Public Hearing and Notice of Availability for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Widening of the Freeport Ship Channel in Freeport, Brazoria County, TX, 65783-65785 [06-9146]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 217 / Thursday, November 9, 2006 / Notices Commander, Defense Supply Center Richmond, 8000 Jefferson Davis Highway, Richmond, VA 23297–5000; and Commander, Defense Logistics Information Service, 74 Washington Avenue North, #7, Battle Creek, MI 49017–3084. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Privacy Act Officer, Headquarters, Defense Logistics Agency, ATTN: DP, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Stop 2533, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060–6221. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Privacy Act Officer, Headquarters, Defense Logistics Agency, ATTN: DP, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Stop 2533, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060–6221. CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Record subject, supervisors, medical units, security offices, police, fire departments, investigating officers, or witnesses to accident. EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM: None. [FR Doc. 06–9140 Filed 11–8–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Intent To Grant an Exclusive License of a U.S. Government-Owned Patent Department of the Army, DoD. Notice. AGENCY: sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES SUMMARY: In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(e) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(I)(i), announcement is made of the intent to grant an exclusive, royalty-bearing, revocable license to U.S. patent number 6,878,100 issued April 12, 2005 entitled ‘‘Force Sensing Treadmill,’’ to Advanced Mechanical Technology, Inc. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:26 Nov 08, 2006 Jkt 211001 Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 06–9145 Filed 11–8–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–08–M The DLA rules for accessing records, for contesting contents, and appealing initial agency determinations are contained in 32 CFR part 323, or may be obtained from the Privacy Act Officer, Headquarters, Defense Logistics Agency, ATTN: DP, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Stop 2533, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060–6221. ACTION: with its principal place of business at 176 Waltham Street, Watertown, MA 02472–4800. ADDRESSES: Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, ATTN: Command Judge Advocate, MCMR–JA, 504 Scott Street, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702– 5012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For patent issues, Ms. Elizabeth Arwine, Patent Attorney, (301) 619–7808. For licensing issues, Dr. Paul Mele, Office of Research & Technology Assessment, (301) 619–6664, both at telefax (301) 619–5034. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license can file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, 15 days from the date of this publication. Written objections are to be filed with the Command Judge Advocate (see ADDRESSES). DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Public Hearing and Notice of Availability for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Widening of the Freeport Ship Channel in Freeport, Brazoria County, TX Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District announces the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the Draft General Conformity Determination, the public comment period, and the date and location of the Public Hearing, for the Brazos River Harbor Navigation District’s (Port Freeport) proposed widening of the Freeport Harbor Ship Channel. DATES: The USACE Galveston District will be accepting written public comments on the DEIS and the Draft General Conformity Determination through January 9, 2007. All comments must be postmarked by January 9, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may send written comments to the USACE, Galveston District, Attn: Sam Watson, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553–1229. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65783 and DEIS can be answered by Mr. Sam Watson, (409) 766–3946. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority: This Federal Action is in consideration of a Department of the Army Permit application for work under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) and Section 103 of the Marine Protection and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) (33 U.S.C. 1413). Background: In April 2005, Port Freeport submitted a Department of Army Permit Application to widen portions of the Freeport Harbor Jetty Channel and all of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel from 400 feet (ft) to 600 ft. It was determined that an Environmental Impact Statement would be required for the proposed project. Since the November 29, 2005 Scoping Meeting, the consulting firm of PBS&J, under the direction of the Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project. The DEIS is now available for public review and comment. Project Description: Port Freeport proposes to widen portions of the Freeport Ship Channel. The project includes widening the Freeport Harbor Jetty Channel beginning at Channel Station 63+35 with a gradual widening, at the authorized depth, up to an additional 150 feet (ft) for about 1,835 ft to Channel Station 45+00. From that point to Channel Station 40+00 the widening would be less gradual from the additional 150 ft to an additional 200 ft. Through the rest of the Jetty Channel and to the end of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel (Channel Station ¥260+00), the channel would be widened an additional 200 ft. The length of channel proposed for widening is about 6.1 miles, of which 5.7 miles would be widened by 200 ft. The project depth will remain the same at 45 ft in the Jetty Channel and 47 ft in the Entrance Channel. The widening would generate approximately 3.2 million cubic yards (mcy) of new dredged material. Approximately 2.9 mcy of the new work material would consist of clay material and about 300,000 cubic yards (cy) would consist of silty/sand material. If approved by EPA and by USACE under Section 102 and 103 of MPRSA, an ODMDS previously designated as a one-time use site would be redesignated for placement of the 2.9 mcy of clay/silt material. The 300,000 cy of silty/sand material would be used beneficially and placed on Quintana Beach in front of E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 65784 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 217 / Thursday, November 9, 2006 / Notices the Seaway upland confined placement area (UPCA). The beach on either side of this location has been enhanced through GLO or other programs, leaving a ‘‘gap’’ in front of the Seaway UPCA. Placement of the material in this location would fill the gap, allowing for continuous beach use and providing some protection from erosion for the Seaway UPCA. Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS): Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended and as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR Parts 1500–1508) a DEIS for the proposed Freeport Channel Widening has been filed with the EPA and is being made available to Federal, State, and local agencies and all interested parties. The DEIS can be viewed at www.swg.usace.army.mil/reg/ pn.asp. Copies of the DEIS are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. In addition, copies of the DEIS are available for viewing at the following libraries: Brazoria County Library System, Catherine H. Threadgill, County Librarian, 451 N Velasco, Angleton, TX 77515. Brazoria Library, Jerry Measells, Librarian, 620 S. Brooks, Brazoria, TX 77422. Clute Library, Carolyn Weatherly, Librarian, 215 N. Shanks, Clute, TX 77531. Freeport Library, Marge Janke, Librarian, 410 Brazosport Blvd., Freeport, TX 77541. Lake Jackson Library, Nancy Hackney, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson, TX 77566. Draft General Conformity Review: Pursuant to Section 176 of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990, a Draft General Conformity Determination has been filed with the EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and is being made available to Federal, State and local air quality agencies and all interested parties for the proposed Freeport Channel Widening. Copies of the Draft General Conformity Determination are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. In addition, copies of the Draft General Conformity Determination are available for viewing, along with the DEIS, at the libraries listed above. Section 102/103: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with developing ocean dumping criteria to be used in evaluating permit applications under Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). EPA is also responsible for VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:26 Nov 08, 2006 Jkt 211001 designating recommended sites for ocean dumping under Section 102(c) of the MPRSA. Redesignation by EPA of an inactive ODMDS will be required for placement of new work (virgin) dredged material. Section 103 of the MPRSA authorizes the USACE to permit the transportation of dredged material to a designated ODMDS, subject to EPA concurrence and use of EPA’s dumping criteria. Information required for the redesignation (Section 102) and permit (Section 103) is included in the DEIS (primarily in Appendix C). Public Comment and Public Hearing: If you wish to voice your comments, a Public Hearing on the proposed project is scheduled for December 6, 2006 at the Freeport Community House, 1300 W. 2nd Street, Freeport, TX 77541. Poster presentations will be available for viewing and project team members will be present to discuss the DEIS at a Workshop that will precede the hearing. The Workshop will be conducted from 5 pm to 6:45 pm, and the formal Hearing will commence at 7 pm. Other Agency Authorizations: Texas Coastal Zone consistency certification is required. The applicant has stated that the project is consistent with the Texas Coastal Management Program goals and policies and will be conducted in a manner consistent with said Program. National Register of Historic Places: The staff archaeologist has reviewed the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places, lists of properties determined eligible, and other sources of information. The following is current knowledge of the presence or absence of historic resources and the effects of the proposed project upon these properties: A remote sensing survey of the Freeport Harbor Channel was performed by PBS&J in March and April, 2005 and a close-order survey was performed in February 2006. A total of eleven anomalies having potential historic significance were located in areas of potential impact during the initial inventory. Six of those anomalies were identified as areas that were of potential historic significance during the second inventory. Because these six anomalies occur within areas that would be impacted by bottom disturbing activities, it was recommended to the Texas Historical Commission (THC) that these areas be surveyed by diving and/ or probing to confirm whether or not they are significant archaeological sites. This confirmation would occur prior to a decision regarding issuance or denial of the Section 404/10 permit by USACE. The THC concurred with the recommendation. Coordination with PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 THC is ongoing regarding the confirmation surveys. Threatened and Endangered Species: Preliminary indications are that no known threatened and/or endangered species or their critical habitat would be affected by the proposed work. A Biological Assessment has been prepared and is presented to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) in the DEIS. Essential Fish Habitat: Consultation for Essential Fish Habitat of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was initiated in November 2005 via the workshop prior to the public scoping meeting. Letters were also sent to the NMFS in February and May, 2006. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on Essential Fish Habitat or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to additional review by and coordination with NMFS. Public Interest Review Factors: The application will be reviewed in accordance with 33 CFR 320–330, the Regulatory Programs of USACE, and other pertinent laws, regulations and executive orders. The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against reasonably foreseeable detriments associated with the proposal. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered. These include, but are not limited to: dredged material management, air quality, shoreline erosion, economics, general environmental concerns, historic resources, protected species, navigation, recreation, water and sediment quality, energy needs, safety, hazardous materials, and, in general, the welfare of the people. Solicitation of Comments: USACE is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by USACE to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 217 / Thursday, November 9, 2006 / Notices comments will be considered in the evaluation of impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments will be used in the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to NEPA. Comments are also used to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 06–9146 Filed 11–8–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–52–M Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Availability for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Cajon Third Main Track Summit to Keenbrook, San Bernardino County, CA Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD ACTION: Notice of Availability. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (as amended), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District (Corps) Regulatory Branch, in coordination with the County of San Bernardino and in cooperation with U.S. Forest Service, has completed a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Third Main Track Summit to Keenbrook Project. The proposed BNSF project requires authorization pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water Act for approximately 2.95 acres of fill placement in jurisdictional waters of the United States, including wetlands, to construct 15.9 miles of a new main track through the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County, California. A public hearing will be held at the Norman F. Feldheym Central Library—Bing Wong Auditorium, located at 555 West 6th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92401 on December 5, 2006 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions or comments concerning the Draft EIS/EIR should be directed to Ms. Susan A. Meyer, Senior Project Manager, Regulatory Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, P.O. Box 532711, 915 Wilshire VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:26 Nov 08, 2006 Jkt 211001 ACTION: an Amended Notice of Intent (71 FR 60484) to expand the scope of the ongoing ‘‘Environmental Impact Statement for the Alignment, Construction and Operation of a Rail Line to a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada’’ (entitled the Supplemental Yucca Mountain Rail Corridor and Rail Alignment EIS) (DOE/EIS–0250F–S2 and EIS–0369), and announced a 45-day public comment period ending on November 27, 2006. Based on input from the public, DOE is now announcing an additional public meeting in Reno, Nevada. The public comment period also is being extended through December 12, 2006. Additionally, DOE has posted graphical representations of the rail routes at the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Web site http:// www.ocrwm.doe.gov under the caption, What’s New. DATES: The additional public meeting in Reno, Nevada will be held on November 27, 2006, from 4 to 7 p.m. The address for this and all other public scoping meetings are provided below under Public Scoping Meetings. The public comment period is extended through December 12, 2006. Comments received after this date will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Requests for additional information on the Supplemental Yucca Mountain Rail Corridor and Rail Alignment EIS (DOE/EIS–0250F–S2 and EIS–0369) or transportation planning in general should be directed to: Mr. M. Lee Bishop, EIS Document Manager, Office of Logistics Management, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, U.S. Department of Energy, 1551 Hillshire Drive, M/S 011, Las Vegas, NV 89134, Telephone 1–800– 967–3477. Written comments on the scope of the Supplemental Yucca Mountain Rail Corridor and Rail Alignment EIS may be submitted to Mr. M. Lee Bishop at this address, by facsimile to 1–800–967–0739, or via the Internet at http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov under the caption, What’s New. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information regarding the DOE NEPA process contact: Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20585, Telephone 202–586–4600, or leave a message at 1–800–472–2756. SUMMARY: On October 13, 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published Public Scoping Meetings DOE has scheduled public scoping meetings on the Supplemental Yucca Mountain Rail Corridor and Rail Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90053– 2325, (808) 438–2137. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Copies of the Draft EIS/EIR will be made available to the public for review only at the following libraries: Norman F. Feldheym Central Library (San Bernardino, California), Hesperia Branch Library (Hesperia, California), and the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library (Rancho Cucamonga, California). Written comments received on or before January 4, 2007 will be considered by the Corps in decision making for the Final EIS. Comments should be submitted to the contact listed above. Dated: October 31, 2006. David J. Castanon, Chief, Regulatory Branch. [FR Doc. E6–19049 Filed 11–8–06; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 65785 BILLING CODE 3710–KF–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests Department of Education. Correction notice. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: On November 3, 2006, the Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register (page 64687, column 3) for the information collection, ‘‘Data Collection Instrument and Performance Report for Statewide AT Programs’’. This notice hereby corrects the burden hours to 26,768. The IC Clearance Official, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer, hereby issues a correction notice as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Dated: November 3, 2006. Dianne M. Novick, Acting Leader, Information Policy and Standards Team, Office of Management. [FR Doc. E6–18979 Filed 11–8–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Extension of Public Comment Period and Additional Public Meeting for the Supplemental Yucca Mountain Rail Corridor and Rail Alignment Environmental Impact Statement Department of Energy. Notice of public comment period extension and additional public meeting. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 217 (Thursday, November 9, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65783-65785]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-9146]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Public Hearing and Notice of Availability for the Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement for Widening of the Freeport Ship 
Channel in Freeport, Brazoria County, TX

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

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District announces 
the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the 
Draft General Conformity Determination, the public comment period, and 
the date and location of the Public Hearing, for the Brazos River 
Harbor Navigation District's (Port Freeport) proposed widening of the 
Freeport Harbor Ship Channel.

DATES: The USACE Galveston District will be accepting written public 
comments on the DEIS and the Draft General Conformity Determination 
through January 9, 2007. All comments must be postmarked by January 9, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: You may send written comments to the USACE, Galveston 
District, Attn: Sam Watson, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553-1229.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action 
and DEIS can be answered by Mr. Sam Watson, (409) 766-3946.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Authority: This Federal Action is in consideration of a Department 
of the Army Permit application for work under Section 10 of the Rivers 
and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), Section 404 of the Clean Water 
Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) and Section 103 of the Marine Protection and 
Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) (33 U.S.C. 1413).
    Background: In April 2005, Port Freeport submitted a Department of 
Army Permit Application to widen portions of the Freeport Harbor Jetty 
Channel and all of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel from 400 feet 
(ft) to 600 ft. It was determined that an Environmental Impact 
Statement would be required for the proposed project. Since the 
November 29, 2005 Scoping Meeting, the consulting firm of PBS&J, under 
the direction of the Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(USACE), prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 
proposed project. The DEIS is now available for public review and 
comment.
    Project Description: Port Freeport proposes to widen portions of 
the Freeport Ship Channel. The project includes widening the Freeport 
Harbor Jetty Channel beginning at Channel Station 63+35 with a gradual 
widening, at the authorized depth, up to an additional 150 feet (ft) 
for about 1,835 ft to Channel Station 45+00. From that point to Channel 
Station 40+00 the widening would be less gradual from the additional 
150 ft to an additional 200 ft. Through the rest of the Jetty Channel 
and to the end of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel (Channel Station 
-260+00), the channel would be widened an additional 200 ft. The length 
of channel proposed for widening is about 6.1 miles, of which 5.7 miles 
would be widened by 200 ft. The project depth will remain the same at 
45 ft in the Jetty Channel and 47 ft in the Entrance Channel. The 
widening would generate approximately 3.2 million cubic yards (mcy) of 
new dredged material. Approximately 2.9 mcy of the new work material 
would consist of clay material and about 300,000 cubic yards (cy) would 
consist of silty/sand material. If approved by EPA and by USACE under 
Section 102 and 103 of MPRSA, an ODMDS previously designated as a one-
time use site would be redesignated for placement of the 2.9 mcy of 
clay/silt material. The 300,000 cy of silty/sand material would be used 
beneficially and placed on Quintana Beach in front of

[[Page 65784]]

the Seaway upland confined placement area (UPCA). The beach on either 
side of this location has been enhanced through GLO or other programs, 
leaving a ``gap'' in front of the Seaway UPCA. Placement of the 
material in this location would fill the gap, allowing for continuous 
beach use and providing some protection from erosion for the Seaway 
UPCA.
    Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS): 
Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended and as implemented by the Council on 
Environmental Quality (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508) a DEIS for the proposed 
Freeport Channel Widening has been filed with the EPA and is being made 
available to Federal, State, and local agencies and all interested 
parties. The DEIS can be viewed at www.swg.usace.army.mil/reg/pn.asp. 
Copies of the DEIS are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. In 
addition, copies of the DEIS are available for viewing at the following 
libraries:

Brazoria County Library System, Catherine H. Threadgill, County 
Librarian, 451 N Velasco, Angleton, TX 77515.
Brazoria Library, Jerry Measells, Librarian, 620 S. Brooks, Brazoria, 
TX 77422.
Clute Library, Carolyn Weatherly, Librarian, 215 N. Shanks, Clute, TX 
77531.
Freeport Library, Marge Janke, Librarian, 410 Brazosport Blvd., 
Freeport, TX 77541.
Lake Jackson Library, Nancy Hackney, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson, TX 
77566.

    Draft General Conformity Review: Pursuant to Section 176 of the 
Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990, a Draft General Conformity 
Determination has been filed with the EPA and Texas Commission on 
Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and is being made available to Federal, 
State and local air quality agencies and all interested parties for the 
proposed Freeport Channel Widening. Copies of the Draft General 
Conformity Determination are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. In 
addition, copies of the Draft General Conformity Determination are 
available for viewing, along with the DEIS, at the libraries listed 
above.
    Section 102/103: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 
charged with developing ocean dumping criteria to be used in evaluating 
permit applications under Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection and 
Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). EPA is also responsible for designating 
recommended sites for ocean dumping under Section 102(c) of the MPRSA. 
Redesignation by EPA of an inactive ODMDS will be required for 
placement of new work (virgin) dredged material. Section 103 of the 
MPRSA authorizes the USACE to permit the transportation of dredged 
material to a designated ODMDS, subject to EPA concurrence and use of 
EPA's dumping criteria. Information required for the redesignation 
(Section 102) and permit (Section 103) is included in the DEIS 
(primarily in Appendix C).
    Public Comment and Public Hearing: If you wish to voice your 
comments, a Public Hearing on the proposed project is scheduled for 
December 6, 2006 at the Freeport Community House, 1300 W. 2nd Street, 
Freeport, TX 77541. Poster presentations will be available for viewing 
and project team members will be present to discuss the DEIS at a 
Workshop that will precede the hearing. The Workshop will be conducted 
from 5 pm to 6:45 pm, and the formal Hearing will commence at 7 pm.
    Other Agency Authorizations: Texas Coastal Zone consistency 
certification is required. The applicant has stated that the project is 
consistent with the Texas Coastal Management Program goals and policies 
and will be conducted in a manner consistent with said Program.
    National Register of Historic Places: The staff archaeologist has 
reviewed the latest published version of the National Register of 
Historic Places, lists of properties determined eligible, and other 
sources of information. The following is current knowledge of the 
presence or absence of historic resources and the effects of the 
proposed project upon these properties: A remote sensing survey of the 
Freeport Harbor Channel was performed by PBS&J in March and April, 2005 
and a close-order survey was performed in February 2006. A total of 
eleven anomalies having potential historic significance were located in 
areas of potential impact during the initial inventory. Six of those 
anomalies were identified as areas that were of potential historic 
significance during the second inventory. Because these six anomalies 
occur within areas that would be impacted by bottom disturbing 
activities, it was recommended to the Texas Historical Commission (THC) 
that these areas be surveyed by diving and/or probing to confirm 
whether or not they are significant archaeological sites. This 
confirmation would occur prior to a decision regarding issuance or 
denial of the Section 404/10 permit by USACE. The THC concurred with 
the recommendation. Coordination with THC is ongoing regarding the 
confirmation surveys.
    Threatened and Endangered Species: Preliminary indications are that 
no known threatened and/or endangered species or their critical habitat 
would be affected by the proposed work. A Biological Assessment has 
been prepared and is presented to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 
National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) in the DEIS.
    Essential Fish Habitat: Consultation for Essential Fish Habitat of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was 
initiated in November 2005 via the workshop prior to the public scoping 
meeting. Letters were also sent to the NMFS in February and May, 2006. 
Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a 
substantial adverse impact on Essential Fish Habitat or Federally 
managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Our final determination 
relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is 
subject to additional review by and coordination with NMFS.
    Public Interest Review Factors: The application will be reviewed in 
accordance with 33 CFR 320-330, the Regulatory Programs of USACE, and 
other pertinent laws, regulations and executive orders. The decision 
whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the 
probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed 
activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the 
national concern for both protection and utilization of important 
resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue 
from the proposal, must be balanced against reasonably foreseeable 
detriments associated with the proposal. All factors which may be 
relevant to the proposal will be considered. These include, but are not 
limited to: dredged material management, air quality, shoreline 
erosion, economics, general environmental concerns, historic resources, 
protected species, navigation, recreation, water and sediment quality, 
energy needs, safety, hazardous materials, and, in general, the welfare 
of the people.
    Solicitation of Comments: USACE is soliciting comments from the 
public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian 
tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate 
the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be 
considered by USACE to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or 
deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision,

[[Page 65785]]

comments will be considered in the evaluation of impacts on endangered 
species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental 
effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments 
will be used in the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement pursuant to NEPA. Comments are also used to determine the 
overall public interest of the proposed activity.

Brenda S. Bowen,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 06-9146 Filed 11-8-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3710-52-M