Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Gateway West 230/345/500-kV Transmission Line Project and Approved Land Use Plan Amendments in Idaho and Wyoming, 68467-68469 [2013-27261]

Download as PDF TKELleY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 220 / Thursday, November 14, 2013 / Notices is limited to the proposed land use plan amendment associated with the Gateway West Project and does not include the remainder of the project application or wholesale challenges to impacts analyzed in the FEIS. The absence of any identification of a specific inconsistency supports my decision to deny the recommendations in your appeal. ‘‘Your appeal also requests clarification of BLM Idaho’s statement that your Greater Sage-Grouse Plan was ‘not sufficiently final’ to be considered in the FEIS. While the Plan may represent a final proposal from you, the larger Greater Sage-Grouse planning effort being undertaken by the BLM in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other states, including Idaho, is not yet final. The Idaho BLM State Director was attempting to explain that the Greater Sage-Grouse planning effort and the Gateway West Transmission Project represented two separate and distinct processes. Your plan is one of two copreferred alternatives being fully analyzed in the Idaho and Southwestern Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). As we have discussed in person, the BLM is very committed to continuing to work with the State of Idaho on Greater SageGrouse to meet our shared goals. We have appreciated your efforts to develop a thoughtful and detailed alternative. ‘‘With respect to Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act, your letter to the BLM Idaho State Director and your appeal again do not specifically identify inconsistencies between local comprehensive plans and the proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West Transmission Project. Instead, you generally state that local counties have jurisdiction over the siting of utility transmission corridors, and that these local governments have comprehensive planning and zoning plans. You suggest that the local governments prefer that transmission siting occur on Federal land. Finally, you suggest that the BLM’s review process for the Gateway West Transmission Project lacked meaningful public involvement. No specific inconsistencies between proposed land use plan amendments for the Gateway West Transmission Project and State or local plans were identified as required under BLM regulations, and thus, I am denying your consistency appeal as it relates to Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act. ‘‘The BLM has taken considerable steps to coordinate with the local VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:20 Nov 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 counties. In fact, the BLM coordinated extensively with local governments in the development of alternatives that crossed their jurisdictions, including meetings with the Cities of Melba and Kuna and various counties. Additionally, the BLM recognizes that after the Record of Decision is signed, the individual counties have authority under Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act to adjust the final location for the portions of each proposed action or alternative that are located on nonfederal land. ‘‘After careful consideration, it is my conclusion that the appeal has not identified where the proposed plan amendments are inconsistent with specific provisions of approved or adopted resource-related State or local policies and programs. Therefore, I affirm the BLM Idaho State Director’s response to your Finding of Inconsistency and deny the appeal.’’ Authority: 43 CFR 1610.3–2(e). Michael D. Nedd, Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management. [FR Doc. 2013–27262 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management 68467 The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m., and end no later than 4:30 p.m. The public comment period will take place from 9:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heather Tiel-Nelson, Twin Falls District, Idaho, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301, (208) 736– 2352. The 15member RAC advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Idaho. During the November 26th and December 10th meetings, RAC subcommittee members will discuss the Idaho and Southwest Montana Subregional Draft Environmental Impact Statement during the January 8th meeting, RAC subcommittee members will report to the full RAC with their recommendations for the Draft EIS. There will also be a new member orientation for RAC members along with field manager reports, a budget outlook and wild horse issue update. Additional topics may be added and will be included in local media announcements. More information is available at www.blm.gov/id/st/en/res/ resource_advisory.3.html. RAC meetings are open to the public. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [LLIDT000000.L11200000.DD0000.241A.00] Notice of Public Meetings, Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council, ID Dated: November 4, 2013. Mel M. Meier, District Manager. [FR Doc. 2013–27224 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] AGENCY: BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P Bureau of Land Management, Interior. Notice of public meetings. ACTION: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council (RAC) and subcommittee for the Greater sage-grouse will meet as indicated below. DATES: On November 26 and December 10, the Twin Falls District RAC subcommittee members for the Greater sage-grouse will meet at the Twin Falls District BLM Office, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, ID 83301. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end no later than 9:00 p.m. The public comment period for the RAC subcommittee meeting will take place 6:10 p.m. to 6:40 p.m. On January 8, 2014, the Twin Falls District RAC will meet at the Sawtooth Best Western Inn, 2653 South Lincoln Ave., Jerome, Idaho. Bureau of Land Management SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [LLWY920000/51010000.ER0000/ LVRWK09K0990/241A; WYW–174598; IDI– 35849] Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Gateway West 230/ 345/500-kV Transmission Line Project and Approved Land Use Plan Amendments in Idaho and Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) authorizing a right-of-way (ROW) grant to the Proponents’ (Idaho Power Company and PacifiCorp, doing business as Rocky Mountain Power) to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission electric transmission lines on public lands for the Gateway SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14NON1.SGM 14NON1 TKELleY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 68468 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 220 / Thursday, November 14, 2013 / Notices West 230/345/500-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project (Project) and approving Land Use Plan (LUP) Amendments in Idaho and Wyoming. The Wyoming State Director’s signature on the ROD constitutes the final decision of the BLM and makes the approved LUP Amendments effective immediately. ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD are being sent to Federal, State, and local governments, public libraries in the Project area, and interested parties who previously requested a copy. The ROD and supporting documents will be available electronically on the following Web site: http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/ cfodocs/gateway_west/. To request a copy, contact Walt George, Project Manager, BLM Wyoming State Office, P.O. Box 20879, Cheyenne, WY 82003. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Walt George, Project Manager, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, P.O. Box 20879, Cheyenne, WY 82003, or by telephone at 307–775– 6116. Any persons wishing to be added to a mailing list of interested parties may write or call the Project Manager at this address or phone number. 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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In May 2007, the Proponents submitted a ROW application to the BLM requesting authorization to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission electric transmission lines on public lands. The application was revised in October 2007, August 2008, May 2009, January 2010, February 2012, and August 2013, to reflect changes to the proposed Project. The Gateway West Transmission Line Project, with a capacity of 1,500 megawatts, is planned from Glenrock, Wyoming, to the Hemingway Substation, approximately 20 miles southwest of Boise, Idaho. The Project is approximately 990 miles long and composed of nine 500-kV segments, one short 345-kV sub segment, and one segment with two 230-kV lines. Approximately 482 miles cross Federal lands, 73 miles cross State-managed lands, and 435 miles cross private lands. Of the Federal lands crossed, approximately 461 miles cross the National System of Public Lands administered by the BLM; 14 miles VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:20 Nov 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 cross National Forest Lands; and 7 miles cross lands administered by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Proponents’ objective for the Project is to improve the reliability and efficiency of both utilities’ systems and to address congestion problems with the western electrical grid. The Project is needed to meet projected load growth in the Proponents’ service areas. The Project would also tap the developing renewable energy market, especially wind energy in Idaho and Wyoming, and aid in delivering that energy throughout the region. The BLM purpose and need for this action is to respond to a ROW application, submitted under Section 501 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) (43 U.S.C. § 1761(a)), to use public lands for an electric transmission system and related facilities in accordance with FLPMA’s multiple use and sustained yield mandates. The BLM published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register on May 16, 2008 (73 FR 28425), stating its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1501.7). The BLM is the lead Federal agency for the NEPA analysis process and preparation of the EIS. The Notice of Intent initiated the public scoping comment period that concluded on July 3, 2008. In response to a request from non-Federal cooperating agencies, the scoping period was extended to September 4, 2009, to allow time to develop additional alternatives. On July 29, 2011, the BLM published the Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS in the Federal Register (76 FR 45609), starting a 90-day public comment period. On June 29, 2012, the BLM released the Addendum to the Draft EIS—Effects of Proposed Project on Greater SageGrouse—for an additional 30-day public comment period. The report included the Greater Sage-Grouse habitat equivalency analysis, which was not available at the time the Draft EIS was released. The Final EIS was developed incorporating updated environmental analysis as well as the extensive input from public comments, stakeholder outreach, interagency collaboration, and government-to-government consultation with Native American Tribes in the Project area. The Final EIS analyzed the environmental consequences of the No Action alternative, the proposed action, 36 route alternatives, and land use plan amendments. On April 26, 2013, the BLM published the Notice of Availability of the Final EIS (78 FR 24771), triggering a final 60-day public PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 review period. Printed and electronic copies of the Draft EIS, Addendum to the Draft EIS, and Final EIS are available at the Wyoming State Office and posted online at http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/ cfodocs/gateway_west/. In response to comments made on the Final EIS, a number of adjustments were made to the BLM’s Preferred Routes, and several of the mitigation measures were revised. All mitigation measures are included in the ROD. Three micrositing reroutes were included in Segment 4 of the Project to address concerns raised by Lincoln County and the City of Cokeville, as well as to avoid landslide hazards and private lands protected under conservation easements. These reroutes were assessed based on analysis in the Final EIS that covers the same general areas, as well as additional site-specific analysis. A report discussing the micro-siting considerations and reroutes in detail is included with the ROD. The ROD includes the BLM’s response to comments on the Final EIS as well as an errata sheet listing corrections to the Final EIS document. The decision is to authorize Segments 1 through 7 and Segment 10 of the Project and to allow the various Federal, State, and local permitting agencies additional time to offer input on a routing decision in Segments 8 and 9 of the Project in Idaho. The BLM Wyoming State Director signed the ROD, which constitutes the final decision of the BLM and makes the ROW and LUP amendment decisions effective immediately. However, there are additional requirements such as completing the Plan of Development, mitigation plans, and other informational requirements that the Grant Holders must meet before receiving permission to use the authorized area of public lands for the project. The BLM will grant permission to use these areas through its Notice to Proceed process (43 CFR 2805.10(a)(2)). The BLM Decisions—Phased Decision: Due to the substantial interest expressed by local stakeholders and government officials in continuing to work toward a consensus route in Segments 8 and 9 of the Project, as well as questions raised regarding allowable actions under BLM policies and regulations for the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, the BLM has decided to postpone a decision on the routes and land use plan amendments associated with Segments 8 and 9 until further input can be gathered. The BLM will initiate siting discussions with cooperating agencies and stakeholders. At the conclusion of these discussions, the BLM will E:\FR\FM\14NON1.SGM 14NON1 TKELleY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 220 / Thursday, November 14, 2013 / Notices determine whether additional environmental analysis is required and prepare further environmental documentation, if needed. The public would be afforded an opportunity to review and comment on any potential supplemental environmental review document. The BLM would respond to public comments and provide its rationale on a decision for Segments 8 and 9 in a second ROD. The Proponents have demonstrated independent utility for Segments 1 through 7 of the Project, as well as Segment 10, which connects the Cedar Hill and Midpoint Substations just east of Segments 8 and 9. BLM Decisions—Approved Segments: The ROD approves, with all mitigation measures identified in the ROD, a ROW grant for the following route alternatives for Segments 1 through 7 and Segment 10: • Segment 1: Proposed 1W(a) and 1W(c) Routes • Segment 2: Proposed Route • Segment 3: Proposed Route, including Route 3A • Segment 4: Revised Proposed Route, including a reroute east and north of the community of Cokeville • Segment 5: Proposed Route, incorporating Alternatives 5B and 5E • Segment 6: The proposed upgrade from 345 kV to 500 kV • Segment 7: Proposed Route, incorporating Alternatives 7B, 7C, 7D, and 7G. The Proposed Route in the East Hills and Alternative 7G will be micro-sited to avoid Preliminary Priority Habitat for Greater SageGrouse. • Segment 10: Proposed Route BLM Decisions—Land Use Plan Amendments: The BLM planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.5–3) require authorized uses of public lands to conform to approved LUPs. The LUP amendments’ preferred alternatives that were analyzed in the draft EIS associated with Segments 1 through 7 of the Project, as well as Segment 10, which connects the Cedar Hill and Midpoint Substations just east of Segments 8 and 9, were carried forward in the final EIS, with minor modifications made in preparing the approved LUP Amendments. The BLM received five protest letters on the Proposed LUP Amendments/Final EIS. The BLM Director denied all protest issues. The Director’s Protest Resolution Report can be accessed at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/ prog/planning/planning_overview/ protest_resolution/protestreports.html. To bring the Project into conformance, the ROD approves the following amendments to BLM resource VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:20 Nov 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 management plans (RMP) in the Project area: • Green River RMP: One amendment for visual resource management. • Kemmerer RMP: Four amendments for visual resource management, National Historic Trails, and the Rock Creek/Tunp Special Management Area. All plan amendments comply with applicable Federal laws and regulations and apply only to Federal lands and mineral estates administered by the BLM. Appeal Information: A party may appeal the BLM’s decision before the Interior Board of Land Appeals within 30 days of publication of this Notice of Availability in the Federal Register in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR part 4, subpart E. BLM decisions issued under 43 CFR part 2800 are and remain in effect pending appeal (43 CFR 2801.10(b)). A party can file a petition for a stay of the decision pending appeal before the Interior Board of Land Appeals, but the stay petition must accompany the Notice of Appeal (43 CFR 2801.10; 43CFR 4.21). The appeal must be filed with the BLM Wyoming State Office at the above listed address. Please consult the appropriate regulations (43 CFR part 4, subpart E) and Appendix N of the ROD for further appeal requirements. Authority: 40 CFR 1502.2 and 43 CFR 1610.5. Donald A. Simpson, Wyoming State Director. [FR Doc. 2013–27261 Filed 11–13–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–$$–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–PWR–PWRO–13759; PX.PD00421E.00.1] Draft General Management Plan/ Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement, Channel Islands National Park, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, California National Park Service, Interior. Notice of availability. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Park Service announces the availability of a Draft General Management Plan (GMP)/ Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Channel Islands National Park. The document identifies and analyzes three alternatives. Alternative 1 (no action alternative) reflects current management direction and serves as a baseline for SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68469 comparison with the other alternatives. Existing facilities, resource programs, and visitor opportunities would continue as they are. Currently the park is not designated as wilderness. Alternative 2 emphasizes ecosystem preservation, restoration, and preservation of large expanses in relatively pristine resource conditions. Resource stewardship including ecosystem preservation and restoration, and preservation of natural landscapes, cultural landscapes, archeological resources, and historic structures would continue to be emphasized. Increased recreational opportunities would be provided for visitors to enjoy and appreciate the park. Alternative 3 (agency-preferred) emphasizes resource stewardship, while also placing more attention on expanding education and recreational opportunities and accommodations to provide diverse visitor experiences on the islands. Both Alternative 2 and Alternative 3 propose 66,675 acres of the park be recommended to Congress for designation as wilderness, primarily on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands. DATES: All comments on the Draft EIS must be postmarked or transmitted not later than 60 days after the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes notice of filing and release of the EIS in the Federal Register. The National Park Service will hold several public meetings during the comment period—the date, time, and location of the meetings will be announced on http://parkplanning.nps.gov/chis, in local and regional press media, and will also be available by contacting Channel Islands National Park. ADDRESSES: Information will be available for public review and comment online at http:// parkplanning.nps.gov.chis, and in the office of the Superintendent, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura, CA 93001, (805) 658–5702. You may submit comments by one of two methods: Mail or hand-deliver comments to Channel Islands National Park, Attn: DEIS—GMP/Wilderness Study (address above), or you may submit comments via the Web site noted above. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. E:\FR\FM\14NON1.SGM 14NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 220 (Thursday, November 14, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68467-68469]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27261]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLWY920000/51010000.ER0000/LVRWK09K0990/241A; WYW-174598; IDI-35849]


Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Gateway 
West 230/345/500-kV Transmission Line Project and Approved Land Use 
Plan Amendments in Idaho and Wyoming

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability 
of the Record of Decision (ROD) authorizing a right-of-way (ROW) grant 
to the Proponents' (Idaho Power Company and PacifiCorp, doing business 
as Rocky Mountain Power) to construct, operate, maintain, and 
decommission electric transmission lines on public lands for the 
Gateway

[[Page 68468]]

West 230/345/500-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project (Project) and 
approving Land Use Plan (LUP) Amendments in Idaho and Wyoming. The 
Wyoming State Director's signature on the ROD constitutes the final 
decision of the BLM and makes the approved LUP Amendments effective 
immediately.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD are being sent to Federal, State, and 
local governments, public libraries in the Project area, and interested 
parties who previously requested a copy. The ROD and supporting 
documents will be available electronically on the following Web site: 
http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west/. To request a copy, 
contact Walt George, Project Manager, BLM Wyoming State Office, P.O. 
Box 20879, Cheyenne, WY 82003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Walt George, Project Manager, Bureau 
of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, P.O. Box 20879, Cheyenne, WY 
82003, or by telephone at 307-775-6116. Any persons wishing to be added 
to a mailing list of interested parties may write or call the Project 
Manager at this address or phone number. 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In May 2007, the Proponents submitted a ROW 
application to the BLM requesting authorization to construct, operate, 
maintain, and decommission electric transmission lines on public lands. 
The application was revised in October 2007, August 2008, May 2009, 
January 2010, February 2012, and August 2013, to reflect changes to the 
proposed Project.
    The Gateway West Transmission Line Project, with a capacity of 
1,500 megawatts, is planned from Glenrock, Wyoming, to the Hemingway 
Substation, approximately 20 miles southwest of Boise, Idaho. The 
Project is approximately 990 miles long and composed of nine 500-kV 
segments, one short 345-kV sub segment, and one segment with two 230-kV 
lines. Approximately 482 miles cross Federal lands, 73 miles cross 
State-managed lands, and 435 miles cross private lands. Of the Federal 
lands crossed, approximately 461 miles cross the National System of 
Public Lands administered by the BLM; 14 miles cross National Forest 
Lands; and 7 miles cross lands administered by the Bureau of 
Reclamation.
    The Proponents' objective for the Project is to improve the 
reliability and efficiency of both utilities' systems and to address 
congestion problems with the western electrical grid. The Project is 
needed to meet projected load growth in the Proponents' service areas. 
The Project would also tap the developing renewable energy market, 
especially wind energy in Idaho and Wyoming, and aid in delivering that 
energy throughout the region.
    The BLM purpose and need for this action is to respond to a ROW 
application, submitted under Section 501 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (FLPMA) (43 U.S.C. Sec.  1761(a)), to use public lands 
for an electric transmission system and related facilities in 
accordance with FLPMA's multiple use and sustained yield mandates.
    The BLM published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register on May 
16, 2008 (73 FR 28425), stating its intent to prepare an Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1501.7). The BLM is the lead Federal agency for the 
NEPA analysis process and preparation of the EIS. The Notice of Intent 
initiated the public scoping comment period that concluded on July 3, 
2008. In response to a request from non-Federal cooperating agencies, 
the scoping period was extended to September 4, 2009, to allow time to 
develop additional alternatives. On July 29, 2011, the BLM published 
the Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS in the Federal Register 
(76 FR 45609), starting a 90-day public comment period. On June 29, 
2012, the BLM released the Addendum to the Draft EIS--Effects of 
Proposed Project on Greater Sage-Grouse--for an additional 30-day 
public comment period. The report included the Greater Sage-Grouse 
habitat equivalency analysis, which was not available at the time the 
Draft EIS was released.
    The Final EIS was developed incorporating updated environmental 
analysis as well as the extensive input from public comments, 
stakeholder outreach, interagency collaboration, and government-to-
government consultation with Native American Tribes in the Project 
area. The Final EIS analyzed the environmental consequences of the No 
Action alternative, the proposed action, 36 route alternatives, and 
land use plan amendments. On April 26, 2013, the BLM published the 
Notice of Availability of the Final EIS (78 FR 24771), triggering a 
final 60-day public review period. Printed and electronic copies of the 
Draft EIS, Addendum to the Draft EIS, and Final EIS are available at 
the Wyoming State Office and posted online at http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west/.
    In response to comments made on the Final EIS, a number of 
adjustments were made to the BLM's Preferred Routes, and several of the 
mitigation measures were revised. All mitigation measures are included 
in the ROD. Three micro-siting reroutes were included in Segment 4 of 
the Project to address concerns raised by Lincoln County and the City 
of Cokeville, as well as to avoid landslide hazards and private lands 
protected under conservation easements. These reroutes were assessed 
based on analysis in the Final EIS that covers the same general areas, 
as well as additional site-specific analysis. A report discussing the 
micro-siting considerations and reroutes in detail is included with the 
ROD. The ROD includes the BLM's response to comments on the Final EIS 
as well as an errata sheet listing corrections to the Final EIS 
document.
    The decision is to authorize Segments 1 through 7 and Segment 10 of 
the Project and to allow the various Federal, State, and local 
permitting agencies additional time to offer input on a routing 
decision in Segments 8 and 9 of the Project in Idaho. The BLM Wyoming 
State Director signed the ROD, which constitutes the final decision of 
the BLM and makes the ROW and LUP amendment decisions effective 
immediately. However, there are additional requirements such as 
completing the Plan of Development, mitigation plans, and other 
informational requirements that the Grant Holders must meet before 
receiving permission to use the authorized area of public lands for the 
project. The BLM will grant permission to use these areas through its 
Notice to Proceed process (43 CFR 2805.10(a)(2)).
    The BLM Decisions--Phased Decision: Due to the substantial interest 
expressed by local stakeholders and government officials in continuing 
to work toward a consensus route in Segments 8 and 9 of the Project, as 
well as questions raised regarding allowable actions under BLM policies 
and regulations for the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey 
National Conservation Area, the BLM has decided to postpone a decision 
on the routes and land use plan amendments associated with Segments 8 
and 9 until further input can be gathered. The BLM will initiate siting 
discussions with cooperating agencies and stakeholders. At the 
conclusion of these discussions, the BLM will

[[Page 68469]]

determine whether additional environmental analysis is required and 
prepare further environmental documentation, if needed. The public 
would be afforded an opportunity to review and comment on any potential 
supplemental environmental review document. The BLM would respond to 
public comments and provide its rationale on a decision for Segments 8 
and 9 in a second ROD. The Proponents have demonstrated independent 
utility for Segments 1 through 7 of the Project, as well as Segment 10, 
which connects the Cedar Hill and Midpoint Substations just east of 
Segments 8 and 9.
    BLM Decisions--Approved Segments: The ROD approves, with all 
mitigation measures identified in the ROD, a ROW grant for the 
following route alternatives for Segments 1 through 7 and Segment 10:

 Segment 1: Proposed 1W(a) and 1W(c) Routes
 Segment 2: Proposed Route
 Segment 3: Proposed Route, including Route 3A
 Segment 4: Revised Proposed Route, including a reroute east 
and north of the community of Cokeville
 Segment 5: Proposed Route, incorporating Alternatives 5B and 
5E
 Segment 6: The proposed upgrade from 345 kV to 500 kV
 Segment 7: Proposed Route, incorporating Alternatives 7B, 7C, 
7D, and 7G. The Proposed Route in the East Hills and Alternative 7G 
will be micro-sited to avoid Preliminary Priority Habitat for Greater 
Sage-Grouse.
 Segment 10: Proposed Route

    BLM Decisions--Land Use Plan Amendments: The BLM planning 
regulations (43 CFR 1610.5-3) require authorized uses of public lands 
to conform to approved LUPs. The LUP amendments' preferred alternatives 
that were analyzed in the draft EIS associated with Segments 1 through 
7 of the Project, as well as Segment 10, which connects the Cedar Hill 
and Midpoint Substations just east of Segments 8 and 9, were carried 
forward in the final EIS, with minor modifications made in preparing 
the approved LUP Amendments. The BLM received five protest letters on 
the Proposed LUP Amendments/Final EIS. The BLM Director denied all 
protest issues. The Director's Protest Resolution Report can be 
accessed at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/planning_overview/protest_resolution/protestreports.html. To 
bring the Project into conformance, the ROD approves the following 
amendments to BLM resource management plans (RMP) in the Project area:
 Green River RMP: One amendment for visual resource management.
 Kemmerer RMP: Four amendments for visual resource management, 
National Historic Trails, and the Rock Creek/Tunp Special Management 
Area.

    All plan amendments comply with applicable Federal laws and 
regulations and apply only to Federal lands and mineral estates 
administered by the BLM.
    Appeal Information: A party may appeal the BLM's decision before 
the Interior Board of Land Appeals within 30 days of publication of 
this Notice of Availability in the Federal Register in accordance with 
the requirements of 43 CFR part 4, subpart E. BLM decisions issued 
under 43 CFR part 2800 are and remain in effect pending appeal (43 CFR 
2801.10(b)). A party can file a petition for a stay of the decision 
pending appeal before the Interior Board of Land Appeals, but the stay 
petition must accompany the Notice of Appeal (43 CFR 2801.10; 43CFR 
4.21). The appeal must be filed with the BLM Wyoming State Office at 
the above listed address. Please consult the appropriate regulations 
(43 CFR part 4, subpart E) and Appendix N of the ROD for further appeal 
requirements.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1502.2 and 43 CFR 1610.5.

Donald A. Simpson,
Wyoming State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-27261 Filed 11-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-$$-P