Final Environmental Impact Statement, Habitat Conservation Plan, and Implementing Agreement, NiSource Inc., 34402-34403 [2013-13528]

Download as PDF 34402 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 110 / Friday, June 7, 2013 / Notices Status: Surplus GSA Number: 7–Z–LA–0427–AB Directions: GSA is the disposal agency; NASA is the landholding agency Comments: Four above ground tanks which storages 500+ gallons of flammable materials residing on an adjacent property owned by Delgado Community College who operates a firefighter training school Reasons: Within 2000 ft. of flammable or explosive material [FR Doc. 2013–13238 Filed 6–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R3–ES–2013–N102; FXES11120300000F2–134–FF03E15000] Final Environmental Impact Statement, Habitat Conservation Plan, and Implementing Agreement, NiSource Inc. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are advising the public of the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) associated with an application received from NiSource Inc. (hereafter ‘‘NiSource’’) for an incidental take permit (hereafter ‘‘ITP’’) pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). If issued, the ITP would authorize NiSource to take 10 federally listed species over a 50-year period. For record of decision availability, see DATES. For directions on how to review the FEIS and related documents, see ADDRESSES. DATES: The Record of Decision will be available no sooner than July 8, 2013. ADDRESSES: Document availability: Documents and other information submitted with the application are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a.) and Freedom of Information Act, by either of the following methods: • Internet: You may obtain an electronic copy of the FEIS and related documents on the Internet at: http:// www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/ permits/hcp/r3hcps.html. • U.S. Mail: You may obtain an electronic copy of the FEIS and related documents on compact disk by submitting a request in writing to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within 30-days of the date of publication of this notice, see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:38 Jun 06, 2013 Jkt 229001 • In-Person: Printed copies of the documents are available for public inspection and review (by appointment only), at the office listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas J. Magnuson, Regional HCP Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington, Minnesota 55437–1458; 612–713–5467. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We are advising the public of the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) associated with an application received from NiSource ITP pursuant to the ESA. If issued, the ITP would authorize NiSource to take 10 federally listed species over a 50-year period. NiSource prepared a multi-species habitat conservation plan (MSHCP) to cover a suite of activities associated with operation, maintenance, and construction of their existing natural gas pipeline system in the States of Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Service was the lead Federal agency for preparation of the FEIS. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (FS) Eastern Region and Southern Region, and the National Park Service (NPS) Southeast Region served as cooperating agencies. Background NiSource, Inc., headquartered in Merrillville, Indiana, is engaged in natural gas transmission, storage, and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission, and distribution. NiSource, Inc.’s wholly owned pipeline subsidiaries, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC; Crossroads Pipeline Company; Central Kentucky Transmission Company; and NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage Company (companies referred to collectively as ‘‘NiSource’’), are interstate natural gas companies whose primary operations are subject to the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717) and fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). NiSource is seeking authorization under the ESA to take species in the course of engaging in otherwise lawful gas transmission and storage operations. PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 On July 16, 2009, NiSource filed an application with the Service for a Section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP for 10 ESA listed species known to occur within NiSource’s operating territory. These species include the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii), Madison Cave isopod (Antrolana lira), clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clava), northern riffleshell mussel (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana), fanshell mussel (Cyprogenia stegaria), James spinymussel (Pleurobema collina), sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus), Nashville crayfish (Orconectes shoupi), and American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus). The MSHCP was prepared to cover a 50-year timeframe. The Covered Land for the MSHCP and requested ITP includes 12 counties in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia; and a 1-mile-wide corridor associated with 15,562 miles of existing NiSource right-of-way within the 14 aforementioned States. The Covered Activities, or those NiSource activities that fall under the purview of the MSHCP and requested ITP, include a wide range of operation, maintenance, and new construction activities that are specific to NiSource Inc.’s wholly owned pipeline subsidiaries and to the Covered Land specified in the MSHCP. The MSHCP evaluated 42 species that could potentially occur within the NiSource Covered Land, and that could potentially be impacted by NiSource Covered Activities. However, after analysis of the 42 species and the Covered Land, it was concluded that NiSource Covered Activities will have no impact on 32 of the 42 species evaluated. Therefore, NiSource is requesting incidental take for the remaining 10 species, for which take could be minimized, but not avoided. In addition to the 42 species evaluated in the MSHCP, 46 additional ESA-listed, proposed, or candidate species are either known to occur or potentially occur within the NiSource Covered Land. Potential impacts to these species are discussed in the FEIS and in the Service’s Biological Opinion. NEPA Compliance Issuance of an ITP by the Service to NiSource is a Federal action that may affect the quality of the human environment and therefore is subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To comply with the NEPA, the Service prepared an FEIS. The FEIS analyzes and discloses potential impacts that could result from issuance of an ITP to NiSource and through subsequent E:\FR\FM\07JNN1.SGM 07JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 110 / Friday, June 7, 2013 / Notices implementation of their MSHCP (Proposed Action). As required by the NEPA, the FEIS also evaluates alternatives to the Proposed Action, which were developed in response to public, stakeholder, and agency input. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Public Involvement On October 11, 2007, the Service published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS in the Federal Register (72 FR 57953), to solicit participation of Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribes, and the public to determine the scope of the EIS and provide input relative to issues associated with the proposed MSHCP project. In addition to the publication of the NOI, the scoping process included informal stakeholder and agency consultations, 13 public scoping meetings, and a mailing to approximately 1,300 known interested parties. The letter provided project information, information on scoping meetings, and contact numbers. Public scoping lasted until December 8, 2007. A Scoping Report is appended to the FEIS. In accordance with the NEPA, a draft EIS and MSHCP were circulated for public review and comment. The public review period was initiated with the publication of the Notice of Availability (NOA) in the FR on July 13, 2011 (76 FR 41288), and the public comment period was extended for an additional 90 days (76 FR 63950). Three public meetings were announced in the NOA, and were held in Columbus, Ohio, on August 16, 2011; Lexington, Kentucky, on August 17, 2011; and Charleston, West Virginia, on August 18, 2011. The comment period closed on December 13, 2011. A variety of comments were received on the DEIS and associated MSHCP, and are available at http://www.fws.gov/ midwest/endangered/permits/hcp/ nisource/index.html. Written responses to these public comments are appended to the FEIS. Authority We provide this notice under Section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531, 1539(c)) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32), and the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46). We will evaluate the application, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine whether the application meets the requirements of Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. The Service’s decision on whether to issue NiSource an ITP will occur no sooner than 30 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register and completion of the Record of Decision. If we determine VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:38 Jun 06, 2013 Jkt 229001 that all requirements are met, we will issue an ITP to NiSource for incidental take of 10 species in accordance with their MSHCP and associated IA. Dated: May 9, 2013. Lynn Lewis, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region. [FR Doc. 2013–13528 Filed 6–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLAZC02000.L51010000.FX0000. LVRWA09A2590; AZA34666] Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project, AZ Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) to grant rights-of-way (ROWs) and approve an amendment to the BLM’s Yuma Field Office Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project (QSEP). The Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management approved the ROD on May 30, 2013, which constitutes the final decision of the Department. SUMMARY: Copies of the ROD are available for public inspection at the BLM’s Colorado River District Office, 2610 Sweetwater Avenue, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406; Yuma Field Office, 2555 East Gila Ridge Road, Yuma, AZ 85365; and the BLM Arizona State Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Interested parties may also review the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) at the following Web site: http:// www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/energy/ solar/quartzsite_solar_energy.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eddie Arreola, BLM Renewable Energy Coordination Office Supervisor, Arizona State Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004; phone: 602–417–9505; or email: earreola@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34403 above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Quartzsite Solar Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Solar Reserve LLC, proposes to build the QSEP, a 100-megawatt concentrated solar thermal plant on approximately 1,675 acres of land managed by the BLM. The company applied to the BLM for a ROW to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission the project. The site is located east of State Route 95, approximately 10 miles north of Quartzsite, Arizona. The company also applied to Western Area Power Administration (Western), an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, to interconnect the project to Western’s transmission system. In connection with the project’s interconnection request, Western applied to the BLM for a ROW to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission a substation and associated fiber optic or microwave communication facilities. As required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Final EIS for the QSEP analyzed a No Action alternative and two action alternatives, the Proposed Action, the proposed project with drycooling systems, and Alternative 1, the proposed project with a hybrid wet/dry cooling system. The Final EIS also analyzed three alternatives for the amendment to the Yuma Field Office RMP—Alternative 1, the proposed plan amendment with project approval, Alternative 2, the plan amendment with no project approval, and the No-Action Alternative. The BLM preferred alternative is the proposed action with dry-cooling technology, an amendment to the RMP to re-classify 6,800 acres in and around the QSEP site from Visual Resource Management Class III to Class IV, and Western’s proposed switchyard and fiber optic or microwave communication facilities that are ancillary to the interconnection of the QSEP to Western Bouse-Kofa 161kilovolt transmission line. As described in the Final EIS, the BLM Selected Alternative was developed through the analysis of the resources, cooperating agency involvement, and public involvement. Publication of the Notice of Availability of the Final EIS for the QSEP and Proposed Yuma Field Office RMP Amendment was published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2012 (77 FR 75632), initiated a 30-day protest period on the proposed amendment to the Yuma Field Office RMP, which concluded on March 18, 2013. The BLM received one timely protest which was resolved prior to the execution of the E:\FR\FM\07JNN1.SGM 07JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 110 (Friday, June 7, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34402-34403]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13528]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2013-N102; FXES11120300000F2-134-FF03E15000]


Final Environmental Impact Statement, Habitat Conservation Plan, 
and Implementing Agreement, NiSource Inc.

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are advising 
the public of the availability of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement (FEIS) associated with an application received from NiSource 
Inc. (hereafter ``NiSource'') for an incidental take permit (hereafter 
``ITP'') pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, as amended (ESA). If issued, the ITP would authorize NiSource 
to take 10 federally listed species over a 50-year period. For record 
of decision availability, see DATES. For directions on how to review 
the FEIS and related documents, see ADDRESSES.

DATES: The Record of Decision will be available no sooner than July 8, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: Documents and other information 
submitted with the application are available for review, subject to the 
requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a.) and Freedom of 
Information Act, by either of the following methods:
     Internet: You may obtain an electronic copy of the FEIS 
and related documents on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/permits/hcp/r3hcps.html.
     U.S. Mail: You may obtain an electronic copy of the FEIS 
and related documents on compact disk by submitting a request in 
writing to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within 30-days of the 
date of publication of this notice, see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
     In-Person: Printed copies of the documents are available 
for public inspection and review (by appointment only), at the office 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas J. Magnuson, Regional HCP 
Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5600 American Blvd. West, 
Suite 990, Bloomington, Minnesota 55437-1458; 612-713-5467.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We are advising the public of the 
availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) 
associated with an application received from NiSource ITP pursuant to 
the ESA. If issued, the ITP would authorize NiSource to take 10 
federally listed species over a 50-year period.
    NiSource prepared a multi-species habitat conservation plan (MSHCP) 
to cover a suite of activities associated with operation, maintenance, 
and construction of their existing natural gas pipeline system in the 
States of Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, 
Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
    The Service was the lead Federal agency for preparation of the 
FEIS. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 
Forest Service (FS) Eastern Region and Southern Region, and the 
National Park Service (NPS) Southeast Region served as cooperating 
agencies.

Background

    NiSource, Inc., headquartered in Merrillville, Indiana, is engaged 
in natural gas transmission, storage, and distribution, as well as 
electric generation, transmission, and distribution. NiSource, Inc.'s 
wholly owned pipeline subsidiaries, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; 
Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC; Crossroads Pipeline Company; Central 
Kentucky Transmission Company; and NiSource Gas Transmission and 
Storage Company (companies referred to collectively as ``NiSource''), 
are interstate natural gas companies whose primary operations are 
subject to the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717) and fall under the 
jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the 
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). NiSource is seeking 
authorization under the ESA to take species in the course of engaging 
in otherwise lawful gas transmission and storage operations.
    On July 16, 2009, NiSource filed an application with the Service 
for a Section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP for 10 ESA listed species known to occur 
within NiSource's operating territory. These species include the 
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii), 
Madison Cave isopod (Antrolana lira), clubshell mussel (Pleurobema 
clava), northern riffleshell mussel (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana), 
fanshell mussel (Cyprogenia stegaria), James spinymussel (Pleurobema 
collina), sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus), Nashville crayfish 
(Orconectes shoupi), and American burying beetle (Nicrophorus 
americanus). The MSHCP was prepared to cover a 50-year timeframe.
    The Covered Land for the MSHCP and requested ITP includes 12 
counties in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia; and a 1-
mile-wide corridor associated with 15,562 miles of existing NiSource 
right-of-way within the 14 aforementioned States.
    The Covered Activities, or those NiSource activities that fall 
under the purview of the MSHCP and requested ITP, include a wide range 
of operation, maintenance, and new construction activities that are 
specific to NiSource Inc.'s wholly owned pipeline subsidiaries and to 
the Covered Land specified in the MSHCP.
    The MSHCP evaluated 42 species that could potentially occur within 
the NiSource Covered Land, and that could potentially be impacted by 
NiSource Covered Activities. However, after analysis of the 42 species 
and the Covered Land, it was concluded that NiSource Covered Activities 
will have no impact on 32 of the 42 species evaluated. Therefore, 
NiSource is requesting incidental take for the remaining 10 species, 
for which take could be minimized, but not avoided.
    In addition to the 42 species evaluated in the MSHCP, 46 additional 
ESA-listed, proposed, or candidate species are either known to occur or 
potentially occur within the NiSource Covered Land. Potential impacts 
to these species are discussed in the FEIS and in the Service's 
Biological Opinion.

NEPA Compliance

    Issuance of an ITP by the Service to NiSource is a Federal action 
that may affect the quality of the human environment and therefore is 
subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 
To comply with the NEPA, the Service prepared an FEIS. The FEIS 
analyzes and discloses potential impacts that could result from 
issuance of an ITP to NiSource and through subsequent

[[Page 34403]]

implementation of their MSHCP (Proposed Action). As required by the 
NEPA, the FEIS also evaluates alternatives to the Proposed Action, 
which were developed in response to public, stakeholder, and agency 
input.

Public Involvement

    On October 11, 2007, the Service published a Notice of Intent (NOI) 
to prepare an EIS in the Federal Register (72 FR 57953), to solicit 
participation of Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribes, and the 
public to determine the scope of the EIS and provide input relative to 
issues associated with the proposed MSHCP project. In addition to the 
publication of the NOI, the scoping process included informal 
stakeholder and agency consultations, 13 public scoping meetings, and a 
mailing to approximately 1,300 known interested parties. The letter 
provided project information, information on scoping meetings, and 
contact numbers. Public scoping lasted until December 8, 2007. A 
Scoping Report is appended to the FEIS.
    In accordance with the NEPA, a draft EIS and MSHCP were circulated 
for public review and comment. The public review period was initiated 
with the publication of the Notice of Availability (NOA) in the FR on 
July 13, 2011 (76 FR 41288), and the public comment period was extended 
for an additional 90 days (76 FR 63950). Three public meetings were 
announced in the NOA, and were held in Columbus, Ohio, on August 16, 
2011; Lexington, Kentucky, on August 17, 2011; and Charleston, West 
Virginia, on August 18, 2011. The comment period closed on December 13, 
2011. A variety of comments were received on the DEIS and associated 
MSHCP, and are available at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/permits/hcp/nisource/index.html. Written responses to these public 
comments are appended to the FEIS.

Authority

    We provide this notice under Section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 
1531, 1539(c)) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 
17.32), and the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46). We will evaluate the 
application, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine 
whether the application meets the requirements of Section 10(a)(1)(B) 
of the ESA. The Service's decision on whether to issue NiSource an ITP 
will occur no sooner than 30 days after publication of this notice in 
the Federal Register and completion of the Record of Decision. If we 
determine that all requirements are met, we will issue an ITP to 
NiSource for incidental take of 10 species in accordance with their 
MSHCP and associated IA.

    Dated: May 9, 2013.
Lynn Lewis,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-13528 Filed 6-6-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P