Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, 21000 Brookpark
  • Road, Cleveland, OH 44135 (216-433-2755).
  • (c) NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt,
  • MD 20771 (301-286-0730).
  • (d) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Visitors Lobby, Building 249, 4800
  • Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (818-354-5179).
  • (e) NASA, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058 (281-483-8612).
  • (f) Spaceport U.S.A., Room 2001, John F. Kennedy Space Center, FL
  • 32899. Please call Lisa Fowler at 321-867-2201 in advance.
  • (g) NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681 (757-864-
  • 2497).
  • (h) NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (256-
  • 544-2030).
  • (i) NASA, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 (228-688-2164).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandy Olliges, NASA, Ames Research
Center, M.S. 218-1/Building 218, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000;
telephone 650-604-3355; electronic mail (solliges@mail.arc.nasa.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1991, the Federal Base Closure and
Realignment Commission decided to close Moffett Field Naval Air
Station. Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Defense transferred
stewardship of the property to NASA. NASA took over administration of
Moffett Field in 1994. The immediate issues were how to use the newly
acquired land in a manner consistent with NASA’s mission, and how to
pay for the maintenance and operations of such a large site. These
matters were originally addressed in the Moffett Field Comprehensive
Use Plan (CUP) and its associated Environmental Assessment (EA), which
resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in 1994. After
the transfer of the property, local community leaders formed a
Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and recommended uses for the newly
acquired land. The uses proposed in the NADP are consistent with the
CAC recommendations.


In addition to the activities described in the CUP, NASA now
proposes to develop the NASA Research Park (NRP) and other areas by
building on the full range of existing high-technology and aviation
resources at Moffett Field and creating partnerships with Federal,
State, and local governmental agencies, universities, private industry
and non-profit organizations in support of NASA’s mission to develop
new scientific knowledge and technologies. With the help of these
collaborative organizations and consistent with its mission, NASA
proposes to develop a world-class, shared-use educational and R&D
campus focused on the advancement of human knowledge about
nanotechnology, information technology, biotechnology, astrobiology,
life sciences, space sciences and aeronautics. By integrating public
and private R&D efforts at the NRP, NASA would create a hub for
technology transfer, stay involved with cutting-edge technology
advances, and facilitate the commercial applications of NASA’s basic
scientific research.


Alternatives for the development at the Center in the FPEIS
include:


Alternative 1: The No Action Alternative. Under the No Action
(a.k.a. No Project) Alternative, NASA would not propose new development
for ARC at this time. However, NASA would implement several projects at
ARC that are already approved pursuant to the NASA ARC CUP EA and
FONSI, and the California Air National Guard Master Plan EA and FONSI.


Alternative 2: In Alternative 2, NASA proposes to develop
approximately 360,000 square meters (3.9 million square feet) of new
space in the NRP, Bay View, and Eastside/Airfield areas. Within the NRP
area, there would be approximately 190,000 square meters (2 million
square feet) of new educational, office, research and development,
museum, conference center, housing and retail development.
Approximately 52,000 square meters (560,000 square feet) of existing
non-historic structures would be demolished, and approximately 46,000
square meters (500,000 square feet) of existing space would be
renovated. In this alternative, NASA proposes approximately 121,000
square meters (1.3 million square feet) of new educational and housing
development in the Bay View area, and approximately 51,000 square
meters (550,000 square feet) of new low density research and
development and light industrial space. Hangars 2 and 3 in the Eastside
Airfield area would be renovated. Total build out under this
alternative would be approximately 845,000 square meters (9.1 million
square feet).


Alternative 3: Based on the ideas of Traditional Neighborhood
Design, NASA, in Alternative 3, would create a new mixed-use
development within the NRP. In this alternative, NASA proposes to: (1)
Add approximately 280,000 square meters (3 million square feet) of new
educational, office, research and development, museum, conference
center, housing and retail development, (2) demolish approximately
52,000 square meters (560,000 square feet) of non-historic structures,
and (3) renovate approximately 46,000 square meters (500,000 square
feet) of existing space. NASA does not propose any new construction in
the Bay View or Eastside/Airfield areas, although

Hangars 2 and 3 in the Eastside/Airfield area would be renovated for
low-intensity research and development or light industrial uses. The
total build out under Alternative 3 would be approximately 760,000
square meters (8.2 million square feet).


Alternative 4: In Alternative 4, NASA would concentrate more of the
new development in the Bay View area than it would in the other
alternatives, while creating less dense development in the NRP area. In
Alternative 4, NASA proposes to: (1) Add approximately 145,000 square
meters (1.6 million square feet) of new educational office, research
and development, museum, conference center, housing and retail space in
the NRP area, (2) demolish approximately 52,000 square meters (560,000
square feet) of non-historic structures and (3) renovate approximately
46,000 square meters (500,000 square feet) of existing space. In the
Bay View area, NASA proposes approximately 251,000 square meters (2.7
million square feet) of new office, research and development,
laboratory, educational, and student/faculty housing development. In
the Eastside/ Airfield area, NASA proposes to (1) create approximately
62,000 square meters (670,000 square feet) of new light industrial,
research and development, office and educational facility development,
and (2) renovate the historic hangars. The total build out under
Alternative 4 would be approximately 940,000 square meters (10.1
million square feet).


Alternative 5: Under Alternative 5, NASA would allow some new
construction in each of the four development areas, but would
concentrate most of this construction in the NRP area. In this
alternative, NASA proposes to: (1) Add approximately 192,000 square
meters (2.1 million square feet) of new educational, office, research
and development, museum, conference center, housing and retail space in
the NRP Area, (2) demolish approximately 52,000 square meters (560,000
square feet) of non-historic structures, and (3) renovate approximately
56,000 square meters (600,000 square feet) of existing space. In the
Bay View area, NASA proposes to add approximately 93,000 square meters
(1 million square feet) of new development, primarily for housing. In
the Eastside/Airfield area, NASA proposes to construct approximately
1,115 square meters (12,000 square feet) of new space in a new control
tower to replace the existing control tower that would be demolished in
the NRP area. Finally, in the Ames Campus area, NASA proposes to
demolish approximately 37,000 square meters (400,000 square feet) of
existing buildings to make way for 46,000 square meters (500,000 square
feet) of high density office and research and development space. Total
build out under Alternative 5 would be approximately 780,000 square
meters (8.4 million square feet).


Mitigated Alternative 5: The Preferred Alternative Under Mitigated
Alternative 5, development would be the same as in Alternative 5, with
several exceptions. In the NRP area, the land area of parcel 1, which
is proposed to accommodate the Lab Project proposed under the baseline,
would be decreased. The development potential of this parcel would be
kept the same through an increase in the parcel’s allowed Floor Area
Ratio (FAR). The land area of NRP Parcel 6, which is proposed for
housing, would be increased, with a corresponding increase in its
development potential. As well, a portion of building 19 and all of
building 20 would be redesigned for use as dormitory housing. This
would be in keeping with the historic use of these buildings, which
were originally built as enlisted personnel and officer’s housing
respectively.


To accommodate additional housing, the land area of Bay View Parcel
1, which is designated for housing would be increased, as would the
parcel’s allowable FAR. However, the area of other parcels proposed for
development was decreased, so the total land area proposed for
development in the Bay View would remain the same. In the Bay View
area, 1,120 townhomes and apartment units would be provided, as
compared to 750 under Alternative 5 without mitigation.


The residential development in the Bay View area would occur in the
100-year floodplain. This site is the only on-site location suitable
for the additional housing, which is required to help mitigate the
significant environmental impacts on the jobs/housing imbalance and
traffic. Fill would be added to approximately 23 acres to bring the
finished grade above the 100-year floodplain elevation. No adverse
impacts to human health or the environment are expected to result.


NASA has selected Mitigated Alternative Five as the Preferred
Alternative. The Preferred Alternative has been identified as the
option that best meets NASA’s purpose and need, and has the fewest
significant environmental impacts. However, even with the proposed
mitigation measures, there would be significant impacts to air quality,
traffic, and the jobs/housing imbalance.


The FPEIS also includes the General Conformity Determination for
Carbon Monoxide, which is provided in Appendix D of the FPEIS. Although
more than 100 tons per year of carbon monoxide would be generated by
the preferred alternative, no violation of National Ambient Air Quality
Standards is expected.


Pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, NASA has
conducted informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, and has prepared a Biological Assessment to describe the
effects of the proposed action on the federally listed species at the
site. No adverse effect is expected from implementation of the
preferred alternative. The Biological Assessment is provided as
Appendix E to the FPEIS.


Pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), NASA has
prepared a Historic Resources Protection Plan (HRPP) for the Shenandoah
Plaza Historic District in the proposed NRP, and a Programmatic
Agreement (PA) with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and
the California State Historic Preservation Officer, to adopt and
implement the HRPP. Under the proposed action, most noncontributing
structures in the Historic District would be demolished, along with the
non-historic buildings in the NRP that are outside the Historic
District. Historic District infill and new construction in the area of
potential effect would comply with the NHPA. No adverse effect is
expected from implementation of the preferred alternative. The HRPP and
PA are in appendix G of the FPEIS.


NASA has prepared a consistency determination for the entire NADP
project relative to the Coastal Zone Management Act administered by the
Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). This consistency
determination was submitted to BCDC on April 12, 2002, with additional
information submitted on May 29 and July 9, 2002. This consistency
determination concluded that the proposed NADP would be consistent to
the maximum extent practicable with the Bay Plan, McAteer-Petris Act,
and the Coastal Zone Management Act. BCDC concurred with NASA’s
consistency determination on July 18, 2002.


Future projects implemented pursuant to the NADP will be evaluated
for NEPA compliance by the NASA ARC Environmental Services Office to
determine if the project’s environmental impacts were adequately
described in the FPEIS. Any applicable mitigation measures will also be
identified. If the project is not adequately covered by the

FPEIS, then NASA will determine what level of additional NEPA analysis
may be required. In addition to the NEPA review, NASA will review its
partners’ proposed projects for compliance with the NADP Design Guide,
the Transportation Demand Management Program, the Historic Resources
Protection Plan, and the Environmental Issues Management Plan, which
are described in the FPEIS, as well as with Federal, State, and local
environmental, health, and safety laws, regulations, and ordinances;
Executive Orders; NASA ARC policies; and other applicable codes and
standards.

Dated: August 14, 2002.

Jeffrey E. Sutton,

Assistant Administrator for Management Systems.

[FR Doc. 02-21201 Filed 8-19-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7510-01-P

SpaceRef staff editor.