Environmental Impact Statement; Major Amendment to the Multiple Species Conservation Program County of San Diego Subarea Plan for the Otay Hills Aggregate Quarry and Inert Debris Landfill, San Diego County, California, 48761-48764 [2014-19492]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 159 / Monday, August 18, 2014 / Notices Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: We have identified ten non-hour cost burdens for this collection, all of which are cost recovery fees required under § 250.802(e). However, the actual fee amounts are specified in 30 CFR 250.125, which provides a consolidated table of all of the fees required under the 30 CFR 250 regulations. The total nonhour cost burdens (cost recovery fees) in this IC request are $323,481 and are as follows: • Submit application for a production safety system with > 125 components— $5,426 per submission; $14,280 per offshore visit; and $7,426 per shipyard visit. • Submit application for a production safety system with 25–125 components—$1,314 per submission; $8,967 per offshore visit; and $5,141 per shipyard visit. • Submit application for a production safety system with < 25 components— $652 per submission. • Submit modification to application for production safety system with > 125 components—$605 per submission. • Submit modification to application for production safety system with 25– 125 components—$217 per submission. • Submit modification to application for production safety system with <25 components—$92 per submission. We have not identified any other nonhour cost burdens associated with this collection of information. Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Aug 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated to respond. Comments: Before submitting an ICR to OMB, PRA section 3506(c)(2)(A) requires each agency ‘‘. . . to provide notice . . . and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information . . .’’. Agencies must specifically solicit comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the collection is necessary or useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of technology. Agencies must also estimate the nonhour paperwork cost burdens to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. Therefore, if you have other than hour burden costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. For further information on this burden, refer to 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(1) and (2), or contact the Bureau representative listed previously in this notice. We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments, we will make any necessary adjustments to the burden in our submission to OMB. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Public Comment Procedures: 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. BSEE Information Collection Clearance Officer: Cheryl Blundon (703) 787–1607. Dated: August 7, 2014. Robert W. Middleton, Deputy Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs. [FR Doc. 2014–19537 Filed 8–15–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–VH–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2014–N113: FXES1120800000–134–FF08ECAR00] Environmental Impact Statement; Major Amendment to the Multiple Species Conservation Program County of San Diego Subarea Plan for the Otay Hills Aggregate Quarry and Inert Debris Landfill, San Diego County, California AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 EN18AU14.002</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 4310–VH–C 48761 48762 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 159 / Monday, August 18, 2014 / Notices Notice of intent and request for comments. ACTION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act regarding an application to amend the Endangered Species Act permit issued for the Multiple Species Conservation Program County of San Diego Subarea Plan (Subarea Plan). The EIS will evaluate the impacts of several alternatives related to the proposed issuance of an amended incidental take permit to the County of San Diego (applicant) for the quarry and landfill project in San Diego County, California. We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party. DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by September 17, 2014. ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods and note that your information request or comment is in reference to the ‘‘Major Amendment to the MSCP Subarea Plan’’: • Email: Karen_Goebel@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Major Amendment to the MSCP Subarea Plan’’ in the subject line of the message. • U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Ave, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 92008. • In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 760–431–9440 to make an appointment during regular business hours to drop off comments or view received comments at this location. • Fax: Field Supervisor, 760–431– 9624; Attn.: ‘‘Major Amendment to the MSCP Subarea Plan.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 760– 431–9440. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate the impacts of several alternatives related to the potential issuance of an amended incidental take permit (ITP) for the Multiple Species Conservation Program County of San Diego Subarea Plan (Subarea Plan) for the purpose of covering activities associated with the mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Aug 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 Otay Hills Aggregate Quarry and Inert Debris Landfill, located in San Diego County, California. The EIS will be a joint document with an environmental impact report (EIR) prepared by the County of San Diego under the California Environmental Quality Act. The Subarea Plan is a multiple species habitat conservation plan for which the applicant holds an ITP (PRT– 840414) for 85 covered species in San Diego County, California. The proposed quarry and landfill project is located on lands designated by the Subarea Plan as a ‘‘major amendment area,’’ where the incidental take authorization does not apply. The applicant proposes to amend the Subarea Plan and the ITP issued under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; ESA). The proposed amendment will include measures necessary to minimize and mitigate the impacts, to the maximum extent practicable, of proposed taking of covered species resulting from construction and operation of the quarry and subsequent landfill operations within the ‘‘major amendment area.’’ Along with the proposed Subarea Plan and ITP amendment, the applicant proposes to process an application for a Specific Plan Amendment, Major Use Permit, and Reclamation Plan for the Otay Hills Aggregate Mining and Inert Debris Landfill project, which is located within 10 parcels (APNs 648–050–12, 13, 14, and 17; 648–080–13, 14, and 25; 648–040–39 and 40; and 648–090–04) that total approximately 432 acres. Primary access to the site would be from the east end of Calzada De La Fuente Road, which connects to Alta Road 0.5 miles north of Otay Mesa Road. If the amendment is approved, the applicant’s permit would include as a covered activity within the major amendment area the aggregate mining and subsequent landfill of approximately 110 acres and associated conservation of 322 acres. Several species covered by the exiting Subarea Plan have been observed on or near the project site. The ITP would be amended to cover, within the major amendment area, eleven animal species (1 federally listed and 10 unlisted species) that could be taken, and 9 plant species (1 listed and 8 unlisted plant species) that could be adversely impacted by the aggregate mine and landfill. These 20 species are covered by the existing Subarea Plan. The ITP would also be amended to authorize the take of the federally listed endangered quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino), which occurs on the project site and is not a covered species under the existing Subarea Plan. We PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 will also evaluate potential impacts to the golden eagle under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668–668c; Eagle Act). The golden eagle is a covered species under the existing Subarea Plan. Background Section 9 of the ESA prohibits taking of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened under section 4 of the ESA. Under the ESA, the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. The term ‘‘harm’’ is defined in the regulations as significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury to listed species by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). The term ‘‘harass’’ is defined in the regulations as to carry out actions that create the likelihood of injury to listed species to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns, which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). However, under specified circumstances, the Service may issue permits that allow the take of federally listed fish and wildlife species, provided that the take that occurs is incidental to, but not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing permits for endangered and threatened fish and wildlife species are at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. The ESA’s take prohibitions do not apply to federally listed plants. Plant species would be included in the amended permit in recognition of the conservation measures provided to plants under the amended HCP and would receive assurances under the Service’s ‘‘No Surprises’’ rule. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA authorizes the issuance of incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the take of endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are met: (1) The taking will be incidental; (2) The applicant will, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; (3) The applicant will develop a proposed HCP and ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be provided; (4) The taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and (5) The applicant will carry out any other measures that the Service may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the HCP. E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 159 / Monday, August 18, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES These same findings must be met for an amendment to the applicant’s existing ITP. The applicant’s ITP is valid until March 16, 2048. Golden eagles and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668– 668c; Eagle Act), which prohibits the take of any eagles or any part, nest, or egg thereof. Take is defined as to ‘‘pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb.’’ Disturb is defined by the Service as ‘‘to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, (1) injury to an eagle, (2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or (3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.’’ An ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) may include bald and golden eagles as covered species. Pursuant to 50 CFR 22.11, an ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) permit constitutes a valid permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act to take bald or golden eagles so long as such take is ‘‘compatible with the preservation of the bald or the golden eagle,’’ the standard that applies to Eagle Act permits. The golden eagle is a covered species under the existing Subarea Plan, and the applicant proposes to include the golden eagle as a covered species in the amended Subarea Plan and ITP. We will evaluate potential impacts to the golden eagle from the proposed covered activities and determine whether to include the golden eagle as a covered species in an amended ITP under applicable ESA and Eagle Act standards. Environmental Impact Statement The EIS/EIR will consider the proposed action (i.e., the issuance of an amended Section 10(a)(1)(B) permit under the ESA) and a reasonable range of alternatives. A detailed description of the proposed action and alternatives will be included in the EIS/EIR. It is anticipated that several alternatives will be developed, which may vary by the level of conservation, impacts caused by the proposed action, or a combination of these factors. The proposed action and alternatives will be evaluated against the No-Action alternative, which assumes that no permit amendment will be issued. The No-Action alternative represents estimated future conditions to which the proposed action’s estimated future conditions can be compared. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Aug 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 Proposed Alternative The proposed action is the issuance of an amendment to the Subarea Plan ITP (PRT–840414) to extend incidental take authorization for the Otay Hills aggregate quarry and inert debris landfill project. The proposed action will: (1) Reclassify 79.4 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan from ‘‘major amendment area’’ to ‘‘take authorized area’’ to allow for future development; (2) Reclassify 15.8 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan from ‘‘minor amendment area subject to special considerations’’ into ‘‘hardline preserve’’; (3) Reclassify 306 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan from ‘‘major amendment area’’ into ‘‘hardline preserve’’; (4) Reclassify 3.4 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan in the ‘‘minor amendment area’’ and 26.3 acres in the ‘‘minor amendment subject to special considerations area’’ to ‘‘take authorized area’’; and (5) Provide take authorization for the quino checkerspot butterfly. In combination, these actions would result in permanent conservation of 321.8 acres of high-quality habitat (connected to other conserved, highvalue habitat areas) that support listed and/or sensitive plant and animal species, which would contribute to the overall conservation goals of the region. We anticipate that the following federally listed species will be included as covered species in the applicants’ proposed amendment: (1) the endangered quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino), (2) the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica), and (3) the threatened Otay tarplant (Deinandra conjugens). The 18 unlisted species proposed to be included in the amendment are the Otay manzanita (Arctostaphylos otayensis), San Diego goldenstar (Bloomeria [Muilla] clevelandii), Dunn’s mariposa lily (Calochortus dunnii), Orcutt’s birds’ beak (Cordylanthus orcuttianus), Tecate cypress (Cupressus forbesii), variegated dudleya (Dudleya variegata), San Diego barrel cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), Gander’s pitcher sage (Lepechinia ganderi), Thorne’s hairstreak (Callophrys [Mitoura] gryneus thornei), Belding’s orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra beldingi), San Diego horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum blainvillii), Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii), rufous-crowned sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps canescens), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), mountain lion PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48763 (Puma concolor), and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginata). The applicant would seek to amend the incidental take authorization to include those wildlife species that are likely to be taken or, in the case of plant species, otherwise impacted, as a result of the covered activities within the 432acre Otay Hills aggregate quarry and inert debris landfill project area. Other Subarea Plan-covered species and other candidate and federally listed species that are not likely to be taken by the covered activities, and would not be covered by the proposed amended ITP, may also be addressed in the EIS/EIR. No-Action Alternative Under the No-Action Alternative, we would not issue a permit, and no construction aggregate extraction operation would occur on the project site. The project site would remain as it is today, consisting of undeveloped land crossed by a series of dirt roads used primarily by the U.S. Border Patrol for domestic security purposes. Management of conserved lands through the major amendment would not occur. No changes in the existing environment would be expected. Environmental Review and Next Steps We will conduct an environmental review to analyze the impacts of the proposed action and a range of other reasonable alternatives. We will prepare a draft EIS, as part of the joint EIS/EIR, that will analyze the effects of each of the alternatives on the covered species and their habitats and on other resources, such as vegetation, wetlands, wildlife, geology and soils, air quality, water resources, water quality, cultural resources, land use, recreation, water use, local economy, and environmental justice. We will publish a notice of availability and a request for comment on the draft EIS/EIR and the applicant’s permit application, which will include the proposed amendment to the Subarea Plan. The draft EIS/EIR and proposed amendment are expected to be completed and available to the public for review and comment in the winter of 2015. Public Comments We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this notice. We will consider these comments in developing a draft EIS and in the development of the amendment to the County of San Diego’s ITP for its Subarea Plan. We E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 48764 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 159 / Monday, August 18, 2014 / Notices particularly seek comments on the following: (1) Biological information and data concerning the species proposed for coverage under the amendment to the HCP; (2) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, population size, and population trends of the species; (3) Proposed covered activities in the amendment area and their possible impacts on the species; (4) The presence of archeological sites, buildings and structures, historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic preservation concerns that are required to be considered in project planning by the National Historic Preservation Act (Pub. L. 102–575); and (5) Identification of any other environmental issues that should be considered with regards to the proposed development and permit action. You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we use in preparing the EIS document, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at our office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Public Availability of Comments Written comments we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, 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. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Authority We publish this notice under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA), and its implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 40 CFR 1501.7, 40 CFR 1506.6, and 1508.22, as well as in compliance with section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) Dated: August 12, 2014. Alexandra Pitts, Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2014–19492 Filed 8–15–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Aug 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMTC 00900.L16100000.DP0000] Notice of Public Meeting, Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council Meeting Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Public Meeting. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The next regular meeting of the Eastern Montana RAC will be held on September 16, 2014 in Miles City, Montana. The meeting will start at 8:00 a.m. and adjourn at approximately 4:30 p.m. ADDRESSES: BLM Miles City Field Office, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, MT. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Jacobsen, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Eastern Montana/Dakotas District, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, Montana, 59301; (406) 233–2831; mjacobse@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–677–8339 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 a question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 15member council advises the Secretary of the Interior through the BLM on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Montana. At this meeting, the agenda will include: An Eastern Montana/Dakotas District report, Miles City and Billings Field Office manager reports, a report on the Montana/Dakotas State Office RAC chair meeting, a report by the Pumpkin Creek Area subcommittee, individual RAC member reports and other issues that the council may raise. All meetings are open to the public and the public may present written comments to the council. Each formal RAC meeting will also have time allocated for hearing public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation, tour transportation or other reasonable accommodations should contact the BLM as provided above. Dated: August 6, 2014. Diane M. Friez, District Manager, Eastern Montana/Dakotas. [FR Doc. 2014–19507 Filed 8–15–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DN–P SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMTC 00900.L16100000.DP0000] Notice of Public Meeting, Dakotas Resource Advisory Council Meeting Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Public Meeting. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Dakotas Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The next regular meeting of the Dakotas RAC will be held on September 23, 2014 in Sturgis, South Dakota. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. and adjourn at approximately 4:30 p.m. ADDRESSES: Meade County Offices, 1300 Sherman Street, Sturgis, South Dakota. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Jacobsen, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Eastern Montana/Dakotas District, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, Montana, 59301; (406) 233–2831; mjacobse@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–677–8339 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 15member council advises the Secretary of the Interior through the BLM on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in North and South Dakota. At this meeting, topics will include: An Eastern Montana/Dakotas District report, North Dakota and South Dakota Field Office manager reports, Montana/Dakotas State Office RAC chair meeting report, Ft. Meade Recreation Area trails projects discussion, SturgisSUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 159 (Monday, August 18, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48761-48764]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19492]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2014-N113: FXES1120800000-134-FF08ECAR00]


Environmental Impact Statement; Major Amendment to the Multiple 
Species Conservation Program County of San Diego Subarea Plan for the 
Otay Hills Aggregate Quarry and Inert Debris Landfill, San Diego 
County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 48762]]


ACTION: Notice of intent and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to prepare 
an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National 
Environmental Policy Act regarding an application to amend the 
Endangered Species Act permit issued for the Multiple Species 
Conservation Program County of San Diego Subarea Plan (Subarea Plan). 
The EIS will evaluate the impacts of several alternatives related to 
the proposed issuance of an amended incidental take permit to the 
County of San Diego (applicant) for the quarry and landfill project in 
San Diego County, California. We request data, comments, new 
information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or 
any other interested party.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
September 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, 
please use one of the following methods and note that your information 
request or comment is in reference to the ``Major Amendment to the MSCP 
Subarea Plan'':
     Email: Karen_Goebel@fws.gov. Include ``Major Amendment to 
the MSCP Subarea Plan'' in the subject line of the message.
     U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Ave, Suite 250, Carlsbad, 
California 92008.
     In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 760-431-9440 
to make an appointment during regular business hours to drop off 
comments or view received comments at this location.
     Fax: Field Supervisor, 760-431-9624; Attn.: ``Major 
Amendment to the MSCP Subarea Plan.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field 
Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES); 
telephone: 760-431-9440. If you use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-
8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We intend to prepare an environmental impact 
statement (EIS) to evaluate the impacts of several alternatives related 
to the potential issuance of an amended incidental take permit (ITP) 
for the Multiple Species Conservation Program County of San Diego 
Subarea Plan (Subarea Plan) for the purpose of covering activities 
associated with the Otay Hills Aggregate Quarry and Inert Debris 
Landfill, located in San Diego County, California. The EIS will be a 
joint document with an environmental impact report (EIR) prepared by 
the County of San Diego under the California Environmental Quality Act.
    The Subarea Plan is a multiple species habitat conservation plan 
for which the applicant holds an ITP (PRT-840414) for 85 covered 
species in San Diego County, California. The proposed quarry and 
landfill project is located on lands designated by the Subarea Plan as 
a ``major amendment area,'' where the incidental take authorization 
does not apply. The applicant proposes to amend the Subarea Plan and 
the ITP issued under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; ESA). The proposed amendment will include 
measures necessary to minimize and mitigate the impacts, to the maximum 
extent practicable, of proposed taking of covered species resulting 
from construction and operation of the quarry and subsequent landfill 
operations within the ``major amendment area.''
    Along with the proposed Subarea Plan and ITP amendment, the 
applicant proposes to process an application for a Specific Plan 
Amendment, Major Use Permit, and Reclamation Plan for the Otay Hills 
Aggregate Mining and Inert Debris Landfill project, which is located 
within 10 parcels (APNs 648-050-12, 13, 14, and 17; 648-080-13, 14, and 
25; 648-040-39 and 40; and 648-090-04) that total approximately 432 
acres. Primary access to the site would be from the east end of Calzada 
De La Fuente Road, which connects to Alta Road 0.5 miles north of Otay 
Mesa Road.
    If the amendment is approved, the applicant's permit would include 
as a covered activity within the major amendment area the aggregate 
mining and subsequent landfill of approximately 110 acres and 
associated conservation of 322 acres. Several species covered by the 
exiting Subarea Plan have been observed on or near the project site. 
The ITP would be amended to cover, within the major amendment area, 
eleven animal species (1 federally listed and 10 unlisted species) that 
could be taken, and 9 plant species (1 listed and 8 unlisted plant 
species) that could be adversely impacted by the aggregate mine and 
landfill. These 20 species are covered by the existing Subarea Plan. 
The ITP would also be amended to authorize the take of the federally 
listed endangered quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha 
quino), which occurs on the project site and is not a covered species 
under the existing Subarea Plan. We will also evaluate potential 
impacts to the golden eagle under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection 
Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c; Eagle Act). The golden eagle is a covered 
species under the existing Subarea Plan.

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA prohibits taking of fish and wildlife species 
listed as endangered or threatened under section 4 of the ESA. Under 
the ESA, the term ``take'' means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, 
wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any 
such conduct. The term ``harm'' is defined in the regulations as 
significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death 
or injury to listed species by significantly impairing essential 
behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 
17.3). The term ``harass'' is defined in the regulations as to carry 
out actions that create the likelihood of injury to listed species to 
such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns, 
which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering 
(50 CFR 17.3).
    However, under specified circumstances, the Service may issue 
permits that allow the take of federally listed fish and wildlife 
species, provided that the take that occurs is incidental to, but not 
the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing 
permits for endangered and threatened fish and wildlife species are at 
50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. The ESA's take prohibitions do 
not apply to federally listed plants. Plant species would be included 
in the amended permit in recognition of the conservation measures 
provided to plants under the amended HCP and would receive assurances 
under the Service's ``No Surprises'' rule.
    Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA authorizes the issuance of 
incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the take of 
endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are 
met:
    (1) The taking will be incidental;
    (2) The applicant will, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize 
and mitigate the impact of such taking;
    (3) The applicant will develop a proposed HCP and ensure that 
adequate funding for the plan will be provided;
    (4) The taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the 
survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and
    (5) The applicant will carry out any other measures that the 
Service may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes 
of the HCP.

[[Page 48763]]

    These same findings must be met for an amendment to the applicant's 
existing ITP. The applicant's ITP is valid until March 16, 2048.
    Golden eagles and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are 
protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 
668-668c; Eagle Act), which prohibits the take of any eagles or any 
part, nest, or egg thereof. Take is defined as to ``pursue, shoot, 
shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, 
or disturb.'' Disturb is defined by the Service as ``to agitate or 
bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to 
cause, based on the best scientific information available, (1) injury 
to an eagle, (2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially 
interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or 
(3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal 
breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.''
    An ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) may include bald and golden eagles as 
covered species. Pursuant to 50 CFR 22.11, an ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) 
permit constitutes a valid permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle 
Protection Act to take bald or golden eagles so long as such take is 
``compatible with the preservation of the bald or the golden eagle,'' 
the standard that applies to Eagle Act permits. The golden eagle is a 
covered species under the existing Subarea Plan, and the applicant 
proposes to include the golden eagle as a covered species in the 
amended Subarea Plan and ITP. We will evaluate potential impacts to the 
golden eagle from the proposed covered activities and determine whether 
to include the golden eagle as a covered species in an amended ITP 
under applicable ESA and Eagle Act standards.

Environmental Impact Statement

    The EIS/EIR will consider the proposed action (i.e., the issuance 
of an amended Section 10(a)(1)(B) permit under the ESA) and a 
reasonable range of alternatives. A detailed description of the 
proposed action and alternatives will be included in the EIS/EIR. It is 
anticipated that several alternatives will be developed, which may vary 
by the level of conservation, impacts caused by the proposed action, or 
a combination of these factors. The proposed action and alternatives 
will be evaluated against the No-Action alternative, which assumes that 
no permit amendment will be issued. The No-Action alternative 
represents estimated future conditions to which the proposed action's 
estimated future conditions can be compared.

Proposed Alternative

    The proposed action is the issuance of an amendment to the Subarea 
Plan ITP (PRT-840414) to extend incidental take authorization for the 
Otay Hills aggregate quarry and inert debris landfill project. The 
proposed action will:
    (1) Reclassify 79.4 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan from ``major 
amendment area'' to ``take authorized area'' to allow for future 
development;
    (2) Reclassify 15.8 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan from ``minor 
amendment area subject to special considerations'' into ``hardline 
preserve'';
    (3) Reclassify 306 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan from ``major 
amendment area'' into ``hardline preserve'';
    (4) Reclassify 3.4 acres of the MSCP Subarea Plan in the ``minor 
amendment area'' and 26.3 acres in the ``minor amendment subject to 
special considerations area'' to ``take authorized area''; and
    (5) Provide take authorization for the quino checkerspot butterfly.
    In combination, these actions would result in permanent 
conservation of 321.8 acres of high-quality habitat (connected to other 
conserved, high-value habitat areas) that support listed and/or 
sensitive plant and animal species, which would contribute to the 
overall conservation goals of the region.
    We anticipate that the following federally listed species will be 
included as covered species in the applicants' proposed amendment: (1) 
the endangered quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino), 
(2) the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila 
californica californica), and (3) the threatened Otay tarplant 
(Deinandra conjugens).
    The 18 unlisted species proposed to be included in the amendment 
are the Otay manzanita (Arctostaphylos otayensis), San Diego goldenstar 
(Bloomeria [Muilla] clevelandii), Dunn's mariposa lily (Calochortus 
dunnii), Orcutt's birds' beak (Cordylanthus orcuttianus), Tecate 
cypress (Cupressus forbesii), variegated dudleya (Dudleya variegata), 
San Diego barrel cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), Gander's pitcher sage 
(Lepechinia ganderi), Thorne's hairstreak (Callophrys [Mitoura] gryneus 
thornei), Belding's orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra 
beldingi), San Diego horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum blainvillii), 
Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii), rufous-crowned sparrow (Aimophila 
ruficeps canescens), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), burrowing owl 
(Athene cunicularia), northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), mountain lion 
(Puma concolor), and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginata).
    The applicant would seek to amend the incidental take authorization 
to include those wildlife species that are likely to be taken or, in 
the case of plant species, otherwise impacted, as a result of the 
covered activities within the 432-acre Otay Hills aggregate quarry and 
inert debris landfill project area. Other Subarea Plan-covered species 
and other candidate and federally listed species that are not likely to 
be taken by the covered activities, and would not be covered by the 
proposed amended ITP, may also be addressed in the EIS/EIR.

No-Action Alternative

    Under the No-Action Alternative, we would not issue a permit, and 
no construction aggregate extraction operation would occur on the 
project site. The project site would remain as it is today, consisting 
of undeveloped land crossed by a series of dirt roads used primarily by 
the U.S. Border Patrol for domestic security purposes. Management of 
conserved lands through the major amendment would not occur. No changes 
in the existing environment would be expected.

Environmental Review and Next Steps

    We will conduct an environmental review to analyze the impacts of 
the proposed action and a range of other reasonable alternatives. We 
will prepare a draft EIS, as part of the joint EIS/EIR, that will 
analyze the effects of each of the alternatives on the covered species 
and their habitats and on other resources, such as vegetation, 
wetlands, wildlife, geology and soils, air quality, water resources, 
water quality, cultural resources, land use, recreation, water use, 
local economy, and environmental justice.
    We will publish a notice of availability and a request for comment 
on the draft EIS/EIR and the applicant's permit application, which will 
include the proposed amendment to the Subarea Plan. The draft EIS/EIR 
and proposed amendment are expected to be completed and available to 
the public for review and comment in the winter of 2015.

Public Comments

    We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this 
notice. We will consider these comments in developing a draft EIS and 
in the development of the amendment to the County of San Diego's ITP 
for its Subarea Plan. We

[[Page 48764]]

particularly seek comments on the following:
    (1) Biological information and data concerning the species proposed 
for coverage under the amendment to the HCP;
    (2) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, 
population size, and population trends of the species;
    (3) Proposed covered activities in the amendment area and their 
possible impacts on the species;
    (4) The presence of archeological sites, buildings and structures, 
historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic 
preservation concerns that are required to be considered in project 
planning by the National Historic Preservation Act (Pub. L. 102-575); 
and
    (5) Identification of any other environmental issues that should be 
considered with regards to the proposed development and permit action.
    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in the ADDRESSES section.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we use in preparing the EIS document, will be available 
for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at 
our office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Public Availability of Comments

    Written comments we receive become part of the public record 
associated with this action. Before including your address, phone 
number, email address, or other personal identifying information in 
your comments, 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.

Authority

    We publish this notice under the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA), and its 
implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 40 
CFR 1501.7, 40 CFR 1506.6, and 1508.22, as well as in compliance with 
section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)

    Dated: August 12, 2014.
Alexandra Pitts,
Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2014-19492 Filed 8-15-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P