WAOR65753; Notice of Availability of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project in Benton, Grant, Kittitas, and Yakima Counties, Washington, 50-52 [2014-30597]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 50 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 1 / Friday, January 2, 2015 / Notices property is described as for ‘‘off-site use only’’ recipients of the property will be required to relocate the building to their own site at their own expense. Homeless assistance providers interested in any such property should send a written expression of interest to HHS, addressed to Theresa Ritta, Ms. Theresa M. Ritta, Chief Real Property Branch, the Department of Health and Human Services, Room 5B–17, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, (301) 443–6672 (This is not a toll-free number.) HHS will mail to the interested provider an application packet, which will include instructions for completing the application. In order to maximize the opportunity to utilize a suitable property, providers should submit their written expressions of interest as soon as possible. For complete details concerning the processing of applications, the reader is encouraged to refer to the interim rule governing this program, 24 CFR part 581. For properties listed as suitable/to be excess, that property may, if subsequently accepted as excess by GSA, be made available for use by the homeless in accordance with applicable law, subject to screening for other Federal use. At the appropriate time, HUD will publish the property in a Notice showing it as either suitable/ available or suitable/unavailable. For properties listed as suitable/ unavailable, the landholding agency has decided that the property cannot be declared excess or made available for use to assist the homeless, and the property will not be available. Properties listed as unsuitable will not be made available for any other purpose for 20 days from the date of this Notice. Homeless assistance providers interested in a review by HUD of the determination of unsuitability should call the toll free information line at 1– 800–927–7588 for detailed instructions or write a letter to Ann Marie Oliva at the address listed at the beginning of this Notice. Included in the request for review should be the property address (including zip code), the date of publication in the Federal Register, the landholding agency, and the property number. For more information regarding particular properties identified in this Notice (i.e., acreage, floor plan, existing sanitary facilities, exact street address), providers should contact the appropriate landholding agencies at the following addresses: COE: Ms. Brenda John-Turner, Army Corps of Engineers, Real Estate, HQUSACE/CEMP–CR, 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314; VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Dec 31, 2014 Jkt 235001 (202) 761–5222 (This is not a toll-free number). Dated: December 18, 2014. Brian P. Fitzmaurice, Director, Division of Community Assistance, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs. TITLE V, FEDERAL SURPLUS PROPERTY PROGRAM FEDERAL REGISTER REPORT FOR 01/02/2015 Suitable/Available Properties Building Virginia Comfort Stations, Property ID# PHL–17771 1058 Philpott Dam Rd Bassett VA 24055 Landholding Agency: COE Property Number: 31201440010 Status: Unutilized Comments: off-site removal only; 189 sq. ft.; difficult to remove due to structure type; no future agency need; contact COE for more information. [FR Doc. 2014–30344 Filed 12–31–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLORW00000 L51010000.ER0000 LVRWH09H0570 14XL5017AP; HAG–14– 0191] WAOR65753; Notice of Availability of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project in Benton, Grant, Kittitas, and Yakima Counties, Washington Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project and, by this notice, is announcing the opening of the comment period. DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS for the Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project within 45 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project by any of the following methods: • Web site: http://www.blm.gov/or/ districts/spokane/plans/vph230.php. • Email: blm_or_vantage_pomona@ blm.gov (please reference Vantage to Pomona Heights Supplemental Draft EIS in the subject line). • Fax: 509–536–1275 Attn: Vantage to Pomona Heights Supplemental Draft EIS Project Manager. • Mail to: Spokane District, Records Manager, 1103 North Fancher Road, Spokane, Washington 99212, Attn: Vantage to Pomona Heights Supplemental Draft EIS. • Hand-deliver to: BLM Wenatchee Field Office, Attn: Vantage to Pomona Heights Supplemental Draft EIS, 915 Walla Walla Avenue, Wenatchee, Washington 98801–1521, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. Copies of the Supplemental Draft EIS for the Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project, as well as copies of the January 2013 DEIS, are available in the BLM Wenatchee Field Office at the above address and electronically at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/ spokane/plans/vph230.php. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vantage to Pomona Heights Supplemental Draft EIS Project Manager; telephone, 509–665–2100; address, BLM Wenatchee Field Office, 915 Walla Walla Avenue, Wenatchee, Washington 98801–1521; email, blm_ or_vantage_pomona@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: The project proponent, Pacific Power, filed Federal applications for rights-of-way with the BLM, the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Base Lewis McChord Yakima Training Center (JBLM YTC), and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for construction, operation, and maintenance of a 230kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Pacific Power’s Pomona Heights Substation located east of Selah, Washington, in Yakima County to the E:\FR\FM\02JAN1.SGM 02JAN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 1 / Friday, January 2, 2015 / Notices Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Vantage Substation located just east of the Wanapum Dam in Grant County, Washington. The project proponent’s interest in the new line is to enhance overall operating flexibility and security of the regional transmission grid and to improve system reliability in the Yakima Valley. On January 4, 2013, the BLM released a Draft EIS for public review and comment. As a result of the comments received at public meetings and submitted in writing during the Draft EIS comment period, the BLM, Pacific Power, and the JBLM YTC met and identified a New Northern Route Alternative that is located largely on JBLM YTC land. The BLM therefore decided to prepare a Supplemental Draft EIS to fully describe the New Northern Route Alternative, analyze the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts associated with this alternative, and describe mitigation measures that could avoid, minimize, or reduce impacts. The Supplemental Draft EIS focuses the analysis on the New Northern Route Alternative as well as any significant new circumstances or information that has become available since the January 2013 publication of the Draft EIS. New information that has been incorporated into the Supplemental Draft EIS is primarily related to Greater SageGrouse, a Candidate species under the Endangered Species Act. Following publication of the Draft EIS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Conservation Objectives Team (COT) published the Greater Sage-grouse Conservation Objectives: Final Report (COT Report). A key component of the COT Report is the identification of Priority Areas of Conservation (PACs), which are considered key habitats essential for Greater Sage-Grouse conservation. The COT Report identifies four PACs within the state of Washington, two of which have extant populations, Moses Coulee and Yakima Training Center. With the exception of a small portion of the New Northern Route Alternative, the Project is located entirely within the Yakima Training Center PAC. The impact analysis for Sage-Grouse was expanded in the Supplemental Draft EIS to address USFWS and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) concerns regarding sage-grouse and to incorporate information from the COT Report and the Yakima Training Center PAC. In addition, the Supplemental Draft EIS analyzed two identified areas (approximately 10 miles in total length) with both an Overhead and an Underground Design Option to address VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Dec 31, 2014 Jkt 235001 wildlife agency concerns regarding impacts to sage-grouse. The BLM remains the lead Federal agency and, along with the Cooperating Agencies, is responsible for analyzing the effects of Pacific Power’s right-ofway applications to construct, operate, and maintain a 230 kV transmission line, associated access roads, and other ancillary facilities. The JBLM YTC, Reclamation, BPA, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), USFWS, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), and Kittitas and Yakima Counties are Cooperating Agencies and assisted with the preparation of the Supplemental Draft EIS. As preliminarily designed by Pacific Power and analyzed in the Draft EIS and the Supplemental DEIS, most of the proposed transmission line would be constructed on H-frame wood pole structures between 65 and 90 feet tall and spaced approximately 650 to 1,000 feet apart, depending on terrain. In developed or agricultural areas, single wood or steel monopole structures would be used. The single pole structures would be between 80 and 110 feet tall and spaced approximately 400 to 700 feet apart. The right-of-way width for the H-frame structure type would be between 125 to 150 feet and, for the single pole structure type, between 75 to 100 feet. For the Columbia River crossing, steel lattice structures approximately 200 feet tall would be used to safely span the up to 2,800-foot crossing. The Supplemental Draft EIS considers three alternatives: No Action, New Northern Route Alternative, and the Draft EIS Agency Preferred Alternative. The New Northern Route Alternative is 41 miles in length and includes one potential subroute section and analyzes two identified areas (approximately 10 miles in total length) with both an Overhead and an Underground Design Option to address wildlife agency concerns regarding impacts to sagegrouse. The New Northern Route Alternative crosses Federal land managed by the BLM, the JBLM YTC, and Reclamation; State land managed by the WSDOT and the WDNR; and Yakima, Kittitas, and Grant Counties. The Supplemental Draft EIS also identifies mitigation measures to avoid, minimize, or reduce impacts for the New Northern Route Alternative. To minimize the amount and significance of impacts from the proposed Project to sage-grouse, a Framework for the Development of a Sage-grouse Habitat Mitigation Plan is currently being developed by the project’s Sage-grouse PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 51 Subgroup which is comprised of wildlife biologists representing the USFWS, WDFW, JBLM YTC, and BLM. This framework will provide the basis for the project proponent to prepare a Sage-grouse Habitat Mitigation Plan which will provide an overview of impacts and proposed sage-grouse compensatory mitigation actions for the project. The draft ‘‘Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project Framework for Development of a Sage-Grouse Habitat Mitigation Plan’’ is included as an appendix to the Supplemental Draft EIS. The BLM will continue to use the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public participation requirements to assist the agency in satisfying the public involvement requirements under Section 106 of the National Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470(f)) pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). The information about historic and cultural resources within the area potentially affected by the proposed Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project will continue to assist BLM in identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources in the context of both NEPA and Section 106 of the NHPA. The BLM will continue to consult with Indian tribes on a government-togovernment basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts to trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due consideration. Federal, state, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the proposed Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project were invited to participate in the scoping process and comment on the Draft EIS. The BLM has consulted with the federally recognized Yakama Nation and the Colville Confederated Tribes and with the non-federally recognized Wanapum Band of Indians. BLM continues to work with the state and federal agencies and consulting tribes regarding development of a Programmatic Agreement (PA) that outlines how the federal agencies will comply with Section 106 for this undertaking, the draft PA is included as an appendix to the Supplemental Draft EIS. Major issues brought forward during the scoping process that were addressed in the Draft EIS and carried forward in the Supplemental Draft EIS include: • Land use conflicts and effects on agricultural operations and property values E:\FR\FM\02JAN1.SGM 02JAN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 52 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 1 / Friday, January 2, 2015 / Notices • Effects on wildlife habitat, plants, and animals including threatened, endangered, and sensitive species (especially sage-grouse) • Potential effects to JBLM YTC military training operations • Effects to visual resources and existing view sheds • Effects to cultural resources • Effects to soils and water from surface-disturbing activities • Social and economic effects • Management and control of invasive plant species • Public health and safety The Supplemental Draft EIS analysis identified several advantages associated with the New Northern Route Alternative and they include: • Reduced overall transmission line length; approximately 22-miles shorter than the DEIS Agency Preferred Alternative. The reduced transmission line length provides reduced resource impacts for several issues compared to the original DEIS Agency Preferred Alternative. • Reduced overall transmission line length across non-federal lands; The New Northern Route Alternative occurs primarily on federal lands and therefore has less impacts on land use, public health and safety, and other issues compared to the DEIS Agency Preferred Alternative. • Reduced overall disturbance footprint; the New Northern Route Alternative is consolidated in an existing transmission line corridor (approximately 200-foot centerline-tocenterline separation) for the majority of the proposed routing. The reduced disturbance foot-print thus reduced resource impacts such as impacts to wildlife habitat (especially SageGrouse), military training, soils, water resources, invasive species spread, and others issues compared to the DEIS Agency Preferred Alternative. 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. 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Dec 31, 2014 Jkt 235001 Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10. Daniel C. Picard, Spokane District Manager. [FR Doc. 2014–30597 Filed 12–31–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–33–P DEPARMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [14XLLAKF02000.L16100000. DQ0000.LXSS094L0000] Notice of Availability of Additional Information on Proposed Areas of Critical Environmental Concern and Associated Resource Use Limitations Identified in the Draft Eastern Interior Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Alaska Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: On February 24, 2012, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Eastern Interior Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP)/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review and comment in the Federal Register. BLM planning regulations require the BLM to notify the public of proposed Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and specify the resource use limitations which would occur if the ACECs were formally designated through approval of the Eastern Interior RMP. Based on public comment on the Draft RMP, the BLM proposes the reconfiguration of the Fortymile ACEC and proposes a new ACEC on the Mosquito Flats. These specific proposed ACEC boundaries were not noticed in the Draft RMP/EIS. Thus, the BLM is providing this notice and public comment period for these two proposed ACECs. DATES: You may submit comments related to the new ACEC information in this notice until March 3, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the new ACEC information by any of the following methods: • Email: easterninterior@blm.gov. • Fax: 907–474–2282. • Mail: Eastern Interior Field Office, Attention—Eastern Interior RMP, Bureau of Land Management, 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeanie Cole, telephone 907–474–2340 or email j05cole@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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: Comments on the Draft RMP/EIS received from the public and internal BLM analyses on ACECs were reviewed and considered for incorporation into the proposed plan. As a result, the BLM now proposes the addition of the 30,000 acre Mosquito Flats ACEC and reconfiguration of the Fortymile ACEC to 685,000 acres. It is unnecessary to issue a supplement to the Draft EIS pursuant to 40 CFR 1502.9 because the proposed land management direction for these ACECs was within the spectrum of alternatives analyzed in the Draft EIS. The following description details the information for these two proposed ACECs. Maps of both ACECs are available on the BLM’s Eastern Interior RMP Web site at www.blm.gov/ ak/eirmp. Mosquito Flats ACEC (30,000 Acres) During the public comment period for the Eastern Interior RMP, the BLM received two nominations for an ACEC on the Mosquito Flats. The proposed Mosquito Flats ACEC is a large wetland complex unique to BLM lands in the planning area; it consists of a wetland basin situated in the upper portion of the drainage, at relatively high elevation (∼2250 ft), and surrounded by mountains. Mosquito Flats provides unique wetland and aquatic habitats and supports a variety of wildlife species. The proposed ACEC is comprised of a complex of floating bog wetland vegetation partially surrounded by mountains. The Mosquito Fork River flows over continuous sand beds that are uncharacteristically clean, light colored, well-sorted, and low in organics. These sand beds provide unique aquatic habitat essential for maintaining diverse species within the planning area. Mosquito Flats is an important moose calving area and summer habitat for the regional moose population. The area also supports short-eared owls and nesting trumpeter swans, both BLMAlaska sensitive species. It may also support other BLM-sensitive species, including olive-sided flycatcher, rusty blackbird, and blackpoll warbler. Proposed Use Limitations: Closed to locatable mineral entry and mineral leasing, subject to valid existing rights. Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use is E:\FR\FM\02JAN1.SGM 02JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 1 (Friday, January 2, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50-52]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30597]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLORW00000 L51010000.ER0000 LVRWH09H0570 14XL5017AP; HAG-14-0191]


WAOR65753; Notice of Availability of the Supplemental Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Vantage to Pomona 
Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project in Benton, Grant, Kittitas, 
and Yakima Counties, Washington

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a 
Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Vantage 
to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project and, by this notice, 
is announcing the opening of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS for the Vantage to 
Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project within 45 days 
following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its 
Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce 
future meetings or hearings and any other public involvement activities 
at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, 
and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Vantage to Pomona 
Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project by any of the following 
methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/spokane/plans/vph230.php.
     Email: blm_or_vantage_pomona@blm.gov (please reference 
Vantage to Pomona Heights Supplemental Draft EIS in the subject line).
     Fax: 509-536-1275 Attn: Vantage to Pomona Heights 
Supplemental Draft EIS Project Manager.
     Mail to: Spokane District, Records Manager, 1103 North 
Fancher Road, Spokane, Washington 99212, Attn: Vantage to Pomona 
Heights Supplemental Draft EIS.
     Hand-deliver to: BLM Wenatchee Field Office, Attn: Vantage 
to Pomona Heights Supplemental Draft EIS, 915 Walla Walla Avenue, 
Wenatchee, Washington 98801-1521, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 
Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.
    Copies of the Supplemental Draft EIS for the Vantage to Pomona 
Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project, as well as copies of the 
January 2013 DEIS, are available in the BLM Wenatchee Field Office at 
the above address and electronically at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/spokane/plans/vph230.php.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vantage to Pomona Heights Supplemental 
Draft EIS Project Manager; telephone, 509-665-2100; address, BLM 
Wenatchee Field Office, 915 Walla Walla Avenue, Wenatchee, Washington 
98801-1521; email, blm_or_vantage_pomona@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: The project proponent, Pacific Power, filed 
Federal applications for rights-of-way with the BLM, the U.S. 
Department of Defense Joint Base Lewis McChord Yakima Training Center 
(JBLM YTC), and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for 
construction, operation, and maintenance of a 230-kilovolt (kV) 
transmission line from Pacific Power's Pomona Heights Substation 
located east of Selah, Washington, in Yakima County to the

[[Page 51]]

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Vantage Substation located just 
east of the Wanapum Dam in Grant County, Washington. The project 
proponent's interest in the new line is to enhance overall operating 
flexibility and security of the regional transmission grid and to 
improve system reliability in the Yakima Valley.
    On January 4, 2013, the BLM released a Draft EIS for public review 
and comment. As a result of the comments received at public meetings 
and submitted in writing during the Draft EIS comment period, the BLM, 
Pacific Power, and the JBLM YTC met and identified a New Northern Route 
Alternative that is located largely on JBLM YTC land. The BLM therefore 
decided to prepare a Supplemental Draft EIS to fully describe the New 
Northern Route Alternative, analyze the direct, indirect, and 
cumulative impacts associated with this alternative, and describe 
mitigation measures that could avoid, minimize, or reduce impacts. The 
Supplemental Draft EIS focuses the analysis on the New Northern Route 
Alternative as well as any significant new circumstances or information 
that has become available since the January 2013 publication of the 
Draft EIS. New information that has been incorporated into the 
Supplemental Draft EIS is primarily related to Greater Sage-Grouse, a 
Candidate species under the Endangered Species Act. Following 
publication of the Draft EIS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(USFWS) Conservation Objectives Team (COT) published the Greater Sage-
grouse Conservation Objectives: Final Report (COT Report). A key 
component of the COT Report is the identification of Priority Areas of 
Conservation (PACs), which are considered key habitats essential for 
Greater Sage-Grouse conservation. The COT Report identifies four PACs 
within the state of Washington, two of which have extant populations, 
Moses Coulee and Yakima Training Center. With the exception of a small 
portion of the New Northern Route Alternative, the Project is located 
entirely within the Yakima Training Center PAC. The impact analysis for 
Sage-Grouse was expanded in the Supplemental Draft EIS to address USFWS 
and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) concerns 
regarding sage-grouse and to incorporate information from the COT 
Report and the Yakima Training Center PAC. In addition, the 
Supplemental Draft EIS analyzed two identified areas (approximately 10 
miles in total length) with both an Overhead and an Underground Design 
Option to address wildlife agency concerns regarding impacts to sage-
grouse.
    The BLM remains the lead Federal agency and, along with the 
Cooperating Agencies, is responsible for analyzing the effects of 
Pacific Power's right-of-way applications to construct, operate, and 
maintain a 230 kV transmission line, associated access roads, and other 
ancillary facilities. The JBLM YTC, Reclamation, BPA, Federal Highway 
Administration (FHWA), USFWS, Washington Department of Natural 
Resources (DNR), Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), and 
Kittitas and Yakima Counties are Cooperating Agencies and assisted with 
the preparation of the Supplemental Draft EIS.
    As preliminarily designed by Pacific Power and analyzed in the 
Draft EIS and the Supplemental DEIS, most of the proposed transmission 
line would be constructed on H-frame wood pole structures between 65 
and 90 feet tall and spaced approximately 650 to 1,000 feet apart, 
depending on terrain. In developed or agricultural areas, single wood 
or steel monopole structures would be used. The single pole structures 
would be between 80 and 110 feet tall and spaced approximately 400 to 
700 feet apart. The right-of-way width for the H-frame structure type 
would be between 125 to 150 feet and, for the single pole structure 
type, between 75 to 100 feet. For the Columbia River crossing, steel 
lattice structures approximately 200 feet tall would be used to safely 
span the up to 2,800-foot crossing.
    The Supplemental Draft EIS considers three alternatives: No Action, 
New Northern Route Alternative, and the Draft EIS Agency Preferred 
Alternative. The New Northern Route Alternative is 41 miles in length 
and includes one potential subroute section and analyzes two identified 
areas (approximately 10 miles in total length) with both an Overhead 
and an Underground Design Option to address wildlife agency concerns 
regarding impacts to sage-grouse. The New Northern Route Alternative 
crosses Federal land managed by the BLM, the JBLM YTC, and Reclamation; 
State land managed by the WSDOT and the WDNR; and Yakima, Kittitas, and 
Grant Counties. The Supplemental Draft EIS also identifies mitigation 
measures to avoid, minimize, or reduce impacts for the New Northern 
Route Alternative. To minimize the amount and significance of impacts 
from the proposed Project to sage-grouse, a Framework for the 
Development of a Sage-grouse Habitat Mitigation Plan is currently being 
developed by the project's Sage-grouse Subgroup which is comprised of 
wildlife biologists representing the USFWS, WDFW, JBLM YTC, and BLM. 
This framework will provide the basis for the project proponent to 
prepare a Sage-grouse Habitat Mitigation Plan which will provide an 
overview of impacts and proposed sage-grouse compensatory mitigation 
actions for the project. The draft ``Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV 
Transmission Line Project Framework for Development of a Sage-Grouse 
Habitat Mitigation Plan'' is included as an appendix to the 
Supplemental Draft EIS.
    The BLM will continue to use the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) public participation requirements to assist the agency in 
satisfying the public involvement requirements under Section 106 of the 
National Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470(f)) pursuant to 36 CFR 
800.2(d)(3). The information about historic and cultural resources 
within the area potentially affected by the proposed Vantage to Pomona 
Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project will continue to assist BLM in 
identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources in the context of 
both NEPA and Section 106 of the NHPA.
    The BLM will continue to consult with Indian tribes on a 
government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 
and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts to trust assets 
and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due 
consideration. Federal, state, and local agencies, along with tribes 
and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the 
proposed Vantage to Pomona Heights 230 kV Transmission Line Project 
were invited to participate in the scoping process and comment on the 
Draft EIS.
    The BLM has consulted with the federally recognized Yakama Nation 
and the Colville Confederated Tribes and with the non-federally 
recognized Wanapum Band of Indians. BLM continues to work with the 
state and federal agencies and consulting tribes regarding development 
of a Programmatic Agreement (PA) that outlines how the federal agencies 
will comply with Section 106 for this undertaking, the draft PA is 
included as an appendix to the Supplemental Draft EIS.
    Major issues brought forward during the scoping process that were 
addressed in the Draft EIS and carried forward in the Supplemental 
Draft EIS include:

 Land use conflicts and effects on agricultural operations and 
property values

[[Page 52]]

 Effects on wildlife habitat, plants, and animals including 
threatened, endangered, and sensitive species (especially sage-grouse)
 Potential effects to JBLM YTC military training operations
 Effects to visual resources and existing view sheds
 Effects to cultural resources
 Effects to soils and water from surface-disturbing activities
 Social and economic effects
 Management and control of invasive plant species
 Public health and safety

    The Supplemental Draft EIS analysis identified several advantages 
associated with the New Northern Route Alternative and they include:
     Reduced overall transmission line length; approximately 
22-miles shorter than the DEIS Agency Preferred Alternative. The 
reduced transmission line length provides reduced resource impacts for 
several issues compared to the original DEIS Agency Preferred 
Alternative.
     Reduced overall transmission line length across non-
federal lands; The New Northern Route Alternative occurs primarily on 
federal lands and therefore has less impacts on land use, public health 
and safety, and other issues compared to the DEIS Agency Preferred 
Alternative.
     Reduced overall disturbance footprint; the New Northern 
Route Alternative is consolidated in an existing transmission line 
corridor (approximately 200-foot centerline-to-centerline separation) 
for the majority of the proposed routing. The reduced disturbance foot-
print thus reduced resource impacts such as impacts to wildlife habitat 
(especially Sage-Grouse), military training, soils, water resources, 
invasive species spread, and others issues compared to the DEIS Agency 
Preferred Alternative.
    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. 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.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

Daniel C. Picard,
Spokane District Manager.
[FR Doc. 2014-30597 Filed 12-31-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-33-P