National Environmental Policy Act: Scientific Balloon Program, 77673-77674 [2010-31239]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 238 / Monday, December 13, 2010 / Notices making this decision, may undertake other proceedings prescribed in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. OSHA will publish a public notice of this final decision in the Federal Register. However, because OSHA is only correcting the recognition, if OSHA receives no comments, it will add the standard to FM’s scope without publishing a notice of final decision. Authority and Signature David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, directed the preparation of this notice. Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to Sections 6(b) and 8(g) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655 and 657), Secretary of Labor’s Order No. 4–2010 (75 FR 55355), and 29 CFR part 1911. Signed at Washington, DC, on December 8, 2010. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2010–31190 Filed 12–10–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: (10–160)] National Environmental Policy Act: Scientific Balloon Program National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Finding of No Significant Impact. AGENCY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.); the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500–1508); and NASA policy and procedures (14 CFR part 1216, subpart 1216.3); NASA has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to its proposed increase in scientific balloon launches at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF). CSBF would launch up to 10 additional scientific balloons per year from CSBF Fort Sumner, New Mexico, while launches from CSBF Palestine, Texas would remain at current levels. ADDRESSES: Copies of the final Scientific Balloon Program Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) may be viewed at the following locations: wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:42 Dec 10, 2010 Jkt 223001 (a) Fort Sumner Public Library, 235 West Sumner Avenue, Fort Sumner, New Mexico 88119 (575–355–2832). (b) Palestine Public Library, 1101 North Cedar Street, Palestine, Texas 75801 (903–729–4121). (c) NASA Headquarters Library, Room 1J20, 300 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20546–0001 (202–358–0168). On the Internet at: http:// sites.wff.nasa.gov/code 250/docs/ BPO_PEA.html. A limited number of hard copies of the final PEA are available by contacting: Joshua Bundick, NEPA Program Manager, NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility, Code 250.W, Wallops Island, VA 23337. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joshua Bundick, (757) 824–2319 (phone); (757) 824–1819 (fax). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NASA has reviewed the Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) prepared for the scientific balloon launches at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) and has concluded that the PEA represents an accurate and adequate analysis of the scope and level of associated environmental impacts. NASA hereby incorporates the PEA by reference in the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). NASA solicited public and agency review and comment on the environmental impacts of the proposed action through: 1. Publishing a notice of availability of the draft PEA and the draft FONSI in the Federal Register, the DeBaca County News, and the Palestine Herald; 2. Making available the draft PEA and draft FONSI at the Palestine Public Library, Palestine, Texas; the Fort Sumner Public Library, Fort Sumner, New Mexico; and the NASA Headquarters Library in Washington, DC; 3. Publication of the draft PEA and draft FONSI on the Internet; 4. Consultations with Federal, State, and local agencies; and 5. Mailing the draft PEA and draft FONSI directly to interested parties. Comments received were taken into consideration in the final PEA. CSBF is composed of two facilities that launch scientific balloons. The main facility is located in Palestine, Texas, while the other facility is located in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Though CSBF Palestine is the main facility, most balloon launches occur from the Fort Sumner facility due to its more remote nature. As balloon flight paths are winddriven, their landing sites could be in adjacent States. An analysis of the past ten years of flights indicates that the PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 77673 majority of balloons and payloads are recovered from Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Very few balloons or payloads have landed in the neighboring States of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. The PEA describes the potential impacts from the Proposed Action as well as the No Action alternative. Under the Proposed Action, NASA would increase the number of scientific balloons launched each year. Balloon flights originating from CSBF Fort Sumner would increase from 15 to 25 annually; balloons launched from the CSBF Palestine would continue at approximately 6 per year. No construction would take place at either of the two launch sites and no increase in the personnel staff at either CSBF Fort Sumner or CSBF Palestine is proposed. Under the No Action alternative, NASA would not increase the number of balloon launches from either CSBF location, and the status quo would be maintained with 21 conventional balloons launched annually. Summary of Environmental Impacts: The potential environmental impacts from implementation of the Proposed Action are summarized below. Airspace and Balloon Operations: No adverse impacts to airspace management or balloon operations are anticipated under this proposal. CSBF would continue to adhere to the letter of agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) for Albuquerque and Fort Worth. CSBF would continue to notify Cannon Air Force Base prior to balloon launches to further enhance safety in the region. As such, impacts to other users of the airspace or to balloons launched from CSBF Fort Sumner or CSBF Palestine would not be adverse. Safety: NASA and CSBF have extensive safety regulations and standard safety procedures for launch and recovery activities that ensure safety of staff and the general public. Models developed by NASA are used to predict the landing location of the balloon system. Along with real-time computer monitoring systems and controls, population centers and Special Use Land Management Areas (SULMAs) can be avoided, virtually eliminating the potential for injury to people or property. Adverse impacts from implementing the Proposed Action are not anticipated. Air Quality: Vehicular travel by research scientists and students to the CSBF Fort Sumner location would increase under this proposal; however, the emissions would be minimal. Air emissions would not be perceptibly E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 77674 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 238 / Monday, December 13, 2010 / Notices changed within the CSBF Operations Area due to the small increase in trips to be conducted by recovery vehicles and tracking planes used during the balloon and payload/parachute descent. Overall, no measureable change in air emissions would be anticipated. Socioeconomics: Fort Sumner Village would experience a short-term positive economic impact each year during balloon campaigns at CSBF Fort Sumner from the purchase of food, supplies, and lodging by CSBF staff and research scientists and students. An adequate supply of restaurants and lodging accommodations exists to meet the needs of the CSBF staff and research scientists/students. The City of Palestine currently experiences positive economic impacts from CSBF activities. Under this proposal, balloon launches from Palestine would not increase; therefore, no change in socioeconomic impacts would be anticipated. Land Use: CSBF currently avoids SULMAs and would continue this practice under the Proposed Action. The CSBF Operations Area spans portions of six States; the chances of a balloon/ payload landing in the same location are unlikely. Recovery operations are often complete within 24 hours after landing has occurred. Should a balloon/payload land within a SULMA, or on private land, the land manager/landowner would be contacted prior to the CSBF recovery team accessing the site. If required, CSBF would obtain a permit or authorization to retrieve the balloon/ payload. Overall, no adverse impact to land use would be expected. Biological Resources: Minor adverse impacts to biological resources are anticipated under the Proposed Action. CSBF would continue to avoid known critical habitats and wetlands. If unplanned circumstances resulted in the need to land a payload within a designated Critical Habitat, CSBF would initiate contact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine the best method for payload recovery, with the least amount of environmental impact. Cultural Resources: Increased balloon operations would constitute an increased probability for adverse effects to cultural resources from balloon/ payload landing and recovery activities; however, the probability for impacting culturally significant resources would be extremely low. Predictive modeling used by CSBF for balloon/payload landing would continue to be used for avoidance of all known culturally significant areas. If unplanned circumstances resulted in the need to land a payload within a culturally sensitive area, CSBF would initiate contact with the responsible State or VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:42 Dec 10, 2010 Jkt 223001 Tribal Historic Preservation Officer to determine the best method for payload recovery, with the least amount of impact. Hazardous Materials and Systems: Strict operational control measures are followed when hazardous materials are used during balloon staging and operations. Should a release of any hazardous material occur during payload landing/recovery operations, CSBF staff would implement NASAapproved procedures for clean up in accordance with applicable Federal and State regulations. Accordingly, impacts to personnel or the environment would not be expected. Transportation: Transportation or traffic issues are minimal in the regions surrounding the CSBF launch sites. Vehicles used in recovery operations would not impact transportation systems across the CSBF Operations Area. As such, no adverse impacts to transportation resources in the region surrounding the CSBF launch sites or within the Operations Area are anticipated. Cumulative Effects: Cumulative impacts were evaluated for potentially affected resources. No cumulative impacts are anticipated from implementation of the Proposed Action. No other known or foreseeable actions would be anticipated to affect resource areas impacted by CSBF balloon launch, flight, termination, or recovery activities. Conclusion: NASA has identified no other issues of potential environmental concern. Based on the findings in the final PEA for the NASA Scientific Balloon Program, and review of underlying reference documents, NASA has determined that the environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action will not individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Therefore, an environmental impact statement will not be required. Dated: December 7, 2010. Edward J. Weiler, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate. [FR Doc. 2010–31239 Filed 12–10–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION Sunshine Act Meeting Notice 10 a.m., Thursday, December 16, 2010. TIME AND DATE: PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Board Room, 7th Floor, Room 7047, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314–3428. STATUS: Open. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: 1. Final Rule—Parts 701, 708a and 708b of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, Mergers and Conversions of Insured Credit Unions, Fiduciary Duties and Indemnification of Directors. 2. Final Rule—Section 701.34 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, LowIncome Definition. 3. Proposed Rule—Section 701.34 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, Member Survey Sample Data to Meet LowIncome Designation. 4. Proposed Rule—Part 740 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status. 5. Proposed Rule—Part 745 of NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, Share Insurance, Non-interest-bearing Transaction Accounts. 6. Tri-State Federal Credit Union’s Appeal of Region II’s Denial of its Field of Membership Expansion Request. 7. Central Liquidity Facility Change in Overhead Reimbursement Methodology. 8. Insurance Fund Report. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Rupp, Secretary of the Board, Telephone: 703–518–6304. PLACE: Mary Rupp, Board Secretary. [FR Doc. 2010–31391 Filed 12–9–10; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES National Endowment for the Arts; Arts Advisory Panel Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463), as amended, notice is hereby given that nine meetings of the Arts Advisory Panel to the National Council on the Arts will be held at the Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20506 as follows (ending times are approximate): State and Regional/Arts Education (review of State Arts Agency Partnership Agreements): January 5–6, 2011 in Room 716. This meeting, from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on January 5th and from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on January 6th, will be open. Arts Education (application review): January 6, 2011 in Room 716. This meeting, from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., will be closed. Media Arts (application review): January 11–13, 2011 in Room 730. This E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1

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[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 238 (Monday, December 13, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 77673-77674]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31239]


=======================================================================
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NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

[Notice: (10-160)]


National Environmental Policy Act: Scientific Balloon Program

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Finding of No Significant Impact.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 
1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.); the Council on 
Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural 
Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508); and NASA policy and 
procedures (14 CFR part 1216, subpart 1216.3); NASA has made a Finding 
of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to its proposed increase 
in scientific balloon launches at the Columbia Scientific Balloon 
Facility (CSBF). CSBF would launch up to 10 additional scientific 
balloons per year from CSBF Fort Sumner, New Mexico, while launches 
from CSBF Palestine, Texas would remain at current levels.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the final Scientific Balloon Program Programmatic 
Environmental Assessment (PEA) may be viewed at the following 
locations:
    (a) Fort Sumner Public Library, 235 West Sumner Avenue, Fort 
Sumner, New Mexico 88119 (575-355-2832).
    (b) Palestine Public Library, 1101 North Cedar Street, Palestine, 
Texas 75801 (903-729-4121).
    (c) NASA Headquarters Library, Room 1J20, 300 E Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20546-0001 (202-358-0168).
    On the Internet at: http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code 250/docs/BPO--
PEA.html.
    A limited number of hard copies of the final PEA are available by 
contacting: Joshua Bundick, NEPA Program Manager, NASA Wallops Island 
Flight Facility, Code 250.W, Wallops Island, VA 23337.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joshua Bundick, (757) 824-2319 
(phone); (757) 824-1819 (fax).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NASA has reviewed the Programmatic 
Environmental Assessment (PEA) prepared for the scientific balloon 
launches at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) and has 
concluded that the PEA represents an accurate and adequate analysis of 
the scope and level of associated environmental impacts. NASA hereby 
incorporates the PEA by reference in the Finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI). NASA solicited public and agency review and comment on 
the environmental impacts of the proposed action through:
    1. Publishing a notice of availability of the draft PEA and the 
draft FONSI in the Federal Register, the DeBaca County News, and the 
Palestine Herald;
    2. Making available the draft PEA and draft FONSI at the Palestine 
Public Library, Palestine, Texas; the Fort Sumner Public Library, Fort 
Sumner, New Mexico; and the NASA Headquarters Library in Washington, 
DC;
    3. Publication of the draft PEA and draft FONSI on the Internet;
    4. Consultations with Federal, State, and local agencies; and
    5. Mailing the draft PEA and draft FONSI directly to interested 
parties.
    Comments received were taken into consideration in the final PEA.
    CSBF is composed of two facilities that launch scientific balloons. 
The main facility is located in Palestine, Texas, while the other 
facility is located in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Though CSBF Palestine 
is the main facility, most balloon launches occur from the Fort Sumner 
facility due to its more remote nature. As balloon flight paths are 
wind-driven, their landing sites could be in adjacent States. An 
analysis of the past ten years of flights indicates that the majority 
of balloons and payloads are recovered from Texas, New Mexico, and 
Arizona. Very few balloons or payloads have landed in the neighboring 
States of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado.
    The PEA describes the potential impacts from the Proposed Action as 
well as the No Action alternative. Under the Proposed Action, NASA 
would increase the number of scientific balloons launched each year. 
Balloon flights originating from CSBF Fort Sumner would increase from 
15 to 25 annually; balloons launched from the CSBF Palestine would 
continue at approximately 6 per year. No construction would take place 
at either of the two launch sites and no increase in the personnel 
staff at either CSBF Fort Sumner or CSBF Palestine is proposed.
    Under the No Action alternative, NASA would not increase the number 
of balloon launches from either CSBF location, and the status quo would 
be maintained with 21 conventional balloons launched annually.
    Summary of Environmental Impacts: The potential environmental 
impacts from implementation of the Proposed Action are summarized 
below.
    Airspace and Balloon Operations: No adverse impacts to airspace 
management or balloon operations are anticipated under this proposal. 
CSBF would continue to adhere to the letter of agreement with the 
Federal Aviation Administration Air Route Traffic Control Centers 
(ARTCC) for Albuquerque and Fort Worth. CSBF would continue to notify 
Cannon Air Force Base prior to balloon launches to further enhance 
safety in the region. As such, impacts to other users of the airspace 
or to balloons launched from CSBF Fort Sumner or CSBF Palestine would 
not be adverse.
    Safety: NASA and CSBF have extensive safety regulations and 
standard safety procedures for launch and recovery activities that 
ensure safety of staff and the general public. Models developed by NASA 
are used to predict the landing location of the balloon system. Along 
with real-time computer monitoring systems and controls, population 
centers and Special Use Land Management Areas (SULMAs) can be avoided, 
virtually eliminating the potential for injury to people or property. 
Adverse impacts from implementing the Proposed Action are not 
anticipated.
    Air Quality: Vehicular travel by research scientists and students 
to the CSBF Fort Sumner location would increase under this proposal; 
however, the emissions would be minimal. Air emissions would not be 
perceptibly

[[Page 77674]]

changed within the CSBF Operations Area due to the small increase in 
trips to be conducted by recovery vehicles and tracking planes used 
during the balloon and payload/parachute descent. Overall, no 
measureable change in air emissions would be anticipated.
    Socioeconomics: Fort Sumner Village would experience a short-term 
positive economic impact each year during balloon campaigns at CSBF 
Fort Sumner from the purchase of food, supplies, and lodging by CSBF 
staff and research scientists and students. An adequate supply of 
restaurants and lodging accommodations exists to meet the needs of the 
CSBF staff and research scientists/students. The City of Palestine 
currently experiences positive economic impacts from CSBF activities. 
Under this proposal, balloon launches from Palestine would not 
increase; therefore, no change in socioeconomic impacts would be 
anticipated.
    Land Use: CSBF currently avoids SULMAs and would continue this 
practice under the Proposed Action. The CSBF Operations Area spans 
portions of six States; the chances of a balloon/payload landing in the 
same location are unlikely. Recovery operations are often complete 
within 24 hours after landing has occurred. Should a balloon/payload 
land within a SULMA, or on private land, the land manager/landowner 
would be contacted prior to the CSBF recovery team accessing the site. 
If required, CSBF would obtain a permit or authorization to retrieve 
the balloon/payload. Overall, no adverse impact to land use would be 
expected.
    Biological Resources: Minor adverse impacts to biological resources 
are anticipated under the Proposed Action. CSBF would continue to avoid 
known critical habitats and wetlands. If unplanned circumstances 
resulted in the need to land a payload within a designated Critical 
Habitat, CSBF would initiate contact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service to determine the best method for payload recovery, with the 
least amount of environmental impact.
    Cultural Resources: Increased balloon operations would constitute 
an increased probability for adverse effects to cultural resources from 
balloon/payload landing and recovery activities; however, the 
probability for impacting culturally significant resources would be 
extremely low. Predictive modeling used by CSBF for balloon/payload 
landing would continue to be used for avoidance of all known culturally 
significant areas. If unplanned circumstances resulted in the need to 
land a payload within a culturally sensitive area, CSBF would initiate 
contact with the responsible State or Tribal Historic Preservation 
Officer to determine the best method for payload recovery, with the 
least amount of impact.
    Hazardous Materials and Systems: Strict operational control 
measures are followed when hazardous materials are used during balloon 
staging and operations. Should a release of any hazardous material 
occur during payload landing/recovery operations, CSBF staff would 
implement NASA-approved procedures for clean up in accordance with 
applicable Federal and State regulations. Accordingly, impacts to 
personnel or the environment would not be expected.
    Transportation: Transportation or traffic issues are minimal in the 
regions surrounding the CSBF launch sites. Vehicles used in recovery 
operations would not impact transportation systems across the CSBF 
Operations Area. As such, no adverse impacts to transportation 
resources in the region surrounding the CSBF launch sites or within the 
Operations Area are anticipated.
    Cumulative Effects: Cumulative impacts were evaluated for 
potentially affected resources. No cumulative impacts are anticipated 
from implementation of the Proposed Action. No other known or 
foreseeable actions would be anticipated to affect resource areas 
impacted by CSBF balloon launch, flight, termination, or recovery 
activities.
    Conclusion: NASA has identified no other issues of potential 
environmental concern. Based on the findings in the final PEA for the 
NASA Scientific Balloon Program, and review of underlying reference 
documents, NASA has determined that the environmental impacts 
associated with the Proposed Action will not individually or 
cumulatively have a significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment. Therefore, an environmental impact statement will not be 
required.

    Dated: December 7, 2010.
Edward J. Weiler,
Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate.
[FR Doc. 2010-31239 Filed 12-10-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P