July 1, 2008
Legal – Finding of No Significant Impact
Finding of no significant impact for transfer of 80 acres of Army land to the Division of Veterans Services for the construction and operation of a Virg1nia State Veterans Cemetery in Dublin, Virginia at Radford Army Ammunition Plant January, 2008 The Virginia Department Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS) is proposing to acquire 80 acres of Federal land on behalf of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) New River Unit in Dublin, Virginia. The proposed action is the transfer of 80 acres of previously unused land, for future development and operation of the land as a Virginia Veterans Cemetery. The ultimate ownership, operation and maintenance of the cemetery would be conducted by the DVS. The Proposed Action was authorized by Public Law 109-364, dated 17 October 2006, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, Sec. 2850, Land Conveyance, Radford Army Ammunition Plant. The land will be transferred for no fee and at no cost to the Army.One of the strategic goals of the DVS is to assure that the burial needs of veterans are met, and it has been recognized for some time that there was a need for additional cemetery facilities in Southwest Virginia. The nearest Virginia State Veterans Cemetery is in Amelia Virginia approximately 200 miles from the proposed site. The only other option for the interment of veterans from the southwest Virginia region is the national veterans' cemetery located in Mountain Home, Tennessee, approximately 140 miles from Dublin, Virginia. The DVS has determined through experience that few people will elect burial at a national cemetery that is farther than 75 miles from their home. Similar data indicate that 90 percent of internments conic from a 50 mile radius of the cemetery. There is also reluctance for burial to take place across a state line from their place of residence. The Proposed Action will include the Salem and Roanoke metropolitan areas within the 50 mile radius. Theses areas are currently not served by a national or state veterans cemetery within a 75 mile radius. The death of veterans has been increasing each year as World War II and Korean War-era veterans advance in age. From 2000 to 2007, the annual rate of veteran death rate has increased by approximately 10.5 percent per year. These conditions support the purpose and need of the project.Three alternatives to this proposed action were considered, including No Action, locating the Proposed Facility at an off-site location, and Proposed Action. The proposed action was selected because: 1) The proposed site meets the requirements of each of the ten siting criteria used to evaluate potential cemetery facilities 2) The Proposed Action was authorized by Public Law 109-364. dated 17 October 2006, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, Sec. 2850, Land Conveyance, Radford Army Ammunition Plant. 3) The site is of adequate size to ensure use of the site as a cemetery for more than 100 years.An Environmental Assessment has been prepared which concluded that no significant impact will result from the proposed action. because: 1) There will be no significant increase of air emissions, water discharges or other negative environmental effects associated with the proposed action; and 2) No effects which may have significant negative influence on human health and the environment are associated with the proposed action. Thus, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.Copies of the Environmental Assessment arc available to interested parties upon request. The responsible official is Joy Case, Public Affairs Officer, Radford Army Ammunition Plant, P.O. Box 1, Radford, Virginia 24141-0099, Telephone 540-639-8611. Any comments concerning this proposed action should be submitted to the responsible official no later than 30 days after initial publication of this notice.Reviewed by:Len DiloiaFacility Environmental EngineerRFAAP Operations Team (U.S. Government Civilian)Approved by:John R. DrushalLietenant Colonel US ArmyCommanding(10960508)
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