Preceding the EIS process, the Marine Corps facilitated a Community Integrated Master Plan (CIMP) discussion for Marine Barracks Washington (MBW). The CIMP was a first-of-its-kind planning process applied to seeking solutions to challenging security and space requirements at MBW. An open and transparent process that began in January 2010 proved effective in identifying potential planning solutions that are community-driven and built on consensus. Meetings, interviews, and workshops took place primarily from January – October 2010 allowing for data gathering and public input. These included:
- January 27, 2010: CIMP Open House
- February 24, 2010: Goals & Objectives Workshop
- March 23 – 24, 2010: Potential Development Sites Workshop
- April 21 – 22, 2010: CIMP Alternatives Workshop
- May 22, 2010: Consensus Elements Workshop
- November 30, 2010 and December 7, 2010: CIMP Forum to gather final input on Community Development Objectives
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process will now guide the decision-making process for the CIMP going forward. NEPA establishes a national environmental policy with goals of protection, maintenance, and enhancement of the environment, and provides a process for implementing these goals within federal agencies. Its main objective is to create a better decision-making process for implementing major federal actions that could significantly impact the natural and human environment.
More information on NEPA is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/basics/nepa.html.
Key important components of the NEPA process align well with the CIMP process to date:
- Public involvement is a cornerstone in the NEPA process and begins with scoping, which is an early and open process for actively and constructively soliciting input from organizations and the public, determining the nature and extent of issues to be addressed, and identifying major issues related to a proposed action.
- NEPA requires identification and analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives. The progress made with the community of stakeholders in the CIMP process has been incorporated into the reasonable range of alternatives to be evaluated in the EIS.
- The purpose of the proposed action is to address existing facility deficiencies at MBW. The proposed action is needed to better support the functions of the Marine Corps units assigned to MBW and, in the case of the BEQ Complex replacement project, to meet current life safety, energy efficiency, Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection (AT/FP) requirements, and quality of life standards.
- Although the Marine Corps was initially working with the community of stakeholders to utilize a partnering mechanism that avoids federal land acquisition, the Marine Corps has now determined that federal land acquisition will be unavoidable as a result of recent unforeseen changes in policy for privatization and a less favorable funding outlook. However, community-military development partnership remains a priority component to be carried over from the CIMP discussion and the Marine Corps will continue to investigate opportunities to collaborate with the District of Columbia to minimize impacts to the local tax base and pursue all viable options, particularly for the potential reuse of the Building 20 site.
CIMP Process from the Beginning