Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Henrys Fork Salinity Control Project Plan, Sweetwater and Uinta Counties, WY; Daggett and Summit Counties, UT, 50171 [2011-20589]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 156 / Friday, August 12, 2011 / Notices Lyman, Wyoming 82937–0370, E-mail: jeff.lewis@wy.usda.gov. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Henrys Fork Salinity Control Project Plan, Sweetwater and Uinta Counties, WY; Daggett and Summit Counties, UT Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321–4370d (NEPA), as implemented by the Council of Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces their intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Henrys Fork Salinity Control Project Plan (SCPP). The NRCS will be the lead agency. A public and agency scoping meeting to discuss issues, actions, alternatives and impacts as well as to solicit input verbally and in writing will be conducted. The lead and cooperating agencies invite and encourage agencies and the public to provide written comments on the proposed SCPP throughout the scoping process to ensure that all relevant environmental issues are considered. DATES: Meeting Date: A public and agency scoping meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Comment Date: Persons or organizations wishing to submit scoping comments should do so no later than September 30, 2011. ADDRESSES: Meeting Address: The public and agency scoping meeting will be held at McKinnon Elementary School, 10 Old Highway 414 # 10A, McKinnon, Wyoming. Comment submissions: Written comments on the scope of the EIS for the Henrys Fork SCPP may be submitted using any of the following methods: Government-wide rulemaking Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for sending comments electronically. Mail: Attention: Rachel Bundschuh, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 508 North Broadway Avenue, Riverton, Wyoming 82501–3458. E-mail: rachel.bundschuh@wy.usda.gov. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Jeff Lewis of the NRCS at (307) 787–3211, 100 East Sage Street, P.O. Box 370, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:37 Aug 11, 2011 Jkt 223001 Proposed Action: The ‘‘Irrigation System Improvements’’ alternative assumes a salinity control project will be implemented. Existing financial and technical assistance programs will continue to operate as they have in the past. However, the ‘‘Irrigation System Improvements’’ alternative will increase the available Federal funds for assistance. It is assumed that on-farm irrigation water management will improve due to an increase in technical assistance provided by the NRCS field office. Through implementation of a SCPP, on-farm irrigation application system improvements will occur at an accelerated rate as producers voluntarily sign up for improved irrigation systems. It is estimated that through this alternative 74 percent of the irrigated acres in the project area will have improved irrigation systems. Most of the surface irrigation systems will be converted to side roll, center pivot, and pod sprinkler systems. The remaining 26 percent of irrigated acres will continue as unimproved irrigation systems. A limited amount of on-farm delivery ditches that transport irrigation water from the canal to the field will be improved by converting from dirt ditch to buried pipe. This will reduce seepage and salt loading from these delivery ditches by 99 percent. Canal modifications (i.e. conversion to pipeline or canal lining) are not included in this SCPP. Currently, approximately 70,790 acrefoot of water are used for irrigation in the project area. This includes water directly diverted from streams and water stored in reservoirs. The irrigation system improvements outlined in this plan will provide more efficient use of this water. Deep percolation from the 14,800 acres is expected to be treated though the project action, reducing it by approximately 58 percent. The Colorado River salt loading attributed to this project area will be reduced by the reduction of excess deep percolation passing below the plant root zone. Deep percolation of irrigation water results in concentrating and transporting salt in groundwater to the surface and eventually depositing in the Colorado River. This proposal is not intended to bring new land under irrigation or to provide water to fields that have been infrequently or marginally irrigated. Any project measure proposed on lands without an adequate irrigation history PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50171 will not be considered for funding without prior approval by the appropriate state water authority. Alternatives: The other alternative presently considered is the ‘‘No-Action’’ Alternative. Under this alternative accelerated improvements to the onfarm irrigation systems will not be implemented. Environmental conditions, including salt loading into associated tributaries will continue unhindered. Scoping: The lead and cooperating agencies will conduct an open scoping and public involvement process during the development of the EIS. The scoping process is the key to preparing a concise EIS to receive public input on the alternatives to the proposed action and the range of issues to be addressed in the EIS. The purpose of the scoping meetings is to assist the lead and cooperating agencies in defining the issues that will be evaluated in the EIS. A public meeting was held in McKinnon on December 9, 2009 where input on the project was obtained. A second public and agency scoping meeting will be held as indicated above (see DATES and ADDRESSES sections above). Further information will be published in local newspapers in advance of the meeting. Any necessary changes will be announced in the local media. Written scoping comments will be considered in the preparation of the draft EIS (see DATES and ADDRESSES sections above). Comments postmarked or received by e-mail after specified date will be considered to the extent practicable. Questions about the EIS/ SCPP, requests for inclusion on the EIS/ SCPP mailing list, and requests for copies of any documents associated with the draft EIS/SCPP should be directed to Rachel Bundschuh, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 508 North Broadway Avenue, Riverton, Wyoming 82501–3458; E-mail: rachel.bundschuh@wy.usda.gov; Phone: (307) 856–7524, ext. 121. Dated: August 9, 2011. J. Xavier Montoya, State Conservationist. [FR Doc. 2011–20589 Filed 8–11–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service Notice of Proposed Change to Section IV of the Virginia State Technical Guide Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 156 (Friday, August 12, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Page 50171]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-20589]



[[Page 50171]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Natural Resources Conservation Service


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Henrys Fork Salinity Control Project Plan, Sweetwater and Uinta 
Counties, WY; Daggett and Summit Counties, UT

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of 
Agriculture.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370d (NEPA), as implemented by the Council 
of Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), the 
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces their intent to 
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Henrys Fork 
Salinity Control Project Plan (SCPP). The NRCS will be the lead agency. 
A public and agency scoping meeting to discuss issues, actions, 
alternatives and impacts as well as to solicit input verbally and in 
writing will be conducted. The lead and cooperating agencies invite and 
encourage agencies and the public to provide written comments on the 
proposed SCPP throughout the scoping process to ensure that all 
relevant environmental issues are considered.

DATES: Meeting Date: A public and agency scoping meeting will be held 
at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Comment Date: Persons or 
organizations wishing to submit scoping comments should do so no later 
than September 30, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Meeting Address: The public and agency scoping meeting will 
be held at McKinnon Elementary School, 10 Old Highway 414  
10A, McKinnon, Wyoming.
    Comment submissions: Written comments on the scope of the EIS for 
the Henrys Fork SCPP may be submitted using any of the following 
methods:
    Government-wide rulemaking Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for sending comments electronically.
    Mail: Attention: Rachel Bundschuh, Natural Resources Conservation 
Service, 508 North Broadway Avenue, Riverton, Wyoming 82501-3458.
    E-mail: rachel.bundschuh@wy.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Lewis of the NRCS at (307) 787-
3211, 100 East Sage Street, P.O. Box 370, Lyman, Wyoming 82937-0370, E-
mail: jeff.lewis@wy.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Proposed Action: The ``Irrigation System Improvements'' alternative 
assumes a salinity control project will be implemented. Existing 
financial and technical assistance programs will continue to operate as 
they have in the past. However, the ``Irrigation System Improvements'' 
alternative will increase the available Federal funds for assistance. 
It is assumed that on-farm irrigation water management will improve due 
to an increase in technical assistance provided by the NRCS field 
office.
    Through implementation of a SCPP, on-farm irrigation application 
system improvements will occur at an accelerated rate as producers 
voluntarily sign up for improved irrigation systems. It is estimated 
that through this alternative 74 percent of the irrigated acres in the 
project area will have improved irrigation systems. Most of the surface 
irrigation systems will be converted to side roll, center pivot, and 
pod sprinkler systems. The remaining 26 percent of irrigated acres will 
continue as unimproved irrigation systems.
    A limited amount of on-farm delivery ditches that transport 
irrigation water from the canal to the field will be improved by 
converting from dirt ditch to buried pipe. This will reduce seepage and 
salt loading from these delivery ditches by 99 percent. Canal 
modifications (i.e. conversion to pipeline or canal lining) are not 
included in this SCPP.
    Currently, approximately 70,790 acre-foot of water are used for 
irrigation in the project area. This includes water directly diverted 
from streams and water stored in reservoirs. The irrigation system 
improvements outlined in this plan will provide more efficient use of 
this water. Deep percolation from the 14,800 acres is expected to be 
treated though the project action, reducing it by approximately 58 
percent. The Colorado River salt loading attributed to this project 
area will be reduced by the reduction of excess deep percolation 
passing below the plant root zone. Deep percolation of irrigation water 
results in concentrating and transporting salt in groundwater to the 
surface and eventually depositing in the Colorado River.
    This proposal is not intended to bring new land under irrigation or 
to provide water to fields that have been infrequently or marginally 
irrigated. Any project measure proposed on lands without an adequate 
irrigation history will not be considered for funding without prior 
approval by the appropriate state water authority.
    Alternatives: The other alternative presently considered is the 
``No-Action'' Alternative. Under this alternative accelerated 
improvements to the on-farm irrigation systems will not be implemented. 
Environmental conditions, including salt loading into associated 
tributaries will continue unhindered.
    Scoping: The lead and cooperating agencies will conduct an open 
scoping and public involvement process during the development of the 
EIS. The scoping process is the key to preparing a concise EIS to 
receive public input on the alternatives to the proposed action and the 
range of issues to be addressed in the EIS. The purpose of the scoping 
meetings is to assist the lead and cooperating agencies in defining the 
issues that will be evaluated in the EIS. A public meeting was held in 
McKinnon on December 9, 2009 where input on the project was obtained. A 
second public and agency scoping meeting will be held as indicated 
above (see DATES and ADDRESSES sections above). Further information 
will be published in local newspapers in advance of the meeting. Any 
necessary changes will be announced in the local media. Written scoping 
comments will be considered in the preparation of the draft EIS (see 
DATES and ADDRESSES sections above). Comments postmarked or received by 
e-mail after specified date will be considered to the extent 
practicable. Questions about the EIS/SCPP, requests for inclusion on 
the EIS/SCPP mailing list, and requests for copies of any documents 
associated with the draft EIS/SCPP should be directed to Rachel 
Bundschuh, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 508 North Broadway 
Avenue, Riverton, Wyoming 82501-3458; E-mail: 
rachel.bundschuh@wy.usda.gov; Phone: (307) 856-7524, ext. 121.

    Dated: August 9, 2011.
J. Xavier Montoya,
State Conservationist.
[FR Doc. 2011-20589 Filed 8-11-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-16-P