Final Environmental Impact Statement-Nolichucky Reservoir Flood Remediation Project, 19750-19752 [E7-7439]

Download as PDF 19750 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 75 / Thursday, April 19, 2007 / Notices cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 1. A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This report must disclose cost sharing and be certified by the award recipient’s chief financial officer or an officer of comparable rank. 2. Quarterly financial reports within thirty (30) days following the end of the calendar year quarter. These reports should itemize separately International Visitor costs, Voluntary Visitor costs, English Language Officer/Interpreter costs for International Visitors, English Language Officer/Interpreter costs for Voluntary Visitors, special project costs by projects, and administrative costs for the previous quarter on a cash basis. These reports should also list separately the number of English Language Officers/Interpreters accompanying International Visitors, and the number of English Language Officers/ Interpreters accompanying Voluntary Visitors for whom funds are expended. Quarterly financial reports must be certified by the award recipient’s chief financial officer or an officer of comparable rank. For further information, please refer to the 2008 Program Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) document. 3. Such operating, statistical, and financial information relating to the program as may be requested by the DoS to meet its reporting requirements and answer inquiries concerning the operation of the IVL program, as stipulated in the FY 2008 Program Objectives, Goals, and Implementation. 4. Reports analyzing evaluation findings should be provided to the Bureau in award recipient’s regular program reports. (Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information. All data collected must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final assistance award document. VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Michelle Lampher, Office of International Visitors, Community Relations Division, Room 247, Reference Number ECA/PE/ V–08–01, U.S. Department of State, SA– 44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone 202–203–7193, fax 202–453–8631, or e-mail LampherMC@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/V– VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:39 Apr 18, 2007 Jkt 211001 08–01. Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed. VIII. Other Information Notice: The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section VI.3 above. Dated: April 12, 2007. C. Miller Crouch, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–7463 Filed 4–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY Final Environmental Impact Statement—Nolichucky Reservoir Flood Remediation Project Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). ACTION: Issuance of Record of Decision. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 to 1508) and TVA’s procedures implementing the National Environmental Policy Act. TVA has decided to adopt Alternative A—No Action, the preferred alternative identified in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Nolichucky Reservoir Flood Remediation Project. In implementing Alternative A, TVA would continue to provide updated flood level information to local agencies and individuals. This would not preclude TVA working with individual landowners to address problems in the future. TVA would take no other action to address the impacts of flooding of private land and property around Nolichucky Reservoir. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles P. Nicholson, NEPA Program Manager, Environmental Stewardship & PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Policy, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive WT 11B, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902–1401; telephone (865) 632–3582 or e-mail cpnicholson@tva.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Nolichucky Dam was built by the Tennessee Eastern Electric Company in 1913 at mile 46 on the Nolichucky River, about 7.5 miles south of Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee. Nolichucky Reservoir, also known as Davy Crockett Lake, extends upstream about 6 miles from the dam. TVA acquired the project in 1945 and operated it as a single-purpose power production facility. By 1945, sand and silt from mining in the upper Nolichucky watershed in western North Carolina had begun to fill the reservoir. The sediment in the reservoir continued to accumulate to the point that TVA removed the electric generators from service between 1965 and 1972. Since 1972, the project has been jointly managed by TVA, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and local organizations for wildlife management, environmental education, and recreation. The Federal government owns approximately 1,400 acres of land under and around Nolichucky Reservoir and holds easements giving it the right to flood an additional 370 acres of land along this part of the river. At the time TVA acquired these landrights in 1945, the landrights did not include all of the area affected by Nolichucky Dam during flood events. Since then, the 100-year flood elevation has increased up to 10 feet due to the accumulated sediment in the reservoir. The federal landrights include about 54 percent of the area within the present 500-year floodplain and about 63 percent of the area within the 100-year floodplain. TVA published a Notice of Intent to prepare this EIS in the Federal Register on January 12, 2000. Public and agency scoping meetings were held on January 20, 2000; 52 people attended the public scoping meeting. Scoping comments were received from one Federal agency, one nongovernmental organization, and seven individuals. Following a series of agency and public workshops, the Draft EIS was released in January 2002 and the Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register on February 8, 2002. TVA held a public meeting on the Draft EIS in on February 21, 2002 and accepted comments through March 29, 2002. Comments on the Draft EIS were received from 65 individuals. Two federal agencies and three state agencies. The Notice of Availability for E:\FR\FM\19APN1.SGM 19APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 75 / Thursday, April 19, 2007 / Notices cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on November 3, 2006. Alternatives Considered TVA identified four alternatives in the EIS. Under Alternative A—No Action, TVA would provide updated flood level information to local agencies and individuals but would not take any other actions to address flood impacts on nonfederal lands. TVA would continue to maintain Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse as required by federal dam safety regulations and to preserve their historic value. TVA would maintain the reservoir’s recreational uses through agreements with other agencies and organizations that provide for wildlife management, environmental education, and public parks. Under Alternative B—Acquire Landrights, TVA would address flood impacts on nonfederal lands by acquiring either fee title or easements with the right to flood all of the nonfederal land within the present 500year floodplain around Nolichucky Reservoir (about 1,060 acres). If TVA acquired fee title, TVA would buy the affected land and all structures built on it and would hold all rights concerning use of that land. If TVA acquired only a flowage easement, TVA would buy the right to overflow and flood specific parts of the property on an intermittent and temporary basis. The owner could continue to use the easement land in many ways, but would relinquish the right to build structures below a specific elevation and would have to receive TVA approval prior to developing the affected land. TVA would maintain the reservoir’s recreational uses through agreements with other agencies and organizations that provide for wildlife management, environmental education, and public parks. Most new land acquired in fee would probably be added to the existing wildlife management area. TVA would continue to maintain Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse as required by federal dam safety regulations and to preserve their historic value. This alternative could be implemented within 3 years and would cost between $15 and $20 million. Under Alternative C—Lower Nolichucky Dam, TVA would address flood impacts on nonfederal lands by lowering the Nolichucky Dam spillway after removing or stabilizing sediment in the reservoir. The spillway would be lowered by about 40 feet so that the 500year flood elevation would only affect land already in federal ownership or covered by flowage easement. This would reduce the reservoir pool area from 455 to about 160 acres and convert VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:39 Apr 18, 2007 Jkt 211001 much of it into a more riverine environment. All federal land around the reservoir would remain in public ownership and would continue to be used for wildlife management, environmental education, and public parks. TVA would continue to maintain Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse as required by federal dam safety regulations and to preserve their historic value. This alternative would require 5 to 10 years to implement and cost between $45 and $70 million. Under Alternative D—Remove Nolichucky Dam, TVA would address flood impacts on nonfederal lands by removing all visible components of Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse and removing or stabilizing sediment in the reservoir. In accordance with historic preservation requirements, TVA would document the dam and powerhouse and preserve qualifying equipment. Up to 19,000 acre-feet (30 million cubic yards) would be removed from the reservoir area and deposited on nearby lands. In cooperation with appropriate state and local agencies, TVA would determine how the federal lands would be used, probably as parts of modified versions of the existing wildlife management, environmental education, and public park areas. This alternative would require 10 to 12 years to implement and cost between $90 and $150 million. TVA did not identify a preferred alternative in the Draft EIS. TVA identified Alternative A—No Action as the preferred alternative in the Final EIS. Comments on the Final EIS TVA received comments on the Final EIS from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and one individual affected by the flooding. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency expressed a preference for Alternative B. The Environmental Protection Agency did not express a preference for any alternative and noted the positive and negative aspects of each alternative. They did, however, suggest further consideration of Alternative B. TVA has carefully considered Alternative B and, as described below, decided to adopt Alternative A. The Environmental Protection Agency requested a more detailed analysis of the potential impacts of the preferred No Action Alternative on minority and low-income populations. The Environmental Justice analysis in the FEIS was based on relatively large census tracts and concluded that the action alternatives would not result in disproportionate impacts on minority and low-income populations. TVA has PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19751 repeated this analysis for minority populations using data from smaller census blocks adjoining Nolichucky Reservoir. Minority populations made up about 1.2 percent of the year 2000 population of 578 persons in these blocks. This proportion is well below the national, state, and county levels, and below that of the larger census tracts in which the blocks are located. The population within this area is well dispersed and there are few concentrations of residents within the floodplain. Data on low-income populations are not available for individual census blocks. A small cluster of low-cost housing occurs in the floodplain on the right bank of the reservoir; housing on the left bank is widely dispersed with no similar clusters. Due to the low percentage of minority populations, the low poverty level in much of the area, and the scattered location of housing in most of the area, no disproportionate effect on minority or low-income populations is anticipated. Decision TVA has decided to adopt Alternative A—No Action. Alternative A—No Action was selected over the other alternatives because it would result in few, if any, additional adverse environmental impacts, and could be implemented at little cost to TVA. As described in the FEIS, TVA has determined that the rate of sediment inflow into Nolichucky Reservoir has greatly decreased in recent years, and the present sediment inflow rate is likely close to the sand dredging removal rate of around 70,000 tons per year. Based on this sediment inflow rate, there is little potential for flood damage to lands and existing structures within the floodplain to markedly increase in the future, even in the absence of sand dredging. TVA, however, would continue to permit qualified sand dredging operations to operate in the reservoir, further reducing the potential for increased future flood damages. While the risk of flooding would slowly decrease under this alternative assuming sand dredging continues, the risk of flooding nonfederal property would continue. Community awareness of flood risk, however, has increased in part because of this EIS process, and because TVA has provided updated flood level information to the community. In the event that flooding of some property occurs in the future, TVA would address it on a case by case basis as it has in the past. In reaching this decision, TVA has carefully considered both the comments E:\FR\FM\19APN1.SGM 19APN1 19752 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 75 / Thursday, April 19, 2007 / Notices and concerns voiced by the public and the results of the impact analyses. There was some support for each alternative. Based on the comments TVA received during the scoping and EIS review processes, there was strong public support for maintaining the reservoir and the existing recreational uses of the reservoir and adjacent public lands; Alternative A does this. Alternatives C and D would eliminate the dam-related flooding. In doing so, they would partially or fully eliminate the reservoir and many of its current recreational uses. They would also destroy the wetlands habitats around the reservoir, and adversely affect the Nolichucky River downstream of the dam. While Alternative B would not have the adverse impacts of Alternatives C and D, it would cost $15 to $20 million to implement and could result in the relocation of many homeowners or restrictions on use of their property. None of the alternatives would restore the recreational benefits that once existed at Nolichucky Reservoir and have since been lost due to the accumulation of sediment. TVA has determined that the implementation of Alternative A would not affect historic properties and has consulted with the Tennessee State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The SHPO concurred with TVA’s determination on April 28, 2005. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) also concurred that implementation of Alternative A would not adversely affect federally listed or proposed endangered or threatened species. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Environmentally Preferred Alternative Alternative B is the environmentally preferred alternative because it would accomplish the project purpose of alleviating the flood impacts on private land and property, would not involve any adverse impacts on the surrounding natural and human environment, would increase the land area available for public recreation, and would enhance the conservation of many resources. Even though Alternative B is the environmentally preferred alternative, Alternative A also would not have adverse environmental impacts. Mitigation Alternative A—No Action that TVA has selected is not anticipated to adversely affect natural or human resources, and consequently TVA has determined that no associated mitigation measures are necessary. TVA does commit, however, to providing updated flood level information to local VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:39 Apr 18, 2007 Jkt 211001 agencies and individuals so that they are better aware of flooding risks. Dated: April 13, 2007. Kathryn J. Jackson, Executive Vice President, River System Operations & Environment. [FR Doc. E7–7439 Filed 4–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary [OST–2007–27909] Advisory Committee on Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure—Gulf Coast Case Study Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of meeting of advisory committee. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document announces the second meeting of the Advisory Committee on Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure—Gulf Coast Case Study to the U.S. Department of Transportation (the ‘‘Advisory Committee’’). The purpose of this meeting is to advise the Secretary of Transportation on the design, implementation and final report of Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.7, which examines how a changing climate might affect transportation infrastructure and services in the Gulf Coast. This research is being conducted under the Climate Change Science Program. The second meeting of the Advisory Committee is scheduled for May 16–17, 2007, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Tremont House, 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row, Galveston, Texas 77550. Phone: 409–763–0300. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Michael Savonis, the Designated Federal Official, Office of Natural and Human Environment, 202–366–2080, (michael.savonis@dot.gov), Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Background Through consultation with transportation professionals, researchers, and partners, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has identified a need within the transportation community for improved PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 information about climate variability and change when making transportation decisions. A sound transportation system is vital to the nation’s social and economic future. Investments in transportation are substantial, and result in infrastructure that is designed to last for decades. Transportation plans and designs should therefore be carefully considered and well informed by a range of factors, including consideration of climate variability and change. Climate also affects the safety, operations, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and systems. This research will investigate the potential impacts of climate variability and change on transportation infrastructure and its operation, and provide guidance as to how transportation planners and decision makers may incorporate this information into transportation planning decisions to ensure a reliable and robust future transportation network. The Gulf Coast Study was selected by DOT as the first of a series of research activities that the Center will pursue to address these research priorities. This initial product will focus on the lowlying Gulf of Mexico coastal region, which has little topographic relief but it is heavily populated. In addition, the area’s transportation modes are both unique and economically significant. For example, the Ports of New Orleans and Houston are the top two ranking U.S. ports in tonnage. Roughly two thirds of all U.S. oil imports are transported through this region. Pipelines traversing the region transport over 90 percent of domestic Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas. Almost half of the Nation’s repetitive flood damage claims are paid to homeowners and businesses in this region, and the efficacy of evacuation during storms is an important determinant of the safety and well-being of the region’s population. This region is subject to the direct effects of hurricanes and tropical storms. Given its low elevation, the area is also particularly vulnerable to flooding and storm surges that accompany hurricanes and tropical storms. These effects may be exacerbated by global sea level rise and local land subsidence. To carry out this study, the U.S. DOT published a notice of intent to form an Advisory Committee in the Federal Register on June 22, 2006 (71 FR 35986). That notice, consistent with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), announced the establishment of the Committee and invited comments on the nominations for membership. E:\FR\FM\19APN1.SGM 19APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 75 (Thursday, April 19, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19750-19752]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-7439]


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TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY


Final Environmental Impact Statement--Nolichucky Reservoir Flood 
Remediation Project

AGENCY: Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

ACTION: Issuance of Record of Decision.

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

SUMMARY: This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on 
Environmental Quality's regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 to 1508) and 
TVA's procedures implementing the National Environmental Policy Act. 
TVA has decided to adopt Alternative A--No Action, the preferred 
alternative identified in its Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS), Nolichucky Reservoir Flood Remediation Project. In implementing 
Alternative A, TVA would continue to provide updated flood level 
information to local agencies and individuals. This would not preclude 
TVA working with individual landowners to address problems in the 
future. TVA would take no other action to address the impacts of 
flooding of private land and property around Nolichucky Reservoir.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles P. Nicholson, NEPA Program 
Manager, Environmental Stewardship & Policy, Tennessee Valley 
Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive WT 11B, Knoxville, Tennessee 
37902-1401; telephone (865) 632-3582 or e-mail cpnicholson@tva.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Nolichucky Dam was built by the Tennessee 
Eastern Electric Company in 1913 at mile 46 on the Nolichucky River, 
about 7.5 miles south of Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee. 
Nolichucky Reservoir, also known as Davy Crockett Lake, extends 
upstream about 6 miles from the dam. TVA acquired the project in 1945 
and operated it as a single-purpose power production facility. By 1945, 
sand and silt from mining in the upper Nolichucky watershed in western 
North Carolina had begun to fill the reservoir. The sediment in the 
reservoir continued to accumulate to the point that TVA removed the 
electric generators from service between 1965 and 1972. Since 1972, the 
project has been jointly managed by TVA, the Tennessee Wildlife 
Resources Agency, and local organizations for wildlife management, 
environmental education, and recreation.
    The Federal government owns approximately 1,400 acres of land under 
and around Nolichucky Reservoir and holds easements giving it the right 
to flood an additional 370 acres of land along this part of the river. 
At the time TVA acquired these landrights in 1945, the landrights did 
not include all of the area affected by Nolichucky Dam during flood 
events. Since then, the 100-year flood elevation has increased up to 10 
feet due to the accumulated sediment in the reservoir. The federal 
landrights include about 54 percent of the area within the present 500-
year floodplain and about 63 percent of the area within the 100-year 
floodplain.
    TVA published a Notice of Intent to prepare this EIS in the Federal 
Register on January 12, 2000. Public and agency scoping meetings were 
held on January 20, 2000; 52 people attended the public scoping 
meeting. Scoping comments were received from one Federal agency, one 
nongovernmental organization, and seven individuals. Following a series 
of agency and public workshops, the Draft EIS was released in January 
2002 and the Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS was published in 
the Federal Register on February 8, 2002. TVA held a public meeting on 
the Draft EIS in on February 21, 2002 and accepted comments through 
March 29, 2002. Comments on the Draft EIS were received from 65 
individuals. Two federal agencies and three state agencies. The Notice 
of Availability for

[[Page 19751]]

the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on November 3, 
2006.

Alternatives Considered

    TVA identified four alternatives in the EIS.
    Under Alternative A--No Action, TVA would provide updated flood 
level information to local agencies and individuals but would not take 
any other actions to address flood impacts on nonfederal lands. TVA 
would continue to maintain Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse as required by 
federal dam safety regulations and to preserve their historic value. 
TVA would maintain the reservoir's recreational uses through agreements 
with other agencies and organizations that provide for wildlife 
management, environmental education, and public parks.
    Under Alternative B--Acquire Landrights, TVA would address flood 
impacts on nonfederal lands by acquiring either fee title or easements 
with the right to flood all of the nonfederal land within the present 
500-year floodplain around Nolichucky Reservoir (about 1,060 acres). If 
TVA acquired fee title, TVA would buy the affected land and all 
structures built on it and would hold all rights concerning use of that 
land. If TVA acquired only a flowage easement, TVA would buy the right 
to overflow and flood specific parts of the property on an intermittent 
and temporary basis. The owner could continue to use the easement land 
in many ways, but would relinquish the right to build structures below 
a specific elevation and would have to receive TVA approval prior to 
developing the affected land. TVA would maintain the reservoir's 
recreational uses through agreements with other agencies and 
organizations that provide for wildlife management, environmental 
education, and public parks. Most new land acquired in fee would 
probably be added to the existing wildlife management area. TVA would 
continue to maintain Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse as required by 
federal dam safety regulations and to preserve their historic value. 
This alternative could be implemented within 3 years and would cost 
between $15 and $20 million.
    Under Alternative C--Lower Nolichucky Dam, TVA would address flood 
impacts on nonfederal lands by lowering the Nolichucky Dam spillway 
after removing or stabilizing sediment in the reservoir. The spillway 
would be lowered by about 40 feet so that the 500-year flood elevation 
would only affect land already in federal ownership or covered by 
flowage easement. This would reduce the reservoir pool area from 455 to 
about 160 acres and convert much of it into a more riverine 
environment. All federal land around the reservoir would remain in 
public ownership and would continue to be used for wildlife management, 
environmental education, and public parks. TVA would continue to 
maintain Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse as required by federal dam 
safety regulations and to preserve their historic value. This 
alternative would require 5 to 10 years to implement and cost between 
$45 and $70 million.
    Under Alternative D--Remove Nolichucky Dam, TVA would address flood 
impacts on nonfederal lands by removing all visible components of 
Nolichucky Dam and Powerhouse and removing or stabilizing sediment in 
the reservoir. In accordance with historic preservation requirements, 
TVA would document the dam and powerhouse and preserve qualifying 
equipment. Up to 19,000 acre-feet (30 million cubic yards) would be 
removed from the reservoir area and deposited on nearby lands. In 
cooperation with appropriate state and local agencies, TVA would 
determine how the federal lands would be used, probably as parts of 
modified versions of the existing wildlife management, environmental 
education, and public park areas. This alternative would require 10 to 
12 years to implement and cost between $90 and $150 million.
    TVA did not identify a preferred alternative in the Draft EIS. TVA 
identified Alternative A--No Action as the preferred alternative in the 
Final EIS.

Comments on the Final EIS

    TVA received comments on the Final EIS from the Environmental 
Protection Agency, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and one 
individual affected by the flooding. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources 
Agency expressed a preference for Alternative B. The Environmental 
Protection Agency did not express a preference for any alternative and 
noted the positive and negative aspects of each alternative. They did, 
however, suggest further consideration of Alternative B. TVA has 
carefully considered Alternative B and, as described below, decided to 
adopt Alternative A.
    The Environmental Protection Agency requested a more detailed 
analysis of the potential impacts of the preferred No Action 
Alternative on minority and low-income populations. The Environmental 
Justice analysis in the FEIS was based on relatively large census 
tracts and concluded that the action alternatives would not result in 
disproportionate impacts on minority and low-income populations. TVA 
has repeated this analysis for minority populations using data from 
smaller census blocks adjoining Nolichucky Reservoir. Minority 
populations made up about 1.2 percent of the year 2000 population of 
578 persons in these blocks. This proportion is well below the 
national, state, and county levels, and below that of the larger census 
tracts in which the blocks are located. The population within this area 
is well dispersed and there are few concentrations of residents within 
the floodplain. Data on low-income populations are not available for 
individual census blocks. A small cluster of low-cost housing occurs in 
the floodplain on the right bank of the reservoir; housing on the left 
bank is widely dispersed with no similar clusters. Due to the low 
percentage of minority populations, the low poverty level in much of 
the area, and the scattered location of housing in most of the area, no 
disproportionate effect on minority or low-income populations is 
anticipated.

Decision

    TVA has decided to adopt Alternative A--No Action.
    Alternative A--No Action was selected over the other alternatives 
because it would result in few, if any, additional adverse 
environmental impacts, and could be implemented at little cost to TVA. 
As described in the FEIS, TVA has determined that the rate of sediment 
inflow into Nolichucky Reservoir has greatly decreased in recent years, 
and the present sediment inflow rate is likely close to the sand 
dredging removal rate of around 70,000 tons per year. Based on this 
sediment inflow rate, there is little potential for flood damage to 
lands and existing structures within the floodplain to markedly 
increase in the future, even in the absence of sand dredging. TVA, 
however, would continue to permit qualified sand dredging operations to 
operate in the reservoir, further reducing the potential for increased 
future flood damages. While the risk of flooding would slowly decrease 
under this alternative assuming sand dredging continues, the risk of 
flooding non-federal property would continue. Community awareness of 
flood risk, however, has increased in part because of this EIS process, 
and because TVA has provided updated flood level information to the 
community. In the event that flooding of some property occurs in the 
future, TVA would address it on a case by case basis as it has in the 
past.
    In reaching this decision, TVA has carefully considered both the 
comments

[[Page 19752]]

and concerns voiced by the public and the results of the impact 
analyses. There was some support for each alternative. Based on the 
comments TVA received during the scoping and EIS review processes, 
there was strong public support for maintaining the reservoir and the 
existing recreational uses of the reservoir and adjacent public lands; 
Alternative A does this.
    Alternatives C and D would eliminate the dam-related flooding. In 
doing so, they would partially or fully eliminate the reservoir and 
many of its current recreational uses. They would also destroy the 
wetlands habitats around the reservoir, and adversely affect the 
Nolichucky River downstream of the dam. While Alternative B would not 
have the adverse impacts of Alternatives C and D, it would cost $15 to 
$20 million to implement and could result in the relocation of many 
homeowners or restrictions on use of their property. None of the 
alternatives would restore the recreational benefits that once existed 
at Nolichucky Reservoir and have since been lost due to the 
accumulation of sediment.
    TVA has determined that the implementation of Alternative A would 
not affect historic properties and has consulted with the Tennessee 
State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) in accordance with Section 
106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The SHPO concurred with 
TVA's determination on April 28, 2005. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) also concurred that implementation of Alternative A 
would not adversely affect federally listed or proposed endangered or 
threatened species.

Environmentally Preferred Alternative

    Alternative B is the environmentally preferred alternative because 
it would accomplish the project purpose of alleviating the flood 
impacts on private land and property, would not involve any adverse 
impacts on the surrounding natural and human environment, would 
increase the land area available for public recreation, and would 
enhance the conservation of many resources. Even though Alternative B 
is the environmentally preferred alternative, Alternative A also would 
not have adverse environmental impacts.

Mitigation

    Alternative A--No Action that TVA has selected is not anticipated 
to adversely affect natural or human resources, and consequently TVA 
has determined that no associated mitigation measures are necessary. 
TVA does commit, however, to providing updated flood level information 
to local agencies and individuals so that they are better aware of 
flooding risks.

    Dated: April 13, 2007.
Kathryn J. Jackson,
Executive Vice President, River System Operations & Environment.
[FR Doc. E7-7439 Filed 4-18-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8120-08-P