Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Reformulation Study, 17729-17731 [2015-07580]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 63 / Thursday, April 2, 2015 / Notices III. Data OMB Control Number: 0648–xxxx. Form Number(s): None. Type of Review: Regular submission (new information collection). Affected Public: Business or other forprofit organizations, not-for-profit institutions, state, local or tribal government. Estimated Number of Respondents: 70. Estimated Time per Response: 10 hours (semi-annually). Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,400. Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs. IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Dated: March 30, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2015–07547 Filed 4–1–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 3510–JE–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Africa Partnership Forum (APF) Day; Notice of Meeting United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM), DoD. ACTION: Notice of meeting. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: The Headquarters, United States Africa Command (USAFRTCOM), plans to host an Africa Partnership Forum (APF) Day, June 8–12, 2015. For planning purposes, AFRICOM is gathering information on potential number or ‘‘head count’’ of business or SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:52 Apr 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 commercial entities that may be interested in participating in the Africa Partnership Forum Day. DATES: June 8–12, 2015. Stage Palladium Theater, Plieninger Str. 102 70567 Stuttgart, Germany. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Interested parties may send their intent to participate to the following email addresses: (1) AFRICOM Stuttgart ACJ95 Mailbox, africom.stuttgart.acj95.mbx. ppp-branch@mail.mil; (2) http:// www.ncsi.com/africom/2015/index.php. Please include your company name, point of contact information, the number of potential attendees, and indicate whether U.S. or non-U.S. business entity. State in the subject line: ‘‘USAFRICOM Africa Partnership Forum (APF): June 8–12, 2015.’’ Please respond to this notice no later than close-of-business on April 10, 2015. The three-day, USAFRICOM APF 8–12 will be held in Stuttgart, Germany. Specific detail s of the event, including a detailed schedule will be published at a later date. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Monday, June 8, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., will focus on arrivals, registration, networking, and a ‘No-Host’ social. Tuesday, June 9, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, June 10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will consist of focused topic plenary presentations and facilitate discussions to obtain greater mutual situational understanding; develop new concepts, approaches, insights, and innovative solutions; and to capture opportunities for shared cooperative engagements. Thursday, June 11, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., will focus on vendors’ expositions showcasing/demonstrating available products and capabilities and networking to foster greater relationships with commercial industry, NGOs, academia, corporate social foundations, international/private and other organizational entities. Friday, June 12 will focus on departure of attendees and compiling of comments and contributions of participants. Dated: March 30, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2015–07575 Filed 4–1–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 5001–06–P PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17729 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Reformulation Study AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD. ACTION: Notice of intent. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District (Corps) with (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as local sponsor) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with Council on Environmental Quality’s NEPA regulations; Corps’ principles and guidelines as defined in Engineering Regulations (ER) 1105–2– 100, Planning Guidance Notebook, and ER 200–2–2, Procedures for Implementing NEPA; and other applicable Federal and State environmental laws for the proposed Atlantic Coast of New York, East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. The study is re-assessing the feasibility of coastal storm risk management alternatives to be implemented within the congressionally authorized project area. This overall study area includes the entire Rockaway peninsula as well as the back-bay communities surrounding Jamaica Bay. During Hurricane Sandy, both Rockaway and Jamaica Bay communities were severely affected with large areas subjected to erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and flooding of communities within and surrounding Jamaica Bay. Along the Rockaways, the Atlantic Ocean surge and waves exceeded the island height, resulting in flow of water across the peninsula, and contributing to the flooding along the shoreline of the interior of Jamaica Bay. Hurricane Sandy illustrated the need to re-evaluate the entire peninsula and back-bay area as a system, when considering riskmanagement measures. Acknowledging the amount of analyses required to comprehensively reevaluate the study area considering the influence of the Atlantic Ocean shorefront conditions on the back-bay system, a single Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation Report and EIS (GRR/EIS) will be prepared. The Corps will use a tiered process to SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1 17730 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 63 / Thursday, April 2, 2015 / Notices tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES facilitate project decision-making. The EIS will build upon the extensive Atlantic shoreline alternatives analysis and environmental and technical studies and outreach conducted to date. The proposed tiering approach will allow the study to focus on both broad overall Jamaica Bay-wide issues while simultaneously assessing site specific impacts, costs and mitigation measures for the shorefront and back-bay alternatives. The scope of analysis in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 will be appropriate to the level of detail necessary for those documents and will receive input from the public and reviewing agencies. The Tier 1 shoreline analysis will provide the basis for the alternatives to problems associated with erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline the relationship of the shoreline with the back-bay. The Tier 2 analysis will specifically address the flooding of communities within and surrounding Jamaica Bay. ADDRESSES: Send written comments and suggestions concerning the scope of issues to be evaluated within the EIS to Robert Smith, Project Biologist/NEPA Coordinator, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, Planning Division, Environmental, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10279–0090; Phone: (917) 790–8729; email: robert.j. smith@usace.army.mil. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the overall East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Reformulation Study should be directed to Daniel T. Falt, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, Programs and Project Management Division, Civil Works Programs Branch, 26 Federal Plaza, Room 2127, New York, NY 10279–0090; Phone: (917) 790–8614; email: daniel.t.falt@usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Background The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), is undertaking this study. The original multiple purpose (coastal erosion control and coastal flooding protection) project for East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, New York was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1965 (Pub. L. 89–298). The authorized project provided for the restoration of a protective beach along 6.2 miles of Rockaway Beach, between Beach 19th Street and Beach 149th Street. The beach erosion control features of the authorized project on the Rockaway VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:52 Apr 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 Peninsula consists of a 100-foot berm width (i.e., beach) at an elevation of +10 foot NGVD (approximately 8.9 feet NAVD88) over the peninsula’s entire project length. The 1965 authorized project also included measures to provide hurricane damage risk reduction within Jamaica Bay by constructing a hurricane barrier and closure structure across the entrance to Jamaica Bay (Rockaway Inlet). This original project authority was modified by Section 72 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 to provide for the separate construction of the beach erosion control on the oceanfront of the Rockaway Peninsula independently from the hurricane barrier addressing Jamaica Bay. For more than 30 years, the ocean-front portion of the authorized project has been maintained; the hurricane barrier portion of the originally authorized project was never constructed and was subsequently de-authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1986. In the early 2000s, the Corps began a reformulation effort to examine possible changes to the originally authorized East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Project. The constructed shorefront features of the Atlantic Coastline (East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet) were being reformulated with the goal of: Reducing coastal storm vulnerability to erosion, waves, and surge; identifying measures to reduce long-term re-nourishment costs; and extending federal participation in the project for up to 50 years. The reformulation effort was exclusively examining shorefront features as stand-alone alternatives for addressing shorefront damages. The Corps developed shorefront alternatives with the NYSDEC and the resource agency and public coordination of the shorefront alternatives was ongoing prior to Hurricane Sandy. The reformulation for the Jamaica Bay portion of the study area (i.e., the backbay communities) had not been advanced prior to Hurricane Sandy due to funding constraints. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall with a combination of massive storm surge, rising water levels and reshaping of local geography. In response to the damages and vulnerability of communities and ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast, the U.S. Congress passed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113–2). In part, directing the Corps of Engineers to ‘‘. . . reduce future flood risk in ways that will support the longterm sustainability of the coastal ecosystem and communities and reduce PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the economic costs and risks associated with large-scale flood and storm events in areas along the Atlantic Coast within the boundaries of the North Atlantic Division of the Corps that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.’’ In partial fulfillment of the requirements detailed within the Act, the USACE identified authorized USACE projects for reducing flooding and storm risks that have been constructed or are under construction that could be re-evaluated under the new guidelines; the existing East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, NY project met the criteria for re-evaluation. Because the reformulation for the Jamaica Bay portion of the study area had not been advanced prior to Hurricane Sandy, the Corps accelerated the reformulation effort for the back-bay portion of the study. The Corps is currently integrating the advanced plan formulation effort for the shorefront with the relatively recent planning effort for the back-bay into a single comprehensive document to address the entire system. Acknowledging the amount of analyses required to comprehensively reevaluate the study area considering the influence of the Atlantic Ocean shorefront conditions on the back-bay system, a single Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation Report and EIS (GRR/EIS) will be prepared. The Corps will use a tiered process to facilitate project decision-making. The EIS will build upon the extensive Atlantic shoreline alternatives analysis and environmental and technical studies and outreach conducted to date. The proposed tiering approach will allow the study to focus on both broad overall Jamaica Bay-wide issues while simultaneously assessing site specific impacts, costs and mitigation measures for the shorefront and back-bay alternatives. The scope of analysis in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 will be appropriate to the level of detail necessary for those documents and will receive input from the public and reviewing agencies. The Tier 1 shoreline analysis will provide the basis for the alternatives to problems associated with erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and the Tier 2 analysis will address the flooding of communities within and surrounding Jamaica Bay. 2. Study Area The study area encompasses the Atlantic Coast of New York City between East Rockaway Inlet and Rockaway Inlet, and the water and lands within and surrounding Jamaica Bay, New York. The southern extent of the study area is the Atlantic Ocean and E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 63 / Thursday, April 2, 2015 / Notices shorefront along the Rockaway Peninsula which separates the Atlantic Ocean from Jamaica Bay immediately to the north. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 3. USACE Decision Making Developing the alternatives formulation, engineering design and environmental consequences assessment into a single GRR/EIS allows the New York District to comprehensively evaluate the project as a system. However, the USACE acknowledges that the shorefront and back-bay segments may not concurrently be ready for a recommendation. The shorefront portion of the project has undergone extensive alternatives analysis, while the back-bay re-evaluation process is in its earlier stages. Additionally, the shorefront measures being evaluated have been the subject of considerable public and agency coordination while these essential coordination efforts have not been completed for the back-bay alternatives. As a result, the Corps will develop the HSGRR/EIS evaluating the entire area, but will tier the decisions (i.e., issue separate records of decision) on the respective areas. This decision making approach will allow time to address agency policy issues and build consensus among cooperating agencies and the public. This option to issue multiple records of decision based on a single EIS is available to the USACE because of the flexibility in the NEPA process as described in the President’s Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) NEPA-Implementing Regulations. 4. Public Participation The USACE invites public comment on the scope of the issues and alternatives to be addressed in the draft EIS. Input will be received through public meetings with both oral and written comments being provided; written comments may be submitted at any time during the process. The New York District will host a series of three public scoping meetings to receive comments on the proposed scope of issues to be evaluated in the draft environmental impact statement. Each of the public meetings will begin with an informal open house from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. followed by the formal meeting from 7:00–9:00 p.m. Two public meetings have been scheduled with a third TBD. The first will be held at the Knights of Columbus (333 Beach 90th Street, Rockaway Beach, NY 11693) on April 22, 2015 between 6:30–9:30 p.m. The second is scheduled at the Ryan Visitor Center (50 Aviator Road Brooklyn, NY 11234) for VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:52 Apr 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 Wednesday, April 29 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. 5. Lead and Cooperating Agencies The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency for the preparation of the environmental impact statement (EIS) and meeting the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the NEPA Implementing Regulations of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500–1508). Within the study area, the National Park Service (NPS) manages the over 19,000acre Jamaica Bay Unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Many of the actions evaluated within the EIS could occur within the National Recreation Area. Federal agencies interested in participating as a Cooperating Agency are requested to submit a letter of intent to Colonel Paul E. Owen, District Engineer (see ADDRESSES). The preparation of the EIS will be coordinated with New York State and New York City agencies with discretionary authority relative to the proposed actions. The Draft EIS is currently scheduled for distribution to the public November 2015. Dated: March 26, 2015. Peter M. Weppler, Chief, Environmental Analysis Branch, Planning Division. [FR Doc. 2015–07580 Filed 4–1–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary National Security Education Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO), DoD. ACTION: Meeting notice. AGENCY: The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the National Security Education Board will take place. This meeting is open to the public. DATES: Tuesday, May 5, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1210, Arlington, VA 22209. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alison Patz, telephone: (571) 256–0771, Alison.m.patz.civ@mail.mil, fax: (703) 692–2615. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17731 This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102–3.150. Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to review and make recommendations to the Secretary of Defense concerning requirements established by the David L. Boren National Security Education Act, Title VII of Public Law 102–183, as amended. Agenda: 8:30 a.m.—Opening Remarks and Key Updates. 9:15 a.m.—Programmatic Updates. 10:00 a.m.—Class of 2015 Boren Scholars and Fellows. 10:45 a.m.—Break. 11:00 a.m.—Strategic National Security Hiring Needs. 11:30 a.m.—Read Out From NSEB Working Group on Communications. 12:15 p.m.—Working Lunch. 1:00 p.m.—Full Board Discussion on NSEP Strategic Communications and Branding. 2:30 p.m.—Break. 2:45 p.m.—New NSEP Initiatives. 3:15 p.m.—Board Discussion. 4:00 p.m.—Adjourn. Public’s Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102–3.140 through 102–3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is on a firstcome basis. Committee’s Point of Contact: Alison Patz, Alternate Designated Federal Official, (571) 256–0771, Alison.m.patz.civ@mail.mil. Pursuant to 41 CFR 102–3.140 and sections 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Department of Defense National Security Education Board about its mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of the planned meeting. All written statements shall be submitted to the Designated Federal Official for the National Security Education Board, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration. Contact information for the Designated Federal Official can be obtained from the GSA’s FACA Database—http:// www.facadatabase.gov/. Statements being submitted in response to the agenda mentioned in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\02APN1.SGM 02APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 63 (Thursday, April 2, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17729-17731]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-07580]


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

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Reformulation 
Study

AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District (Corps) 
with (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as local 
sponsor) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in 
accordance with Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations; 
Corps' principles and guidelines as defined in Engineering Regulations 
(ER) 1105-2-100, Planning Guidance Notebook, and ER 200-2-2, Procedures 
for Implementing NEPA; and other applicable Federal and State 
environmental laws for the proposed Atlantic Coast of New York, East 
Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Coastal Storm Risk 
Management Feasibility Study. The study is re-assessing the feasibility 
of coastal storm risk management alternatives to be implemented within 
the congressionally authorized project area. This overall study area 
includes the entire Rockaway peninsula as well as the back-bay 
communities surrounding Jamaica Bay. During Hurricane Sandy, both 
Rockaway and Jamaica Bay communities were severely affected with large 
areas subjected to erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along the 
Atlantic Ocean shoreline and flooding of communities within and 
surrounding Jamaica Bay. Along the Rockaways, the Atlantic Ocean surge 
and waves exceeded the island height, resulting in flow of water across 
the peninsula, and contributing to the flooding along the shoreline of 
the interior of Jamaica Bay. Hurricane Sandy illustrated the need to 
re-evaluate the entire peninsula and back-bay area as a system, when 
considering risk-management measures. Acknowledging the amount of 
analyses required to comprehensively reevaluate the study area 
considering the influence of the Atlantic Ocean shorefront conditions 
on the back-bay system, a single Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation 
Report and EIS (GRR/EIS) will be prepared. The Corps will use a tiered 
process to

[[Page 17730]]

facilitate project decision-making. The EIS will build upon the 
extensive Atlantic shoreline alternatives analysis and environmental 
and technical studies and outreach conducted to date. The proposed 
tiering approach will allow the study to focus on both broad overall 
Jamaica Bay-wide issues while simultaneously assessing site specific 
impacts, costs and mitigation measures for the shorefront and back-bay 
alternatives. The scope of analysis in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 will be 
appropriate to the level of detail necessary for those documents and 
will receive input from the public and reviewing agencies. The Tier 1 
shoreline analysis will provide the basis for the alternatives to 
problems associated with erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along 
the Atlantic Ocean shoreline the relationship of the shoreline with the 
back-bay. The Tier 2 analysis will specifically address the flooding of 
communities within and surrounding Jamaica Bay.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments and suggestions concerning the scope 
of issues to be evaluated within the EIS to Robert Smith, Project 
Biologist/NEPA Coordinator, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York 
District, Planning Division, Environmental, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, 
NY 10279-0090; Phone: (917) 790-8729; email: 
robert.j.smith@usace.army.mil.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the overall East 
Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Coastal Storm Risk 
Management Reformulation Study should be directed to Daniel T. Falt, 
Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, 
Programs and Project Management Division, Civil Works Programs Branch, 
26 Federal Plaza, Room 2127, New York, NY 10279-0090; Phone: (917) 790-
8614; email: daniel.t.falt@usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1. Background

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the New York 
State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), is undertaking 
this study. The original multiple purpose (coastal erosion control and 
coastal flooding protection) project for East Rockaway Inlet to 
Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, New York was authorized by the Flood 
Control Act of 1965 (Pub. L. 89-298). The authorized project provided 
for the restoration of a protective beach along 6.2 miles of Rockaway 
Beach, between Beach 19th Street and Beach 149th Street. The beach 
erosion control features of the authorized project on the Rockaway 
Peninsula consists of a 100-foot berm width (i.e., beach) at an 
elevation of +10 foot NGVD (approximately 8.9 feet NAVD88) over the 
peninsula's entire project length.
    The 1965 authorized project also included measures to provide 
hurricane damage risk reduction within Jamaica Bay by constructing a 
hurricane barrier and closure structure across the entrance to Jamaica 
Bay (Rockaway Inlet). This original project authority was modified by 
Section 72 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 to provide 
for the separate construction of the beach erosion control on the 
ocean-front of the Rockaway Peninsula independently from the hurricane 
barrier addressing Jamaica Bay. For more than 30 years, the ocean-front 
portion of the authorized project has been maintained; the hurricane 
barrier portion of the originally authorized project was never 
constructed and was subsequently de-authorized by the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1986.
    In the early 2000s, the Corps began a reformulation effort to 
examine possible changes to the originally authorized East Rockaway 
Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Project. The constructed 
shorefront features of the Atlantic Coastline (East Rockaway Inlet to 
Rockaway Inlet) were being reformulated with the goal of: Reducing 
coastal storm vulnerability to erosion, waves, and surge; identifying 
measures to reduce long-term re-nourishment costs; and extending 
federal participation in the project for up to 50 years. The 
reformulation effort was exclusively examining shorefront features as 
stand-alone alternatives for addressing shorefront damages. The Corps 
developed shorefront alternatives with the NYSDEC and the resource 
agency and public coordination of the shorefront alternatives was 
ongoing prior to Hurricane Sandy. The reformulation for the Jamaica Bay 
portion of the study area (i.e., the back-bay communities) had not been 
advanced prior to Hurricane Sandy due to funding constraints.
    In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall with a combination 
of massive storm surge, rising water levels and reshaping of local 
geography. In response to the damages and vulnerability of communities 
and ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast, the U.S. Congress passed the 
Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113-2). In part, 
directing the Corps of Engineers to ``. . . reduce future flood risk in 
ways that will support the long-term sustainability of the coastal 
ecosystem and communities and reduce the economic costs and risks 
associated with large-scale flood and storm events in areas along the 
Atlantic Coast within the boundaries of the North Atlantic Division of 
the Corps that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.'' In partial 
fulfillment of the requirements detailed within the Act, the USACE 
identified authorized USACE projects for reducing flooding and storm 
risks that have been constructed or are under construction that could 
be re-evaluated under the new guidelines; the existing East Rockaway 
Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, NY project met the criteria 
for re-evaluation.
    Because the reformulation for the Jamaica Bay portion of the study 
area had not been advanced prior to Hurricane Sandy, the Corps 
accelerated the reformulation effort for the back-bay portion of the 
study. The Corps is currently integrating the advanced plan formulation 
effort for the shorefront with the relatively recent planning effort 
for the back-bay into a single comprehensive document to address the 
entire system. Acknowledging the amount of analyses required to 
comprehensively reevaluate the study area considering the influence of 
the Atlantic Ocean shorefront conditions on the back-bay system, a 
single Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation Report and EIS (GRR/EIS) 
will be prepared. The Corps will use a tiered process to facilitate 
project decision-making. The EIS will build upon the extensive Atlantic 
shoreline alternatives analysis and environmental and technical studies 
and outreach conducted to date. The proposed tiering approach will 
allow the study to focus on both broad overall Jamaica Bay-wide issues 
while simultaneously assessing site specific impacts, costs and 
mitigation measures for the shorefront and back-bay alternatives. The 
scope of analysis in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 will be appropriate to the 
level of detail necessary for those documents and will receive input 
from the public and reviewing agencies. The Tier 1 shoreline analysis 
will provide the basis for the alternatives to problems associated with 
erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along the Atlantic Ocean 
shoreline and the Tier 2 analysis will address the flooding of 
communities within and surrounding Jamaica Bay.

2. Study Area

    The study area encompasses the Atlantic Coast of New York City 
between East Rockaway Inlet and Rockaway Inlet, and the water and lands 
within and surrounding Jamaica Bay, New York. The southern extent of 
the study area is the Atlantic Ocean and

[[Page 17731]]

shorefront along the Rockaway Peninsula which separates the Atlantic 
Ocean from Jamaica Bay immediately to the north.

3. USACE Decision Making

    Developing the alternatives formulation, engineering design and 
environmental consequences assessment into a single GRR/EIS allows the 
New York District to comprehensively evaluate the project as a system. 
However, the USACE acknowledges that the shorefront and back-bay 
segments may not concurrently be ready for a recommendation. The 
shorefront portion of the project has undergone extensive alternatives 
analysis, while the back-bay re-evaluation process is in its earlier 
stages. Additionally, the shorefront measures being evaluated have been 
the subject of considerable public and agency coordination while these 
essential coordination efforts have not been completed for the back-bay 
alternatives.
    As a result, the Corps will develop the HSGRR/EIS evaluating the 
entire area, but will tier the decisions (i.e., issue separate records 
of decision) on the respective areas. This decision making approach 
will allow time to address agency policy issues and build consensus 
among cooperating agencies and the public. This option to issue 
multiple records of decision based on a single EIS is available to the 
USACE because of the flexibility in the NEPA process as described in 
the President's Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) NEPA-
Implementing Regulations.

4. Public Participation

    The USACE invites public comment on the scope of the issues and 
alternatives to be addressed in the draft EIS. Input will be received 
through public meetings with both oral and written comments being 
provided; written comments may be submitted at any time during the 
process. The New York District will host a series of three public 
scoping meetings to receive comments on the proposed scope of issues to 
be evaluated in the draft environmental impact statement. Each of the 
public meetings will begin with an informal open house from 5:00 p.m. 
to 6:00 p.m. followed by the formal meeting from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    Two public meetings have been scheduled with a third TBD. The first 
will be held at the Knights of Columbus (333 Beach 90th Street, 
Rockaway Beach, NY 11693) on April 22, 2015 between 6:30-9:30 p.m. The 
second is scheduled at the Ryan Visitor Center (50 Aviator Road 
Brooklyn, NY 11234) for Wednesday, April 29 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

5. Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency for the 
preparation of the environmental impact statement (EIS) and meeting the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the NEPA 
Implementing Regulations of the President's Council on Environmental 
Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508). Within the study area, the National 
Park Service (NPS) manages the over 19,000-acre Jamaica Bay Unit of the 
Gateway National Recreation Area. Many of the actions evaluated within 
the EIS could occur within the National Recreation Area. Federal 
agencies interested in participating as a Cooperating Agency are 
requested to submit a letter of intent to Colonel Paul E. Owen, 
District Engineer (see ADDRESSES). The preparation of the EIS will be 
coordinated with New York State and New York City agencies with 
discretionary authority relative to the proposed actions. The Draft EIS 
is currently scheduled for distribution to the public November 2015.

    Dated: March 26, 2015.
Peter M. Weppler,
Chief, Environmental Analysis Branch, Planning Division.
[FR Doc. 2015-07580 Filed 4-1-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE CODE 3720-58-P