Environmental Impact Study for the Foreign Missions Center Master Plan

As part of the Master Plan for the long-term development of a Foreign Missions Center (FMC) at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia, the Department of State (DOS) prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in 2014 in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347. The DEIS evaluated the impacts on the affected environment— including, but not limited to: socioeconomics; traffic and transportation; land use; historic and cultural resources; noise; air quality; environmental justice; hazardous materials; placement of construction; parking; open space in and around the campus; setbacks; historic properties; natural and scenic resources; lighting; and cumulative impacts.

Subsequent to the publication of the DEIS, the total acreage of the land available for transfer from the Army to DOS was reduced from 43.5 to 31.7 acres through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. Due to the change in the proposed action, DOS prepared Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to describe the new preferred alternative, and evaluate any change in potential impacts from the reduction in size of the proposed action.

The SDEIS provides a great deal of information about all aspects of the master plan for the FMC and also provides opportunities for community residents and stakeholders to ask questions and make comments. Business owners and other stakeholders were encouraged to share their comments and feedback during the SDEIS public comment period.

To facilitate this information exchange process, the Department of State hosted an Open House and Public Hearing on Thursday, April 20, 2017. During the Open House, the Department provided information about the study, the NEPA process, and key findings in the SDEIS. Attendees had an opportunity to speak with subject matter experts and submit comments on the SDEIS and master plan preferred alternative, as per NEPA regulations.

A Public Hearing, required as part of the NEPA process, was held immediately following the Open House at the same location. The public hearing gave all interested persons an opportunity to provide oral or written statements to the project team that will be taken into consideration and incorporated into the final version of the Environmental Impact Statement.

The Department now announces the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the master plan for the long-term development of the Foreign Missions Center. DOS has prepared this FEIS on its Selected Action Alternative for the master plan, consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, regulations developed by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1500), and DOS regulations for implementing NEPA (22 CFR 161). Following a forty-five (45) day notice period, DOS will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) at which time its availability will be announced in the Federal Register and local media. The public review period will close on December 31, 2017.

CONTACT: Geoffrey Hunt, Department of State, A/OPR/RPM, Room 1264, 2201 C St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-1264, or FMC.info@state.gov.

In addition, the Department is continuing to carry out the review process under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 regarding the potential effect of the proposed undertaking on identified historic properties. Public comments regarding the effect of the proposed undertaking on identified historic properties were accepted as part of the SDEIS review process.

Distribution of the Final Environmental Impact Statement

Hard copies of the FEIS for the Foreign Missions Center Master Plan are available for public review at the following locations:

Juanita E. Thornton-Shepherd Park Library

7420 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20012

Takoma Park Neighborhood Library

416 Cedar St. NW, Washington DC 20012

Petworth Neighborhood Library

4200 Kansas Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20011

11/13/17  Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)
11/13/17  Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) (Appendices)
03/22/17  Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS)
02/07/14  Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)