The Department of the Army has just told us through the Federal Register that, if we wish, we can drop over to Room 1E676 at the Pentagon and peruse a draft environmental impact statement concerning "The Ongoing Operation of the United States Military Academy," which has been ongoing since 1802.No massive new construction project occasioned this report, an Army spokesman said. The academy was just following orders. Army Regulation 200-1 (January 1978 version) interprets the National Environmental Policy Act as requiring one-time environmental impact statements for activities of all military installations.

The statements, the spokesman said, are "useful when considering operational changes, and that is why the EIS was submitted" for the military academy. The draft EIS was prepared by Danes and Moore, a consultant, for $300,000. Danes and Moore was chosen under noncompetitive procedures the Corps of Engineers uses for this sort of thing. The fee does not include whatever additional cost will be required to make the draft EIS a final EIS, although the Army hopes to do that with a rubber stamp (assuming no major revisions are required after the public has read the draft).Similar EISes have been or will be prepared for other Army installations nationwide.