The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will publish the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) April 1 for the Next NGA West project in the St. Louis area, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced March 31. The FEIS analyzed four sites and the environmental effects related to the construction and operation of a new, purpose-built campus for the agency. The FEIS identifies an environmentally preferred alternative and the agency’s preferred alternative (APA; Sections 2.7 and 2.8 in the FEIS).
Identifying the APA is an important step in the process to select a site that positions NGA to meet mission challenges for the next century.
“After careful consideration of all of the available information, I have determined that the St. Louis City site is the agency’s preferred alternative,” said Robert Cardillo, NGA director.
Identifying the APA included reviewing the final environmental analysis findings and a careful evaluation of each site using mission, security, laws/regulations/Executive Orders, cost and schedule criteria.
“The St. Louis City site provides NGA with the most technological, academic and professional environment for this agency to develop the capabilities and solutions necessary to solve the hardest intelligence and national security problems entrusted to us by the American people,” said Cardillo.
The APA is part of the National Environmental Policy Act process, and is not the final decision. A comment period begins April 1 and ends April 16 to allow for additional public input before the signing of the final Record of Decision (no sooner than 30 days from the release of the FEIS). The Record of Decision is expected to be complete by early June 2016.
The NGA site selection process began in 2012 when the agency announced plans to move from its current location at 3200 South 2nd Street and Arsenal Street. A series of planning studies, including an economic analysis, determined it would be less costly, quicker and less disruptive, to build a new facility rather than upgrade current facilities.