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FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT 


Name of the Proposed Action 

Replace Family Housing Phase VI & VII at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. 

Description of the Proposed Action and Alternatives 

Malmstrom Air Force Base proposes to construct 797 total housing units (296 in Phase 6 and 501 
in Phase 7). In addition, 20 units may be taken as an option from Phase 5 and added to Phase 6 
and 7 if Air Staff approves the consolidation, resulting in 817 units to include full scope in the 
Phase 6 and 7 projects. Under the No Action Alternative, the proposed housing construction 
would not occur. 

Summary of Environmental Consequences 

This Environmental Assessment (EA) provides an analysis of the potential environmental 
consequences associated with the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative. Nine resource 
categories received thorough evaluation to identify potential environmental consequences. As 
indicated in Chapter 4.0, the Proposed Action would not result in significant impacts to any 
resource area. The No Action Alternative would result in no impacts (positive or negative); 
however, the No Action Alternative would not accomplish the housing replacement objective. 

Air quality impacts, while not significant, will occur due to exhaust emissions from construction 
equipment and from fugitive dust created during the construction process. Current air quality in 
the region of influence is excellent. Future phases of housing renovation and replacement and 
associated construction, though not likely, may impact the attainment status of the region. 

Implementation of the Proposed Action will have temporary increases in localized noise levels in 
the project area during construction. Noise will be typical construction noise, lasting for the 
duration of the specific construction activities. However, noise will be mitigated by the use of 
equipment sound mufflers and restricting construction activity to normal working hours. 

Although noise disruptions would be temporary and would be limited to daytime hours, these 
disruptions will be very noticeable. 

Under the Proposed Action, the overall ecological effect would be insignificant. There would be 
no impacts to wetlands and the Proposed Action would not conflict with the wetlands 
management program at Malmstrom AFB. No special species or sensitive habitats are expected 
to be impacted. Standard construction best management practices would be applied to control 
sedimentation and erosion during construction, thereby avoiding secondary effects to any 
wetlands or freshwater aquatic communities. The replacement of existing housing under the 
proposed action will reduce the amount of imperv ious surface within the project area, which may 
result in a slight reduction of stormwater discharge. Cumulative impacts are insignificant. 




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1. REPORT DATE 

06 DEC 2005 


2. REPORT TYPE 

EA 


3. DATES COVERED 

06-12-2004 to 06-12-2005 


4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 

EA for Phase 6 & 7 Replace Family Housing 


5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 


5b. GRANT NUMBER 


6. AUTHOR(S) 

Philip Hoffman; Jeff Dillon 


5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 


5d. PROJECT NUMBER 


* ^ —-, ^« 5e TASK NU mber 

5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 

7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION 

341 Civil Engineer Squadron,39 78th st N,Malmstrom AFB,MT,59402 REPORT NUMBER 

9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S) 

11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT 
NUMBER(S) 

12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT 

Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 

13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 

14. ABSTRACT 

This Environmental Assessment has been developed for the Replace Family Housing Phase 6 and Phase 7 
design and construction project at Malmstrom AFB. The current family housing situation at Malmstrom 
AFB is very poor. Of the 1,471 housing units on base, only 498 are deemed adequate according to current 
Air Force Housing Guidance (USAF 1995a, 2003). Many of the existing homes have deteriorated and the 
following problems have been reported electrical wiring and fixtures that do not meet current building 
codes, plumbing fixtures that have corroded, outdated flooring, asbestos is present in flooring and 
countertops, and lead-based paint has been detected on several interior and exterior surfaces. The Air 
Force proposes to build new housing units within the existing housing area to remedy these needs. 


15. SUBJECT TERMS 


16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 


a. REPORT 

unclassified 


b. ABSTRACT 

unclassified 


c. THIS PAGE 

unclassified 


17. LIMITATION OF 

18. NUMBER 

ABSTRACT 

OF PAGES 

Same as 

67 

Report (SAR) 



19a. NAME OF 
RESPONSIBLE PERSON 


Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) 

Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 





Conclusion 


In accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations implementing the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as amended, and the Air Force Environmental 
Impact Analysis Process regulations contained in 32 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 989, an 
assessment of the environmental effects has been completed for the Phases VI and VII 
replacement of family housing units at Malmstrom AFB. I have determined that the Proposed 
Action will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment or the quality of the human 
environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. 







Final 

Environmental Assessment for 

Phase 6 and Phase 7 
Replace Family Housing at 
Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana 


US Army Corps 
of Engineers ® 

Seattle District 


Prepared for: 


341 st CES/CEV 
39 78 th Street N. 

Malmstrom AFB, MT 59402-7536 


Prepared by: 


























Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


Document Page 


Document Title Final Environmental Assessment for Phase 6 and Phase 

7 Replace Family Housing at Malmstrom Air Force 
Base; Great Falls, Montana 


Date Submitted: 

USACE Project Manager: 

USACE Preparers: 

Reviewed by: 

USACE Seattle District 
Environmental Coordinator 

Malmstrom AFB 341 st CES/CEV 
Environmental Contact 


8 November 2005 

Amy Brandt 
(509) 244-5571 xl239 

Philip Hoffman /Jeff Dillon 

Michael Scuderi, USACE 

Philip Hoffman 
(206) 764-6577 

philip.l.hoffman@usace.army.mil 
Tony Lucas (406) 731-7227 


This document was prepared by the Environmental Resources Section (ERS) for the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, Seattle District and Malmstrom AFB. This draft report is intended to solicit 
public input on the proposed project for the purpose of satisfying the National Environmental 
Policy Act. Comments based on this Environmental Assessment shall be consolidated and used 
to develop a final Environmental Assessment which will determine whether this activity 
represents a significant impact to the human environment, and require the preparation of an 
Environmental Impact Statement. 



Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


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a 





Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement Final Environmental Assessment 

Table of Contents 

1.0 PURPOSE OF AND NEED FOR PROPOSED ACTION. 7 

1.1 Executive Summary/Abstract.7 

1.2 Introduction.9 

1.3 Background.9 

1.4 Project Need and Purpose.11 

1.5 Scope of the Environmental Review.15 

1.6 Other Applicable Regulatory Requirements.15 

1.6.1 Air Quality . 16 

1.6.2 Water Quality . 16 

1.6.3 Public Health and Safety/Hazardous Waste . 16 

1.6.4 Biological Resources . 16 

1.6.5 Cultural, Paleontological, and Archaeological Resources . 17 

2.0 ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS. 17 

2.1 No Action Alternative.17 

2.2 Other Alternatives Analyzed and Rejected.18 

2.3 Proposed Action.18 

2.3.1 Demolition . 18 

2.3.2 New Home Construction . 19 

2.4 Comparison of Alternatives.21 

3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT. 22 

3.1 Air Resources.22 

3.1.1 Climatology and Meteorology . 24 

3.1.2 Air Quality . 26 

3.2 Water Resources.27 

3.2.1 Groundwater . 2 7 

3.2.2 Surface Water . 27 

3.3 Geological Resources.30 

3.4 Biological Resources.31 

3.4.1 Vegetation, Wetlands, and Floodplains . 31 

3.4.2 Wildlife . 33 

3.5 Cultural Resources.33 

3.5.1 Historical Setting . 33 

3.6 Noise .35 

3.6.1 Existing Noise Setting . 37 

3.7 Health, Safety, and Waste Management.37 

3.7.1 Public Health Management . 3 7 

3.7.2 Worker Safety and Health . 38 

3.7.3 Solid and Hazardous Waste Management . 38 

3.7.4 Sewage and Storm Water Waste Management . 38 

3.7.5 Environmental Remediation Activities . 39 

3.7.6 Pesticides . 39 

3.7.7 Harmful Substances . 39 















































Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


3.8 Land Use.39 

3.8.1 Land Use . 39 

3.8.2 Transportation . 40 

3.8.3 Visual Resources . 40 

3.9 Socioeconomics and Environmental Justice.41 

3.9.1 Definition of the Resource . 41 

3.9.2 Population and Employment . 41 

3.9.3 Environmental Justice and Protection of Children . 42 

4.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES.43 

4.1 Air Resources.43 

4.1.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action . 44 

4.1.2 Potential Impact from the No Action Alternative . 44 

4.2 Water Resources.44 

4.2.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action . 44 

4.2.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative . 45 

4.3 Geological Resources.46 

4.3.1 Potential Impacts from Proposed Action . 46 

4.3.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative . 46 

4.4 Biological Resources.47 

4.4.1 Potential Impacts from Proposed Action . 47 

4.4.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative . 47 

4.5 Cultural Resources.47 

4.5.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action . 48 

4.5.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative . 48 

4.6 Noise Resources.48 

4.6.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action . 48 

4.6.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative . 50 

4.1 Health, Safety, and Waste Management.50 

4. 7 .1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action . 50 

4.7.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative . 50 

4.8 Land Use.50 

4.8.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action . 51 

4.8.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative . 51 

4.9 Socioeconomic and Environmental Justice Impacts.51 

4.9.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action . 52 

4.9.2 Potential Impact From No Action Alternative . 52 

5.0 CUMULATIVE EFFECTS AND IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE 

COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES.52 

5.1 Cumulative Effects.52 

5.1.1 Definition of Cumulative Effects . 52 

5.1.2 Past, Present, and Reasonably Foreseeable Actions . 53 

5.1.3 Analysis of Cumulative Impacts . 54 

5.2 Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment of Resources.57 

5.3 CONCLUSIONS.57 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


List of Tables 

Table 1: Malmstrom AFB On-Base Housing Inventory.14 

Table 2: Maximum Gross Floor Area Authorized by Air Force Guidance.15 

Table 3: Summary of Potential Environmental Impacts of Proposed Action and No Action 

Alternatives.21 

Table 4: Montana and Federal Ambient Air Quality Standards.23 

Table 5: Climate Data For Great Falls, MT.25 

Table 6. Runoff Coefficients for Malmstrom AFB Drainage Areas.30 

Table 7: Typical Day-Night Levels in Urban Areas in the United States.36 

Table 8: Changes in Impervious Surface Area for Phase 6, Replace Family Housing project... 45 
Table 9: Noise Levels for Construction Phases.49 

List of Figures 

Figure 1: Vicinty Map of Malmstrom AFB.10 

Figure 2: Map of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls Montana.10 

Figure 3: Malmstrom AFB Family Housing Renovation Schedule by Location on Base.11 

Figure 4: Phase 6 housing development plan, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls Montana. 


Figure 5: Phase 7 draft housing development plan, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls 

Montana.13 

Figure 6 Phase 6 demolition and construction area sequencing, Replace Family Housing 

Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls Montana.19 

Figure 7 Storm sewer construction sequencing plan for Phase 6, Replace Family Housing 

Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls Montana.20 

Figure 8: Surface Water Drainage Patterns at Malmstrom AFB.28 

Figure 9 Wetlands locations at Malmstrom AFB in relation to the proposed project area.32 


APPENDIX A 
Public Comments 





















Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


This page left intentionally blank for duplicating purposes. 


VI 





Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT 
REPLACE FAMILY HOUSING PHASE 6 & 7 
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE; GREAT FALLS, MONTANA 


1.0 PURPOSE OF AND NEED FOR PROPOSED ACTION 
1.1 Executive Summary/Abstract 

This Environmental Assessment has been developed for the Replace Family Housing Phase 6 
and Phase 7 design and construction project at Malmstrom AFB. The current family housing 
situation at Malmstrom AFB is very poor. Of the 1,471 housing units on base, only 498 are 
deemed adequate according to current Air Force Housing Guidance (USAF 1995a, 2003). Many 
of the existing homes have deteriorated and the following problems have been reported: 
electrical wiring and fixtures that do not meet current building codes, plumbing fixtures that have 
corroded, outdated flooring, asbestos is present in flooring and countertops, and lead-based paint 
has been detected on several interior and exterior surfaces. The Air Force proposes to build new 
housing units within the existing housing area to remedy these needs. 

The Phase 6 project area is located within the Lincoln Drive housing area, just north of the Main 
gate and Goddard Avenue, and will include some construction on Washington Circle. Phase 7 
construction is expected to encompass all other housing areas not previously replaced. The 
Proposed Action includes the construction of 797 homes (296 in phase 6 and 501 in phase 7) 
consisting of duplex units, along with single units, in the existing housing area at Malmstrom 
AFB. Existing housing on the project site will be demolished prior to construction. Due to the 
prior removal of substandard housing from this site, project alternatives consisted of different 
densities and types of new construction. 

This Environmental Assessment discusses in detail the potential effects the Proposed Action will 
have on air, water, geological, biological, cultural, noise, health, land, and socioeconomic 
resources. The Proposed Action would occur in Cascade County, Montana, where the air quality 
is designated as in attainment and better than the national standards for several air pollutants. 

Due to the nature of construction activities and the phasing of the Proposed Action, the impact to 
air resources is likely to be short-term and not significant. 

Groundwater resources consist of deep, confined aquifers that range from 100 feet to 200 feet 
below land surface on base. Surface water drains in ephemeral streams and coulees to the 
Missouri River, which is located about one mile north of the base. The Proposed Action would 
not be expected to significantly impact groundwater resources. Short-term impacts to surface 
water could potentially occur during construction, but long-term impacts to surface water 
resources would not occur. 

The Proposed Action would occur within Seismic Zone 1 but it is recommended that the 
buildings be designed for Seismic Zone 2B because Great Falls is situated near the seismic zone 


7 





Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


boundary. The modem soils of Malmstrom AFB have developed directly on Quaternary glacial 
deposits and consist of: sandy lean clay, clayey sand, silty sand, fat clay, and high-plasticity, lean 
clay. Although the Proposed Action includes developing the existing site, it was previously used 
for housing, thus no significant long-term impacts to site soils are expected. 

There are no federally listed threatened or endangered species that occur on Malmstrom AFB, 
and no delineated wetlands currently exist within the site. Consistent with the lack of impact to 
the site soils, the Proposed Action would have an insignificant impact on biological resources, 
wetland areas, habitat areas, or threatened or endangered species. 

Cultural resources of concern located near the proposed area of impact include a railroad 
segment that may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The site proposed to 
be developed in this action was previously used for housing, thus impacts to traditional resources 
are not expected under the Proposed Action. 

Existing noise levels are documented as falling within the “Urban Residential” noise level, 
consisting of a typical range of 58 to 62 dB. The Proposed Action would increase existing noise 
levels as construction commences and continues, but this noise will be intermittent and occur at 
times when most residents are not in the area surrounding the construction site. 

Land use at Malmstrom AFB consists of primarily the airfield and housing units. Private 
vehicles dominate traffic at Malmstrom, and no public transit is available. The presence of 
construction vehicles will increase traffic levels in the north-west section of Malmstrom AFB, 
but increases in traffic volumes associated with construction activity would be temporary. No 
long-term impacts to on-base transportation systems would result from the Proposed Action. 

The operation of Malmstrom AFB makes an important contribution to the economy of the region 
through both direct employment and purchases from local businesses. The presence of the base 
provides economic stability to the city and the region. No long-term changes in base 
employment or expenditures are anticipated as a result of the Proposed Action. No permanent or 
long-lasting socioeconomic impacts are anticipated as a result of implementation of the Proposed 
Action. 

Construction impacts on air quality will be short-term and limited to localized areas. Permanent 
changes to soil structure and stability can occur by disrupting and reworking certain soils. Noise 
from construction activities is an unavoidable short-term impact. As multiple phases of housing 
construction occur, on-base roads will begin to deteriorate due to construction traffic and may 
require replacement. In light of past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions, USAF 
expects no significant cumulative impacts as a result of this project. 


8 





Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


1.2 Introduction 

The United States Air Force (USAF), as the 341 st Civil Engineering Squadron (341 CES/CEY), 
proposes to redevelop 797 homes (296 in phase 6 and 501 in phase 7) consisting of duplex units, 
along with single units, in the existing housing area at Malmstrom AFB. 

This Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared to analyze the potential environmental 
consequences associated with the Proposed Action and No Action Alternatives in accordance 
with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the implementing 
regulations. 

Section 1.3 provides background information on Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB). The 
Purpose of and Need for the Proposed Action are discussed in Section 1.4. A detailed 
description of the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative is provided in Chapter 2. 
Chapter 3 describes the existing conditions of various environmental resources that could be 
affected by the Proposed Action or the No Action Alternative. Chapter 4 describes how those 
resources would be affected by implementation of the Proposed Action or the No Action 
Alternative. Chapter 5 evaluates the cumulative effects of the Proposed Action. Chapter 6 is a 
bibliography of resources cited in the preparation of this EA. 

1.3 Background 

Malmstrom AFB encompasses over 3,600 acres of land in Cascade County in west central 
Montana (Figure 1). The base lies approximately 0.3 miles east of the City of Great Falls city 
limit at its closest point and is 5 miles from the central business district of the City. Interstate 
Highway 15 passes along the western boundary of Great Falls. Access to the base main gate is 
off US Highway 87/89, east of Interstate Highway 15, via 2 n<l Avenue North. 

The construction proposed in Phase 6 consists of the replacement of 310 of the existing housing 
units in the Lincoln Drive housing area, located to the north of the main gate to Malmstrom AFB 
on Goddard Drive. The existing housing units will be demolished, and replaced with new 
townhouse-style units and stand alone single family housing for senior officers and Non- 
Commissioned Officers (NCOs). 


9 





Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement Final Environmental Assessment 



LOCATION MAP 


WYOMING 


Figure 1: Vicinity Map of Malmstrom AFB 



Figure 2: Map of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls Montana. 


10 





















































Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final En vironmental Assessment 



Figure 3: Malmstrom AFB Family Housing Renovation Schedule by Location on Base. 


The purpose of the Air Force Housing Community Plan and the whole house/whole 
neighborhood focus is to increase the overall quality of the entire family housing area. It 
provides a comprehensive plan for improving the overall quality of the family housing 
environment by integrating elements such as utility and infrastructure planning, site planning, 
open/recreation space development, and “streetscape” development (USAF 1995a). The goal of 
neighborhood design for Air Force family housing is to develop and sustain a residential 
environment that responds to the Air Force family and reinforces the connection between the 
families and the community. Malmstrom AFB provides on-base family housing for military 
personnel and their families. Over 600 housing structures comprised of multi-family apartments, 
duplexes, and single-family homes, house over 1,400 family units. 

1.4 Project Need and Purpose 

Recent inspections of the on-base housing reveal that: 


11 


















































Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


> Most electrical wiring and fixtures do not meet current building codes, wiring is brittle and 
exposed in many units and is a fire hazard, there are no Ground Fault Interrupter circuit 
protections, and outlets lack proper grounding protection. 

> Plumbing systems have succumbed to the effects of hard water and corrosion, resulting in 
severe constriction and pipe leakage, and plumbing fixtures are worn and discolored and 
require replacing. 

> Bedrooms are small and lack closet space. 

> Bathrooms are small and fixtures are outdated and energy-inefficient. 

> Kitchens lack sufficient storage and counter space, cabinets are old and unsightly, and 
countertops and sinks are badly worn. 

> Flooring throughout the homes is outdated. 

> Asbestos has been detected in flooring, counter tops, roofing material, and insulation. 

> Lead-based paint has been detected on both interior and exterior surfaces 

The purpose of this action is to replace existing substandard housing with adequate housing. The 

bulk of the currently available family housing at Malmstrom AFB include structures that are 

typically 30 to 40 years old and no longer meet the Air Force’s standards for military housing. 

Of the 1,471 housing units on base, only 498 are deemed adequate according to current Air Force 

Housing Guidance (USAF 1995a, 2003). 


Phase 6: 
Master 
Phasing Plan 


Site Plan 
w/ Phase B 


(44) New 6-Plexes 
(1)New 4-Plex 
(8) New Homes 


New Site 
Plan Legend ; 


CC3 



Neotaly 

Hawng 

&PKA 

New tatty 

4 Pie* 


ro 


rwtafy 
Houtflfl 
S»npfc> tal? 



Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana 

tnh - Mow* PtiM^g PUn for 6 Fr<Ey Moirtinj 15 V X<35 


SITE PLAN 


Figure 4: Phase 6 housing development plan, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls 
Montana. 


12 







Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 



Figure 5: Phase 7 draft housing development plan, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls 
Montana. 


13 






































Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


Table 1: Malmstrom AFB On-Base Housing Inventory 


Neighborhood 

Renovated 

Bedrooms 

Net Sq.Ft. 

No. of Units 

Construction Schedule 

Atlas Village 

No 

2 


219 

FYs 2006-07 


No 

3 


74 

No 

3 


9 

No 

3 

1,200 

4 

Jupiter 

No 

3 

1,104 

90 

FY 2005 

Matador Manor 

No 

3 

1,522 

6 

Scheduled for FY 2003 


Yes 

3 

1,522 

39 

New construction in FY 2003 

Yes 

3 

1,534 

35 

Yes 

3 

1,574 

6 

Yes 

4 

1,722 

8 

Minuteman Village 

No 

3 

1522 

2 

Scheduled for FY 2003 

No 

3 

1,534 

2 

Yes 

2 

1,282 

10 

New Construction in FY 2003 

Yes 

3 


2 

Yes 

3 

1670 

143 

Yes 

3 


4 

Yes 

3 


2 

Yes 

3 

1,954 

13 

Yes 

4 

1,801 

24 

Peacekeeper Park 

Yes 

3 

1,775 

10 

Previously Completed 

Yes 

3 

1,813 

16 

Yes 

4 

1,407 

1 

Yes 

4 

2,072 

22 

Yes 

4 

2,116 

9 

No 


1,080 

157 

Ten to be replaced in FY 2004, others 
in FY 2007 and beyond 

No 


1,116 

140 

Ten to be replaced in FY 2004, others 
in FY 2007 and beyond 

No 

3 

1,259 

73 

FY 2007+ 

No 

3 

1,346 

20 

FY 2007+ 

No 

4 

1247 

96 

Four to be replaced in FY 2004, others 
in FY 2007 and beyond 

No 

4 

1,407 

16 

FY 2007+ 

Titan Village 

Yes 

2 

1,353 

48 

Previously Completed 

Yes 

4 

1,838 

4 

No 

2 

1,311 

6 

To be replaced in FY 2004 

No 

2 

1,353 

28 

To be replaced in FY 2004 

No 

3 

1,380 

22 

2 Scheduled for 2003, 20 to be 
replaced in FY 2004 

No 

3 

1,788 

14 

Scheduled for FY 2003 

No 

3 

1,811 

8 

To be replaced in FY 2004 

No 

4 

1,714 

8 

To be replaced in FY 2004 

No 

4 

2,051 

2 

Scheduled for FY 2003 

No 

4 

2,113 

6 

Scheduled for FY 2003 

No 

4 

2,648 

2 

To be replaced in FY 2004 

Washington Circle 

No 

3 

1,553 

4 

FYs 2006-07 


Bold/shading indicates housing included in the current Proposed Action 


14 





































































































Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


This document addresses the impacts related to the construction of approximately 797 homes 
(296 in phase 6 and 501 in phase 7) consisting of duplex units, along with single units, notably 
for the Base Senior NCO. Construction initiation is planned in Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, and 2007, 
with 52 optional units to be added in either 2006 or 2008, depending on appropriation. 
Construction will be phased, as described below, over subsequent years until project completion. 
This construction is to replace housing units that will be demolished. 

Table 2 lists the maximum gross floor area authorized by pay grade according to the Air Force 
Family Housing Guide (USAF April 2004 DRAFT). Much of the available family housing at 
Malmstrom AFB is substantially smaller than these guidelines. 


Table 2: Maximum Gross Floor Area Authorized by Air Force Guidance 


If the occupant's pay grade is 

Then the number of bedrooms is 

And the maximum gross square 
footage is 

0-7 and above 

4 

3,660 SF 

0-6 

4 

2,770 SF 

E-9 

4 

2,540 SF 

0-4 and 0-5 

4 

2,310 SF 

3 

2,020 SF 

0-1 through 0-3 and 

E-7 through E-8 

5 

2,510 SF 

4 

2,150 SF 

3 

1,860 SF 

2/Den 

1,670 SF 

2 

1,490 SF 

E-1 through E-6 

5 

2,300 SF 

4 

1,950 SF 

3 

1,630 SF 

2/Den 

1,480 SF 

2 

1,340 SF 


1.5 Scope of the Environmental Review 

This EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 
1969, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (§40 CFR 1500-1508), and Air 
Force Instruction (AFI) 32-7061, which has been superseded by 32 CFR 989. As allowed by §40 
CFR 1500.4 and 1508.9 and 32 CFR 989, this EA focuses on specific issues and concerns 
affecting Malmstrom AFB. 

1.6 Other Applicable Regulatory Requirements 

Each environmental resource is regulated and/or protected by Federal and State of Montana 
regulations. In establishing the background conditions and assessing the potential environmental 
consequences of the Proposed Action, the following regulations were also considered. 


15 










Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final En vironmental Assessmen t 


1.6.1 Air Quality 

The Montana Clean Air Act (Montana Code Annotated [MCA], Title 75, Chapter 2) implements 
the federal Clean Air Act. The Montana Clean Air Act, implemented by the Air Quality 
Procedural Regulations, the Air Quality Regulations, and the Ambient Air Quality Standards, 
establishes ambient air quality standards and permitting and monitoring procedures. 

The Clean Air Amendment Act (CAAA) of 1990 established new federal nonattainment 
classifications, new emission control requirements, and new compliance dates for nonattainment 
areas. The requirements and compliance dates are based on the severity of nonattainment 
classification. 

1.6.2 Water Quality 

The Water Pollution Control Law (MCA 75.05) sets forth water conservation, water quality 
protection, and pollution prevention and abatement measures. Implementing regulations include 
the Water Pollution Control Regulations (Administrative Rule of Montana [ARM], Title 17, 
Chapter 30, Subchapter 7). 

The Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) Rules (ARM 17.30.12-13) 
establish effluent limitations, treatment standards, and other requirements for point source 
discharge of waste into State waters, including storm water runoff. 

The Groundwater Pollution Control Regulations (ARM 17.30.10) establish groundwater 
classification, and set forth protection and permitting requirements, while the Surface Water 
Quality Standards (ARM 17.30.06) establish surface water quality criteria to ensure public health 
and safety and provide for water conservation. 

1.6.3 Public Health and Safety/Hazardous Waste 

The Solid Waste and Litter Control Act (MCA 75.10) provides for coordinated State solid waste 
management and a resource recovery plan. The Integrated Waste Management Act (MCA 
75.10) provides for waste reduction and recycling programs. 

The Hazardous Waste Act (MCA 75.10), and the Hazardous Waste Management Regulations 
(ARM 16.44) control the generation, storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal of 
hazardous wastes; the Act also authorizes the State to implement a program pursuant to the 
Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). 

The Refuse Disposal Regulations (ARM 16.14.05) implement the hazardous waste act and 
regulations. These regulations provide uniform standards for the storage, treatment, recycling, 
recovery, and disposal of solid waste, including hazardous waste, and the transportation of 
hazardous waste. 

1.6.4 Biological Resources 

The Endangered Species Act (§16 USC 1531-1543) requires Federal agencies that authorize, 
fund, or carry out actions to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of endangered or 


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threatened species or destroying or adversely modifying their critical habitat. Federal agencies 
must evaluate the effects of their actions on endangered or threatened species of fish, wildlife, 
and plants and their critical habitats and take steps to conserve and protect these species. The 
Act requires the avoidance or mitigation of all potentially adverse impacts to endangered and 
threatened species. 

EO 11990, Protection of Wetlands, requires Federal agencies to take action to avoid, to the 
extent practicable, the destruction, loss, or degradation of wetlands and to preserve and enhance 
the natural and beneficial values of wetlands. The intent of EO 11990 is to avoid direct or 
indirect construction in wetlands if a feasible alternative is available. All Federal and federally 
supported activities and projects must comply with EO 11990. In addition, activities occurring 
in jurisdictional wetlands and other Waters of the U.S. require compliance with Section 404 of 
the Clean Water Act administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Section 401 of 
Clean Water Act administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for on-Base lands 
and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for off-Base lands. 

1.6.5 Cultural , Paleontological, and Archaeological Resources 

The primary goal of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 (§16 USC 470 et 
seq., as amended); is to ensure adequate consideration of the values of historic properties in 
carrying out Federal activities and to attempt to identify and mitigate impacts to significant 
historic properties. The NHPA is the principal authority used to protect historic properties. 
Federal agencies must determine the effect of their actions on cultural resources and take certain 
steps to ensure they locate, identify, evaluate, and protect all resources. 36 CFR 800 defines the 
responsibilities of the State, the Federal Government, and the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation (ACHP) in protecting historic properties identified in a project area. Section 106 of 
the NHPA and its implementing regulations mandate identification of cultural resources which 
would be potentially affected by project activities and that the Air Force address the effects of 
the undertaking on such resources. §36 CFR 60 establishes the National Register of Historic 
Places (NRHP) and defines the criteria for evaluating eligibility of cultural resources to the 
NRHP. 

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (§16 USC 470a-47011, as amended) 
protects archaeological resources on Federal lands. If an agency discovers archaeological 
resources during site activities, the act requires permits for excavating and removal of any 
archaeological resources. 

2.0 ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS 


This Section describes the elements of the No Action Alternative, Other Alternatives analyzed 
and rejected, and the Proposed Action including the construction of approximately 797 housing 
units in two phases (Phase 6 and 7) over several years. 

2.1 No Action Alternative 

The No Action Alternative would result in no construction or renovation of existing housing by 
the Air Force in the remaining housing areas/phases. Due to the severe shortage of adequate 


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family housing units at Malmstrom AFB, if these houses are not constructed, 797 soldiers and 
their families will be forced to rent or purchase housing off base. Thus, the No Action 
Alternative would result in a decrease in readiness, morale and base unity. 

2.2 Other Alternatives Analyzed and Rejected 

During the project development, the Air Force analyzed the options of renovating the existing 
structures, as well as renovation with partial replacement of the housing units in the worst 
condition. Air Force guidance states that if the cost of renovation exceeds 70% of the 
replacement cost, then the housing unit should be replaced (USAF 1995a). Due to the presence 
of multiple sources of potential hazardous contamination (lead-based paint, asbestos floor tiles 
and exteriors, PCB containing light ballasts, etc), the renovation option was discarded from 
further analysis due to the prohibitive cost of containment and abatement as part of the 
renovation package. In addition, renovated structures would not meet current Air Force housing 
standards for square footage for personnel of a given grade. 

The combined renovation/replacement plan was likewise rejected from further consideration due 
to the high cost of contaminant abatement and the inability of the Base to meet current Air Force 
housing standards for square footage by renovating certain structures and replacing others. 

2.3 Proposed Action 

The Proposed Action involves the construction of approximately 797 housing units in two phases 
(296 in phase 6 and 501 in phase 7) over several years. The current project schedule assumes 
documents are ready to advertise (RTA) on 15 Oct 2005. Anticipated proposal due date is 
December 2005. Construction for phase 6 is tentatively set for January 2006, at the direction of 
Air Staff Command. Construction of Phase 7 is currently schedules in Jan 2007. This Proposed 
Action represents two phases of a multiple phase base housing replacement program to upgrade 
all of the on-base family housing at Malmstrom AFB. Figure 3 and Table 1 show the current 
housing inventory and actual or planned dates for renovation or replacement. The replacement 
actions are those described on the map as FY ’06 or later, and constitute the remaining housing 
units in need of replacement. 

2.3.1 Demolition 

In order to accommodate ongoing housing needs, and to prevent severe adverse impacts to the 
Great Falls Community, demolition and construction will be phased under both Phase 6 and 
Phase 7. Figure 5 presents the demolition sequence for Phase 6. Similar demolition and 
construction sequencing will be completed for Phase 7 prior to construction contract award. At 
no time will more then 85 housing units be demolished or under construction at any time. All 
utilities are underground. Previous units were heated with natural gas-fired forced-air furnaces. 
Other buried utilities include water and sewer, telephone, and television cable. Telephone and 
electrical services were originally installed above ground, but have been buried during one of 
many interim renovations of these homes. 


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Figure 6 Phase 6 demolition and construction area sequencing, Replace Family Housing 
Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls Montana. 

2.3.2 New Home Construction 

Construction will commence following the completion of the demolition and fill work described 
above. The Proposed Action includes the construction of 797 new homes (Figure 2 and Figure 3, 
above). In addition, 20 units may be taken as an option from Phase 5 and added to Phase 6 and 7 
if Air Staff approves the consolidation, resulting in 817 units to include full scope in the Phase 6 
and 7 projects. The homes will be built on an elevated floor system bearing on grade beams. 

The units will be traditional wood-frame structures, and each unit will have an attached single 
car garage. The new homes will include amenities to match the current Air Force Family 
Housing Guide (USAF April 2004 DRAFT). These include items such as master bedrooms with 
3 /4-bathrooms, separate living rooms and family rooms, outdoor patios with privacy fencing, 
additional arctic recreation rooms, and substantial storage area in the garages. All new structures 
will be built to current building codes. 


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• Electrical, telephone and cable television service will be connected to the new homes 
using new service drops from existing main feeder lines. Specific replacement and upgrades to 
the utilities include: 

• Due to EPA requirements for off-site storm water runoff, current and future 
development must not increase runoff. Existing storm sewer lines will be rerouted 
during construction, as illustrated in Figure 6. New curbs and storm sewer inlets will be 
constructed during each phase. The amount of pervious and impervious surface in the 
housing area will remain the same as a result of this construction. 

• New natural gas valves will be installed where necessary to tie the existing 4 inch gas 
main to the new construction. 

• Sanitary sewer and drinking water lines will remain to provide service to occupied units 
during construction. Damaged or degraded sections of piping will be replaced as 
needed during construction. New electrical circuits and supporting infrastaicture will be 
provided as need to tie in new units with out disrupting services to existing, occupied 
housing. 



Figure 7 Storm sewer construction sequencing plan for Phase 6, Replace Family Housing 
Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls Montana. 


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2.4 Comparison of Alternatives 

Table 3 summarizes the potential environmental impacts of the Proposed Action and alternatives, 
based on the impact analyses presented in Chapter 4.0. Potential environmental consequences 
are not significant with the implementation of the Proposed Action or no action alternatives. 

Table 3: Summary of Potential Environmental Impacts of Proposed Action and No Action 
Alternatives. 


Resource 

Proposed Action 

No Action Alternative 

Air Resources 

0 

0 

Water Resources 

0 

0 

Geological Resources 

0 

0 

Biological Resources 

0 

0 

Cultural Resources 

0 

0 

Noise (Construction) 

- 

0 

Health, Safety and Waste Management 

0 

0 

Land Use (Transportation) 

0 

0 

Socioeconomics and Environmental Justice 

+ 

0 

- = Adverse, but not significant short-term or long term impact 
+ = Positive/beneficial short-term or long-term impact 

0 = No change short-term or long-term. 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


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3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 


This chapter describes the affected environment at Malmstrom AFB. The existing 
environmental conditions within the expected geographic extent of potential impacts, known as 
the Region of Influence (ROI), are addressed for each environmental resource in this chapter. 

3.1 Air Resources 

This section describes the existing concentrations of various pollutants and the climatic and 
meteorological conditions that influence the quality of the air in the area around Malmstrom 
AFB. Precipitation, wind direction and speed, and atmospheric stability conditions are factors 
that determine the extent of pollutant dispersion. 

The type and concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere, the size and topography or the air 
basin, and local and regional meteorological influences determine air quality. Comparing these 
values to federal and/or state ambient air quality standards determine the significance of a 
pollutant concentration in a region or geographical area. Under the authority of the Clean Air 
Act (CAA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has established 
nationwide air quality standards to protect public health and welfare, with an adequate margin of 
safety. 

These federal standards, known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), 
represent the maximum allowable atmospheric concentrations and were developed for six 
“criteria” pollutants: ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), respirable 
particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM 10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and lead 
(Pb). Based on measured ambient criteria pollutant data, the USEPA designates areas of the 
United States as having air quality equal to or better than the NAAQS (attainment) or worse than 
the NAAQS (nonattainment). Nonattainment areas that achieve attainment are subsequently 
redesignated as maintenance areas for a period of 10 or more years. Areas are designated as 
unclassifiable for a pollutant when there is insufficient ambient air quality data for the USEPA to 
form a basis of attainment status. For the purpose of applying air quality regulations, 
unclassifiable areas are treated similar to areas that are in attainment of the NAAQS. 

In 1997 , the USEPA promulgated two new standards: a new 8-hour O3 standard (which will 
eventually replace the existing 1 -hour O3 standard) and a new standard for particulate matter less 
than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5), which are fine particulates that have not been 
previously regulated. In addition, the USEPA revised the existing PMi 0 standard. The two new 
standards are scheduled for implementation over the next few years, as monitoring data becomes 
available to determine the attainment status of areas in the United States. Meanwhile, the 
USEPA will enforce the existing 1 -hour O3 standard for areas that are still in nonattainment of 
the standard. 

Under the CAA, state and local agencies may establish ambient air quality standards (AAQS) 
and regulations of their own, provided these are at least as stringent as the federal requirements. 
For selected criteria pollutants, the State of Montana has established its state AAQS, some of 
which are more stringent than the federal standards. Montana AAQS are more restrictive than 


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federal standards for CO, NO2, O3, and SO2. Montana does not have state standards for PM2.5. 
In addition, Montana regulates emissions of settleable particulates, visibility, fluoride in foliage, 
and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), for each of which no federal standards exist. A summary of the 
federal and Montana AAQS that apply to the proposed project area is presented in Table 4 . 


Table 4: Montana and Federal Ambient Air Quality Standards. 





Federal 1 

NAAQS) 

Air Pollutant 

Averaging Time 

Montana AAQS 

Primary 

Secondary 

Carbon Monoxide (CO) 

8-hour 


9 ppm 

— 


1-hour 


35 ppm 

— 

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO 2 ) 

AAM 


0.053 ppm 

0.053 ppm 


1-hour 

BHSSHI 

— 

— 

Sulfur Dioxide (SO 2 ) 

AAM 


0.030 ppm 

... 


24-hour 

! i'li 

0.14 ppm 

... 


3-hour 

... 

... 

0.50 ppm 


1-hour 


... 

— 

Particulate Matter (PM 10 ) 

AAM 

50 pg/m 3 

50 pg/m 3 

50 pg/m 3 


24-hr 

150 pg/m 3 

150 pg/m 3 

150 pg/m 3 

Particulate Matter (PM 2 . 5 ) (a) 

AAM 

... 




24-hour 

... 



Ozone (O 3 ) (b) 

1-hour 

0.10 ppm 


WBWfliilB 


8-hour 

... 

hhKSSSiSh 


Lead (Pb) and Lead 

Calendar 

... 

1.5 pg/m 3 

1.5 pg/m 3 

Compounds 

Quarter 

90-days 

1.5 pg/m 3 

— 

— 

Settleable Particulates (TSP) 

30-day 

10 g/m 2 

— 

... 

Hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) 

1-hr(d) 

0.010 ppm 

— 

... 


y 2 -hr(e) 

0.100 ppm 

— 

— 


y 2 -hr(f) 

0.030 ppm 

— 

— 

Fluoride in foliage 

1-month 


— 

— 


grazing season 

1— 

— 

— 

Visibility 

AAM 

3 x 10' 5 /m 

— 

— 


Notes: AAM = Annual Arithmetic Mean; AGM = Annual Geometric Mean, 
ppm = parts per million; pg/m 3 = micrograms per cubic meter. 


(a) The PM 2 . 5 standard (particulate matter with a 2.5-micron diameter) was promulgated in 1997, and will be 
implemented over an extended time frame. Areas will not be designated as in attainment or nonattainment of 
the PM 2.5 standard until the 2003 - 2005 timeframe. 

(b) The 8 -hour Ozone standard was promulgated in 1997, and will eventually replace the 1 -hour standard. The 
USEPA plans to implement this standard beginning in 2004. During the interim, the 1-hour ozone standard 
will continue to apply to areas not attaining it. 

Sources: §40 CFR 50; USFS (2000) 


For non-attainment regions, the states are required to develop a State Implementation Plan (SIP) 
designed to eliminate or reduce the severity and number of NAAQS violations, with an 


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underlying goal to bring state air quality conditions into (and maintain) compliance with the 
NAAQS by specific deadlines. 

Section 162 of the CAA further established a national goal of preventing degradation or 
impairment in federally designated Class I areas. Class I areas are defined as those areas where 
any appreciable degradation in air quality or associated visibility impairment is considered 
significant. As part of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. Congress 
assigned mandatory Class I status to all national parks, national wilderness areas (excluding 
wilderness study areas or wild and scenic rivers), and memorial parks greater than 5,000 acres. 
Class II areas are those where moderate, well-controlled growth could be permitted. Class III 
areas are those designated by the governor of a state as requiring less protection than Class II 
areas. No Class III areas have yet been so designated. The PSD requirements affect construction 
of new major stationary sources in the PSD Class I, II, and III areas and are a pre-construction 
permitting system. 

CAA Section 169A established the additional goal of prevention of further visibility impairment 
in the PSD Class I areas. Visibility impairment is defined as a reduction in the visual range and 
atmospheric discoloration. Determination of the significance of an activity on visibility in a PSD 
Class I area is typically associated with evaluation of stationary source contributions. The 
USEPA is implementing a Regional Haze rule for PSD Class I areas that will also address 
contributions from mobile sources and pollution transported from other states or regions. 
Emission levels are used to qualitatively assess potential impairment to visibility in PSD Class I 
areas. Decreased visibility may potentially result from elevated concentrations of PMio and SO 2 
in the lower atmosphere. 

CAA Section 176(c), General Conformity, established certain statutory requirements for federal 
agencies with proposed federal activities to demonstrate conformity of the proposed activities 
with the each state’s SIP for attainment of the NAAQS. In 1993, the USEPA issued the final 
rules for determining air quality conformity. Federal activities must not: 

> cause or contribute to any new violation; 

> increase the frequency or severity of any existing violation; or 

> delay timely attainment of any standard, interim emission reductions, or milestones in 
conformity to a SIP’s purpose of eliminating or reducing the severity and number of NAAQS 
violations or achieving attainment of NAAQS. 

General conformity applies only to nonattainment and maintenance areas. If the emissions from 
a federal action proposed in a nonattainment area exceed annual thresholds identified in the rule, 
a conformity determination is required of that action. The thresholds become more restrictive as 
the severity of the nonattainment status of the region increases. 

3.1.1 Climatology and Meteorology 

Malmstrom AFB, located in north central Montana, is on the dry eastern side of the Rocky 
Mountains and has a modified semiarid continental type climate. Summertime is generally 
pleasant, with cool nights, moderately warm and sunny days, and very little hot, humid weather. 
Winters are milder than would be expected of a continental location at this latitude because of 


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the frequent occurrence of warm down slope winds (Chinooks) that produce temperature changes 
of 40° F or greater in 24 hours (USAF 1998). July is generally the warmest month, with a mean 
daily high temperature of 83.6° F. January is usually the coldest month, with a mean daily low 
temperature of 12.5° F. The growing season averages 135 days per year (USAF 1999). 

Humidity and precipitation are usually low, with associated large fluctuations in daily and 
seasonal temperatures. Average annual precipitation is 15 inches. Most of the precipitation that 
occurs during the late fall, winter, and early spring falls as snow, but Chinook winds prevent 
large accumulations (USAF 1998). Average annual snowfall is 43.6 inches (USAF 2000). The 
prevailing winds are from the southwest year round and are generally moderate with speeds 
exceeding 25 mph only two percent of the time (USAF 1999). 

Based on the average annual precipitation, the area would normally be classified as semi-arid, 
but about 70 percent of the annual rainfall typically occurs during the April to September 
growing season, so the climate is favorable for dry land farming (USAF 1998). Table 5 presents 
average monthly temperatures, precipitation, humidity, and wind speed data from the nearest 
National Weather Service station in Great Falls, Montana (USAF 1999). 


Table 5: Climate Data For Great Falls, MT. 


Month 

Temperature 

Precipitation 

Relative Humidity 1 

Wind 

Mean 
Daily Max 
°C (°F) 

Mean 
Daily Min 
°C (°F) 

Mean 
Total 
cm (in) 

Mean 
Snow 
cm (in) 

Mean (%) 

Mean 
Speed 
m/s (mph) 

Prevailing Direction 

January 

-0.5 

(31.1) 

-10.8 

(12.5) 

mm 

25.1 

(9.9) 

62 

6.8 

(15.3) 

SW 

February 

2.3 

(36.2) 

E9 


21.6 

(8.5) 

59 

6.4 

(14.3) 

sw 

March 

5.8 

(42.5) 



I 



SW 

April 

m 

0.2 

(32.4) 

3.15 

(1.24) 

18.5 

(7.3) 

47 

5.1 

(12.9) 

sw 

May 


5.3 

(41.4) 

6.25 

(2.46) 

4.6 

(1.8) 

46 

5.0 

(11.4) 

sw 

June 


9.5 

(49.1) 

6.75 

(2.66) 

BUB 

44 

4.5 

(11.2) 

sw 

July 

28.7 

(83.6) 

■ 

3.23 

(1.27) 

Trace 

37 

4.6 

(10.1) 

sw 

August 



■ 

Trace 

39 

5.1 

(10.2) 

sw 

September 

21 

(69.8) 

7.1 

(44.7) 


4.1 

(1.6) 

46 

5.9 

(11.3) 

sw 

October 

■ 

2.6 

(36.7) 


7.9 

(3.1) 

46 

6.5 

(13.2) 

sw 

November 

6.4 

-3.7 

1.82 

19.1 

54 

7.0 

sw 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


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Month 

Temperature 

Precipitation 

Relative Humidity 1 

Wind 

Mean 
Daily Max 
°C (°F) 

Mean 
Daily Min 
°C (°F) 

Mean 
Total 
cm (in) 

Mean 
Snow 
cm (in) 

Mean (%) 

Mean 
Speed 
m/s (mph) 

Prevailing Direction 


(43.6) 

(25.3) 

(0.72) 

(7.5) 


(14.6) 


December 

1.7 

(35.0) 



22.6 

(8.9) 

60 

7.4 

(15.6) 

SW 

Annual 

m 

0.99 

(33.8) 

37.90 

(14.9) 

150.6 

(59.3) 

50 

5.7 

(12.8) 

sw 


1 Relative humidity measured at 11:00 a.m. 

2 Wind speed based on 1941-90 period; prevailing direction through 1963. 


Source: Bair (1992), 


3.1.2 Air Quality 

The Proposed Action would occur within Cascade County, Montana. According to federally 
published attainment status for Montana in §40 CFR 81, Cascade County is designated as in 
attainment, better than the national standards, or unclassified for CO, NO 2 , SO 2 , PM 10 , O 3 , and 
Pb. Based on recent monitoring data, the USEPA projects that the Cascade County will be in 
attainment of the new 8 -hour ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS when designations are made in 2004 or 
2005 (USEPA 2002). Monitoring data in Cascade County indicate generally good air quality. 

The City of Great Falls has a small area located along 10th Avenue South that had previously 
been classified as nonattainment or unclassifiable for carbon monoxide (CO). This area was 
redesignated as attainment on 8 July 2002, and is now considered to be a maintenance area for 
CO. With the redesignation, the area is subject to a limited maintenance plan until 2012, after 
which it must submit a revised maintenance plan to last another 10 years. If no exceedances of 
the ozone standard occur within the next 20 years, the area may apply for full attainment status. 

Malmstrom AFB is located in Montana Air Quality Control Region (AQCR) 141, which covers 
north central Montana. Mandatory PSD Class I areas for the state of Montana are listed under 40 
CFR 81. Lewis and Clark National Forest, Scapegoat Wilderness, Helena National Forest, and 
Gates of the Mountain Wilderness are Class I areas not within 50 miles of the project area and 
Malmstrom AFB. The Flathead Indian Reservation, west of Great Falls, is a non-mandatory 
Tribal Class I area, which requires similar protection as mandatory Class I areas. 

Emissions at military installations generally include CO, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 
nitrogen oxides (NOx, commonly measured as nitrogen dioxide), sulfur oxides (SOx, commonly 
measured as sulfur dioxide), and PM 10 . Although O 3 is considered a criteria pollutant and is 
measurable in the atmosphere, it is not often considered a pollutant when reporting emissions 
from specific sources. O 3 is not typically emitted directly from most emissions sources; it is 
formed in the atmosphere from its precursors (NOx and VOCs), which are directly emitted from 
various sources. Thus, NOx and VOCs are commonly reported instead of O 3 . Sources of 
pollutants include stationary sources (fossil fuel combustion and fuel or solvent evaporation), 
construction activities, and mobile sources. 


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3.2 Water Resources 

Water resources consist of groundwater and surface water. The ROI for water resources is 
considered to be within the limits of Malmstrom AFB. Located on a plateau with drainage 
northward toward the Missouri River, drainage features in the study area are primarily ephemeral 
streams and coulees. Potable groundwater is present at depths greater than 100 feet below 
ground surface. All water used at Malmstrom AFB is supplied by the City of Great Falls and is 
treated surface water from the Missouri River. 

3.2.1 Groundwater 

Groundwater resources exist in the project area and occur primarily in deep, confined aquifers 
(e.g., the Madison-Swift aquifer). The depth to these deep aquifers ranges between about 100 
feet and 200 feet below land surface at the base. Shallow groundwater (less than about 25 to 40 
ft below land surface) occurs locally as noncontiguous, unconfined, perched zones. The deep 
confined aquifers in the area tend to flow northward; flow in the shallow, unconfined aquifers 
typically follows topographic gradients. 

The deep Madison-Swift aquifer has the greatest potential for future groundwater development. 
Because of the limited supply of water and discontinuous nature of the shallow perched zones, 
they are unlikely to be used as a water source in the future. Due to the ample surface water 
supply and the depth of most of the aquifers, groundwater resources have not been developed on 
the base. 

3.2.2 Surface Water 

The base lies on a plateau roughly 10 square miles in extent that drains northward toward the 
Missouri River. The Missouri River is located about one mile north of the base and serves as the 
principal source of potable water for Malmstrom AFB and the city of Great Falls. There are no 
perennial streams present on the base. 

Surface water drainage at the site occurs primarily through open storm ditches and in ephemeral 
streams and coulees (Figure 7). Storm water drainage at the site occurs primarily through open 
storm ditches, swales and underground pipes and discharge outfalls. Storm water discharge is 
regulated by a Montana Pollution Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) permit to the Base 
from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. 

Malmstrom AFB has an estimated 662 acres of impervious area out of a total of 3,260 acres. 
Storm water is comprised of nine (9) drainage areas combining to exit Malmstrom AFB at six (6) 
discharge points (outfalls) (Malmstrom, 2005). Drainage Areas 1 through 6, drain northerly and 
exit the Base at five outfalls, flowing into the west, center and east branches of Whitmore 
Ravine, eventually discharging into the Missouri River (Figure 8). 


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Figure 8: Surface Water Drainage Patterns at Malmstrom AFB 


Drainage Area 1 collects runoff from the southwest end of the runway, the south end of the 
aircraft-parking apron, most of the old aircraft maintenance shops and hangars, the south end of 
the petroleum storage and pumping facility, the truck and tractor maintenance garage, and the 
majority of the underground ramp hydrant refueling system. Drainage Area 1 has a steady flow 
due to foundation drains, sumps and perched water tables in existing areas. The basin drains 


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through a combination of underground concrete pipes, primarily in the former aircraft operations 
and maintenance and the family housing areas, curb gutters in streets and roadways, and grass 
covered ditches adjacent to streets. The entire basin drains through a concrete lined ditch 
(approximately 1,000 LF) and an intermittent grass covered ditch from the end of the lined ditch 
into the western branch of Whitmore Ravine to the Missouri River approximately one mile north 
of the base boundary. The measured peak discharge at the outfall for a 0.25-inch in 2.5 hours 
rain event was 49.6 cubic feet per second (cfs). 

Drainage Area 2 is bounded by 72nd St. North, Goddard Drive and Perimeter Road. The 
drainage area collects storm water runoff from the north central portion of the base. The 
drainage flows north until it discharges off base into center Whitmore Ravine near Walnut St. 

The basin drains by a combination of underground concrete pipes, grass-lined ditches and curb 
and gutters in streets and roadways. Above ground curb and gutter, and ditch flow comprise 
over 70% of the flow pathway. The underground flow is confined to the vehicle maintenance 
and storage facility area located in the northeast comer of the drainage. The outfall collection 
channel near Walnut St. is an unlined ditch that passes under a railroad track via two 36-inch 
concrete pipes and under the north boundary road via one 48 inch corrugated metal pipe. 
Drainage Area 2 combines with the flow from Drainage Area 1 in the west branch of Whitmore 
Ravine then flows north to the Missouri River. The measured peak discharge at the Walnut St. 
outfall (just below the 48 inch Corrugated Metal Pipe, CMP) for a 0.25-inch in 2.5 hours rain 
event was 10.2 cfs. 

Drainage Area 3 is bounded on the east by the east edge of the runway, on the north by the base 
boundary extending from the pole yard storage area to the coal fired heating plant, on the west by 
drainage basins Nos. 1 and 2, and on the south by drainage basin No. 1. This basin collects and 
discharges storm water from the majority of the old aircraft operations pavements, the primary 
petroleum operations, storage and supply systems, several industrial facilities, and light 
commercial and residential (dormitory) areas. Two sub-drains are included in this drainage. 
These sub-drains collect and discharge shallow ground water in the area. The eastern most sub¬ 
drain collects runoff from the runway, taxiways, and aircraft parking ramps. The western most 
sub-drain drains the fuel facilities and cantonment area. These drainages intersect near the 
southeast comer of the base supply building (building 400) and form the outfall channel that 
flows through an oil/water separator before flowing into the center branch of Whitmore Ravine. 
There is a combination of storm water drainage facilities, including an extensive underground 
storm drain system of open ditches (concrete and grass lined), and curb and gutter at roads and 
streets. The peak discharge measured at the outfall for a 0.25-inch in 2.5 hours rain event was 
42.4 cfs. 

Drainage Area 4 includes a vacant helicopter maintenance hangar (building 1700) and associated 
parking apron, and runoff from a small portion of the runway. The area drains primarily by 
overland sheet flow. There are roadway ditches, mostly grass lined, and a small inlet and 
underground pipe system that collects runoff from the mnway and the aircraft parking area. 
Runoff is carried in the underground system or flows over a grass surface. Runoff flows north 
through a culvert under Perimeter Road and through a set of culverts running under a gravel road 
leading off base in the northeast comer of the base, and under the railroad into the center branch 
of Whitmore Ravine, which drains into the Missouri River. The outfall is a 36-inch corrugated 


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metal pipe (CMP) that passes under a railroad right-of-way. The peak discharge measured 
during a 0.25-inch rain over a 2.5-hour storm was 2.9 cfs. 

Drainage Area 5 includes runoff from the weapons storage area (WSA) and an inactive landfill, 
including approximately 1,000 feet of underground storm drain (concrete pipe and field catch 
basin) that daylights to overland sheet flow. The ditches adjacent to the roads in this area are 
grass lined. Most storm water in this area either infiltrates into the ground or exits this drainage 
basin in sheet flow; a small portion of this drainage area exits the drainage area in a broad, 
shallow, heavily vegetated ditch north of WSA. Flow is only observed in this drainage area if 
the area received a heavy rainfall because of the shape, vegetative cover, and size of the ditch 
exiting the base. Runoff from this area flows into the east branch of Whitmore Ravine, which 
drains into the Missouri River. 

Drainage Area 6 includes runoff from the missile handling facility, combat arms firing range, an 
inactive landfill, Pow-Wow Pond, a new fire training area, and a small missile maintenance 
facility. Most storm water in this area either infiltrates into the ground, collects in natural and 
man-made retention areas (i.e. road ditches) within the drainage, or exits this drainage basin in a 
well defined grassed coulee north of the WSA. Runoff from this area flows into the east branch 
of Whitmore Ravine, which drains into the Missouri River. Actual flow measurements recorded 
during storm water sampling (0.1 cfs during a 0.25 inch in 2.5 hours rain event) indicate that the 
runoff coefficient calculated below is extremely conservative (Table 6). 


Table 6. Runoff Coefficients for Malmstrom AFB Drainage Areas. 


Drainage Area 

Total Area 

Impervious 

Surface 

Pervious Surface 

Runoff 

Coefficient 

One 

655.5 

249.1 

406.4 

0.61 

Two 

213.6 

76.6 

137 

0.60 

Three 

391.7 

179.2 

212.5 

0.65 

Four 

74.5 

13.1 

61.4 

0.50 

Five 

275.7 

28.7 

247. 

0.46 

Six 

851.5 

77.4 

774.1 

0.50 

Seven 

598.4 

42.5 

555.9 


Eight 


5.3 

34.7 


Nine 

144.1 

22.2 

121.9 

.048 


3.3 Geological Resources 

Geological resources include geology, seismicity and soils. The ROI for geological resources is 
within Malmstrom AFB boundaries. 

Malmstrom AFB is located in a glaciated portion of the Missouri Plateau which in the northern 
part of the Great Plains Province. The site is underlain by the Sweetgrass Arch, a bedrock 
structural feature extending northwest between the Little Belt Mountains, 24 miles to the south, 
past the Base on the southwestern side and into Alberta, Canada. Stratigraphic units important to 
the framework of the region surrounding Malmstrom range in age from the Madison Limestone 
of the Mississippian era (360 million years) to the Eolian Sand of the Holocene (10,000 years). 


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These units include sedimentary bedrock formations, unconsolidated glacial deposits, and 
windblown deposits. The occurrence of geologic hazards in the study area is low. Widely 
scattered, low-level seismicity characterizes the area. No active faults are near the project area 
or Malmstrom AFB and the proposed construction sites do not include significant areas of steep 
slopes. 

In the vicinity of Malmstrom AFB. Quaternary glacial deposits overlie Early Cretaceous shale 
and sandstone formations. The modem soils of Malmstrom AFB have developed directly on 
these Quaternary deposits and consist primarily of Lawther silty clay (associated with the 
Pleistocene till) and Dooley sandy loam (associated with the Holocene eolian sand) (SCS 1982). 
These two series encompass approximately 75 percent of the base. Other soils on base include 
sandy loams, loamy sands, and alluvial silty clay loams. Most of the soils on Malmstrom AFB 
are not highly subject to wind or water erosion. According to the March 2004 Geotechnical 
report from Thomas, Dean & Hoskins, Inc., “In general, the subsurface soil conditions 
encountered within the soil borings consist of sandy, lean clay and/or sandy soils near the surface 
underlain by fat clay and high-plasticity, lean clay. These heavy clay soils extend down to a 
depth of at least 26.5 feet, which was the maximum depth investigated.” The following soils 
were documented in the Thomas, Dean & Hoskins, Inc. report (March 2004): 

• Sandy, lean clay was encountered directly below the topsoil and organics or at the surface 
in eight of the eleven soil borings. The sandy, lean clay may represent site grading fill or 
a disturbed layer associated with the former housing development. The thickness of 
sandy, lean clay averaged nearly 2.5 feet. The natural moisture content measured an 
average of 11 percent. 

• Clayey sand or silty sand was observed in five of the borings. Three occurrences were 
directly below the topsoil layer or surficial sandy, lean clay while two were observed 
interbeds within the fat clay and high-plasticity, lean clay soils. 

• Fat clay and/or high-plasticity, lean clay was encountered in each boring generally below 
the surficial sandy, lean clay (in eight borings), the silty/clayey sands (in two borings) or 
directly at the surface (in Boring B-l 1). This material is slightly to moderately 
compressible as indicated by the consolidation test results. These figures also show that 
the samples exhibit slight to moderate expansion upon inundation at a surcharge pressure 
of 1000 psf. 

3.4 Biological Resources 

Biological resources of the region provide economic, social, cultural, and environmental value. 
The plants, animals, and land in the vicinity of Malmstrom AFB are important for biological 
productivity and landscape continuity. 

3.4.1 Vegetation, Wetlands, and Floodplains 

Malmstrom AFB is located on a high plateau approximately one mile south of the Missouri 
River and is approximately 100 feet above the 100-year floodplain of the river (USAF 1998). 

The base is located on flat to gently rolling terrain in the Shortgrass Prairie region of the United 


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States. Most indigenous vegetation within the boundaries of the base and in the general vicinity 
has been replaced with exotic and weedy species over the past 60 years of site development. 
Some noxious weed populations of spotted knapweed, Canada thistle, and field bindweed are 
known to occur on the Base (USAF 2001b). Currently, the site is a mixture of turf grasses and 
small shrubs left over from previous housing development. Malmstrom AFB is bordered on the 
north, east, and south sides by agricultural and pasture lands, with mixed commercial, industrial, 
residential, and open land uses to the west and northwest (USAF 2001b). 

Currently the vegetation is a mix of introduced grass species with a low percentage of native 
grasses of a mixed-grass steppe community. Approximately 36 acres of wet areas and moist 
seeps were identified on Malmstrom AFB and range from retained storm water (Pow Wow Park) 
to streambeds that flow only after heavy precipitation (USAF 2001b); there were no wetlands 
within the project area (Figure 9). In most cases, these other were areas associated with sewage 
lagoons or other drainage areas. In general, woody vegetation is rare within the project area, is 
consists primarily of trees remaining from previous housing use, and recruited species. There 
are no other ditches or creeks and no evidence of seeps or springs. 



Malmstrom AFB 
Wetlands Summary Map 
Housing Phases 6 and 7 


Figure 9 Wetlands locations at Malmstrom AFB in relation to the proposed project area. 


No threatened or endangered plant species have been identified in the study area (USAF 1994b, 
Montana Natural Heritage Program [NHP] 2003). 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


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3.4.2 Wildlife 

Effective wildlife habitat is limited in the study area by the relatively large portion of land used 
for buildings, runways, and other base facilities (USAF 2001b). Bird species of greatest 
abundance include a variety of songbirds, shorebirds, raptors, and waterfowl. Common 
mammals include the white-tailed jackrabbit, badger, skunk, ground squirrels, and field mice. 
There may be transient use of the area by coyotes. There are no native fish on base; Pow Wow 
Pond contains stocked rainbow trout (USAF 2001b). 

No federally listed threatened or endangered species occur on Malmstrom AFB (Montana NHP 
2003). Two federal-candidate bird species (ferruginous hawk and Swainson’s hawk) and one 
state-recognized species (the upland sandpiper) may be migrants to the study area. Although no 
specific protective measures are required, consideration should be given to minimize disruption 
of their habitat. Threatened or endangered wildlife species do not impose a constraint to 
development on Malmstrom AFB (USAF 1998). 

3.5 Cultural Resources 

Cultural resources are prehistoric and historic districts, sites, structures, artifacts, and any other 
physical evidence of human activities considered important to a culture, subculture, or 
community for scientific, traditional, religious, or other reasons. Cultural resources are typically 
divided into three major categories: archaeological resources, architectural / engineering 
resources, and traditional resources. 

Archaeological resources are locations where prehistoric or historic activity measurably altered 
the earth or produced deposits of physical remains (e.g., arrowheads, bottles). Architectural 
/engineering resources include standing buildings, dams, canals, bridges, and other structures of 
historic or aesthetic significance. They generally must be more than 50 years old to be 
considered for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Traditional 
resources are associated with cultural practices and beliefs of a living community that are rooted 
in its history and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community. 
They may include archaeological resources, locations of historic events, sacred areas, sources of 
raw materials, topographic features, traditional hunting or gathering areas, and native plants or 
animals. Significant cultural resources are evaluated for adverse impacts from a federal 
undertaking. Significant cultural resources are generally those that are eligible or potentially 
eligible for inclusion in the NRHP. Native American or other ethnic groups also may identify 
traditional resources as significant. The ROI for cultural resources consists of Malmstrom AFB. 
The APE consists of the housing areas to be constructed, and the haul route. 

3.5.1 Historical Setting 

Cultural frameworks for the region have been developed by Mulloy, Wedel, Frison and others 
(USAF 1995b), defining three major periods of human culture prior to contact with Euro- 
Americans. The people from the earliest period, from as long ago as 12,000 years to about 7,000 


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years ago, lived by hunting large game such as the now-extinct mammoth, and later deer, bison 
and smaller mammals. They used distinctive lanceolate spear points known as Clovis, Folsom 
and Plainview (USAF 1995b). Archaeological evidence from this period in the vicinity of 
Malmstrom AFB is usually in the form of surface sites or isolated finds, and there is little 
evidence for other aspects of their culture. 

During the middle period, from about 7,000 to 1,500 years ago, there is evidence that bison were 
an important part of the economy, as well as remains of activities other than hunting, including 
plant collection, cooking, and food storage. Archaeological sites include a variety of projectile 
points, ground stone tools, and in the latter part of this period, ceramics (USAF 1995b). In the 
vicinity of Malmstrom AFB archaeological sites are found both on the surface and buried. 
However, the deposition on base precludes material being deeply buried. 

In the most recent period prior to contact with Euro-Americans, from about 1500 to 300 years 
ago (about A.D. 1700) the variety of projectile points increases and pottery is more evident. 

Bison were still an important component on the economy, and stone circles are a distinctive type 
of site associated with this period. During the 18 th century, prior to face-to-face contact, horses 
and trade goods such as beads and metal points made their way to this region through trade 
(USAF 1995b). Archaeological sites are found both on the surface and buried. When Euro- 
Americans contacted the Native Americans of this region, they identified Blackfoot, Crow, 
Plains Cree, Gros Ventre, Teton Dakota and Assinboine living a highly mobile life centered 
around bison hunting during the warm part of the year and village dwelling in sheltered areas 
such as river valleys during the cold seasons (USAF 1995b). Use of tipis and horses helped 
make this possible. 

French and British fur traders had come through the upper Missouri River area prior to Lewis 
and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery, but in 1805 this expedition’s portage around the Great Falls 
probably took them across what is now Malmstrom AFB. Their route went between Belt Creek 
and a point upstream of the city of Great Falls. This exploration presaged later settlements, 
including Fort Benton to the northeast of the base during the first half of the 19 th century (USAF 
1995b). Forts and trading posts were followed by gold prospectors in the 1850s and 1860s, and 
then cattle ranching in the period between 1860 and 1880. The severe winter of 1886-1887 set 
the stage for sheep ranching to follow cattle ranching as the dominant industry, capped by the 
Great Northern Railroad reaching Great Falls in 1893. Between 1890 and 1910 homesteading 
increased, with the accompanying grain production contributing to the economy (USAF 1995b). 
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (“Milwaukee Road”) came to Montana, 
passing through Great Falls in 1909 (Montana Historical Society 2003); remnants of this route 
now forms part of the northern border of Malmstrom AFB. 

The City of Great Falls continued to grow, and in 1941 the Army Air Corps developed Great 
Falls Municipal Airport for use by the U.S.S.R. as part of the Lend-Lease program (USAF 
1995b). Construction of the base began in 1942. Initially known as East Base, it was renamed 
Great Falls Air Force Base in 1947, and in 1956 was again renamed, this time for vice 
commander Col. Einar Malmstrom following his death in a plane crash (USAF 1995b). In 
March 1961 construction began on the first launch facility at Malmstrom. The base was an 
important player during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Missiles formed an important part of the 
Malmstrom AFB mission, but over the years other aspects have been added. The 301st Air 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


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Refueling Wing was activated at Malmstrom AFB in 1988. HQ USAF redesignated the 341 st 
Strategic Missile Wing as the 341 st Missile Wing in September 1991. In July 1994, USAF Space 
Command took over as the Major Command replacing Air Mobility Command. 

Malmstrom AFB now hosts the 819 th RED HORSE squadron. RED HORSE, acronym for Rapid 
Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer, is the first Active Duty and 
Air National Guard associate unit in the Air Force. The 341 st Missile Wing was redesignated the 
341 st Space Wing in 1997 . 

Identified Cultural Resources 

A search of the National Register Information System database shows that no National Register- 
eligible resources are located on Malmstrom AFB, although the city of Great Falls is home to a 
number of National Register-listed historic buildings. 

Three archaeological and historic resources surveys have been conducted on Malmstrom AFB 
proper (USAF 2001b). In 1988 Historical Research Associates conducted a survey that found a 
segment of the Chicago. Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad (now Burlington Northern 
Santa Fe) that traverses the northern border of the base (site 24CA 264). The railroad segment 
may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places based on its role in the Euro- 
American settlement of the region (USAF 1995b), but it is outside the APE. An archaeological 
site in the southern part of the base is considered to be not eligible for the National Register. 

With the exception of isolated finds, no other cultural resources were identified within 
Malmstrom AFB. 

Malmstrom AFB conducted an architectural inventory in 1996 to identify Cold War resources. 
The inventory also identified a number of buildings that are eligible, potentially eligible or 
potentially eligible pending additional background research (USAF 2001b). None of these 
facilities are within the APE of the Proposed Action. 

Significant paleontological resources do occur in Montana, mostly in surface to near-surface 
bedrock. However, the project area and Malmstrom AFB are underlain by 30 to 100 feet of 
glacial sediments, which do not tend to produce paleontological finds, and none have been found 
on the Base (USAF 2001b). Upland areas, on which the project area and Base are located, also 
have a lower potential for cultural and historic sites than riparian areas. 

Previous contacts with the Montana Historic Preservation Office confirmed the presence of only 
one known National Register-eligible cultural resource (historic railroad tract segment) adjacent 
to, but not within the proposed project area (USAF 2001b). 

3.6 Noise 

Noise may be defined as unwanted sound. Noise is usually objectionable because it is disturbing 
or annoying. The objectionable nature of sound could be caused by its pitch or its loudness. 

Pitch is the height or depth of a tone or sound, depending on the relative rapidity (frequency) of 
the vibrations by which it is produced. Higher pitched signals sound louder to humans than 
sounds with a lower pitch. Loudness is intensity of sound waves combined with the reception 


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Final Environmental Assessment 


characteristics of the ear. Intensity may be compared with the height of an ocean wave in that it 
is a measure of the amplitude of the sound wave. 

In addition to the concepts of pitch and loudness, there are several noise measurement scales that 
are used to describe noise in a particular location. A decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement that 
indicates the relative amplitude of a sound. The zero on the decibel scale is based on the lowest 
sound level that the healthy, unimpaired human ear can detect. Sound levels in decibels are 
calculated on a logarithmic basis. An increase of 10 decibels represents a ten-fold increase in 
acoustic energy, while 20 decibels is 100 times more intense, 30 decibels is 1,000 times more 
intense, etc. There is a relationship between the subjective noisiness or loudness of a sound and 
its intensity. Each 10-decibel increase in sound level is perceived as approximately a doubling of 
loudness over a fairly wide range of intensities. 

There are several methods of characterizing sound. The most commonly used is the A-weighted 
sound level or dBA. This scale gives greater weight to the frequencies of sound to which the 
human ear is most sensitive. Because sound levels can vary markedly over a short period, a 
method for describing either the average character of the sound or the statistical behavior of the 
variations must be used. Most commonly, environmental sounds are described in terms of an 
average level that has the same acoustical energy as the summation of all the time-varying 
events. This energy-equivalent sound/noise descriptor is called Leq. The most common 
averaging period is hourly, but Leq can describe any series of noise events of arbitrary duration. 

The scientific instrument used to measure noise is the sound level meter. Sound level meters can 
accurately measure environmental noise levels to within about plus or minus 1 dBA. Various 
computer models are used to predict environmental noise levels from sources, such as roadways 
and airports. The accuracy of the predicted models depends upon the distance the receptor is 
from the noise source. Close to the noise source, the models are accurate to within about plus or 
minus 1 to 2 dBA. 

Since the sensitivity to noise increases during the evening and at night—because excessive noise 
interferes with the ability to sleep—24-hour descriptors have been developed that incorporate 
artificial noise penalties added to quiet-time noise events. The Dav/Night Average Sound Level, 
or Ldn, is a measure of the cumulative noise exposure in a community, with a 10 dB addition to 
nocturnal (10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) noise levels. Table 7 categorizes the typical range of L dn 
levels for neighborhoods. 

Table 7: Typical Day-Night Levels in Urban Areas in the United States. 


Description 

Typical Range of Ldn, dB 

Average Ldn, dB 

Quiet suburban residential 

48-52 

50 

Normal suburban residential 

53-57 

55 

Urban residential 

58-62 

60 

Noisy urban residential 

63-67 

65 

Very noisy urban residential 

68-72 

70 


Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1974. 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


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3.6.1 Existing Noise Setting 

This analysis assesses noise levels in the residential areas where construction will occur. The 
most recent installation Air Compatible Use Zone (AICUZ) analysis was completed in 1994 
(USAF 1994a), when the 341 st ARG was still assigned to Malmstrom AFB. The base does not 
currently host an active air wing, thus the runway is currently inactive, with the exception of 
Huey helicopters, a subordinate flight of the 341st Space Wing Operations Group. The 1994 
AICUZ analysis shows the residential area outside of the 65 dB contour deemed acceptable for 
residential housing (with sound attenuation materials present). 

3.6.1.1 Residential Areas 

Vehicular traffic is the primary source of noise within the residential areas. Single family and 
duplex homes line the streets and a medical clinic is currently operating at the intersection of 
Perimeter Road and Clinic Court. Perimeter Road bisects the two residential areas included in 
the Proposed Action and is a primary arterial for on-base travel. However, Perimeter Road is 
blocked for further travel at Plum Street, so it is not a through street to the Main Gate from the 
subject residential areas. Noise from vehicular traffic will rise to levels present prior to the 
removal of houses within the construction site. This increase in noise will not adversely affect 
local buildings or neighborhoods. 

The noise experienced by residential and other noise-sensitive receptors varies according to their 
distance from the roadway and the number of intervening residences. (Noise typically is 
attenuated, or reduced, 6 dB for every doubling of distance. In addition, one intervening row of 
houses reduces noise about 5 dB; additional rows reduce noise by about 10 dB.) 

Ambient noise levels at the areas closest to Perimeter Road are expected to be comparable to 
those described in Table 6 as “urban residential.” Those residences farthest from Perimeter Road 
will likely experience noise that is comparable to that described under “normal suburban 
residential.” 

3.7 Health, Safety, and Waste Management 

This section describes programs and activities currently in place at Malmstrom AFB including 
general public health and safety responsibilities, worker health and safety protection, solid and 
hazardous waste management, sewage and storm water management, environmental remediation 
activities, pesticide application, and harmful substances in the ROI. 

3.7.1 Public Health Management 

The USAF and agencies of the City of Great Falls, Cascade County, the State of Montana, and 
the federal government protect public health and safety at Malmstrom AFB. The city and county 
provide police protection and emergency services; the Cascade County Health Department is 
responsible for monitoring public health and safety issues such as drinking water quality and 
disease control. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality regulates waste 
management, toxic substance reporting, and investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. 

The State of Montana also provides technical and financial assistance for occupational health 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


concerns such as asbestos control, radon emissions, and drinking water. The 341 CES/CEV 
provides regulatory guidance to Malmstrom AFB personnel regarding safe use, storage, and 
disposal of hazardous and toxic substances and has a pollution prevention program that includes 
minimization of hazardous wastes and recycling. The Environmental Office of the Montana 
Department of Military Affairs provides the same oversight and guidance for state-operated 
National Guard facilities. 

3.7.2 Worker Safety and Health 

Construction activities on-base are governed by the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department 
of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as codified in §40 CFR 1910 
Occupational Safety and Health Standards. 

3.7.3 Solid and Hazardous Waste Management 

Solid and hazardous waste programs provide for the collection, handling, and disposal of waste 
materials, response operations to spills of hazardous materials or waste, and management of the 
Installation Restoration Program (IRP). In Montana, hazardous and solid waste issues are 
regulated by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. 

At Malmstrom AFB, the solid and hazardous waste programs are managed by the Environmental 
Flight (341 CES/CEV). The responsibility to develop a Spill Prevention and Response Plan, 
provide procedures for spill reporting, containment, cleanup, and disposal, resides with the 
Environmental Flight. The fire department requests support, as needed, from local volunteer 
departments in the event of a spill (USAF 1998). 

Hazardous waste management consists of the collection, storage and transportation of hazardous 
wastes as defined by RCRA. A release of certain materials, such as JP-8 fuel, could result in the 
generation of hazardous wastes. Hazardous wastes are recorded and processed through the 
Environmental Management Office and Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) 
(USAF 1998). 

Solid waste collection and disposal services are provided to the base by civilian contractors and 
the City of Great Falls. Material is taken off base to a private landfill. 

3.7.4 Sewage and Storm Water Waste Management 

Sewage wastewater from the base is discharged to the City of Great Falls which then manages 
waste under a service contract with a private sewage treatment management firm. Storm water is 
considered a wastewater discharge by the Clean Water Act. Storm water is discharged from the 
base in accordance with a Montana Pollution Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) General 
Discharge Permit for Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activity issued by the Montana 
DEQ. Precipitation that falls or melts in the study area is managed in accordance with the 
Malmstrom AFB Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP; Malmstrom AFB 1998). The 
SWPPP also mandates that construction discharges and industrial discharges be managed 
through Best management Practices, as appropriate. 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


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3.7.5 Environmental Remediation Activities 

The USAF is undergoing clean up of contaminated sites created by past activities under the 
Installation Restoration Program (IRP). Seven IRP sites at Malmstrom AFB are either under 
investigation or undergoing cleanup activities at Malmstrom AFB (USAF 1998). There are no 
active IRP sites within a mile of either the housing area or the proposed concrete stockpile/soil 
borrow area. 

3.7.6 Pesticides 

Past spraying of herbicides has occurred throughout the base and may have been sprayed on the 
Proposed Action site. Because herbicides used for base wide spraying were biodegradable and 
would have dissipated from the soil in less than a year, any herbicides applied by Malmstrom in 
the past would likely not be present at this time (USAF 1999). 

3.7.7 Harmful Substances 

A radon survey of the base was performed by the Bioenvironmental Engineering office in 
September of 1988. The results of that survey indicated that Malmstrom AFB was categorized 
as Low Probability. This signifies that all structures sampled had less than four picocuries of 
radon concentration. At this level of concentration, no further action is required (USAF 1999). 

> Existing housing on the base has been part of previous base wide surveys for lead-based 
paint and asbestos. Housing units are suspected of having lead-based paint on exterior walls, 
and asbestos floor tiles as well as some asbestos containing siding. Standard Air Force 
contacting practice calls for the proper containment and disposal in an approved landfill of 
these known substances. 


3.8 Land Use 

This section describes land use, transportation, and visual resources on Malmstrom AFB. Land 
use focuses on general land use patterns, as well as management plans, policies, ordinances, and 
regulations. These provisions determine the type of uses that are allowable and identify 
appropriate design and development standards to address special use or environmentally 
sensitive areas. Transportation addresses roads and circulation in the project area. Aesthetic 
qualities in the ROI are also described. 

3.8.1 Land Use 

Land use on Malmstrom AFB includes developed areas in the northwestern portion of the 
installation and open space and weapons storage in the eastern portion (refer to Figure 2). The 
airfield, located in the southeastern portion of the installation, is the dominant land use on the 
installation. Light industrial and aircraft operations and maintenance are adjacent to the airfield. 
Other land uses in the cantonment area are generally located to the west of the airfield. 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


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Housing is primarily located in the northwestern portion of the installation. Recreation facilities 
are scattered throughout the base in areas adjacent to the family housing area and also south of 
the weapons storage area on the east side of the base. Pow Wow Park is located in the east 
portion of the installation and includes a manmade pond for fishing. The park also includes 
playground equipment and a picnic area. 

Adopted plans and programs guide land use planning on Malmstrom AFB. Base plans and 
studies present factors affection both on- and off-base land use and include recommendations to 
assist on-base officials and local community leaders in ensuring compatible development. The 
Malmstrom AFB General Plan (Malmstrom AFB 2002) provides an overall summary of strategic 
planning initiatives. The plan includes six components (Composite Constraints and 
Opportunities, Infrastructure, Land Use, Capital Improvements Program, Facilities Excellence 
Plan, and Five-Year Plan), which represents a summary of current base plans. The base’s 
Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan, (USAF 2001b) is used to coordinate natural 
resource management. 

The AICUZ Study, A Citizen’s Brochure (USAF 1994a) provides a summary of the AICUZ 
program. The Malmstrom AFB AICUZ study includes an analysis of the effects of noise, 
aircraft accident potential, and land use and development on Malmstrom AFB and its neighbors. 

3.8.2 Transportation 

Access to Malmstrom AFB is provided from US Highway 87/89, east of Interstate 15 (refer to 
Figure 2). The Main Gate located on 2 lul Avenue North and the Commercial Gate (North Gate) 
on 10 lh Avenue North provides access to the base. Second Avenue North becomes Goddard 
Avenue which serves as the main thoroughfare. Tenth Avenue becomes 72 nd Street North and 
intersects Goddard Avenue. Both entrance routes connect to 57 th Street North (Northeast Bypass 
- Montana Department of Transportation [MDT] Route 5205). 

Seventy five percent of base traffic enters the base through the Main Gate and the remaining 25 
percent enter through the North Gate (USAF 2001a). Peak traffic hours are between 6:45 am to 
7:30 am and 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm (Stordahl 2003). The majority of traffic is vehicular in nature, 
although there are school buses that provide transportation service to children on the base. 

3.8.3 Visual Resources 

Malmstrom AFB is located to the east of the city of Great Falls in rolling plains about 75 miles 
east of the Rocky Mountains. Malmstrom AFB lies at an elevation of 3,525 feet above sea level 
on a plateau (Malmstrom AFB 2002). The topography is characterized by broad, gently sloping 
plains that have been moderately dissected by numerous streams. 

The base occupies 3,600 acres. The airfield runway occupies the largest portion of the 
installation. The base maintains a consistent design standard that has resulted in a uniformity of 
architectural design. The residential area specifically reflects modem colonial or ranch style one 
and two story homes with overlapping plank siding (or aluminum, if upgrades have occurred) 
and symmetrical window and door placement. 


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Little native vegetation currently exists in the housing areas of Malmstrom AFB. Native 
vegetation has been altered or modified by developmental activities and the introduction of 
exotic grasses (Malmstrom AFB 2002). 

3.9 Socioeconomics and Environmental Justice 

3.9.1 Definition of the Resource 

Socioeconomic resources for this analysis are characterized in terms of population and 
employment, with a particular emphasis on minority, low-income and youth populations. For the 
purposes of this analysis, the ROI is Malmstrom AFB, with some information provided for 
Cascade County. 

Executive Order (EO) 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-Income Populations, directs federal agencies to address environmental and 
human health conditions in minority and low-income communities. An analysis of 
environmental justice helps determine if actions of federal agencies disproportionately and 
adversely impact the human health and environmental conditions in minority populations and 
low-income populations or Native Americans. The approach applied in this section is in 
accordance with the Interim Guide for Environmental Justice within the Environmental Impact 
Analysis Process (USAF 1997). 

In addition to environmental justice issues are concerns pursuant to Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This EO directs 
federal agencies to identify and assess environmental health and safety risks that may 
disproportionately affect children. 

3.9.2 Population and Employment 

There are 3,409 active duty military personnel assigned to Malmstrom AFB, of this number 
1,749 (52 percent) reside on base, while the remainder live off the installation. Family members 
and dependents of these personnel amount to 4,544 persons (U.S. Census 2000, Tract 12). In 
addition, Malmstrom AFB employs 435 appropriated fund civilian employees and 728 non- 
appropriated fund civilians, contractors and private-business employees. The base population, 
including military personnel, civilian workers and dependents, totals 9,072 persons (Malmstrom 
AFB 2002). 

The City of Great Falls is the seat of Cascade County and the second largest city in Montana 
with a 2000 population of 56,690 persons, accounting for 70 percent of the county population of 
80,357 persons (U.S. Census 2000). Cascade County is home to 32,547 households with an 
average household size of 2.41 persons. In the predominantly rural area, Great Falls is largely 
dependent upon the fluctuations of the agricultural industry. Due to the area’s natural terrain, 
Great Falls residents enjoy a high quality of life attributable to the numerous recreational 
opportunities and natural wildlife habitat in the area. 

The operation of the base makes an important contribution to the economy of the region through 
both direct employment and purchases from local businesses. The presence of the base provides 
economic stability to the city and the region. Malmstrom’s annual payroll obligates $151.6 


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million to military and civilian employees, and the Air Force contributes an estimated $97.9 
million in construction and service contracts and other purchases from local businesses. 
Malmstrom AFB has a total annual economic impact of over $282 million on a 50-mile radius 
that includes the counties of Cascade, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Teton, Pondera, and 
Choteau (Malmstrom AFB 2002). 


3.9.3 Environmental Justice and Protection of Children 

Disadvantaged groups within the ROI, including low-income and minority communities, are 
specifically considered in order to assess the potential for disproportionate occurrence of 
impacts. For the purposes of this analysis, disadvantaged groups are defined as follows: 

> Minority Population : Persons of Hispanic origin of any race, Blacks, American Indians, 
Eskimos, Aleuts, Asians, or Pacific Islanders. 

> Low-Income Population : Persons living below the poverty level, according to income data 
collected in U.S. Census 2000. 

> Youth Population : Children under the age of 18 years. 

Based on 2000 Census data, the incidence of persons in Cascade County with incomes below the 
poverty level was comparable to state levels accounting for 13.5 percent and 14.6 percent of the 
population, respectively (U.S. Census 2000). Nationally, 12.4 percent of the population lives 
below the poverty level. 

Total population of the United States is 281,421,906 (U.S. Census 2000). Minorities represent 
28.02 percent of the National population. The United States population is composed of 12.3 
percent Black, 0.9 percent Native American, 3.6 percent Asian, and 12.5 percent identifying a 
cultural heritage of Hispanic. Persons under the age of 18 comprise 25.6 percent of the United 
States Population. 

Minority persons represent 10.5 percent of both the Cascade County and Montana populations. 
Native American and Aleut persons are the most predominant minority group in the county, 
representing 40 percent of the minority population, followed by persons of Hispanic descent who 
account for 23 percent of minorities. At the state level, Native Americans and Aleuts represent 
60 percent of the minority population and Hispanic persons represent 19 percent of minorities 
(U.S. Census 2000). The youth population, which includes children under the age of 18, 
accounts for 26.0 percent of Cascade County’s population, compared to 25.5 percent at the state 
level. 

The U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000, data for Cascade County, Great Falls, Montana, Tract 12 
specifically addresses Malmstrom Air Force Base. The areas outside the Malmstrom AFB 
boundaries included in Tract 12 historically are not populated and are used for farming and 
ranching operations. Although Tract 12 incorporates a small amount of area outside of the 
Malmstrom AFB boundaries, this fact should not significantly change the Census 2000 data, if at 
all. The incidence of persons living below the poverty level at Malmstrom AFB is 6.2 percent, 
far below the national average. 


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As typically observed at rural military installations, the demographic makeup of the Malmstrom 
AFB population differs significantly from the demographic makeup of the local area. Minority 
persons represent 21.8 percent of the Malmstrom AFB population. In contrast to the racial and 
cultural demographic described for the county and state populations in the preceding paragraph, 
the Malmstrom AFB population is composed of 31.8 percent Black, 3.2 percent Native 
American, 12 percent Asian, 3.6 percent Pacific Islander, 16.8 other, and 32.3 percent of persons 
identifying themselves as “Two or More Races.” However, the Census 2000 data for Tract 12 
reveals a white only, not Hispanic or Latino population of 3554 or 78.2 percent. The youth 
population, which includes children under the age of 18, accounts for 36.2 percent of Malmstrom 
AFB’s population, compared to 25.5 percent at the State level. 

4.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 


Chapter 4.0 presents the environmental consequences of the Proposed Action at Malmstrom 
AFB for each of the resource areas discussed in Chapter 3.0. To define potential direct and 
indirect impacts, this chapter evaluates the project elements described in Chapter 2.0 against the 
affected environments provided in Chapter 3.0. Specifically, each resource analysis considers 
the demolition and reconstruction of 797 housing units in the existing housing area. Cumulative 
effects of the Proposed Action with other foreseeable future actions, as well as past and present 
activities, are presented in Chapter 5.0. 

4.1 Air Resources 

The significance of impacts to air quality is based on federal, state, and local pollution 
regulations or standards. Air quality impacts from a proposed activity or action would be 
significant if they: 

> increase ambient air pollution concentrations above any NAAQS; 

> contribute to an existing violation of any NAAQS; 

> interfere with or delay timely attainment of NAAQS; or 

> Impair visibility within any federally mandated federal Class I area. 

According to Sepia’s General Conformity Rule in §40 CFR 51, Subpart W, any proposed federal 
action that has the potential to cause violations, as described above, in a no attainment or 
maintenance area must undergo a conformity analysis. 

As previously discussed, Section 169A of the CAA established the PSD regulations to protect 
the air quality in regions that already meet the NAAQS. Certain national parks, monuments, and 
wilderness areas have been designated as PSD Class I areas, where appreciable deterioration in 
air quality is considered significant. The nearest PSD Class I area is more than 50 miles from the 
region potentially affected by the Proposed Action. Therefore, the Proposed Action could 
potentially have an impact on the PSD Class I areas identified in Section 3.1.2, depending on the 
emission levels associated with the Proposed Action. 


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4.1.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action 

A military installation can constitute a major source of CO, VOCs, SOx, NOx, and PMio 
pollution. Sources of these pollutants include stationary sources (fossil fuel combustion and fuel 
or solvent evaporation), construction activities, and mobile sources. The Proposed Action, 
however, is a residential construction project not unique to a military installation. 

Construction activities produce short-term combustion emissions (exhaust emissions from heavy 
equipment) and fugitive dust emissions (PMio), which would cease once construction is 
completed. Potential effects created from construction activities include road dust entrainment 
from construction vehicles and dust from temporary storage piles. Impacts can also result from 
increased vehicular emissions from construction vehicles, material hauling, and labor force 
transportation. 

However, emissions generated by construction projects are short-term and temporary in nature. 
Fugitive dust emissions will be minimized and controlled by implementation of dust control 
measures in accordance with standard construction practices. For instance, frequent spraying of 
water on exposed soil during construction, proper soil stockpiling methods, and prompt 
replacement of ground cover or pavement are standard landscaping procedures that will be used 
to minimize the amount of dust generated during construction. Using efficient grading practices 
and avoiding long periods where engines are running at idle will reduce combustion emissions 
from construction equipment. Vehicular combustion emissions from construction worker 
commuting may be reduced by carpooling. 

The Proposed Action will not increase the number of stationary sources at the Base and would 
not result in a net permanent increase in vehicular traffic. Therefore, the overall impact to air 
resources from the Proposed Action is likely to be short-term and not significant. 

4.1.2 Potential Impact from the No Action Alternative 

No impacts to air quality would result from the no-action alternative, since the proposed housing 
phase would not occur. 

4.2 Water Resources 

Water resources are surface and subsurface resources that are finite but renewable. Construction 
activities affect water resources by physical disturbances and material releases (e.g., sediment, 
chemical contaminants, etc.) into surface and groundwater. An impact to water resources at 
Malmstrom AFB would be considered significant if an aquifer, groundwater well, or surface 
water body is degraded resulting in a measurable and persistent change in a water supply or 
potential water supply. An impact would also be considered significant if surface or 
groundwater quality were degraded such that severe or long-term exceedances of federal or state 
water quality criteria resulted. Increased recharge or improved water quality are examples of 
beneficial impacts. 

4.2.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action 


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The Proposed Action will not be expected to significantly impact groundwater resources. 
Excavations at the housing construction sites will be shallow and will not intersect groundwater 
(except, possibly minor perched zones). Short-term impacts due to leaks or spills of 
contaminants during construction (e.g., fuels, lubricants) could possibly impact shallow perched 
zones; however, they would not be expected to enter the deeper confined aquifers and can be 
readily mitigated through implementation of appropriate construction/maintenance practices. 

Short-term impacts to surface water could potentially occur during construction. These potential 
impacts could include increased turbidity in surface waters that are adjacent to construction 
activities and potential contamination due to leaks and spills of fuels and lubricants from 
construction equipment. Use of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) and engineering controls 
as prescribed in the required SWPPP, and compliance with the protective provisions of the 
mandatory State of Montana, Storm Water Permit for the Proposed Action would significantly 
reduce the potential for construction related impacts to surface water resources. Under Montana 
law the Proposed Action requires a Montana Storm Water Permit because this construction 
activity disturbs more then one (1) acre. 

Replacement of existing housing units in Phase 6 will result in a small net decrease in 
impervious surface due to a decrease in asphalt paving (Table 6). Increases in concrete paving 
are due to changes in curb and gutter systems within the site. The design of Phase 7 is not 
completed. Due to the scope of work in Phase 7, best professional judgment would indicate that 
either a reduction in impervious surfaces would likely occur, or there would be no net change in 
impervious surfaces. 


Table 8: Changes in Impervious Surface Area for Phase 6, Replace Family Housing 
project. 


Impervious 
Area Type 

Existing 

Housing 

Sq.Ft. 

Proposed 

Phase 6 Sq.Ft. 

Increase/(Decrease) 
in impervious 
surface (Sq.Ft.) 

Acres 

lncrease/(Decrease) 

Asphalt 

Paving 

391,682 

223,175 

(168507) 

(3.87) 

Concrete 

Paving 

203,340 

260,659 

57,319 

1.32 

Roof Areas 

301,076 

349,543 

48,467 

1.11 

Total Area 

896,098 

833,377 

(62721) 

(1.44) 


4.2.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative 

Under the no action alternative, the proposed housing development would not occur. Therefore, 
no significant impacts to water resources are anticipated. 


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4.3 Geological Resources 

4.3.1 Potential Impacts from Proposed Action 

Slopes within the project area are generally gentle; however, water and wind erosion could occur 
during construction activities. Engineering controls described in Chapter 2.0 will reduce these 
impacts. 

Many of the soils at the site are moisture sensitive, and have high clay content. These soils are 
expansive and have caused foundation related problems. Thomas, Dean & Hoskins, Inc (March, 
2004) have developed a Geotechnical Investigation report for use on this housing project which 
includes site specific engineering considerations and controls that could mitigate the negative 
impacts of the soil conditions. 

Therefore, no significant long term impacts to site soils are expected. 

4.3.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative 

No impacts to geology or soils are expected under the no action alternative since this phase of 
the housing development would not occur. 

4.3.3.1 Storm Water - Erosion and Sedimentation: Impacts of the Proposed Action 

Storm water effects related to erosion and sedimentation from construction are negligible. Only, 
short-term impacts to surface water could potentially occur during construction. These potential 
impacts could include increased turbidity in surface waters that are adjacent to construction 
activities and potential contamination due to leaks and spills of fuels and lubricants from 
construction equipment. Use of Best Management Practices (BMP's) and engineering controls 
as prescribed in the required Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), and compliance 
with the protective provisions of the required Erosion Control Plan for the Proposed Action 
would significantly reduce the potential for construction-related impacts to surface water 
resources. Cumulative effects are also considered negligible (see Section 5.0). As noted above. 
Phase 6 construction is reducing net impervious area by approximately 1.4 acres, which may 
result in a slight reduction in storm water outflow. 

Malmstrom AFB has previously studied storm water outflows from housing areas under the 
proposed action (and previous actions; NZAS 93-0012B, June 2004). The study determined that 
for a ten-year discharge event, the combined outflow for Basins 1-4 (which includes the housing 
replacement areas for Phase 6 and 7) has a combined maximum discharge of 480 cfs. The report 
recommended a combined detention pond (now completed), regrading of the storm channel 
redesign, which if implemented would reduce total discharge by 25% to 355 cfs, which is nearer 
to the capacity of outfall number 1 at 300cfs. 

4.3.3.2 Storm Water - Erosion and Sedimentation: Impacts of the No-Action Alternative 

With no construction under the no action alternative, there would be no change in storm water 
related erosion and runoff. Malmstrom AFB would continue to modify the existing storm water 
system as needed to address base run-off independently of housing replacement actions. 


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4.4 Biological Resources 

Direct disturbances include excavation and removal of existing habitat. Impacts to biological 
resources could also result from noise and dust generation during the construction of the site. 

4.4.1 Poten tial Impacts from Proposed A ction 

The proposed site is within a housing complex that consisted of housing units, paved roads, and 
small yards planted with turf grasses and a few landscaped shrubs. This site was recently 
demolished and returned to its original conditions. 

Surface disturbance associated with the Proposed Action can result in an increased risk of 
invasion by noxious weeds. Prompt revegetation of all disturbed areas adjacent should be 
considered. Because of the limited amount of biological resources of the project area, the 
Proposed Action would have an insignificant impact on biological resources. In addition, no 
significant impacts to wetland areas, significant habitat areas, or threatened or endangered 
species are expected. 

4.4.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative 

Under the Proposed Action, this phase of housing development and construction would not 
occur. Therefore, the limited biological resources within the ROI would not be impacted by the 
no- action alternative. 

4.5 Cultural Resources 

A number of federal regulations and guidelines have been established for the management of 
cultural resources. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), as amended, 
requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic 
properties. Historic properties are cultural resources that are listed in, or eligible for listing in, 
the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Eligibility evaluation is the process by which 
resources are assessed relative to NRHP significance criteria for scientific or historic research, 
for the general public, and for traditional cultural groups. Under federal law, impacts to cultural 
resources may be considered adverse if the resources have been determined eligible for listing in 
the NRHP or have been identified as important to Native Americans as outlined in the American 
Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFRA) and EO 13007 Indian Sacred Sites. Department of 
Defense (DoD) American Indian and Alaska Native Policy (1999) provides guidance for 
interacting and working with federally-recognized American Indian governments. DoD policy 
requires that installations provide timely notice to, and consult with, tribal governments prior to 
taking any actions that may have the potential to significantly affect protected tribal resources, 
tribal rights, or American Indian lands. 

Analysis of potential impacts to cultural resources considers direct impacts that may occur by 
physically altering, damaging, or destroying all or part of a resource; altering characteristics of 
the surrounding environment that contribute to the resource’s significance; introducing visual or 
audible elements that are out of character with the property or alter its setting; or neglecting the 


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resource to the extent that it deteriorates or is destroyed. Direct impacts can be assessed by 
identifying the types and locations of proposed activity and determining the exact location of 
cultural resources that could be affected. Indirect impacts generally result from increased use of 
an area. 

4.5.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action 

All undisturbed areas at Malmstrom AFB have been surveyed and no National Register-eligible 
archaeological resources have been identified (USAF 1995a). Furthermore, the depositional 
environment is such that there is little potential for deeply buried archaeological remains 
(Malmstrom AFB 2002). It is extremely unlikely that the construction effort will affect 
archaeological resources because buried cultural material is unlikely to occur in the depositional 
environment. 

Use of existing roads along the route proposed for hauling material to the construction site will 
not affect archaeological or architectural resources. Should improvements to existing roads be 
part of the Proposed Action, this also should have no effect on archaeological resources. 
However, construction of additional roads or widening the existing right-of-way would be 
considered a separate undertaking. It would be necessary to comply with Section 106 of the 
NHPA, including identification and NRHP evaluation of any affected resources. 

The portion of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (site 24CA 264) that 
borders the northern boundary of the base will not be affected by the haul route. 

In the unlikely event that archaeological resources are encountered in the course of any aspect of 
the Proposed Action, compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA, including NRHP evaluation of 
all identified resources, would be necessary prior to completing the Proposed Action. Contact 
with the Montana State Historic Preservation Office regarding this action is currently in process. 
Impacts to traditional resources are not expected under the Proposed Action. No traditional 
resources have been identified to date within Malmstrom AFB. 


4.5.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative 

Under the No Action Alternative, there would be no construction of new housing units. Thus, 
there would be no effects to cultural resources. 

4.6 Noise Resources 

4.6.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action 

The residential areas where housing units will be constructed will experience construction- 
related noise impacts. Table 9 lists typical construction-related noise for several different types 
of construction. Typical noise sources include diesel engines on construction equipment (e.g., 
backhoes, front-end loaders, dump trucks), air compressors and jackhammers to demolish 
concrete structures, back-up horns on construction equipment, and movement of construction 
materials. Noise levels should be similar to those listed for Domestic Housing below. 


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Table 9: Noise Levels for Construction Phases. 


Phase 

Typical Ranges of Energy Equivalent Noise Levels at Construction Sites 

(L eq in dBA) 

Domestic 

Housing 

Office Building , 
Hotel , Hospital, 
School, Public 
Works 

Industrial Parking 
Garage, Religious 
Amusement & 
Recreations, Store, 
Service Station 

Public Works 
Roads & Highways , 
Servers, and 
Trenches 

I 

II 

I 

II 

I 

II 

I 

II 

Ground Clearing 

83 

83 

84 

84 

84 

83 

84 

84 

Excavation/Demolition 

88 

79 

88 

79 

88 

71 

88 

78 

Foundations 

81 

81 

79 

79 

77 

77 

88 

88 

Erection 

81 

65 

87 

79 

81 

72 

79 

78 

Finishing 

88 

72 

89 

74 

89 

74 

84 

84 


I = All pertinent equipment present at site. 

II = Minimum required equipment present at site. 

Source: USEPA, Legal Compilation on Noise, Vol. 1, p. 2-104, 1973. 


The new construction is currently scheduled to last 16 months, although the impacts will vary 
depending on the phase of construction for a specific unit. Construction of homes in the Jupiter 
Village neighborhood will directly impact residents in the housing areas southwest of 67 th Street. 
The existing Clinic at the intersection of Clinic Court and Perimeter Road will experience 
increased noise attributable to construction activities. 

Based on Table 8, Finishing would be the single loudest phase of construction. Assuming this 
activity generated a maximum Leq of 89 dBA, noise would exceed 60 dBA (the point at which 
construction noise could affect activity or speech communication outdoors and sleep indoors) at 
residential or other noise-sensitive receptors with a direct line-of-sight of the activity for a 
distance of 1,300 feet. Given the cleared nature of the site in the project area, noise wouldn’t be 
attenuated by intervening structures at many locations. Thus, noise would be perceived as very 
loud while construction occurred in the same neighborhood. 

Prior to the start of construction for this project the existing site will be regraded. This process 
will include the placement of approximately 15,000 cubic yards of fill material to level the site 
and thus allow better drainage. In residential neighborhoods, 20-cubic yard trucks and dozers 
would be used to deliver and grade the fill material before construction began. Noise associated 
with the construction of the houses in this project would come from delivery trucks such as 
lowboys and refuse hauling trucks. Assuming that all trucks used the same route (Perimeter 
Road), the trucks would generate approximately 62 dBA. This noise would not be 
distinguishable from the overall noise in areas where construction activities were underway. 
Noise would be more perceptible along the local streets that serve as primary access routes for 
larger areas (e.g., Perimeter Road and 67 th Street), but impacts along these routes would not be 
significant given the limited amount of time noise exposure would occur (most areas would not 


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Malmstrom Air Force Base Phase 6 & 7 Housing Replacement 


Final Environmental Assessment 


experience increased truck noise for more than one construction season) and the fact that trucks 
would only be used during the daytime on weekdays. 

One of the most essential elements in ensuring that noise impacts do not reach a level of 
significance is requiring that construction occur during daytime hours and on weekdays. All 
internal combustion engine-driven equipment should be equipped with mufflers that are in good 
condition. Although the construction traffic will have increased noise levels, they are not unlike 
the current intermittent industrial activity in the vicinity. 

4.6.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative 

No impacts associated with noise are expected under the No Action Alternative, since this phase 
of the housing development would not occur. The haul route would not be used. 

4.7 Health, Safety, and Waste Management 

4. 7 .1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action 

Worker safety is the primary health and safety concern during construction activities. There are 
inherent risks associated with construction operations. The contractor selected to implement the 
Proposed Action will be subject to rigorous safety management requirements as part of the 
contract with the Corps of Engineers. These requirements are primarily associated with OSH A 
workplace safety practices. If the required safety precautions are enforced, no significant safety 
impacts are anticipated. 

Household hazardous and toxic wastes are regulated by state and federal cleanup standards. 
Malmstrom has completed a hazardous and toxic waste study of the existing homes and 
determined that there are examples of household hazardous materials (asbestos, lead) in the 
homes as well as common household chemicals (MedTox NW, 2005). To the degree that the 
existing information provides evidence that materials require remediation, housing Contractors 
shall comply with all state and federal regulations with respect to management, abatement and 
disposal of hazardous waste. Plans fro the management of such materials already exist for 
actions taken at Malmstrom AFB. 

4.7.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative 

This alternative presents no health, safety or waste management impacts since construction 
activity associated with this phase of the housing development would not occur. 

4.8 Land Use 

The impact analysis for land use focuses on general land use patterns and land management 
practices. The methodology to assess impacts on individual land uses requires identification of 
those uses and determination of the degree to which those areas would be affected. Impacts to 
transportation are assessed with respect to the potential for disruption or improvement of current 
transportation patterns and systems; deterioration or improvement of existing levels of service, 
and changes in existing levels of safety. 


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Determination of the significance of the impact on visual resources is based on the level of visual 
sensitivity in the area. 

4.8.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action 

The proposed construction would occur in an area that previously had on-base housing, and 
would be consistent with surrounding land uses. The replacement housing units would meet 
current Air Force “whole house/neighborhood” standards and would be visually consistent with 
current and proposed housing design. 

The Proposed Action is in accordance with the General Plan. New development would be 
designed and constructed to be architecturally consistent and compatible with existing facilities 
and structures. Landscaping for the new housing units would be provided using standards 
identified in the General Plan. 

Construction traffic associated with the implementation of the Proposed Action would comprise 
only a small portion of the total existing on base traffic. Increases in traffic volumes associated 
with construction activity would be temporary and are not unlike volumes experienced during 
earlier housing development phases. Upon completion of construction, no long-term impacts to 
on-base transportation systems would result. 

4.8.2 Potential Impact from No Action Alternative 

Under the No Action Alternative, the existing conditions would remain unchanged and impacts 
associated with land use, transportation, and visual resources would not occur. 

4.9 Socioeconomic and Environmental Justice Impacts 

This Environmental Assessment section considers the potential socioeconomic and 
environmental justice impacts of the Proposed Action. Employment, race, ethnicity, poverty 
status and age characteristics of populations in Cascade County were analyzed by evaluating the 
data presented in Section 3.9. With regard to environmental justice and protection of children, 
Malmstrom and County figures were compared to regional, state and national demographics to 
evaluate whether or not proportional differences exist. Should the data analysis reveal areas 
containing relatively high environmental justice-related populations, the evaluator should given 
special consideration regarding potential impacts in order to address the potential of 
disproportionately high or adverse human health or environmental effects on these communities. 

Comparison of the data set forth in Section 3.9 does not highlight any areas of concern with 
respect to minority populations, low-income populations or youth populations. Malmstrom AFB 
has a higher concentration of the highlighted populations than Cascade County or the State of 
Montana. The housing replacement projects at issue will enhance the quality of life for person 
residing on Base. The effects and impact of the demolition of the existing units and construction 
of the new housing is short term and would not expose the on or off base populations to 
disproportionately high or adverse human health or environmental effects. 

No long-term change in base employment or expenditures are anticipated as a result of the 
Proposed Action, which consists of a series of housing construction projects of relatively short 


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duration (less than five years). All construction activity, including demolition, material hauling 
and recycling, is anticipated to occur within the boundaries of the base therefore negligible off- 
base socioeconomic or environmental justice impacts would be expected. 

Construction-related noise impacts will occur in the affected residential areas surrounding the 
new housing sites. Noise impacts will be limited, as much as practicable, by restricting 
construction activity to daytime hours on weekdays. Appropriate construction measures will be 
taken to ensure that the generation of dust during construction and hauling of materials does not 
create any significant health or safety risks to children and other nearby residents. 

4.9.1 Potential Impact from Proposed Action 

Construction activities associated with the Proposed Action could take place during FY2005 and 
involve expenditures of approximately $29.91 million. The proposed construction activity 
would generate construction jobs and income and induce regional purchases and expenditures. 
These potential impacts would be temporary, however, only occurring for the duration of the 
construction period. No permanent or long-lasting socioeconomic impacts are anticipated as a 
result of implementation of the Proposed Action. 

4.9.2 Potential Impact From No Action Alternative 

Under the No Action alternative, Malmstrom AFB would maintain its existing housing and not 
undertake the proposed new home construction as described in detail in Section 2.0. Failure to 
implement the proposed improvements would not generate any of the construction-related 
employment or earnings impacts associated with the Proposed Action. Implementation of the No 
Action alternative could result in significant adverse socioeconomic or environmental justice 
impacts if Air Force personnel were forced to relocate off base and compete with civilians for 
housing within the existing housing market in Great Falls. 

5.0 CUMULATIVE EFFECTS AND IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE 
COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES 

5.1 Cumulative Effects 

This section provides (1) a definition of cumulative effects, (2) a description of past, present, and 
reasonably foreseeable actions relevant to cumulative effects, and (3) an evaluation of 
cumulative effects potentially resulting from these interactions. 

5.1.1 Definition of Cumulative Effects 

CEQ regulations stipulate that the cumulative effects analysis within an EA should consider the 
potential environmental impacts resulting from “the incremental impacts of the action when 
added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency 
or person undertakes such other actions” (§40 CFR 1508.7). Recent CEQ guidance in 
considering cumulative effects affirms this requirement, stating that the first steps in assessing 
cumulative effects involve defining the scope of the other actions and their interrelationship with 
the Proposed Action. The scope must consider geographic and temporal overlaps among the 


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Proposed Action and other actions. It must also evaluate the nature of interactions among these 
actions. 

Cumulative effects are most likely to arise when a relationship or synergism exists between a 
Proposed Action and other actions expected to occur in a similar location or during a similar time 
period. Actions overlapping with, or in close proximity to, the Proposed Action would be 
expected to have more potential for a relationship than actions that may be geographically 
separated. Similarly, actions that coincide, even partially, in time would tend to offer a higher 
potential for cumulative effects. 

To identify cumulative effects, this EA addresses three questions: 

(1) Does a relationship exist such that elements of the Proposed Action might interact with 
elements of past, present, or reasonably foreseeable actions? 

(2) If one or more of the elements of the Proposed Action and another action could be 
expected to interact, would the Proposed Action affect or be affected by impacts of the 
other action? 

(3) If such a relationship exists, does an assessment reveal any potentially significant 
impacts not identified when the Proposed Action is considered alone? 

In this EA, an effort has been made to identify all related actions under consideration or in the 
planning phase at this time. To the extent that details regarding such actions exist and the actions 
have a potential to interact with the Proposed Action in this EA, these actions are included in this 
cumulative analysis. This combined approach enables stakeholders to have the most current 
information available so that environmental consequences of the Proposed Action can be 
evaluated. 

5.1.2 Past, Present, and Reasonably Foreseeable Actions 

This EA applies a stepped approach to provide stakeholders with not only the cumulative effects 
of the Proposed Action, but also the incremental contribution of past, present, and reasonably 
foreseeable actions. 

5.1.2.1 Past and Present Actions Relevant to the Proposed Action 

Malmstrom AFB is an active military installation that undergoes continuous change in mission 
and in training requirements. This process of change is consistent with the United States defense 
policy that the Air Force must be ready to respond to threats to American interests throughout the 
world. The most recent mission change at Malmstrom was in 1997 when the 819 th RED HORSE 
squadron was assigned to Malmstrom. 

The Proposed Action is part of an ongoing phased plan to upgrade all of the on-base family 
housing. Of the 1,404 housing units on base at Malmstrom, upgrades under Phase 1, 2 and 3 
have already occurred for 503 units. The base, like any other major institution, also requires new 
occasional construction, facility improvements, and infrastructure upgrades. Phase 4 and 5 of the 
housing upgrade project have a current EA and FONSI signed (August 2004). The recent Heat 


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Final En vironmental Assessmen t 


Plant Upgrade has been categorically excluded from requiring an EA because the purpose of the 
project is maintenance. The Installation Commander signed a FONSI for the Corrosion Control 
Facility upgrade which was recently completed. There is also a Base-wide storm retention basin 
and outfall upgrade project currently underway to address storm water handling issues. 

The Air Force anticipates a continuing mission for Malmstrom AFB, but the specific nature of 
that mission and the military units stationed at Malmstrom to undertake that mission are subject 
to change. The Department of Defense released a Base Realignment and Closure list on 16 May 
2005, and the realignment may result in restationing of additional units to Malmstrom AFB. 

Such a restationing action would require the completion of a separate EA at a later date. 

5. 1.2.2 Incremental Impacts of the Proposed Action with Reasonably Foreseeable Future 
Actions 

As stated above, the Proposed Action is part of an ongoing phased plan to upgrade all of the on- 
base family housing. In addition to the 130 units for FY 2005 assessed previously, 310 units are 
projected for FY 2006-2007, and 478 for FY 2007 and beyond. 

5.1.3 Analysis of Cumulative Impacts 

The following analysis examines how any impacts resulting from the Proposed Action at 
Malmstrom AFB might affect the impacts of these other actions and whether such a relationship 
would result in potentially significant impacts not identified when the Proposed Action is 
considered alone. 

Phases 6 and 7 under the proposed project are components of an ongoing phased plan to upgrade 
all of the on-base family housing. Previous family housing phases are either constructed or 
under construction and coordinated through phase specific NEPA documents. This EA provides 
consideration of the proposed project in light of past housing phases. In addition to potential 
cumulative affects from the overall phased housing program, the EA considers related base 
construction, facility improvements, and infrastructure upgrades common to any major 
installation. Potential cumulative impacts have been identified for the following environmental 
resources: 

> Air Resources: Because of the nature of the development activities required, it is expected 
that construction impacts on air quality will be short-term and limited to localized areas. 
However, prolonged construction activity, such as a long-term housing program could impact 
regional air quality attainment status given suitable scope and intensity. However, when 
construction of the proposed project phases when compared to the scope of the entire base 
housing plan and nearby (off-installation) developments; it is unlikely that the housing 
program individually or cumulatively will result in lowered air attenuation standards or long 
term air quality degradation. Additional infrastructure required to support the proposed plan 
appears generally adequate. As such, significant additional energy or related support systems 
should not be required as a result of this proposed project. The proposed project will not 
result in a significant cumulative effect. 


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> Geological Resources: Permanent changes to soil structure and stability can occur by 
disrupting and reworking certain soils. The activities would be limited to a small area and 
are insignificant when considered by individually or cumulatively. 

> Noise Resources: Noise from construction activities would represent an unavoidable 
impact. This impact is short-term for an individual residence, but will be evident over the 
16-month construction schedule, lessening over the last three months (when finish work is 
being completed indoors) associated with this phase and a longer period when combined with 
the other phases. Cumulative impacts to noise resources from the entire housing program are 
negligible. Construction of this and earlier phases have been phased to reduce peak noise 
levels and duration. Post construction noise impacts from the project are consistent with 
other nearby and established residential uses. No significant cumulative impacts to noise 
resources are anticipated. 

> Transportation: Transportation alone was not identified as a short or long term impact. 
However, as multiple phases of housing construction occur, and particularly if soil 
backfilling is a component of future construction projects, on-base roads will begin to 
deteriorate. Road and other infrastructure around and outside the installation are suitable for 
the volume of rehabilitated houses. Overall vehicle traffic when compared to existing uses 
and possible future development will not result in significant cumulative impacts. 

> Water Resources: Short term increases in sediment discharge within existing base storm 
water facilities are possible during construction, however best management practices 
implemented to control erosion required by storm water discharge permits and establishment 
of appropriate storm water detention facilities will prevent any significant short term impacts. 
The long term quantity and quality of storm water discharged from the base will not be 
affected by the Phase 6 or 7 Housing Replacement project. Phase 6 replacement will result 
in a small (1.44 acres) net decrease in impervious surface within the project area. Future 
housing construction projects scheduled for Malmstrom AFB also consist of replacement of 
existing housing in the same locations and should not change the quality or quantity of storm 
water discharged from the base. 

In addition to a review of the proposed project, a review of the overall Malmstrom AFB 
housing replacement program and the programs potential cumulative effects has also been 
conducted. Results show that some small temporary elevation in storm flows may have 
occurred into drainages around the base but annual flows through Whitmore Ravine and 
other drainages have not changed significantly. 

Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the Replace Family Housing Project demolished 296 housing units from 
Wherry Housing, Malmstrom Drive and the Relocatables and constructed 296 new units in 
two areas entitled Minuteman Village and Matador Manor. This construction provided storm 
water discharge into two drainage areas. Drainage Area 1 and Drainage Area 2, which flow 
into the west branch of Whitmore Ravine. Under the demolished footprint the Malmstrom 
Drive units and Relocatable units drained to Drainage Area 1 and Drainage Area 2. The 
Wherry Housing, located off base, drained south and did not drain into Whitmore Ravine. 


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Drainage Area 1 and Drainage Area 2 combine to total 869.1 acres. The demolition 
completed in these early phases removed 5.4 acres of impervious surface area. Phases 1, 2 
and 3 then constructed 35.7 acres of impervious surface area. The combined work adds 30.3 
acres of impervious surface area, affecting storm water flow in both Drainage Area 1 and 
Drainage Area 2. Phases 1, 2 and 3 created, a maximum, storm water increase of 3.5 percent 
in the west branch of Whitmore Ravine, during peak flow events. The measured peak 
discharge for Drainage Area 1 at the outfall for a 0.25-inch in 2.5 hours rain event was 49.6 
cubic feet per second (cfs). The measured peak discharge for Drainage Area 2 at the Walnut 
St. outfall (just below the 48 inch Corrugated Metal Pipe, CMP) for a 0.25-inch in 2.5 hours 
rain event was 10.2 cfs. 

Prior to any phase of the housing replacement, Drainage Area 1 and Drainage Area 2 
demonstrated a combined measured peak discharge of 59.8 cfs. Phases 1, 2 and 3 combined 
to increase peak discharge to the west branch of Whitmore Ravine, a maximum of 2.1 cfs. 
These same phases did not combine to create a significant increase in the average daily flow 
in Drainage Area 1 or Drainage Area 2. In addition, they do not significantly change the 
runoff coefficient for the area. The combined runoff coefficient for Drainage Area 1 and 
Drainage Area 2, based upon 356 total impervious acres and 513.2 pervious acres, is 0.63 
(Compare to Table 6). The cumulative effects of Phases 1,2 and 3 do not combine to create 
a significant change to storm water discharged into the west branch of Whitmore Ravine and 
therefore do not create a significant impact on the storm water discharged into Whitmore 
Ravine. 

Phase 4 demolished 100 existing family housing units and rebuilt 36 two-bedroom, 42 three- 
bedroom, and 16 four-bedroom; all two story duplexes for a total of 94 new homes. 
Replacement of existing housing units and final regrading did not result in a significant 
increase of impermeable surface. As a result, no long-term impacts to groundwater recharge 
or surface water resources resulted. 

Phase 5 demolished 180 housing units (90 duplexes) and constructed 130 housing units (100 
two-bedroom and 30 four-bedroom; all two story duplexes). After demolition, workers 
demolished foundations and restored the sites to their natural grade. Malmstrom AFB 
donated these housing units to local Indian tribes for use through the Walking Shield 
Program. Taken as a whole, Phase V provided 50 less units than previous conditions. 

No changes in cumulative environmental impacts to surface water are expected from the 
implementation of previous or currently proposed actions. In addition, the Base has designed 
appropriate retention and storm drain outfall systems to address surface water runoff issues 
during peak flow events. Cumulatively, the family housing projects at Malmstrom, 
combined with the detention pond, will maintain or slightly improve existing surface water 
conditions on and around the installation. 

In light of past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions, USAF expects no 
significant cumulative impacts to surface waters as a result of this project or the overall 
housing program as currently designed. 


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5.2 Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment of Resources 

NEPA recommends that environmental analysis include identification of “ . . . any irreversible 
and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the Proposed Action 
should it be implemented.” Irreversible and irretrievable resource commitments are related to 
the use of nonrenewable resources and the effects that the uses of these resources have on future 
generations. Irreversible effects primarily result from the use or destruction of a specific 
resource (e.g., energy and minerals) that cannot be replaced within a reasonable time frame. 
Irretrievable resource commitments involve the loss in value of an affected resource that cannot 
be restored as a result of the action (e.g., extinction of a threatened or endangered species or the 
demolition of a historic building). 

For the Proposed Action, most resource commitments are neither irreversible nor irretrievable. 
Most environmental consequences are short-term and temporary (such as air emissions and noise 
from construction activities) or longer lasting but negligible. 

The design team has specified that sustainable materials be used throughout the construction of 
this project. For example, the existing roads and associated concrete shall be crushed and reused 
as appropriate on future projects. 

Those limited resources that may involve a possible irreversible or irretrievable commitment 
under the Proposed Action include consumption of limited amounts of materials typically 
associated with interior and exterior housing construction (e.g., concrete, wiring, insulation, and 
windows). However, the amount of these materials used is not expected to significantly decrease 
the availability of the resources. 


5.3 CONCLUSIONS 

Based on the forgoing analysis of the Phase 6 and Phase 7 housing replacement actions, the Air 
Force concludes that the Phase 6 and 7 Housing Replacement Program is not an activity with a 
significant impact to the human environment, and therefore the preparation of an Environmental 
Impact Statement is not required. Rather, the Installation Commander, as the decision maker, is 
encouraged to sign a Finding of No Significant Impact. 


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6.0 References 

Bair 1992. The Weather Almanac. Frank E. Bair. Published by Gale Research Inc. 6th Edition. 
1992. 

Bazan and Associates Architects, Inc. Requirements Documents, Final Submittal. Prepared for 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District. Contract Number DAC67-02-R-2014. 
March 2004. (10% design documents) 

Hart Crowser 2003. Draft Hazardous Building Material Survey Report, Malmstrom Air Force 
Base, Montana. Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District. Contract No. 
DACA67-02-D-2002, Delivery Order No.13. March 31, 2003. 

Hydrometrics, Inc. 2001. Malmstrom Air Force Base Wetlands Delineation - Draft. Prepared 
for Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. October 2001. 

Lemke and Maughan 1977. Lemke, R. W., and E. K. Maughan. Engineering geology of the city 
of Great Falls and vicinity, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations 
Series Map 1-1025, scale 1:24,000. 1977. 

Malmstrom AFB 1998. Malmstrom Air Force Base Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. 
Prepared by 341 CES/CEVC, Malmstrom AFB and submitted to the Montana Department 
of Environmental Sciences. November 1998. 

_2002. Malmstrom Air Force Base General Plan and 2002 Update. 

_ 2005. Malmstrom Air Force Base Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. Prepared by 

341 CES/CEVC, Malmstrom AFB and submitted to the Montana Department of Environmental 
Sciences. September 2005. 

Med-Tox Northwest 2005. Hazardous Building Materials Survey Report. Prepared for Mrs. Peg 
Manuel, WJA Design Collaborative. Seattle, Washington 

McLaughlin 2003. Personal communication with Bill McLaughlin, 341 st CES at Malmstrom Air 
Force Base. April 15, 2003. 

Montana Historical Society. 2003. Montana Timeline. 

http://www.his.state.mt.us/departments/education/. Helena. 

Montana NHP 2003. Montana Natural Heritage Program. 2003. Online Database at 
http://nhp.nris.state.mt.us . 

SCS 1982. Soil Survey of Cascade County Area, Montana. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Soil Conservation Service. U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington, D.C. 1982. 

Stordahl 2003. Personal communication with James Stordahl, Construction Representative, U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, Malmstrom AFB Project Office. April 15, 2003. 


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U.S. Census 2000. Census 2000 State and County QuickFacts. New Jersey, Burlington County. 
U.S. Census Bureau. 2000. 

USAF 1994a. AICUZ Study, A Citizen’s Brochure. United States Air Force, Malmstrom AFB, 
Montana. 1994. 

_1994b. Endangered Species Biological Survey of Malmstrom Air Force Base. Prepared 

for United States Air Force by BioSystems Analysis, Inc. December 1994. 

_ 1995a. Air Force Family Housing Guide for Planning, Programming, Design and 

Construction. Prepared by Headquarters United States Air Force Office of The Civil 
Engineer Directorate of Housing and The Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence 
Construction Management Directorate. December 1995. 

_ 1995b. Prehistoric and Historic Resources at Malmstrom Air Force Base: Field Survey 

Report. Prepared for Headquarters, Air Mobility Command by Argonne National 
Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, John F. Hoffecker and Matt Greby, authors. Scott Air Force 
Base, Illinois. 1995. 

_ 1997. Interim Guide for Environmental Justice within the Environmental Impact Analysis 

Process. United States Air Force. 1997. 

_ 1998. Environmental Assessment of the Proposed Creation of a Rapid Engineer, 

Deployable, Heavy Operational Radar Squadron, Engineer (RED HORSE) training area at 
Malm s trom AFB. Prepared by 341 CES/CEVV, Malmstrom AFB. Referenced in the 
Environmental Assessment for Proposed Land Outgrant, Malmstrom AFB, prepared by 
Tetratech, 2000. 

_ 1999. Environmental Assessment. Acquisition of and Improvements to 10th Avenue 

North Near Malmstrom Air Force Base. Prepared by 341/CES/CEVC. Referenced in Draft 
Environmental Assessment, 18th Avenue North Construction Defense Access Road Project 
- DAR 98-3003A, Malmstrom AFB. Great Falls, Montana, 5/15/2001. 

_2000. Environmental Assessment for Proposed Land Outgrant, Malmstrom AFB, prepared 

by Tetratech, 2000. 

_2001a. Environmental Assessment (Draft) 18th Avenue North Construction Defense 

Access Road Project - DAR 98-3003A Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls, Montana. 

2001. 

_2001b. Final Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan, Malmstrom Air Force Base. 

341 CES/CEV Malm s trom Air Force Base, Montana. December 2001. 

_2003. FY 2004 Military Construction Project Data, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Replace 

Family Housing (PH IV). DD Form 1391. Undated. Received from 341 st CES/CEV on 
April 15, 2003. 


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_ 2004. Preliminary Report of Geotechnical Investigation for Replacement Family Housing, 
Phase 6 and 7; Malmstrom Air Force Base; Great Falls, Montana. Prepared for Malmstrom 
AFB and Bazan & Associates by Thomas, Dean, & Hoskins, Inc. Contract No. DACW67- 
01-D-1005, Task Order 30. March, 2004. (newest geotech report) 


USEPA 1973. Legal Compilation on Noise, Volume 1, Page 2-104. 1973. 

_ 1974. Information on Levels of Environmental Noise Requisite to Protect Public Health 

and Welfare with an Adequate Margin of Safety. Publication 550/9-74-004. Office of 
Noise Abatement and Control, Washington, D.C. March. 

_ 1983. Guidelines for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in Buildings. United 

States Environmental Protection Agency document 560/5.83-624. 1983. 

_2002. Presentation to Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) on April 23, 2002 - 

Maps (PDF) PM-2.5 and 8-hour Ozone Standards Nonattainment Counties, 
http://www.epa.gov/clearskies/maps.pdf, downloaded from Internet on 2/14/2003. 

USFS 2000. U.S. Forest Service Region 1 Eastside National Forest Air Quality Assessment. 
Prepared by Mark T. Story, Gallatin National Forest, 2/15/2000. Downloaded from the 
Internet on 4/30/2003, 

http://www.fs.fed.us/rl/gallatin/resources/air/reports/EastsideAQAssessment.pdf. 

Wetlands West 2000. Draft Biological Resources Report, NE Bypass-Great Falls. Prepared for 
Montana department of Transportation and Thomas, Dean & Hoskins, Inc. Project No. 
NH5205(14). January 2000. 


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Public Comments 


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FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT 


Name of the Proposed Action 

Replace Family Housing Phase VI & VII at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. 

Description of the Proposed Action and Alternatives 

Malmstrom Air Force Base proposes to construct 797 total housing units (296 in Phase 6 and 501 
in Phase 7). In addition, 20 units may be taken as an option from Phase 5 and added to Phase 6 
and 7 if Air Staff approves the consolidation, resulting in 817 units to include full scope in the 
Phase 6 and 7 projects. Under the No Action Alternative, the proposed housing construction 
would not occur. 

Summary of Environmental Consequences 

This Environmental Assessment (EA) provides an analysis of the potential environmental 
consequences associated with the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative. Nine resource 
categories received thorough evaluation to identify potential environmental consequences. As 
indicated in Chapter 4.0, the Proposed Action would not result in significant impacts to any 
resource area. The No Action Alternative would result in no impacts (positive or negative); 
however, the No Action Alternative would not accomplish the housing replacement objective. 

Air quality impacts, while not significant, will occur due to exhaust emissions from construction 
equipment and from fugitive dust created during the construction process. Current air quality in 
the region of influence is excellent. Future phases of housing renovation and replacement and 
associated construction, though not likely, may impact the attainment status of the region. 

Implementation of the Proposed Action will have temporary increases in localized noise levels in 
the project area during construction. Noise will be typical construction noise, lasting for the 
duration of the specific construction activities. However, noise will be mitigated by the use of 
equipment sound mufflers and restricting construction activity to normal working hours. 
Although noise disruptions would be temporary and would be limited to daytime hours, these 
disruptions will be very noticeable. 

Under the Proposed Action, the overall ecological effect would be insignificant. There would be 
no impacts to wetlands and the Proposed Action would not conflict with the wetlands 
management program at Malmstrom AFB. No special species or sensitive habitats are expected 
to be impacted. Standard construction best management practices would be applied to control 
sedimentation and erosion during construction, thereby avoiding secondary effects to any 
wetlands or freshwater aquatic communities. The replacement of existing housing under the 
proposed action will reduce the amount of impervious surface within the project area, which may 
result in a slight reduction of stormwater discharge. Cumulative impacts are insignificant. 



Conclusion 


In accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations implementing the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as amended, and the Air Force Environmental 
Impact Analysis Process regulations contained in 32 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 989, an 
assessment of the environmental effects has been completed for the Phases VI and VII 
replacement of family housing units at Malmstrom AFB. I have determined that the Proposed 
Action will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment or the quality of the human 
environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. 


GEOFREY A. FRAZIER, Colonel, USAF Date 

Malmstrom AFB ESOH Council Chairman