Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Permit Application for Compartments B and C, Palm Beach and Hendry Counties, FL, 37733-37735 [E7-13401]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 132 / Wednesday, July 11, 2007 / Notices Place of Meeting: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004. Purpose of Meeting: Review and evaluate the Commission’s report and the findings and recommendations related to the Commission’s mission to examine the care provided to wounded service members. Subject to seating availability this meeting is open to the public. The Commission will discuss its report and recommendations; consequently there will be no oral public forum. Any person desiring to make a written submission must provide the point of contact listed below with one copy of the written submission by 18 July 2007 5 p.m. Point of Contact is Major Teresa Barnes or Leslie Smith. Telephone number is toll free (877) 588–2035 or Fax (703) 588–2046. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON SUBMITTING STATEMENTS CONTACT: Major Teresa Barnes or Leslie Smith, toll free (877) 588–2035 or fax (703) 588–2046. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Meeting agenda: 11 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. (Not Open to the Public) Administrative Work Meeting. 11:15 a.m. To Be Determined (Public Session) Review and Evaluation of Commissions Findings and Recommendations. Dated: July 5, 2007. L.M. Bynum, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, DoD. [FR Doc. 07–3389 Filed 7–9–07; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Meeting of the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors Department of Defense. Federal Advisory Committee Meeting Notice. AGENCY: jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Sunshine in the Government Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended) and 41 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 102–3.140 through 160, the Department of Defense announces the cancellation of the public meeting referenced below: Name of Commission: President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors (hereafter referred to as the Commission). Date of Meeting: July 16, 2007. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:56 Jul 10, 2007 Jkt 211001 Time of Meeting: 10 a.m. to (To Be Determined). Place of Meeting: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004. Dated: July 5, 2007. L.M. Bynum, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, DoD. [FR Doc. 07–3390 Filed 7–9–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Permit Application for Compartments B and C, Palm Beach and Hendry Counties, FL U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, DoD. ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Jacksonville District, will be receiving a permit application for a Department of the Army permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to construct Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) on parcels of land identified as Compartments B and C of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) (Proposed Action). As part of the permit process, the Corps is evaluating the environmental effects associated with construction of STAs on these parcels in order to provide additional treatment to assist the existing STAs in the overall goal of improving the quality of water delivered and to be delivered to the Everglades Protection Area (EPA) in order to prevent further environmental degradation. The primary federal involvement associated with the Proposed Action is the discharge of fill material (including permanent inundation) within federal jurisdictional areas and Waters of the United States. In addition, the Proposed Action could have potential significant effects on the human environment. Therefore, the Corps will prepare an EIS in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to render a final decision on the SFWMD’s permit application. The Corps’ decision will be to either issue or deny a Department of the Army permit for the Proposed Action. The Draft EIS is intended to be sufficient in scope to address federal, state, and local PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37733 requirements and environmental issues concerning the Proposed Action and permit reviews. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the Proposed Action and Draft EIS should be directed to Ms. Tori White, Corps Regulatory Project Manager, by telephone at (561) 472– 8888 or by e-mail at tori.white@usace.army.mil. Written comments should be addressed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Restoration Program Office, Attn: Ms. Tori White, 1400 Centrepark Boulevard, Suite 750, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 or by facsimile at (561) 683–2418. Information about the Proposed Action and Draft EIS can also be obtained from the Jacksonville District Web site at http:// www.saj.usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Project Site and Background Information. The Proposed Action is located at Compartments B and C of the EAA. Compartment B is located within USGS Quadrangles of Deem City, North of Deem City and West of Big Lake, Sections 23, 24, 25 and 36, Township 46 south, Range 37 east; Sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, Township 46 south, Range 38 east; Sections 05, 06, 08, 09, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 22, Township 47 south, Range 38 east. More specifically it is located in southern Palm Beach County east of Highway U.S. 27, and west of Water Conservation Area 2A and STA 2 in Southern Palm Beach County, Florida. Compartment C is located within the USGS Quadrangle of Everglades 2NW and Everglades 2SW, Sections 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 27, Township 47 south, Range 34 east. More specifically, it is located west of the Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area and east of the L–3 Canal between STA–5 and STA–6 in eastern Hendry County, Florida. (a) Background. On October 4, 1996, the Corps published a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the initial Everglades Construction Project (ECP) which consisted of six STAs comprising approximately 44,000 acres. The ECP was implemented by the SFWMD as a result of nutrient loads of stormwater and runoff and high phosphorus loads from the EAA, Lake Okeechobee, and other contributory basins which discharge into the EPA. The EPA includes Water Conservation Areas 1 (Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge), 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B and Everglades National Park. The initial ECP was intended to achieve an interim target discharge of a long-term E:\FR\FM\11JYN1.SGM 11JYN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 37734 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 132 / Wednesday, July 11, 2007 / Notices annual flow-weighted mean phosphorus concentration of approximately 50 parts per billion (50 ppb). Pursuant to the Consent Decree in United States v. South Florida Water Management District, the State committed to provide water quantity and quality needed to preserve and restore the unique flora and fauna of the Everglades National Park and the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. The Everglades Forever Act (EFA) embodies the same goals. The SFWMD’s Long-Term Plan for Achieving Water Quality Goals, October 27, 2003 and the November 2004 revision recommend further studies that will help provide the additional detailed information required for making a more informed decision. In 2005, the SFWMD completed the EAA Regional Feasibility Study as part of the November 2004 revision to the LongTerm Plan. The Feasibility Study evaluated additional treatment needed in order to reduce phosphorus loads to the EPA and comply with the EFA including construction of STAs on Compartments B and C. (b) Purpose and Need. The overall project purpose is to reduce nutrient loads of stormwater and runoff from the EAA and nutrient concentrations in water delivered from Lake Okeechobee prior to distribution into the EPA in order to meet legal requirements. The six existing STAs included in the ECP were built and operated pursuant to the requirements of the EFA and contain approximately 40,000 acres of effective treatment area. Subsequent to the design and construction of these STAs, the inflow volumes and phosphorus concentrations loads were updated to incorporate best available information, including several years of actual STA inflow data and outflow performance data. One of the key assumptions during the design of the original STAs was that EAA Best Management Practices (BMPs) would result in a 20% reduction in inflow volumes; however, recent historic data has shown that although the required BMPs reduced phosphorus loads, the assumed inflow volume reductions have not occurred. The Consent Decree assumed that flow lost to BMPs would be replaced with additional flow from Lake Okeechobee; however, neither the original ECP design flow nor the 2001 Basin-Specific Feasibility Studies (ECP update with enhanced STAs) provided treatment capacity for those additional flows. In addition to higher than originally assumed stormwater runoff volumes from the EAA, the STA inflow phosphorus concentrations have also shown notable increases in the past VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:56 Jul 10, 2007 Jkt 211001 several years, likely a result of long-term increasing trends in Lake Okeechobee phosphorus concentrations, further amplified by the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes, as well as additional lake regulatory release volumes. The higherthan-anticipated EAA runoff volumes, flows and loads from Lake Okeechobee, and STA inflow concentrations have resulted in impacts to existing STA performance. (c) Proposed Action. The SFWMD proposes to convert approximately 13,740 acres of publicly owned, primarily agricultural lands to additional STAs. The Compartment B STA will consist of approximately 6,700 acres of effective treatment area, and will be operated in close coordination with the existing STA–2 and STA–3/4 to assist in optimizing the phosphorus removal performance of these two STAs. Depending upon the hydrologic and hydraulic conditions, the Compartment B STA can assist in the reduction of inflows to STA–1W and STA–1E, which discharges into the WCA–1. The Compartment C STA will consist of approximately 6,200 acres of effective treatment area, and can be operated in close coordination with existing STA–5 and STA–6 to assist in the phosphorus reduction capability of these two STAs, which discharge into WCA–3A. 2. Alternatives. Alternatives to the Proposed Action initially being considered include: (a) Construction of Compartment B STA and Compartment C STA to treat additional runoff in the EAA. (b) Construction of Compartment B STA to recover ability to treat Lake Okeechobee volumes originally intended to be treated by STA–3/4 and construction of Compartment C STA to treat additional runoff in the EAA. (c) Construction of Compartment B STA to treat a combination of Lake Okeechobee volumes and EAA runoff and construction of Compartment C STA to treat additional runoff in the EAA. (d) Construction of STAs on additional parcels of land. (e) Additional Treatment Technologies including but not limited to hyacinth and algae turf scrubber application. (f) No Action. 3. Draft EIS Scoping Process. (a) The Corps is furnishing this notice to: (1) Advise other Federal and state agencies, affected Tribes, and the public of our intentions; (2) announce the initiation of a 30-day scoping period; and (3) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues and alternatives to be included in the Draft EIS. The Corps invites comments from PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 all interested parties to ensure that the full range of issues related to the permit request is addressed and that all significant issues are identified. We will accept written comments until 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. (b) Significant issues to be analyzed in the Draft EIS include: Aesthetics/visual quality, agricultural resources, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, cumulative impacts, environmental justice, flood protection, geology/soils, growth inducement, land use/planning, noise/vibration, public health and safety, public services/ utilities, recreation, socioeconomics, threatened and endangered species, traffic/circulation, water resources including wetlands, and other issues identified through scoping, public involvement, and interagency coordination. (c) The Corps will conduct an environmental review of the Proposed Action in accordance with the requirements of NEPA, 1969 as amended, (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1500 et seq.), Corps Procedures for Implementing NEPA (33 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 230 et seq.), and with other appropriate federal laws and regulations, policies, and procedures of the Corps for compliance with those regulations. The Proposed Action, through the Corps permit review process, will require consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Additionally, the proposed action would involve evaluation for compliance with the Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines of the Clean Water Act; the MagnunsonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Water Quality Certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act; certification of state lands, easements and right of ways; and determination of Coastal Zone Management Act consistency. Additionally, the EIS will include an evaluation of modifying land for new uses which also involves zoning, land use planning, water management, and other regulatory requirements at the local, state, and federal level. The Compartments B and C lands were purchased using funds appropriated to the Department of Interior (DOI) under the authority of the 1996 Farm Bill (Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104– 127, 110 Stat. 1022). The DOI, Corps, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the SFWMD are parties to a Framework Agreement under which E:\FR\FM\11JYN1.SGM 11JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 132 / Wednesday, July 11, 2007 / Notices all interim uses of lands acquired with these funds must be consistent with the ultimate use of the property in a congressionally authorized federal project for Everglades restoration. The SFWMD will be required to obtain a land use approval from the DOI prior to construction. 4. Scoping Meeting. Public scoping meetings will be held on the Proposed Action on July 25, 2007, at 6 p.m. at the B1–Auditorium, SFWMD, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach and on July 26, 2007, at 5 p.m. at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 3200 E. Palm Beach Road, Belle Glade, Florida. The meetings will give agencies and the public an opportunity to receive more information on the Proposed Action and to provide comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS. 5. Availability of the Draft EIS. The Corps currently expects the Draft EIS to be made available to the public in April 2008. A public meeting will be held during the public comment period for the Draft EIS. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting. Dated: July 3, 2007. David S. Hobbie, Chief, Regulatory Division, Jacksonville District. [FR Doc. E7–13401 Filed 7–10–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–AJ–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.031S. Dates: Applications Available: July 11, 2007. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 10, 2007. Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education (IHEs) that qualify as eligible HSIs are eligible to apply for new Individual Development Grants and Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants under the HSI Program. To be an eligible HSI, an IHE must— (1) Be accredited or preaccredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association that the Secretary has determined to be a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training offered; (2) Be legally authorized by the State in which it is located to be a junior college or to provide an educational VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:56 Jul 10, 2007 Jkt 211001 program for which it awards a bachelor’s degree; (3) Be designated as an ‘‘eligible institution’’ by demonstrating that it: (A) Has an enrollment of needy students as described in 34 CFR 606.3; and (B) has low average educational and general expenditures per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student as described in 34 CFR 606.4; (4) Have an enrollment of undergraduate FTE students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application. Effective September 30, 2006, the Third Higher Education Extension Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109–292) amended section 502(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), by requiring that institutions report their undergraduate Hispanic FTE percentage at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application. Funds for the Developing HSI Program are awarded each fiscal year, thus, for this program, the end of the award year refers to the end of the fiscal year prior to the application due date. The end of the fiscal year occurs on September 30. Therefore, for purposes of making the determination described in paragraph (4) IHEs must report their undergraduate Hispanic FTE percentage based on the student enrollment count closest to, but not after, September 30, 2006. The Third Higher Education Extension Act of 2006 also amended section 502(a) of the HEA by eliminating the requirement in the HSI Program that an institution applying for a grant provide an assurance that not less than 50 percent of the institution’s Hispanic students are low-income individuals. The Notice Inviting Applications for Designation as Eligible Institutions for FY 2007 was published in the Federal Register on January 8, 2007 (72 FR 670). The HSI eligibility requirements are in 34 CFR 606.2 through 606.5 and can be accessed from the following Web site: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/ waisidx_01/34cfr606_01.html. The regulations in 34 CFR part 606 do not reflect the changes made by the Third Higher Education Extension Act of 2006 that are mentioned above. Relationship Between HSI and Title III, Part A Programs Note 1: A grantee under the HSI Program, which is authorized by Title V of the HEA, may not receive a grant under any HEA, Title III, Part A Program. The Title III, Part A Programs include: The Strengthening Institutions Program, the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program; and the Alaska Native and Native PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37735 Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Programs. Further, a current HSI Program grantee may not give up its HSI grant in order to receive a grant under any Title III, Part A Program. Note 2: An HSI that does not fall within the limitation described in Note 1 may apply for a FY 2007 grant under all Title III, Part A Programs for which it is eligible, as well as under the HSI Program. However, a successful applicant may receive only one grant. Note 3: An eligible HSI that submits more than one application may only be awarded one Individual Development Grant or one Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant in a fiscal year. Furthermore, we will not award a second Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant to an otherwise eligible HSI for the same award year as the HSI’s existing Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant. Note 4: The Department will crossreference for verification, data reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the IHE’s State-reported enrollment data, and the institutional annual report. If there are any differences in the percentages reported in IPEDS and the percentages reported in the grant application, the IHE should justify the differences as a part of its eligibility documentation. Estimated Available Funds: $17,181,510. Estimated Range of Awards: $550,000–$713,000. Estimated Average Size of Awards: Individual Development Grant: $575,000. Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant: $713,000. Maximum Awards: Individual Development Grant: $575,000; Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant: $713,000. We will not fund any application at an amount exceeding these maximum amounts for a single budget period of 12 months. We may choose not to further consider or review applications with budgets that exceed the maximum amounts specified, if we conclude, during our initial review of the application, that the proposed goals and objectives cannot be obtained with the specified maximum amount. Estimated Number of Awards: Individual Development Grant: 15. Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant: 12. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Applicants should periodically check the HSI Program Web site for further information. The address is: http://www.ed.gov/programs/idueshsi/ index.html. Project Period: Up to 60 months. Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The HSI Program provides grants to assist HSIs to expand E:\FR\FM\11JYN1.SGM 11JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 132 (Wednesday, July 11, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37733-37735]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-13401]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

 Department of the Army: Corps of Engineers


Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
for a Permit Application for Compartments B and C, Palm Beach and 
Hendry Counties, FL

AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI).

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Jacksonville 
District, will be receiving a permit application for a Department of 
the Army permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act from the South 
Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to construct Stormwater 
Treatment Areas (STAs) on parcels of land identified as Compartments B 
and C of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) (Proposed Action). As 
part of the permit process, the Corps is evaluating the environmental 
effects associated with construction of STAs on these parcels in order 
to provide additional treatment to assist the existing STAs in the 
overall goal of improving the quality of water delivered and to be 
delivered to the Everglades Protection Area (EPA) in order to prevent 
further environmental degradation.
    The primary federal involvement associated with the Proposed Action 
is the discharge of fill material (including permanent inundation) 
within federal jurisdictional areas and Waters of the United States. In 
addition, the Proposed Action could have potential significant effects 
on the human environment. Therefore, the Corps will prepare an EIS in 
compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to render 
a final decision on the SFWMD's permit application. The Corps' decision 
will be to either issue or deny a Department of the Army permit for the 
Proposed Action. The Draft EIS is intended to be sufficient in scope to 
address federal, state, and local requirements and environmental issues 
concerning the Proposed Action and permit reviews.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the Proposed Action 
and Draft EIS should be directed to Ms. Tori White, Corps Regulatory 
Project Manager, by telephone at (561) 472-8888 or by e-mail at 
tori.white@usace.army.mil. Written comments should be addressed to the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Restoration Program Office, 
Attn: Ms. Tori White, 1400 Centrepark Boulevard, Suite 750, West Palm 
Beach, Florida 33401 or by facsimile at (561) 683-2418. Information 
about the Proposed Action and Draft EIS can also be obtained from the 
Jacksonville District Web site at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    1. Project Site and Background Information. The Proposed Action is 
located at Compartments B and C of the EAA. Compartment B is located 
within USGS Quadrangles of Deem City, North of Deem City and West of 
Big Lake, Sections 23, 24, 25 and 36, Township 46 south, Range 37 east; 
Sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, Township 46 south, 
Range 38 east; Sections 05, 06, 08, 09, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 
22, Township 47 south, Range 38 east. More specifically it is located 
in southern Palm Beach County east of Highway U.S. 27, and west of 
Water Conservation Area 2A and STA 2 in Southern Palm Beach County, 
Florida. Compartment C is located within the USGS Quadrangle of 
Everglades 2NW and Everglades 2SW, Sections 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 
16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 27, Township 47 south, Range 34 east. More 
specifically, it is located west of the Rotenberger Wildlife Management 
Area and east of the L-3 Canal between STA-5 and STA-6 in eastern 
Hendry County, Florida.
    (a) Background. On October 4, 1996, the Corps published a Final 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the initial 
Everglades Construction Project (ECP) which consisted of six STAs 
comprising approximately 44,000 acres. The ECP was implemented by the 
SFWMD as a result of nutrient loads of stormwater and runoff and high 
phosphorus loads from the EAA, Lake Okeechobee, and other contributory 
basins which discharge into the EPA. The EPA includes Water 
Conservation Areas 1 (Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife 
Refuge), 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B and Everglades National Park. The initial ECP 
was intended to achieve an interim target discharge of a long-term

[[Page 37734]]

annual flow-weighted mean phosphorus concentration of approximately 50 
parts per billion (50 ppb). Pursuant to the Consent Decree in United 
States v. South Florida Water Management District, the State committed 
to provide water quantity and quality needed to preserve and restore 
the unique flora and fauna of the Everglades National Park and the 
Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. The Everglades Forever Act (EFA) embodies 
the same goals. The SFWMD's Long-Term Plan for Achieving Water Quality 
Goals, October 27, 2003 and the November 2004 revision recommend 
further studies that will help provide the additional detailed 
information required for making a more informed decision. In 2005, the 
SFWMD completed the EAA Regional Feasibility Study as part of the 
November 2004 revision to the Long-Term Plan. The Feasibility Study 
evaluated additional treatment needed in order to reduce phosphorus 
loads to the EPA and comply with the EFA including construction of STAs 
on Compartments B and C.
    (b) Purpose and Need. The overall project purpose is to reduce 
nutrient loads of stormwater and runoff from the EAA and nutrient 
concentrations in water delivered from Lake Okeechobee prior to 
distribution into the EPA in order to meet legal requirements. The six 
existing STAs included in the ECP were built and operated pursuant to 
the requirements of the EFA and contain approximately 40,000 acres of 
effective treatment area. Subsequent to the design and construction of 
these STAs, the inflow volumes and phosphorus concentrations loads were 
updated to incorporate best available information, including several 
years of actual STA inflow data and outflow performance data. One of 
the key assumptions during the design of the original STAs was that EAA 
Best Management Practices (BMPs) would result in a 20% reduction in 
inflow volumes; however, recent historic data has shown that although 
the required BMPs reduced phosphorus loads, the assumed inflow volume 
reductions have not occurred. The Consent Decree assumed that flow lost 
to BMPs would be replaced with additional flow from Lake Okeechobee; 
however, neither the original ECP design flow nor the 2001 Basin-
Specific Feasibility Studies (ECP update with enhanced STAs) provided 
treatment capacity for those additional flows. In addition to higher 
than originally assumed stormwater runoff volumes from the EAA, the STA 
inflow phosphorus concentrations have also shown notable increases in 
the past several years, likely a result of long-term increasing trends 
in Lake Okeechobee phosphorus concentrations, further amplified by the 
2004 and 2005 hurricanes, as well as additional lake regulatory release 
volumes. The higher-than-anticipated EAA runoff volumes, flows and 
loads from Lake Okeechobee, and STA inflow concentrations have resulted 
in impacts to existing STA performance.
    (c) Proposed Action. The SFWMD proposes to convert approximately 
13,740 acres of publicly owned, primarily agricultural lands to 
additional STAs. The Compartment B STA will consist of approximately 
6,700 acres of effective treatment area, and will be operated in close 
coordination with the existing STA-2 and STA-3/4 to assist in 
optimizing the phosphorus removal performance of these two STAs. 
Depending upon the hydrologic and hydraulic conditions, the Compartment 
B STA can assist in the reduction of inflows to STA-1W and STA-1E, 
which discharges into the WCA-1. The Compartment C STA will consist of 
approximately 6,200 acres of effective treatment area, and can be 
operated in close coordination with existing STA-5 and STA-6 to assist 
in the phosphorus reduction capability of these two STAs, which 
discharge into WCA-3A.
    2. Alternatives. Alternatives to the Proposed Action initially 
being considered include:
    (a) Construction of Compartment B STA and Compartment C STA to 
treat additional runoff in the EAA.
    (b) Construction of Compartment B STA to recover ability to treat 
Lake Okeechobee volumes originally intended to be treated by STA-3/4 
and construction of Compartment C STA to treat additional runoff in the 
EAA.
    (c) Construction of Compartment B STA to treat a combination of 
Lake Okeechobee volumes and EAA runoff and construction of Compartment 
C STA to treat additional runoff in the EAA.
    (d) Construction of STAs on additional parcels of land.
    (e) Additional Treatment Technologies including but not limited to 
hyacinth and algae turf scrubber application.
    (f) No Action.
    3. Draft EIS Scoping Process.
    (a) The Corps is furnishing this notice to: (1) Advise other 
Federal and state agencies, affected Tribes, and the public of our 
intentions; (2) announce the initiation of a 30-day scoping period; and 
(3) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues and 
alternatives to be included in the Draft EIS. The Corps invites 
comments from all interested parties to ensure that the full range of 
issues related to the permit request is addressed and that all 
significant issues are identified. We will accept written comments 
until 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.
    (b) Significant issues to be analyzed in the Draft EIS include: 
Aesthetics/visual quality, agricultural resources, air quality, 
biological resources, cultural resources, cumulative impacts, 
environmental justice, flood protection, geology/soils, growth 
inducement, land use/planning, noise/vibration, public health and 
safety, public services/utilities, recreation, socioeconomics, 
threatened and endangered species, traffic/circulation, water resources 
including wetlands, and other issues identified through scoping, public 
involvement, and interagency coordination.
    (c) The Corps will conduct an environmental review of the Proposed 
Action in accordance with the requirements of NEPA, 1969 as amended, 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 Code of 
Federal Regulations, Section 1500 et seq.), Corps Procedures for 
Implementing NEPA (33 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 230 et 
seq.), and with other appropriate federal laws and regulations, 
policies, and procedures of the Corps for compliance with those 
regulations. The Proposed Action, through the Corps permit review 
process, will require consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered 
Species Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. 
Additionally, the proposed action would involve evaluation for 
compliance with the Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines of the Clean Water 
Act; the Magnunson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; 
Water Quality Certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water 
Act; certification of state lands, easements and right of ways; and 
determination of Coastal Zone Management Act consistency. Additionally, 
the EIS will include an evaluation of modifying land for new uses which 
also involves zoning, land use planning, water management, and other 
regulatory requirements at the local, state, and federal level. The 
Compartments B and C lands were purchased using funds appropriated to 
the Department of Interior (DOI) under the authority of the 1996 Farm 
Bill (Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Public 
Law 104-127, 110 Stat. 1022). The DOI, Corps, Florida Department of 
Environmental Protection, and the SFWMD are parties to a Framework 
Agreement under which

[[Page 37735]]

all interim uses of lands acquired with these funds must be consistent 
with the ultimate use of the property in a congressionally authorized 
federal project for Everglades restoration. The SFWMD will be required 
to obtain a land use approval from the DOI prior to construction.
    4. Scoping Meeting. Public scoping meetings will be held on the 
Proposed Action on July 25, 2007, at 6 p.m. at the B1-Auditorium, 
SFWMD, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach and on July 26, 2007, at 5 
p.m. at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 3200 E. Palm 
Beach Road, Belle Glade, Florida. The meetings will give agencies and 
the public an opportunity to receive more information on the Proposed 
Action and to provide comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS.
    5. Availability of the Draft EIS. The Corps currently expects the 
Draft EIS to be made available to the public in April 2008. A public 
meeting will be held during the public comment period for the Draft 
EIS. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting.

    Dated: July 3, 2007.
David S. Hobbie,
Chief, Regulatory Division, Jacksonville District.
[FR Doc. E7-13401 Filed 7-10-07; 8:45 am]
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