NiSource, Inc.; Record of Decision, Habitat Conservation Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, and Permit Issuance, 68465-68466 [2013-27230]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 220 / Thursday, November 14, 2013 / Notices Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410–0050. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Persons desiring any further information about the Performance Review Board and its members may contact Juliette Middleton, Director, Office of Executive Resources, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410. Telephone (202) 402–3058. (This is not a toll-free number.) Dated: November 7, 2013. Maurice A. Jones, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2013–27259 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R3–ES–2013–N199; FXES11120300000F2–234–FF03E00000] NiSource, Inc.; Record of Decision, Habitat Conservation Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, and Permit Issuance Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. TKELleY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are advising the public of the availability of the Record of Decision (hereafter, ‘‘ROD’’) on an Incidental Take Permit (hereafter, ‘‘ITP’’) issued pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The ITP authorizes NiSource, Inc., to take 10 federally listed species over a 50-year period. For availability of the record of decision and associated documents, see ADDRESSES. DATES: The ROD is available effective September 13, 2013. ADDRESSES: Document availability: The ROD and other documents associated with the decision 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 any of the following methods: • Internet: You may access an electronic copy of the ROD 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 ROD, Final Environmental Impact Statement, and Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan 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. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:20 Nov 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 • 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, MN 55437– 1458; 612–713–5467. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We are advising the public of the availability of the ROD associated with an ITP application received from NiSource, Inc., pursuant to the ESA. The ITP issued to NiSource authorizes the take of 10 federally listed species over a 50year 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 review of the application and preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed permit issuance. 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. Availability of the FEIS was published in the Federal Register on June 7, 2013 (78 FR 34402), and June 14, 2013 (78 FR 35928). 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 PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68465 (USDOT). NiSource applied for authorization under the ESA to take species in the course of engaging in otherwise lawful gas transmission and storage operations. An ITP application under the ESA requires submission of a Habitat Conservation Plan in conjunction with the application. 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 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, include a wide range of operation, maintenance, and new construction activities that are specific to NiSource’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 not adversely impact 32 of the 42 species evaluated. Therefore, NiSource requested 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, 47 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 E:\FR\FM\14NON1.SGM 14NON1 68466 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 220 / Thursday, November 14, 2013 / Notices review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To comply with the NEPA, the Service prepared an FEIS which analyzed potential impacts that could result from issuance of an ITP to NiSource and the subsequent implementation of their MSHCP. The ROD that is made available at this time announces the Service’s decision to issue the ITP and is the final decision under the NEPA. TKELleY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD 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. Public scoping continued until December 8, 2007, and the 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 Federal Register 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 for request by the methods described under ADDRESSES. Responses to these comments are appended to the FEIS. Availability of the FEIS was announced in the Federal Register on June 7, 2013 (78 FR 34402), and June 14, 2013 (78 FR 35928). Comments received in response to the Notice of Availability of the FEIS are discussed in the ROD. 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 evaluated the application, associated documents, and comments submitted to VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:20 Nov 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 determine whether the application met the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. The Service has made its decision to issue an ITP to NiSource for the take of 10 species in accordance with their MSHCP and associated IA. Dated: November 6, 2013. Lynn Lewis, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region. [FR Doc. 2013–27230 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWY920000 L51010000.ER0000.LVRWK09K0990.13X] BLM Director’s Response to the Idaho Governor’s Appeal of the BLM Idaho State Director’s Governor’s Consistency Review Determination Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is publishing this notice to explain why the BLM Director is denying the Governor of Idaho’s recommendations regarding the Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments analyzed in the Gateway West Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Amme, Acting Division Chief for Decision Support, Planning and NEPA, telephone 202–912–7289; address 1849 C Street NW., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20240; email bamme@ 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 above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. A copy of the Gateway West Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments is available on the BLM Wyoming Web site at: http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/ cfodocs/gateway_west/index.html. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April, 26, 2013, the BLM released the Gateway West Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments. On June 27, 2013, the Governor of Idaho (Governor) submitted a Governor’s Consistency Review and Finding of Inconsistency for the Gateway West Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments (Finding) to the BLM Idaho State SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Director (State Director). The State Director determined the Governor’s Finding was outside the scope of the Governor’s Consistency Review process and did not accept the Governor’s recommendations. A written response was sent to the Governor on July 26, 2013, addressing the issues raised in the Governor’s Finding. On August 23, 2013, the Governor appealed the State Director’s decision not to accept his recommendations to the BLM Director. The BLM Director issued a final response to the Governor affirming the State Director’s decision. Pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.3–2, the substantive portions of the Director’s response to the Governor are printed as follows: ‘‘With regard to your Greater SageGrouse Plan concerns, your letter did not identify inconsistencies between your Plan and any of the BLM proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West Transmission Project. The regulations that provide for the Governor’s consistency review process at 43 CFR 1610.3–2, require BLM to ensure that resource management plans or plan amendments ‘are consistent with officially approved or adopted’ State and local government resource related plans, and policies and programs in those plans so long as the plans ‘are also consistent with the purposes, policies and programs of Federal laws and regulations applicable to public lands.’ The regulations further provide the Governor of the State involved in a proposed plan or amendment to identify inconsistencies between State or local plans and the proposed plan or amendment and provide recommendations to the BLM State Director. The consistency review submitted by the Governor must identify, with specificity, how a proposed plan amendment is inconsistent with specific State or local plans. If the State Director denies such recommendations, the Governor is afforded an opportunity to appeal the BLM State Director’s denial of recommendations to the BLM Director pursuant to 43 CFR 1610.3–2(e). ‘‘Your letter to the BLM State Director and your appeal do not meet the regulatory requirements by specifically identifying inconsistencies between the Greater Sage-Grouse Plan and the proposed land use plan amendments in the Gateway West Transmission Project FEIS. Your appeal only generally states that your Plan, which you submitted to the BLM on July 1, 2013, is inconsistent with the Gateway West National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The scope of the Governor’s consistency review process is narrow. It E:\FR\FM\14NON1.SGM 14NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 220 (Thursday, November 14, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68465-68466]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27230]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2013-N199; FXES11120300000F2-234-FF03E00000]


NiSource, Inc.; Record of Decision, Habitat Conservation Plan, 
Environmental Impact Statement, and Permit Issuance

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are advising the 
public of the availability of the Record of Decision (hereafter, 
``ROD'') on an Incidental Take Permit (hereafter, ``ITP'') issued 
pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The 
ITP authorizes NiSource, Inc., to take 10 federally listed species over 
a 50-year period. For availability of the record of decision and 
associated documents, see ADDRESSES.

DATES: The ROD is available effective September 13, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: The ROD and other documents 
associated with the decision 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 any of the following methods:
     Internet: You may access an electronic copy of the ROD 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 ROD, 
Final Environmental Impact Statement, and Multi-Species Habitat 
Conservation Plan 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, MN 55437-1458; 612-713-5467.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We are advising the public of the 
availability of the ROD associated with an ITP application received 
from NiSource, Inc., pursuant to the ESA. The ITP issued to NiSource 
authorizes the take of 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 review of the 
application and preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(FEIS) for the proposed permit issuance. 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. Availability of the FEIS was published 
in the Federal Register on June 7, 2013 (78 FR 34402), and June 14, 
2013 (78 FR 35928).

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 applied for 
authorization under the ESA to take species in the course of engaging 
in otherwise lawful gas transmission and storage operations. An ITP 
application under the ESA requires submission of a Habitat Conservation 
Plan in conjunction with the application.
    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 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, include a wide range of operation, 
maintenance, and new construction activities that are specific to 
NiSource'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 not adversely impact 32 of the 42 species evaluated. Therefore, 
NiSource requested 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, 47 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

[[Page 68466]]

review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To comply 
with the NEPA, the Service prepared an FEIS which analyzed potential 
impacts that could result from issuance of an ITP to NiSource and the 
subsequent implementation of their MSHCP. The ROD that is made 
available at this time announces the Service's decision to issue the 
ITP and is the final decision under the NEPA.

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. Public scoping 
continued until December 8, 2007, and the 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 Federal 
Register 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 for request by the methods 
described under ADDRESSES. Responses to these comments are appended to 
the FEIS.
    Availability of the FEIS was announced in the Federal Register on 
June 7, 2013 (78 FR 34402), and June 14, 2013 (78 FR 35928). Comments 
received in response to the Notice of Availability of the FEIS are 
discussed in the ROD.

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 evaluated the 
application, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine 
whether the application met the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of 
the ESA. The Service has made its decision to issue an ITP to NiSource 
for the take of 10 species in accordance with their MSHCP and 
associated IA.

    Dated: November 6, 2013.
Lynn Lewis,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-27230 Filed 11-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P