Dam Safety Modifications at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams, 53494-53496 [2013-21134]

Download as PDF sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 53494 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 168 / Thursday, August 29, 2013 / Notices and the permittee shall have no claim for damages by reason of such possession, removal, or other action. Article 7. When, in the opinion of the President of the United States, the national security of the United States demands it, due notice being given by the Secretary of State or the Secretary’s delegate, the United States shall have the right to enter upon and take possession of any of the United States facilities or parts thereof; to retain possession, management, or control thereof for such length of time as may appear to the President to be necessary; and thereafter to restore possession and control to the permittee. In the event that the United States shall exercise such right, it shall pay to the permittee just and fair compensation for the use of such United States facilities upon the basis of a reasonable profit in normal conditions, and the cost of restoring said facilities to as good condition as existed at the time of entering and taking over the same, less the reasonable value of any improvements that may have been made by the United States. Article 8. Any transfer of ownership or control of the United States facilities or any part thereof shall be immediately notified in writing to the United States Department of State, including the submission of information identifying the transferee. This permit shall remain in force subject to all the conditions, permissions and requirements of this permit and any amendments thereto unless subsequently terminated or amended by the Secretary of State or the Secretary’s delegate. Article 9. (1) The permittee is responsible for acquiring any right-ofway grants or easements, permits, and other authorizations as may become necessary and appropriate. (2) The permittee shall save harmless and indemnify the United States from any claimed or adjudged liability arising out of construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the facilities, including but not limited to environmental contamination from the release or threatened release or discharge of hazardous substances and hazardous waste. (3) The permittee shall maintain the United States facilities and every part thereof in a condition of good repair for their safe operation, and in compliance with prevailing environmental standards and regulations. Article 10. The permittee shall take all necessary measures to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental impacts or disruption of archeological resources in connection with construction, connection, operation and maintenance of the United States facilities. Such VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Aug 28, 2013 Jkt 229001 measures will include any mitigation and control plans that are already approved or that are approved in the future by the Department of State or other relevant federal agencies, and any other measures deemed prudent by the permittee. Article 11. The permittee shall file with the appropriate agencies of the United States Government such statements or reports under oath with respect to the United States facilities, and/or permittee’s activities and operations in connection therewith, as are now or may hereafter be required under any laws or regulations of the United States Government or its agencies. The permittee shall file electronic Export Information where required. Article 12. The permittee shall provide information upon request to the Department of State with regard to the United States facilities. Such requests could include, for example, information concerning current conditions or anticipated changes in ownership or control, construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the U.S. facilities. In witness whereof, I, the Deputy Secretary of State have hereunto set my hand this 16th day of August 2013, in the City of Washington, District of Columbia. William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary of State. Dated: August 21, 2013. Michael F. Brennan, Office of Europe, Western Hemisphere and Africa, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State. [FR Doc. 2013–21165 Filed 8–28–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–09–P TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY Dam Safety Modifications at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams Tennessee Valley Authority. Issuance of Record of Decision. AGENCY: ACTION: This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 to 1508) and TVA’s procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). TVA has decided to adopt the preferred alternative in its final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the dam safety modifications at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams. The notice of availability (NOA) of the Final SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Environmental Impact Statement for Dam Safety Modifications at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams was published in the Federal Register on May 31, 2013. This alternative, Permanent Modifications of Dam Structures: Combination of Concrete Floodwalls and Earthen Embankments, will protect the four dams against failure during the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) event while minimizing the adverse effects to the appearance and recreational use of the dam reservations. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles P. Nicholson, NEPA Compliance Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11D, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902– 1499; telephone 865–632–3582, or email cpnicholson@tva.gov. TVA is an agency and instrumentality of the United States, established by an act of Congress in 1933, to foster the social and economic welfare of the people of the Tennessee Valley region and to promote the proper use and conservation of the region’s natural resources. A fundamental part of this mission was the construction and operation of an integrated system of dams and reservoirs. As directed by the TVA Act, TVA uses this system to manage the water resources of the Tennessee River for the purposes of navigation, flood control, power production. Consistent with these purposes, TVA operates the system to provide a wide range of other benefits. As the Federal agency responsible for the operation of numerous dams, and consistent with the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, TVA prepares for the worst case flooding event in order to protect against dam failure, loss of life, major property damage, and impacts to critical facilities. This worst case flooding event is known as the PMF, defined as the flood that may be expected from the most severe combination of critical meteorological and hydrological conditions that are reasonably possible in a particular area. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) nuclear plant operating regulations also require that nuclear plants be protected against the adverse effects of the PMF. TVA periodically reviews and revises its calculations of PMF elevations. During the most recent review (completed in 2008), TVA determined that the updated PMF elevations at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams, as well as at TVA’s Watts Bar and SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\29AUN1.SGM 29AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 168 / Thursday, August 29, 2013 / Notices sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Sequoyah Nuclear Plants, were higher than previously calculated. The differences in PMF elevations are sufficient to indicate that a PMF event could cause water to flow over the top of the dams, even with the floodgates wide open, possibly resulting in dam failure. Failure of one or more of these dams would result in extensive damage to buildings, infrastructure, property, and natural resources, as well as potential personal injury and loss of life. In 2009, TVA implemented temporary measures at the four dams to remain consistent with Federal guidelines and to comply with nuclear operating regulations for safe operations of the river and reservoir system, and to minimize the potential effects of the PMF. These temporary measures consisted of raising the heights of the four dams by installing interconnected, fabric lined HESCO Concertainer® units filled with No. 10 crushed stone on top of the earthen embankments of each dam. These HESCO barriers raised the height of each dam by 3 to 8 feet and provided additional floodwater storage capacity. The length of the HESCO barrier floodwalls totaled approximately 19,100 feet (7,000 feet at Cherokee; 4,500 feet at Fort Loudoun; 6,000 feet at Tellico; and 1,600 feet at Watts Bar). TVA also installed a permanent concrete apron on approximately 2 acres of the downstream earthen embankment of Watts Bar Dam. In a January 25, 2012 letter from NRC to TVA, NRC stated that the HESCO barriers were not capable of resisting impacts from large debris during a flood and are not acceptable as a long-term solution to protecting the dams, and downstream nuclear plants, during the PMF. At the time the NRC letter was received, TVA had not made any decisions about whether or how to replace the HESCO barriers. After receiving the letter, TVA made the commitment to NRC to develop and implement permanent dam safety modifications to replace the temporary measures at the four dams. Alternatives Considered TVA considered three alternatives in the Draft EIS and the Final EIS. These alternatives are: Alternative A—No Action. TVA would leave the HESCO barriers in place and replace or maintain them as necessary. The major maintenance activity would be the replacement of the geotextile liners on approximately fiveyear cycles. This would require removing the crushed stone from the containers, removing and replacing the liners, and then refilling the containers with the previously used crushed stone. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Aug 28, 2013 Jkt 229001 The HESCO barriers would continue to minimize the potential for failure of the four dams and prevent an increase in flooding at downstream locations, including TVA’s nuclear plants, during the PMF. As stated in the abovementioned NRC letter, this is not a longterm solution acceptable to NRC. It does, however, represent the current baseline conditions and is therefore the appropriate No Action alternative. Alternative B—Permanent Modifications of Dam Structures: Combination of Concrete Floodwalls and Earthen Embankments. TVA would raise the heights of the dams as follows: Cherokee—6.6 feet; Fort Loudoun—4.8 to 6.0 feet; Tellico—4.8 feet, and Watts Bar—3.5 feet. These heights are approximately two feet greater than the PMF elevations because of the need to maintain adequate freeboard to minimize overtopping by waves. The length of floodwall and raised earthen embankment at each dam would be as follows: Cherokee—5,300 feet of floodwall and 3,150 feet of embankment; Fort Loudoun—3,800 feet of floodwall and 250 feet of embankment; Tellico—3,400 feet of floodwall and 2,450 feet of embankment; and Watts Bar—1,650 feet of embankment. At Cherokee, TVA would also install about 40 posttensioned anchors into the concrete portion of the dam, construct a 13.6-foot tall concrete floodwall on a 93-foot section of the dam, and raise the height of a 400-foot long section of the south spillway training wall by up to 40 feet. At Watts Bar, TVA would also strengthen an existing concrete floodwall on the east end of the dam. TVA identified Alternative B as its preferred alternative in both the Draft EIS and Final EIS. Alternative C—Permanent Modification of Dam Structures: All Concrete Floodwalls. TVA would replace the HESCO barriers with concrete floodwalls in approximately the same locations. The heights of the floodwalls would be the same as the permanent modifications proposed under Alternative B. The additional modifications to Cherokee and Watts Bar dams described under Alternative B would be implemented under Alternative C. Public Involvement TVA published a notice of intent to prepare the EIS in the Federal Register on June 14, 2011. TVA sought input from Federal and state agencies, Federally recognized Indian tribes, local organizations and individuals during the 55-day public scoping period. Open house meetings were held in Lenoir City PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53495 and Louisville, Tennessee. TVA received a total of 248 scoping comment letters; primary topics included impacts to scenery, land use, and recreation at the dams; the methodology used to calculate the PMF; and alternatives to the proposed permanent dam modifications. The notice of availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2012. TVA held a public meeting on the Draft EIS on October 22, 2012 and accepted comments until November 19, 2012. TVA received 21 comment submissions on the Draft EIS, and the Final EIS contains responses to these comments. After considering the comments and the results of additional engineering studies conducted after publication of the Draft EIS, TVA made several modifications to Alternative B. These modifications included the use of earthen embankments in place of some segments of concrete floodwalls at Cherokee and Fort Loudoun. Earthen embankments would also be constructed at several segments at Cherokee, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams identified in the Draft EIS as suitable for either floodwalls or embankments. The increased use of earthen embankments would reduce the visual impacts of floodwalls and restrictions on recreational use of the dam reservations. It would also eliminate the need for gap closure barriers between segments of floodwalls. An additional modification to Alternative B is the elevation of the surface of roadways adjacent to floodwall segments on saddle dams at Cherokee and Tellico. This measure would reduce the effective height of the floodwalls for recreational users walking the roads and eliminate obstructions to their views of the reservoirs. The NOA for the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on May 31, 2013. Environmentally Preferred Alternative Alternative A—No Action would likely result in the lowest level of environmental impacts. The construction-related impacts resulting from the two action alternatives, Alternatives B and C, would be largely avoided. The current adverse impacts to visual resources and recreational use of the dam reservations would continue. Of the two action alternatives, Alternative B would result in greater impacts during construction but reduced long-term impacts. Based on consideration of the overall impacts, the difference between the two action alternatives is small and Alternative B is E:\FR\FM\29AUN1.SGM 29AUN1 53496 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 168 / Thursday, August 29, 2013 / Notices environmentally preferable over Alternative C. the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). Decision DATES: TVA has decided to implement the preferred alternative identified in the Final EIS, Alternative B—Permanent Modifications of Dam Structures: Combination of Concrete Floodwalls and Earthen Embankments. This alternative was selected over Alternative C—Permanent Modification of Dam Structures: All Concrete Floodwalls because of the reduced long-term impacts and slightly lower construction costs. Alternative B also eliminates the need for gap closure barriers between floodwall segments. Mitigation Measures TVA would use appropriate best management practices during all phases of construction and maintenance associated with the proposed action. TVA would also establish the necessary traffic controls such as use of warning signs, flagmen, and lane closures during construction and maintenance activities in order to minimize traffic and safety impacts. In order to minimize impacts to potential habitat for the endangered Indiana bat, TVA would comply with the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These terms include delaying the removal of suitable roost trees where feasible until after July 31, surveying for the presence of the bats before removing suitable roost trees prior to July 31, and the mitigation payment of $13,986 to the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund. Dated: July 2, 2013. John J. McCormick, Jr., Senior Vice President, River Operations & Renewables. [FR Doc. 2013–21134 Filed 8–28–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee; Public Teleconference Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee Teleconference. sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463, 5 U.S.C. App. 2), notice is hereby given of a teleconference of SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Aug 28, 2013 Jkt 229001 The teleconference will take place on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. The teleconference will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time and will last approximately one hour. The presentation and call-in number will be posted at least one week in advance at https://www.ast.faa.gov/. Paul Eckert (AST–3), Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), 800 Independence Avenue SW., Room 331, Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267–8655; Email paul.eckert@faa.gov. Complete information regarding COMSTAC is available on the FAA Web site at: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_ org/headquarters_offices/ast/advisory_ committee/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The purpose of this teleconference is to assist the FAA in its development of guidelines for the safety of occupants of commercial suborbital and orbital spacecraft. On July 31, 2013, the FAA submitted to COMSTAC a draft document on Established Practices for Human Space Flight Occupant Safety for its review and comment. The document is intended to continue the conversation that we have had with COMSTAC on commercial human space flight occupant safety. The document provides what we believe are occupant safety measures that have historically proven to be worth doing for most human space flight system concepts. We plan to submit to COMSTAC a companion document in mid-September that will provide rationale for each established practice in the draft. In this teleconference the FAA will introduce these two documents, entertain early feedback from COMSTAC members, and discuss a way ahead. Interested members of the public may submit relevant written statements for COMSTAC members to consider under the advisory process. Statements may concern the issues and agenda items mentioned above or additional issues that may be relevant for the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. Interested parties wishing to submit written statements should contact Paul Eckert, Designated Federal Officer (the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section), in writing (mail or email) by September 17, 2013. This way the information can be made available to COMSTAC members for their review and consideration before the teleconference. Written statements should be supplied in the following formats: one hard copy SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with original signature or one electronic copy via email. Individuals who plan to participate and need special assistance should inform the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section in advance of the meeting. Issued in Washington, DC, on August 16, 2013. George C. Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation. [FR Doc. 2013–21126 Filed 8–28–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee; Open Meeting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee Open Meeting. AGENCY: Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463, 5 U.S.C. App. 2), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). The meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, October 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the National Housing Center, 1201 15th Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. This will be the 58th meeting of the COMSTAC. The proposed schedule for the COMSTAC working group meetings on October 9 is below: —Operations (8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.) —Business/Legal (10:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.) —Systems (1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.) —International Policy (3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.) The full Committee will meet on October 10. The meeting will address general issues relevant to the commercial space transportation industry, as well as reports and recommendations from the working groups. Interested members of the public may submit relevant written statements for the COMSTAC members to consider under the advisory process. Statements may concern the issues and agenda items mentioned above and/or additional issues that may be relevant for the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. Interested parties wishing to submit written statements should contact Larry Scott, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29AUN1.SGM 29AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 168 (Thursday, August 29, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53494-53496]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21134]


=======================================================================
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TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY


Dam Safety Modifications at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and 
Watts Bar Dams

AGENCY: Tennessee Valley Authority.

ACTION: Issuance of Record of Decision.

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

SUMMARY: This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on 
Environmental Quality's regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 to 1508) and 
TVA's procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA). TVA has decided to adopt the preferred alternative in its final 
environmental impact statement (EIS) for the dam safety modifications 
at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams. The notice of 
availability (NOA) of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Dam 
Safety Modifications at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar 
Dams was published in the Federal Register on May 31, 2013. This 
alternative, Permanent Modifications of Dam Structures: Combination of 
Concrete Floodwalls and Earthen Embankments, will protect the four dams 
against failure during the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) event while 
minimizing the adverse effects to the appearance and recreational use 
of the dam reservations.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles P. Nicholson, NEPA Compliance 
Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 
11D, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902-1499; telephone 865-632-3582, or email 
cpnicholson@tva.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: TVA is an agency and instrumentality of the 
United States, established by an act of Congress in 1933, to foster the 
social and economic welfare of the people of the Tennessee Valley 
region and to promote the proper use and conservation of the region's 
natural resources. A fundamental part of this mission was the 
construction and operation of an integrated system of dams and 
reservoirs. As directed by the TVA Act, TVA uses this system to manage 
the water resources of the Tennessee River for the purposes of 
navigation, flood control, power production. Consistent with these 
purposes, TVA operates the system to provide a wide range of other 
benefits.
    As the Federal agency responsible for the operation of numerous 
dams, and consistent with the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety issued 
by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, TVA prepares for the worst 
case flooding event in order to protect against dam failure, loss of 
life, major property damage, and impacts to critical facilities. This 
worst case flooding event is known as the PMF, defined as the flood 
that may be expected from the most severe combination of critical 
meteorological and hydrological conditions that are reasonably possible 
in a particular area. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) nuclear plant 
operating regulations also require that nuclear plants be protected 
against the adverse effects of the PMF. TVA periodically reviews and 
revises its calculations of PMF elevations. During the most recent 
review (completed in 2008), TVA determined that the updated PMF 
elevations at Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Tellico, and Watts Bar Dams, as 
well as at TVA's Watts Bar and

[[Page 53495]]

Sequoyah Nuclear Plants, were higher than previously calculated.
    The differences in PMF elevations are sufficient to indicate that a 
PMF event could cause water to flow over the top of the dams, even with 
the floodgates wide open, possibly resulting in dam failure. Failure of 
one or more of these dams would result in extensive damage to 
buildings, infrastructure, property, and natural resources, as well as 
potential personal injury and loss of life.
    In 2009, TVA implemented temporary measures at the four dams to 
remain consistent with Federal guidelines and to comply with nuclear 
operating regulations for safe operations of the river and reservoir 
system, and to minimize the potential effects of the PMF. These 
temporary measures consisted of raising the heights of the four dams by 
installing interconnected, fabric lined HESCO Concertainer[supreg] 
units filled with No. 10 crushed stone on top of the earthen 
embankments of each dam. These HESCO barriers raised the height of each 
dam by 3 to 8 feet and provided additional floodwater storage capacity. 
The length of the HESCO barrier floodwalls totaled approximately 19,100 
feet (7,000 feet at Cherokee; 4,500 feet at Fort Loudoun; 6,000 feet at 
Tellico; and 1,600 feet at Watts Bar). TVA also installed a permanent 
concrete apron on approximately 2 acres of the downstream earthen 
embankment of Watts Bar Dam.
    In a January 25, 2012 letter from NRC to TVA, NRC stated that the 
HESCO barriers were not capable of resisting impacts from large debris 
during a flood and are not acceptable as a long-term solution to 
protecting the dams, and downstream nuclear plants, during the PMF. At 
the time the NRC letter was received, TVA had not made any decisions 
about whether or how to replace the HESCO barriers. After receiving the 
letter, TVA made the commitment to NRC to develop and implement 
permanent dam safety modifications to replace the temporary measures at 
the four dams.

Alternatives Considered

    TVA considered three alternatives in the Draft EIS and the Final 
EIS. These alternatives are:
    Alternative A--No Action. TVA would leave the HESCO barriers in 
place and replace or maintain them as necessary. The major maintenance 
activity would be the replacement of the geotextile liners on 
approximately five-year cycles. This would require removing the crushed 
stone from the containers, removing and replacing the liners, and then 
refilling the containers with the previously used crushed stone. The 
HESCO barriers would continue to minimize the potential for failure of 
the four dams and prevent an increase in flooding at downstream 
locations, including TVA's nuclear plants, during the PMF. As stated in 
the above-mentioned NRC letter, this is not a long-term solution 
acceptable to NRC. It does, however, represent the current baseline 
conditions and is therefore the appropriate No Action alternative.
    Alternative B--Permanent Modifications of Dam Structures: 
Combination of Concrete Floodwalls and Earthen Embankments. TVA would 
raise the heights of the dams as follows: Cherokee--6.6 feet; Fort 
Loudoun--4.8 to 6.0 feet; Tellico--4.8 feet, and Watts Bar--3.5 feet. 
These heights are approximately two feet greater than the PMF 
elevations because of the need to maintain adequate freeboard to 
minimize overtopping by waves. The length of floodwall and raised 
earthen embankment at each dam would be as follows: Cherokee--5,300 
feet of floodwall and 3,150 feet of embankment; Fort Loudoun--3,800 
feet of floodwall and 250 feet of embankment; Tellico--3,400 feet of 
floodwall and 2,450 feet of embankment; and Watts Bar--1,650 feet of 
embankment. At Cherokee, TVA would also install about 40 post-tensioned 
anchors into the concrete portion of the dam, construct a 13.6-foot 
tall concrete floodwall on a 93-foot section of the dam, and raise the 
height of a 400-foot long section of the south spillway training wall 
by up to 40 feet. At Watts Bar, TVA would also strengthen an existing 
concrete floodwall on the east end of the dam. TVA identified 
Alternative B as its preferred alternative in both the Draft EIS and 
Final EIS.
    Alternative C--Permanent Modification of Dam Structures: All 
Concrete Floodwalls. TVA would replace the HESCO barriers with concrete 
floodwalls in approximately the same locations. The heights of the 
floodwalls would be the same as the permanent modifications proposed 
under Alternative B. The additional modifications to Cherokee and Watts 
Bar dams described under Alternative B would be implemented under 
Alternative C.

Public Involvement

    TVA published a notice of intent to prepare the EIS in the Federal 
Register on June 14, 2011. TVA sought input from Federal and state 
agencies, Federally recognized Indian tribes, local organizations and 
individuals during the 55-day public scoping period. Open house 
meetings were held in Lenoir City and Louisville, Tennessee. TVA 
received a total of 248 scoping comment letters; primary topics 
included impacts to scenery, land use, and recreation at the dams; the 
methodology used to calculate the PMF; and alternatives to the proposed 
permanent dam modifications.
    The notice of availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS was published in 
the Federal Register on September 28, 2012. TVA held a public meeting 
on the Draft EIS on October 22, 2012 and accepted comments until 
November 19, 2012. TVA received 21 comment submissions on the Draft 
EIS, and the Final EIS contains responses to these comments. After 
considering the comments and the results of additional engineering 
studies conducted after publication of the Draft EIS, TVA made several 
modifications to Alternative B. These modifications included the use of 
earthen embankments in place of some segments of concrete floodwalls at 
Cherokee and Fort Loudoun. Earthen embankments would also be 
constructed at several segments at Cherokee, Tellico, and Watts Bar 
Dams identified in the Draft EIS as suitable for either floodwalls or 
embankments. The increased use of earthen embankments would reduce the 
visual impacts of floodwalls and restrictions on recreational use of 
the dam reservations. It would also eliminate the need for gap closure 
barriers between segments of floodwalls. An additional modification to 
Alternative B is the elevation of the surface of roadways adjacent to 
floodwall segments on saddle dams at Cherokee and Tellico. This measure 
would reduce the effective height of the floodwalls for recreational 
users walking the roads and eliminate obstructions to their views of 
the reservoirs.
    The NOA for the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on 
May 31, 2013.

Environmentally Preferred Alternative

    Alternative A--No Action would likely result in the lowest level of 
environmental impacts. The construction-related impacts resulting from 
the two action alternatives, Alternatives B and C, would be largely 
avoided. The current adverse impacts to visual resources and 
recreational use of the dam reservations would continue. Of the two 
action alternatives, Alternative B would result in greater impacts 
during construction but reduced long-term impacts. Based on 
consideration of the overall impacts, the difference between the two 
action alternatives is small and Alternative B is

[[Page 53496]]

environmentally preferable over Alternative C.

Decision

    TVA has decided to implement the preferred alternative identified 
in the Final EIS, Alternative B--Permanent Modifications of Dam 
Structures: Combination of Concrete Floodwalls and Earthen Embankments. 
This alternative was selected over Alternative C--Permanent 
Modification of Dam Structures: All Concrete Floodwalls because of the 
reduced long-term impacts and slightly lower construction costs. 
Alternative B also eliminates the need for gap closure barriers between 
floodwall segments.

Mitigation Measures

    TVA would use appropriate best management practices during all 
phases of construction and maintenance associated with the proposed 
action. TVA would also establish the necessary traffic controls such as 
use of warning signs, flagmen, and lane closures during construction 
and maintenance activities in order to minimize traffic and safety 
impacts. In order to minimize impacts to potential habitat for the 
endangered Indiana bat, TVA would comply with the terms of the 
Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These 
terms include delaying the removal of suitable roost trees where 
feasible until after July 31, surveying for the presence of the bats 
before removing suitable roost trees prior to July 31, and the 
mitigation payment of $13,986 to the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund.

    Dated: July 2, 2013.
John J. McCormick, Jr.,
Senior Vice President, River Operations & Renewables.
[FR Doc. 2013-21134 Filed 8-28-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8120-08-P