Bear Creek Dam Leakage Resolution Project, Franklin County, AL, 52596-52598 [E7-18146]

Download as PDF 52596 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 178 / Friday, September 14, 2007 / Notices Number of respondents Frequency of response Average burden per response (minutes) ........................ ........................ ........................ Form No. and name Total .......................................................................................................... Estimated annual burden (hours) 18,625 * These are the two new forms being cleared in the current ICR for this collection. 2. Correction Notice: This 30-day notice published on August 7, 2007, at 72 FR 44211. It has since been decided to allow other types of respondents (other third-parties besides representatives) to use this form. Revised burden information is provided below. Electronic Records Express ThirdParty Registration Form—0960–NEW. ERE (Electronic Records Express) is an online system which enables medical providers and various third parties to submit disability claimant information electronically to SSA as part of the disability application process. Third parties who wish to use this system must complete a unique registration process so the Agency can ensure they are authorized to access a claimant’s electronic disability folder. This request is for the Third-Party Registration Form. The respondents are third-party representatives of disability applicants or recipients who want to use ERE to electronically access beneficiary folders and submit information to SSA. Type of Request: New information collection. Number of Respondents: 78,344. Frequency of Response: 1. Average Burden per Response: 3 minutes. Estimated Annual Burden: 3,917 hours. Dated: September 10, 2007. Elizabeth A. Davidson, Reports Clearance Officer, Social Security Administration. [FR Doc. E7–18104 Filed 9–13–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191–02–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 5936] seq.), Delegation of Authority No. 234 of October 1, 1999, Delegation of Authority No. 236 of October 19, 1999, as amended, and Delegation of Authority No. 257 of April 15, 2003 [68 FR 19875], I hereby determine that the objects to be included in the exhibition ‘‘A New World: England’s First View of America,’’ imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance. The objects are imported pursuant to loan agreements with the foreign owner or custodian. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at the North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, North Carolina, beginning on or about October 20, 2007, until on or about January 13, 2008, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, beginning on or about March 6, 2008, until on or about June 1, 2008; Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia, beginning on or about July 15, 2008, until on or about October 15, 2008 and at possible additional exhibitions or venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. Public Notice of these Determinations is ordered to be published in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including a list of the exhibit objects, contact Julie Simpson, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: (202–453–8050). The address is U.S. Department of State, SA– 44, 301 4th Street, SW., Room 700, Washington, DC 20547–0001. Dated: September 4, 2007. C. Miller Crouch, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–18170 Filed 9–13–07; 8:45 am] October 19, 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), Executive Order 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681, et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6501 note, et seq.), Delegation of Authority No. 234 of October 1, 1999, Delegation of Authority No. 236 of October 19, 1999, as amended, and Delegation of Authority No. 257 of April 15, 2003 [68 FR 19875], I hereby determine that the object to be included in the exhibition ‘‘Sir Anthony van Dyck: Portrait of an Old Man’’, imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, is of cultural significance. The object is imported pursuant to a loan agreement with the foreign owner or custodian. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit object at the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH, from on or about September 21, 2007, until on or about January 27, 2008, and at possible additional exhibitions or venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. Public Notice of these Determinations is ordered to be published in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including a list of the exhibit object, contact Richard Lahne, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: 202/453–8058). The address is U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Room 700, Washington, DC 20547–0001. Dated: September 10, 2007. C. Miller Crouch, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–18171 Filed 9–13–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P BILLING CODE 4710–05–P Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ‘‘A New World: England’s First View of America’’ Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: Pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Act of October 19, 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), Executive Order 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681, et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6501 note, et rmajette on PROD1PC64 with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:44 Sep 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY DEPARTMENT OF STATE Bear Creek Dam Leakage Resolution Project, Franklin County, AL [Public Notice 5935] SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: Pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Act of PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). ACTION: Issuance of Record of Decision. AGENCY: Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ‘‘Sir Anthony van Dyck: Portrait of an Old Man’’ Sfmt 4703 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 E:\FR\FM\14SEN1.SGM 14SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 178 / Friday, September 14, 2007 / Notices Environmental Policy Act. TVA has decided to implement Alternative 2— Modify Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 576 Feet, the preferred alternative identified in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Bear Creek Dam Leakage Resolution Project. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles P. Nicholson, NEPA Policy Program Manager, Environmental Stewardship and 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. TVA completed Bear Creek Dam in 1969 at mile 74.6 on Bear Creek in Franklin County, Alabama. The dam and associated reservoir are part of the Bear Creek Project authorized for the purposes of flood control, recreation, and economic development, including water supply. Excessive leakage of water has occurred through the foundation of Bear Creek Dam since its completion and this increases the risk of dam failure. TVA has unsuccessfully attempted repairs on several occasions. The most recent of these repair efforts was in 2004–2005; after TVA refilled the reservoir to its normal summer pool level of 576 feet above sea level, excessive leakage continued. Since then, TVA has operated the reservoir at a reduced summer pool level of 568 feet as a precautionary measure to reduce the leakage and provide a greater margin for flood management. However, following periods of heavy rainfall, the reservoir level can rise, and the risk of dam failure increases. TVA prepared this EIS to evaluate alternatives for a long-term solution to the problem of excessive leakage through Bear Creek Dam. TVA published a Notice of Intent to prepare this EIS in the Federal Register on June 2, 2006. A public scoping meeting was held on June 20, 2006 and attended by about 150 people. Scoping comments were received from two federal agencies, four state agencies, and several individuals. The Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2007. TVA held a public meeting on the Draft EIS on June 26, 2007 and accepted comments through July 16, 2007. Comments on the Draft EIS were received from three federal agencies, one state agency, three local public water suppliers, and three individuals. The Notice of Availability of the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2007. rmajette on PROD1PC64 with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:44 Sep 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 Alternatives Considered TVA identified four alternatives in the EIS Under Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative, TVA would not implement a long-term solution to the leakage problem and would attempt to operate the dam at the originally-intended summer pool level of 576 feet. Normal winter pool would remain at 565 feet. Under this alternative, TVA would implement new seasonal minimum flows from the dam as recommended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve habitat conditions for endangered species in Bear Creek downstream of the dam. Adoption of Alternative 1 would not remedy the leakage problem, and the dam would be at risk of failure, which would cause downstream flood damage. Although this alternative differs from the current interim operating regime, it better represents the historic baseline conditions. Under Alternative 2, Modify Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 576 Feet, TVA would repair or rebuild the dam in place or immediately downstream and restore the normal summer pool to 576 feet. TVA would also implement the new seasonal minimum flows described above for Alternative 1 and raise the normal winter pool by one foot to 566 feet. The existing roadway across the dam would be returned to service following dam repairs. Three sub-alternatives are considered under this alternative. Alternative 2a is the construction of a roller-compacted concrete structure at the downstream edge of the existing dam. This structure would be keyed into the bedrock, and a cutoff wall would be installed beneath the structure to prevent seepage. Alternative 2b is the placement of additional earth fill on the downstream dam face and the installation of a cutoff wall into bedrock on the downstream side of the dam. Alternative 2c is the installation of a cutoff wall into bedrock on the upstream dam face. Under Alternative 3, Lower Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 565 Feet, the existing dam would be partially removed and stabilized. A grout curtain or cutoff wall would be installed within the dam and into the underlying bedrock to prevent seepage under the dam. The existing roadway across the dam would be rebuilt. The reservoir pool level would be maintained at approximately 565 feet throughout the year. Under Alternative 4, Remove Dam and Restore Former Creek Channel, TVA would remove Bear Creek Dam and PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52597 the reservoir would be eliminated. The former creek channel would be dredged of excess sediment to facilitate water flow. A bridge would be built to replace the existing roadway over the dam. Comments on the Final EIS The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commented on the final EIS. Their comments focused on potential effects to wetlands and sought clarification of responses to previous EPA comments on the draft EIS. Due to favorable hydrologic conditions, approximately 77 acres of scrub-shrub, emergent, and aquatic bed wetlands have developed at various locations around the reservoir fringe at the interim summer pool elevation of 568 feet. None of these wetlands is forested. The forested wetlands on Bear Creek Reservoir are confined to the heads of coves where tributary streams enter the reservoir. The hydrology of these areas depends on the tributary streams, and the forested wetlands are generally unaffected by fluctuation in the reservoir level. Forested/scrub-shrub wetlands also occur on flats associated with Island Branch and further upstream. Based on the size of trees present, these wetlands have persisted in this location for over 20 years and would not be inundated when the reservoir is refilled. No forested wetlands would be affected adversely under Alternatives 1 and 2. Forested wetlands have not developed in the drawdown zone between elevation 576 feet (normal summer pool) and 565 (normal winter pool) because tree growth is inhibited by extended inundation during the growing season. Because they perform only minor wetland functions due to their fringe nature and because traditionally accepted hydric soil characteristics are not present, TVA does not consider these wetlands to be jurisdictional wetlands in accordance with the Clean Water Act. Accordingly, no compensatory mitigation is required to offset their loss. Bear Creek Reservoir is narrow with fairly steep, rocky banks and few areas of overbank. Fringe wetlands are likely to become reestablished along parts of the normal (576 foot) summer shoreline, particularly in bottomland areas associated with tributaries, if the reservoir were refilled under Alternative 1 or 2. Shoreline steepness and the presence of adequate soil substrate are the primary factors affecting wetland development at the current 568-foot summer pool level and at the 576-foot normal summer pool elevation under Alternatives 1 and 2. Competition from exotic plants or animal life does not E:\FR\FM\14SEN1.SGM 14SEN1 52598 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 178 / Friday, September 14, 2007 / Notices appear to present any barrier to wetland establishment. Much of the Bear Creek Reservoir shoreline has eroded since the reservoir was filled in 1969, and rock outcrops and bluffs are common along the shoreline. No critically eroding shoreline has been identified. At the 576-foot elevation, shoreline vegetation present prior to the 2005 emergency drawdown has not decreased. Refilling the reservoir under Alternatives 1 and 2 is not expected to cause additional erosion. Thus, establishment of shoreline buffers to prevent erosion is neither feasible nor necessary. Returning the reservoir to its original full summer pool is expected to result in water quality conditions virtually identical to the pre-2005 conditions. Most of the shoreline surrounding Bear Creek Reservoir is undeveloped and forested. Runoff from upland areas enters the reservoir primarily via tributary streams. The degree of upland runoff filtered by wetlands is dependent on those wetlands present in coves and associated with streams. These areas have not been affected dramatically by changes in reservoir levels. Historically, low levels of dissolved oxygen have occurred in the deeper portions of the reservoir. Currently there are no plans to improve dissolved oxygen. However, TVA will continue to monitor water quality on Bear Creek Reservoir and would take remedial measures as necessary. rmajette on PROD1PC64 with NOTICES Decision TVA has decided to implement Alternative 2, Modify Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 576 Feet. Under this alternative, the original project objectives of flood control, recreation, economic development, and water supply would be met. The new seasonal minimum flows would improve conditions for endangered species downstream of the dam, and the one-foot increase in the winter pool level would improve operating conditions for the public water supply intake and treatment plant on the reservoir. Three alternative methods of repairing the dam are identified in the EIS. TVA has selected Alternative 2a, the construction of a roller-compacted concrete structure at the downstream edge of the existing dam. Environmentally Preferred Alternative Alternative 2—Modify Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 576 Feet is the environmentally preferred alternative. Implementation of this alternative would afford a stable water supply source for the Franklin County VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:48 Sep 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 Water Service Authority and would restore water-based recreational opportunities on Bear Creek Reservoir. Repair of the dam under this alternative would provide increased flood protection to downstream areas compared to the other alternatives. Operation of the dam under Alternative 2 to provide target minimum flows would provide improved water quality for three federally listed mussel species known to occur downstream of Bear Creek Dam. The potential environmental consequences of implementing any of the three Alternative 2 repair methods are similar. However, Alternative 2a— Roller-Compacted Concrete Structure is preferable to the other two methods in that it would most likely provide the best long-term solution to the leakage problems. It would provide protection against the probable maximum flood. The need for future construction disturbance would be reduced under Alternative 2a. Mitigation Standard construction best management practices would be followed in all aspects of the proposed repairs and construction to avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts. TVA would ensure that all necessary permits are obtained from the appropriate regulatory agencies and that permit requirements are met. TVA would ensure that all site operations adhere to the requirements in each permit and would employ all necessary actions to minimize environmental impacts. The following non-routine measures would be implemented to reduce the potential for adverse environmental effects: • Construction buffers would be delineated around any caves within one-fourth mile of a construction area. The buffer for caves would be 200 feet. Within this buffer, vegetation would not be cleared, and vehicles or equipment would be restricted to existing roads. • TVA would increase patrols and monitoring of cultural resources within the reservoir drawdown area until conditions are stabilized or protected. • Archaeological surveys as required by the Memorandum of Agreement between TVA and the Alabama State Historic Preservation Officer will be conducted, and mitigation will be performed on any sites or resources determined to be eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in accordance with the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement. PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: September 10, 2007. Janet C. Herrin, Senior Vice President, River Operations. [FR Doc. E7–18146 Filed 9–13–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Corridors of the Future Program Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice; announcement of the Corridors of the Future under the Corridors of the Future Program. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announces the selection of the Corridors of the Future (CFP) Phase 2 applications to be designated as the Corridors of the Future. The DOT has identified nationally significant corridors and the corresponding CFP applications that have the potential to alleviate congestion and provide national and regional long-term transportation benefits that will increase freight reliability and enhance the quality of life for U.S. citizens within the corridors and across the Nation. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Alla C. Shaw, Attorney-Advisor, (202) 366–1042 (alla.shaw@dot.gov), Federal Highway Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, E84–463, Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access: An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded from the Office of the Federal Register’s home page at: http:// www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office’s Web page at: http:// www.access.gpo.gov/nara. Background: On September 5, 2006, the DOT published a notice in the Federal Register seeking applications from States, or private sector entities, interested in working together to build and manage corridors in a way that alleviates congestion on our highways, rail, or waterways (71 FR 52364). The notice outlined a two-phase submission and selection process and explained that the DOT would select up to 5 corridors in need of investment. However, the compelling nature of the Phase 2 applications justified DOT’s selection of the 6 corridors outlined below. For Phase 1, interested parties were asked to submit proposals containing general information about the proposed corridor projects. The DOT E:\FR\FM\14SEN1.SGM 14SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 178 (Friday, September 14, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52596-52598]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-18146]


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TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY


Bear Creek Dam Leakage Resolution Project, Franklin County, AL

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

[[Page 52597]]

Environmental Policy Act. TVA has decided to implement Alternative 2--
Modify Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 576 Feet, the preferred 
alternative identified in its Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS), Bear Creek Dam Leakage Resolution Project.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles P. Nicholson, NEPA Policy 
Program Manager, Environmental Stewardship and 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: TVA completed Bear Creek Dam in 1969 at mile 
74.6 on Bear Creek in Franklin County, Alabama. The dam and associated 
reservoir are part of the Bear Creek Project authorized for the 
purposes of flood control, recreation, and economic development, 
including water supply. Excessive leakage of water has occurred through 
the foundation of Bear Creek Dam since its completion and this 
increases the risk of dam failure. TVA has unsuccessfully attempted 
repairs on several occasions. The most recent of these repair efforts 
was in 2004-2005; after TVA refilled the reservoir to its normal summer 
pool level of 576 feet above sea level, excessive leakage continued. 
Since then, TVA has operated the reservoir at a reduced summer pool 
level of 568 feet as a precautionary measure to reduce the leakage and 
provide a greater margin for flood management. However, following 
periods of heavy rainfall, the reservoir level can rise, and the risk 
of dam failure increases. TVA prepared this EIS to evaluate 
alternatives for a long-term solution to the problem of excessive 
leakage through Bear Creek Dam.
    TVA published a Notice of Intent to prepare this EIS in the Federal 
Register on June 2, 2006. A public scoping meeting was held on June 20, 
2006 and attended by about 150 people. Scoping comments were received 
from two federal agencies, four state agencies, and several 
individuals. The Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS was published 
in the Federal Register on June 1, 2007. TVA held a public meeting on 
the Draft EIS on June 26, 2007 and accepted comments through July 16, 
2007. Comments on the Draft EIS were received from three federal 
agencies, one state agency, three local public water suppliers, and 
three individuals. The Notice of Availability of the Final EIS was 
published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2007.

Alternatives Considered

TVA identified four alternatives in the EIS

    Under Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative, TVA would not 
implement a long-term solution to the leakage problem and would attempt 
to operate the dam at the originally-intended summer pool level of 576 
feet. Normal winter pool would remain at 565 feet. Under this 
alternative, TVA would implement new seasonal minimum flows from the 
dam as recommended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve 
habitat conditions for endangered species in Bear Creek downstream of 
the dam. Adoption of Alternative 1 would not remedy the leakage 
problem, and the dam would be at risk of failure, which would cause 
downstream flood damage. Although this alternative differs from the 
current interim operating regime, it better represents the historic 
baseline conditions.
    Under Alternative 2, Modify Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 
576 Feet, TVA would repair or rebuild the dam in place or immediately 
downstream and restore the normal summer pool to 576 feet. TVA would 
also implement the new seasonal minimum flows described above for 
Alternative 1 and raise the normal winter pool by one foot to 566 feet. 
The existing roadway across the dam would be returned to service 
following dam repairs. Three sub-alternatives are considered under this 
alternative. Alternative 2a is the construction of a roller-compacted 
concrete structure at the downstream edge of the existing dam. This 
structure would be keyed into the bedrock, and a cutoff wall would be 
installed beneath the structure to prevent seepage. Alternative 2b is 
the placement of additional earth fill on the downstream dam face and 
the installation of a cutoff wall into bedrock on the downstream side 
of the dam. Alternative 2c is the installation of a cutoff wall into 
bedrock on the upstream dam face.
    Under Alternative 3, Lower Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 
565 Feet, the existing dam would be partially removed and stabilized. A 
grout curtain or cutoff wall would be installed within the dam and into 
the underlying bedrock to prevent seepage under the dam. The existing 
roadway across the dam would be rebuilt. The reservoir pool level would 
be maintained at approximately 565 feet throughout the year.
    Under Alternative 4, Remove Dam and Restore Former Creek Channel, 
TVA would remove Bear Creek Dam and the reservoir would be eliminated. 
The former creek channel would be dredged of excess sediment to 
facilitate water flow. A bridge would be built to replace the existing 
roadway over the dam.

Comments on the Final EIS

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commented on the 
final EIS. Their comments focused on potential effects to wetlands and 
sought clarification of responses to previous EPA comments on the draft 
EIS. Due to favorable hydrologic conditions, approximately 77 acres of 
scrub-shrub, emergent, and aquatic bed wetlands have developed at 
various locations around the reservoir fringe at the interim summer 
pool elevation of 568 feet. None of these wetlands is forested. The 
forested wetlands on Bear Creek Reservoir are confined to the heads of 
coves where tributary streams enter the reservoir. The hydrology of 
these areas depends on the tributary streams, and the forested wetlands 
are generally unaffected by fluctuation in the reservoir level. 
Forested/scrub-shrub wetlands also occur on flats associated with 
Island Branch and further upstream. Based on the size of trees present, 
these wetlands have persisted in this location for over 20 years and 
would not be inundated when the reservoir is refilled. No forested 
wetlands would be affected adversely under Alternatives 1 and 2. 
Forested wetlands have not developed in the drawdown zone between 
elevation 576 feet (normal summer pool) and 565 (normal winter pool) 
because tree growth is inhibited by extended inundation during the 
growing season.
    Because they perform only minor wetland functions due to their 
fringe nature and because traditionally accepted hydric soil 
characteristics are not present, TVA does not consider these wetlands 
to be jurisdictional wetlands in accordance with the Clean Water Act. 
Accordingly, no compensatory mitigation is required to offset their 
loss.
    Bear Creek Reservoir is narrow with fairly steep, rocky banks and 
few areas of overbank. Fringe wetlands are likely to become 
reestablished along parts of the normal (576 foot) summer shoreline, 
particularly in bottomland areas associated with tributaries, if the 
reservoir were refilled under Alternative 1 or 2. Shoreline steepness 
and the presence of adequate soil substrate are the primary factors 
affecting wetland development at the current 568-foot summer pool level 
and at the 576-foot normal summer pool elevation under Alternatives 1 
and 2. Competition from exotic plants or animal life does not

[[Page 52598]]

appear to present any barrier to wetland establishment.
    Much of the Bear Creek Reservoir shoreline has eroded since the 
reservoir was filled in 1969, and rock outcrops and bluffs are common 
along the shoreline. No critically eroding shoreline has been 
identified. At the 576-foot elevation, shoreline vegetation present 
prior to the 2005 emergency drawdown has not decreased. Refilling the 
reservoir under Alternatives 1 and 2 is not expected to cause 
additional erosion. Thus, establishment of shoreline buffers to prevent 
erosion is neither feasible nor necessary.
    Returning the reservoir to its original full summer pool is 
expected to result in water quality conditions virtually identical to 
the pre-2005 conditions. Most of the shoreline surrounding Bear Creek 
Reservoir is undeveloped and forested. Runoff from upland areas enters 
the reservoir primarily via tributary streams. The degree of upland 
runoff filtered by wetlands is dependent on those wetlands present in 
coves and associated with streams. These areas have not been affected 
dramatically by changes in reservoir levels. Historically, low levels 
of dissolved oxygen have occurred in the deeper portions of the 
reservoir. Currently there are no plans to improve dissolved oxygen. 
However, TVA will continue to monitor water quality on Bear Creek 
Reservoir and would take remedial measures as necessary.

Decision

    TVA has decided to implement Alternative 2, Modify Dam and Maintain 
Summer Pool Level of 576 Feet. Under this alternative, the original 
project objectives of flood control, recreation, economic development, 
and water supply would be met. The new seasonal minimum flows would 
improve conditions for endangered species downstream of the dam, and 
the one-foot increase in the winter pool level would improve operating 
conditions for the public water supply intake and treatment plant on 
the reservoir.
    Three alternative methods of repairing the dam are identified in 
the EIS. TVA has selected Alternative 2a, the construction of a roller-
compacted concrete structure at the downstream edge of the existing 
dam.

Environmentally Preferred Alternative

    Alternative 2--Modify Dam and Maintain Summer Pool Level of 576 
Feet is the environmentally preferred alternative. Implementation of 
this alternative would afford a stable water supply source for the 
Franklin County Water Service Authority and would restore water-based 
recreational opportunities on Bear Creek Reservoir. Repair of the dam 
under this alternative would provide increased flood protection to 
downstream areas compared to the other alternatives. Operation of the 
dam under Alternative 2 to provide target minimum flows would provide 
improved water quality for three federally listed mussel species known 
to occur downstream of Bear Creek Dam.
    The potential environmental consequences of implementing any of the 
three Alternative 2 repair methods are similar. However, Alternative 
2a--Roller-Compacted Concrete Structure is preferable to the other two 
methods in that it would most likely provide the best long-term 
solution to the leakage problems. It would provide protection against 
the probable maximum flood. The need for future construction 
disturbance would be reduced under Alternative 2a.

Mitigation

    Standard construction best management practices would be followed 
in all aspects of the proposed repairs and construction to avoid or 
minimize adverse environmental impacts. TVA would ensure that all 
necessary permits are obtained from the appropriate regulatory agencies 
and that permit requirements are met. TVA would ensure that all site 
operations adhere to the requirements in each permit and would employ 
all necessary actions to minimize environmental impacts. The following 
non-routine measures would be implemented to reduce the potential for 
adverse environmental effects:
     Construction buffers would be delineated around any caves 
within one-fourth mile of a construction area. The buffer for caves 
would be 200 feet. Within this buffer, vegetation would not be cleared, 
and vehicles or equipment would be restricted to existing roads.
     TVA would increase patrols and monitoring of cultural 
resources within the reservoir drawdown area until conditions are 
stabilized or protected.
     Archaeological surveys as required by the Memorandum of 
Agreement between TVA and the Alabama State Historic Preservation 
Officer will be conducted, and mitigation will be performed on any 
sites or resources determined to be eligible for inclusion on the 
National Register of Historic Places in accordance with the terms of 
the Memorandum of Agreement.

    Dated: September 10, 2007.
Janet C. Herrin,
Senior Vice President, River Operations.
 [FR Doc. E7-18146 Filed 9-13-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8120-08-P