Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment to the 1987 Jarbidge Resource Management Plan for the Proposed China Mountain Wind Project, 19784-19785 [2011-8327]

Download as PDF 19784 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 68 / Friday, April 8, 2011 / Notices The DEIS is also available for public review on the following Web sites: • http:// www.anthonycasinofacts.com, and • http://www.jemezpueblo.org. If you would like to obtain a CD copy of the DEIS, please write or call Priscilla Wade, Regional Environmental Protection Specialist, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Environmental, Safety, and Cultural Resources Management, Southwest Regional Office, 1001 Indian School Road, NW., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104. Public Comment Availability: Comments, including names and addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the BIA mailing address shown in the ADDRESSES section of this notice, during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Before including your address, telephone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information— may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: This notice is published pursuant to Sec. 1503.1 of the Council of Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR part 1500 through 1508) and Sec. 46.305 of the Department of Interior Regulations (43 CFR part 46), implementing the procedural requirements of the NEPA of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.), and is in the exercise of authority delegated to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs by 209 DM 8. Dated: March 25, 2011. Jodi Gillette, Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2011–8035 Filed 4–7–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–W7–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES [LLIDT01000. L51010000. FX0000. LVRWD09D0500] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment to the 1987 Jarbidge Resource Management Plan for the Proposed China Mountain Wind Project AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:41 Apr 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 ACTION: Notice of availability. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment for the Proposed China Mountain Wind Project in south central Idaho and northeast Nevada and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period. DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft EIS and Draft RMP Amendment within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of the availability of these documents in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Proposed China Mountain Wind Project by any of the following methods: • Web site: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/ en/prog/planning/china_mountain _wind.html. • E-mail: id_chinamtn_eis@blm.gov. • Fax: (208) 735–2076. • Mail: China Mountain Wind Project Manager, Jarbidge Field Office, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301. Copies of the Proposed China Mountain Wind Project Draft EIS and Draft RMP Amendment are available in the Jarbidge Field Office at the above address or electronically on the Web site shown above. Copies of the Draft EIS and Draft RMP Amendment are available for public inspection during normal business hours at the following locations: • Bureau of Land Management, Idaho State Office, Public Room, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709; • Bureau of Land Management, Jarbidge Field Office, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301; • Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Office, Public Room, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada 89502; and • Bureau of Land Management, Wells Field Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada 89801. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: China Mountain Wind Project Manager, Jarbidge Field Office, 2536 Kimberly SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301, telephone (208) 735–2072. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: China Mountain Wind, LLC (CMW), which is owned by RES America Developments, Inc. (RES) and Nevada Power Company (NV Energy), is proposing to construct, operate, and maintain a commercial wind power electric generation facility capable of generating up to 425 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Up to 170 wind turbines, each having a generating capacity between 2.3 and 3.0 MW, would be installed on an area covering approximately 30,700 acres in the Jarbidge Foothills, an area located southwest of Rogerson, Idaho, and west of Jackpot, Nevada. The proposed project area includes 4,700 acres of public land administered by the BLM Elko District, Wells Field Office, in northeastern Nevada, 15,300 acres of public land administered by the BLM Twin Falls District, Jarbidge Field Office, in south central Idaho, 2,000 acres of State of Idaho lands, and 8,700 acres of private lands in south central Idaho and northeast Nevada. The proposal involves the issuance of a BLM right-of-way (ROW) grant for the facilities located on public lands. CMW’s application for a ROW grant from the BLM for this project triggered the preparation of an EIS under NEPA. The BLM is responsible for evaluating the ROW grant across Federally managed lands by authority of FLPMA. The Draft EIS has been developed to meet the standards for analysis required for compliance with Federal regulations, and the Idaho State BLM has been designated as the review lead. Through internal and external scoping, the BLM has identified the following issues for analysis: Fish and wildlife including special status species, cultural resources, visual resources, air quality, soils, vegetation, noise, water quality, public access; recreation, wildfire management, hazardous materials, social values, and wilderness characteristics. A ROW grant for the proposed action is in conformance with the 1985 Wells RMP. It is not in conformance with the 1987 Jarbidge RMP provisions regarding Visual Resource Management (VRM) classes, protection of threatened, endangered, E:\FR\FM\08APN1.SGM 08APN1 srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 68 / Friday, April 8, 2011 / Notices and sensitive species, protection of various wildlife and plant resources, and protection of water resources, wetland, and riparian habitats. Amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP would be required if a decision is made to approve seven of the nine alternatives identified in the Draft EIS. Currently, the 1987 Jarbidge RMP is undergoing a separate revision process. A Draft Jarbidge RMP/EIS for that revision was made available to the public on September 3, 2010, for a 90day comment period. On October 22, 2010, the Idaho State Director extended the comment period for 60 days. The extended comment period closed January 31, 2011. If the Jarbidge RMP revision is adopted prior to a decision on the China Mountain Wind Project, the project proposal may need to be analyzed against the landscape-scale decisions made in that document. Nine alternatives are analyzed in this Draft EIS/Draft RMP Amendment. These alternatives were developed in response to issues and concerns raised during the NEPA scoping period that took place from April 21, 2008 to July 21, 2008 and involved three public meetings that took place in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Elko, and Jackpot, Nevada. Public and agency concerns include potential impacts to sensitive species and their habitats, cultural resources, visual resources, public access, and socio-economic resources. • Alternative A, the No Action Alternative, reflects existing RMP decisions and would result in denying the ROW application. • Alternative B1 is the applicant’s proposed action as submitted in its ROW application and associated plan of development. This alternative would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP: To change the VRM Class in certain parts of the proposed project area from II and III to IV; to remove stipulations, in the proposed project area only, regarding sensitive animal species and crucial habitats that specify seasonal occupancy restrictions for various sensitive species; to modify a stipulation that protects threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant species from disturbance related to construction activities such that it would no longer include sensitive plant species in the proposed project area; and to remove a stipulation, in the proposed project area only, that would preclude project facilities within 500 feet of streams. • Alternative B2 is a two-phase alternative with three different iterations of Phase I, B2a, B2b, and B2c, which are based on the applicant’s proposal and the avoidance of various wildlife habitats. A phased approach VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:41 Apr 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 would allow the BLM to monitor the impacts of Phase I on wildlife prior to constructing the entire project. Phasing would allow the BLM to monitor and confirm that impacts are as predicted in the impact analysis. Under this alternative, monitoring results would be used to determine whether unanticipated impacts occurred as a result of Phase I. If unanticipated impacts occur, the BLM would conduct appropriate NEPA analysis and adjust requirements prior to issuing a notice to proceed to construct Phase II. Alternative B2a would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described under Alternative B1 above. Alternatives B2b and B2c would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described under Alternative B1 for VRM and sensitive plants. In addition, an amendment to the stipulations regarding sensitive animal species, crucial habitats, and water resources that would allow exemptions to the restrictions in the stipulations during construction, operation, and decommissioning of the proposed project on a case-by-case basis subject to certain conditions would be required. This amendment would also remove these same restrictions as they apply to routine daily maintenance only. • Alternative C is a modification of the applicant’s proposed action which seeks to reduce impacts to sage-grouse and bats by not constructing turbines in areas within 2 miles of sage-grouse leks and a high bat use area. This alternative would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described above for Alternatives B2b and B2c. • Alternative D is a modified version of Alternative C which seeks to further reduce impacts to sage-grouse by eliminating turbine construction in an area of known sage-grouse movements. This alternative would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described above for Alternatives B2b and B2c. • Alternative E would be a modification of the applicant’s proposed action which would comply with all RMP decisions from the 1987 Jarbidge RMP and the 1985 Wells RMP by eliminating turbines from areas within 2 miles of sage-grouse leks, eliminating turbines from areas of VRM Class II, precluding construction and maintenance activities during times seasonally restricted for various wildlife resources, and eliminating project facilities within 500 feet of streams. • Alternative F is a modification of the applicant’s proposed action which seeks to reduce impacts to cultural resources by eliminating turbine PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 19785 placement in areas with high concentrations of cultural resources and areas of known Native American religious significance. This alternative would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described above for alternatives B2b and B2c. In addition, 11 alternatives were considered in the Draft EIS but eliminated from detailed study. These alternatives did not meet the purpose and need of the proposed action. The BLM has not identified a preferred alternative for the project as one does not exist. A preferred project alternative will be identified in the Final EIS per Council on Environmental Quality requirements. The BLM has identified Alternatives B2b, B2c, C, D, and F, which would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP, as the preferred planning alternatives, as required by 43 CFR 1610.4–7. The BLM will use and coordinate the NEPA commenting process to satisfy the public involvement process for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470(f) as provided for in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3)). Native American Tribal consultations will be conducted in accordance with policy, and Tribal concerns will be given due consideration, including impacts on Indian trust assets. Following the public comment period, comments will be used to prepare the Proposed RMP Amendment and Final EIS. The BLM will respond to each substantive comment by making appropriate revisions to the document or by explaining why a comment did not warrant a change. A Notice of Availability of the Proposed RMP Plan Amendment/Final EIS will be published in the Federal Register. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 1506.10 and 43 CFR 1610.2. Richard VanderVoet, Jarbidge Field Office Manager. [FR Doc. 2011–8327 Filed 4–7–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P E:\FR\FM\08APN1.SGM 08APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 68 (Friday, April 8, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19784-19785]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-8327]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLIDT01000. L51010000. FX0000. LVRWD09D0500]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement and Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment to the 1987 
Jarbidge Resource Management Plan for the Proposed China Mountain Wind 
Project

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and a Draft 
Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment for the Proposed China 
Mountain Wind Project in south central Idaho and northeast Nevada and 
by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Draft EIS and Draft RMP Amendment within 90 
days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes 
its notice of the availability of these documents in the Federal 
Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any 
other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through 
public notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Proposed China 
Mountain Wind Project by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/planning/china_mountain_wind.html.
     E-mail: id_chinamtn_eis@blm.gov.
     Fax: (208) 735-2076.
     Mail: China Mountain Wind Project Manager, Jarbidge Field 
Office, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301.
    Copies of the Proposed China Mountain Wind Project Draft EIS and 
Draft RMP Amendment are available in the Jarbidge Field Office at the 
above address or electronically on the Web site shown above.
    Copies of the Draft EIS and Draft RMP Amendment are available for 
public inspection during normal business hours at the following 
locations:
     Bureau of Land Management, Idaho State Office, Public 
Room, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise, Idaho 83709;
     Bureau of Land Management, Jarbidge Field Office, 2536 
Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301;
     Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Office, Public 
Room, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada 89502; and
     Bureau of Land Management, Wells Field Office, 3900 E. 
Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada 89801.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: China Mountain Wind Project Manager, 
Jarbidge Field Office, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301, 
telephone (208) 735-2072. Persons who use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal 
business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to 
leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive 
a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: China Mountain Wind, LLC (CMW), which is 
owned by RES America Developments, Inc. (RES) and Nevada Power Company 
(NV Energy), is proposing to construct, operate, and maintain a 
commercial wind power electric generation facility capable of 
generating up to 425 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Up to 170 wind 
turbines, each having a generating capacity between 2.3 and 3.0 MW, 
would be installed on an area covering approximately 30,700 acres in 
the Jarbidge Foothills, an area located southwest of Rogerson, Idaho, 
and west of Jackpot, Nevada. The proposed project area includes 4,700 
acres of public land administered by the BLM Elko District, Wells Field 
Office, in northeastern Nevada, 15,300 acres of public land 
administered by the BLM Twin Falls District, Jarbidge Field Office, in 
south central Idaho, 2,000 acres of State of Idaho lands, and 8,700 
acres of private lands in south central Idaho and northeast Nevada.
    The proposal involves the issuance of a BLM right-of-way (ROW) 
grant for the facilities located on public lands. CMW's application for 
a ROW grant from the BLM for this project triggered the preparation of 
an EIS under NEPA. The BLM is responsible for evaluating the ROW grant 
across Federally managed lands by authority of FLPMA. The Draft EIS has 
been developed to meet the standards for analysis required for 
compliance with Federal regulations, and the Idaho State BLM has been 
designated as the review lead. Through internal and external scoping, 
the BLM has identified the following issues for analysis: Fish and 
wildlife including special status species, cultural resources, visual 
resources, air quality, soils, vegetation, noise, water quality, public 
access; recreation, wildfire management, hazardous materials, social 
values, and wilderness characteristics. A ROW grant for the proposed 
action is in conformance with the 1985 Wells RMP. It is not in 
conformance with the 1987 Jarbidge RMP provisions regarding Visual 
Resource Management (VRM) classes, protection of threatened, 
endangered,

[[Page 19785]]

and sensitive species, protection of various wildlife and plant 
resources, and protection of water resources, wetland, and riparian 
habitats.
    Amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP would be required if a decision 
is made to approve seven of the nine alternatives identified in the 
Draft EIS. Currently, the 1987 Jarbidge RMP is undergoing a separate 
revision process. A Draft Jarbidge RMP/EIS for that revision was made 
available to the public on September 3, 2010, for a 90-day comment 
period. On October 22, 2010, the Idaho State Director extended the 
comment period for 60 days. The extended comment period closed January 
31, 2011. If the Jarbidge RMP revision is adopted prior to a decision 
on the China Mountain Wind Project, the project proposal may need to be 
analyzed against the landscape-scale decisions made in that document.
    Nine alternatives are analyzed in this Draft EIS/Draft RMP 
Amendment. These alternatives were developed in response to issues and 
concerns raised during the NEPA scoping period that took place from 
April 21, 2008 to July 21, 2008 and involved three public meetings that 
took place in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Elko, and Jackpot, Nevada. Public 
and agency concerns include potential impacts to sensitive species and 
their habitats, cultural resources, visual resources, public access, 
and socio-economic resources.
     Alternative A, the No Action Alternative, reflects 
existing RMP decisions and would result in denying the ROW application.
     Alternative B1 is the applicant's proposed action as 
submitted in its ROW application and associated plan of development. 
This alternative would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP: To 
change the VRM Class in certain parts of the proposed project area from 
II and III to IV; to remove stipulations, in the proposed project area 
only, regarding sensitive animal species and crucial habitats that 
specify seasonal occupancy restrictions for various sensitive species; 
to modify a stipulation that protects threatened, endangered, and 
sensitive plant species from disturbance related to construction 
activities such that it would no longer include sensitive plant species 
in the proposed project area; and to remove a stipulation, in the 
proposed project area only, that would preclude project facilities 
within 500 feet of streams.
     Alternative B2 is a two-phase alternative with three 
different iterations of Phase I, B2a, B2b, and B2c, which are based on 
the applicant's proposal and the avoidance of various wildlife 
habitats. A phased approach would allow the BLM to monitor the impacts 
of Phase I on wildlife prior to constructing the entire project. 
Phasing would allow the BLM to monitor and confirm that impacts are as 
predicted in the impact analysis. Under this alternative, monitoring 
results would be used to determine whether unanticipated impacts 
occurred as a result of Phase I. If unanticipated impacts occur, the 
BLM would conduct appropriate NEPA analysis and adjust requirements 
prior to issuing a notice to proceed to construct Phase II. Alternative 
B2a would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described 
under Alternative B1 above. Alternatives B2b and B2c would require 
amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described under Alternative B1 
for VRM and sensitive plants. In addition, an amendment to the 
stipulations regarding sensitive animal species, crucial habitats, and 
water resources that would allow exemptions to the restrictions in the 
stipulations during construction, operation, and decommissioning of the 
proposed project on a case-by-case basis subject to certain conditions 
would be required. This amendment would also remove these same 
restrictions as they apply to routine daily maintenance only.
     Alternative C is a modification of the applicant's 
proposed action which seeks to reduce impacts to sage-grouse and bats 
by not constructing turbines in areas within 2 miles of sage-grouse 
leks and a high bat use area. This alternative would require amendments 
to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as described above for Alternatives B2b and 
B2c.
     Alternative D is a modified version of Alternative C which 
seeks to further reduce impacts to sage-grouse by eliminating turbine 
construction in an area of known sage-grouse movements. This 
alternative would require amendments to the 1987 Jarbidge RMP as 
described above for Alternatives B2b and B2c.
     Alternative E would be a modification of the applicant's 
proposed action which would comply with all RMP decisions from the 1987 
Jarbidge RMP and the 1985 Wells RMP by eliminating turbines from areas 
within 2 miles of sage-grouse leks, eliminating turbines from areas of 
VRM Class II, precluding construction and maintenance activities during 
times seasonally restricted for various wildlife resources, and 
eliminating project facilities within 500 feet of streams.
     Alternative F is a modification of the applicant's 
proposed action which seeks to reduce impacts to cultural resources by 
eliminating turbine placement in areas with high concentrations of 
cultural resources and areas of known Native American religious 
significance. This alternative would require amendments to the 1987 
Jarbidge RMP as described above for alternatives B2b and B2c.
    In addition, 11 alternatives were considered in the Draft EIS but 
eliminated from detailed study. These alternatives did not meet the 
purpose and need of the proposed action. The BLM has not identified a 
preferred alternative for the project as one does not exist. A 
preferred project alternative will be identified in the Final EIS per 
Council on Environmental Quality requirements. The BLM has identified 
Alternatives B2b, B2c, C, D, and F, which would require amendments to 
the 1987 Jarbidge RMP, as the preferred planning alternatives, as 
required by 43 CFR 1610.4-7.
    The BLM will use and coordinate the NEPA commenting process to 
satisfy the public involvement process for Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470(f) as provided for in 36 CFR 
800.2(d)(3)). Native American Tribal consultations will be conducted in 
accordance with policy, and Tribal concerns will be given due 
consideration, including impacts on Indian trust assets.
    Following the public comment period, comments will be used to 
prepare the Proposed RMP Amendment and Final EIS. The BLM will respond 
to each substantive comment by making appropriate revisions to the 
document or by explaining why a comment did not warrant a change. A 
Notice of Availability of the Proposed RMP Plan Amendment/Final EIS 
will be published in the Federal Register.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

     Authority:  40 CFR 1506.6, 1506.10 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

Richard VanderVoet,
Jarbidge Field Office Manager.
[FR Doc. 2011-8327 Filed 4-7-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-GG-P