Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Permit Application for Widening of Bayou Casotte and Lower Sound Channels of the Pascagoula Harbor Channel, in the Port of Pascagoula, Jackson County, Mississippi, 57979-57980 [2011-23994]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 181 / Monday, September 19, 2011 / Notices Pursuant to the provisions of section 10 of Public Law 92–463, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given that a closed meeting of the Department of Defense Wage Committee will be held on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at 10 a.m. at 1400 Key Boulevard, Level A, Room A101, Rosslyn, Virginia 22209. Under the provisions of section 10(d) of Public Law 92–463, the Department of Defense has determined that the meetings meet the criteria to close meetings to the public because the matters to be considered are related to internal rules and practices of the Department of Defense and the detailed wage data to be considered were obtained from officials of private establishments with a guarantee that the data will be held in confidence. However, members of the public who may wish to do so are invited to submit material in writing to the chairman concerning matters believed to be deserving of the Committee’s attention. Additional information concerning the meetings may be obtained by writing to the Chairman, Department of Defense Wage Committee, 4000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301–4000. SUMMARY: Dated: September 13, 2011. Patricia L. Toppings, OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2011–23920 Filed 9–16–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Air University Board of Visitors Meeting Bao-Anh Trinh, DAF, Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer. Notice of Meeting of the Air University Board of Visitors. ACTION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [FR Doc. 2011–23925 Filed 9–16–11; 8:45 am] Under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102–3.150, the Department of Defense announces that the Air University Board of Visitors’ meeting will take place on Tuesday, 4 October 2011, from 1:30 p.m. to approximately 2:30 p.m. The meeting will be a conference call meeting. Please contact Mrs. Diana Bunch, Designated Federal Officer, at (334) 953–4547, for further information to access the conference call. The purpose and agenda of this meeting is to provide independent advice and recommendations on matters pertaining to the strategic positioning of Air University’s educational mission. SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:46 Sep 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102–3.155 all sessions of the Air University Board of Visitors’ meeting will be open to the public. Any member of the public wishing to provide input to the Air University Board of Visitors should submit a written statement in accordance with 41 CFR 102–3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the procedures described in this paragraph. Written statements can be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer at the address detailed below at any time. Statements being submitted in response to the agenda mentioned in this notice must be received by the Designated Federal Officer at the address listed below at least five calendar days prior to the meeting which is the subject of this notice. Written statements received after this date may not be provided to or considered by the Air University Board of Visitors until its next meeting. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submissions with the Air University Board of Visitors’ Board Chairperson and ensure they are provided to members of the Board before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. Additionally, any member of the public wishing to attend this meeting should contact either person listed below at least five calendar days prior to the meeting for information on base entry passes. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Diana Bunch, Designated Federal Officer, Air University Headquarters, 55 LeMay Plaza South, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama 36112–6335, telephone (334) 953–4547. BILLING CODE 5001–10–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Permit Application for Widening of Bayou Casotte and Lower Sound Channels of the Pascagoula Harbor Channel, in the Port of Pascagoula, Jackson County, Mississippi AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD. ACTION: Notice of Intent. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Mobile District SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57979 Regulatory Division announces its intent to prepare an EIS to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with widening the existing Pascagoula Lower Sound/Bayou Casotte Federal Channel segment of Pascagoula Harbor (the Project). The proposed Project is a 100-foot-widening of the Lower Sound and Bayou Casotte Legs of the Pascagoula Harbor Channel, as well as limited widening of the northern portion of the Horn Island Pass Channel to facilitate the transition between the two channel segments. The Corps is considering the Jackson County Port Authority/Port of Pascagoula (Port) application for a Department of the Army permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act. A joint public notice for the Section 10 permit (SAM–2011–00389–PAH) was issued by the Corps on April 15, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action and Draft EIS can be answered by Mr. Philip A. Hegji, Corps Project Manager, at (251) 690–3222. Comments shall be addressed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Regulatory Division, ATTN: File Number SAM– 2011–00389–PAH, at P.O. Box 2288, Mobile, Alabama 36628–0001, or street address, 109 St. Joseph Street, Mobile, Alabama 36602. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Background. The EIS will assess the impacts associated with dredging approximately 38,137 feet (7.22 miles) of the existing Pascagoula Lower Sound/ Bayou Casotte Federal Channel segment to widen the channel 100 feet parallel to the existing channel centerline, to the existing depth of ¥42 feet mean lower low water, as well as the beneficial use and placement of the dredged material. The proposed project would be developed over approximately the next 2 to 3 years. The EIS discussed in this notice would support the regulatory process for this specific permit application and Project. The Corps Planning Division is also preparing a separate EIS and Feasibility Study under the Corps Planning Process to evaluate whether there is a Federal interest in modifying the existing federally authorized navigation channel (Federal Navigation Channel) leading to Bayou Casotte (i.e., Pascagoula channel widening from the Horn Island Pass to the entrance of the Bayou Casotte Harbor) and maintenance of the channel. The primary Federal involvement in this EIS for the Regulatory Division is an E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 57980 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 181 / Monday, September 19, 2011 / Notices application for a permit to dredge or excavate adjacent to a Federal Navigation Channel in or affecting navigable waters of the United States, and potential impacts on the human environment from such activities, as well as the disposal of material in the littoral disposal area, which could be suitable for beneficial use. Also included in the evaluation is the placement of dredged material within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated Pascagoula Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) and the designated Littoral Zone Placement Area located east and south of the barrier island. It is anticipated that the excavated area would become part of the Federal Navigation Channel in the future, if the Corps adopts maintenance of the widened area, pending approval of the Corps Planning documents described above. No wetland impacts are known to exist at the proposed dredge disposal site. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Corps is requiring the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prior to rendering a final decision on the Port’s permit application, based on potentially significant impacts to water quality, cultural resources, endangered or threatened species, or sediment transport. The Corps may ultimately make a determination to approve the permit, approve the permit with conditions, or deny the permit for the above project. This effort will also support nonfederal construction of the project and, in concert with the parallel Planning Division EIS, the potential federal maintenance under the authority of Section 204(b) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986. Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (as amended), the Corps will serve as Lead Agency for the Preparation of an EIS. The Draft EIS is intended to be sufficient in scope to address both the Federal and the state and local requirements and environmental issues concerning the proposed activities and permit approvals. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has expressed interest in acting as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS. 2. Project Purpose and Need. The overall project purpose is to widen the existing Federal Navigation Channel, including excavation, as needed, to reconfigure the site to alleviate the current transit restrictions and increase travel efficiencies for vessel transit, improve safety conditions for vessel operations, improve conditions for port operations, and improve habitat VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:46 Sep 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 conditions through the beneficial use of dredged material. 3. Issues. There are several potential environmental issues that will be addressed in the EIS. Additional issues may be identified during the scoping process. Issues initially identified as potentially significant include: a. Impacts to traffic, including marine navigation and ground transportation; b. Potential impacts to endangered and threatened species; c. Air quality; d. Water quality; e. Socioeconomic effects; f. Cumulative impacts; and g. Placement of dredged materials. 4. Alternatives. Alternatives initially being considered for the proposed improvement project include the following: a. No Project/No Action. .This alternative would not implement any of the elements presented in the project description. b. Widening 100 feet on the West Side. This alternative is the proposed Project to widen the Federal Channel segment approximately 100 feet parallel to the existing channel centerline, to the existing depth of ¥42 feet mean lower low water. The width may be increased as necessary to allow adequate transit for navigation in transition zones. The improved channel would be 7.22 miles long and result in excavation of approximately 3.4 to 3.8 million cubic yards of dredged material. c. Widening of 50 feet on Either Side of the Channel Centerline. This alternative includes a proposal to widen the Federal Channel segment, approximately 50 feet on either side of the existing channel centerline, to the existing depth of ¥42 feet mean lower low water. The width may be increased as necessary to allow adequate transition for navigation. The improved channel would be similar in length and dredged material quantities to the proposed Project (widening 100 feet on the West Side). 5. Scoping Process. As part of the Corps Planning Division EIS, a public scoping meeting was conducted for the proposed Bayou Casotte and Lower Sound Channels Widening of the Pascagoula Harbor Channel. The meeting was held to receive public comments and assess public concerns regarding the appropriate scope and preparation of the Draft EIS. Participation in the public meeting by Federal, State, and local agencies and other interested organizations and persons was encouraged. This meeting was conducted in English, and was held on Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., located at the PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Pascagoula Public Library, 3214 Pascagoula Street, Pascagoula, MS 39567. A comment period was held for the Regulatory Division on the permit application, which was noticed April 15, 2011. The comment period was held from April 15, 2011 to May 16, 2011. The Corps will be accepting written comments on this Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS, and they will be taken into consideration during development of the document. We encourage any additional comments from interested public, agencies, and local officials. Written and e-mailed comments to the Corps will be received until October 20, 2011. Written comments should be sent to the address below: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Regulatory Division, c/o Philip A. Hegji, 109 St. Joseph Street, Mobile, Alabama 36628–0001, e-mail: Philip.A.Hegji@usace.army.mil. 6. Availability of the Draft EIS. The Corps expects the Draft EIS to be made available to the public in late spring 2012. A public hearing will be held during the public comment period for the Draft EIS. Dated: September 9, 2011. Craig J. Litteken, Chief, Regulatory Division. [FR Doc. 2011–23994 Filed 9–16–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice announces the membership of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Senior Executive Service (SES) Performance Review Board (PRB). DATES: Effective Date: September 19, 2011. SUMMARY: Send comments concerning this notice to: Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, 625 Indiana Avenue, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20004–2001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Deborah Biscieglia by telephone at (202) 694–7041 or by e-mail at debbieb@dnfsb.gov. ADDRESSES: 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(1) through (5) requires each agency to establish, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management, one or more SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1

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[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 181 (Monday, September 19, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57979-57980]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-23994]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a 
Permit Application for Widening of Bayou Casotte and Lower Sound 
Channels of the Pascagoula Harbor Channel, in the Port of Pascagoula, 
Jackson County, Mississippi

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

ACTION: Notice of Intent.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Mobile District 
Regulatory Division announces its intent to prepare an EIS to assess 
the potential environmental impacts associated with widening the 
existing Pascagoula Lower Sound/Bayou Casotte Federal Channel segment 
of Pascagoula Harbor (the Project). The proposed Project is a 100-foot-
widening of the Lower Sound and Bayou Casotte Legs of the Pascagoula 
Harbor Channel, as well as limited widening of the northern portion of 
the Horn Island Pass Channel to facilitate the transition between the 
two channel segments. The Corps is considering the Jackson County Port 
Authority/Port of Pascagoula (Port) application for a Department of the 
Army permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, Section 10 of the 
Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and Section 103 of the Marine 
Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act. A joint public notice for 
the Section 10 permit (SAM-2011-00389-PAH) was issued by the Corps on 
April 15, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action 
and Draft EIS can be answered by Mr. Philip A. Hegji, Corps Project 
Manager, at (251) 690-3222. Comments shall be addressed to: U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Regulatory Division, ATTN: File 
Number SAM-2011-00389-PAH, at P.O. Box 2288, Mobile, Alabama 36628-
0001, or street address, 109 St. Joseph Street, Mobile, Alabama 36602.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    1. Background. The EIS will assess the impacts associated with 
dredging approximately 38,137 feet (7.22 miles) of the existing 
Pascagoula Lower Sound/Bayou Casotte Federal Channel segment to widen 
the channel 100 feet parallel to the existing channel centerline, to 
the existing depth of -42 feet mean lower low water, as well as the 
beneficial use and placement of the dredged material. The proposed 
project would be developed over approximately the next 2 to 3 years.
    The EIS discussed in this notice would support the regulatory 
process for this specific permit application and Project. The Corps 
Planning Division is also preparing a separate EIS and Feasibility 
Study under the Corps Planning Process to evaluate whether there is a 
Federal interest in modifying the existing federally authorized 
navigation channel (Federal Navigation Channel) leading to Bayou 
Casotte (i.e., Pascagoula channel widening from the Horn Island Pass to 
the entrance of the Bayou Casotte Harbor) and maintenance of the 
channel.
    The primary Federal involvement in this EIS for the Regulatory 
Division is an

[[Page 57980]]

application for a permit to dredge or excavate adjacent to a Federal 
Navigation Channel in or affecting navigable waters of the United 
States, and potential impacts on the human environment from such 
activities, as well as the disposal of material in the littoral 
disposal area, which could be suitable for beneficial use. Also 
included in the evaluation is the placement of dredged material within 
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated Pascagoula 
Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) and the designated 
Littoral Zone Placement Area located east and south of the barrier 
island. It is anticipated that the excavated area would become part of 
the Federal Navigation Channel in the future, if the Corps adopts 
maintenance of the widened area, pending approval of the Corps Planning 
documents described above. No wetland impacts are known to exist at the 
proposed dredge disposal site. In accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Corps is requiring the preparation 
of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prior to rendering a final 
decision on the Port's permit application, based on potentially 
significant impacts to water quality, cultural resources, endangered or 
threatened species, or sediment transport. The Corps may ultimately 
make a determination to approve the permit, approve the permit with 
conditions, or deny the permit for the above project.
    This effort will also support non-federal construction of the 
project and, in concert with the parallel Planning Division EIS, the 
potential federal maintenance under the authority of Section 204(b) of 
the Water Resources Development Act of 1986.
    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (as 
amended), the Corps will serve as Lead Agency for the Preparation of an 
EIS. The Draft EIS is intended to be sufficient in scope to address 
both the Federal and the state and local requirements and environmental 
issues concerning the proposed activities and permit approvals. The 
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has expressed interest in 
acting as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS.
    2. Project Purpose and Need. The overall project purpose is to 
widen the existing Federal Navigation Channel, including excavation, as 
needed, to reconfigure the site to alleviate the current transit 
restrictions and increase travel efficiencies for vessel transit, 
improve safety conditions for vessel operations, improve conditions for 
port operations, and improve habitat conditions through the beneficial 
use of dredged material.
    3. Issues. There are several potential environmental issues that 
will be addressed in the EIS. Additional issues may be identified 
during the scoping process. Issues initially identified as potentially 
significant include:
    a. Impacts to traffic, including marine navigation and ground 
transportation;
    b. Potential impacts to endangered and threatened species;
    c. Air quality;
    d. Water quality;
    e. Socioeconomic effects;
    f. Cumulative impacts; and
    g. Placement of dredged materials.
    4. Alternatives. Alternatives initially being considered for the 
proposed improvement project include the following:
    a. No Project/No Action. .This alternative would not implement any 
of the elements presented in the project description.
    b. Widening 100 feet on the West Side. This alternative is the 
proposed Project to widen the Federal Channel segment approximately 100 
feet parallel to the existing channel centerline, to the existing depth 
of -42 feet mean lower low water. The width may be increased as 
necessary to allow adequate transit for navigation in transition zones. 
The improved channel would be 7.22 miles long and result in excavation 
of approximately 3.4 to 3.8 million cubic yards of dredged material.
    c. Widening of 50 feet on Either Side of the Channel Centerline. 
This alternative includes a proposal to widen the Federal Channel 
segment, approximately 50 feet on either side of the existing channel 
centerline, to the existing depth of -42 feet mean lower low water. The 
width may be increased as necessary to allow adequate transition for 
navigation. The improved channel would be similar in length and dredged 
material quantities to the proposed Project (widening 100 feet on the 
West Side).
    5. Scoping Process. As part of the Corps Planning Division EIS, a 
public scoping meeting was conducted for the proposed Bayou Casotte and 
Lower Sound Channels Widening of the Pascagoula Harbor Channel. The 
meeting was held to receive public comments and assess public concerns 
regarding the appropriate scope and preparation of the Draft EIS. 
Participation in the public meeting by Federal, State, and local 
agencies and other interested organizations and persons was encouraged. 
This meeting was conducted in English, and was held on Thursday, 
February 25, 2010 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., located at the 
Pascagoula Public Library, 3214 Pascagoula Street, Pascagoula, MS 
39567.
    A comment period was held for the Regulatory Division on the permit 
application, which was noticed April 15, 2011. The comment period was 
held from April 15, 2011 to May 16, 2011.
    The Corps will be accepting written comments on this Notice of 
Intent to prepare an EIS, and they will be taken into consideration 
during development of the document. We encourage any additional 
comments from interested public, agencies, and local officials. Written 
and e-mailed comments to the Corps will be received until October 20, 
2011. Written comments should be sent to the address below:
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Regulatory Division, 
c/o Philip A. Hegji, 109 St. Joseph Street, Mobile, Alabama 36628-0001, 
e-mail: Philip.A.Hegji@usace.army.mil.
    6. Availability of the Draft EIS. The Corps expects the Draft EIS 
to be made available to the public in late spring 2012. A public 
hearing will be held during the public comment period for the Draft 
EIS.

    Dated: September 9, 2011.
Craig J. Litteken,
Chief, Regulatory Division.
[FR Doc. 2011-23994 Filed 9-16-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P