Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Eagle Mountain Land Exchange, Riverside County, CA, 47668-47670 [2014-19239]

Download as PDF 47668 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 157 / Thursday, August 14, 2014 / Notices A copy of the decisions may be obtained from: Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, 222 West Seventh Avenue, #13, Anchorage, AK 99513–7504. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The BLM by phone at 907–271–5960 or by email at blm_ak_akso_public_room@ 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 BLM during normal business hours. In addition, the FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the BLM. The BLM will reply during normal business hours. ADDRESSES: Christy Favorite, Land Law Examiner, Adjudication Services Section. [FR Doc. 2014–19215 Filed 8–13–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [F–14848–A and F–14848–A2; LLAK944000– L14100000–HY0000–P] Alaska Native Claims Selection Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Decision Approving Lands for Conveyance. AGENCY: As required by 43 CFR 2650.7(d), notice is hereby given that an appealable decision will be issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to Chefarnrmute, Incorporated. The decision approves the surface estate in the lands described below for conveyance pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.). The subsurface estate in these lands will be conveyed to Calista Corporation when the surface estate is conveyed to Chefarnrmute, Incorporated. The lands are in the vicinity of Chefornak, Alaska, and are located in: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Seward Meridian, Alaska T. 6 N., R. 78 W., Secs. 29 and 30. Containing approximately 1,167 acres. T. 6 N., R. 79 W., Sec. 25. Containing approximately 320 acres. Total aggregating approximately 1,487 acres. Notice of the decision will also be published once a week for four consecutive weeks in the Delta Discovery. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:42 Aug 13, 2014 Jkt 232001 [FR Doc. 2014–19216 Filed 8–13–14; 8:45 am] Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), and in response to the May 10, 2011, Order of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, Palm Springs, California, will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing deficiencies identified by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 1997 EIS for the Eagle Mountain Landfill and Recycling Center Project. DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the Supplemental EIS. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until September 15, 2014. The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through the local news media and the BLM Web site at: www.blm.gov/ca/st/ en/fo/palmsprings.html. In order to be included in the Draft Supplemental EIS, all comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. The BLM will provide additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of the Draft Supplemental EIS. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Supplemental EIS by any of the following methods: • Web site: www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ palmsprings.html • Email: blm_ca_palm_springs_ fo_email@blm.gov • Fax: 760–833–7199 • Mail: Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, Attn: John Kalish, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 Documents pertinent to this notice may be examined at this address during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Monday through Friday, except holidays. BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any party claiming a property interest in the lands affected by the decision may appeal the decision in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR part 4 within the following time limits: 1. Unknown parties, parties unable to be located after reasonable efforts have been expended to locate, parties who fail or refuse to sign their return receipt, and parties who receive a copy of the decision by regular mail which is not certified, return receipt requested, shall have until September 15, 2014 to file an appeal. 2. Parties receiving service of the decision by certified mail shall have 30 days from the date of receipt to file an appeal. Parties who do not file an appeal in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR part 4 shall be deemed to have waived their rights. Notices of appeal transmitted by electronic means, such as facsimile or email will not be accepted as timely filed. ADDRESSES: A copy of the decision may be obtained from: Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, 222 West Seventh Avenue, #13, Anchorage, AK 99513–7504. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: The BLM by phone at 907–271–5960 or by email at blm_ak_akso_public_room@ 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 BLM during normal business hours. In addition, the FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the BLM. The BLM will reply during normal business hours. DATES: Judy A. Kelley, Land Law Examiner, Branch of Adjudication. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCA930000; L14300000; FM0000; CACA 25594, CACA 31926 and CACA 30070] Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Eagle Mountain Land Exchange, Riverside County, CA Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Intent. AGENCY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), the Federal SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Thomas Gey, Realty Specialist, BLM California Desert District Office, telephone 951–697–5352; address 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553–9046; email tgey@blm.gov. Contact Mr. Gey to have your name added to our mailing list. 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 Mr. Gey during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question for Mr. Gey. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1989, Kaiser Eagle Mountain, Inc. (Kaiser) and E:\FR\FM\14AUN1.SGM 14AUN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 157 / Thursday, August 14, 2014 / Notices Mine Reclamation Corporation (MRC) proposed to develop the Eagle Mountain Landfill and Recycling Project in the Eagle Mountains in Riverside County, California. The landfill project, which has since been abandoned, would have involved a Class III nonhazardous solid waste landfill in and around the Eagle Mountain Mine and the renovation of the nearby Eagle Mountain townsite to support landfill operations. The proposed landfill, support facilities, and open space buffer areas would have required approximately 4,654 acres of land, including private land owned by Kaiser, as well as approximately 3,481 acres of scattered parcels of BLMmanaged public lands within the project area. To facilitate the landfill project, Kaiser proposed in 1989 a land exchange to acquire the public lands in the project area and acquire the federal reversionary interest in the Eagle Mountain townsite. Additionally, Kaiser applied for two rights-of-way (ROW) to use an existing railroad to transport solid waste to the landfill, as well as an existing road for purposes associated with the landfill project. The proposed land exchange, which was completed in 1999, involved the conveyance of 3,481 acres of public land to Kaiser, much of which was previously disturbed, unpatented mining and mill site claims held by Kaiser. In exchange, in a deed recorded in Riverside County on October 13, 1999, Kaiser conveyed 2,846 acres of land into public ownership, which included habitat for the desert tortoise (a federally threatened species) and habitat supporting the desert pupfish, and the Yuma clapper rail (a federally endangered species). Kaiser also requested that the BLM release any remaining interests of the United States (U.S.) in the Eagle Mountain townsite. The existing railroad was previously authorized in 1955 under Private Law 790 for transporting iron ore from the Eagle Mountain Mine to Ferrum Junction, just northeast of the Salton Sea. The Eagle Mountain townsite was conveyed to Kaiser Steel Corporation in 1955 pursuant to Private Law 790, but the U.S. retained a reversionary interest in the land. Kaiser also sought, and subsequently received, approvals for the landfill project from Riverside County for a zoning change, specific plan and solid waste facilties permit. The BLM and Riverside County prepared a joint EIS/Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which was released for public review and comment in 1992. The BLM issued a Record of Decision (ROD) approving the exchange and associated ROWs on October 20, 1993. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:42 Aug 13, 2014 Jkt 232001 Appeals were filed with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) and three lawsuits were filed in State court in 1992 challenging the adequacy of the EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In September 1994, a State court found the 1992 EIR to be inadequate and required further environmental review by Riverside County. The BLM subsequently requested the IBLA remand the case back to the BLM to allow preparation of a new joint EIS/EIR. After circulating a new draft EIS/EIR on the Project, the BLM and Riverside County released a new final joint EIS/ EIR in January of 1997. In December of 1999, after legal challenges to the validity of the EIR under State law were ultimately unsuccessful, the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health and the California Integrated Waste Management Board approved final permits for the landfill project. The BLM approved the land exchange in a ROD dated September 25, 1997, and issued ROWs over public lands in 1998. Several parties protested the BLM’s decision and filed appeals with the IBLA. On October 13, 1999, after the IBLA affirmed the BLM’s EIS and ROD approving the exchange, the BLM patented approximately 3,481 acres of public land to Kaiser and conveyed the federal reversionary interest in the Eagle Mountain townsite to Kaiser. Kaiser reciprocated by issuing to the U.S. a grant deed for 2,846 acres of its private lands and a payment of $20,100, representing the difference between the appraised value of the exchange lands. Subsequent litigation over the BLM’s 1997 decision to approve the land exchange resulted in a 2005 decision by the United States District Court for the Central District of California (District Court) that certain portions of the analysis forming the basis for the BLM’s approval of the land exchange (EIS and ROD) were flawed under NEPA and FLPMA. The District Court found the BLM’s appraisal was flawed; the BLM’s determination that the exchange was in the public interest was not adequately supported; the EIS was flawed because the purpose, need, and range of alternatives were too narrow; and the analysis of the impacts of the Project on bighorn sheep and eutrophication was inadequate. The District Court set aside the land exchange pending the BLM preparation of a new EIS and ROD consistent with the Court’s Order. Subsequent appeals resulted in a May 19, 2010, opinion by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which partially reversed and partially PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47669 affirmed the District Court’s determinations. The 9th Ciruit found the determination that the exchange was in the public interest was adequately supported and the EIS adequately addressed the impacts of the Project on bighorn sheep and reversed the District Court’s rulings on these issues. The 9th Circuit affirmed the District Court’s rulings that the appraisal was flawed and the EIS was inadequate because the purpose and need and range of alternatives were too narrow and the analysis of eutrophication was inadequate. The 9th Circuit’s opinion was followed by a May 10, 2011, Order by the District Court setting aside the ROWs the BLM granted to Kaiser in 1998 and the land exchange the BLM completed with Kaiser in 1999, pending preparation by the BLM of a new ROD and EIS consistent with the 9th Circuit’s May 19, 2010, opinion. The BLM intends to prepare a Supplemental EIS, which, along with any new ROD, will be provided to the District Court, which retained jurisdiction to resolve legal challenges to any new ROD and EIS. The BLM had delayed preparing a new ROD and Supplemental EIS pending the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (Sanitation Districts) acquisition of Kaiser’s interest in the Eagle Mountain Landfill Project. However, on May 22, 2013, the Sanitation Districts announced that they would no longer pursue acquisition of the Eagle Mountain Landfill Project, which effectively ended the viability of the landfill project. On December 19, 2013, the District Court issued an order directing the parties in the litigation to commence settlement discussions. No settlement has been reached; therefore, the BLM intends to prepare a Supplemental EIS. Although public scoping is not required for a Supplemental EIS, the BLM believes public scoping is appropriate in this case. The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis and alternatives, identify reasonably foreseeable uses of the lands involved, and guide the process for developing the Supplemental EIS. Because the landfill project has been abandoned, the BLM believes no additional analysis of the impacts of eutrophication is necessary in the Supplemental EIS. The Supplemental EIS will include any new information not available when the January 1997 EIS for the now defunct Eagle Mountain Landfill and Recycling Project was completed. To the extent determined through scoping, this land exchange in the Eagle Mountain E:\FR\FM\14AUN1.SGM 14AUN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 47670 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 157 / Thursday, August 14, 2014 / Notices area may present opportunities to advance landscape-scale conservation goals for the BLM and National Park Service (NPS). The area was removed from the Park (then a National Monument) in 1950 to further the national objective of mining and development of the steel industry. NPS, serving as a cooperating agency in the NEPA process, will assist the BLM during scoping to assess landscape-scale conservation opportunities for lands that support habitat, historic, cultural and other conservation values. Concurrent with the scoping process, NPS plans to evaluate opportunities for addition to Joshua Tree National Park. The following preliminary revised purpose and need for Eagle Mountain Land Exchange reflects the fact that the landfill project has been abandoned. The preliminary revised purpose and need is to: 1. Protect important habitat and conservation values, including critical desert tortoise habitat, habitat for the Yuma clapper rail and desert pupfish, and critical upland habitat that is important for maintaining ecosystem processes and resources conserved by Joshua Tree National Park and other conservation partners; 2. Ensure the permanent conservation of formerly private inholdings in the Chuckwalla Desert Wildlife Management Area, the Dos Palmas Area of Critical Environmental Concern, and conservation areas designated in the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan; 3. Reduce the BLM’s costs associated with managing lands that generally lack legal and physical access, are encumbered by mining claims, and which have been included in mining operations associated with the Eagle Mountain Mine; 4. Divest the BLM of the federal reversionary interest in the Eagle Mountain townsite, which is not suitable for management by the BLM; and 5. Facilitate adaptive re-use of the Eagle Mountain townsite, unencumbered by the federal reversionary interest, including potentially preserving this area for any cultural and historic values. The BLM will use NEPA public participation requirements to assist the agency in satisfying the public involvement requirements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470(f)) pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). New information about historic and cultural resources in the project area will assist the BLM in identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources in VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:42 Aug 13, 2014 Jkt 232001 the context of both NEPA and Section 106 of the NHPA. The BLM will consult with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the Eagle Mountain Land Exchange are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM to participate in the development of the environmental analysis as a cooperating agency. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal indentifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7. John Kalish, Field Manager, South Coast Field Office. [FR Doc. 2014–19239 Filed 8–13–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNML00000 L13300000.EP0000 14XL1109AF] Notice of Extension of Temporary ˜ Closure of Public Land in Dona Ana County, NM Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Las Cruces District Office is extending a temporary closure of public land in the vicinity of the ˜ Community Pit No. 1 in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, in order to protect persons, property, and public lands and resources. DATES: This closure will be in effect on September 15, 2014 and shall remain in effect for up to 24 months, or until a final decision is made in the TriCounty Resource Management Plan (RMP), whichever is sooner. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Seum, Supervisor, Lands and SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Minerals, BLM Las Cruces District Office, 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces, NM 88005; or by telephone at 575–525–4300. 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: The TriCounty RMP is analyzing a range of alternatives, including an alternative that would close the 67.5-acre Community Pit No.1 until physical remediation of the high, unconsolidated walls has occurred, thereby eliminating the public health and safety risk. Pursuant to a temporary closure that published in the Federal Register on July 23, 2012 (77 FR 43111), the area was closed to casual use to protect persons, property, and public land and resources, and generally to provide for public safety. The extension of the closure is needed to reduce or prevent the opportunity for damage to property, personal injury, or loss of life in the vicinity of the Community Pit No. 1 in ˜ Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The temporary closure and restrictions applicable to the closure are as follows: 1. The public land to be closed under this notice is described as: New Mexico Principal Meridian, New Mexico T. 22 S., R. 1 E., Sec. 19, SW1⁄4NW1⁄4SE1⁄4, E1⁄2E1⁄2SW1⁄4SW1⁄4SE1⁄4, E1⁄2SW1⁄4SE1⁄4, S1⁄2N1⁄2SE1⁄4SE1⁄4, S1⁄2SE1⁄4SE1⁄4, E1⁄2NW1⁄4SW1⁄4SE1⁄4. Containing 67.5 acres. Any area described as a half (1/2) of a half (1/2) is based on the proper subdivision of section in accordance with the Manual of Surveying Instructions. All public use, including casual use, is prohibited on this 67.5-acre parcel. Casual use is defined as any short-term, non-commercial activity which does not noticeably damage or disturb the public land, resources, or improvements. Closure of this parcel is a consequence of unsafe conditions related to past mining resulting in steep high walls in excess of 150 feet, abrupt precipices and ledges, and loose unconsolidated walls of rock. 2. This closure does not affect the ability of local, State, or Federal officials in the performance of their duties in the area. 3. This Notice will be posted along the public roads where this closure is in effect. E:\FR\FM\14AUN1.SGM 14AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 157 (Thursday, August 14, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47668-47670]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19239]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLCA930000; L14300000; FM0000; CACA 25594, CACA 31926 and CACA 30070]


Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Eagle Mountain Land Exchange, Riverside County, CA

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent.

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

SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976 (FLPMA), and in response to the May 10, 2011, Order of the United 
States District Court for the Central District of California, the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, 
Palm Springs, California, will prepare a Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) addressing deficiencies identified by the 9th 
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 1997 EIS for the Eagle Mountain 
Landfill and Recycling Center Project.

DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the 
Supplemental EIS. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until 
September 15, 2014. The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings 
will be announced at least 15 days in advance through the local news 
media and the BLM Web site at: www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings.html. In order to be included in the Draft Supplemental 
EIS, all comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping 
period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. 
The BLM will provide additional opportunities for public participation 
upon publication of the Draft Supplemental EIS.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Supplemental EIS by 
any of the following methods:

 Web site: www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings.html
 Email: blm_ca_palm_springs_fo_email@blm.gov
 Fax: 760-833-7199
 Mail: Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, Attn: John 
Kalish, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

    Documents pertinent to this notice may be examined at this address 
during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Monday through 
Friday, except holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Gey, Realty Specialist, BLM 
California Desert District Office, telephone 951-697-5352; address 
22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553-9046; email 
tgey@blm.gov.
    Contact Mr. Gey to have your name added to our mailing list. 
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 Mr. Gey during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question for Mr. Gey. 
You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1989, Kaiser Eagle Mountain, Inc. 
(Kaiser) and

[[Page 47669]]

Mine Reclamation Corporation (MRC) proposed to develop the Eagle 
Mountain Landfill and Recycling Project in the Eagle Mountains in 
Riverside County, California. The landfill project, which has since 
been abandoned, would have involved a Class III nonhazardous solid 
waste landfill in and around the Eagle Mountain Mine and the renovation 
of the nearby Eagle Mountain townsite to support landfill operations. 
The proposed landfill, support facilities, and open space buffer areas 
would have required approximately 4,654 acres of land, including 
private land owned by Kaiser, as well as approximately 3,481 acres of 
scattered parcels of BLM-managed public lands within the project area.
    To facilitate the landfill project, Kaiser proposed in 1989 a land 
exchange to acquire the public lands in the project area and acquire 
the federal reversionary interest in the Eagle Mountain townsite. 
Additionally, Kaiser applied for two rights-of-way (ROW) to use an 
existing railroad to transport solid waste to the landfill, as well as 
an existing road for purposes associated with the landfill project. The 
proposed land exchange, which was completed in 1999, involved the 
conveyance of 3,481 acres of public land to Kaiser, much of which was 
previously disturbed, unpatented mining and mill site claims held by 
Kaiser. In exchange, in a deed recorded in Riverside County on October 
13, 1999, Kaiser conveyed 2,846 acres of land into public ownership, 
which included habitat for the desert tortoise (a federally threatened 
species) and habitat supporting the desert pupfish, and the Yuma 
clapper rail (a federally endangered species). Kaiser also requested 
that the BLM release any remaining interests of the United States 
(U.S.) in the Eagle Mountain townsite.
    The existing railroad was previously authorized in 1955 under 
Private Law 790 for transporting iron ore from the Eagle Mountain Mine 
to Ferrum Junction, just northeast of the Salton Sea. The Eagle 
Mountain townsite was conveyed to Kaiser Steel Corporation in 1955 
pursuant to Private Law 790, but the U.S. retained a reversionary 
interest in the land. Kaiser also sought, and subsequently received, 
approvals for the landfill project from Riverside County for a zoning 
change, specific plan and solid waste facilties permit.
    The BLM and Riverside County prepared a joint EIS/Environmental 
Impact Report (EIR), which was released for public review and comment 
in 1992. The BLM issued a Record of Decision (ROD) approving the 
exchange and associated ROWs on October 20, 1993.
    Appeals were filed with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) 
and three lawsuits were filed in State court in 1992 challenging the 
adequacy of the EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act 
(CEQA). In September 1994, a State court found the 1992 EIR to be 
inadequate and required further environmental review by Riverside 
County. The BLM subsequently requested the IBLA remand the case back to 
the BLM to allow preparation of a new joint EIS/EIR.
    After circulating a new draft EIS/EIR on the Project, the BLM and 
Riverside County released a new final joint EIS/EIR in January of 1997. 
In December of 1999, after legal challenges to the validity of the EIR 
under State law were ultimately unsuccessful, the Riverside County 
Department of Environmental Health and the California Integrated Waste 
Management Board approved final permits for the landfill project.
    The BLM approved the land exchange in a ROD dated September 25, 
1997, and issued ROWs over public lands in 1998. Several parties 
protested the BLM's decision and filed appeals with the IBLA.
    On October 13, 1999, after the IBLA affirmed the BLM's EIS and ROD 
approving the exchange, the BLM patented approximately 3,481 acres of 
public land to Kaiser and conveyed the federal reversionary interest in 
the Eagle Mountain townsite to Kaiser.
    Kaiser reciprocated by issuing to the U.S. a grant deed for 2,846 
acres of its private lands and a payment of $20,100, representing the 
difference between the appraised value of the exchange lands.
    Subsequent litigation over the BLM's 1997 decision to approve the 
land exchange resulted in a 2005 decision by the United States District 
Court for the Central District of California (District Court) that 
certain portions of the analysis forming the basis for the BLM's 
approval of the land exchange (EIS and ROD) were flawed under NEPA and 
FLPMA.
    The District Court found the BLM's appraisal was flawed; the BLM's 
determination that the exchange was in the public interest was not 
adequately supported; the EIS was flawed because the purpose, need, and 
range of alternatives were too narrow; and the analysis of the impacts 
of the Project on bighorn sheep and eutrophication was inadequate.
    The District Court set aside the land exchange pending the BLM 
preparation of a new EIS and ROD consistent with the Court's Order. 
Subsequent appeals resulted in a May 19, 2010, opinion by the 9th U.S. 
Circuit Court of Appeals, which partially reversed and partially 
affirmed the District Court's determinations. The 9th Ciruit found the 
determination that the exchange was in the public interest was 
adequately supported and the EIS adequately addressed the impacts of 
the Project on bighorn sheep and reversed the District Court's rulings 
on these issues. The 9th Circuit affirmed the District Court's rulings 
that the appraisal was flawed and the EIS was inadequate because the 
purpose and need and range of alternatives were too narrow and the 
analysis of eutrophication was inadequate.
    The 9th Circuit's opinion was followed by a May 10, 2011, Order by 
the District Court setting aside the ROWs the BLM granted to Kaiser in 
1998 and the land exchange the BLM completed with Kaiser in 1999, 
pending preparation by the BLM of a new ROD and EIS consistent with the 
9th Circuit's May 19, 2010, opinion. The BLM intends to prepare a 
Supplemental EIS, which, along with any new ROD, will be provided to 
the District Court, which retained jurisdiction to resolve legal 
challenges to any new ROD and EIS.
    The BLM had delayed preparing a new ROD and Supplemental EIS 
pending the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (Sanitation 
Districts) acquisition of Kaiser's interest in the Eagle Mountain 
Landfill Project. However, on May 22, 2013, the Sanitation Districts 
announced that they would no longer pursue acquisition of the Eagle 
Mountain Landfill Project, which effectively ended the viability of the 
landfill project. On December 19, 2013, the District Court issued an 
order directing the parties in the litigation to commence settlement 
discussions. No settlement has been reached; therefore, the BLM intends 
to prepare a Supplemental EIS. Although public scoping is not required 
for a Supplemental EIS, the BLM believes public scoping is appropriate 
in this case. The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine 
relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental 
analysis and alternatives, identify reasonably foreseeable uses of the 
lands involved, and guide the process for developing the Supplemental 
EIS. Because the landfill project has been abandoned, the BLM believes 
no additional analysis of the impacts of eutrophication is necessary in 
the Supplemental EIS.
    The Supplemental EIS will include any new information not available 
when the January 1997 EIS for the now defunct Eagle Mountain Landfill 
and Recycling Project was completed. To the extent determined through 
scoping, this land exchange in the Eagle Mountain

[[Page 47670]]

area may present opportunities to advance landscape-scale conservation 
goals for the BLM and National Park Service (NPS). The area was removed 
from the Park (then a National Monument) in 1950 to further the 
national objective of mining and development of the steel industry. 
NPS, serving as a cooperating agency in the NEPA process, will assist 
the BLM during scoping to assess landscape-scale conservation 
opportunities for lands that support habitat, historic, cultural and 
other conservation values. Concurrent with the scoping process, NPS 
plans to evaluate opportunities for addition to Joshua Tree National 
Park. The following preliminary revised purpose and need for Eagle 
Mountain Land Exchange reflects the fact that the landfill project has 
been abandoned. The preliminary revised purpose and need is to:
    1. Protect important habitat and conservation values, including 
critical desert tortoise habitat, habitat for the Yuma clapper rail and 
desert pupfish, and critical upland habitat that is important for 
maintaining ecosystem processes and resources conserved by Joshua Tree 
National Park and other conservation partners;
    2. Ensure the permanent conservation of formerly private inholdings 
in the Chuckwalla Desert Wildlife Management Area, the Dos Palmas Area 
of Critical Environmental Concern, and conservation areas designated in 
the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan;
    3. Reduce the BLM's costs associated with managing lands that 
generally lack legal and physical access, are encumbered by mining 
claims, and which have been included in mining operations associated 
with the Eagle Mountain Mine;
    4. Divest the BLM of the federal reversionary interest in the Eagle 
Mountain townsite, which is not suitable for management by the BLM; and
    5. Facilitate adaptive re-use of the Eagle Mountain townsite, 
unencumbered by the federal reversionary interest, including 
potentially preserving this area for any cultural and historic values.
    The BLM will use NEPA public participation requirements to assist 
the agency in satisfying the public involvement requirements under 
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 
470(f)) pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). New information about historic 
and cultural resources in the project area will assist the BLM in 
identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources in the context of 
both NEPA and Section 106 of the NHPA.
    The BLM will consult with Indian tribes on a government-to-
government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other 
policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and 
potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due 
consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes 
and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the 
Eagle Mountain Land Exchange are invited to participate in the scoping 
process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM to 
participate in the development of the environmental analysis as a 
cooperating agency.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal indentifying 
information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1501.7.

John Kalish,
Field Manager, South Coast Field Office.
[FR Doc. 2014-19239 Filed 8-13-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-40-P