Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environment Impact Statement for the Proposed Mississippi River Reintroduction Into the Maurepas Swamp Diversion Project, Near Garyville, Louisiana, in St. John the Baptist, St. James, and Ascension Parishes, 64756-64758 [2014-25869]

Download as PDF 64756 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 211 / Friday, October 31, 2014 / Notices their name, affiliation, and daytime phone number seven business days prior to the meeting to Mr. Lehman, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Members of the public attending the committee meetings will not be permitted to present questions from the floor or speak to any issue under consideration by the committee. Because the meeting of the committee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military post, security screening is required. A photo ID is required to enter post. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. The U.S. Army Center of Military History is fully handicapped accessible. Wheelchair access is available in front at the main entrance of the building. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mr. Lehman, the committee’s Alternate Designated Federal Officer, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102–3.105(j) and 102–3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the committee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the committee’s mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Stephen W. Lehman, the committee Alternate Designated Federal Officer, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author’s name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the committee. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the committee Chairperson, and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the committee before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the committee until its next meeting. Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the Committee meeting only at the time and VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:51 Oct 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 in the manner described below. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least seven (7) days in advance to the Committee’s Alternate Designated Federal Official, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will log each request, in the order received, and in consultation with the committee Chairperson determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the Committee’s mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A 15-minute period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described above, will be allotted no more than three (3) minutes during the period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2014–25787 Filed 10–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–08–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environment Impact Statement for the Proposed Mississippi River Reintroduction Into the Maurepas Swamp Diversion Project, Near Garyville, Louisiana, in St. John the Baptist, St. James, and Ascension Parishes Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of intent. AGENCY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Orleans District intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to inform a decision on a Department of the Army (DA) permit application pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, and permissions request under 33 U.S.C. 408, submitted by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) for the Mississippi River SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Reintroduction into the Maurepas Swamp (MRRMS) freshwater diversion project (proposed project). The USACE has determined the proposed project will result in significant impacts to the human environment, therefore an EIS is necessary to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and as a basis for both the permit decision and the Section 408 permissions. The DA permit and the 408 permissions are two separate processes with different authorities analyzed by different mission areas (including Regulatory and Civil Works) inside the USACE. Under Section 404 of the CWA and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, the District Engineer permits the discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States as well as work, to include the installation and maintenance of structures, in navigable waters of the U.S., if the discharge meets the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 404(b)(1) guidelines, and the proposal is determined to not be contrary to the overall public interest. Under 33 U.S.C. 408, the Chief of Engineers grants permission to alter, modify, or impair an existing USACE project if it is not injurious to the public interest and does not impair the usefulness of such work. The proposed project involves structural crossings of the Federal Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Levee and could potentially impact the Mississippi River Navigation Channel, the future footprint of the Federal West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System levee project as well as other Federal projects. USACE Regulatory and Civil Works will coordinate on all aspects of the production of the EIS. ADDRESSES: Please send written comments to Kenny Blanke, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, Regulatory Branch (CEMVN– OD–SC), P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160 or by email at CEMVNMaurepas@usace.army.mil. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the DA permit, project and EIS should be directed to: Mr. Kenny Blanke at (504) 862–1217, or the email above. Questions on the 408 permissions should be directed to: Mr. Nathan Dayan at (504) 862–2530 or at the email above. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Authority: Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403); Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 408); Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344); E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 211 / Friday, October 31, 2014 / Notices and, Section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332). 2. Proposed Project. The USACE will prepare an EIS to analyze the impacts of diverting sediment/nutrient laden Mississippi River water into the southern Maurepas Swamp. CPRA has stated that the proposed project purpose is to restore portions of the southern Maurepas Swamp that are degrading due to cypress-tupelo stress and loss by addressing the existing conditions of subsidence, permanent flooding, salt stress, and sediment/nutrient starvation. The proposed project is located along the left descending bank of the Mississippi River at approximate river mile 144, in St. John the Baptist Parish, LA. The proposed project entails the construction of an intake channel that would be excavated in the Mississippi River batture, a gated structure to be built through the Mississippi River federal levee, and three (3) 10-foot x 10foot culverts to be installed to convey river water under the levee and LA Highway 44. The culverts would then discharge into a sand settling basin, connected to an approximate 5.5-mile long banked conveyance channel which would divert flow northerly to Hope Canal and into the Maurepas Swamp. The diversion channel has proposed culvert crossings at its intersection with the existing Canadian National Railway and the Kansas City Southern Railway, as well as US Highway 61. North of US Highway 61, the channel would then follow the existing Hope Canal alignment to finally distribute the diverted water into the forested wetlands approximately 1,000 feet north of Interstate 10. Other ancillary features of this project include the construction of a drainage pumping station at the confluence of Hope Canal and Bourgeois Canals to maintain the existing storm water drainage capacity for the community of Garyville, Louisiana, the relocation/construction of a new Hope Canal public boat launch, the installation of rock weirs at the Blind River, Bourgeois Canal, Bayou Secret, the creation of five (5) cuts in the abandoned railroad embankment north of Interstate 10 and east of the Blind River, and the installation of ten (10) check valves along the north side of Interstate 10 on the existing culverts under the interstate. Four (4) lateral relief valves are proposed to be constructed off the water conveyance channel, north of the proposed pumping station and south of Interstate 10, each having two (2) 24-inch metal pipes with 24-inch knife gate valves to divert water VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:51 Oct 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 to the west and east of the proposed channel into the Maurepas Swamp. USACE Regulatory prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) that documented potential direct, secondary, and cumulative effects the proposed project would have on the social, physical, and natural environments of the project area. Information used in the preparation of the EA was developed by the applicant and/or independently by the USACE. In summary, the proposed project would have the potential for direct adverse impacts of approximately ±140 acres of jurisdictional wetlands and ±20 acres of jurisdictional ‘‘Other Waters of the U.S.’’ In addition, CPRA has stated that the proposed project would provide a direct restoration benefit to approximately 36,120 acres of forested freshwater swamp habitat as a result of project implementation. USACE Regulatory concluded that the proposed project will result in significant impacts to the human environment. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the preparation of an EIS for proposals that are subject to federal funding, control, responsibility, and permitting, and which have the potential for significant impacts. 3. Alternatives. The EIS will include an evaluation of a reasonable range of alternatives. Currently, the following alternatives are expected to be analyzed in detail: The ‘‘no-build’’ alternative (no permit issued), the applicant’s preferred project (proposed project), and other alternatives that will address an array of conveyance and delivery of fresh water, nutrients, and sediment from the Mississippi River to help reverse and improve the viability of the southern Maurepas Swamp. Some alternatives may be brought forward from existing studies and projects including the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Program, Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Study, the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, and other alternatives may be developed through the NEPA scoping process. 4. Scoping. Scoping is the process utilized for determining the range of alternatives and significant issues to be addressed in the EIS. The USACE invites full public participation to promote open communication on the issues surrounding the proposed project. All Federal, state, and local agencies, NGOs, and other persons or organizations that have an interest are urged to participate in the NEPA scoping process. A public meeting will be held to present information to the public, to help identify significant issues and to receive public input and PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 64757 comment into the scoping process. Public scoping meetings for both processes will be conducted jointly. The date, time and location of the scoping meeting have not been determined. The public will be notified of the scoping meeting information by separate public notice posted on the New Orleans District Web page (listed below). The dates, times and locations of the scoping meeting will be determined in conjunction with CPRA at a later date and announced through local media channels as well as the Regulatory public notice Web site: http:// www.mvn.usace.army.mil/Missions/ Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. The USACE’ scoping process for the EIS includes a public involvement program with several opportunities to provide oral and written comments. In addition to public meetings and notifications in the Federal Register, the USACE will issue public notices when the draft and final EISs are available. Affected federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other interested private organizations and parties are invited to participate. 5. Significant issues. The EIS will analyze the potential social, economic, and natural environmental impacts to the local area resulting from the proposed project. Important resources and issues that will be evaluated in the EIS could include, but would not be limited to, effects on wetlands and other waters of the U.S.; aquatic resources; drainage patterns; air quality; water quality; suspended particulates/ turbidity; flood control functions; special aquatic sites; fish and wildlife habitat; threatened and endangered species and critical habitat; biological availability of possible contaminants; floodplain use; aesthetics; traffic/ transportation patterns; land use changes; public safety; economics; noise; consideration of private property; commercial and recreational fisheries; cultural resources; alternatives; secondary and cumulative impacts; and environmental justice (effect on minorities and low income populations). Socioeconomic issues include: Navigation; induced flooding; land use; property values; tax revenues; population and housing, community and regional growth; community cohesion; public services, recreation, utilities and community service systems and cumulative effects of related projects in the study area. 6. Environmental Consultation and Review. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will assist in documenting existing conditions and assessing effects of project alternatives through the Fish and Wildlife E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 64758 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 211 / Friday, October 31, 2014 / Notices Coordination Act consultation procedures. Other environmental review and consulation requirements for the proposed project include the need for the applicant to obtain water quality certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. In addition, because the proposed project may affect federally listed species, the USACE will consult with the Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in accordance with Section 7 of the Federal Endangered Species Act. The NMFS will be consulted regarding the effects of this proposed project on Essential Fish Habitat per the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The USACE will also be consulting with the State Historic Preservation Officer under 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act concerning properties listed, or potentially eligible for listing. The USACE will serve as the lead Federal agency in the preparation of the EIS. Other federal and/or state agencies may participate as cooperating and/or commenting agencies throughout the EIS process. The USACE will use a ‘‘third party contractor’’ to prepare all or part of the EIS or to obtain required information (40 CFR 1500–1508). ‘‘Third party contract’’ refers to the preparation of the EIS by a contractor paid by the applicant but who is selected and supervised directly by the district engineer. Contractor election by the USACE for a Regulatory Program EIS will be as follows: The USACE will select from the applicant’s list the first contractor that is fully acceptable to the USACE, using the applicant’s order of preference; this selection is finalized by the applicant’s selection of the same contractor. The procedures outlined in 40 CFR 1500–1508 and CEQ’s forty questions must be followed. Furthermore, the USACE is responsible for final acceptance of the draft and final EIS. 7. Availability. The Draft EIS (DEIS) is expected to be available for public comment and review no sooner than the spring of 2016. At that time, a 45-day public review period will be provided for individuals and agencies to review and comment on the DEIS. All interested parties are encouraged to respond to this notice and provide a current address if they wish to be notified of the DEIS circulation. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2014–25869 Filed 10–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:51 Oct 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RD14–11–000] Proposed Agency Information Collection Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE. ACTION: Comment request. AGENCY: In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting the information collection in Docket No. RD14–11–000 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission issued a Notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 46781, 8/11/2014) requesting public comments. FERC received no comments in response to that notice and has made this notation in its submission to OMB. DATES: Comments on the collection of information are due by December 1, 2014. SUMMARY: Comments filed with OMB, regarding FERC–725A (OMB Control Number 1902–0244) and FERC–725X (OMB Control Number TBD), should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: oira_submission@omb.gov. Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202–395– 4718. A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, identified by the Docket No. RD14–11–000, by either of the following methods: • eFiling at Commission’s Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ efiling.asp. • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http:// www.ferc.gov/help/submissionguide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or by phone at: (866) 208–3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502–8659 for TTY. ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docsfiling/docs-filing.asp. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Brown may be reached by email at DataClearance@FERC.gov, by telephone at (202) 502–8663, and by fax at (202) 273–0873. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed information collection changes in Docket No. RD14–11–000 relate to the proposed Reliability Standards VAR–001–4 (Voltage and Reactive Control) and VAR–002–3 (Generator Operation for Maintaining Network Voltage Schedules), developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and submitted to the Commission for approval. The Commission received NERC’s petition to approve the proposed Reliability Standards on June 9, 2014. NERC summarizes the VAR group of standards as follows: The Voltage and Reactive (‘‘VAR’’) group of Reliability Standards, which consists of two continent-wide Reliability Standards, VAR– 001–3 and VAR–002–2b, is designed to maintain voltage stability on the Bulk-Power System, protect transmission, generation, distribution, and customer equipment, and support the reliable operation of the BulkPower System.1 In its petition, NERC also summarizes the proposed Reliability Standards’ applicability and requirements: In general, proposed Reliability Standard VAR–001–4 sets forth the requirements applicable to Transmission Operators for scheduling, monitoring, and controlling Reactive Power resources in the Real-time Operations, Same-day Operations, and Operational Planning time horizons to regulate voltage and Reactive Power flows for the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System. Proposed Reliability Standard VAR– 002–3 sets forth the requirements applicable to Generator Operators and Generator Owners for providing the necessary reactive support and voltage control necessary to maintain reliable operations. Generators are the largest and most reliable Reactive Power resource and play an integral role in maintaining voltage stability on the BulkPower System. Collectively, the proposed Reliability Standards are designed to prevent voltage instability and voltage collapse on the Bulk-Power System.2 Finally, NERC also states that the proposed Reliability Standards improve reliability, clarify requirement language and eliminate redundant or unnecessary requirements.3 1 NERC Petition at 3. at 4. 3 Id. at 15. 2 Id. E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 211 (Friday, October 31, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64756-64758]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-25869]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environment Impact Statement for 
the Proposed Mississippi River Reintroduction Into the Maurepas Swamp 
Diversion Project, Near Garyville, Louisiana, in St. John the Baptist, 
St. James, and Ascension Parishes

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Orleans District 
intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to inform a 
decision on a Department of the Army (DA) permit application pursuant 
to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the 
Rivers and Harbors Act, and permissions request under 33 U.S.C. 408, 
submitted by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of 
Louisiana (CPRA) for the Mississippi River Reintroduction into the 
Maurepas Swamp (MRRMS) freshwater diversion project (proposed project). 
The USACE has determined the proposed project will result in 
significant impacts to the human environment, therefore an EIS is 
necessary to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) and as a basis for both the permit decision and the Section 
408 permissions.
    The DA permit and the 408 permissions are two separate processes 
with different authorities analyzed by different mission areas 
(including Regulatory and Civil Works) inside the USACE. Under Section 
404 of the CWA and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, the 
District Engineer permits the discharge of dredged or fill material 
into the waters of the United States as well as work, to include the 
installation and maintenance of structures, in navigable waters of the 
U.S., if the discharge meets the requirements of the Environmental 
Protection Agency's 404(b)(1) guidelines, and the proposal is 
determined to not be contrary to the overall public interest. Under 33 
U.S.C. 408, the Chief of Engineers grants permission to alter, modify, 
or impair an existing USACE project if it is not injurious to the 
public interest and does not impair the usefulness of such work. The 
proposed project involves structural crossings of the Federal 
Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Levee and could potentially 
impact the Mississippi River Navigation Channel, the future footprint 
of the Federal West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane and Storm Damage 
Risk Reduction System levee project as well as other Federal projects. 
USACE Regulatory and Civil Works will coordinate on all aspects of the 
production of the EIS.

ADDRESSES: Please send written comments to Kenny Blanke, U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, Regulatory Branch (CEMVN-OD-
SC), P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160 or by email at CEMVN-Maurepas@usace.army.mil.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the DA permit, project 
and EIS should be directed to: Mr. Kenny Blanke at (504) 862-1217, or 
the email above. Questions on the 408 permissions should be directed 
to: Mr. Nathan Dayan at (504) 862-2530 or at the email above.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    1. Authority: Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 
U.S.C. 403); Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 
U.S.C. 408); Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344);

[[Page 64757]]

and, Section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 
4332).
    2. Proposed Project. The USACE will prepare an EIS to analyze the 
impacts of diverting sediment/nutrient laden Mississippi River water 
into the southern Maurepas Swamp. CPRA has stated that the proposed 
project purpose is to restore portions of the southern Maurepas Swamp 
that are degrading due to cypress-tupelo stress and loss by addressing 
the existing conditions of subsidence, permanent flooding, salt stress, 
and sediment/nutrient starvation. The proposed project is located along 
the left descending bank of the Mississippi River at approximate river 
mile 144, in St. John the Baptist Parish, LA. The proposed project 
entails the construction of an intake channel that would be excavated 
in the Mississippi River batture, a gated structure to be built through 
the Mississippi River federal levee, and three (3) 10-foot x 10-foot 
culverts to be installed to convey river water under the levee and LA 
Highway 44. The culverts would then discharge into a sand settling 
basin, connected to an approximate 5.5-mile long banked conveyance 
channel which would divert flow northerly to Hope Canal and into the 
Maurepas Swamp. The diversion channel has proposed culvert crossings at 
its intersection with the existing Canadian National Railway and the 
Kansas City Southern Railway, as well as US Highway 61. North of US 
Highway 61, the channel would then follow the existing Hope Canal 
alignment to finally distribute the diverted water into the forested 
wetlands approximately 1,000 feet north of Interstate 10. Other 
ancillary features of this project include the construction of a 
drainage pumping station at the confluence of Hope Canal and Bourgeois 
Canals to maintain the existing storm water drainage capacity for the 
community of Garyville, Louisiana, the relocation/construction of a new 
Hope Canal public boat launch, the installation of rock weirs at the 
Blind River, Bourgeois Canal, Bayou Secret, the creation of five (5) 
cuts in the abandoned railroad embankment north of Interstate 10 and 
east of the Blind River, and the installation of ten (10) check valves 
along the north side of Interstate 10 on the existing culverts under 
the interstate. Four (4) lateral relief valves are proposed to be 
constructed off the water conveyance channel, north of the proposed 
pumping station and south of Interstate 10, each having two (2) 24-inch 
metal pipes with 24-inch knife gate valves to divert water to the west 
and east of the proposed channel into the Maurepas Swamp.
    USACE Regulatory prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) that 
documented potential direct, secondary, and cumulative effects the 
proposed project would have on the social, physical, and natural 
environments of the project area. Information used in the preparation 
of the EA was developed by the applicant and/or independently by the 
USACE. In summary, the proposed project would have the potential for 
direct adverse impacts of approximately 140 acres of 
jurisdictional wetlands and 20 acres of jurisdictional 
``Other Waters of the U.S.'' In addition, CPRA has stated that the 
proposed project would provide a direct restoration benefit to 
approximately 36,120 acres of forested freshwater swamp habitat as a 
result of project implementation. USACE Regulatory concluded that the 
proposed project will result in significant impacts to the human 
environment. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the 
preparation of an EIS for proposals that are subject to federal 
funding, control, responsibility, and permitting, and which have the 
potential for significant impacts.
    3. Alternatives. The EIS will include an evaluation of a reasonable 
range of alternatives. Currently, the following alternatives are 
expected to be analyzed in detail: The ``no-build'' alternative (no 
permit issued), the applicant's preferred project (proposed project), 
and other alternatives that will address an array of conveyance and 
delivery of fresh water, nutrients, and sediment from the Mississippi 
River to help reverse and improve the viability of the southern 
Maurepas Swamp. Some alternatives may be brought forward from existing 
studies and projects including the Coastal Wetlands Planning, 
Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Program, Louisiana Coastal Area 
(LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Study, the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master 
Plan, and other alternatives may be developed through the NEPA scoping 
process.
    4. Scoping. Scoping is the process utilized for determining the 
range of alternatives and significant issues to be addressed in the 
EIS. The USACE invites full public participation to promote open 
communication on the issues surrounding the proposed project. All 
Federal, state, and local agencies, NGOs, and other persons or 
organizations that have an interest are urged to participate in the 
NEPA scoping process. A public meeting will be held to present 
information to the public, to help identify significant issues and to 
receive public input and comment into the scoping process. Public 
scoping meetings for both processes will be conducted jointly. The 
date, time and location of the scoping meeting have not been 
determined. The public will be notified of the scoping meeting 
information by separate public notice posted on the New Orleans 
District Web page (listed below). The dates, times and locations of the 
scoping meeting will be determined in conjunction with CPRA at a later 
date and announced through local media channels as well as the 
Regulatory public notice Web site: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. The USACE' scoping process for 
the EIS includes a public involvement program with several 
opportunities to provide oral and written comments. In addition to 
public meetings and notifications in the Federal Register, the USACE 
will issue public notices when the draft and final EISs are available. 
Affected federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, 
and other interested private organizations and parties are invited to 
participate.
    5. Significant issues. The EIS will analyze the potential social, 
economic, and natural environmental impacts to the local area resulting 
from the proposed project. Important resources and issues that will be 
evaluated in the EIS could include, but would not be limited to, 
effects on wetlands and other waters of the U.S.; aquatic resources; 
drainage patterns; air quality; water quality; suspended particulates/
turbidity; flood control functions; special aquatic sites; fish and 
wildlife habitat; threatened and endangered species and critical 
habitat; biological availability of possible contaminants; floodplain 
use; aesthetics; traffic/transportation patterns; land use changes; 
public safety; economics; noise; consideration of private property; 
commercial and recreational fisheries; cultural resources; 
alternatives; secondary and cumulative impacts; and environmental 
justice (effect on minorities and low income populations). 
Socioeconomic issues include: Navigation; induced flooding; land use; 
property values; tax revenues; population and housing, community and 
regional growth; community cohesion; public services, recreation, 
utilities and community service systems and cumulative effects of 
related projects in the study area.
    6. Environmental Consultation and Review. The U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) will assist in documenting existing 
conditions and assessing effects of project alternatives through the 
Fish and Wildlife

[[Page 64758]]

Coordination Act consultation procedures. Other environmental review 
and consulation requirements for the proposed project include the need 
for the applicant to obtain water quality certification under Section 
401 of the Clean Water Act from the Louisiana Department of 
Environmental Quality. In addition, because the proposed project may 
affect federally listed species, the USACE will consult with the 
Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in accordance 
with Section 7 of the Federal Endangered Species Act. The NMFS will be 
consulted regarding the effects of this proposed project on Essential 
Fish Habitat per the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The USACE will also be 
consulting with the State Historic Preservation Officer under 106 of 
the National Historic Preservation Act concerning properties listed, or 
potentially eligible for listing.
    The USACE will serve as the lead Federal agency in the preparation 
of the EIS. Other federal and/or state agencies may participate as 
cooperating and/or commenting agencies throughout the EIS process.
    The USACE will use a ``third party contractor'' to prepare all or 
part of the EIS or to obtain required information (40 CFR 1500-1508). 
``Third party contract'' refers to the preparation of the EIS by a 
contractor paid by the applicant but who is selected and supervised 
directly by the district engineer. Contractor election by the USACE for 
a Regulatory Program EIS will be as follows: The USACE will select from 
the applicant's list the first contractor that is fully acceptable to 
the USACE, using the applicant's order of preference; this selection is 
finalized by the applicant's selection of the same contractor. The 
procedures outlined in 40 CFR 1500-1508 and CEQ's forty questions must 
be followed. Furthermore, the USACE is responsible for final acceptance 
of the draft and final EIS.
    7. Availability. The Draft EIS (DEIS) is expected to be available 
for public comment and review no sooner than the spring of 2016. At 
that time, a 45-day public review period will be provided for 
individuals and agencies to review and comment on the DEIS. All 
interested parties are encouraged to respond to this notice and provide 
a current address if they wish to be notified of the DEIS circulation.

Brenda S. Bowen,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2014-25869 Filed 10-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3720-58-P