The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority proposes to relocate the River Rescue North Boathouse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.  The River Rescue Boathouse is needed to provide river rescue capability by boat in case of runway overshoot events in which aircraft come to rest in the water or on the shoreline.  The new facility is needed due primarily to the current building’s state of disrepair.  The proposed project involves demolishing the current River Rescue North Boathouse and constructing a replacement structure.  The new boathouse will be located between the extended centerlines of Runways 4-22 and 15-33, 75 feet from the shoreline, with the approximate dimensions of 45 feet by 45 feet.  The new Boathouse facility includes a weather and debris protection rail and an access walkway to be constructed above the riprap shoreline approximately 5 feet wide by 100 feet long.  The proposed project will be within the 100-year floodplain; there is no practicable alternative to siting the facility in the floodplain.

A Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared to evaluate existing conditions and potential environmental effects.  The Draft EA addresses the environmental consequences of the Proposed Action and the No-action Alternative, as well as other issues including noise, air quality, water quality, historic, architectural, archaeological and cultural resources, visual impacts, floodplains and wetlands.  The Draft (EA) was prepared pursuant to the requirements and guidelines of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 1050.1E, Environmental Impacts:  Policies and Procedures, FAA Order 5050.4B, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Instructions for Airport Actions, and the FAA Environmental Desk Reference for Airport Actions.

Beginning July 12, 2010, the Draft EA will be available for public review during business hours at the following locations: Arlington County Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22201; Aurora Hills Branch Library, 735 S. 18th St, Arlington, VA, 22202; and Federal Aviation Administration, Washington Airports District Office, 23723 Air Freight Lane, Suite 210, Dulles, Virginia, 20166.  The Draft EA, as well as this notice and graphics of the project site, can also be reviewed by clicking here.

This public review is also being conducted pursuant to the 1987 Programmatic Memorandum  of Agreement among the FAA, the Virginia State Historic Preservation Officer and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (as regards Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 – 36 CFR 800).

Written comments on the Draft EA may be submitted to Charles Baummer, Planning Department, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, One Aviation Circle, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, DC 20001-6000, or by e-mail to  All comments must be received no later than 5:00 pm Eastern Time on August 16, 2010.