FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions are provided for additional project information.

  • Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach is the primary munitions installation for the surface ships of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet. It is a vital national asset. 
  • The primary role of the installation is to:
    • Store and maintain munitions for the Navy and Marine Corps, such as missiles, torpedoes, and gun ammunition, and
    • Load and unload Navy ships and larger Coast Guard vessels with the munitions they need to conduct their missions. 
  • The Navy proposes to build a replacement ammunition pier, associated waterfront facilities, a causeway, a truck turnaround, and a new public navigational channel inside the current breakwater. For more details, please visit the Proposed Action page.
  • The Proposed Action is needed because the existing ammunition wharf:
    • Is more than 60 years old
    • Was built before the inception of modern earthquake codes
    • Is past its design life
    • Does not meet the Navy’s current and projected future needs
    • Limits the ability for Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach to fully meet the mission assigned by Commander, Pacific Fleet.
  • The Navy evaluated the Proposed Action and several alternatives that would fulfill or potentially fulfill the purpose and need.
  • Alternative 1 is the Navy’s preferred alternative because it best meets the purpose of and need for the Proposed Action. Implementation of Alternative 1 provides the most cost effective construction alternative without resulting in significant impacts on the environment.
  • Under the No Action Alternative, the Proposed Action would not occur. The No Action Alternative does not meet the Navy’s purpose and need.

Table: Summary of Alternatives

Alternative 1: Ammunition Pier at South Mole with Interior Public Navigational Channel

Alternative 2: Ammunition Pier at South Mole with Exterior Public Navigational Channel

Alternative 3: Ammunition Pier Parallel to South Mole with Exterior Public Navigational Channel

Proposed Construction Activity Alternative 1
(Preferred Alternative)
Alternative 2 Alternative 3
New ammunition pier (at end of south mole)  
New ammunition pier (parallel to south mole)    
Public navigational channel (within Anaheim Bay jetty)    
Public navigational channel (outside Anaheim Bay jetty)  
New offshore breakwater and entrance jetties  
New breakwater (within the harbor)  
Fixed floating security barrier (within the harbor)    
Moveable floating security barrier (at harbor entrance)  

 

  • The project would move munitions-loading operations farther away from the public, thus increasing public safety.
  • The project would include a public navigational channel for civilian vessels coming in and out of Huntington Harbour through Anaheim Bay. This channel would provide greater separation between the Navy and the public, which would improve public safety.
  • Approximately 50 vessels per year would come into the port to access the ammunition pier. 
  • Seismic deficiencies and potential liquefaction (movement/unstable sediment) around the existing ammunition wharf would remain an issue if the facility was rebuilt at the same location. 
  • The wharf must remain in operation to support the fleet during construction. Department of Defense regulations prohibit ammunition operations from taking place on the wharf while it is under construction. 
  • Naval operations would not be moved farther away from civilian activity and, thus, would not improve safety and security for naval operations and would not enhance public access to and from Huntington Harbour.
  • There is no other known location in the region with available port facilities and adjacent land area for explosives operations. 
  • The next nearest major weapons station port is located more than 1,000 miles away at Naval Magazine Indian Island in Washington State. This weapons station port does not have the space to absorb the mission of Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. 
  • The Proposed Action includes:
    • Dredging for the proposed pier, turning basin, and new public navigational channel for civilian boat traffic traveling to and from Huntington Harbour
    • Disposal of dredged material
    • Construction of the pier (supported by pre-stressed concrete piles), single-story support facilities, breakwater, causeway, and mooring dolphins
    • Relocation of mooring buoys within Anaheim Bay
    • Possible demolition of the existing ammunition wharf
  • Construction would occur in phases so that civilian boaters could transit through Anaheim Bay to and from Huntington Harbour safely and with minimal closures.
  • A decision on whether to move forward with the project will not be made until completion of environmental documentation, which is currently scheduled for spring 2018.
  • If a decision is made to move forward with the project, construction would not start until 2019 or 2020.
  • Construction is anticipated to take 2.5 to 3 years.
  • Dredged material could be used to create a causeway and truck turnaround.
  • Unused dredged material could also be provided for beach replenishment or could be disposed of in a designated offshore disposal location
  • The project would be designed and constructed to minimize impacts on civilian boat transit within Anaheim Bay.
  • Navigational markers would be in place to guide boaters during all phases of construction.
  • A new public navigational channel would be created, moving civilian boaters farther away from Navy operations.
  • A floating security barrier would be installed to direct the transit of private boat traffic and support security requirements.
  • An Environmental Assessment is prepared to assist in determining whether significant environmental impacts would result from a proposed action. This helps ensure decision-makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to proceed with a project or a course of action.
  •  In preparing this Draft Environmental Assessment, the Navy developed, described, and studied a reasonable range of alternatives that would meet the purpose of and need for the Proposed Action.
    • If the Environmental Assessment indicates that significant impacts would result, which could not be mitigated to less than significant levels, then an Environmental Impact Statement would be prepared.
    • If the Environmental Assessment indicates there would be no significant impacts, with avoidance, minimization, and mitigation efforts employed when necessary, a Finding of No Significant Impact would be prepared.
  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process provides opportunities for public input, which helps ensure all relevant issues are identified and appropriately addressed in the environmental assessment.
  • During development of the Environmental Assessment, the public participates in the NEPA process by helping to identify environmental issues and potential alternatives, and by evaluating the analysis of the Proposed Action and alternatives.

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