Notice of Intent; Request for Comments on Adoption of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project General Reevaluation Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Arkansas, Lonoke, Monroe and Prairie Counties, AR, 24396-24398 [2014-09829]

Download as PDF 24396 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices RUS may receive additional requests for financial assistance for similar portions of the Bayou Meto Basin project. If additional requests are received it is the intent of the agency to issue additional Records of Decision without additional notices to adopt the USACE’s GRR/EIS. Based on the information summarized in this notice, RUS intends to adopt the USACE’s final GRR/EIS to enable Agency NEPA compliance for the proposed Federal funding decision. After the close of the comment period, RUS anticipates the preparation and issuance of our Record of Decision to occur in May/June 2014. As required, RUS will conclude review under 36 CFR part 800 prior to the issuance of the Record of Decision. Dated: April 8, 2014. Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk, Assistant Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2014–09831 Filed 4–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Notice of Intent; Request for Comments on Adoption of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project General Reevaluation Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Arkansas, Lonoke, Monroe and Prairie Counties, AR Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of intent to adopt reevaluation report and final environmental impact statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture is giving notice of its intent to adopt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) existing general reevaluation report and final environmental impact statement (GRR/EIS) for the Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Arkansas (project). RUS is considering providing funding to the applicant, the White River Regional Irrigation Water Distribution District (WRID) to construct a portion of the project consisting of activities that have been identified, designed and reviewed under the Corps’ existing GRR/EIS. Based on independent RUS evaluation, adoption of the GRR/EIS would meet the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and RUS regulations and guidance for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 fulfill RUS’s NEPA requirements and support a funding decision, we are recirculating the GRR/EIS for written public comment via this notice, in accordance with CEQ and RUS adoption guidelines. DATES: Written comments on this Notice must be received on or before May 30, 2014. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Mark Plank, Director, Engineering and Environmental Staff, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Stop 1571, Room 2242–S, Washington, DC 20250. The GRR/EIS and related documents referenced in this notice are available at http:// www.mvm.usace.army.mil/Missions/ Projects/ GrandPrairieAreaDemonstrationProject/ Maps,ReportsStudies/ GeneralReevaluationReport.aspx. To the extent practicable, these documents can be made available for public review in alternative formats by contacting the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT to request documents in alternative formats. We provide this notice under regulations implementing NEPA and invite the public to review the GRR/EIS during the 30-day comment period (see DATES). Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be aware that your entire comment—including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. RUS will endeavor to withhold personal identifying information from public review upon request, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. As provided for pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3), RUS is using this notice to comply with the requirement under 36 CFR 800.2(d) that the agency seek and consider the views of the public regarding effects to historic properties prior to making a decision on the project. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Fristik, Senior Environmental Protection Specialist, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Stop 1571, Room 2240–S, Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: (202) 720–5093, Facsimile: (202) 690– 0649, or email richard.fristik@ wdc.usda.gov. RUS’ proposed funding action is for activities already identified, designed and reviewed under the GRR/EIS. Adoption and recirculation for public written comment of the GRR/EIS fulfills RUS’ requirements under CEQ (40 CFR SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1506.3(b)) and Agency (7 CFR 1794.72(b)) NEPA implementing regulations. Recent CEQ guidance encourages agencies to ‘‘. . . coordinate and take appropriate advantage of existing documents and studies, including through adoption and incorporation by reference’’ as a means of improving NEPA efficiency (see ‘‘Improving the Process for Preparing Efficient and Timely Environmental Reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act’’ at http:// ceq.hss.doe.gov/current_developments/ docs/Improving_NEPA_Efficiencies_ 06Mar2012.pdf). The overall Grand Prairie project area is located about 40 miles east of Little Rock and is generally outlined by the White River to the east, Bayou Meto to the west, Interstate 40 to the north and Highway 165 to the south. The area encompasses the towns of DeValls Bluff, Hazen, Carlisle, Stuttgart, Ulm and DeWitt; the entire study area is about 15 miles east to west and 50 miles north to south, or approximately 362,600 acres. Historically, the Grand Prairie was the largest (nearly 500,000 acres) of several discontinuous prairies that occupied Arkansas and Louisiana. Due to cultivation only about .01 percent of this prairie remains today. The proposed project for which RUS funding would be provided consists of an electrical substation to provide power to the pump station at the White River, portions of the secondary water delivery system to serve approximately 20 farms over 10,000 acres, and establishment of prairie vegetation and waterfowl habitat. The USACE prepared the following documents to meet their federal requirements: • ‘‘Eastern Arkansas Region Comprehensive Study, Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, General Reevaluation Report, Volume 1—Main Report & Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),’’ September 1999 (GRR/ EIS). • ‘‘Record of Decision, Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project,’’ Arkansas, February 2000, (ROD). • ‘‘Final Environmental Assessment, Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Arkansas, Post General Reevaluation Design Changes,’’ July 2004, (EA1). • ‘‘Finding of No Significant Impact, Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Arkansas, Post General Reevaluation Design Changes,’’ July 2010, (FONSI1). • ‘‘Environmental Assessment, Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Canal Realignment and Pumping Station Borrow Area, Prairie County, Arkansas,’’ September 2010, (EA2). E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices • ‘‘Finding of No Significant Impact, Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Canal Realignment and Pumping Station Borrow Area, Prairie County, Arkansas,’’ September 2010 (FONSI2). The particular authority under which the overall project is authorized and funded requires a 65 percent federal/35 percent non-federal cost share. The WRID and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) are the non-federal partners. RUS funding would comprise the non-federal cost share for the project portion. The ANRC is the state agency with legal authority and responsibility for protection and management of Arkansas’ water resources, including groundwater. The ANRC strongly supports the implementation of projects that develop surface water resources to supplement and protect diminishing groundwater reserves. The Grand Prairie, Arkansas project was developed to be consistent with the Arkansas State Water Plan. The ANRC, in partnership with the WRID, has indicated their intent to serve as local sponsor for the project and assume the responsibilities of local cooperation. Numerous other studies have been completed that document the water supply and groundwater depletion issues (the primary problem that the project addresses), starting as far back as the late 1920’s. Continued withdrawals at the current rate will deplete the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial aquifer such that it will no longer be a viable source of irrigation water, and agriculture as it is now practiced will be impossible. The project was reauthorized, and the scope expanded, in the Water Resources Development Act of 1996. The general reevaluation was conducted to fully evaluate and determine the best plan of improvement for flood control, agricultural water supply, and waterfowl management. Alternatives were developed and analyzed using USACE planning criteria to develop a plan consisting of measures that best meet the area’s needs. Once the plan was identified, detailed engineering and design studies were completed to the level of detail required for preparation of a baseline cost estimate and schedule for implementation. The following were identified as planning objectives: (1) Protect and preserve the alluvial aquifer; (2) Maximize the use of water conservation; (3) Provide a supplemental water supply to meet the irrigation water needs of the Grand Prairie area; (4) Enhance fish and wildlife habitat; (5) Restore native prairies; (6) Minimize cost and maximize outputs. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 The GRR/EIS evaluates seven alternatives for meeting the identified problems and opportunities: No Action (Alternative 1); Storage Only (Alternative 2); Conservation w/Storage (Alternative 3); Import System Plus Conservation w/no Additional Storage (Alternative 4); Combination Import System Plus Conservation and Storage (Alternative 5); Combination Alternative w/Additional Storage (Alternative 6). Alternatives 5 and 6 each considered 2 levels of on farm storage and 7 different river water withdrawal rates. Alternative 7, which was considered to incorporate the refined set of previous alternatives, was used to optimize the water import system size. The selected plan was Alternative 7B, which maximized National Economic Development (NED) benefits. This alternative consists of a 1640 cubic feet per second (cfs) import and primary distribution system, increased irrigation efficiencies, ground water sustenance through maintenance of a ‘‘safe yield’’, additional on-farm storage, and environmental features to benefit waterfowl, fisheries, and native prairie vegetation. The environmental benefits result from project design, specific restoration, or mitigation. On January 13, 2009, the USACE, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) executed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) titled, ‘‘Programmatic Agreement Among the U.S. Army USACE of Engineers, Memphis District, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Arkansas State Historic Preservation Officer, the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Other Signatory and Concurring Tribes, the White River Regional Irrigation Water Distribution District, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Regarding Implementation of the Grand Prairie Demonstration Project, Grand Prairie Region, Arkansas, Pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act and Other Authorities’’. This PA was developed by USACE in consultation with the following Indian tribes—the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24397 of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town and the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town—and the WRID and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. Under the terms of this agreement, the USACE, Memphis District, has been designated as the lead agency for Section 106 review of the Project, while the NRCS is identified as the USCAE Memphis District’s on-farm agent, responsible for the design and construction of the on-farm delivery and storage system. The PA establishes procedures for the identification and treatment of historic properties for the on-farm component of the Grand Prairie Demonstration Project (GPDP), any subsequent design changes which may be needed and the treatment of inadvertent discoveries during construction. Prior to execution of the PA, the USACE studied the area of potential effects (APE) for the Project to identify historic properties. The findings of that study are presented in a report titled, ‘‘A Comprehensive Study, Grand Prairie Demonstration Area, Arkansas, Lonoke, Monroe and Prairie Counties, Arkansas, Volume 1— Cultural Resources Overview (1996), Volume II—Findings (1999), and Volume III—Appendices (1999).’’ The Arkansas SHPO has reviewed and accepted the findings of these reports. The USACE used the findings of these reports to design all, but the on-farm, components of the Project in such a way as to avoid adverse effects to historic properties. Accordingly, this study coupled with the terms of the PA addresses the effects of the construction of the Project in its entirety, including the water distribution system which RUS has been asked to finance. Since its execution, the effect of one realignment has been addressed by the USACE under the terms of the PA. That study titled, ‘‘Phase I Intensive Cultural Resources Survey for the Grand Prairie Demonstration Project Canals 1000 & 2000 Realignment, Prairie County, Arkansas,’’ (2010), identified no historic properties within the APE for the proposed design change. The proposed RUS decision to provide funding for the Grand Prairie Area is a federal action subject to NEPA and related federal statutes. After an independent review, we find that the GRR/EIS and ROD sufficiently address reasonable alternatives and the potential environmental effects of the activities proposed to be funded by RUS. The GRR/EIS meets the requirements of USDA and RUS NEPA procedures and guidance, and would be appropriate for adoption. RUS may receive additional requests for financial assistance for similar portions of the Grand Prairie E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 24398 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices Area Demonstration project. If additional requests are received it is the intent of the agency to issue additional Records of Decision without additional notices to adopt the USACE’s GRR/EIS. Based on the information summarized in this notice, RUS intends to adopt the USACE’s final GRR/EIS to enable Agency NEPA compliance for the proposed Federal funding decision. After the close of the comment period, RUS anticipates the preparation and issuance of our Record of Decision to occur in May/June 2014. As required, RUS will conclude review under 36 CFR part 800 prior to the issuance of the Record of Decision. Dated: April 8, 2014. Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk, Assistant Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2014–09829 Filed 4–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (‘‘the Department’’) has received requests to conduct administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with March anniversary dates. In accordance with the Department’s regulations, we are initiating those administrative reviews. DATES: April 30, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482–4735. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: Background The Department has received timely requests, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), for administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with March anniversary dates. All deadlines for the submission of various types of information, certifications, or comments or actions by VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting time. Notice of No Sales If a producer or exporter named in this notice of initiation had no exports, sales, or entries during the period of review (‘‘POR’’), it must notify the Department within 60 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All submissions must be filed electronically at http:// iaaccess.trade.gov in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303.1 Such submissions are subject to verification in accordance with section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (‘‘Act’’). Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(1)(i), a copy must be served on every party on the Department’s service list. Respondent Selection In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (‘‘CBP’’) data for U.S. imports during the POR. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (‘‘APO’’) to all parties having an APO within seven days of publication of this initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the applicable review. Rebuttal comments will be due five days after submission of initial comments. In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act: In general, the Department has found that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be ‘‘collapsed’’ (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to 1 See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011). PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value (‘‘Q&V’’) Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete Q&V data for that collapsed entity must be submitted. Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that has requested a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance has prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis. Separate Rates In proceedings involving non-market economy (‘‘NME’’) countries, the Department begins with a rebuttable presumption that all companies within the country are subject to government control and, thus, should be assigned a single antidumping duty deposit rate. It E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 83 (Wednesday, April 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24396-24398]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-09829]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Notice of Intent; Request for Comments on Adoption of the U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers' Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project 
General Reevaluation Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement, 
Arkansas, Lonoke, Monroe and Prairie Counties, AR

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to adopt reevaluation report and final 
environmental impact statement.

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

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) an agency of the United 
States Department of Agriculture is giving notice of its intent to 
adopt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) existing general 
reevaluation report and final environmental impact statement (GRR/EIS) 
for the Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Arkansas (project). 
RUS is considering providing funding to the applicant, the White River 
Regional Irrigation Water Distribution District (WRID) to construct a 
portion of the project consisting of activities that have been 
identified, designed and reviewed under the Corps' existing GRR/EIS. 
Based on independent RUS evaluation, adoption of the GRR/EIS would meet 
the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and RUS regulations and 
guidance for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 
To fulfill RUS's NEPA requirements and support a funding decision, we 
are recirculating the GRR/EIS for written public comment via this 
notice, in accordance with CEQ and RUS adoption guidelines.

DATES: Written comments on this Notice must be received on or before 
May 30, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Mark Plank, Director, Engineering 
and Environmental Staff, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 
Independence Ave. SW., Stop 1571, Room 2242-S, Washington, DC 20250. 
The GRR/EIS and related documents referenced in this notice are 
available at  http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects/GrandPrairieAreaDemonstrationProject/Maps,ReportsStudies/GeneralReevaluationReport.aspx. To the extent practicable, these 
documents can be made available for public review in alternative 
formats by contacting the individual listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT to request documents in alternative formats. We 
provide this notice under regulations implementing NEPA and invite the 
public to review the GRR/EIS during the 30-day comment period (see 
DATES). Before including your address, phone number, email address or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, please be aware 
that your entire comment--including personal identifying information--
may be made publicly available at any time. RUS will endeavor to 
withhold personal identifying information from public review upon 
request, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    As provided for pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3), RUS is using this 
notice to comply with the requirement under 36 CFR 800.2(d) that the 
agency seek and consider the views of the public regarding effects to 
historic properties prior to making a decision on the project.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Fristik, Senior Environmental 
Protection Specialist, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence 
Ave. SW., Stop 1571, Room 2240-S, Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: 
(202) 720-5093, Facsimile: (202) 690-0649, or email 
richard.fristik@wdc.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RUS' proposed funding action is for 
activities already identified, designed and reviewed under the GRR/EIS. 
Adoption and recirculation for public written comment of the GRR/EIS 
fulfills RUS' requirements under CEQ (40 CFR 1506.3(b)) and Agency (7 
CFR 1794.72(b)) NEPA implementing regulations. Recent CEQ guidance 
encourages agencies to ``. . . coordinate and take appropriate 
advantage of existing documents and studies, including through adoption 
and incorporation by reference'' as a means of improving NEPA 
efficiency (see ``Improving the Process for Preparing Efficient and 
Timely Environmental Reviews under the National Environmental Policy 
Act'' at http://ceq.hss.doe.gov/current_developments/docs/Improving_NEPA_Efficiencies_06Mar2012.pdf).
    The overall Grand Prairie project area is located about 40 miles 
east of Little Rock and is generally outlined by the White River to the 
east, Bayou Meto to the west, Interstate 40 to the north and Highway 
165 to the south. The area encompasses the towns of DeValls Bluff, 
Hazen, Carlisle, Stuttgart, Ulm and DeWitt; the entire study area is 
about 15 miles east to west and 50 miles north to south, or 
approximately 362,600 acres. Historically, the Grand Prairie was the 
largest (nearly 500,000 acres) of several discontinuous prairies that 
occupied Arkansas and Louisiana. Due to cultivation only about .01 
percent of this prairie remains today. The proposed project for which 
RUS funding would be provided consists of an electrical substation to 
provide power to the pump station at the White River, portions of the 
secondary water delivery system to serve approximately 20 farms over 
10,000 acres, and establishment of prairie vegetation and waterfowl 
habitat.
    The USACE prepared the following documents to meet their federal 
requirements:
     ``Eastern Arkansas Region Comprehensive Study, Grand 
Prairie Area Demonstration Project, General Reevaluation Report, Volume 
1--Main Report & Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),'' 
September 1999 (GRR/EIS).
     ``Record of Decision, Grand Prairie Area Demonstration 
Project,'' Arkansas, February 2000, (ROD).
     ``Final Environmental Assessment, Grand Prairie Area 
Demonstration Project, Arkansas, Post General Reevaluation Design 
Changes,'' July 2004, (EA1).
     ``Finding of No Significant Impact, Grand Prairie Area 
Demonstration Project, Arkansas, Post General Reevaluation Design 
Changes,'' July 2010, (FONSI1).
     ``Environmental Assessment, Grand Prairie Area 
Demonstration Project, Canal Realignment and Pumping Station Borrow 
Area, Prairie County, Arkansas,'' September 2010, (EA2).

[[Page 24397]]

     ``Finding of No Significant Impact, Grand Prairie Area 
Demonstration Project, Canal Realignment and Pumping Station Borrow 
Area, Prairie County, Arkansas,'' September 2010 (FONSI2).
    The particular authority under which the overall project is 
authorized and funded requires a 65 percent federal/35 percent non-
federal cost share. The WRID and the Arkansas Natural Resources 
Commission (ANRC) are the non-federal partners. RUS funding would 
comprise the non-federal cost share for the project portion. The ANRC 
is the state agency with legal authority and responsibility for 
protection and management of Arkansas' water resources, including 
groundwater. The ANRC strongly supports the implementation of projects 
that develop surface water resources to supplement and protect 
diminishing groundwater reserves. The Grand Prairie, Arkansas project 
was developed to be consistent with the Arkansas State Water Plan. The 
ANRC, in partnership with the WRID, has indicated their intent to serve 
as local sponsor for the project and assume the responsibilities of 
local cooperation.
    Numerous other studies have been completed that document the water 
supply and groundwater depletion issues (the primary problem that the 
project addresses), starting as far back as the late 1920's. Continued 
withdrawals at the current rate will deplete the Mississippi River 
Valley Alluvial aquifer such that it will no longer be a viable source 
of irrigation water, and agriculture as it is now practiced will be 
impossible. The project was re-authorized, and the scope expanded, in 
the Water Resources Development Act of 1996. The general reevaluation 
was conducted to fully evaluate and determine the best plan of 
improvement for flood control, agricultural water supply, and waterfowl 
management. Alternatives were developed and analyzed using USACE 
planning criteria to develop a plan consisting of measures that best 
meet the area's needs. Once the plan was identified, detailed 
engineering and design studies were completed to the level of detail 
required for preparation of a baseline cost estimate and schedule for 
implementation. The following were identified as planning objectives: 
(1) Protect and preserve the alluvial aquifer; (2) Maximize the use of 
water conservation; (3) Provide a supplemental water supply to meet the 
irrigation water needs of the Grand Prairie area; (4) Enhance fish and 
wildlife habitat; (5) Restore native prairies; (6) Minimize cost and 
maximize outputs.
    The GRR/EIS evaluates seven alternatives for meeting the identified 
problems and opportunities: No Action (Alternative 1); Storage Only 
(Alternative 2); Conservation w/Storage (Alternative 3); Import System 
Plus Conservation w/no Additional Storage (Alternative 4); Combination 
Import System Plus Conservation and Storage (Alternative 5); 
Combination Alternative w/Additional Storage (Alternative 6). 
Alternatives 5 and 6 each considered 2 levels of on farm storage and 7 
different river water withdrawal rates. Alternative 7, which was 
considered to incorporate the refined set of previous alternatives, was 
used to optimize the water import system size. The selected plan was 
Alternative 7B, which maximized National Economic Development (NED) 
benefits. This alternative consists of a 1640 cubic feet per second 
(cfs) import and primary distribution system, increased irrigation 
efficiencies, ground water sustenance through maintenance of a ``safe 
yield'', additional on-farm storage, and environmental features to 
benefit waterfowl, fisheries, and native prairie vegetation. The 
environmental benefits result from project design, specific 
restoration, or mitigation.
    On January 13, 2009, the USACE, Natural Resources Conservation 
Service (NRCS), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) 
and the Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) executed a 
Programmatic Agreement (PA) titled, ``Programmatic Agreement Among the 
U.S. Army USACE of Engineers, Memphis District, the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service, the Arkansas State Historic Preservation Officer, 
the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the 
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, the 
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, Thlopthlocco 
Tribal Town, the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Other Signatory and 
Concurring Tribes, the White River Regional Irrigation Water 
Distribution District, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and 
the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Regarding Implementation 
of the Grand Prairie Demonstration Project, Grand Prairie Region, 
Arkansas, Pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act and Other 
Authorities''. This PA was developed by USACE in consultation with the 
following Indian tribes--the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, the Cherokee 
Nation of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Osage 
Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in 
Oklahoma, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town and the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal 
Town--and the WRID and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. Under 
the terms of this agreement, the USACE, Memphis District, has been 
designated as the lead agency for Section 106 review of the Project, 
while the NRCS is identified as the USCAE Memphis District's on-farm 
agent, responsible for the design and construction of the on-farm 
delivery and storage system.
    The PA establishes procedures for the identification and treatment 
of historic properties for the on-farm component of the Grand Prairie 
Demonstration Project (GPDP), any subsequent design changes which may 
be needed and the treatment of inadvertent discoveries during 
construction. Prior to execution of the PA, the USACE studied the area 
of potential effects (APE) for the Project to identify historic 
properties. The findings of that study are presented in a report 
titled, ``A Comprehensive Study, Grand Prairie Demonstration Area, 
Arkansas, Lonoke, Monroe and Prairie Counties, Arkansas, Volume 1--
Cultural Resources Overview (1996), Volume II--Findings (1999), and 
Volume III--Appendices (1999).'' The Arkansas SHPO has reviewed and 
accepted the findings of these reports. The USACE used the findings of 
these reports to design all, but the on-farm, components of the Project 
in such a way as to avoid adverse effects to historic properties. 
Accordingly, this study coupled with the terms of the PA addresses the 
effects of the construction of the Project in its entirety, including 
the water distribution system which RUS has been asked to finance.
    Since its execution, the effect of one realignment has been 
addressed by the USACE under the terms of the PA. That study titled, 
``Phase I Intensive Cultural Resources Survey for the Grand Prairie 
Demonstration Project Canals 1000 & 2000 Realignment, Prairie County, 
Arkansas,'' (2010), identified no historic properties within the APE 
for the proposed design change. The proposed RUS decision to provide 
funding for the Grand Prairie Area is a federal action subject to NEPA 
and related federal statutes. After an independent review, we find that 
the GRR/EIS and ROD sufficiently address reasonable alternatives and 
the potential environmental effects of the activities proposed to be 
funded by RUS. The GRR/EIS meets the requirements of USDA and RUS NEPA 
procedures and guidance, and would be appropriate for adoption. RUS may 
receive additional requests for financial assistance for similar 
portions of the Grand Prairie

[[Page 24398]]

Area Demonstration project. If additional requests are received it is 
the intent of the agency to issue additional Records of Decision 
without additional notices to adopt the USACE's GRR/EIS.
    Based on the information summarized in this notice, RUS intends to 
adopt the USACE's final GRR/EIS to enable Agency NEPA compliance for 
the proposed Federal funding decision. After the close of the comment 
period, RUS anticipates the preparation and issuance of our Record of 
Decision to occur in May/June 2014. As required, RUS will conclude 
review under 36 CFR part 800 prior to the issuance of the Record of 
Decision.

    Dated: April 8, 2014.
Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk,
Assistant Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-09829 Filed 4-29-14; 8:45 am]
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