NASA Issues Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Shuttle Transition
WASHINGTON - NASA has issued a draft programmatic environmental assessment on potential impacts resulting from the Space Shuttle Program's move toward retirement in 2010 and the transition to the Constellation Program.
The assessment concludes that, because of the use of shuttle components and facilities by the Constellation Program, potential environmental impacts from disposing of the shuttle program's real and personal property would be minimal to moderate, depending on the property disposition method. The study also assesses the social and economic influence of the shuttle program on the regions around NASA's major centers. Analysis shows that the contribution of the shuttle program is relatively modest in proportion to the overall economic activity of the regions, less than one percent, except in the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., region, where it is less than three percent.
The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to consider the potential environmental consequences of their proposed actions before deciding whether and how to proceed. NASA developed this draft programmatic environmental assessment to help make informed decisions on the best options for disposing of shuttle assets.
The draft programmatic environmental assessment examines the effects of implementing a centralized process to dispose of shuttle program real and personal property. Real property includes items such as buildings, structures and land, while personal property includes items such as flight hardware, parts, and materials. While the shuttle program is scheduled for retirement in 2010, disposition activities for excess property are underway and may extend several years past the final flight in 2010.
Options for disposal of property include reuse by other NASA programs, storing for future NASA use, demolition, or release to the General Services Administration for disposition.
NASA will accept public comments on the draft programmatic environmental assessment through March 28, 2008. The final programmatic environmental assessment is expected to be complete in spring 2008. An appendix in the final programmatic environmental assessment will include public comments and NASA's responses. NASA expects to provide a formal decision on the method of the shuttle program property disposition activities in early 2009.
The draft programmatic environmental assessment is available at all NASA centers and on the Web at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/pea.html
NASA also has prepared the Final Constellation Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to address the potential environmental impacts associated with continuing preparation for and implementation of the Constellation Program. It is available on the Web at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/main/peis.html
For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov
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