FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions are provided for additional project information.

  • Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach is the primary munitions installation for U.S. Pacific Fleet surface ships and a vital national asset. Its primary role is to:
    • Store and maintain Navy and Marine Corps munitions, 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 next nearest major weapons station port is Indian Island, Washington, which is more than 1,000 miles from the fleet bases in San Diego.
  • The Navy proposes to build a 1,100-foot by 125-foot replacement ammunition pier, associated waterfront facilities, a causeway, a truck turnaround, and a new public navigation channel.
  • The current pier is beyond its useful life and is too small to accommodate multiple medium-sized ships or one large ship. For more details, please visit the Proposed Action page.
  • The Proposed Action would include dredging for the proposed pier, ship turning basin, and new public navigation channel for civilian boat traffic traveling to and from Huntington Harbour.
  • The new pier would be built to current earthquake standards, would be able to support future fleet requirements, and would provide greater separation between Navy operations and civilian transportation routes to improve public safety, increase security, and reduce the number and duration of Anaheim Bay closures due to certain naval exercises or high-security conditions. Constructing a new public navigation channel to and from Huntington Harbour would reduce disruptions to boaters when Navy ships enter or leave the port.
  • The Navy evaluated several alternatives  that would fulfill or potentially fulfill the purpose and need:

    • No Action Alternative

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

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

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

  • No Action Alternative: Under the No Action Alternative, the Proposed Action would not occur. As required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the No Action Alternative is carried forward for analysis in the Environmental Assessment, and provides a baseline for measuring the environmental impacts of the action alternatives. The No Action Alternative does not meet the Navy’s purpose of and need for the Proposed Action.

  • Preferred Alternative: 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.

Table: Summary of Alternatives
Proposed Construction Activity Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative 3
New Ammunition Pier (at end of south mole)  
New Ammunition Pier (parallel to south mole)    
New Waterfront Facilities
New Utilities
Reduction and Relocation of Barge Moorings
New Causeway and Truck Turnaround
Public Navigation Channel (within Anaheim Bay jetty)    
Public Navigation Channel (outside Anaheim Bay jetty)  
New Offshore Breakwater and Entrance Jetties  
New Breakwater (within the harbor)  
New Security Fencing
Fixed and Moveable Floating Security Barrier (within Anaheim Bay)    
Moveable Floating Security Barrier (at Anaheim Bay entrance)  
New Lighting
 
  • All of the action alternatives propose a new a new ammunition pier, waterfront facilities, a causeway, truck turnaround, utilities, reduction and relocation of barge moorings, public navigation channel for public access to and from Huntington Harbour, new interior breakwater (to reduce wave heights at the pier), dredging, expanded turning basin, single-story operational support buildings, security fencing, floating security barrier, and lighting.
  • The project proposes a new public navigation 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, increase security, and reduce the number and duration of Anaheim Bay closures due to certain naval exercises or high-security conditions. Constructing a new public navigation channel to and from Huntington Harbour would also reduce disruptions to boaters when Navy ships enter or leave the port.
  • Once operations at the pier commence, up to 50 vessels per year would come into the port to access the ammunition pier. 
  • Exact frequency of port calls can vary significantly and would depend on fleet scheduling, which is based on a number of factors including Navy budgets and world events.
  • 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. 
  • Department of Defense regulations would prohibit ammunition operations from taking place on the wharf while it is under construction. The wharf must remain in operation to support the fleet during the estimated five to six-year construction period. 
  • 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.
  • The next nearest major weapons station port is located over 1,000 miles away at Naval Magazine Indian Island, Washington, and this weapons station port does not have the space to absorb the Seal Beach mission. 
  • There is no other known location in the region with available port facilities and adjacent land area for explosives operations.  
  • The Navy presented the draft environmental analysis of the potential impacts of constructing a replacement ammunition pier and waterfront facilities in a Draft Environmental Assessment released on April 14, 2017. Public comments were accepted through May 30, 2017. 
  • During the project design phase, the Navy determined that certain design elements analyzed in the 2017 Draft Environmental Assessment would need to be updated and a Revised Draft Environmental Assessment  prepared. In the Revised Draft Environmental Assessment, the Navy incorporated changes in the proposed design and construction of the pier since publication of the 2017 Draft Environmental Assessment.
  • Notable project design changes analyzed in the Revised Draft Environmental Assessment include:
    • Increasing the number of concrete piles from approximately 500 piles to 900 piles
    • Widening the south mole to 126 feet
    • Increasing the size of the truck turnaround from approximately 1.2 acres to approximately 2.3 acres
    • Widening the causeway from 45 feet to 56 feet
    • Changing the width of the public navigation channel from 300 feet wide to approximately 250 feet wide
    • Dredging to occur for approximately one year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
    • Adding rock revetments on both sides of the public navigation channel
    • Lengthening and changing the configuration of the floating security barrier
    • Revising the construction timeline from 2.5–3 years to 5–6 years
    • Changing the lighting design to include LED high mast lighting fixtures on the pier, security light poles on the fence from the causeway to the pier, and pole-mounted lighting fixtures on the roadway (including causeway), material staging, and parking area
  • Comments submitted on the initial Draft Environmental Assessment were considered in the preparation of the Revised Draft Environmental Assessment. It is not necessary for the public to resubmit comments made on initial Draft Environmental Assessment if the comments have not changed.
  • The Navy is requesting public input  on the analysis presented in the Revised Draft Environmental Assessment. The public comment period is from Sept. 28, 2018, to Oct. 29, 2018.
  • As part of the Proposed Action, dredged material could be used to create a causeway, truck turnaround, and widening of the south mole.
  • Unused dredged material could also be provided for habitat conservation, beach replenishment, and/or disposed in designated offshore locations.
  • The project would be designed and constructed to minimize impacts on civilian boat transit through Anaheim Bay to and from Huntington Harbour. 
  • Navigation aids would be in place to guide boaters during all phases of construction.
  • The Proposed Action  would include construction of the replacement pier (supported by concrete piles), single-story operational support facilities, causeway, truck turnaround, utilities, reduction and relocation of mooring dolphins, breakwater, expanded turning basin, security fencing, floating security barrier, and lighting. It may also include possible demolition of the existing ammunition wharf.
  • Construction activities would occur in phases to maximize access. With development of the public navigation channel, civilian boaters may experience fewer and shorter delays when Navy ships enter or leave the port. The public navigation channel would provide greater separation between Navy operations and civilian transportation routes to improve public safety, increase security, and reduce the number and duration of Anaheim Bay closures due to certain naval exercises or high-security conditions.
  • A decision on whether to move forward with the project would not be made until completion of environmental documentation, which is currently scheduled for winter/spring 2019.
  • If a decision is made to move forward with the project, construction would not start until late 2019 or 2020 depending on funding requirements.
  • Anticipated construction duration would be five to six years.
  • An Environmental Assessment is prepared to assist in determining whether there would be significant impacts on the environment resulting from a proposed action. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision-makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to proceed with a project.
  • The preparation of environmental analysis documents is required under the National Environmental Policy Act, which also calls for public involvement opportunities during the preparation of an environmental analysis document.
  • The National Environmental Policy Act  process provides opportunities for public input , which helps ensure all relevant issues are identified and appropriately addressed in the document.
  • During development of the Environmental Assessment, the public participates in the National Environmental Policy Act process by helping to identify environmental issues and potential alternatives, and by evaluating the analysis of the Proposed Action and alternatives, to include offering comments on the Environmental Assessment’s presentation and discussion of anticipated environmental impacts. 

Subscribe

Subscribe to the email list to get updates and announcements

Subscribe