Holloman AFB review says housing Afghan refugees won't result in 'significant environmental impacts' – Alamogordo Daily News

On Sept. 8, Holloman Air Force Base released a draft environmental assessment, or EA, finding of no significant impact for Operation Allies Welcome, the operation supporting Afghan refugees which began arriving at the base in August.
“The Draft EA evaluates the potential for environmental impacts associated with the proposed action of mobilizing temporary shelter facilities for Afghan evacuees within the base and potential public concerns associated with the proposal,” a Holloman Air Force Base news release states.
“To support the (U.S. Department of State) and (U.S. Department of Homeland security) mission, the proposed action involves construction of temporary shelters on vacant land within the base for Afghan evacuees and utilization of existing space in three buildings on base for support personnel and in-processing.”
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Also published was a draft finding of no significant impact which means that the temporary shelter of Afghan refugees on Holloman Air Force Base “would not result in significant environmental impacts, either by itself or in combination with reasonably foreseeable environmental trends and planned actions in the Affected Environment,” the finding states.
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The proposed action in the environmental assessment states that due to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, some refugees would be placed in temporary housing on the former Nenninger Balloon site Facility 13850, Facility 92021 and the surrounding land not to exceed 250 acres plus a reception facility in Building 105 on Holloman Air Force Base.
Facilities included existing buildings and establishing new temporary shelters, such as tent cities, the draft environmental assessment states.
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The Afghan evacuees are expected to stay on Holloman Air Force Base between 180 days and 18 months, the draft environmental assessment states.
The draft environmental assessment states that the area where the Afghan refugees are housed will not impact affect water resources, airspace, environmental justice efforts or land use on base.
“The areas proposed for existing facilities are temporary and align with existing land use,” the draft environmental assessment states. “Temporary facilities are being constructed in areas of prior disturbance and existing training locations.”
Task Force-Holloman sought public comment on the environmental report.
Written comments should be sent by close of business on Sept. 13 via email to 49wg.paoffice@us.af.mil.
Comments may also be submitted by mail to Holloman Air Force Base, ATTN: EA Operation Allies Welcome Support, 490 1st Street, Suite 1500, Holloman AFB, NM 88330.
Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at nmaxwell@alamogordonews.com, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.


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