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STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE ORGANIZATION ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO PREPARE PROGRAMMATIC ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE ORGANIZATION ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO
 PREPARE PROGRAMMATIC ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) announced its intention to prepare a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the development of a missile defense system. The Notice of Intent, which appeared in the Federal Register, describes the proposed action and alternatives, and how the public may participate in the identification of potential environmental issues associated with the program.
 This action is the result of the president's January 1991 refocus of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to develop a missile defense system which would ultimately provide protection against limited ballistic missile strikes, whatever their source. The refocused program was named Global Protection Against Limited Strikes, GPALS. Its goal was to provide protection from accidental, unauthorized or limited ballistic missile strikes.
 In November 1991, Congress passed the Missile Defense Act of 1991, which established a national goal to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system capable of providing defense against limited attacks of ballistic missiles. This EIS will analyze potential environmental consequences over the entire life cycle of various system alternatives to providing a missile defense system
 The public has an opportunity to help define the environmental issues to be considered through the scoping process. To facilitate scoping of the EIS, two public scoping meetings will be held. The first will be in Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. N.W., Washington. The second will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Los Angeles Hilton, 930 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. In both cities, scoping meetings will begin at 1 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. (local times) to give as many people as possible the opportunity to offer input to the process.
 The EIS will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Council on Environmental Quality Regulations implementing NEPA, and Department of Defense directives. These documents require that potential environmental consequences be taken into consideration when major federal actions are proposed.
 This EIS is programmatic because it is designed to examine the potential environmental effects of program wide activities that will occur throughout the entire life cycle of the program, from development and testing through deployment and future decommissioning of the system. The programmatic scope of this EIS is designed to provide the foundation from which future, more detailed environmental documents can be prepared, including the site-specific EIS required to support an initial deployment.
 Those unable to attend the public meetings may call toll-free telephone numbers to make suggestions or request additional information:
 -- 800-424-2534 to offer suggestions;
 -- 800-742-2662 to request additional information;
 -- 800-223-8388 for the hearing-impaired.
 Written suggestions for issues to be considered in the EIS may be sent to Capt. Tracy A. Bailey, U.S. Air Force, P.O. Box 41048, Bethesda, Md. 20825.
 -0- 2/5/92
 /CONTACT: SDIO External Affairs, 703-695-8743/ CO: Strategic Defense Initiative Organization ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO SU:


TW -- DC015 -- 7161 02/05/92 11:56 EST
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Date:Feb 5, 1992
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