Adoption of Alternative Arrangements Under the National Environmental Policy Act for New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction System, 11337-11340 [E7-4515]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 13, 2007 / Notices copy of the vessel registration or documentation, and proof of identification. Representatives of a business owned or co-owned vessel must bring proof that the individual is an agent of the business (such as articles of incorporation), a copy of the applicable permit(s), and proof of identification. Vessel operators must bring proof of identification. Workshop Objectives The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops are designed to reduce the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks reported in the dealer reporting form and increase the accuracy of species-specific dealerreported information. Reducing the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks will improve quota monitoring and the data used in stock assessments. These workshops will train shark dealer permit holders or their proxies to properly identify Atlantic shark carcasses. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops are designed to teach longline and gillnet fishermen the required techniques for the safe handling and release of entangled and/or hooked protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and smalltooth sawfish. Identification of protected species will also be taught at these workshops in an effort to improve reporting. Additionally, individuals attending these workshops will gain a better understanding of the requirements for participating in these fisheries. The overall goal for these workshops is to provide participants the skills needed to reduce the mortality of protected species, which may prevent additional regulations on these fisheries in the future. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq. Dated: March 8, 2007. James P. Burgess, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E7–4560 Filed 3–12–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Board of Visitors, United States Military Aacademy (USMA) Department of the Army, DoD. Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:58 Mar 12, 2007 Jkt 211001 SUMMARY: In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463), announcement is made of the following committee meeting: Name of Committee: Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy. Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2007. Place of Meeting: The Capitol Building, Room H137, Washington, DC. Time of Meeting: Approximately 9:30 a.m. through 3 p.m. Board Mission: The Board, under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. 4355, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, as amended, shall provide the President of the United States independent advice and recommendations on matters relating to the U.S. Military Academy, to include but not limited to morale and discipline, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, and academic methods. Board Membership: The Board is composed of 15 members, 9 of which are members of Congress and 6 persons designated by the President. The 2007 Chairman of the Board is Congressman John McHugh, New York–23rd District. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lieutenant Colonel Shaun T. Wurzbach, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996–5000, (845) 938–4200 or via e-mail: shaun.wurzbach@usma.edu. Proposed Agenda: Spring Meeting of the Board of Visitors. Review of the Academic, Military and Physical Programs at the USMA. All proceedings are open to the public. Picture identification is required to enter the Capitol Building. Subcommittees shall meet prior to the Board meeting. The Board plans to inquire into curriculum and academic methods, fiscal affairs, the USMA Master Plan, Lean Six Sigma, BRAC and the relocation of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School, and Admissions. The Board shall consider a motion to expand subcommittees and shall vote to approve revised Board operating rules. Public Inquiry at Board Meetings: Any member of the public is permitted to file a written statement with the USMA Board of Visitors. Written statements should be sent to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at: United States Military Academy, Office of the Secretary of the General Staff (MASG), 646 Swift Road, West Point, NY 10996–1905 or faxed to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at (845) 938–3214. Written statements must be received no later than five working days prior to the next meeting SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 11337 in order to provide time for member consideration. By rule, no member of the public attending open meetings will be allowed to present questions from the floor or speak to any issue under consideration by the Board. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 07–1162 Filed 3–12–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–08–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Adoption of Alternative Arrangements Under the National Environmental Policy Act for New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction System Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Public notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mississippi Valley Division, New Orleans District (CEMVN) is implementing Alternative Arrangements under the provisions of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.11) in order to expeditiously complete environmental analysis of major portions of a new 100year level of Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction effort authorized and funded by the Administration and the Congress. The proposed actions are located primarily in southern Louisiana and relate to the Federal effort to rebuild the Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction system following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The USACE consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), as required under 40 CFR 1506.11 and the USACE Environmental Quality Procedures for Implementing the NEPA (33 CFR 230), concluded on February 23, 2007 with the CEQ approving the Alternative Arrangements. The Alternative Arrangements request was also coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Department of Homeland Security-Federal Emergency Management Agency, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 11338 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 13, 2007 / Notices Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer. During the consultation, the USACE and CEQ hosted four public meetings in New Orleans metropolitan area to assess the request and gather input on the proposed Alternative Arrangements. The input received during the course of the discussions and meetings provided strong support for Alternative Arrangements that allow for expedited decisions on actions to lower the risk of floods and that restore public confidence in the hurricane storm reduction system so that the physical and economic recovery of the area can proceed as citizens return and rebuild. It was also made clear that the Alternative Arrangements should provide the USACE a way to proceed that complements other ongoing and proposed hurricane protection and coastal restoration efforts. These Alternative Arrangements apply to certain proposed actions included in the 100-year Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction measures authorized under Public Law 109–234, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (4th Supplemental). The Alternative Arrangements will allow decisions on smaller groups of proposed actions to move forward sooner than under the traditional NEPA process. An in-depth analysis and consideration of potential environmental impacts will be completed and negative environmental impacts will be addressed. Detailed information on the Alternative Arrangements can be downloaded from the USACE New Orleans District Web site at: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/ pd/Envir_Processes_NEPA/Index.htm. DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates. ADDRESSES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting addresses. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Questions concerning the emergency Alternative Arrangements should be addressed to Gib Owen at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PM–RS, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160–0267, phone (504) 862–1337, fax number (504) 862–2088 or by e-mail at mvnenvironmental pd@mvn02.usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Emergency Alternative Arrangement Process: In order to meet the needs of the people of southern Louisiana in a timely manner that is appropriate to the level of imminent threat, CEMVN will comply with the VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:58 Mar 12, 2007 Jkt 211001 NEPA by using the following emergency Alternative Arrangements. 1. CEMVN is placing this public notice of the NEPA Alternative Arrangements in the Federal Register along with a description of the proposed actions that will be analyzed in Individual Environmental Reports (IERs) and a Comprehensive Environmental Document (CED). 2. Scoping Process: a. This Federal Register notice is initiating the scoping process with a thirty-day public comment period for the IERs described in this notice. CEMVN will also host a series of public scoping meetings, followed by thirty-day comment periods, in the New Orleans metropolitan area to gather public comments on the proposed actions. Additional scoping meetings may be conducted in other locales in the United States if deemed necessary. b. Concurrent with this Federal Register notice, CEMVN is placing public notices in broadcast media, local newspapers and a newspaper with national distribution publicizing the dates and location of the public scoping meetings, describing each proposed action that will be analyzed in the IERs, and providing thirty days for written comments to be mailed, faxed, or emailed to a point of contact at CEMVN. The information for each proposed action will also be mailed and e-mailed to all interested stakeholders, including state and Federal resource agencies. The Corps will make its best effort to reach the citizens of New Orleans, including, to the extent feasible, persons who have relocated to other areas. The comments received will be compiled and e-mailed to appropriate Federal and state agencies for coordination. c. CEMVN will establish and maintain a Web page that provides details for each IER and other proposed actions being investigated or projects that are being constructed in the area by the USACE. The Web site will contain a description of the Alternative Arrangements CEMVN is following to achieve NEPA compliance. Additionally, information or links from other Federal and state agencies conducting operations in the New Orleans area will be available on this Web site. This will include, where available, links to proposed actions and ongoing environmental analyses, and references and available links to environmental analyses previously conducted in the area. d. Interagency environmental teams are being established for each IER. Federal and state agency, local governmental and tribal staff will play an integral part in the project planning PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and alternative analysis. Interagency teams will be integrated with USACE Project Delivery Teams to assist in the planning of each proposed action and in the description of the potential direct and indirect impacts of each proposed action that will be used in the development of any needed mitigation plans. Team members will be provided with new information concerning the proposed action as quickly as possible in order to allow for the expedient review and analysis of each proposed action. Teams will rely heavily upon hydrologic models and the best engineering judgment of CEMVN Engineering Division staff to develop appropriate mitigation plans. e. CEMVN will hold monthly meetings with agencies to communicate overall developments and allow for agency feedback. All proposed work would be closely coordinated with the ongoing Federal and state efforts to design a coastal restoration and protection plan. f. CEMVN will host monthly public meetings during the preparation and completion of the IERs and CED included in these Alternative Arrangements. The monthly meetings will keep the stakeholders advised of IER and CED developments and provide the public opportunities to comment during the meetings and to submit written comments after each meeting for a 30-day period. Meetings will be advertised at least one week prior to each meeting and meeting times and locations will be selected to accommodate public availability. 3. CEMVN will actively involve the Federal and state agencies, local governments, tribes, and the public in mitigation planning for unavoidable impacts at the onset of the planning process. Quantitative analysis of the acreages, by habitat type, determined to be potentially impacted directly or indirectly by each reasonable alternative will be prepared. Proposed actions to mitigate adverse environmental effects and mitigation plans will be based upon existing methodologies utilized for water resource planning and analyzed in one or more IERs that will consider reasonable mitigation alternatives, including pooling compensatory mitigation, consistent with proposed coastal restoration initiatives. It is CEMVN’s intent to implement compensatory mitigation as early as possible in the process once unavoidable impacts are determined. All mitigation activities will be consistent with standards and policies established in the Clean Water Act Section 404 and the appropriate USACE E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 13, 2007 / Notices policies and regulations governing this activity. 4. Prior to any decision to proceed with proposed actions, CEMVN will complete an IER that documents the decision-making process followed by the USACE, the preferred and all other reasonable alternatives, the alternatives analyses that were performed, the direct and indirect impacts of the proposed action, an initial description of the cumulative impacts of the proposal, an initial mitigation plan, and any interim decisions made by the USACE. Each IER will identify areas where data was incomplete, unavailable, and areas of potential controversy. Alternatives analysis will be based upon a geographic segment of the area that is large enough to encompass any impacts directly and indirectly attributable to the proposed action. 5. The IERs will be posted on the USACE CEMVN Alternative NEPA Arrangement Web page for a 30-day public review and comment period. A notice of availability will be mailed/emailed to interested parties advising them of the availability of the IER for review in addition to placing a notice in newspapers and other media selected to reach residents of New Orleans including those who have relocated to other areas. The IERs will also be made available during the monthly public meetings. 6. Public meetings to discuss a specific IER will be held if requested by the stakeholders involved in the review process. Upon completion of the comment period, and after any meetings, an IER addendum responding to comments received will be completed and published for a 30-day public review period. Notice will be provided in newspapers and other media, posted on the Web site, and a notice of availability mailed/e-mailed to interested parties. No sooner than 30 days after publication of the IER addendum, or an IER in the event no comments or requests for meetings are received during the public review and comment period, the District Commander will issue a decision describing how USACE will proceed. 7. At a time when sufficient information is available from IERs analyzing proposed actions in the New Orleans area, CEMVN will produce a draft Comprehensive Environmental Document (CED). The CED will incorporate the IERs by reference and address the work completed and the work remaining to be completed on a systemwide scale and a final mitigation plan. Updated information for any IER, or IER addendum, that had incomplete VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:58 Mar 12, 2007 Jkt 211001 or unavailable data at the time the District Commander made a decision on how to proceed will be provided and the CED will identify any new information associated with long term operations and maintenance of the approved actions analyzed in the IERs. The CED will include a discussion of how the individual IERs are integrated into a systematic planning effort. A cumulative effects analysis will analyze any indirect impacts due to altered hydrology or induced development that resulted from the actions taken by the USACE and the relationship of the proposed actions covered in the IERs with other proposed and reasonably foreseeable proposals for hurricane protection measures located within the Lake Pontchartrain and West Bank Hurricane Project areas and proposed and reasonably foreseeable proposals for hurricane protection and coastal restoration measures identified in the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Study and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana’s Master Plan. An external engineering peer review of the proposed levees and floodwalls work analyzed in the IERs will be made available as soon as practicable and no later than publication of the draft CED. 8. The draft CED will be posted on the USACE web page for a 60-day public review period. A notice of availability will be posted on the Web site and mailed/e-mailed to interested parties advising them of the availability of the draft CED for review in addition to placing a notice in newspapers and other media. Public meetings would be held during the review period if requested by the stakeholders involved in the process. 9. Upon completion of the 60-day review period, all comments will be appropriately addressed in a final CED. The final CED will be published for a 30-day public review period. Notice will be provided in newspapers and other media, posted on the Web site, and a notice of availability will be mailed/emailed out to interested parties. No sooner than 30 days after publication of the final CED, the District Commander will issue a decision describing how CEMVN will proceed. This decision will be made available to stakeholders by posting it to a Web site, mailing/e-mailing notices of availability, public notices in newspapers and news releases to other media such as radio and television stations. Description of Proposed Actions: CEMVN will analyze the proposed hurricane and storm damage reduction actions for the sub-basins within the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity (LPV) PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 11339 and West Bank and Vicinity (WBV) Hurricane Protection Project areas in a series of IERs. Each IER will identify the proposed actions and will investigate alternatives, direct, indirect, cumulative impacts, and mitigation for impacts to the human environment. Exact alignments and work to be completed will be determined as a part of the NEPA process. IERs will also be prepared for proposed borrow material and mitigation plans. Further information on the IER’s can be downloaded from the USACE New Orleans District Web site at: http:// www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pd/ Envir_Processes_NEPA/Index.htm. IER 1: LPV, LaBranche Wetlands Levee, St. Charles Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 8.7 miles of earthen levees, replacement of 6,400 linear feet of floodwalls, and fronting protection to five existing drainage structures. IER 2: LPV, West Return Floodwall Jefferson—St. Charles Parish, LA— Proposed action: Replacement of 17,900 linear feet of floodwalls. IER 3: LPV, Lakefront Levee Jefferson Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 9.5 miles of earthen levees, upgrading foreshore protection, replacement of two floodgates, and fronting protection to four pump stations. IER 4: LPV, New Orleans Lakefront Levee, West of Inner Harbor Navigational Canal, Orleans Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 4.4 miles of earthen levee, replacement of 7,600 feet of floodwalls, 16 vehicle access gates, and one sector gate. IER 5: LPV, Outfall Canal Closure Structures, 17th Street Canal, Orleans Avenue Canal and London Avenue Canal, Orleans Parish, LA—Proposed action: Construction of pump stations and closure structures on the three outfall canals. IER 6: LPV, Citrus Lakefront Levee, Orleans Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 4.1 miles of earthen levees, replacement of 10,662 linear feet of floodwalls, and four floodgates. IER 7: LPV, New Orleans East Levee, Maxent Canal to Michoud Slip, Orleans Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 19.1 miles of earthen levee and replacement of three floodgates. IER 8: LPV, Bayou Bienvenue and Bayou Dupre Control Structures, St. Bernard Parish, LA—Proposed action: Replacement of 1,000 linear feet of floodwalls and two navigable floodgates. IER 9: LPV, Caernarvon Floodwall, St. Bernard Parish, LA—Proposed action: Replacement of two floodgates, E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 11340 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 13, 2007 / Notices replacement of 1,500 feet of floodwall, and possible realignment of levee. IER 10: LPV, Chalmette Loop Levee, St. Bernard Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 22 miles of earthen levees and the replacement of 1,500 linear feet of floodwalls. IER 11: LPV, Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Navigable Floodgates, Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes, LA—Proposed action: Construction of gated navigable closure structures to protect the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal. IER 12: WBV, Harvey and Algiers Canal Levee and Floodwalls, Jefferson, Orleans, and Plaquemines Parishes, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 31 miles of earthen levees, replacement of 18,800 linear feet of floodwalls, modifications to 18 existing gates, and fronting protection modifications to nine pump stations. IER 13: WBV, Hero Canal Levee and Eastern Terminus, Plaquemines Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 22,000 linear feet of earthen levees and construction of 1,500 linear feet of floodwalls. IER 14: WBV, Harvey to Westwego Levee, Jefferson Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 12 miles of earthen levee, construction of 7,013 linear feet of floodwalls, and modifications to three pump stations. IER 15: WBV, Lake Cataouatche Levee, Jefferson Parish, LA—Proposed action: Rebuilding of 8 miles of earthen levee and fronting protection at one pump station. IER 16: WBV, Western Terminus Levee, Jefferson Parish, LA—Proposed action: Construction of western terminus earthen levee section. IER 17: WBV, Company Canal Floodwall, Jefferson Parish, LA— Proposed action: Replacement of 13,442 linear feet of floodwalls and fronting protection for two pump stations. IER 18: Borrow, Government Furnished, Multiple sites—Proposed action: Analyze information supplied from a variety of governmental sources to determine appropriate Government Furnished borrow locations. Sources could be from sites throughout southeast Louisiana. IER 19: Borrow, Pre-Approved Contractor Furnished, Multiple sites— Proposed action: Analyze information supplied from a variety of nongovernmental sources to determine appropriate Pre-Approved Contractor Furnished borrow locations. Sources could be from sites throughout the southern United States. IER 20: LPV, Mitigation Pool— Proposed action: Analyze alternatives to determine appropriate mitigation is VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:58 Mar 12, 2007 Jkt 211001 implemented for unavoidable impacts to the human environment. IER 21: WBV, Mitigation Pool— Proposed action: Analyze alternatives to determine appropriate mitigation is implemented for unavoidable impacts to the human environment. Scoping Meeting Schedule All nine of the meetings start at 7 p.m. and are scheduled to conclude at 9 p.m. Dates and locations of the meetings are as follows: March 27, 2007—Lake Cataouatche SubBasin: Lake Cataouatche/Jefferson Parish Dougie V’s Restaurant— Banquet Hall, 13899 River Road, Luling, LA March 28, 2007—Harvey-Westwego Sub-Basin: Westwego City Council Chamber, 419 Avenue A, Westwego, LA March 29, 2007—St. Charles Parish SubBasin: American Legion Hall, Post 366, 12188 River Road, St. Rose, LA April 3, 2007—Gretna-Algiers SubBasin: Our Lady of Holy Cross College, 4123 Woodland Drive, New Orleans, LA April 4, 2007—Chalmette Loop SubBasin: 8201 West Judge Perez Road, Chalmette, LA April 5, 2007—Jefferson East Bank SubBasin: Jefferson Parish Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie, LA April 10, 2007—Belle Chasse Sub-Basin: Belle Chasse Auditorium, 8398 Highway 23, Belle Chasse, LA April 11, 2007—New Orleans East SubBasin: Avalon Hotel & Conference Center, 830 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA April 12, 2007—Orleans East Bank SubBasin: National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA Coordination: The USACE will continue to obtain concurrence, permits, and any other authorizations necessary to be in compliance with all other environmental laws prior to the initiation of any proposed actions. This includes, but is not limited to, complying with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Clean Water Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and the MagnusonStevens Act. Dated: March 2, 2007. Richard P. Wagenaar, Colonel, U.S. Army, District Commander. [FR Doc. E7–4515 Filed 3–12–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–84–P PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records—Study of Former Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers’ PostProgram Experiences Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of a new system of records. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act), 5 United States Code (U.S.C.) 552a, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education (Department) publishes this notice of a new system of records entitled ‘‘Study of Former Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers’ Post-Program Experiences’’ (18–16–03). The system of records will be maintained for program research and evaluation purposes. The system will contain information on a sample of former vocational rehabilitation (VR) consumers whose cases were closed in fiscal year (FY) 2006. The system will include demographic information, including financial information and responses to a survey about post-VR experiences, particularly related to employment outcomes and post-closure services. DATES: The Department seeks comments on the new system of records described in this notice, in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act. We must receive your comments on or before April 12, 2007. The Department filed a report describing the new system of records covered by this notice with the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Acting Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on March 8, 2007. This system of records will become effective at the later date of—(1) the expiration of the 40-day period for OMB review on April 17, 2007 or (2) April 12, 2007, unless the system of records needs to be changed as a result of public comment or OMB review. ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this new system of records to Joe Pepin, Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5052, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–2800. If you E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 48 (Tuesday, March 13, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11337-11340]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-4515]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Adoption of Alternative Arrangements Under the National 
Environmental Policy Act for New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage 
Reduction System

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

ACTION: Public notice.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mississippi Valley 
Division, New Orleans District (CEMVN) is implementing Alternative 
Arrangements under the provisions of the Council on Environmental 
Quality Regulations for Implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.11) in order to expeditiously complete 
environmental analysis of major portions of a new 100-year level of 
Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction effort authorized and funded by 
the Administration and the Congress. The proposed actions are located 
primarily in southern Louisiana and relate to the Federal effort to 
rebuild the Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction system following 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
    The USACE consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality 
(CEQ), as required under 40 CFR 1506.11 and the USACE Environmental 
Quality Procedures for Implementing the NEPA (33 CFR 230), concluded on 
February 23, 2007 with the CEQ approving the Alternative Arrangements. 
The Alternative Arrangements request was also coordinated with the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, 
Environmental Protection Agency, Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation, Department of Homeland Security-Federal Emergency 
Management Agency, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Department of 
Environmental Quality and the

[[Page 11338]]

Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer.
    During the consultation, the USACE and CEQ hosted four public 
meetings in New Orleans metropolitan area to assess the request and 
gather input on the proposed Alternative Arrangements. The input 
received during the course of the discussions and meetings provided 
strong support for Alternative Arrangements that allow for expedited 
decisions on actions to lower the risk of floods and that restore 
public confidence in the hurricane storm reduction system so that the 
physical and economic recovery of the area can proceed as citizens 
return and rebuild. It was also made clear that the Alternative 
Arrangements should provide the USACE a way to proceed that complements 
other ongoing and proposed hurricane protection and coastal restoration 
efforts.
    These Alternative Arrangements apply to certain proposed actions 
included in the 100-year Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction measures 
authorized under Public Law 109-234, Emergency Supplemental 
Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane 
Recovery, 2006 (4th Supplemental). The Alternative Arrangements will 
allow decisions on smaller groups of proposed actions to move forward 
sooner than under the traditional NEPA process. An in-depth analysis 
and consideration of potential environmental impacts will be completed 
and negative environmental impacts will be addressed. Detailed 
information on the Alternative Arrangements can be downloaded from the 
USACE New Orleans District Web site at: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/
pd/Envir_Processes_NEPA/Index.htm.

DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates.

ADDRESSES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting addresses.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning the emergency 
Alternative Arrangements should be addressed to Gib Owen at U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, PM-RS, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267, 
phone (504) 862-1337, fax number (504) 862-2088 or by e-mail at 
mvnenvironmentalpd@mvn02.usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    The Emergency Alternative Arrangement Process: In order to meet the 
needs of the people of southern Louisiana in a timely manner that is 
appropriate to the level of imminent threat, CEMVN will comply with the 
NEPA by using the following emergency Alternative Arrangements.
    1. CEMVN is placing this public notice of the NEPA Alternative 
Arrangements in the Federal Register along with a description of the 
proposed actions that will be analyzed in Individual Environmental 
Reports (IERs) and a Comprehensive Environmental Document (CED).
    2. Scoping Process: a. This Federal Register notice is initiating 
the scoping process with a thirty-day public comment period for the 
IERs described in this notice. CEMVN will also host a series of public 
scoping meetings, followed by thirty-day comment periods, in the New 
Orleans metropolitan area to gather public comments on the proposed 
actions. Additional scoping meetings may be conducted in other locales 
in the United States if deemed necessary.
    b. Concurrent with this Federal Register notice, CEMVN is placing 
public notices in broadcast media, local newspapers and a newspaper 
with national distribution publicizing the dates and location of the 
public scoping meetings, describing each proposed action that will be 
analyzed in the IERs, and providing thirty days for written comments to 
be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to a point of contact at CEMVN. The 
information for each proposed action will also be mailed and e-mailed 
to all interested stakeholders, including state and Federal resource 
agencies. The Corps will make its best effort to reach the citizens of 
New Orleans, including, to the extent feasible, persons who have 
relocated to other areas. The comments received will be compiled and e-
mailed to appropriate Federal and state agencies for coordination.
    c. CEMVN will establish and maintain a Web page that provides 
details for each IER and other proposed actions being investigated or 
projects that are being constructed in the area by the USACE. The Web 
site will contain a description of the Alternative Arrangements CEMVN 
is following to achieve NEPA compliance. Additionally, information or 
links from other Federal and state agencies conducting operations in 
the New Orleans area will be available on this Web site. This will 
include, where available, links to proposed actions and ongoing 
environmental analyses, and references and available links to 
environmental analyses previously conducted in the area.
    d. Interagency environmental teams are being established for each 
IER. Federal and state agency, local governmental and tribal staff will 
play an integral part in the project planning and alternative analysis. 
Interagency teams will be integrated with USACE Project Delivery Teams 
to assist in the planning of each proposed action and in the 
description of the potential direct and indirect impacts of each 
proposed action that will be used in the development of any needed 
mitigation plans. Team members will be provided with new information 
concerning the proposed action as quickly as possible in order to allow 
for the expedient review and analysis of each proposed action. Teams 
will rely heavily upon hydrologic models and the best engineering 
judgment of CEMVN Engineering Division staff to develop appropriate 
mitigation plans.
    e. CEMVN will hold monthly meetings with agencies to communicate 
overall developments and allow for agency feedback. All proposed work 
would be closely coordinated with the ongoing Federal and state efforts 
to design a coastal restoration and protection plan.
    f. CEMVN will host monthly public meetings during the preparation 
and completion of the IERs and CED included in these Alternative 
Arrangements. The monthly meetings will keep the stakeholders advised 
of IER and CED developments and provide the public opportunities to 
comment during the meetings and to submit written comments after each 
meeting for a 30-day period. Meetings will be advertised at least one 
week prior to each meeting and meeting times and locations will be 
selected to accommodate public availability.
    3. CEMVN will actively involve the Federal and state agencies, 
local governments, tribes, and the public in mitigation planning for 
unavoidable impacts at the onset of the planning process. Quantitative 
analysis of the acreages, by habitat type, determined to be potentially 
impacted directly or indirectly by each reasonable alternative will be 
prepared. Proposed actions to mitigate adverse environmental effects 
and mitigation plans will be based upon existing methodologies utilized 
for water resource planning and analyzed in one or more IERs that will 
consider reasonable mitigation alternatives, including pooling 
compensatory mitigation, consistent with proposed coastal restoration 
initiatives. It is CEMVN's intent to implement compensatory mitigation 
as early as possible in the process once unavoidable impacts are 
determined. All mitigation activities will be consistent with standards 
and policies established in the Clean Water Act Section 404 and the 
appropriate USACE

[[Page 11339]]

policies and regulations governing this activity.
    4. Prior to any decision to proceed with proposed actions, CEMVN 
will complete an IER that documents the decision-making process 
followed by the USACE, the preferred and all other reasonable 
alternatives, the alternatives analyses that were performed, the direct 
and indirect impacts of the proposed action, an initial description of 
the cumulative impacts of the proposal, an initial mitigation plan, and 
any interim decisions made by the USACE. Each IER will identify areas 
where data was incomplete, unavailable, and areas of potential 
controversy. Alternatives analysis will be based upon a geographic 
segment of the area that is large enough to encompass any impacts 
directly and indirectly attributable to the proposed action.
    5. The IERs will be posted on the USACE CEMVN Alternative NEPA 
Arrangement Web page for a 30-day public review and comment period. A 
notice of availability will be mailed/e-mailed to interested parties 
advising them of the availability of the IER for review in addition to 
placing a notice in newspapers and other media selected to reach 
residents of New Orleans including those who have relocated to other 
areas. The IERs will also be made available during the monthly public 
meetings.
    6. Public meetings to discuss a specific IER will be held if 
requested by the stakeholders involved in the review process. Upon 
completion of the comment period, and after any meetings, an IER 
addendum responding to comments received will be completed and 
published for a 30-day public review period. Notice will be provided in 
newspapers and other media, posted on the Web site, and a notice of 
availability mailed/e-mailed to interested parties.
    No sooner than 30 days after publication of the IER addendum, or an 
IER in the event no comments or requests for meetings are received 
during the public review and comment period, the District Commander 
will issue a decision describing how USACE will proceed.
    7. At a time when sufficient information is available from IERs 
analyzing proposed actions in the New Orleans area, CEMVN will produce 
a draft Comprehensive Environmental Document (CED). The CED will 
incorporate the IERs by reference and address the work completed and 
the work remaining to be completed on a systemwide scale and a final 
mitigation plan. Updated information for any IER, or IER addendum, that 
had incomplete or unavailable data at the time the District Commander 
made a decision on how to proceed will be provided and the CED will 
identify any new information associated with long term operations and 
maintenance of the approved actions analyzed in the IERs. The CED will 
include a discussion of how the individual IERs are integrated into a 
systematic planning effort. A cumulative effects analysis will analyze 
any indirect impacts due to altered hydrology or induced development 
that resulted from the actions taken by the USACE and the relationship 
of the proposed actions covered in the IERs with other proposed and 
reasonably foreseeable proposals for hurricane protection measures 
located within the Lake Pontchartrain and West Bank Hurricane Project 
areas and proposed and reasonably foreseeable proposals for hurricane 
protection and coastal restoration measures identified in the Louisiana 
Coastal Protection and Restoration Study and the Coastal Protection and 
Restoration Authority of Louisiana's Master Plan. An external 
engineering peer review of the proposed levees and floodwalls work 
analyzed in the IERs will be made available as soon as practicable and 
no later than publication of the draft CED.
    8. The draft CED will be posted on the USACE web page for a 60-day 
public review period. A notice of availability will be posted on the 
Web site and mailed/e-mailed to interested parties advising them of the 
availability of the draft CED for review in addition to placing a 
notice in newspapers and other media. Public meetings would be held 
during the review period if requested by the stakeholders involved in 
the process.
    9. Upon completion of the 60-day review period, all comments will 
be appropriately addressed in a final CED. The final CED will be 
published for a 30-day public review period. Notice will be provided in 
newspapers and other media, posted on the Web site, and a notice of 
availability will be mailed/e-mailed out to interested parties.
    No sooner than 30 days after publication of the final CED, the 
District Commander will issue a decision describing how CEMVN will 
proceed. This decision will be made available to stakeholders by 
posting it to a Web site, mailing/e-mailing notices of availability, 
public notices in newspapers and news releases to other media such as 
radio and television stations.
    Description of Proposed Actions: CEMVN will analyze the proposed 
hurricane and storm damage reduction actions for the sub-basins within 
the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity (LPV) and West Bank and Vicinity 
(WBV) Hurricane Protection Project areas in a series of IERs. Each IER 
will identify the proposed actions and will investigate alternatives, 
direct, indirect, cumulative impacts, and mitigation for impacts to the 
human environment. Exact alignments and work to be completed will be 
determined as a part of the NEPA process. IERs will also be prepared 
for proposed borrow material and mitigation plans. Further information 
on the IER's can be downloaded from the USACE New Orleans District Web 
site at: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pd/Envir_Processes_NEPA/
Index.htm.
    IER 1: LPV, LaBranche Wetlands Levee, St. Charles Parish, LA--
Proposed action: Rebuilding of 8.7 miles of earthen levees, replacement 
of 6,400 linear feet of floodwalls, and fronting protection to five 
existing drainage structures.
    IER 2: LPV, West Return Floodwall Jefferson--St. Charles Parish, 
LA--Proposed action: Replacement of 17,900 linear feet of floodwalls.
    IER 3: LPV, Lakefront Levee Jefferson Parish, LA--Proposed action: 
Rebuilding of 9.5 miles of earthen levees, upgrading foreshore 
protection, replacement of two floodgates, and fronting protection to 
four pump stations.
    IER 4: LPV, New Orleans Lakefront Levee, West of Inner Harbor 
Navigational Canal, Orleans Parish, LA--Proposed action: Rebuilding of 
4.4 miles of earthen levee, replacement of 7,600 feet of floodwalls, 16 
vehicle access gates, and one sector gate.
    IER 5: LPV, Outfall Canal Closure Structures, 17th Street Canal, 
Orleans Avenue Canal and London Avenue Canal, Orleans Parish, LA--
Proposed action: Construction of pump stations and closure structures 
on the three outfall canals.
    IER 6: LPV, Citrus Lakefront Levee, Orleans Parish, LA--Proposed 
action: Rebuilding of 4.1 miles of earthen levees, replacement of 
10,662 linear feet of floodwalls, and four floodgates.
    IER 7: LPV, New Orleans East Levee, Maxent Canal to Michoud Slip, 
Orleans Parish, LA--Proposed action: Rebuilding of 19.1 miles of 
earthen levee and replacement of three floodgates.
    IER 8: LPV, Bayou Bienvenue and Bayou Dupre Control Structures, St. 
Bernard Parish, LA--Proposed action: Replacement of 1,000 linear feet 
of floodwalls and two navigable floodgates.
    IER 9: LPV, Caernarvon Floodwall, St. Bernard Parish, LA--Proposed 
action: Replacement of two floodgates,

[[Page 11340]]

replacement of 1,500 feet of floodwall, and possible realignment of 
levee.
    IER 10: LPV, Chalmette Loop Levee, St. Bernard Parish, LA--Proposed 
action: Rebuilding of 22 miles of earthen levees and the replacement of 
1,500 linear feet of floodwalls.
    IER 11: LPV, Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Navigable Floodgates, 
Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes, LA--Proposed action: Construction of 
gated navigable closure structures to protect the Inner Harbor 
Navigation Canal.
    IER 12: WBV, Harvey and Algiers Canal Levee and Floodwalls, 
Jefferson, Orleans, and Plaquemines Parishes, LA--Proposed action: 
Rebuilding of 31 miles of earthen levees, replacement of 18,800 linear 
feet of floodwalls, modifications to 18 existing gates, and fronting 
protection modifications to nine pump stations.
    IER 13: WBV, Hero Canal Levee and Eastern Terminus, Plaquemines 
Parish, LA--Proposed action: Rebuilding of 22,000 linear feet of 
earthen levees and construction of 1,500 linear feet of floodwalls.
    IER 14: WBV, Harvey to Westwego Levee, Jefferson Parish, LA--
Proposed action: Rebuilding of 12 miles of earthen levee, construction 
of 7,013 linear feet of floodwalls, and modifications to three pump 
stations.
    IER 15: WBV, Lake Cataouatche Levee, Jefferson Parish, LA--Proposed 
action: Rebuilding of 8 miles of earthen levee and fronting protection 
at one pump station.
    IER 16: WBV, Western Terminus Levee, Jefferson Parish, LA--Proposed 
action: Construction of western terminus earthen levee section.
    IER 17: WBV, Company Canal Floodwall, Jefferson Parish, LA--
Proposed action: Replacement of 13,442 linear feet of floodwalls and 
fronting protection for two pump stations.
    IER 18: Borrow, Government Furnished, Multiple sites--Proposed 
action: Analyze information supplied from a variety of governmental 
sources to determine appropriate Government Furnished borrow locations. 
Sources could be from sites throughout southeast Louisiana.
    IER 19: Borrow, Pre-Approved Contractor Furnished, Multiple sites--
Proposed action: Analyze information supplied from a variety of non-
governmental sources to determine appropriate Pre-Approved Contractor 
Furnished borrow locations. Sources could be from sites throughout the 
southern United States.
    IER 20: LPV, Mitigation Pool--Proposed action: Analyze alternatives 
to determine appropriate mitigation is implemented for unavoidable 
impacts to the human environment.
    IER 21: WBV, Mitigation Pool--Proposed action: Analyze alternatives 
to determine appropriate mitigation is implemented for unavoidable 
impacts to the human environment.

Scoping Meeting Schedule

    All nine of the meetings start at 7 p.m. and are scheduled to 
conclude at 9 p.m. Dates and locations of the meetings are as follows:

March 27, 2007--Lake Cataouatche Sub-Basin: Lake Cataouatche/Jefferson 
Parish Dougie V's Restaurant--Banquet Hall, 13899 River Road, Luling, 
LA
March 28, 2007--Harvey-Westwego Sub-Basin: Westwego City Council 
Chamber, 419 Avenue A, Westwego, LA
March 29, 2007--St. Charles Parish Sub-Basin: American Legion Hall, 
Post 366, 12188 River Road, St. Rose, LA
April 3, 2007--Gretna-Algiers Sub-Basin: Our Lady of Holy Cross 
College, 4123 Woodland Drive, New Orleans, LA
April 4, 2007--Chalmette Loop Sub-Basin: 8201 West Judge Perez Road, 
Chalmette, LA
April 5, 2007--Jefferson East Bank Sub-Basin: Jefferson Parish Regional 
Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie, LA
April 10, 2007--Belle Chasse Sub-Basin: Belle Chasse Auditorium, 8398 
Highway 23, Belle Chasse, LA
April 11, 2007--New Orleans East Sub-Basin: Avalon Hotel & Conference 
Center, 830 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA
April 12, 2007--Orleans East Bank Sub-Basin: National WWII Museum, 945 
Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA

    Coordination: The USACE will continue to obtain concurrence, 
permits, and any other authorizations necessary to be in compliance 
with all other environmental laws prior to the initiation of any 
proposed actions. This includes, but is not limited to, complying with 
section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic 
Preservation Act, the Clean Water Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, 
and the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    Dated: March 2, 2007.
Richard P. Wagenaar,
Colonel, U.S. Army, District Commander.
[FR Doc. E7-4515 Filed 3-12-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3710-84-P