Habitat Conservation Plan for the United Water Conservation District, Santa Clara River Watershed, Ventura County, California, 67336-67338 [2013-27002]

Download as PDF 67336 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 218 / Tuesday, November 12, 2013 / Notices the LTFV investigation for the Soviet Union was applied to each new independent state, including Russia. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Notification to Importers Fish and Wildlife Service This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary’s presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation. The Department is issuing and publishing these final results of administrative review in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h). RIN 0648–XC961 Dated: November 5, 2013. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. [FR Doc. 2013–27010 Filed 11–8–13; 8:45 am] emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P from the Soviet Union was transferred to the individual members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. See Solid Urea From the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; Transfer of the Antidumping Order on Solid Urea From the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic States and Opportunity to Comment, 57 FR 28828 (June 29, 1992). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Nov 08, 2013 Jkt 232001 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [FWS–R8–ES–2013–N182] Habitat Conservation Plan for the United Water Conservation District, Santa Clara River Watershed, Ventura County, California National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and notice of public scoping meetings. AGENCY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Fish and Wildlife Service (Services), in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers, intend to prepare an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regarding expected applications from the United Water Conservation District (United) for incidental take permits under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The EIS will analyze the environmental effects of the Services’ proposed issuance of incidental take permits for United’s construction, operations, and maintenance of water management facilities within the lower Santa Clara River watershed, Ventura County, California. The Services also provide this notice to announce a public scoping period, during which we invite other agencies, Tribes, and the public to submit written comments providing suggestions and information on issues and alternatives to include in the EIS. DATES: To ensure consideration of any written comments, please submit them by January 13, 2014. Public meetings will be held on December 12, 2013, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ADDRESSES: The public meetings will be held at Courtyard by Marriott, 600 East Esplanade Drive, Oxnard, CA 93036. To request further information or submit information related to preparation of the EIS, please use one of the following methods: 1. U.S. Mail: You may mail written information and comments to: Darren Brumback, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Regional Office, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802; or David Simmons, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Rd, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. 2. In-Person Drop-off: You may handdeliver written information and comments to either U.S. mail address above. 3. Email: You may submit information and comments by electronic mail to: unitedwaterhcp@noaa.gov. If submitting an electronic mail attachment, please use one of these document formats: Adobe portable document format (.pdf), Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), rich text file (.rtf), ASCII or Unicode plaintext (.txt), Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx), Word Perfect (.wpd), or Microsoft Works (.wps). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Darren Brumback, by mail at the address above or by telephone at 562–980–4060; or David Simmons, by mail at the address above or by telephone at 805– 644–1766. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877–8339 or visit Federal Relay at http:// www.federalrelay.us/. Information regarding this proposed action is available in alternative formats upon request. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Services publish this notice under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and its implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR 1506.6, and pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. We intend to prepare a draft EIS to evaluate the impacts of several alternatives related to the potential issuance of incidental take permits to United, as well as impacts of the implementation of the supporting proposed Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The permits would authorize the incidental take of threatened and endangered species that could occur as a result of United’s current and future water management activities. United intends to request a 50-year permit covering five species federally listed as threatened or endangered and six species that are not federally listed but may become listed during the term of the permit. For preparation of the EIS under NEPA, the Services will serve as co-lead Federal agencies, and the Corps will serve as a cooperating agency. The primary purpose of the scoping process is for the public and other agencies to assist in developing the EIS by identifying important issues and alternatives related to the HCP and the Services’ proposed action (issuance of incidental take permits). As a cooperating agency, the Corps will assist E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 218 / Tuesday, November 12, 2013 / Notices the Services in developing the EIS and determine whether to adopt the EIS to support issuance of permits for proposed activities that are specifically regulated under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, United will post a separate notice of preparation for an environmental impact report (EIR) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and in support of United’s application for State incidental take permits under Section 2081 of the California Endangered Species Act. The public scoping meeting identified in this notice will be concurrent with United’s public scoping meeting regarding development of an EIR under CEQA. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. The ESA defines the term ‘‘take’’ as: To harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect listed animal species, or attempt to engage in such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)). ‘‘Harm’’ includes significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife, including listed fish, by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3(c)). NMFS’ definition of ‘‘harm’’ includes significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, spawning, migrating, rearing, and sheltering (64 FR 60727, November 8, 1999). Under section 10(a) of the ESA, the Services may issue permits to authorize ‘‘incidental take’’ of listed animal species. ‘‘Incidental take’’ is defined by the ESA as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. The Services’ regulations governing permits for threatened and endangered species, respectively, are at 50 CFR 13 and 50 CFR 17. NMFS’ regulations governing permits for threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 222.22. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions for issuing incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the take of endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are met: • The taking will be incidental; • The applicants will, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Nov 08, 2013 Jkt 232001 • The applicants will develop a proposed HCP and ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be provided; • The taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and • The applicants will carry out any other measures that the Services may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the HCP. Additionally, applicants must satisfy the issuance criteria established by the Services (50 CFR 17.22(b)(2) and 50 CFR 222.307). Issued permits include assurances for the applicant under the Services’ ‘‘No Surprises’’ regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)). Proposed Plan In accordance with section 10(a)(2)(A) of the ESA, United is preparing an HCP to support an application for a permit from each of the Services to incidentally take listed animal species. The following summarizes information provided by United regarding its HCP. United is currently proposing to cover 11 species (Covered Species) under the HCP, including 5 federally listed species and 6 unlisted species that may become listed during the term of the permits. The five federally listed species are the southern California steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi), least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax trallii extimus), and California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni). The six unlisted species proposed for coverage are the Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus (=Lampetra) tridentata), western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), yellowbreasted chat (Icteria virens), yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), twostriped garter snake (Thamnophis hammondii), and western pond turtle (Actinemys (=Clemmys) marmorata). Species may be added or deleted during the course of proposed HCP development based on further analysis, new information, agency consultation, and public comment. The geographic area proposed to be covered by the HCP includes portions of the lower Santa Clara River watershed downstream of the city of Santa Paula, California. The HCP would cover construction, operations, and maintenance of United’s facilities at and near the Vern Freeman Diversion Dam (Freeman Diversion) near Saticoy, California. ‘‘Covered Activities’’ include, but are not limited to: Construction of a new fish-passage facility; operation and maintenance of the Freeman Diversion; diversion of water from the Santa Clara River; PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67337 vegetation management; and operation and maintenance of fish-passage facilities, settling ponds/spreading grounds, and water conveyance structures (i.e., pipes, canals, etc.). United expects that Covered Activities could have direct and/or indirect effects on the Covered Species from the vicinity of the Freeman Diversion to the Santa Clara River estuary, a distance of approximately 10 river miles. The Services expect the proposed HCP to minimize and mitigate to the maximum extent practicable any effects on Covered Species resulting from Covered Activities, through implementation of a conservation program that includes conservation actions and monitoring, which will be fully described in the proposed HCP. This conservation program will focus on providing for the long-term management of biological communities that support Covered Species in the plan area. Environmental Impact Statement NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) requires that Federal agencies conduct an environmental analysis of their proposed actions to determine if the actions may significantly affect the human environment. Based on 40 CFR 1508.27 and 40 CFR 1508.2, the Services have determined that the proposed HCP may have significant effects on the human environment. Therefore, before deciding whether to issue Federal incidental take permits to United, the Services will prepare an EIS to analyze the environmental impacts associated with issuance of the incidental take permits. The EIS will include a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed project, and the alternatives will be considered in the Services’ environmental review. The EIS will consider the impacts of the proposed action, the issuance of section 10(a)(1)(B) permits under the ESA, and of several alternatives, including but not limited to, variations in the levels, location, and types of conservation; the scope of Covered Activities; the list of Covered Species; or a combination of these factors. Additionally, a No Action alternative will be included. Under the No Action alternative, the Services would not issue section 10(a)(1)(B) permits. Further, the EIS will identify and describe direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on biological resources, land use, air quality, water quality, water resources, socioeconomics, climate, and other environmental resources that could occur with the implementation of the proposed action and alternatives. The Services will also identify measures, E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1 67338 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 218 / Tuesday, November 12, 2013 / Notices suggestions and information on the scope of issues and alternatives for the Services to consider when drafting the EIS. Written comments will be accepted at the meetings. Comments can also be submitted by the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. Once the draft EIS and proposed HCP are complete and made available for review, there will be an opportunity for public comment on the content of those documents through an additional public comment period. Public Comments We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this notice. We will consider these comments in developing a draft EIS. We seek specific comments on: 1. Biological information and relevant data concerning the Covered Species; 2. Additional information concerning the range, distribution, population size, and population trends of the Covered Species; 3. Direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts that implementation of the proposed Covered Activities could have on endangered, threatened, and other Covered Species, and their communities and habitats; 4. Other possible alternatives that the Services should consider; 5. Other current or planned activities in the subject area and their possible impacts on the Covered Species; 6. The presence of archeological sites, buildings and structures, historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic preservation concerns, which are required to be considered in project planning by the National Historic Preservation Act; and 7. Identification of any other environmental issues that should be considered with regard to the proposed HCP and permit action. You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. Written comments also will be accepted at the scoping meeting. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES consistent with NEPA and other relevant considerations of national policy, to avoid or minimize any significant effects of the proposed action on the quality of the human environment. Following completion of the environmental review, the Services will publish a notice of availability and a request for comment on a draft EIS and the applicant’s permit application, which will include a draft of the proposed HCP. Meeting Location Accommodations Scoping Meeting See DATES for the date and time of the public meeting. The scoping meeting is intended to provide the public with a general understanding of the background of the proposed HCP and activities it would cover, alternative proposals under consideration for the draft EIS, and the Services’ role and steps to be taken to develop the draft EIS. The primary purpose of the meeting and public comment period is to solicit Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee; Public Meeting VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Nov 08, 2013 Jkt 232001 Persons needing reasonable accommodations to attend and participate in the public meeting should contact Darren Brumback at 562–980– 4060 or David Simmons at 805–644– 1766. To allow sufficient time to process requests, please call no later than 1 week before the public meeting. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877–8339 or visit Federal Relay at http:// www.federalrelay.us/. Information regarding this proposed action may be available in alternative formats upon request. Authority We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and per NEPA Regulations (40 CFR 1501.7, 40 CFR 1506.6, and 1508.22). Dated: November 5, 2013. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Dated: November 5, 2013. Alexandra Pitts, Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2013–27002 Filed 11–8–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P; 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given of a meeting via web conference call of the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (Committee). The SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 web conference calls are open to the public, and participants can dial in to the calls. Participants who choose to use the web conferencing feature in addition to the audio will be able to view the presentations as they are being given. Members of the public wishing to participate in the meeting must register in advance by December 2, 2013. The meeting will be held Tuesday, December 3, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Refer to the Web page listed below for the most up-to-date meeting agenda. DATES: The meeting will be held via web conference call. Register by contacting Lauren Wenzel at lauren.wenzel@noaa.gov or 301–713– 7265. Webinar and teleconference capacity may be limited. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lauren Wenzel, Acting Designated Federal Officer, MPA FAC, National Marine Protected Areas Center, 1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301–713– 7265, Fax: 301–713–3110); email: lauren.wenzel@noaa.gov; or visit the National MPA Center Web site at http:// www.marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov). The Committee, composed of external, knowledgeable representatives of stakeholder groups, was established by the Department of Commerce (DOC) to provide advice to the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior on implementation of Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, on marine protected areas. Matters To Be Considered: The focus of the Committee’s meeting is the Subcommittee workplans and their implementation (Recreation and Tourism Subcommittee and Stakeholder Engagement Subcommittee). The Committee will also hear updates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of the Interior. The agenda is subject to change. The latest version will be posted at http:// www.marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: October 30, 2013. Daniel J. Basta, Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2013–26958 Filed 11–8–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–NK–P E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 218 (Tuesday, November 12, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67336-67338]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27002]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

RIN 0648-XC961
[FWS-R8-ES-2013-N182]


Habitat Conservation Plan for the United Water Conservation 
District, Santa Clara River Watershed, Ventura County, California

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement 
(EIS) and notice of public scoping meetings.

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

SUMMARY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Services), in cooperation with the Army Corps of 
Engineers, intend to prepare an EIS under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) regarding expected applications from the United Water 
Conservation District (United) for incidental take permits under the 
Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The EIS will 
analyze the environmental effects of the Services' proposed issuance of 
incidental take permits for United's construction, operations, and 
maintenance of water management facilities within the lower Santa Clara 
River watershed, Ventura County, California. The Services also provide 
this notice to announce a public scoping period, during which we invite 
other agencies, Tribes, and the public to submit written comments 
providing suggestions and information on issues and alternatives to 
include in the EIS.

DATES: To ensure consideration of any written comments, please submit 
them by January 13, 2014. Public meetings will be held on December 12, 
2013, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meetings will be held at Courtyard by Marriott, 
600 East Esplanade Drive, Oxnard, CA 93036. To request further 
information or submit information related to preparation of the EIS, 
please use one of the following methods:
    1. U.S. Mail: You may mail written information and comments to: 
Darren Brumback, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Regional 
Office, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802; or 
David Simmons, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Rd, Suite 
B, Ventura, CA 93003.
    2. In-Person Drop-off: You may hand-deliver written information and 
comments to either U.S. mail address above.
    3. Email: You may submit information and comments by electronic 
mail to: unitedwaterhcp@noaa.gov. If submitting an electronic mail 
attachment, please use one of these document formats: Adobe portable 
document format (.pdf), Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), rich text file 
(.rtf), ASCII or Unicode plaintext (.txt), Microsoft Excel (.xls, 
.xlsx), Word Perfect (.wpd), or Microsoft Works (.wps).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Darren Brumback, by mail at the 
address above or by telephone at 562-980-4060; or David Simmons, by 
mail at the address above or by telephone at 805-644-1766. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal 
Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 or visit Federal Relay at 
http://www.federalrelay.us/. Information regarding this proposed action 
is available in alternative formats upon request.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Services publish this notice under the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 
et seq.), and its implementing regulations in the Code of Federal 
Regulations at 40 CFR 1506.6, and pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. 
We intend to prepare a draft EIS to evaluate the impacts of several 
alternatives related to the potential issuance of incidental take 
permits to United, as well as impacts of the implementation of the 
supporting proposed Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). 
The permits would authorize the incidental take of threatened and 
endangered species that could occur as a result of United's current and 
future water management activities. United intends to request a 50-year 
permit covering five species federally listed as threatened or 
endangered and six species that are not federally listed but may become 
listed during the term of the permit.
    For preparation of the EIS under NEPA, the Services will serve as 
co-lead Federal agencies, and the Corps will serve as a cooperating 
agency. The primary purpose of the scoping process is for the public 
and other agencies to assist in developing the EIS by identifying 
important issues and alternatives related to the HCP and the Services' 
proposed action (issuance of incidental take permits). As a cooperating 
agency, the Corps will assist

[[Page 67337]]

the Services in developing the EIS and determine whether to adopt the 
EIS to support issuance of permits for proposed activities that are 
specifically regulated under section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
    Additionally, United will post a separate notice of preparation for 
an environmental impact report (EIR) in compliance with the California 
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and in support of United's application 
for State incidental take permits under Section 2081 of the California 
Endangered Species Act. The public scoping meeting identified in this 
notice will be concurrent with United's public scoping meeting 
regarding development of an EIR under CEQA.

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations prohibit the ``take'' of animal species listed as 
endangered or threatened. The ESA defines the term ``take'' as: To 
harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or 
collect listed animal species, or attempt to engage in such conduct (16 
U.S.C. 1532(19)). ``Harm'' includes significant habitat modification or 
degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife, including 
listed fish, by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, 
including breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3(c)). NMFS' 
definition of ``harm'' includes significant habitat modification or 
degradation where it actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by 
significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including 
breeding, feeding, spawning, migrating, rearing, and sheltering (64 FR 
60727, November 8, 1999).
    Under section 10(a) of the ESA, the Services may issue permits to 
authorize ``incidental take'' of listed animal species. ``Incidental 
take'' is defined by the ESA as take that is incidental to, and not the 
purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. The Services' 
regulations governing permits for threatened and endangered species, 
respectively, are at 50 CFR 13 and 50 CFR 17. NMFS' regulations 
governing permits for threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 
222.22.
    Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions for issuing 
incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the take of 
endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are 
met:
     The taking will be incidental;
     The applicants will, to the maximum extent practicable, 
minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking;
     The applicants will develop a proposed HCP and ensure that 
adequate funding for the plan will be provided;
     The taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of 
the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and
     The applicants will carry out any other measures that the 
Services may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes 
of the HCP.
    Additionally, applicants must satisfy the issuance criteria 
established by the Services (50 CFR 17.22(b)(2) and 50 CFR 222.307). 
Issued permits include assurances for the applicant under the Services' 
``No Surprises'' regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)).
    Proposed Plan
    In accordance with section 10(a)(2)(A) of the ESA, United is 
preparing an HCP to support an application for a permit from each of 
the Services to incidentally take listed animal species. The following 
summarizes information provided by United regarding its HCP.
    United is currently proposing to cover 11 species (Covered Species) 
under the HCP, including 5 federally listed species and 6 unlisted 
species that may become listed during the term of the permits. The five 
federally listed species are the southern California steelhead 
(Oncorhynchus mykiss), tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi), least 
Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), southwestern willow flycatcher 
(Empidonax trallii extimus), and California least tern (Sterna 
antillarum browni). The six unlisted species proposed for coverage are 
the Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus (=Lampetra) tridentata), western 
yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), yellow-breasted chat 
(Icteria virens), yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), two-striped 
garter snake (Thamnophis hammondii), and western pond turtle (Actinemys 
(=Clemmys) marmorata). Species may be added or deleted during the 
course of proposed HCP development based on further analysis, new 
information, agency consultation, and public comment.
    The geographic area proposed to be covered by the HCP includes 
portions of the lower Santa Clara River watershed downstream of the 
city of Santa Paula, California. The HCP would cover construction, 
operations, and maintenance of United's facilities at and near the Vern 
Freeman Diversion Dam (Freeman Diversion) near Saticoy, California. 
``Covered Activities'' include, but are not limited to: Construction of 
a new fish-passage facility; operation and maintenance of the Freeman 
Diversion; diversion of water from the Santa Clara River; vegetation 
management; and operation and maintenance of fish-passage facilities, 
settling ponds/spreading grounds, and water conveyance structures 
(i.e., pipes, canals, etc.). United expects that Covered Activities 
could have direct and/or indirect effects on the Covered Species from 
the vicinity of the Freeman Diversion to the Santa Clara River estuary, 
a distance of approximately 10 river miles.
    The Services expect the proposed HCP to minimize and mitigate to 
the maximum extent practicable any effects on Covered Species resulting 
from Covered Activities, through implementation of a conservation 
program that includes conservation actions and monitoring, which will 
be fully described in the proposed HCP. This conservation program will 
focus on providing for the long-term management of biological 
communities that support Covered Species in the plan area.

Environmental Impact Statement

    NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) requires that Federal agencies 
conduct an environmental analysis of their proposed actions to 
determine if the actions may significantly affect the human 
environment. Based on 40 CFR 1508.27 and 40 CFR 1508.2, the Services 
have determined that the proposed HCP may have significant effects on 
the human environment. Therefore, before deciding whether to issue 
Federal incidental take permits to United, the Services will prepare an 
EIS to analyze the environmental impacts associated with issuance of 
the incidental take permits.
    The EIS will include a reasonable range of alternatives to the 
proposed project, and the alternatives will be considered in the 
Services' environmental review. The EIS will consider the impacts of 
the proposed action, the issuance of section 10(a)(1)(B) permits under 
the ESA, and of several alternatives, including but not limited to, 
variations in the levels, location, and types of conservation; the 
scope of Covered Activities; the list of Covered Species; or a 
combination of these factors. Additionally, a No Action alternative 
will be included. Under the No Action alternative, the Services would 
not issue section 10(a)(1)(B) permits. Further, the EIS will identify 
and describe direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on biological 
resources, land use, air quality, water quality, water resources, 
socio-economics, climate, and other environmental resources that could 
occur with the implementation of the proposed action and alternatives. 
The Services will also identify measures,

[[Page 67338]]

consistent with NEPA and other relevant considerations of national 
policy, to avoid or minimize any significant effects of the proposed 
action on the quality of the human environment. Following completion of 
the environmental review, the Services will publish a notice of 
availability and a request for comment on a draft EIS and the 
applicant's permit application, which will include a draft of the 
proposed HCP.

Public Comments

    We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the 
public, other governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, 
industry, or any other interested party on this notice. We will 
consider these comments in developing a draft EIS. We seek specific 
comments on:
    1. Biological information and relevant data concerning the Covered 
Species;
    2. Additional information concerning the range, distribution, 
population size, and population trends of the Covered Species;
    3. Direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts that implementation of 
the proposed Covered Activities could have on endangered, threatened, 
and other Covered Species, and their communities and habitats;
    4. Other possible alternatives that the Services should consider;
    5. Other current or planned activities in the subject area and 
their possible impacts on the Covered Species;
    6. The presence of archeological sites, buildings and structures, 
historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic 
preservation concerns, which are required to be considered in project 
planning by the National Historic Preservation Act; and
    7. Identification of any other environmental issues that should be 
considered with regard to the proposed HCP and permit action.
    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in the ADDRESSES section. Written comments also will be accepted 
at the scoping meeting.

Scoping Meeting

    See DATES for the date and time of the public meeting. The scoping 
meeting is intended to provide the public with a general understanding 
of the background of the proposed HCP and activities it would cover, 
alternative proposals under consideration for the draft EIS, and the 
Services' role and steps to be taken to develop the draft EIS.
    The primary purpose of the meeting and public comment period is to 
solicit suggestions and information on the scope of issues and 
alternatives for the Services to consider when drafting the EIS. 
Written comments will be accepted at the meetings. Comments can also be 
submitted by the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. Once the 
draft EIS and proposed HCP are complete and made available for review, 
there will be an opportunity for public comment on the content of those 
documents through an additional public comment period.

Meeting Location Accommodations

    Persons needing reasonable accommodations to attend and participate 
in the public meeting should contact Darren Brumback at 562-980-4060 or 
David Simmons at 805-644-1766. To allow sufficient time to process 
requests, please call no later than 1 week before the public meeting. 
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the 
Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 or visit Federal 
Relay at http://www.federalrelay.us/. Information regarding this 
proposed action may be available in alternative formats upon request.

Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.) and per NEPA Regulations (40 CFR 1501.7, 40 CFR 1506.6, and 
1508.22).

    Dated: November 5, 2013.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
    Dated: November 5, 2013.
Alexandra Pitts,
Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, U. S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 2013-27002 Filed 11-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P; 4310-55-P