Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, New Mexico, 70890-70891 [2014-28098]

Download as PDF 70890 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Notices Permit No. TE–128462 Permit No. TE–02496A Permit No. TE–50895B Applicant: Jonathan S. Feenstra, Altadena, California Applicant: Kevin K. Ghalambor, Rancho Cordova, California The applicant requests a permit renewal to take (harass by survey) the southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) in conjunction with survey activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. The applicant requests a permit renewal to take (capture, collect, and collect vouchers) the Conservancy fairy shrimp (Branchinecta conservatio), longhorn fairy shrimp (Branchinecta longiantenna), Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni), San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis), and vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi) in conjunction with survey activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. Applicant: Angeles National Forest, Arcadia, California The applicant requests a permit to take (harass by survey and monitor nests) the southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus), take (monitor nests) the least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), and take (survey, capture, handle, relocate, and release) the unarmored threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni), arroyo toad (arroyo southwestern) (Anaxyrus californicus), and mountain yellow-legged frog (southern California DPS) (Rana muscosa), in conjunction with surveys, population monitoring, and invasive removal activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. Permit No. TE–43911B Applicant: Jared I. Reed, Temecula, California The applicant requests a permit to take (capture, handle, and release) the San Bernardino Merriam’s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami parvus) and Stephens’ kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi) in conjunction with survey and population monitoring activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. Permit No. TE–745541 Applicant: Stephen J. Montgomery, Flagstaff, Arizona The applicant requests a permit renewal to take (capture, handle, and release) the Stephens’ kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi) and Pacific pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus), take (capture, handle, and release) the San Bernardino kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami parvus), take (capture, handle, release, and collect tissue and hair) the Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis), and take (harass by survey) the Yuma Ridgway’s rail (Rallus obsoletus yumanensis) (originally listed as Yuma clapper rail (Rallus longirostris yumanensis)) in conjunction with survey and population monitoring activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. Permit No. TE–50510A Applicant: Geoffrey D. Cline, Mariposa, California The applicant requests an amendment to a permit to take (survey, capture, handle, and release) the giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Fresno kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides exilis), and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides) in conjunction with surveys and population monitoring activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. Permit No. TE–114928 Applicant: John A. Howe, Sacramento, California The applicant requests a permit renewal to take (capture, collect, and collect vouchers) the Conservancy fairy shrimp (Branchinecta conservatio), longhorn fairy shrimp (Branchinecta longiantenna), Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni), San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis), and vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi) in conjunction with survey activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. Applicant: Robert L. Sloan, San Luis Obispo, California tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Permit No. TE–43937B Permit No. TE–439449 Applicant: Brenton T. Spies, Simi Valley, California The applicant requests a permit to take (locate, capture, handle, measure, release, and relocate) the Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta walkeriana) in conjunction with surveys and habitat monitoring activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. The applicant requests a permit amendment to take (harass by survey, capture, handle, tag, release, use enclosures, collect, transport, hold in captivity, propagate, and exhibit) the tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi), in conjunction with research activities throughout the range of the species in California for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Public Comments We invite public review and comment on each of these recovery permit applications. Comments and materials we receive will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. 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. Michael Long, Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2014–28099 Filed 11–26–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNM930000 L51010000 ER0000 LVRWG09G0690] Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Notices Management (BLM) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to determine whether newly identified measures to mitigate potential impacts caused by the proposed SunZia Southwest Transmission Line Project to military operations and readiness activities require the BLM to prepare a supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which the BLM published in June 2013. The mitigation proposed by the Department of Defense (DOD) would involve the burial of three segments that total approximately 5 miles of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Line Project within the area identified as the ‘‘call up area’’ north of the White Sands Missile Range along and within the preferred alternative corridor analyzed in the Final EIS. This notice announces the opening of a public comment period for the EA. DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the EA by December 29, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the EA by any of the following methods: • Email: NMSunZiaProject@blm.gov. • Mail: Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Office, Attention: SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, P.O. Box 27115, Santa Fe, NM 87502– 0115. • Courier or hand delivery: Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Office, Attention: Adrian Garcia, 301 Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87508– 1560. Copies of the EA are available in the New Mexico State Office, 301 Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87502, and online at www.blm.gov/nm/sunzia. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adrian Garcia, telephone 505–954– 2199; address 301 Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87502; email agarcia@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 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: SunZia Transmission, LLC proposes to construct, operate, and maintain two parallel overhead 500 kilovolt transmission lines located on Federal, State, and private lands from the proposed SunZia East Substation in Lincoln County, New Mexico, to the existing Pinal Central Substation in VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 Pinal County, Arizona. If approved, the length of the transmission lines would range from 460 miles to over 500 miles depending on which route alignment is selected. The project has the potential to add 3,000 to 4,500 megawatts of electric capacity to the desert southwest region of the United States. In June 2013, the BLM published a Notice of Availability for the Final EIS in the Federal Register and released the Final EIS. Following the publication of the Final EIS, the DOD raised objections to the BLM’s Preferred Alternative Route through the ‘‘call-up area’’ north of the White Sands Missile Range. On May 27, 2014, the DOD proposed mitigation measures that, if adopted, would address the DOD’s prior objections to the SunZia project by resolving potential impacts to military operations and readiness activities, including the burial of three segments of the proposed transmission line for approximately 5 miles in the ‘‘call-up area.’’ In response to DOD’s proposal, the BLM has prepared an EA to examine whether the mitigation proposal requires the BLM to prepare a supplement to the Final EIS. In accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s NEPA regulations, 40 CFR 1501.3(b) and 1502.9(c)(1), the EA examines whether DOD’s proposed mitigation to bury three segments of the proposed transmission line represent ‘‘substantial changes in the proposed action’’ or ‘‘significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts’’ from what the BLM analyzed in the Final EIS. The EA’s scope is therefore limited to analyzing the impacts of DOD’s mitigation proposal, which is to bury three short segments totaling approximately 5 miles of the transmission line along the BLM’s preferred alternative route within the ‘‘call-up area.’’ The EA describes the burial of the three segments, provides a detailed inventory of resources and the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts resulting from the SunZia project with the mitigation proposal, and compares whether, and to what extent, the impacts from the burial differ from the impacts analyzed in the Final EIS. The BLM initiated the EA in June 2014 and has subsequently coordinated with potentally affected landowners, project representatives, the New Mexico State Land Office, and DOD personnel. Cooperating agencies involved in the development of the EA include the Department of the Army, White Sands Missile Range, the DOD Siting Clearinghouse, Office of the Deputy PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 70891 Under Secretary (Installations and Environment), and the New Mexico State Land Office. The EA refers to the three proposed buried segments as the Eastern, Central, and Western segments. The Eastern Segment is located on State land in Torrance County, New Mexico; the Central Segment is located on State, BLM, and private land in Socorro County, New Mexico; and the Western Segment is located on BLM and private land in Socorro County, New Mexico. In the EA, the BLM compares the impacts associated with the burial of the three segments of the transmission line with the construction and operation of an above-ground transmission line as described in the Preferred Alternative in the June 2013 SunZia Final EIS. The BLM has reached a preliminary Finding of No New Significant Impact (FONNSI), as the analysis in the EA supports a conclusion that the Mitigation Proposal is not a substantial change from the Preferred Alternative and would not have new impacts significantly different from those analyzed for the Preferred Alternative in the SunZia Final EIS. Based on these findings, the BLM would intend to proceed with the Preferred Alternative identified in the SunZia Final EIS as modified by the Mitigation Proposal. A draft unsigned FONNSI is attached to the EA for review. Please note that public comments and information submitted including names, street addresses, and email addresses of persons who submit comments will be available for public review and disclosure at the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays. Also note that only those comments that relate to the proposed mitigation measure being analyzed in the EA (burial of three segments of the transmission line in the call-up area) will be considered by the BLM. 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. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10. Aden L. Seidlitz, Associate State Director, New Mexico. [FR Doc. 2014–28098 Filed 11–26–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–FB–P E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 229 (Friday, November 28, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70890-70891]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-28098]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLNM930000 L51010000 ER0000 LVRWG09G0690]


Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the 
Proposed SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, New Mexico

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended, the Bureau of Land

[[Page 70891]]

Management (BLM) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to 
determine whether newly identified measures to mitigate potential 
impacts caused by the proposed SunZia Southwest Transmission Line 
Project to military operations and readiness activities require the BLM 
to prepare a supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS), which the BLM published in June 2013. The mitigation proposed by 
the Department of Defense (DOD) would involve the burial of three 
segments that total approximately 5 miles of the SunZia Southwest 
Transmission Line Project within the area identified as the ``call up 
area'' north of the White Sands Missile Range along and within the 
preferred alternative corridor analyzed in the Final EIS. This notice 
announces the opening of a public comment period for the EA.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the EA by December 29, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the EA by any of the 
following methods:
     Email: NMSunZiaProject@blm.gov.
     Mail: Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Office, 
Attention: SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, P.O. Box 27115, Santa 
Fe, NM 87502-0115.
     Courier or hand delivery: Bureau of Land Management, New 
Mexico State Office, Attention: Adrian Garcia, 301 Dinosaur Trail, 
Santa Fe, NM 87508-1560.
    Copies of the EA are available in the New Mexico State Office, 301 
Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87502, and online at www.blm.gov/nm/sunzia.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adrian Garcia, telephone 505-954-2199; 
address 301 Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87502; email agarcia@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 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: SunZia Transmission, LLC proposes to 
construct, operate, and maintain two parallel overhead 500 kilovolt 
transmission lines located on Federal, State, and private lands from 
the proposed SunZia East Substation in Lincoln County, New Mexico, to 
the existing Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County, Arizona. If 
approved, the length of the transmission lines would range from 460 
miles to over 500 miles depending on which route alignment is selected. 
The project has the potential to add 3,000 to 4,500 megawatts of 
electric capacity to the desert southwest region of the United States.
    In June 2013, the BLM published a Notice of Availability for the 
Final EIS in the Federal Register and released the Final EIS. Following 
the publication of the Final EIS, the DOD raised objections to the 
BLM's Preferred Alternative Route through the ``call-up area'' north of 
the White Sands Missile Range. On May 27, 2014, the DOD proposed 
mitigation measures that, if adopted, would address the DOD's prior 
objections to the SunZia project by resolving potential impacts to 
military operations and readiness activities, including the burial of 
three segments of the proposed transmission line for approximately 5 
miles in the ``call-up area.'' In response to DOD's proposal, the BLM 
has prepared an EA to examine whether the mitigation proposal requires 
the BLM to prepare a supplement to the Final EIS. In accordance with 
the Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations, 40 CFR 
1501.3(b) and 1502.9(c)(1), the EA examines whether DOD's proposed 
mitigation to bury three segments of the proposed transmission line 
represent ``substantial changes in the proposed action'' or 
``significant new circumstances or information relevant to 
environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its 
impacts'' from what the BLM analyzed in the Final EIS. The EA's scope 
is therefore limited to analyzing the impacts of DOD's mitigation 
proposal, which is to bury three short segments totaling approximately 
5 miles of the transmission line along the BLM's preferred alternative 
route within the ``call-up area.'' The EA describes the burial of the 
three segments, provides a detailed inventory of resources and the 
potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts resulting from the 
SunZia project with the mitigation proposal, and compares whether, and 
to what extent, the impacts from the burial differ from the impacts 
analyzed in the Final EIS.
    The BLM initiated the EA in June 2014 and has subsequently 
coordinated with potentally affected landowners, project 
representatives, the New Mexico State Land Office, and DOD personnel. 
Cooperating agencies involved in the development of the EA include the 
Department of the Army, White Sands Missile Range, the DOD Siting 
Clearinghouse, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary (Installations and 
Environment), and the New Mexico State Land Office. The EA refers to 
the three proposed buried segments as the Eastern, Central, and Western 
segments. The Eastern Segment is located on State land in Torrance 
County, New Mexico; the Central Segment is located on State, BLM, and 
private land in Socorro County, New Mexico; and the Western Segment is 
located on BLM and private land in Socorro County, New Mexico. In the 
EA, the BLM compares the impacts associated with the burial of the 
three segments of the transmission line with the construction and 
operation of an above-ground transmission line as described in the 
Preferred Alternative in the June 2013 SunZia Final EIS.
    The BLM has reached a preliminary Finding of No New Significant 
Impact (FONNSI), as the analysis in the EA supports a conclusion that 
the Mitigation Proposal is not a substantial change from the Preferred 
Alternative and would not have new impacts significantly different from 
those analyzed for the Preferred Alternative in the SunZia Final EIS. 
Based on these findings, the BLM would intend to proceed with the 
Preferred Alternative identified in the SunZia Final EIS as modified by 
the Mitigation Proposal. A draft unsigned FONNSI is attached to the EA 
for review.
    Please note that public comments and information submitted 
including names, street addresses, and email addresses of persons who 
submit comments will be available for public review and disclosure at 
the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), 
Monday through Friday, except holidays. Also note that only those 
comments that relate to the proposed mitigation measure being analyzed 
in the EA (burial of three segments of the transmission line in the 
call-up area) will be considered by the BLM. 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.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

Aden L. Seidlitz,
Associate State Director, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 2014-28098 Filed 11-26-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-FB-P