Notice of Availability for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Widening of the Freeport Ship Channel in Freeport, Brazoria County, TX, 2011-2013 [E8-377]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 8 / Friday, January 11, 2008 / Notices 1100 Honorable Thomas F. Hall, Assistant Secretary of Defense Reserve Affairs. 1200 Lunch. 1300 Vice Admiral John G. Cotton, Chief of Navy Reserve, Commander, Navy Reserve Force. 1430 Board Discussion (Read Ahead documents/Communication Feedback) Due Outs— Subcommittee tasks. 1530 Break. 1545 Summary of Proceedings, FY08 meeting dates. 1630 Administrative Announcements (MAJ Elaine Gullotta, ESGR DAB Action Officer). 1645 Adjourn. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Due to scheduling difficulties the Defense Advisory Board for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve was unable to finalize its agenda in time to publish notice of its meeting in the Federal Register for the 15-calendar days required by 41 CFR 102–3.150(a). Accordingly, the Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, pursuant to 41 CFR 102– 3.150(b), waives the 15-calendar day notification requirement. Dated: January 7, 2008. C.R. Choate, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 08–87 Filed 1–10–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) Department of Defense; Office of the Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board. ACTION: Notice of advisory committee meeting. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: 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 CFR 102–3.150, the Department of Defense announces the following Federal advisory committee meeting: Name of Committee: Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB). Date: January 29–30, 2008. Time: (29th) 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; (30th) 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Location: Meeting address (29th) Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Camp Fretterd Military Reservation, 5401 Rue Saint Lo Drive, Reisterstown, MD 21136; (30th) VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 Jan 10, 2008 Jkt 214001 Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel at Camden Yards, 110 South Eutaw St., Baltimore, MD 21201. Mailing address is Reserve Forces Policy Board, 7300 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301–7300. Purpose of the Meeting: An open quarterly meeting of the Reserve Forces Policy Board. Agenda: Discussion of homeland security and other issues relevant to the Reserve Components. Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102–3.140 through 102–3.165, and the availability of space this meeting is open to the public. To request a seat, contact the DFO in advance at 703–697– 4486, or by e-mail, marjorie.davis@osd.mil and/or donald.ahern@osd.mil. Written Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102–3.105(j) and 102–3.140, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the membership of the Reserve Forces Policy Board at any time or in response to the stated agenda of a planned meeting. Written statements should be submitted to the Reserve Forces Policy Board’s Designated Federal Officer. The Designated Federal Officer’s contact information can be obtained from the GSA’s FACA Database—https:// www.fido.gov/facadatabase/ public.asp.’’ Written statements that do not pertain to a scheduled meeting of the Reserve Forces Policy Board may be submitted at any time. However, if individual comments pertain to a specific topic being discussed at a planned meeting then these statements must be submitted no later than five business days prior to the meeting in question. The Designated Federal Officer will review all submitted written statements and provide copies to all the committee members. Col Marjorie Davis, Designated Federal Officer, (703) 697–4486 (Voice), (703) 614–0504 (Facsimile), marjorie.davis@osd.mil. Mailing address is Reserve Forces Policy Board, 7300 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301–7300. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: January 4, 2007. C.R. Choate, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. E8–381 Filed 1–10–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2011 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Availability of Non-Exclusive, Exclusive License or Partially Exclusive Licensing of U.S. Patent Concerning Polymer-Template Complex Produced by Enzymatic Polymerization Department of the Army, DoD. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: In accordance with 37 CFR 404.6, announcement is made of the availability for licensing of U.S. Patent No. U.S. 7,309,582 entitled ‘‘PolymerTemplate Complex Produced by Enzymatic Polymerization’’ issued December 18, 2007. This patent has been assigned to the United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Army. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jeffrey DiTullio at U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center, Kansas Street, Natick, MA 01760, Phone; (508) 233–4184 or Email: Jeffrey.Ditullio@natick.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Any licenses granted shall comply with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison. [FR Doc. E8–369 Filed 1–10–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–08–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Notice of Availability for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Widening of the Freeport Ship Channel in Freeport, Brazoria County, TX Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District announces the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the public comment period, and the availability of the Final General Conformity Determination for the Brazos River Harbor Navigation District’s (Port of Freeport) proposed widening of the Freeport Harbor Ship Channel. DATES: The USACE Galveston District will be accepting written public comments on the FEIS through February 11, 2008. All comments must be postmarked by February 11, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may send written comments to the USACE, Galveston E:\FR\FM\11JAN1.SGM 11JAN1 2012 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 8 / Friday, January 11, 2008 / Notices District, Attn: Sam Watson, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553–1229. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action and FEIS can be answered by Mr. Sam Watson, (409) 766–3946. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES Authority: This Federal Action is in consideration of a Department of the Army Permit application for work under section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C.403), section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) and Section 103 of the Marine Protection and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) (33 U.S.C. 1413). Background: In April 2005, Port of Freeport submitted a Department of Army Permit Application to widen portions of the Freeport Harbor Jetty Channel and all of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel from 400 feet (ft) to 600 ft. It was determined that an Environmental Impact Statement would be required for the proposed project. Since the November 29, 2005 Scoping Meeting, the consulting firm of PBS&J, under the direction of the Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), prepared Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements for the proposed project. The DEIS was made available for a 60-day comment period on November 9, 2006. A public hearing and workshop was held December 6, 2006 in Freeport, Texas. Comments received during the comment period and at the public hearing have been considered in the evaluation of the project and incorporated into the FEIS. The FEIS is now available for public review and comment. Project Description: Port of Freeport proposes to widen portions of the Freeport Ship Channel. The project includes widening the Freeport Harbor Jetty Channel beginning at Channel Station 63+35 with a gradual widening, at the authorized depth, up to an additional 150 feet (ft) for about 1,835 ft to Channel Station 45+00. From that point to Channel Station 40+00 the widening would be less gradual from the additional 150 ft to an additional 200 ft. Through the rest of the Jetty Channel and to the end of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel (Channel Station ¥260+00), the channel would be widened an additional 200 ft. The length of channel proposed for widening is about 6.1 miles, of which 5.7 miles would be widened by 200 ft. The project depth will remain the same at 45 ft in the Jetty Channel and 47 ft in the Entrance Channel. The widening would generate approximately 3.2 million cubic yards (mcy) of new dredged material. Approximately 2.9 mcy of the new work material would VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 Jan 10, 2008 Jkt 214001 consist of clay material and about 300,000 cubic yards (cy) would consist of silty/sand material. If approved by EPA and by USACE under section 102 and 103 of MPRSA, an ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS) previously designated as a one-time use site would be redesignated for placement of the 2.9 mcy of clay/silt material. The 300,000 cy of silty/sand material would be used beneficially and placed on Quintana Beach in front of the Seaway upland confined placement area (UPCA). The beach on either side of this location has been enhanced through Texas General Land Office (GLO) or other programs, but no material was placed in front of the Seaway UPCA. Placement of the material in this location would provide some protection from erosion for the Seaway UPCA, which is an active placement area that has not been used for approximately 6 years because of concerns regarding erosion of the beachfront levee. Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended and as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500–1508) a FEIS for the proposed Freeport Channel Widening has been filed with the EPA and is being made available to Federal, State, and local agencies and all interested parties. The FEIS can be viewed at http:// www.swg.usace.army.mil/reg/pn.asp. Copies of the FEIS are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. In addition, copies of the FEIS are available for viewing at the following libraries: Brazoria County Library System, Catherine H. Threadgill, County Librarian, 451 N Velasco, Angleton, TX 77515. Brazoria Library, Jerry Measells, Librarian, 620 S. Brooks, Brazoria, TX 77422 . Clute Library, Carolyn Weatherly, Librarian, 215 N. Shanks, Clute, TX 77531 . Freeport Library, Marge Janke, Librarian, 410 Brazosport Blvd., Freeport, TX 77541. Lake Jackson Library, Nancy Hackney, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson, TX 77566. Final General Conformity Review: Pursuant to section 176 of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990, a Final General Conformity Determination has been filed with the EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and is being made available to Federal, State and local air quality agencies and all interested parties for PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the proposed Freeport Channel Widening. Copies of the Final General Conformity Determination are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. In addition, copies of the Final General Conformity Determination (Appendix G to the FEIS) are available for viewing, along with the FEIS, at the libraries listed above. Section 102/103: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with developing ocean dumping criteria to be used in evaluating permit applications under section 102(a) of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). Section 103 of MPRSA authorizes USACE to permit the placement of dredged material within an ODMDS, subject to EPA concurrence and use of EPA’s dumping criteria. For the proposed widening project, USACE would authorize the continued use of the maintenance material ODMDS and the one-time placement of new work material in a previously designated site under section 103, pending EPA concurrence that the criteria continue to be met and that analysis meets EPA guidelines. Additional information regarding the Section 103 authorization is included in the FEIS (primarily in Appendix C). Other Agency Authorizations: Texas Coastal Zone consistency certification is required. The applicant has stated that the project is consistent with the Texas Coastal Management Program goals and policies and will be conducted in a manner consistent with said Program. In January 2007 the Coastal Coordination Council provided a letter noting that the proposed action is consistent with the Texas Coastal Management Program goals and policies (Appendix I). National Register of Historic Places: The staff archaeologist has reviewed the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places, lists of properties determined eligible, and other sources of information. The following is current knowledge of the presence or absence of historic resources and the effects of the proposed project upon these properties: A remote sensing survey of the Freeport Harbor Channel was performed by PBS&J in March and April, 2005 and a close-order survey was performed in February 2006. A total of eleven anomalies having potential historic significance were located in areas of potential impact during the initial inventory. Six of those anomalies were identified as areas that were of potential historic significance during the second inventory. Because these six anomalies occur within areas that would be impacted by bottom disturbing activities, they were surveyed by diving E:\FR\FM\11JAN1.SGM 11JAN1 ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 8 / Friday, January 11, 2008 / Notices and/or probing to confirm whether or not they are significant archeological sites. None of the anomalies was identified as a cultural resource. In March 2007 the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) concurred that no further investigation was needed on the areas cleared by diving and that the proposed action may proceed (Appendix E). Threatened and Endangered Species: A Biological Assessment was prepared and was presented to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in the DEIS. Consultation with FWS regarding nesting sea turtles and piping plover was completed informally. NMFS has reviewed the Biological Assessment (BA) and has prepared a Biological Opinion (BO) outlining the measures to be taken to avoid and minimize potential sea turtle takes, particularly during hopper dredging activities. NMFS’ finding was that the proposed action is likely to adversely affect but is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp’s ridley, or green sea turtles. Essential Fish Habitat: Consultation for Essential Fish Habitat of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was initiated in November 2005 via the workshop prior to the public scoping meeting. Letters were also sent to the NMFS in February and May, 2006. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. NMFS has reviewed the analysis provided in the DEIS and concurred with the finding that the proposed placement of dredged material will not significantly affect EFH and that no further consultation is required (Appendix I). Public Interest Review Factors: The application will be reviewed in accordance with 33 CFR 320–330, the Regulatory Programs of USACE, and other pertinent laws, regulations and executive orders. The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against reasonably foreseeable detriments associated with the proposal. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 Jan 10, 2008 Jkt 214001 considered. These include, but are not limited to: dredged material management, air quality, shoreline erosion, economics, general environmental concerns, historic resources, protected species, navigation, recreation, water and sediment quality, energy needs, safety, hazardous materials, and, in general, the welfare of the people. Solicitation of Comments: USACE is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by USACE to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments will be considered in the evaluation of impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments will be used in the preparation of the Record of Decision pursuant to NEPA. Comments are also used to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. E8–377 Filed 1–10–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–52–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Intent To Prepare a Draft Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement for Modification of the Coos Bay Navigational Channel, Coos County, OR Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Portland District will be the lead agency for a combined Draft Feasibility Study/Environmental Impact Statement (FS/EIS) for Coos Bay Channel Modifications in Coos County, Oregon. The FS/EIS is being prepared by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) under the authority granted by section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986. DATES: All parties are invited to participate in the scoping process to determine the range of issues and alternatives to be addressed. A public scoping meeting will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2008, from 4–8 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2013 p.m. at the City of North Bend Community Center, 222 Broadway Street, North Bend, OR 97459. In addition, written comments will also be accepted until February 15, 2008, at the address listed below or at the project Web site: http:// www.CoosBayChannelEIS.com. The Corps expects the Draft FS/EIS to be made available to the public in March 2009. A public hearing will be held during the public comment period for the Draft FS/EIS. ADDRESSES: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Programs and Project Management Division, Planning Branch, P.O. 2946, Portland, OR 97208–2946. FOR FUTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Eric Bluhm, who can be reached by telephone at (503) 808–4759, by fax at (503) 808–4736, or by e-mail at eric.v.bluhm@usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Project Site and Background Information. The project site is in Coos Bay, located on the central/south coast of Oregon. The Coos Bay Federal Navigation Project was originally authorized by the River and Harbor Act of March 1879. The Federal Navigation Project was last modified by the Corps in 1997, with a channel configuration of approximately 37 feet deep and 300 feet wide from the ocean inlet to a railroad bridge at River Mile (RM) 9.2, and continuing at 400 feet wide upstream to RM 15.0. 2. Proposed Action. The proposed Federal actions are to modify the Coos Bay Navigational Channel from the entrance at the Pacific Ocean to the railroad bridge located at approximately river mile (RM) 9.2 and to provide ecosystem restoration in the vicinity of Coos Bay. The channel would be deepened and widened to accommodate large container vessels, and a vessel turning basin would be added for vessel maneuvering. Maintenance dredging of the channel and inlet, and possible modifications to the jetties would also be part of the Federal proposed action. Dredged material could be disposed at a variety of locations including ocean, nearshore, and at the shoreline. Other, non-Federal but interdependent and inter-related actions proposed by the Port include developing an inter-modal container terminal on the North Spit of Coos Bay and making improvements to the railway corridor from the North Spit to Eugene, Oregon to transport goods offloaded from container vessels. 3. Purpose of and Need for the Project. The purposes of the proposed Federal action are: (1) To respond to growing needs for capacity for large E:\FR\FM\11JAN1.SGM 11JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 8 (Friday, January 11, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2011-2013]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-377]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Notice of Availability for the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for Widening of the Freeport Ship Channel in Freeport, 
Brazoria County, TX

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

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

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

DATES: The USACE Galveston District will be accepting written public 
comments on the FEIS through February 11, 2008. All comments must be 
postmarked by February 11, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may send written comments to the USACE, Galveston

[[Page 2012]]

District, Attn: Sam Watson, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553-1229.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

    Authority: This Federal Action is in consideration of a 
Department of the Army Permit application for work under section 10 
of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C.403), section 404 of 
the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) and Section 103 of the Marine 
Protection and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) (33 U.S.C. 1413).

    Background: In April 2005, Port of Freeport submitted a Department 
of Army Permit Application to widen portions of the Freeport Harbor 
Jetty Channel and all of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel from 400 
feet (ft) to 600 ft. It was determined that an Environmental Impact 
Statement would be required for the proposed project. Since the 
November 29, 2005 Scoping Meeting, the consulting firm of PBS&J, under 
the direction of the Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(USACE), prepared Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements for 
the proposed project. The DEIS was made available for a 60-day comment 
period on November 9, 2006. A public hearing and workshop was held 
December 6, 2006 in Freeport, Texas. Comments received during the 
comment period and at the public hearing have been considered in the 
evaluation of the project and incorporated into the FEIS. The FEIS is 
now available for public review and comment.
    Project Description: Port of Freeport proposes to widen portions of 
the Freeport Ship Channel. The project includes widening the Freeport 
Harbor Jetty Channel beginning at Channel Station 63+35 with a gradual 
widening, at the authorized depth, up to an additional 150 feet (ft) 
for about 1,835 ft to Channel Station 45+00. From that point to Channel 
Station 40+00 the widening would be less gradual from the additional 
150 ft to an additional 200 ft. Through the rest of the Jetty Channel 
and to the end of the Freeport Harbor Entrance Channel (Channel Station 
-260+00), the channel would be widened an additional 200 ft. The length 
of channel proposed for widening is about 6.1 miles, of which 5.7 miles 
would be widened by 200 ft. The project depth will remain the same at 
45 ft in the Jetty Channel and 47 ft in the Entrance Channel. The 
widening would generate approximately 3.2 million cubic yards (mcy) of 
new dredged material. Approximately 2.9 mcy of the new work material 
would consist of clay material and about 300,000 cubic yards (cy) would 
consist of silty/sand material. If approved by EPA and by USACE under 
section 102 and 103 of MPRSA, an ocean dredged material disposal site 
(ODMDS) previously designated as a one-time use site would be 
redesignated for placement of the 2.9 mcy of clay/silt material. The 
300,000 cy of silty/sand material would be used beneficially and placed 
on Quintana Beach in front of the Seaway upland confined placement area 
(UPCA). The beach on either side of this location has been enhanced 
through Texas General Land Office (GLO) or other programs, but no 
material was placed in front of the Seaway UPCA. Placement of the 
material in this location would provide some protection from erosion 
for the Seaway UPCA, which is an active placement area that has not 
been used for approximately 6 years because of concerns regarding 
erosion of the beachfront levee.
    Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): 
Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended and as implemented by the Council on 
Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) a FEIS for the proposed 
Freeport Channel Widening has been filed with the EPA and is being made 
available to Federal, State, and local agencies and all interested 
parties. The FEIS can be viewed at http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/reg/
pn.asp. Copies of the FEIS are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. 
In addition, copies of the FEIS are available for viewing at the 
following libraries:
    Brazoria County Library System, Catherine H. Threadgill, County 
Librarian, 451 N Velasco, Angleton, TX 77515.
    Brazoria Library, Jerry Measells, Librarian, 620 S. Brooks, 
Brazoria, TX 77422 .
    Clute Library, Carolyn Weatherly, Librarian, 215 N. Shanks, Clute, 
TX 77531 .
    Freeport Library, Marge Janke, Librarian, 410 Brazosport Blvd., 
Freeport, TX 77541.
    Lake Jackson Library, Nancy Hackney, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson, 
TX 77566.
    Final General Conformity Review: Pursuant to section 176 of the 
Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990, a Final General Conformity 
Determination has been filed with the EPA and Texas Commission on 
Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and is being made available to Federal, 
State and local air quality agencies and all interested parties for the 
proposed Freeport Channel Widening. Copies of the Final General 
Conformity Determination are available by contacting Mr. Sam Watson. In 
addition, copies of the Final General Conformity Determination 
(Appendix G to the FEIS) are available for viewing, along with the 
FEIS, at the libraries listed above.
    Section 102/103: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 
charged with developing ocean dumping criteria to be used in evaluating 
permit applications under section 102(a) of the Marine Protection, 
Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). Section 103 of MPRSA authorizes 
USACE to permit the placement of dredged material within an ODMDS, 
subject to EPA concurrence and use of EPA's dumping criteria. For the 
proposed widening project, USACE would authorize the continued use of 
the maintenance material ODMDS and the one-time placement of new work 
material in a previously designated site under section 103, pending EPA 
concurrence that the criteria continue to be met and that analysis 
meets EPA guidelines. Additional information regarding the Section 103 
authorization is included in the FEIS (primarily in Appendix C).
    Other Agency Authorizations: Texas Coastal Zone consistency 
certification is required. The applicant has stated that the project is 
consistent with the Texas Coastal Management Program goals and policies 
and will be conducted in a manner consistent with said Program. In 
January 2007 the Coastal Coordination Council provided a letter noting 
that the proposed action is consistent with the Texas Coastal 
Management Program goals and policies (Appendix I).
    National Register of Historic Places: The staff archaeologist has 
reviewed the latest published version of the National Register of 
Historic Places, lists of properties determined eligible, and other 
sources of information. The following is current knowledge of the 
presence or absence of historic resources and the effects of the 
proposed project upon these properties: A remote sensing survey of the 
Freeport Harbor Channel was performed by PBS&J in March and April, 2005 
and a close-order survey was performed in February 2006. A total of 
eleven anomalies having potential historic significance were located in 
areas of potential impact during the initial inventory. Six of those 
anomalies were identified as areas that were of potential historic 
significance during the second inventory. Because these six anomalies 
occur within areas that would be impacted by bottom disturbing 
activities, they were surveyed by diving

[[Page 2013]]

and/or probing to confirm whether or not they are significant 
archeological sites. None of the anomalies was identified as a cultural 
resource. In March 2007 the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) 
concurred that no further investigation was needed on the areas cleared 
by diving and that the proposed action may proceed (Appendix E).
    Threatened and Endangered Species: A Biological Assessment was 
prepared and was presented to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in the DEIS. Consultation with 
FWS regarding nesting sea turtles and piping plover was completed 
informally. NMFS has reviewed the Biological Assessment (BA) and has 
prepared a Biological Opinion (BO) outlining the measures to be taken 
to avoid and minimize potential sea turtle takes, particularly during 
hopper dredging activities. NMFS' finding was that the proposed action 
is likely to adversely affect but is not likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp's 
ridley, or green sea turtles.
    Essential Fish Habitat: Consultation for Essential Fish Habitat of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was 
initiated in November 2005 via the workshop prior to the public scoping 
meeting. Letters were also sent to the NMFS in February and May, 2006. 
Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a 
substantial adverse impact on Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) or Federally 
managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. NMFS has reviewed the analysis 
provided in the DEIS and concurred with the finding that the proposed 
placement of dredged material will not significantly affect EFH and 
that no further consultation is required (Appendix I).
    Public Interest Review Factors: The application will be reviewed in 
accordance with 33 CFR 320-330, the Regulatory Programs of USACE, and 
other pertinent laws, regulations and executive orders. The decision 
whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the 
probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed 
activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the 
national concern for both protection and utilization of important 
resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue 
from the proposal, must be balanced against reasonably foreseeable 
detriments associated with the proposal. All factors which may be 
relevant to the proposal will be considered. These include, but are not 
limited to: dredged material management, air quality, shoreline 
erosion, economics, general environmental concerns, historic resources, 
protected species, navigation, recreation, water and sediment quality, 
energy needs, safety, hazardous materials, and, in general, the welfare 
of the people.
    Solicitation of Comments: USACE is soliciting comments from the 
public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian 
tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate 
the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be 
considered by USACE to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or 
deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments will 
be considered in the evaluation of impacts on endangered species, 
historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and 
the other public interest factors listed above. Comments will be used 
in the preparation of the Record of Decision pursuant to NEPA. Comments 
are also used to determine the overall public interest of the proposed 
activity.

Brenda S. Bowen,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. E8-377 Filed 1-10-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3710-52-P