Coast Guard to host open house for proposed construction of Rescue 21 radio antenna

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard will host an open house on the Island on Kauai for the local community to meet representatives, ask questions and voice opinions for the proposed construction of a Rescue 21 radio antenna. The open house will be held at: Elsie H. Wilcox Elementary School cafeteria, 4319 Hardy St. Lihue, Kauai, 96766  on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

What is Rescue 21? 

Rescue 21 replaces the National Distress and Response System, which has been in use since the 1970s. Rescue 21 can more accurately identify the location of callers in distress via towers that generate lines of bearing to the source of VHF radio transmissions, thereby significantly reducing search time. Rescue 21 extends coverage out to a minimum of 23 miles from the coastline. It improves information sharing and coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal, state and local first responders, and can also identify suspected hoax calls, conserving valuable response resources.

The Coast Guard Rescue 21 Project is proposing to construct a Remote Fixed Facility to provide communications for the Coast Guard’s Sector Honolulu Area of Responsibility. The proposed RFF will be Coast Guard owned and built on the Island of Kauai, on a leased portion of TMK (4) 3-8-002:005, in Hanamaulu, Kauai County, Hawaii. The Coast Guard proposes to construct a 68-foot tall monopole that will include a direction finding antenna mounted on top, three antennas installed at various locations, a mounting pole and a lightening rod. The total height of the monopole and all antennas will be 80-feet. The proposed monopole will be in a fenced compound. Associated equipment at the site will include a prefabricated equipment shelter that would be no more than 15 feet by 24 feet, a 20-kilowatt emergency backup generator with a 300-gallon diesel belly tank.

The Coast Guard has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment that evaluates the potential environmental impacts resulting from the construction of a RFF communications monopole and associated equipment near the community of Hanama’ulu, Kauai County, Hawaii. This draft EA supplements the National Distress and Response System Modernization Project’s Programmatic EA of 1998 and its Supplemental Programmatic EA of 2002. The 1998 PEA and 2002 SPEA are the first level of documents upon which subsequent National Environmental Act analysis and documentation, including this EA, are tiered for individual actions and their site-specific impacts.

This notice announces the availability of the proposed RFF Kalepa draft EA for public review at the following locations:

1) The Lihue Public Library, 4344 Hardy St., Lihue, Kauai, 96766
2) Hawaii State Library, 478 S. King St., Honolulu, 96813

The draft EA is also available for review at the following website: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg4/cg47/NEPAhot.asp.

Persons wishing to provide comments should contact:

Ms. Sherrill Thompson (JR07-0905),
COMMANDANT (CG-9331),
Environmental Protection Specialist – Rescue 21 Program
U.S. Coast Guard
2100 2nd St. SW
Washington D.C., 20593

Via electronic mail: Sherrill.E.Thompson@uscg.mil; Via fax: (202) 475-3916; or by telephone at (202) 475-3175.

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