Modification of Permit Application and Intent for Additional Public Scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement for the Port of Gulfport Expansion Project, Harrison County, Mississippi (Department of the Army Permit Number SAM-2009-1768-DMY), 27196-27198 [2013-11038]

Download as PDF 27196 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 90 / Thursday, May 9, 2013 / Notices Dated: May 3, 2013. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. DELETION: F036 AFPC N SYSTEM NAME: Air Force Personnel Test 851, Test Answer Sheets (January 22, 2009, 74 FR 4012). REASON: This is a duplicate system of records; active records are covered under SORN F036 AFPC K, Enlisted Promotion Testing Record (March 21, 2013, 78 FR 17386). Therefore, SORN F036 AFPC N, Air Force Personnel Test 851, Test Answer Sheets, can be deleted. [FR Doc. 2013–10983 Filed 5–8–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Modification of Permit Application and Intent for Additional Public Scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement for the Port of Gulfport Expansion Project, Harrison County, Mississippi (Department of the Army Permit Number SAM–2009–1768–DMY) AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of Intent. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District (USACE) announces a modification to a project proposed by the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being prepared. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. The proposed port expansion project involves impacting up to 200 acres of open-water bottom in the Mississippi Sound from the construction of wharfs, bulkheads, terminal facilities, container storage areas, intermodal container transfer facilities, dredging and dredged material disposal and infrastructure, and construction of a breakwater of approximately 4,000 linear feet. The recently received permit application modification proposes additional dredging and dredged material placement to modify the Gulfport Harbor Federal Navigation Channel (FNC) for a length of approximately 20 miles from the current federally mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 May 08, 2013 Jkt 229001 authorized dimensions. The federally authorized turning basin would also be modified, as would the proposed turning basin expansion. The proposed project will include modifications to the authorized FNC and other navigation features to support a navigable channel depth of up to 47 feet in the Mississippi Sound and 49 feet in the Bar Channel plus advance maintenance and allowable over depth requirements. Modification to navigation features adjacent to the port facilities include deepening the existing Federal turning basin area and port berthing areas, a turning basin expansion, and new berthing areas. Widening the channel may be requested based on results of planned ship simulations. Final channel design and associated environmental impacts will be addressed during the permitting and EIS process. The EIS will evaluate the effects of construction and long term effects of the proposed expansion and channel modification, including placement of new work and maintenance dredged material in beneficial use sites or other placement areas, such as open water and ocean dredged material disposal sites. Alternatives to the proposed action will be evaluated in the EIS, which will assist the USACE in deciding whether to issue a Department of the Army permit. The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to inform and educate the public of changes to the proposed project; invite public participation in the EIS process; announce the plans for an additional public scoping meeting; solicit public comments for consideration in establishing the scope and content of the EIS; and provide notice of potential impacts to open-water benthic and other habitats potentially impacted by the project. DATES: A scoping meeting will be held on May 21, 2013. Comments will be accepted in written format at the scoping meeting or via mail/email until June 17, 2013. To ensure consideration, comments should be post-marked by this date. Late comments will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: The scoping meeting will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Gulfport Beachfront Hotel, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, MS. Written comments regarding the proposed EIS scope or permit application modifications should be addressed to Mr. Damon M. Young, P.G. USACE, Mobile District, Post Office Box 2288, Mobile, Alabama 36628. Individuals who would like to electronically provide comments should contact Mr. Young by electronic mail: port.gulfporteis@usace.army.mil. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 For information about this project, to be included on the mailing list for future updates and meeting announcements, or to receive a copy of the DRAFT EIS when it is issued, contact Damon M. Young, P.G., at the USACE at (251) 694– 3781 or the address provided above. Mr. Ewing Milam, at the MDA can also be contacted for additional information at P.O. Box 849, Jackson, Mississippi 39205–0849, telephone (601)–359–2157 or by electronic mail at emilam@mississippi.org. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Background: The Gulfport Harbor Navigation Project was adopted by the Rivers and Harbors Act approved on July 3, 1930 (House Document Number 692, 69th Congress, 2nd session) and the Rivers and Harbors Act approved on June 30, 1948 (House Document Number 112, 81st Congress, 1st session). Construction of the existing Gulfport Harbor commenced in 1932 and was completed in 1950. The FNC is approximately 20 miles in length, including 11 miles of channel in the Mississippi Sound (Sound Channel), 2 miles of Bar Channel, and 7 miles of channel in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf Channel). Authorization to conduct improvements to the harbor was issued in the Fiscal Year 1985 Supplemental Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 99–88). The Water Resources Development Acts (WRDAs) 1986 and 1988 further modified the previous authorization to cover widening and deepening and thinlayer disposal, respectively. The authorized deepening was completed in 1993. In 2012 the channel was widened to the federally authorized dimensions. The navigation channel is currently federally authorized at 36 feet deep and 300 feet wide in the Sound Channel and 38 feet deep and 400 feet wide in the Bar and Gulf Channels. The Port’s North Harbor (Inner Harbor) is authorized at a depth of 32 feet and the South Harbor (Outer Harbor) and Gulfport Turning Basin are authorized at a depth of 36 feet. A Department of the Army Permit MS96–02828–U was issued in 1998 authorizing an 84-acre expansion to fill the West Pier to construct new tenant terminals and infrastructure. Phases I and II of that project are complete and Phase III is currently under construction. 2. Location: The proposed Port of Gulfport Expansion Project is located in the City of Gulfport, Harrison County, Mississippi. The proposed project is approximately 80 miles west of Mobile, Alabama, and 80 miles east of New Orleans, Louisiana. The Port encompasses approximately 184 acres FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 90 / Thursday, May 9, 2013 / Notices and is located within 5 miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and approximately 7 miles south of Interstate Highway 10. The FNC runs from the Port, between Cat and West Ship islands (in Ship Island Pass) into the Gulf of Mexico and is approximately 20 miles long. 3. Work: The proposed project involves filling of up to 200 acres of open-water bottom in the Mississippi Sound, the construction of wharfs, bulkheads, terminal facilities, container storage areas, intermodal container transfer facilities, expansion of the existing turning basin, dredging and dredged material disposal and infrastructure, and construction of a breakwater of approximately 4,000 linear feet. The proposed expanded port facility will be elevated 25 feet above sea level to provide protection against future tropical storm surge events. The permit application modification for the proposed project includes deepening and possible widening of the existing FNC from the federally authorized dimensions. The federally authorized turning basin would also be modified, as would the proposed adjacent turning basin expansion. A Department of the Army permit is required for the proposed project, pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251), Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S.C. 403), and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (33 U.S.C. 1401– 1445, 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq., also 33 U.S.C. 1271). An EIS is being prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and the Council on Environmental Quality NEPA regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500–1508) to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed project as submitted and modified by the MSPA. 4. Need: According to the MSPA, this project will contribute to the long-term economic development of Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region by expanding the Port footprint and facilities to increase cargo throughput, provide additional employment opportunities, and to increase the economic benefits produced by the Port. This project is needed to expand the Port’s current footprint, thus providing an opportunity to increase the Port’s capacity for moving cargo and growing. Specific alternatives are being developed as part of the EIS process and feedback provided during the additional scoping meeting will be taken into consideration. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 May 08, 2013 Jkt 229001 5. Affected Environment: Environmental characteristics that may be affected by the proposed project include geological, chemical, biological, physical, socioeconomic, and commercial and recreational activities. Offshore, the navigation channel extends 20 miles south into the Gulf of Mexico, passing close to the western end of Ship Island. On-shore, the regional environment is characterized as Coastal Lowlands, and the shore area, where not developed, consists typically of gently undulating swampy plains. The beach area is man-made and bordered by constructed seawalls. The existing Port, as part of the man-made environment of Gulfport, is constructed on fill material. The Gulfport area is well developed. Beyond the seawalls are extensive commercial and residential developments. The nearshore and offshore area is known for its valuable resources as a productive fishery and is also utilized extensively for commercial and recreational shipping and boating. 6. Applicable Environmental Laws and Policies: The proposed project could result in both beneficial and negative environmental impacts. These impacts will be evaluated in the EIS in accordance with applicable environmental laws and policies, which include NEPA; WRDA; Endangered Species Act; Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act; National Historic Preservation Act; Coastal Barrier Resources Act; Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Coastal Zone Management Act; Marine, Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act; Rivers and Harbors Act; National Marine Sanctuaries Act; Fishery Conservation Act; Marine Mammal Protection Act; Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations; Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risk (among other Executive Orders); and Ports and Waterways Safety Act. 7. Preliminary Identification of Environmental Issues: The following list of environmental issues has been tentatively identified for analysis in the EIS. This list was developed during preliminary internal scoping, through previous public scoping efforts, and from information from similar projects, and is neither intended to be all inclusive nor a predetermined set of potential impacts. It is presented to facilitate public comment on the planned scope of the EIS. Additions to or deletions may occur as a result of the public scoping process. Preliminary identified environmental issues include PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27197 but are not limited to the loss of aquatic resources (impact to potential submerged and shoreline aquatic habitat); water quality; salinity and flows; sediment transport and currents; threatened and endangered species (including critical habitat and essential fish and shellfish habitat); air quality; traffic; socioeconomics; and impacts to low income and minority populations. The evaluation will consider alternatives, secondary and cumulative impacts, and mitigation. 8. Scoping meeting: A public scoping meeting was held in spring of 2011 in Gulfport, Mississippi to solicit comments from the public and agencies in regards to the original permit application and proposed project. To ensure that all of the issues related to this proposed project and permit action modification are addressed, the USACE will conduct an additional public scoping meeting in which agencies, organizations, and members of the general public are invited to present comments or suggestions with regard to the range of actions, alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered in the EIS, given the proposed project changes. The scoping meeting will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Gulfport Beachfront Hotel, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, MS, on May 21, 2013. The scoping meeting will begin with an informal open house from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. followed by a formal presentation of the proposed permit action and modifications. Comments will be accepted following the formal presentation until 8:00 p.m. Displays and other forms of information about the proposed action and modifications will be available, and the USACE, the MSPA and the MDA personnel will be present at the informal session to discuss the proposed project and modifications and the EIS Process. The USACE invites comments on the proposed scope and content of the EIS from all interested parties. Verbal or written comments will be taken at the scoping meeting following the formal presentation until 8:00 p.m. A time limit will be imposed on verbal comments, as necessary. If hearing impaired or language translation services are needed, please contact Damon M. Young, P.G., at the USACE at (251) 694–3781, at port.gulfporteis@usace.army.mil, or at the street address provided above. 9. Draft EIS: It is anticipated that a Draft EIS will be made available for public review in early calendar year 2014. A public hearing will be held during the public comment period for the Draft EIS. E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 27198 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 90 / Thursday, May 9, 2013 / Notices Approved By: Craig J. Litteken, Chief, Regulatory Division. the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, which requires the submission of a new or altered system report. [FR Doc. 2013–11038 Filed 5–8–13; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Dated: May 2, 2013. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. Department of the Navy DELETION: [Docket ID: USN–2013–0013] N05100–3 Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records Department of the Navy, DoD. ACTION: Notice to delete a System of Records. Safety Equipment Needs, Issues, Authorizations (May 9, 2003, 68 FR 24959). REASON: BILLING CODE 3720–58–P AGENCY: The Department of the Navy is deleting a system of records notice in its existing inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended. DATES: This proposed action will be effective on June 10, 2013 unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination. Comments will be accepted on or before June 10, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods: * Federal Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. *Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, 2nd Floor, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350–3100. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. SUMMARY: Ms. Robin Patterson, HEAD, FOIA/Privacy Act Policy Branch, Department of the Navy, 2000 Navy Pentagon, Washington, DC 20350–2000, or by phone at (202) 685–6545. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of the Navy’s systems of records notices subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. The proposed deletion is not within the purview of subsection (r) of mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 May 08, 2013 Jkt 229001 Records are covered under NM05100– 5, Enterprise Safety Applications Management Systems (ESAMS) (March 25, 2011, 76 FR 16739); therefore, N05100–3, Safety Equipment Needs, Issues, Authorizations can be deleted. [FR Doc. 2013–10984 Filed 5–8–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research—Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers Collaborative Research Project Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Overview Information National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)— Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program— Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects—Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers Collaborative Research Projects; Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2013. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133A–7. DATES: Applications Available: May 9, 2013. Date of Pre-Application Meeting: May 30, 2013. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 8, 2013. Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 international activities, to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social selfsufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act). Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPs) The purpose of NIDRR’s DRRPs, which are funded through the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act by developing methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technologies that advance a wide range of independent living and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities. DRRPs carry out one or more of the following types of activities, as specified and defined in 34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: Research, training, demonstration, development, utilization, dissemination, and technical assistance. An applicant for assistance under this program must demonstrate in its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds (34 CFR 350.40(a)). The approaches an applicant may take to meet this requirement are found in 34 CFR 350.40(b). Additional information on the DRRP program can be found at: www.ed.gov/rschstat/ research/pubs/res-program.html#DRRP. Priorities: This notice contains two absolute priorities for this competition. Priority 1, the DRRP Priority for the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers Collaborative Research Projects is from the notice of final priority for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. Priority 2, the General DRRP Requirements priority, which applies to DRRP competitions, is from the notice of final priorities for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2006 (71 FR 25472). Absolute Priorities: For FY 2013 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 90 (Thursday, May 9, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27196-27198]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11038]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Modification of Permit Application and Intent for Additional 
Public Scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement for the Port of 
Gulfport Expansion Project, Harrison County, Mississippi (Department of 
the Army Permit Number SAM-2009-1768-DMY)

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

ACTION: Notice of Intent.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District (USACE) 
announces a modification to a project proposed by the Mississippi State 
Port Authority (MSPA) for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
is being prepared. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and the 
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are cooperating agencies in 
the preparation of the EIS. The proposed port expansion project 
involves impacting up to 200 acres of open-water bottom in the 
Mississippi Sound from the construction of wharfs, bulkheads, terminal 
facilities, container storage areas, intermodal container transfer 
facilities, dredging and dredged material disposal and infrastructure, 
and construction of a breakwater of approximately 4,000 linear feet. 
The recently received permit application modification proposes 
additional dredging and dredged material placement to modify the 
Gulfport Harbor Federal Navigation Channel (FNC) for a length of 
approximately 20 miles from the current federally authorized 
dimensions. The federally authorized turning basin would also be 
modified, as would the proposed turning basin expansion. The proposed 
project will include modifications to the authorized FNC and other 
navigation features to support a navigable channel depth of up to 47 
feet in the Mississippi Sound and 49 feet in the Bar Channel plus 
advance maintenance and allowable over depth requirements. Modification 
to navigation features adjacent to the port facilities include 
deepening the existing Federal turning basin area and port berthing 
areas, a turning basin expansion, and new berthing areas. Widening the 
channel may be requested based on results of planned ship simulations. 
Final channel design and associated environmental impacts will be 
addressed during the permitting and EIS process. The EIS will evaluate 
the effects of construction and long term effects of the proposed 
expansion and channel modification, including placement of new work and 
maintenance dredged material in beneficial use sites or other placement 
areas, such as open water and ocean dredged material disposal sites. 
Alternatives to the proposed action will be evaluated in the EIS, which 
will assist the USACE in deciding whether to issue a Department of the 
Army permit.
    The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to inform and educate the 
public of changes to the proposed project; invite public participation 
in the EIS process; announce the plans for an additional public scoping 
meeting; solicit public comments for consideration in establishing the 
scope and content of the EIS; and provide notice of potential impacts 
to open-water benthic and other habitats potentially impacted by the 
project.

DATES: A scoping meeting will be held on May 21, 2013. Comments will be 
accepted in written format at the scoping meeting or via mail/email 
until June 17, 2013. To ensure consideration, comments should be post-
marked by this date. Late comments will be considered to the extent 
practicable.

ADDRESSES: The scoping meeting will be held at the Courtyard Marriott 
Gulfport Beachfront Hotel, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, MS. 
Written comments regarding the proposed EIS scope or permit application 
modifications should be addressed to Mr. Damon M. Young, P.G. USACE, 
Mobile District, Post Office Box 2288, Mobile, Alabama 36628. 
Individuals who would like to electronically provide comments should 
contact Mr. Young by electronic mail: port.gulfporteis@usace.army.mil.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this project, to 
be included on the mailing list for future updates and meeting 
announcements, or to receive a copy of the DRAFT EIS when it is issued, 
contact Damon M. Young, P.G., at the USACE at (251) 694-3781 or the 
address provided above. Mr. Ewing Milam, at the MDA can also be 
contacted for additional information at P.O. Box 849, Jackson, 
Mississippi 39205-0849, telephone (601)-359-2157 or by electronic mail 
at emilam@mississippi.org.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    1. Background: The Gulfport Harbor Navigation Project was adopted 
by the Rivers and Harbors Act approved on July 3, 1930 (House Document 
Number 692, 69th Congress, 2nd session) and the Rivers and Harbors Act 
approved on June 30, 1948 (House Document Number 112, 81st Congress, 
1st session). Construction of the existing Gulfport Harbor commenced in 
1932 and was completed in 1950. The FNC is approximately 20 miles in 
length, including 11 miles of channel in the Mississippi Sound (Sound 
Channel), 2 miles of Bar Channel, and 7 miles of channel in the Gulf of 
Mexico (Gulf Channel). Authorization to conduct improvements to the 
harbor was issued in the Fiscal Year 1985 Supplemental Appropriations 
Act (Pub. L. 99-88). The Water Resources Development Acts (WRDAs) 1986 
and 1988 further modified the previous authorization to cover widening 
and deepening and thin-layer disposal, respectively. The authorized 
deepening was completed in 1993. In 2012 the channel was widened to the 
federally authorized dimensions. The navigation channel is currently 
federally authorized at 36 feet deep and 300 feet wide in the Sound 
Channel and 38 feet deep and 400 feet wide in the Bar and Gulf 
Channels. The Port's North Harbor (Inner Harbor) is authorized at a 
depth of 32 feet and the South Harbor (Outer Harbor) and Gulfport 
Turning Basin are authorized at a depth of 36 feet. A Department of the 
Army Permit MS96-02828-U was issued in 1998 authorizing an 84-acre 
expansion to fill the West Pier to construct new tenant terminals and 
infrastructure. Phases I and II of that project are complete and Phase 
III is currently under construction.
    2. Location: The proposed Port of Gulfport Expansion Project is 
located in the City of Gulfport, Harrison County, Mississippi. The 
proposed project is approximately 80 miles west of Mobile, Alabama, and 
80 miles east of New Orleans, Louisiana. The Port encompasses 
approximately 184 acres

[[Page 27197]]

and is located within 5 miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) 
and approximately 7 miles south of Interstate Highway 10. The FNC runs 
from the Port, between Cat and West Ship islands (in Ship Island Pass) 
into the Gulf of Mexico and is approximately 20 miles long.
    3. Work: The proposed project involves filling of up to 200 acres 
of open-water bottom in the Mississippi Sound, the construction of 
wharfs, bulkheads, terminal facilities, container storage areas, 
intermodal container transfer facilities, expansion of the existing 
turning basin, dredging and dredged material disposal and 
infrastructure, and construction of a breakwater of approximately 4,000 
linear feet. The proposed expanded port facility will be elevated 25 
feet above sea level to provide protection against future tropical 
storm surge events. The permit application modification for the 
proposed project includes deepening and possible widening of the 
existing FNC from the federally authorized dimensions. The federally 
authorized turning basin would also be modified, as would the proposed 
adjacent turning basin expansion. A Department of the Army permit is 
required for the proposed project, pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251), Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act 
(33 U.S.C. 403), and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, 
and Sanctuaries Act (33 U.S.C. 1401-1445, 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq., also 
33 U.S.C. 1271).
    An EIS is being prepared pursuant to the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and the 
Council on Environmental Quality NEPA regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-
1508) to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the 
construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed project as 
submitted and modified by the MSPA.
    4. Need: According to the MSPA, this project will contribute to the 
long-term economic development of Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region 
by expanding the Port footprint and facilities to increase cargo 
throughput, provide additional employment opportunities, and to 
increase the economic benefits produced by the Port. This project is 
needed to expand the Port's current footprint, thus providing an 
opportunity to increase the Port's capacity for moving cargo and 
growing. Specific alternatives are being developed as part of the EIS 
process and feedback provided during the additional scoping meeting 
will be taken into consideration.
    5. Affected Environment: Environmental characteristics that may be 
affected by the proposed project include geological, chemical, 
biological, physical, socioeconomic, and commercial and recreational 
activities. Offshore, the navigation channel extends 20 miles south 
into the Gulf of Mexico, passing close to the western end of Ship 
Island. On-shore, the regional environment is characterized as Coastal 
Lowlands, and the shore area, where not developed, consists typically 
of gently undulating swampy plains. The beach area is man-made and 
bordered by constructed seawalls. The existing Port, as part of the 
man-made environment of Gulfport, is constructed on fill material. The 
Gulfport area is well developed. Beyond the seawalls are extensive 
commercial and residential developments. The nearshore and offshore 
area is known for its valuable resources as a productive fishery and is 
also utilized extensively for commercial and recreational shipping and 
boating.
    6. Applicable Environmental Laws and Policies: The proposed project 
could result in both beneficial and negative environmental impacts. 
These impacts will be evaluated in the EIS in accordance with 
applicable environmental laws and policies, which include NEPA; WRDA; 
Endangered Species Act; Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act; U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Coordination Act; National Historic Preservation Act; Coastal 
Barrier Resources Act; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act; Coastal Zone Management Act; Marine, Protection, 
Research, and Sanctuaries Act; Rivers and Harbors Act; National Marine 
Sanctuaries Act; Fishery Conservation Act; Marine Mammal Protection 
Act; Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-Income Populations; Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risk 
(among other Executive Orders); and Ports and Waterways Safety Act.
    7. Preliminary Identification of Environmental Issues: The 
following list of environmental issues has been tentatively identified 
for analysis in the EIS. This list was developed during preliminary 
internal scoping, through previous public scoping efforts, and from 
information from similar projects, and is neither intended to be all 
inclusive nor a predetermined set of potential impacts. It is presented 
to facilitate public comment on the planned scope of the EIS. Additions 
to or deletions may occur as a result of the public scoping process. 
Preliminary identified environmental issues include but are not limited 
to the loss of aquatic resources (impact to potential submerged and 
shoreline aquatic habitat); water quality; salinity and flows; sediment 
transport and currents; threatened and endangered species (including 
critical habitat and essential fish and shellfish habitat); air 
quality; traffic; socioeconomics; and impacts to low income and 
minority populations. The evaluation will consider alternatives, 
secondary and cumulative impacts, and mitigation.
    8. Scoping meeting: A public scoping meeting was held in spring of 
2011 in Gulfport, Mississippi to solicit comments from the public and 
agencies in regards to the original permit application and proposed 
project. To ensure that all of the issues related to this proposed 
project and permit action modification are addressed, the USACE will 
conduct an additional public scoping meeting in which agencies, 
organizations, and members of the general public are invited to present 
comments or suggestions with regard to the range of actions, 
alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered in the EIS, given 
the proposed project changes. The scoping meeting will be held at the 
Courtyard Marriott Gulfport Beachfront Hotel, 1600 East Beach 
Boulevard, Gulfport, MS, on May 21, 2013. The scoping meeting will 
begin with an informal open house from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. followed 
by a formal presentation of the proposed permit action and 
modifications. Comments will be accepted following the formal 
presentation until 8:00 p.m. Displays and other forms of information 
about the proposed action and modifications will be available, and the 
USACE, the MSPA and the MDA personnel will be present at the informal 
session to discuss the proposed project and modifications and the EIS 
Process. The USACE invites comments on the proposed scope and content 
of the EIS from all interested parties. Verbal or written comments will 
be taken at the scoping meeting following the formal presentation until 
8:00 p.m. A time limit will be imposed on verbal comments, as 
necessary. If hearing impaired or language translation services are 
needed, please contact Damon M. Young, P.G., at the USACE at (251) 694-
3781, at port.gulfporteis@usace.army.mil, or at the street address 
provided above.
    9. Draft EIS: It is anticipated that a Draft EIS will be made 
available for public review in early calendar year 2014. A public 
hearing will be held during the public comment period for the Draft 
EIS.


[[Page 27198]]


    Approved By:
Craig J. Litteken,
Chief, Regulatory Division.
[FR Doc. 2013-11038 Filed 5-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3720-58-P