In fits and starts, the Washington Marine Barracks (MBW) has been holding community meetings since 2009 about its need to replace “Building 20” (located on I Street SE) with a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters building. The main rationale is to meet DOD’s Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection standards.
On September 24th, MBW initiated a National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study by holding a public Scoping Meeting at Tyler Elementary School and setting up a MBW EIS website. The core of the study is about picking a site for the BEQ within a 10 minute walk of the Historic Barracks. MBW has proposed 4 sites. Public comments were originally due on October 7, 2013, but the government shutdown and reopening has extended that deadline to October 25, 2013. The next step of the process will be MBW’s release of a Draft EIS sometime next year.
ANC6B’s letter ANC6B Response to Scoping Mtg MBW NEPA EIS Study was approved by a vote of 6-3-1 on October 8th. Of the 4 sites proposed by MBW, ANC6B rejected Sites A and B. Most of the controversy among 6B Commissioners was over how strongly to comment on Site B; whether this site was more appropriate for commercial development. The letter provides some details and concerns about the process to date.