Intent To Prepare a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana Project, Including Flat Lake Management Unit, Beau Bayou Management Unit and Cocodrie Swamp Management Unit, and Possible Modifications or Additions to the Buffalo Cove Management Unit, Located in St. Martin, St. Mary, Iberville, and Iberia Parishes, LA, 44586-44588 [05-15298]

Download as PDF 44586 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 148 / Wednesday, August 3, 2005 / Notices identified through scoping and public involvement. Lake Okeechobee is one of the most critical components of the C&SF project and achieving the right balance among the many, oftentimes competing demands on the lake, remains a difficult challenge. The proposed action will be coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, with the NMFS concerning Essential Fish Habitat, and with the State Historic Preservation Officer concerning historic and cultural resources. g. Agency Role. The Corps is the lead agency for this action. However, the non-Federal sponsor,and leading local expert, the South Florida Water Management District will provide extensive information and assistance on the resources to be impacted, mitigation measures, and alternatives. h. Draft Environmental Impact Statement Availability. The DSEIS would be available on or about June 2006. Dated: July 21, 2005. Susan Scott Lucas, Acting Chief, Planning Division. [FR Doc. 05–15296 Filed 8–2–05; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Intent To Prepare a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana Project, Including Flat Lake Management Unit, Beau Bayou Management Unit and Cocodrie Swamp Management Unit, and Possible Modifications or Additions to the Buffalo Cove Management Unit, Located in St. Martin, St. Mary, Iberville, and Iberia Parishes, LA Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD. ACTION: Notice of intent. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District (CEMVN), intends to evaluate water management features for the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway, System, Louisiana Project, excluding the Henderson Lake Management Unit, to improve water quality and interior water circulation, remove barriers to reestablish north to south water flow; provide input of oxygenated low 15:22 Aug 02, 2005 The Corps of Engineers is initiating this DSEIS under the authority of the Flood Control Act of May 15, 1928 (Pub. L. 391, 70th Congress), as amended and supplemented. Construction of two pilot management units (Buffalo Cove and Henderson Lake) was authorized by the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1985 (Pub. L. 99–88) and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 (Pub. L. 99–662), with construction of three conditionally authorized management units—Flat Lake Management Unit, Beau Bayou Management Unit, and Cocodrie Swamp Management Unit to take place upon approval of the Chief of Engineers after evaluation of the operational success of the pilot management units. (Hereafter, the three conditionally authorized management units will be collectively referred to as ‘‘conditionally authorized management units’’.) Section 601(a) of WRDA 1986 authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out the recommended plan for management units as described in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement of January 1982, as approved by the Chief of Engineers Report dated February 28, 1983. The Engineering Documentation Report (EDR), Buffalo Cove Pilot SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BILLING CODE 3710–AJ–M VerDate jul<14>2003 temperature water; and reduce or manage sediment input into the interior swamp. The action is necessary due to the existing poor water quality resulting from the lack of internal circulation and oxygenated water inputs, and increased sedimentation. In addition if action is not taken, both deep-water and shallow water habitat utilized by fish and wildlife resources will continue to be lost, reduced, or degraded. The intended result of the proposed work is to prolong the life expectancy of the productive habitat (primarily aquatic and cypress tupelo habitats) that would become scarce over time by restricting or redirecting sediments, while simultaneously achieving a healthy water circulation pattern that would maintain or restore water quality and reestablish north to south water movement. This is a modification of the notice of intent posted in the Federal Register on July 16, 2004 (69 FR 42696). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning the DSEIS should be addressed to Mr. Larry Hartzog at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PM-RP, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160–0267, phone (504) 862–2524, fax number (504) 862–2572 or by E-mail at Larry.M.Hartzog@ mvn02.usace.army.mil. Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Management Unit (BCMU) and supporting Environmental Assessment (EA) No. 366 and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on July 15, 2004, satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the referenced pilot water management unit impacts. The expected results of these improvements, while beneficially effective alone, will continue to contribute to the entire comprehensive BCMU improvements in water quality and habitat that will be expanded as additional possible elements are added in the future. Because the BCMU constitutes a ‘‘pilot’’ management unit, both the EDR and EA No. 366 clearly identify the possibility that additional future work may be recommended in the BCMU if the analysis of the operational monitoring data supports a finding that the present EDR elements do not fully accomplish the goals and objectives of the authorized management unit project. The preparation of the DSEIS addressed by this NOI will commence and continue concurrently with the monitored construction and operation, data collection and analysis of the BCMU water circulation improvements and sediment management initiatives (as described in EA No. 366), as well as analysis and solicitation of public and resource agency input. Monitoring of the 10 elements and the elements constructed for the Bayou Eugene Prototype Model Test Modification (‘‘Bayou Eugene’’), comprising the water circulation and sediment management initiatives (described in EA No. 366) will continue for a period of 5 years following the construction of the last of the elements described in EA No. 366. If data collected during and prior to the end of the 5 year monitoring period indicates that modifications or relocations of elements within the bounds of the original project rights-ofway or areas of influence are needed to achieve the goals and objectives for fish and wildlife enhancement, a report will be prepared and submitted for approval. The DSEIS will be prepared following the incorporation and analysis of the data from the completed construction monitoring of the 10 elements as described in the approved EDR and EA No. 366. Construction monitoring described in the approved EDR is scheduled for completion 5 years after the construction of the last of the 10 elements is completed. Based on this completion date, construction monitoring and the concurrent DSEIS are currently estimated to be completed in 2012. The DSEIS will utilize the monitoring data to evaluate the E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 148 / Wednesday, August 3, 2005 / Notices operational effectiveness of the Bayou Eugene elements and the 10 elements described in EA No. 366 on the areas of influence outlined in EA No. 366. In addition, the DSEIS will evaluate the possible need for and effect of additional elements, and modifications or relocations of previously constructed elements to accomplish the fish and wildlife enhancement goals for the entire BCMU. The contemplated DSEIS will provide an overall evaluation of the influence of both previously constructed prototype model study features along Bayou Eugene, the currently proposed 10 elements (as described in EA No. 366), possible modifications, additions or relocations associated with the monitoring findings of EA No. 366, and the environmental impacts of the possible additional elements. Based on the analysis and evaluation of the operational effectiveness of the BCMU elements, including the Bayou Eugene elements, in enhancing the aquatic ecosystem and attaining the fish and wildlife enhancement goals of the management unit feature of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana project (ABFS), the DSEIS will investigate the feasibility of, and formulate recommendations for, the implementation and construction of the conditionally authorized management units. Henderson Lake Management Unit (Henderson Lake) is hydrologically separate and independent from all of the other authorized management units. Additionally, the management unit objectives, public interests and concerns that will be addressed at Henderson Lake differ substantially from those present for the other management units at Buffalo Cove, Flat Lake, Cocodrie Swamp and Beau Bayou. As such, Henderson Lake will be the subject of a separate DSEIS. 1. Proposed Action. The proposed action will consist of a series of closures and sediment traps (to reduce sediment influx); construction of new, or improvement of existing inputs for river water; and gap construction in existing embankments. Closures will be placed in areas that have the greatest potential for introduction of sediment. Closure heights will be designed to optimize sediment reduction. Construction of water inputs will be evaluated in areas where sediment-lean, fresh water sources can be easily connected to existing canals or bayous to conduit water into areas of poor water quality. Sediment traps will be designed as necessary in conjunction with the freshwater input sites. Gaps will be sized and placed in both elevated natural banks as well as dredged VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 Aug 02, 2005 Jkt 205001 material embankments that impede water flow or induce stagnation. These gaps are primarily intended to improve drainage and reestablish flow through the interior swamp basin. Excavated material will be either placed in a noncontinuous manner in order to not disrupt sheet flow, or if practicable, the material will be used to create closures. 2. Alternatives. The alternative formulation process will include an evaluation of the ‘‘no action alternative’’, a monitored passive management plan, and the original structural alternative plan as proposed in the 1982 Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana Final Environmental Impact Statement which included construction of ring levees and active structures. The current alternatives analysis will continue to evolve throughout the development of the DSEIS. Alternatives to be evaluated include different methods of sediment reduction, water input, and improving internal circulation within the management unit. Sediment reduction alternatives will include the use of various sediment trap sizes and placements, construction of sediment traps with and without maintenance, and monitoring the effectiveness of sediment reduction utilizing both partial and complete closures at sites of suspected sediment inputs. Alternative methods will also be evaluated for water introduction and include; diverse configurations of water inputs (sinuous, straight, length and depth), improvements to existing natural and manmade inlets, reopening natural and man-made inputs, and siting of bank shavings to reduce barriers to water input. In addition, various sizes, numbers and placement of gaps in existing canal banks, ridges and other internal circulation impediments will be considered in the alternatives. 3. Scoping Process. The Council on Environmental Quality regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process directs Federal agencies that have made a decision to prepare an environmental impact statement to engage in a public scoping process. The scoping process is designed to provide an early and open means of determining the scope of issues (problems, needs, and opportunities) to be identified and addressed in the draft environmental impact assessment, which in this case is a DSEIS. Scoping is the process used to: (a) Identify the affected public and agency concerns; (b) facilitate an efficient DSEIS preparation process; (c) define the issues and alternatives that will be examined in detail in the DSEIS; (d) and PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44587 save time in the overall process by helping to ensure that the draft statements adequately address relevant issues. Scoping is a part of the planning process, and will involve meetings, telephone conversations, and/or written comments. Scoping comments will be compiled, analyzed, and utilized in the plan formulation. A scoping report, summarizing the comments, will be made available to all scoping participants and included in the public involvement appendix of the report and DSEIS. a. Public Involvement. Scoping is a critical component of the overall public involvement program. An intensive public involvement program will continue throughout the study to solicit input from affected Federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other interested parties. This public input will be obtained through a series of scoping meetings open to the general public. In addition to these meetings there will be additional continual public involvement through the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Division’s Atchafalaya Basin Advisory Committee meetings on Water Management. CEMVN personnel will be available for additional informational meetings if needed or requested by various interested and/or affected public, private and conservation interests such as: landowners, oil and gas interests, commercial and recreational hunters and fishers, forestry interests, and the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society or other conservation organizations. b. Significant Issues. The tentative list of resources and issues to be evaluated in the DSEIS includes forested wetlands (includes cypress/tupelo swamp as well as infrequently inundated areas of ash, oak, elm, hackberry and cypress), water quality, aquatic resources, commercial and recreational fisheries, wildlife resources, essential fish habitat, water quality, air quality, threatened and endangered species, recreation resources, and cultural resources. Socioeconomic items to be evaluated in the DSEIS include employment, land use, property values, community and regional growth, transportation, housing, and community cohesion. c. Interagency Coordination. The Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), will provide a Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report. Coordination will be maintained with the Natural Resources Conservation Service regarding prime and unique farmlands. Coordination will be maintained with the Advisory Counsel on Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Officer. E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 44588 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 148 / Wednesday, August 3, 2005 / Notices The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources will be consulted regarding consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be contacted concerning potential impacts to Natural and Scenic Rivers and Streams. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will review the action for consistency with applicable laws regarding the discharge of dredged material as it relates to impacting water quality and will provide the State of Louisiana Water Quality Certification. d. Environmental Consultation and Review. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be assisting in the documentation of existing conditions and assessment of effects of project alternatives through Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act consultation procedures. Consultation will be accomplished with the USFWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) concerning threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat. The NMFS will be consulted on the effects of this proposed action on Essential Fish Habitat. The DSEIS or a notice of its availability will be distributed to all interested agencies, organizations, and individuals. 4. Public scoping meetings are to be scheduled throughout the DSEIS preparation period. Based on available funding the tentative meeting locations will be Baton Rouge, Lafayette and St. Martinsville, LA. Exact dates and meeting facility will be announced by public notice at a later date. The purpose of the scoping meeting is to provide the agencies and the interested public with the initial conceptual designs, known preliminary designs and other designs under consideration for the proposed management unit project for the Buffalo Cove Management Unit and issues concerning its construction and operation. If determined to be feasible and appropriate for implementation (based upon the determinations of the operational effectiveness of the BCMU) scoping meetings will also provide the agencies and the interested public with the initial conceptual designs, preliminary designs known and designs under consideration for the proposed for the conditionally authorized management units and issues concerning their construction and operation. These scoping meetings will be sequenced such that the data stream from the ongoing monitoring (associated with the 10 elements in the BCMU) can be utilized to assist in the formulation and design of elements planned for the three conditionally authorized management units. The scoping process, VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 Aug 02, 2005 Jkt 205001 more importantly, will provide the opportunity to solicit public views on the proposed action and provide input to development of project alternatives. The initial scoping meetings will focus on the Buffalo Cove Management Unit (including the operational success of the ten elements described in EA No. 366, modification of those ten elements and construction of new elements for the Buffalo Cove Management Unit) and preliminary discussions of problems and possible alternatives for the three conditionally authorized management units. As additional information is available on the operational effectiveness of the monitored EA No. 366 elements and as the existing conditions and potential management alternatives for the conditionally authorized management units are better defined, the agenda of the scoping meetings will be expanded to address the feasibility of implementing the conditionally authorized management units. 5. Estimated Date of Availability. Funding levels will dictate the date when the DSEIS is available. The earliest that the DSEIS is expected to be available is in the fall of 2012. inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program. Estimated Range of Awards: $75,000– $100,000. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $87,500. Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $75,000 for Undergraduate Education in the Rehabilitation Services (84.129L) and $100,000 for Specialized Personnel for Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairment (84.129P) and Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (84.129Q) for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register. Estimated Number of Awards: 8. Dated: July 18, 2005. Richard P. Wagenaar, Colonel, U.S. Army, District Engineer. [FR Doc. 05–15298 Filed 8–2–05; 8:45 am] I. Funding Opportunity Description BILLING CODE 3710–84–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.129L, P, and Q. DATES: Applications Available: August 3, 2005. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 19, 2005. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: November 16, 2005. Eligible Applicants: States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian tribes and institutions of higher education. Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $38,826,000 for the Rehabilitation Training program for FY 2006, of which we intend to use an estimated $700,000 for this competition. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 60 months. Full Text of Announcement Purpose of Program: The Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program provides financial assistance for— (1) Projects that provide basic or advanced training leading to an academic degree in areas of personnel shortages in rehabilitation as identified by the Assistant Secretary; (2) Projects that provide a specified series of courses or program of study leading to award of a certificate in areas of personnel shortages in rehabilitation as identified by the Assistant Secretary; and (3) Projects that provide support for medical residents enrolled in residency training programs in the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), these priorities are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 386.1). Absolute Priorities: For FY 2006 these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that propose to provide training in the priority areas of personnel shortages listed in the following chart. CFDA number Priority Area (Maximum Number of Awards in Parentheses) 84.129L .. Undergraduate Education in the Rehabilitation Services (5). E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 148 (Wednesday, August 3, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44586-44588]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-15298]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Intent To Prepare a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement (DSEIS) for the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana 
Project, Including Flat Lake Management Unit, Beau Bayou Management 
Unit and Cocodrie Swamp Management Unit, and Possible Modifications or 
Additions to the Buffalo Cove Management Unit, Located in St. Martin, 
St. Mary, Iberville, and Iberia Parishes, LA

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District 
(CEMVN), intends to evaluate water management features for the 
Atchafalaya Basin Floodway, System, Louisiana Project, excluding the 
Henderson Lake Management Unit, to improve water quality and interior 
water circulation, remove barriers to reestablish north to south water 
flow; provide input of oxygenated low temperature water; and reduce or 
manage sediment input into the interior swamp. The action is necessary 
due to the existing poor water quality resulting from the lack of 
internal circulation and oxygenated water inputs, and increased 
sedimentation. In addition if action is not taken, both deep-water and 
shallow water habitat utilized by fish and wildlife resources will 
continue to be lost, reduced, or degraded. The intended result of the 
proposed work is to prolong the life expectancy of the productive 
habitat (primarily aquatic and cypress tupelo habitats) that would 
become scarce over time by restricting or redirecting sediments, while 
simultaneously achieving a healthy water circulation pattern that would 
maintain or restore water quality and reestablish north to south water 
movement. This is a modification of the notice of intent posted in the 
Federal Register on July 16, 2004 (69 FR 42696).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning the DSEIS should 
be addressed to Mr. Larry Hartzog at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PM-
RP, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267, phone (504) 862-2524, 
fax number (504) 862-2572 or by E-mail at Larry.M.Hartzog@
mvn02.usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Corps of Engineers is initiating this 
DSEIS under the authority of the Flood Control Act of May 15, 1928 
(Pub. L. 391, 70th Congress), as amended and supplemented. Construction 
of two pilot management units (Buffalo Cove and Henderson Lake) was 
authorized by the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1985 (Pub. L. 99-
88) and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-
662), with construction of three conditionally authorized management 
units--Flat Lake Management Unit, Beau Bayou Management Unit, and 
Cocodrie Swamp Management Unit to take place upon approval of the Chief 
of Engineers after evaluation of the operational success of the pilot 
management units. (Hereafter, the three conditionally authorized 
management units will be collectively referred to as ``conditionally 
authorized management units''.) Section 601(a) of WRDA 1986 authorized 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out the recommended plan for 
management units as described in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, 
Louisiana Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement of 
January 1982, as approved by the Chief of Engineers Report dated 
February 28, 1983.
    The Engineering Documentation Report (EDR), Buffalo Cove Pilot 
Management Unit (BCMU) and supporting Environmental Assessment (EA) No. 
366 and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on July 15, 2004, 
satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) for the referenced pilot water management unit impacts. The 
expected results of these improvements, while beneficially effective 
alone, will continue to contribute to the entire comprehensive BCMU 
improvements in water quality and habitat that will be expanded as 
additional possible elements are added in the future. Because the BCMU 
constitutes a ``pilot'' management unit, both the EDR and EA No. 366 
clearly identify the possibility that additional future work may be 
recommended in the BCMU if the analysis of the operational monitoring 
data supports a finding that the present EDR elements do not fully 
accomplish the goals and objectives of the authorized management unit 
project.
    The preparation of the DSEIS addressed by this NOI will commence 
and continue concurrently with the monitored construction and 
operation, data collection and analysis of the BCMU water circulation 
improvements and sediment management initiatives (as described in EA 
No. 366), as well as analysis and solicitation of public and resource 
agency input. Monitoring of the 10 elements and the elements 
constructed for the Bayou Eugene Prototype Model Test Modification 
(``Bayou Eugene''), comprising the water circulation and sediment 
management initiatives (described in EA No. 366) will continue for a 
period of 5 years following the construction of the last of the 
elements described in EA No. 366. If data collected during and prior to 
the end of the 5 year monitoring period indicates that modifications or 
relocations of elements within the bounds of the original project 
rights-of-way or areas of influence are needed to achieve the goals and 
objectives for fish and wildlife enhancement, a report will be prepared 
and submitted for approval. The DSEIS will be prepared following the 
incorporation and analysis of the data from the completed construction 
monitoring of the 10 elements as described in the approved EDR and EA 
No. 366. Construction monitoring described in the approved EDR is 
scheduled for completion 5 years after the construction of the last of 
the 10 elements is completed. Based on this completion date, 
construction monitoring and the concurrent DSEIS are currently 
estimated to be completed in 2012. The DSEIS will utilize the 
monitoring data to evaluate the

[[Page 44587]]

operational effectiveness of the Bayou Eugene elements and the 10 
elements described in EA No. 366 on the areas of influence outlined in 
EA No. 366. In addition, the DSEIS will evaluate the possible need for 
and effect of additional elements, and modifications or relocations of 
previously constructed elements to accomplish the fish and wildlife 
enhancement goals for the entire BCMU. The contemplated DSEIS will 
provide an overall evaluation of the influence of both previously 
constructed prototype model study features along Bayou Eugene, the 
currently proposed 10 elements (as described in EA No. 366), possible 
modifications, additions or relocations associated with the monitoring 
findings of EA No. 366, and the environmental impacts of the possible 
additional elements. Based on the analysis and evaluation of the 
operational effectiveness of the BCMU elements, including the Bayou 
Eugene elements, in enhancing the aquatic ecosystem and attaining the 
fish and wildlife enhancement goals of the management unit feature of 
the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana project (ABFS), the 
DSEIS will investigate the feasibility of, and formulate 
recommendations for, the implementation and construction of the 
conditionally authorized management units. Henderson Lake Management 
Unit (Henderson Lake) is hydrologically separate and independent from 
all of the other authorized management units. Additionally, the 
management unit objectives, public interests and concerns that will be 
addressed at Henderson Lake differ substantially from those present for 
the other management units at Buffalo Cove, Flat Lake, Cocodrie Swamp 
and Beau Bayou. As such, Henderson Lake will be the subject of a 
separate DSEIS.
    1. Proposed Action. The proposed action will consist of a series of 
closures and sediment traps (to reduce sediment influx); construction 
of new, or improvement of existing inputs for river water; and gap 
construction in existing embankments. Closures will be placed in areas 
that have the greatest potential for introduction of sediment. Closure 
heights will be designed to optimize sediment reduction. Construction 
of water inputs will be evaluated in areas where sediment-lean, fresh 
water sources can be easily connected to existing canals or bayous to 
conduit water into areas of poor water quality. Sediment traps will be 
designed as necessary in conjunction with the freshwater input sites. 
Gaps will be sized and placed in both elevated natural banks as well as 
dredged material embankments that impede water flow or induce 
stagnation. These gaps are primarily intended to improve drainage and 
reestablish flow through the interior swamp basin. Excavated material 
will be either placed in a non-continuous manner in order to not 
disrupt sheet flow, or if practicable, the material will be used to 
create closures.
    2. Alternatives. The alternative formulation process will include 
an evaluation of the ``no action alternative'', a monitored passive 
management plan, and the original structural alternative plan as 
proposed in the 1982 Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, Louisiana Final 
Environmental Impact Statement which included construction of ring 
levees and active structures. The current alternatives analysis will 
continue to evolve throughout the development of the DSEIS. 
Alternatives to be evaluated include different methods of sediment 
reduction, water input, and improving internal circulation within the 
management unit. Sediment reduction alternatives will include the use 
of various sediment trap sizes and placements, construction of sediment 
traps with and without maintenance, and monitoring the effectiveness of 
sediment reduction utilizing both partial and complete closures at 
sites of suspected sediment inputs. Alternative methods will also be 
evaluated for water introduction and include; diverse configurations of 
water inputs (sinuous, straight, length and depth), improvements to 
existing natural and manmade inlets, reopening natural and man-made 
inputs, and siting of bank shavings to reduce barriers to water input. 
In addition, various sizes, numbers and placement of gaps in existing 
canal banks, ridges and other internal circulation impediments will be 
considered in the alternatives.
    3. Scoping Process. The Council on Environmental Quality 
regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
process directs Federal agencies that have made a decision to prepare 
an environmental impact statement to engage in a public scoping 
process. The scoping process is designed to provide an early and open 
means of determining the scope of issues (problems, needs, and 
opportunities) to be identified and addressed in the draft 
environmental impact assessment, which in this case is a DSEIS.
    Scoping is the process used to: (a) Identify the affected public 
and agency concerns; (b) facilitate an efficient DSEIS preparation 
process; (c) define the issues and alternatives that will be examined 
in detail in the DSEIS; (d) and save time in the overall process by 
helping to ensure that the draft statements adequately address relevant 
issues. Scoping is a part of the planning process, and will involve 
meetings, telephone conversations, and/or written comments. Scoping 
comments will be compiled, analyzed, and utilized in the plan 
formulation. A scoping report, summarizing the comments, will be made 
available to all scoping participants and included in the public 
involvement appendix of the report and DSEIS.
    a. Public Involvement. Scoping is a critical component of the 
overall public involvement program. An intensive public involvement 
program will continue throughout the study to solicit input from 
affected Federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, 
and other interested parties. This public input will be obtained 
through a series of scoping meetings open to the general public. In 
addition to these meetings there will be additional continual public 
involvement through the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources 
Division's Atchafalaya Basin Advisory Committee meetings on Water 
Management. CEMVN personnel will be available for additional 
informational meetings if needed or requested by various interested 
and/or affected public, private and conservation interests such as: 
landowners, oil and gas interests, commercial and recreational hunters 
and fishers, forestry interests, and the Sierra Club, Nature 
Conservancy, Audubon Society or other conservation organizations.
    b. Significant Issues. The tentative list of resources and issues 
to be evaluated in the DSEIS includes forested wetlands (includes 
cypress/tupelo swamp as well as infrequently inundated areas of ash, 
oak, elm, hackberry and cypress), water quality, aquatic resources, 
commercial and recreational fisheries, wildlife resources, essential 
fish habitat, water quality, air quality, threatened and endangered 
species, recreation resources, and cultural resources. Socioeconomic 
items to be evaluated in the DSEIS include employment, land use, 
property values, community and regional growth, transportation, 
housing, and community cohesion.
    c. Interagency Coordination. The Department of Interior, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (USFWS), will provide a Fish and Wildlife 
Coordination Act Report. Coordination will be maintained with the 
Natural Resources Conservation Service regarding prime and unique 
farmlands. Coordination will be maintained with the Advisory Counsel on 
Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Officer.

[[Page 44588]]

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources will be consulted 
regarding consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act. The 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be contacted 
concerning potential impacts to Natural and Scenic Rivers and Streams. 
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will review the 
action for consistency with applicable laws regarding the discharge of 
dredged material as it relates to impacting water quality and will 
provide the State of Louisiana Water Quality Certification.
    d. Environmental Consultation and Review. The U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be assisting in the documentation of 
existing conditions and assessment of effects of project alternatives 
through Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act consultation procedures. 
Consultation will be accomplished with the USFWS and the National 
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) concerning threatened and endangered 
species and their critical habitat. The NMFS will be consulted on the 
effects of this proposed action on Essential Fish Habitat. The DSEIS or 
a notice of its availability will be distributed to all interested 
agencies, organizations, and individuals.
    4. Public scoping meetings are to be scheduled throughout the DSEIS 
preparation period. Based on available funding the tentative meeting 
locations will be Baton Rouge, Lafayette and St. Martinsville, LA. 
Exact dates and meeting facility will be announced by public notice at 
a later date. The purpose of the scoping meeting is to provide the 
agencies and the interested public with the initial conceptual designs, 
known preliminary designs and other designs under consideration for the 
proposed management unit project for the Buffalo Cove Management Unit 
and issues concerning its construction and operation. If determined to 
be feasible and appropriate for implementation (based upon the 
determinations of the operational effectiveness of the BCMU) scoping 
meetings will also provide the agencies and the interested public with 
the initial conceptual designs, preliminary designs known and designs 
under consideration for the proposed for the conditionally authorized 
management units and issues concerning their construction and 
operation. These scoping meetings will be sequenced such that the data 
stream from the ongoing monitoring (associated with the 10 elements in 
the BCMU) can be utilized to assist in the formulation and design of 
elements planned for the three conditionally authorized management 
units. The scoping process, more importantly, will provide the 
opportunity to solicit public views on the proposed action and provide 
input to development of project alternatives. The initial scoping 
meetings will focus on the Buffalo Cove Management Unit (including the 
operational success of the ten elements described in EA No. 366, 
modification of those ten elements and construction of new elements for 
the Buffalo Cove Management Unit) and preliminary discussions of 
problems and possible alternatives for the three conditionally 
authorized management units. As additional information is available on 
the operational effectiveness of the monitored EA No. 366 elements and 
as the existing conditions and potential management alternatives for 
the conditionally authorized management units are better defined, the 
agenda of the scoping meetings will be expanded to address the 
feasibility of implementing the conditionally authorized management 
units.
    5. Estimated Date of Availability. Funding levels will dictate the 
date when the DSEIS is available. The earliest that the DSEIS is 
expected to be available is in the fall of 2012.

    Dated: July 18, 2005.
Richard P. Wagenaar,
Colonel, U.S. Army, District Engineer.
[FR Doc. 05-15298 Filed 8-2-05; 8:45 am]
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