Forest Service, 13621-13624 [2013-04648]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 40 / Thursday, February 28, 2013 / Notices review with the Regional Ecosystem Office for the specific proposed thinning treatments and resultant stand conditions may be required. The project Interdisciplinary Team developed Resource Protection Measures common to all action alternatives to minimize or eliminate potential environmental effects while achieving the desired condition. Development was guided by Forest Plan direction as well as other applicable law, regulation and policy, projectspecific objectives and resource concerns identified by resource specialists. These measures complement the project design criteria developed as part of the proposed action, including species and age class retention preferences, microsite thinning and fuels treatment modifications in suitable habitat for late-successional species and within Riparian Reserves and cultural resource protections. Best management practices for maintaining, protecting and monitoring water quality and soils will also be utilized. Responsible Official J. Sharon Heywood, Forest Supervisor, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Nature of Decision To Be Made The Forest Supervisor will decide whether to implement the proposed action, take an alternative action that meets the purpose and need, or take no action. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Permits or Licenses Required A permit would be required from the State of California prior to burning piles. The appropriate regulatory agencies will be consulted regarding national or state required permits associated with roads used during project implementation. All required permits will be obtained prior to implementation. Scoping Process The project is included in the ShastaTrinity National Forest’s quarterly schedule of proposed actions (SOPA). Detailed information on the proposed action, including maps, that will aid in the informing comments will be available on the Forest Web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/ nepa_project_exp.php?project=31312. Scoping notice will be published in the Redding Record Searchlight and the Mount Shasta Herald. This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of issues (cause-effect relationships that highlight effects or unintended consequences), alternatives and analysis for the environmental VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:12 Feb 27, 2013 Jkt 229001 impact statement. It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such a manner that they are useful to identifying issues, developing alternatives, conducting resource analysis and preparing the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the 30-day comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns. Please include the following information with your comments: Your name, address and telephone number, the project name: Elk Late-Successional Reserve Enhancement project and sitespecific comments about the proposed action, along with supporting information you believe will help identify issues, develop alternatives or predict environmental effects of the proposal. The most useful comments provide new information or describe unwanted environmental effects potentially caused by the proposed action. If you reference scientific literature in your comments, you must provide a copy of the entire cited reference and include rationale as to how you feel it is pertinent to the Elk Late-Successional Reserve Enhancement project. A public information meeting will be held on March 5, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the McCloud Ranger Station conference room, located at 2019 Forest Road in McCloud, California. At this meeting, members of the project Interdisciplinary Team will present information on the purpose and need, existing conditions and the developed proposed action to meet the desired conditions in the project area. Written comments may be submitted at this meeting in addition to submitting them via mail and electronically as described in the ADDRESSES section above. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will become part of the public record for this proposed action. Dated: February 14, 2013. J. Sharon Heywood, Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 2013–04642 Filed 2–27–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service San Bernardino National Forest; California; Omya Sentinel and Butterfield Quarry Expansion Project AGENCY: PO 00000 Forest Service, USDA. Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13621 Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement and environmental impact report. ACTION: Omya California (Omya), a division of Omya Inc., has submitted the following applications: • An Amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF); and • A Mining and Land Reclamation Plan Conditional Use Permit application submitted to the County of San Bernardino (County). Combined, these applications propose the expansion of the existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries. The existing permitted Sentinel and Butterfield limestone quarries are located on mining claims within the SBNF. Known limestone ore resources, within the proposed quarry expansions, will add an additional 20 years life to the Sentinel Quarry, add an additional 40 years life to the Butterfield Quarry, and will allow mining at both quarries to be extended until 2055. Depending on market demand, the combined Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries average ore production rates will be approximately 680,000 tons per year compared to the 3-year average between 2004–2006 of approximately 378,000 tons per year. Reclamation will occur concurrently with mining. The proposed expansion includes 48.7 acres of disturbance at the Sentinel Quarry and 28.8 acres of disturbance at the Butterfield Quarry, for a total of 77.3 acres. Quarry development and expansion will be phased. Disturbance proposed for the project includes expansion of existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries, expansion of associated overburden placement sites, additional internal access roads and ancillary facility areas, and minor adjustments to existing disturbance boundaries. There are no new quarries, haul roads or overburden sites in this plan, only the phased expanded development and reclamation of the existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries. Implementation of the Proposed Project will require discretionary approvals from Federal, State, and local agencies and, therefore, this project is subject to the environmental review requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). To ensure coordination between the NEPA and CEQA processes, and to avoid duplication of effort, a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is being prepared as recommended by SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28FEN1.SGM 28FEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 13622 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 40 / Thursday, February 28, 2013 / Notices CEQA Guidelines Section 15222 and 40 CFR 1506.25. The Forest Service is the NEPA Lead Agency and the County will be the CEQA Lead Agency for the joint EIR/EIS. As Lead Agency for the NEPA process, the Forest Service issues this Notice of Intent (NOI), as required by NEPA, for the Project. The County will issue a separate Notice of Preparation (NOP), as required for CEQA for the Proposed Project. Comments are being requested to help identify significant issues or concerns related to the proposed action, to determine the scope of the issues (including alternatives) that need to be analyzed and to eliminate from detailed study those issues that are not significant. Supporting documentation should be included with comments recommending that the EIR/EIS address specific environmental issues. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by April 1, 2013. The draft EIR/EIS is expected October 2013 and the final EIR/EIS is expected February 2014. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Maya Rohr, Omya Sentinel and Butterfield—Quarries Expansion Project, Sespe Consulting, 5920 Friars Road, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92108. Comments may also be sent via email to mrohr@sespeconsulting.com. Public Scoping meetings will be held on March 11, 2013 at the Big Bear Discovery Center, 40971 North Shore Drive (Highway 38), Fawnskin, California 92333 beginning at 5 p.m. PST, and March 12, 2013 at the Lucerne Valley Community Center, 33187 Highway 247 East, Lucerne Valley, California 92356 beginning at 5 p.m. PST. It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such a way that they are useful to the Agency’s preparation of the EIR/EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns and contentions. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maya Rohr, Senior Project Manager, Sespe Consulting at (619) 894–8669 or mrohr@sespeconsulting.com. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:12 Feb 27, 2013 Jkt 229001 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Omya California submitted the Amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan for the proposed expansion of the existing Butterfield Limestone Quarry to the San Bernardino National Forest, on November 1, 2010. The project was scoped as an Environmental Assessment (EA), and through the analysis of the comments received, the Responsible Official determined that an EIS would be prepared. At that time, the project was expanded to include additional expansion at the Sentinel Quarry as well. The project site is located approximately 7.5 miles south of the community of Lucerne Valley and 5 miles north of Big Bear Lake within the SBNF in San Bernardino County, California, and is accessed by the vested Crystal Creek Haul Road. The project area is within portions of Sections 23, 24, and 25 Township 3 North, Range 1 West, SBBM. The Butterfield and Sentinel Quarries are located entirely within portions of approximately 954 acres of unpatented placer claims controlled by Omya located on public land administered by the Forest Service. These claims include Crystal Creek 1, 2, 4, 13 and 14, Slope North and King 3. Both quarries have been mined by Omya since 1977. The Sentinel Quarry is currently permitted to operate through the year 2035, and the Butterfield Quarry through 2015. Known limestone resources, with the proposed quarry expansions, will add an additional 40 years of operations for Butterfield (2016 through 2055) and a proposed additional 20 years for the Sentinel Quarry (2036 through 2055). Depending on market demand, average ore production rates to the processing plant in Lucerne Valley will increase to approximately 680,000 tons of ore to the plant per year, compared to the 3-year average between 2004–2006 of approximately 378,000 tons per year. The previously approved State Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) Reclamation Plans (2003) include a site specific approved revegetation plan, including growth media salvage, organics placement, seeding and revegetation, seed collection and propagation, irrigation, site cleanup, public safety, rock and fill slope stability, drainage and erosion controls, monitoring and maintenance plan and bond release criteria. Purpose and Need for Action Omya submitted an amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan to the Forest Service, and a Conditional Use PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Permit application and Reclamation Plan to the County. These submittals describe the proposed expansion of the existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries. The Forest Service is analyzing the surface use of National Forest System lands in connection with operations authorized by the United States mining laws (30 U.S.C. 21–54). The United States mining laws confer a statutory right to enter upon the public lands to search for minerals, and require that these activities shall be conducted so as to minimize adverse environmental impacts on National Forest System surface resources (36 CFR 228.8). The responsibility for managing mineral resources is in the Secretary of the Interior. Within the United States, productive deposits of white, high purity limestone are found in only a few areas. The Omya deposits are one of these sources of high calcium limestone that can be used as whiting. Whiting is used in the form of nontoxic fillers and extenders in a large number of products ranging from paper products to environmental cleanup, carpet backing, plastics, PVC, paint, paper and other building products. Limestone mining provides numerous environmental benefits including fewer trees harvested for paper making, less petroleum products utilized and less greenhouse gases produced. Limestone can also be used as a substitute for other components in industrial processes and the manufacture of consumer products. Proposed Action The proposed expansion includes 48.7 acres of disturbance at the Sentinel Quarry and 28.8 acres of disturbance at the Butterfield Quarry for a total of 77.3 acres. Disturbance proposed for this project includes expansion of existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries, expansion of associated overburden placement sites, haul road and ancillary facility areas, and minor adjustments to existing disturbance boundaries. Reclamation for the inactive Cloudy and Claudia quarries, overburden stockpiles, and haul roads on Forest Service lands, including reclamation of the Crystal Creek Haul Road, are covered in the 1994 approved Reclamation Plan and incorporated into the proposed Amended Plan. There are no changes to these sites with the exception of extending the years of use of the Crystal Creek Haul Road by 10 years from 2046 to 2055 followed by 10 years of reclamation. There are no new quarries, haul roads or overburden sites in this plan, only the phased expanded development and reclamation of existing Sentinel Quarry and Butterfield Quarry. E:\FR\FM\28FEN1.SGM 28FEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 40 / Thursday, February 28, 2013 / Notices Both the Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries are multi-bench open pit mines where five grades of ore are selectively mined. The ore is drilled and blasted, loaded into haul trucks, and hauled to a crusher located near the Sentinel Quarry (Sentinel crusher). The Sentinel resources are mined in 30-foot cuts with a 30–35 foot safety bench approximately every 60 feet of depth and will have up to 11 benches. The Butterfield deposit is mined in 25 foot cuts with a safety bench approximately every 50 feet and will have up to 8 benches. Bench height has been determined as a result of detailed studies of the geologic structure. Face angles for both quarries average 70 degrees. The highest level of the pit at the Sentinel Quarry is at an elevation of 7,600 feet above mean sea level (amsl) and mining will ultimately reach 7,000 feet amsl. The highest level of the pit at the Butterfield Quarry is 7,900 feet and mining will ultimately reach 7,650 feet amsl. Project Phasing. Although mining is more or less continuous, the development of the quarries will be phased. The proposed expansion for both quarries includes four (4) 10-year mining phases or pushbacks starting in the year 2016 for the Sentinel Quarry and 2015 for the Butterfield Quarry. The Sentinel quarry will be progressively developed to the south, west, and east property line, and eventually deepened to the footwall to reach the final depth of 7,000 feet amsl. Backfilling will start on the northern wall and gradually filling the quarry to approximate original contours. The Butterfield quarry will be mined during the first four phases from east to west on several levels within the quarry and will eventually deepen to reach a final depth of 7,700 (western portion) to 7,650 (eastern portion) feet amsl. During mining of the western half of the Butterfield Quarry, concurrent backfilling of the eastern quarry area will occur. Ultimately the eastern portion will be completely backfilled to approximate original contours. The overburden will be progressively placed in the eastern portion of the Butterfield Quarry, but only after those portions of the quarry have reached their final outer limit and the ore has been mined out. Phase 5 involves reclamation. Reclamation. To minimize impacts to the surrounding environment, Omya proposes to reclaim the quarry sites in a manner that meets both Forest Service Minerals Regulations (36 CFR part 228, Subpart A), under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service, and the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, as amended (SMARA), which is implemented by the County. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:12 Feb 27, 2013 Jkt 229001 The Forest Service approved the previous Omya Umbrella Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan in 1988. The SMARA Reclamation Plan (94M–02) was approved by the Forest Service and the County in 1994. The Forest Service approved the existing Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan for Butterfield and Sentinel Quarries in 2002, following completion of an environmental assessment and evaluation of the Plan of Operations. The SMARA Reclamation Plan was amended and approved by the County in 2003. No changes in the approved revegetation plans are proposed other than increased acres and timing changes. Timing schedules are revised for the development and reclamation of the Sentinel and Butterfield quarries as detailed in the Amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan. Reclamation costs for the quarry sites have been revised. Reclamation will be monitored as required in the approved monitoring plan for 10 years, and the bond reviewed yearly and adjusted to reflect completed reclamation, new disturbance, and variations in the economy (inflation). Final reclamation will take place within 10 years of terminating mining activities. All remaining equipment will be removed, stockpiles will either be removed or used during reclamation, and internal roads not needed for site access, reclamation, and revegetation and general site monitoring will be reclaimed. Final sloping of quarry walls, backfilled areas, and overburden stockpiles; erosion control; and revegetation of any unreclaimed areas and waste rock stockpiles will be conducted. Some haul roads may be left onsite for use in the revegetation and monitoring activities and for overall site public safety. Ongoing maintenance of fencing, signs, and erosion control will be conducted. Roads not needed for site and quarry access will be ripped, covered with available growth media, and revegetated. Other onsite roads needed for quarry and pad access will be reclaimed after reclamation of quarries and pads are certified complete, as determined by the Forest Service, in order to allow access to all reclamation areas. Avoidance/Minimization and Environmental Protection Measures. The Amended Plan of Operations includes avoidance/minimization and environmental protection measures, including: 1. Quit claim to the SBNF 300 acres of unpatented mining claims held within the SBNF which are known to have occupied endangered species PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13623 habitat agreed upon by the Forest Service and consistent with the 2003 Carbonate Habitat Management Strategy (CHMS). 2. Design the mine plan to deposit future overburden into existing overburden areas and completed quarries as much as feasible to avoid possible impacts to existing cushenbury oxytheca populations. 3. Submit additional reclamation bond to cover the new disturbance in the expansion areas prior to starting the development work. 4. Implement a Dust Management Plan (DMP) for the quarry expansion areas. 5. Implement an Employee Awareness Plan that will provide information, training, and protection measures on the following: A. Mining within Critical Habitat for listed plant species in cooperation with United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Forest Service. B. Mining in proximity to an area of Forest Service land segregated from mineral entry and location in cooperation with BLM and Forest Service (CHMS designated refugia). C. Awareness and protection measures about bighorn sheep in cooperation with USFWS, California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), and Forest Service. D. Benefits of preserving heritage resources in cooperation with the Forest Service. 6. Continue maintaining the water guzzler for bighorn sheep near the north end of the Sentinel Quarry. 7. Continue support of CDFG bighorn sheep studies during the mining project. 8. Dispose of sediment from runoff control basins to pre-approved sites rather than side cast down slopes. 9. As areas become available after the completion of mining, implement concurrent reclamation/revegetation of completed quarries and overburden stockpiles to reduce visual impacts through backfilling, recontouring and slope reduction, growth media and habitat log placement, revegetation with native plant species, and colorization as applicable. 10. Any unexpected or unforeseen events will result in immediate notification to the Forest Service. If conditions are encountered that vary significantly from the assumptions used in the mine design and environmental assessments, Omya will coordinate with the Forest Service to determine required actions. 11. Monitoring as described below is incorporated to be part of the approved Plan of Operations: Forest Mine Administrator, Certified Mineral E:\FR\FM\28FEN1.SGM 28FEN1 13624 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 40 / Thursday, February 28, 2013 / Notices Examiner or other qualified specialists will document and assure the avoidance/minimization and environmental protection measures incorporated into the Plan of Operations and the Decision are being followed and that they are effective in protecting the environment. Inspections will occur during the life of the project at least once a year to document the site conditions and to assure the Plan of Operations is being followed. If it is determined that a particular environmental protection measure is not adequately protecting surface resources, the Plan of Operations will be modified to correct the situation. Significant changes may require additional analysis and documentation in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Lead and Cooperating Agencies The Forest Service, as lead agency under NEPA, and County of San Bernardino, as the lead state agency under CEQA, will be preparing a joint EIR/EIS. This EIR/EIS will analyze and disclose the potential effects of the proposed limestone quarry expansion. The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District has agreed to participate as a cooperating agency and to provide expertise regarding the proposed actions’ relationship to the relevant objectives of regional, State and local land use plans, policies and controls. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Responsible Official The Responsible Official under NEPA for the Omya Sentinel and Butterfield Quarry Expansion project is the San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor, Jody Noiron. Nature of Decision To Be Made The Responsible Official will decide whether to approve the Amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan following the environmental analysis. The Forest Service does not have the authority to remove the proponent’s ability to mine their claim on National Forest System lands. The Responsible Official will also decide if an amendment to the San Bernardino National Forest Land Management Plan is required. The County will decide whether to approve the Mining and Land Reclamation Plan Conditional Use Permit following the environmental analysis. Scoping Process This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the EIR/EIS. The complete amended Plan of Operation VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:12 Feb 27, 2013 Jkt 229001 and Reclamation Plan is available on the San Bernardino National Forest Web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fsusda-pop.php/?project=32613. Public Scoping meetings will be held on March 11, 2013 at the Big Bear Discovery Center, 40971 North Shore Drive (Highway 38), Fawnskin, California 92333 beginning at 5 p.m. PST, and March 12, 2013 at the Lucerne Valley Community Center, 33187 Highway 247 East, Lucerne Valley, California 92356 beginning at 5 p.m. PST. It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency’s preparation of the EIR/EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns and contentions. Dated: February 21, 2013. Jody Noiron, Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 2013–04648 Filed 2–27–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U.S. Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Age Search Service U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104–13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before April 29, 2013. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at jjessup@doc.gov). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Cleo Henderson, U.S. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Census Bureau, National Processing Center, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47132; phone: (812) 218–3434; or: cleo.henderson@census.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION I. Abstract Age Search is a service provided by the U.S. Census Bureau for persons who need official transcripts of personal data as proof of age for pensions, retirement plans, medicare, and social security. The transcripts are also used as proof of citizenship to obtain passports or to provide evidence of family relationship for rights of inheritance. The Age Search forms are used by the public in order to provide the Census Bureau with the necessary information to conduct a search of historical population decennial census records in order to provide the requested transcript. The Age Search service is self-supporting and is funded by the fees collected from the individuals requesting the service. II. Method of Collection The Form BC–600, Application for Search of Census Records, is a public use form that is submitted by applicants requesting information from the decennial census records. Applicants are requested to enclose the appropriate fee by check or money order with the completed and signed Form BC–600 and return by mail to the U.S. Census Bureau, Post Office Box 1545, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47131. The Form BC–649 (L), which is called a ‘‘Not Found’’, advises the applicant that the search for information from the census records was unsuccessful. The BC–658 (L) is sent to the applicant when insufficient information has been received on which to base a search of the census records. These two forms request additional information from the applicant to aid in the search of census records. The BC–600 will be updated to add the 2010 Decennial Census to the list of searchable censuses. The form will also be updated to inform applicants that checks are now being processed by electronic transfer of funds. III. Data OMB Control Number: 0607–0117. Form Numbers: BC–600, BC–649(L), BC–658(L). Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Affected Public: Individuals or households. Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,479 Total. BC–600 2,799. BC–649(L) 654. E:\FR\FM\28FEN1.SGM 28FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 40 (Thursday, February 28, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13621-13624]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04648]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Forest Service

San Bernardino National Forest; California; Omya Sentinel and 
Butterfield Quarry Expansion Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement 
and environmental impact report.

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

SUMMARY: Omya California (Omya), a division of Omya Inc., has submitted 
the following applications:
     An Amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan to the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, San Bernardino National 
Forest (SBNF); and
     A Mining and Land Reclamation Plan Conditional Use Permit 
application submitted to the County of San Bernardino (County).
    Combined, these applications propose the expansion of the existing 
Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries. The existing permitted Sentinel and 
Butterfield limestone quarries are located on mining claims within the 
SBNF. Known limestone ore resources, within the proposed quarry 
expansions, will add an additional 20 years life to the Sentinel 
Quarry, add an additional 40 years life to the Butterfield Quarry, and 
will allow mining at both quarries to be extended until 2055. Depending 
on market demand, the combined Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries 
average ore production rates will be approximately 680,000 tons per 
year compared to the 3-year average between 2004-2006 of approximately 
378,000 tons per year. Reclamation will occur concurrently with mining. 
The proposed expansion includes 48.7 acres of disturbance at the 
Sentinel Quarry and 28.8 acres of disturbance at the Butterfield 
Quarry, for a total of 77.3 acres. Quarry development and expansion 
will be phased. Disturbance proposed for the project includes expansion 
of existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries, expansion of associated 
overburden placement sites, additional internal access roads and 
ancillary facility areas, and minor adjustments to existing disturbance 
boundaries. There are no new quarries, haul roads or overburden sites 
in this plan, only the phased expanded development and reclamation of 
the existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries.
    Implementation of the Proposed Project will require discretionary 
approvals from Federal, State, and local agencies and, therefore, this 
project is subject to the environmental review requirements of both the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California 
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). To ensure coordination between the 
NEPA and CEQA processes, and to avoid duplication of effort, a joint 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Impact Report 
(EIR) is being prepared as recommended by

[[Page 13622]]

CEQA Guidelines Section 15222 and 40 CFR 1506.25. The Forest Service is 
the NEPA Lead Agency and the County will be the CEQA Lead Agency for 
the joint EIR/EIS. As Lead Agency for the NEPA process, the Forest 
Service issues this Notice of Intent (NOI), as required by NEPA, for 
the Project. The County will issue a separate Notice of Preparation 
(NOP), as required for CEQA for the Proposed Project.
    Comments are being requested to help identify significant issues or 
concerns related to the proposed action, to determine the scope of the 
issues (including alternatives) that need to be analyzed and to 
eliminate from detailed study those issues that are not significant. 
Supporting documentation should be included with comments recommending 
that the EIR/EIS address specific environmental issues.

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received 
by April 1, 2013. The draft EIR/EIS is expected October 2013 and the 
final EIR/EIS is expected February 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Maya Rohr, Omya Sentinel and 
Butterfield--Quarries Expansion Project, Sespe Consulting, 5920 Friars 
Road, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92108. Comments may also be sent via 
email to mrohr@sespeconsulting.com.
    Public Scoping meetings will be held on March 11, 2013 at the Big 
Bear Discovery Center, 40971 North Shore Drive (Highway 38), Fawnskin, 
California 92333 beginning at 5 p.m. PST, and March 12, 2013 at the 
Lucerne Valley Community Center, 33187 Highway 247 East, Lucerne 
Valley, California 92356 beginning at 5 p.m. PST.
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such a way that they are useful to the Agency's preparation of 
the EIR/EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close 
of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's 
concerns and contentions.
    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names 
and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record 
for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be 
accepted and considered, however.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maya Rohr, Senior Project Manager, 
Sespe Consulting at (619) 894-8669 or mrohr@sespeconsulting.com.
    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Omya California submitted the Amended Plan 
of Operations and Reclamation Plan for the proposed expansion of the 
existing Butterfield Limestone Quarry to the San Bernardino National 
Forest, on November 1, 2010. The project was scoped as an Environmental 
Assessment (EA), and through the analysis of the comments received, the 
Responsible Official determined that an EIS would be prepared. At that 
time, the project was expanded to include additional expansion at the 
Sentinel Quarry as well.
    The project site is located approximately 7.5 miles south of the 
community of Lucerne Valley and 5 miles north of Big Bear Lake within 
the SBNF in San Bernardino County, California, and is accessed by the 
vested Crystal Creek Haul Road. The project area is within portions of 
Sections 23, 24, and 25 Township 3 North, Range 1 West, SBBM. The 
Butterfield and Sentinel Quarries are located entirely within portions 
of approximately 954 acres of unpatented placer claims controlled by 
Omya located on public land administered by the Forest Service. These 
claims include Crystal Creek 1, 2, 4, 13 and 14, Slope North and King 
3.
    Both quarries have been mined by Omya since 1977. The Sentinel 
Quarry is currently permitted to operate through the year 2035, and the 
Butterfield Quarry through 2015. Known limestone resources, with the 
proposed quarry expansions, will add an additional 40 years of 
operations for Butterfield (2016 through 2055) and a proposed 
additional 20 years for the Sentinel Quarry (2036 through 2055). 
Depending on market demand, average ore production rates to the 
processing plant in Lucerne Valley will increase to approximately 
680,000 tons of ore to the plant per year, compared to the 3-year 
average between 2004-2006 of approximately 378,000 tons per year.
    The previously approved State Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) 
Reclamation Plans (2003) include a site specific approved revegetation 
plan, including growth media salvage, organics placement, seeding and 
revegetation, seed collection and propagation, irrigation, site 
cleanup, public safety, rock and fill slope stability, drainage and 
erosion controls, monitoring and maintenance plan and bond release 
criteria.

Purpose and Need for Action

    Omya submitted an amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan 
to the Forest Service, and a Conditional Use Permit application and 
Reclamation Plan to the County. These submittals describe the proposed 
expansion of the existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries. The Forest 
Service is analyzing the surface use of National Forest System lands in 
connection with operations authorized by the United States mining laws 
(30 U.S.C. 21-54). The United States mining laws confer a statutory 
right to enter upon the public lands to search for minerals, and 
require that these activities shall be conducted so as to minimize 
adverse environmental impacts on National Forest System surface 
resources (36 CFR 228.8). The responsibility for managing mineral 
resources is in the Secretary of the Interior.
    Within the United States, productive deposits of white, high purity 
limestone are found in only a few areas. The Omya deposits are one of 
these sources of high calcium limestone that can be used as whiting. 
Whiting is used in the form of nontoxic fillers and extenders in a 
large number of products ranging from paper products to environmental 
cleanup, carpet backing, plastics, PVC, paint, paper and other building 
products. Limestone mining provides numerous environmental benefits 
including fewer trees harvested for paper making, less petroleum 
products utilized and less greenhouse gases produced. Limestone can 
also be used as a substitute for other components in industrial 
processes and the manufacture of consumer products.

Proposed Action

    The proposed expansion includes 48.7 acres of disturbance at the 
Sentinel Quarry and 28.8 acres of disturbance at the Butterfield Quarry 
for a total of 77.3 acres. Disturbance proposed for this project 
includes expansion of existing Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries, 
expansion of associated overburden placement sites, haul road and 
ancillary facility areas, and minor adjustments to existing disturbance 
boundaries. Reclamation for the inactive Cloudy and Claudia quarries, 
overburden stockpiles, and haul roads on Forest Service lands, 
including reclamation of the Crystal Creek Haul Road, are covered in 
the 1994 approved Reclamation Plan and incorporated into the proposed 
Amended Plan. There are no changes to these sites with the exception of 
extending the years of use of the Crystal Creek Haul Road by 10 years 
from 2046 to 2055 followed by 10 years of reclamation. There are no new 
quarries, haul roads or overburden sites in this plan, only the phased 
expanded development and reclamation of existing Sentinel Quarry and 
Butterfield Quarry.

[[Page 13623]]

    Both the Sentinel and Butterfield Quarries are multi-bench open pit 
mines where five grades of ore are selectively mined. The ore is 
drilled and blasted, loaded into haul trucks, and hauled to a crusher 
located near the Sentinel Quarry (Sentinel crusher). The Sentinel 
resources are mined in 30-foot cuts with a 30-35 foot safety bench 
approximately every 60 feet of depth and will have up to 11 benches. 
The Butterfield deposit is mined in 25 foot cuts with a safety bench 
approximately every 50 feet and will have up to 8 benches. Bench height 
has been determined as a result of detailed studies of the geologic 
structure. Face angles for both quarries average 70 degrees. The 
highest level of the pit at the Sentinel Quarry is at an elevation of 
7,600 feet above mean sea level (amsl) and mining will ultimately reach 
7,000 feet amsl. The highest level of the pit at the Butterfield Quarry 
is 7,900 feet and mining will ultimately reach 7,650 feet amsl.
    Project Phasing. Although mining is more or less continuous, the 
development of the quarries will be phased. The proposed expansion for 
both quarries includes four (4) 10-year mining phases or pushbacks 
starting in the year 2016 for the Sentinel Quarry and 2015 for the 
Butterfield Quarry. The Sentinel quarry will be progressively developed 
to the south, west, and east property line, and eventually deepened to 
the footwall to reach the final depth of 7,000 feet amsl. Backfilling 
will start on the northern wall and gradually filling the quarry to 
approximate original contours. The Butterfield quarry will be mined 
during the first four phases from east to west on several levels within 
the quarry and will eventually deepen to reach a final depth of 7,700 
(western portion) to 7,650 (eastern portion) feet amsl. During mining 
of the western half of the Butterfield Quarry, concurrent backfilling 
of the eastern quarry area will occur. Ultimately the eastern portion 
will be completely backfilled to approximate original contours. The 
overburden will be progressively placed in the eastern portion of the 
Butterfield Quarry, but only after those portions of the quarry have 
reached their final outer limit and the ore has been mined out. Phase 5 
involves reclamation.
    Reclamation. To minimize impacts to the surrounding environment, 
Omya proposes to reclaim the quarry sites in a manner that meets both 
Forest Service Minerals Regulations (36 CFR part 228, Subpart A), under 
the jurisdiction of the Forest Service, and the California Surface 
Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, as amended (SMARA), which is 
implemented by the County.
    The Forest Service approved the previous Omya Umbrella Plan of 
Operations and Reclamation Plan in 1988. The SMARA Reclamation Plan 
(94M-02) was approved by the Forest Service and the County in 1994. The 
Forest Service approved the existing Plan of Operations and Reclamation 
Plan for Butterfield and Sentinel Quarries in 2002, following 
completion of an environmental assessment and evaluation of the Plan of 
Operations. The SMARA Reclamation Plan was amended and approved by the 
County in 2003.
    No changes in the approved revegetation plans are proposed other 
than increased acres and timing changes. Timing schedules are revised 
for the development and reclamation of the Sentinel and Butterfield 
quarries as detailed in the Amended Plan of Operations and Reclamation 
Plan. Reclamation costs for the quarry sites have been revised. 
Reclamation will be monitored as required in the approved monitoring 
plan for 10 years, and the bond reviewed yearly and adjusted to reflect 
completed reclamation, new disturbance, and variations in the economy 
(inflation).
    Final reclamation will take place within 10 years of terminating 
mining activities. All remaining equipment will be removed, stockpiles 
will either be removed or used during reclamation, and internal roads 
not needed for site access, reclamation, and revegetation and general 
site monitoring will be reclaimed. Final sloping of quarry walls, 
backfilled areas, and overburden stockpiles; erosion control; and 
revegetation of any unreclaimed areas and waste rock stockpiles will be 
conducted. Some haul roads may be left onsite for use in the 
revegetation and monitoring activities and for overall site public 
safety. Ongoing maintenance of fencing, signs, and erosion control will 
be conducted. Roads not needed for site and quarry access will be 
ripped, covered with available growth media, and revegetated. Other 
onsite roads needed for quarry and pad access will be reclaimed after 
reclamation of quarries and pads are certified complete, as determined 
by the Forest Service, in order to allow access to all reclamation 
areas.
    Avoidance/Minimization and Environmental Protection Measures. The 
Amended Plan of Operations includes avoidance/minimization and 
environmental protection measures, including:
    1. Quit claim to the SBNF 300 acres of unpatented mining claims 
held within the SBNF which are known to have occupied endangered 
species habitat agreed upon by the Forest Service and consistent with 
the 2003 Carbonate Habitat Management Strategy (CHMS).
    2. Design the mine plan to deposit future overburden into existing 
overburden areas and completed quarries as much as feasible to avoid 
possible impacts to existing cushenbury oxytheca populations.
    3. Submit additional reclamation bond to cover the new disturbance 
in the expansion areas prior to starting the development work.
    4. Implement a Dust Management Plan (DMP) for the quarry expansion 
areas.
    5. Implement an Employee Awareness Plan that will provide 
information, training, and protection measures on the following:
    A. Mining within Critical Habitat for listed plant species in 
cooperation with United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and 
Forest Service.
    B. Mining in proximity to an area of Forest Service land segregated 
from mineral entry and location in cooperation with BLM and Forest 
Service (CHMS designated refugia).
    C. Awareness and protection measures about bighorn sheep in 
cooperation with USFWS, California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), 
and Forest Service.
    D. Benefits of preserving heritage resources in cooperation with 
the Forest Service.
    6. Continue maintaining the water guzzler for bighorn sheep near 
the north end of the Sentinel Quarry.
    7. Continue support of CDFG bighorn sheep studies during the mining 
project.
    8. Dispose of sediment from runoff control basins to pre-approved 
sites rather than side cast down slopes.
    9. As areas become available after the completion of mining, 
implement concurrent reclamation/revegetation of completed quarries and 
overburden stockpiles to reduce visual impacts through backfilling, 
recontouring and slope reduction, growth media and habitat log 
placement, revegetation with native plant species, and colorization as 
applicable.
    10. Any unexpected or unforeseen events will result in immediate 
notification to the Forest Service. If conditions are encountered that 
vary significantly from the assumptions used in the mine design and 
environmental assessments, Omya will coordinate with the Forest Service 
to determine required actions.
    11. Monitoring as described below is incorporated to be part of the 
approved Plan of Operations: Forest Mine Administrator, Certified 
Mineral

[[Page 13624]]

Examiner or other qualified specialists will document and assure the 
avoidance/minimization and environmental protection measures 
incorporated into the Plan of Operations and the Decision are being 
followed and that they are effective in protecting the environment. 
Inspections will occur during the life of the project at least once a 
year to document the site conditions and to assure the Plan of 
Operations is being followed. If it is determined that a particular 
environmental protection measure is not adequately protecting surface 
resources, the Plan of Operations will be modified to correct the 
situation. Significant changes may require additional analysis and 
documentation in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    The Forest Service, as lead agency under NEPA, and County of San 
Bernardino, as the lead state agency under CEQA, will be preparing a 
joint EIR/EIS. This EIR/EIS will analyze and disclose the potential 
effects of the proposed limestone quarry expansion. The Mojave Desert 
Air Quality Management District has agreed to participate as a 
cooperating agency and to provide expertise regarding the proposed 
actions' relationship to the relevant objectives of regional, State and 
local land use plans, policies and controls.

Responsible Official

    The Responsible Official under NEPA for the Omya Sentinel and 
Butterfield Quarry Expansion project is the San Bernardino National 
Forest Supervisor, Jody Noiron.

Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The Responsible Official will decide whether to approve the Amended 
Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan following the environmental 
analysis. The Forest Service does not have the authority to remove the 
proponent's ability to mine their claim on National Forest System 
lands. The Responsible Official will also decide if an amendment to the 
San Bernardino National Forest Land Management Plan is required.
    The County will decide whether to approve the Mining and Land 
Reclamation Plan Conditional Use Permit following the environmental 
analysis.

Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides 
the development of the EIR/EIS. The complete amended Plan of Operation 
and Reclamation Plan is available on the San Bernardino National Forest 
Web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=32613.
    Public Scoping meetings will be held on March 11, 2013 at the Big 
Bear Discovery Center, 40971 North Shore Drive (Highway 38), Fawnskin, 
California 92333 beginning at 5 p.m. PST, and March 12, 2013 at the 
Lucerne Valley Community Center, 33187 Highway 247 East, Lucerne 
Valley, California 92356 beginning at 5 p.m. PST.
    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times 
and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of 
the EIR/EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close 
of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's 
concerns and contentions.

    Dated: February 21, 2013.
Jody Noiron,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 2013-04648 Filed 2-27-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P