G-RAMP on hold for environmental study

A major environmental assessment could keep development of the land proposed for G-RAMP on hold for a year or more.

Construction on the land expected to house the Georgia-Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership will not begin until the assessment is completed, and that may not be until next year according to a Robins Air Force Base official familiar with the project.

“That’s the first step out of the box,” said Scott Dotson, the base’s community liaison for G-RAMP. “It’s a big thing and it’s probably going to be 10,12 months to get it done.”

The city of Warner Robins has reached an agreement with the Macon-based Carter and Sloop Consulting Engineers and the URS Corporation, a national defense contracting company, to conduct the environmental assessment, according to Gary Lee, director of the Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency.

The assessment, which has yet to begin, will look at more than 500 acres around the northwest perimeter of the base — the area designated for development under the G-RAMP proposal. The breadth of the environmental assessment may explain the length of time devoted to the process.

“We’re going to look at everything,” Dotson said.

The assessment will evaluate noise pollution, air quality, impact on wildlife and potential for impact on natural resources. The city of Warner Robins is responsible for contracting the assessment, and the base is responsible for ensuring that the land passes the assessment. Dotson said the the goal is “FONSI” — Finding of No Significant Impact.

While G-RAMP is a partnership between the base and Warner Robins, it is clear that the city is expected to take the lead. Maj. Gen. Polly A. Peyer, commanding general of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, said last week that “G-RAMP really needs to get its head start from the city ... it’s city land, it will be city developed, with city funding.”

The total cost for G-RAMP has been estimated at $71.5 million. The proposed multi-hangar facility would expand the base’s maintenance capabilities.

To contact writer Thomas L. Day, call 744-4489.