Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, 45681-45684 [2015-18307]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 147 / Friday, July 31, 2015 / Notices River Water’’ in order for district to divert, treat, and deliver to Davis Dam the Davis Dam Secretarial Reservation amount of up to 100 acre-feet per year of Colorado River water. Upper Colorado Region: Bureau of Reclamation, 125 South State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138– 1102, telephone 801–524–3864. Discontinued contract action: 10. City of Santa Fe, San Juan-Chama Project, New Mexico: Contract to store up to 50,000 acre-feet of project water in Elephant Butte Reservoir. The proposed contract would have a 25- to 40-year maximum term, which due to ongoing consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been executed and extended on an annual basis. The Act of December 29, 1981, Public Law 97–140, 95 Stat. 1717 provides authority to enter into this contract. Completed contract action: 29. Uintah Water Conservancy District; Jensen Unit, CUP; Utah: Jensen Unit M&I Block Notice No. 3 will be issued as required by a 1983 contract with Chevron USA, Inc., for 200 acrefeet of M&I water that is currently being pumped upstream of Red Fleet Reservoir. Contract executed May 19, 2015. Great Plains Region: Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 36900, Federal Building, 2021 4th Avenue North, Billings, Montana 59101, telephone 406–247–7752. New contract actions: 61. Dugout Water Association; Lower Marias Unit, P–SMBP; Montana: Proposed renewal of 40-year contract for M&I water. 62. Garrison Diversion Conservancy District, Garrison Diversion Unit, P– SMBP, North Dakota: Consideration to enter into long-term water service contract for M&I use out of McClusky Canal. 63. Bryan Hauxwell, Frenchman Cambridge Project, Nebraska: Consideration of a long-term Warren Act contract. Discontinued contract action: 9. Colorado River Water Conservation District, Colorado-Big Thompson Project, Colorado: Long-term exchange, conveyance, and storage contract to implement the Exhibit B Agreement of the Settlement Agreement on Operating Procedures for Green Mountain Reservoir Concerning Operating Limitations and in Resolution of the Petition Filed August 7, 2003, in Case No. 49–CV–2782 (The United States v. Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Case No. 2782 and Consolidated Case Nos. 5016 and 5017). Completed contract actions: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Jul 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 13. Green Mountain Reservoir, Colorado-Big Thompson Project, Colorado: Consideration of a request for a contract for municipal-recreational purposes. Contract executed on April 2, 2015. 46. Galloway, Inc. (dba Blue Valley Ranch), Green Mountain Reservoir; Colorado-Big Thompson Project, Colorado: Consideration of a request to amend the existing contract. Contract executed on May 8, 2015. 47. Fort Clark ID; Fort Clark Unit; P– SMBP; North Dakota: Intent to enter into a new 5-year irrigation water service contract. Contract executed on May 12, 2015. 53. Grass Land Colony, Inc.; Canyon Ferry Unit, P–SMBP; Montana: Proposed 10-year contract for M&I water. Contract executed on May 22, 2015. 55. East Bench ID; East Bench Unit, Three Forks Division, P–SMBP; Montana: Consideration of a contract amendment, pursuant to Public Law 112–139; to extend the term of contract No. 14–06–600–3593 through December 31, 2019. Contract executed on May 26, 2015. Dated: June 26, 2015. Roseann Gonzales, Director, Policy and Administration. [FR Doc. 2015–18859 Filed 7–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332–90–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR02800000, 15XR0680A1, RX.17868946.0000000] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared and made available for public review and comment, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on impacts of implementing the 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion and the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion, including the Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives, for the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. This action will continue the operation of the Central Valley Project in coordination with the State Water Project. The DEIS was SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45681 drafted in response to the November 16, 2009 United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling that the Bureau of Reclamation must conduct a National Environmental Policy Act review to determine whether the associated 2008 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives cause a significant effect to the human environment. DATES: Submit written comments on the DEIS on or before September 29, 2015. Four public meetings will be held to receive oral and written comments: • Wednesday, September 9, 2015, from 2 to 4 p.m., Sacramento, CA; • Thursday, September 10, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m., Red Bluff, CA; • Tuesday, September 15, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m., Los Banos CA; and • Thursday, September 17, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m., Irvine, CA. Staff will be available to take comments and answer questions during this time. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Mr. Ben Nelson, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814–2536; fax to (916) 414–2439; or via email to bcnelson@usbr.gov. Public meetings will be held at the following locations: • Sacramento—Federal Building, 650 Capitol Mall, Stanford Room, Sacramento, CA 95814. • Red Bluff—Red Bluff Community Center, 1500 S. Jackson Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080. • Los Banos—Los Banos Community Center, Grand Room 645 7th Street, Los Banos, CA 93635. • Irvine—Hilton Hotel Irvine/Orange County Airport, 18800 MacArthur Boulevard, Irvine, CA 92612. The DEIS may be viewed at the Bureau of Reclamation’s Web site at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_ projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=21883. To request a compact disc of the DEIS, please contact Mr. Ben Nelson as indicated above, or call (916) 414–2424. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. ˜ Janice Pinero, Endangered Species Act Compliance Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, via email at jpinero@ usbr.gov, or by phone (916) 414–2428. For public involvement information, please contact Wilbert Moore via email at wmoore@usbr.gov, or phone at (916) 978–5102. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Agencies Involved We, the Bureau of Reclamation, are the lead Federal agency. We invited over 740 agencies to participate as E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 45682 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 147 / Friday, July 31, 2015 / Notices cooperating agencies. Twenty-one agencies agreed to participate as cooperating agencies for preparation of the environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), including: • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), • Bureau of Indian Affairs, • California Valley Miwok Tribe, • California Department of Water Resources, • California Department of Fish and Wildlife, • State and Federal Contractors Water Agency, • Friant Water Authority, and • Eleven individual Central Valley Project (CVP) or State Water Project (SWP) water users. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES II. Why We Are Taking This Action The CVP is the largest Federal Reclamation project. We operate the CVP in coordination with the SWP, under the Coordinated Operation Agreement between the Federal government and the State of California (authorized by Pub. L. 99–546). In August 2008, the Bureau of Reclamation submitted a biological assessment to USFWS and NMFS for consultation. In December 2008, USFWS issued a Biological Opinion (BO) analyzing the effects of the coordinated long-term operation of the CVP and SWP in California on delta smelt and its designated critical habitat. The 2008 USFWS BO: • Concluded that ‘‘the coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP, as proposed, [was] likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the delta smelt’’ and ‘‘adversely modify delta smelt critical habitat,’’ and • Included a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) for CVP and SWP operations designed to allow the projects to continue operating without causing jeopardy or adverse modification. On December 15, 2008, we provisionally accepted and then implemented the USFWS RPA. In June 2009, NMFS issued a BO analyzing the effects of the coordinated long-term operation of the CVP and SWP on listed salmonids, green sturgeon, and southern resident killer whale and their designated critical habitats. This BO concluded that the long-term operation of the CVP and SWP, as proposed, was likely to: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Jul 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 • Jeopardize the continued existence of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon, and southern resident killer whales; and • Destroy or adversely modify critical habitat for Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley springrun Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, and the Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon. The NMFS BO included an RPA designed to allow the projects to continue operating without causing jeopardy to the analyzed species or adverse modification of their designated critical habitat. On June 4, 2009, we provisionally accepted and then implemented the NMFS RPA. Several lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (District Court) challenging various aspects of the USFWS and NMFS BOs and acceptance and implementation of the associated RPAs. III. Results of Litigation The results of the above lawsuits were as follows. • On November 16, 2009, the Court ruled that we violated NEPA by failing to conduct a NEPA review of the potential impacts to the human environment before provisionally accepting and implementing the 2008 USFWS BO, including the RPAs. • On December 14, 2010, the Court found certain portions of the USFWS BO to be arbitrary and capricious, and remanded those portions of the BO to USFWS. The Court ordered us to review the BO and RPA in accordance with NEPA. • The decision of the District Court related to the USFWS BO was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Appellate Court). On March 13, 2014, the Appellate Court reversed the District Court and upheld the BO. Therefore, the remand order related to the USFWS BO was rescinded. However, the Appellate Court ruled that we were obligated to comply with NEPA and affirmed the judgment of the District Court with respect to the NEPA claims. • A mandate of the Appellate Court was issued on September 16, 2014. Petitions for Writ of Certiorari were submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court; however, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to not hear the cases. • On March 5, 2010, the Court held that we violated NEPA by failing to PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 undertake a NEPA analysis of potential impacts to the human environment before accepting and implementing the RPA in the 2009 NMFS BO. • On September 20, 2011, in the Consolidated Salmonid Cases, the District Court remanded the NMFS BO to NMFS. • The decisions of the District Court related to the NMFS BO were appealed to the Appellate Court. On December 22, 2014, the Appellate Court reversed the District Court and upheld the BO. Therefore, the remand order related to the NMFS BO was rescinded. A mandate of the Appellate Court was issued on February 17, 2015. In response to these requirements, we have prepared a combined NEPA process addressing both the USFWS and NMFS RPAs and alternatives. IV. Purpose and Need for Action The purpose of the action is to continue the operation of the CVP, in coordination with the SWP, for its authorized purposes, in a manner that: • Is similar to historic operational parameters with certain modifications; • Is consistent with Federal Reclamation law; other Federal laws; Federal permits and licenses and; State of California water rights, permits, and licenses; and • Enables the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Water Resources to satisfy their contractual obligations to the fullest extent possible. Continued operation of the CVP and the SWP is needed to provide river regulation, improvement of navigation; flood control; water supply for irrigation and domestic uses; fish and wildlife mitigation, protection, and restoration; fish and wildlife enhancement; and power generation. The CVP and SWP facilities also are operated to provide recreation benefits and in accordance with the water rights and water quality requirements adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board. Even though the coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP provides these benefits, the USFWS and NMFS concluded in their 2008 and 2009 BOs, respectively, that the coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP, as described in the 2008 Bureau of Reclamation Biological Assessment, does not comply with the requirements of section 7(a)(2) of ESA. To remedy this, USFWS and NMFS provided RPAs in their BOs. The Appellate Court confirmed the District Court’s ruling that the Bureau of Reclamation must conduct a NEPA review to determine whether the RPA actions cause a significant effect to the human environment. Concepts associated with E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 147 / Friday, July 31, 2015 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES potential modifications to the coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP included in the NEPA process should be consistent with the intended purpose of the action, within the scope of our legal authority and jurisdiction, economically and technologically feasible, and avoid the likelihood of jeopardizing listed species or resulting in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat in compliance with the requirements of section 7(a)(2) of ESA. V. Project Area The project area includes the CVP and SWP Service Areas and facilities, as described in this section. A. CVP Facilities. The CVP facilities include reservoirs on the Trinity, Sacramento, American, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin rivers. • A portion of the water from Trinity River is stored and re-regulated in Trinity Lake, Lewiston Reservoir, and Whiskeytown Reservoir, and diverted through a system of tunnels and powerplants into the Sacramento River. Water is also stored and re-regulated in Shasta and Folsom lakes. Water from these reservoirs and other reservoirs owned and/or operated by the SWP flows into the Sacramento River. • The Sacramento River carries water to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). The Jones Pumping Plant at the southern end of the Delta lifts the water into the Delta Mendota Canal (DMC). This canal delivers water to CVP contractors, whom divert water directly from the DMC, and exchange contractors on the San Joaquin River, whom divert directly from the San Joaquin River and the Mendota Pool. CVP water is also conveyed to the San Luis Reservoir for deliveries to CVP contractors through the San Luis Canal. Water from the San Luis Reservoir is also conveyed through the Pacheco Tunnel to CVP contractors in Santa Clara and San Benito counties. • The CVP provides water from Millerton Reservoir on the San Joaquin River to CVP contractors located near the Madera and Friant-Kern canals. Water is stored in the New Melones Reservoir for water rights holders in the Stanislaus River watershed and CVP contractors in the northern San Joaquin Valley. B. State Water Project Facilities. The California Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the SWP, which delivers water to agricultural and municipal and industrial contractors in northern California, the San Joaquin Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Coast, and southern California. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Jul 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 • SWP water is stored and reregulated in Lake Oroville and released into the Feather River, which flows into the Sacramento River. • SWP water flows in the Sacramento River to the Delta and is exported from the Delta at the Banks Pumping Plant. The Banks Pumping Plant lifts the water into the California Aqueduct, which delivers water to the SWP contractors and conveys water to the San Luis Reservoir. • The SWP also delivers water to the Cross-Valley Canal, when the systems have capacity, for CVP water service contractors. VI. Alternatives Considered As required by NEPA, we developed a reasonable range of alternatives, including a No Action Alternative. Development of the alternatives included discussions with the Department of Water Resources. Development of the alternatives also was informed by comments submitted to us during the scoping process and the subsequent public involvement process. The DEIS analyzes five alternatives, in addition to the No Action Alternative, that consider modifications to operational components of the 2008 USFWS and the 2009 NMFS RPAs. All alternatives addressed continued operation of the CVP, in coordination with the SWP. The No Action Alternative assumes continuation of existing policy and management direction in Year 2030, including implementation of the RPAs included in the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs. Many of the RPAs were implemented prior to 2009 under other programs, such as Central Valley Project Improvement Act implementation, or are currently being implemented in accordance with the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs. In response to scoping comments, the DEIS also includes a Second Basis of Comparison that assumes coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP as if the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs had not been implemented. The Second Basis of Comparison includes several actions that were included in the RPAs of the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs and that would have occurred without the BOs, including projects that were being initiated prior to 2009 (e.g., Red Bluff Pumping Plant; Battle Creek restoration; and Suisun Marsh Habitat Management, Preservation, and Restoration Plan), legislatively mandated projects (e.g., San Joaquin River Restoration Program), and projects with substantial progress that would have occurred without implementation PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45683 of the BOs (e.g., Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage). Alternative 1 was informed by scoping comments from CVP and SWP water users. Alternative 1 is identical to the Second Basis of Comparison and provides an opportunity for us to select an alternative with the same assumptions as the Second Basis of Comparison as the preferred alternative. Alternative 2 is similar to the No Action Alternative because it includes the RPA actions, except for actions that consist of projects to be evaluated for future implementation. For example, Alternative 2 does not include fish passage programs to move fish from the Sacramento River downstream of Keswick Dam to the Sacramento River upstream of Shasta Dam. Alternative 3 was informed by scoping comments from CVP and SWP water users. Alternative 3 is similar to the Second Basis of Comparison and Alternative 1 because it generally does not include the RPA actions, but it includes additional restrictions on CVP and SWP Delta exports to reduce negative flows in the south Delta during critical periods for aquatic resources. Alternative 3 also includes provisions to reduce losses to fish that use the Delta due to predation, commercial and sport fishing ocean harvest, and fish passage through the Delta. Alternative 4 was informed by scoping comments from CVP and SWP water users. Alternative 4 is similar to the Second Basis of Comparison and Alternative 1 because it generally does not include the RPA actions, but it includes provisions to reduce losses to fish that use the Delta due to predation, commercial and sport fishing ocean harvest, and fish passage through the Delta. Alternative 5 was informed by scoping comments from environmental interest groups. Alternative 5 includes assumptions similar to the No Action Alternative regarding the incorporation of RPA actions, with additional provisions to provide for positive Old and Middle River (OMR) flows and increased Delta outflow from reduced exports in April and May; and modified operations for New Melones Reservoir. The DEIS does not identify a preferred alternative. Following receipt and evaluation of public comments on the DEIS, we will determine which alternative or combinations of features within the alternatives will become the preferred alternative. A discussion of the decision-making process used to define the preferred alternative will be included in the Final EIS. E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 45684 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 147 / Friday, July 31, 2015 / Notices VII. Statutory Authority NEPA [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] requires that Federal agencies conduct an environmental analysis of their proposed actions to determine if the actions may significantly affect the human environment. In addition, as required by NEPA, the Bureau of Reclamation analyzed the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects that may result from the implementation of the alternatives, which may include, but are not limited to, the following areas of potential impact: a. Surface water and groundwater; b. Energy generation and use by CVP and SWP; c. Biological resources, aquatic and terrestrial resources; d. Land use, including agriculture; e. Recreation. f. Socioeconomics; g. Environmental justice; h. Air quality; i. Soils and geology; j. Visual resources; k. Cultural resources; l. Public health; and m. Indian trust assets. All alternatives and the Second Basis of Comparison were analyzed assuming conditions at Year 2030 with associated climate change and sea level rise. VIII. Public Review of DEIS The notice of availability of the DEIS is being distributed to interested agencies, stakeholder organizations, and individuals that participated in the scoping process and subsequent public involvement activities. This distribution provides an opportunity for interested parties to express their views regarding the environmental effects of the project, and to ensure that the information pertinent to implementation of the project is provided to cooperating agencies. Copies of the DEIS are available for public review at the Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814–2536; and Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region, Regional Library, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES IX. How To Request Reasonable Accommodation If special assistance is required to participate in the public meeting, please contact Mr. Ben Nelson at (916) 414– 2424, or via email at bcnelson@usbr.gov, or Wilbert Moore at (916) 978–5102, or via email at wmoore@usbr.gov, at least five working days before the meetings. If a request cannot be met, the requestor will be notified. A telephone device for VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Jul 30, 2015 Jkt 235001 the hearing impaired (TTY) is available at (800) 877–8339. The electronic version of the DEIS is published in accordance with the provisions of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. X. Public Disclosure 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. Dated: July 2, 2015. Pablo R. Arroyave, Deputy Regional Director, Mid-Pacific Region. [FR Doc. 2015–18307 Filed 7–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332–90–P Submit comments about this request by mail or courier to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL– MSHA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202–395–5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: OIRA_ submission@omb.eop.gov. Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor—OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; or by email: DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michel Smyth by telephone at 202–693– 4129, TTY 202–693–8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at DOL_ PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D). DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Occupational Noise Exposure ACTION: Notice. The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, ‘‘Occupational Noise Exposure,’’ to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Public comments on the ICR are invited. DATES: The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before August 31, 2015. ADDRESSES: A copy of this ICR with supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/ do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201507-1219001 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202–693–4129, TTY 202–693–8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at DOL_PRA_ PUBLIC@dol.gov. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 This ICR seeks to extend PRA authority for the Occupational Noise Exposure information collection requirements codified in regulations 30 CFR part 62. Noise is a harmful physical agent and one of the most pervasive health hazards in mining. Repeated exposure to high levels of sound over time causes occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), a serious and often profound physical impairment in mining, with far-reaching psychological and social effects. NIHL can be distinguished from aging and other factors that can contribute to hearing loss, and it can be prevented. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIHL is among the top ten leading occupational illnesses and injuries. Records of miner exposures to noise are necessary so that mine operators and the MSHA can evaluate the need for and effectiveness of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment to protect miners from harmful levels of noise that can result in hearing loss. The Agency believes, however, that extensive records are not needed for this purpose. The subject information collection requirements are part of a performanceoriented approach to monitoring. Miner hearing examination records enable mine operators and the MSHA to ensure controls in use are effective in preventing NIHL for individual miners. Training records confirm miners receive information necessary to become active participants in hearing conservation efforts. Federal Mine Safety and Health E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 147 (Friday, July 31, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45681-45684]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-18307]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Reclamation

[RR02800000, 15XR0680A1, RX.17868946.0000000]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley 
Project and State Water Project

AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared and made available for 
public review and comment, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS) on impacts of implementing the 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Biological Opinion and the 2009 National Marine Fisheries 
Service Biological Opinion, including the Reasonable and Prudent 
Alternatives, for the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the Central 
Valley Project and State Water Project. This action will continue the 
operation of the Central Valley Project in coordination with the State 
Water Project. The DEIS was drafted in response to the November 16, 
2009 United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling that 
the Bureau of Reclamation must conduct a National Environmental Policy 
Act review to determine whether the associated 2008 U.S. Fish & 
Wildlife Service and 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service Reasonable 
and Prudent Alternatives cause a significant effect to the human 
environment.

DATES: Submit written comments on the DEIS on or before September 29, 
2015.
    Four public meetings will be held to receive oral and written 
comments:
     Wednesday, September 9, 2015, from 2 to 4 p.m., 
Sacramento, CA;
     Thursday, September 10, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m., Red Bluff, 
CA;
     Tuesday, September 15, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m., Los Banos 
CA; and
     Thursday, September 17, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m., Irvine, 
CA.
    Staff will be available to take comments and answer questions 
during this time.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Mr. Ben Nelson, Bureau of 
Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 
95814-2536; fax to (916) 414-2439; or via email to bcnelson@usbr.gov.
    Public meetings will be held at the following locations:
     Sacramento--Federal Building, 650 Capitol Mall, Stanford 
Room, Sacramento, CA 95814.
     Red Bluff--Red Bluff Community Center, 1500 S. Jackson 
Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080.
     Los Banos--Los Banos Community Center, Grand Room 645 7th 
Street, Los Banos, CA 93635.
     Irvine--Hilton Hotel Irvine/Orange County Airport, 18800 
MacArthur Boulevard, Irvine, CA 92612.
    The DEIS may be viewed at the Bureau of Reclamation's Web site at 
http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=21883.
    To request a compact disc of the DEIS, please contact Mr. Ben 
Nelson as indicated above, or call (916) 414-2424.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Janice Pi[ntilde]ero, Endangered 
Species Act Compliance Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, via email at 
jpinero@usbr.gov, or by phone (916) 414-2428. For public involvement 
information, please contact Wilbert Moore via email at wmoore@usbr.gov, 
or phone at (916) 978-5102.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Agencies Involved

    We, the Bureau of Reclamation, are the lead Federal agency. We 
invited over 740 agencies to participate as

[[Page 45682]]

cooperating agencies. Twenty-one agencies agreed to participate as 
cooperating agencies for preparation of the environmental impact 
statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA), including:
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS),
     National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),
     U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
     Bureau of Indian Affairs,
     California Valley Miwok Tribe,
     California Department of Water Resources,
     California Department of Fish and Wildlife,
     State and Federal Contractors Water Agency,
     Friant Water Authority, and
     Eleven individual Central Valley Project (CVP) or State 
Water Project (SWP) water users.

II. Why We Are Taking This Action

    The CVP is the largest Federal Reclamation project. We operate the 
CVP in coordination with the SWP, under the Coordinated Operation 
Agreement between the Federal government and the State of California 
(authorized by Pub. L. 99-546). In August 2008, the Bureau of 
Reclamation submitted a biological assessment to USFWS and NMFS for 
consultation.
    In December 2008, USFWS issued a Biological Opinion (BO) analyzing 
the effects of the coordinated long-term operation of the CVP and SWP 
in California on delta smelt and its designated critical habitat. The 
2008 USFWS BO:
     Concluded that ``the coordinated operation of the CVP and 
SWP, as proposed, [was] likely to jeopardize the continued existence of 
the delta smelt'' and ``adversely modify delta smelt critical 
habitat,'' and
     Included a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) for 
CVP and SWP operations designed to allow the projects to continue 
operating without causing jeopardy or adverse modification.
    On December 15, 2008, we provisionally accepted and then 
implemented the USFWS RPA.
    In June 2009, NMFS issued a BO analyzing the effects of the 
coordinated long-term operation of the CVP and SWP on listed salmonids, 
green sturgeon, and southern resident killer whale and their designated 
critical habitats. This BO concluded that the long-term operation of 
the CVP and SWP, as proposed, was likely to:
     Jeopardize the continued existence of Sacramento River 
winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, 
Central Valley steelhead, Southern Distinct Population Segment of North 
American green sturgeon, and southern resident killer whales; and
     Destroy or adversely modify critical habitat for 
Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run 
Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, and the Southern Distinct 
Population Segment of North American green sturgeon.
    The NMFS BO included an RPA designed to allow the projects to 
continue operating without causing jeopardy to the analyzed species or 
adverse modification of their designated critical habitat. On June 4, 
2009, we provisionally accepted and then implemented the NMFS RPA.
    Several lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for 
the Eastern District of California (District Court) challenging various 
aspects of the USFWS and NMFS BOs and acceptance and implementation of 
the associated RPAs.

III. Results of Litigation

    The results of the above lawsuits were as follows.
     On November 16, 2009, the Court ruled that we violated 
NEPA by failing to conduct a NEPA review of the potential impacts to 
the human environment before provisionally accepting and implementing 
the 2008 USFWS BO, including the RPAs.
     On December 14, 2010, the Court found certain portions of 
the USFWS BO to be arbitrary and capricious, and remanded those 
portions of the BO to USFWS. The Court ordered us to review the BO and 
RPA in accordance with NEPA.
     The decision of the District Court related to the USFWS BO 
was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth 
Circuit (Appellate Court). On March 13, 2014, the Appellate Court 
reversed the District Court and upheld the BO. Therefore, the remand 
order related to the USFWS BO was rescinded. However, the Appellate 
Court ruled that we were obligated to comply with NEPA and affirmed the 
judgment of the District Court with respect to the NEPA claims.
     A mandate of the Appellate Court was issued on September 
16, 2014. Petitions for Writ of Certiorari were submitted to the U.S. 
Supreme Court; however, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to not hear the 
cases.
     On March 5, 2010, the Court held that we violated NEPA by 
failing to undertake a NEPA analysis of potential impacts to the human 
environment before accepting and implementing the RPA in the 2009 NMFS 
BO.
     On September 20, 2011, in the Consolidated Salmonid Cases, 
the District Court remanded the NMFS BO to NMFS.
     The decisions of the District Court related to the NMFS BO 
were appealed to the Appellate Court. On December 22, 2014, the 
Appellate Court reversed the District Court and upheld the BO. 
Therefore, the remand order related to the NMFS BO was rescinded. A 
mandate of the Appellate Court was issued on February 17, 2015.
    In response to these requirements, we have prepared a combined NEPA 
process addressing both the USFWS and NMFS RPAs and alternatives.

IV. Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the action is to continue the operation of the CVP, 
in coordination with the SWP, for its authorized purposes, in a manner 
that:
     Is similar to historic operational parameters with certain 
modifications;
     Is consistent with Federal Reclamation law; other Federal 
laws; Federal permits and licenses and; State of California water 
rights, permits, and licenses; and
     Enables the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of 
Water Resources to satisfy their contractual obligations to the fullest 
extent possible.
    Continued operation of the CVP and the SWP is needed to provide 
river regulation, improvement of navigation; flood control; water 
supply for irrigation and domestic uses; fish and wildlife mitigation, 
protection, and restoration; fish and wildlife enhancement; and power 
generation. The CVP and SWP facilities also are operated to provide 
recreation benefits and in accordance with the water rights and water 
quality requirements adopted by the State Water Resources Control 
Board.
    Even though the coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP provides 
these benefits, the USFWS and NMFS concluded in their 2008 and 2009 
BOs, respectively, that the coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP, 
as described in the 2008 Bureau of Reclamation Biological Assessment, 
does not comply with the requirements of section 7(a)(2) of ESA. To 
remedy this, USFWS and NMFS provided RPAs in their BOs. The Appellate 
Court confirmed the District Court's ruling that the Bureau of 
Reclamation must conduct a NEPA review to determine whether the RPA 
actions cause a significant effect to the human environment. Concepts 
associated with

[[Page 45683]]

potential modifications to the coordinated operation of the CVP and SWP 
included in the NEPA process should be consistent with the intended 
purpose of the action, within the scope of our legal authority and 
jurisdiction, economically and technologically feasible, and avoid the 
likelihood of jeopardizing listed species or resulting in the 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat in compliance 
with the requirements of section 7(a)(2) of ESA.

V. Project Area

    The project area includes the CVP and SWP Service Areas and 
facilities, as described in this section.
    A. CVP Facilities. The CVP facilities include reservoirs on the 
Trinity, Sacramento, American, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin rivers.
     A portion of the water from Trinity River is stored and 
re-regulated in Trinity Lake, Lewiston Reservoir, and Whiskeytown 
Reservoir, and diverted through a system of tunnels and powerplants 
into the Sacramento River. Water is also stored and re-regulated in 
Shasta and Folsom lakes. Water from these reservoirs and other 
reservoirs owned and/or operated by the SWP flows into the Sacramento 
River.
     The Sacramento River carries water to the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta (Delta). The Jones Pumping Plant at the southern end of 
the Delta lifts the water into the Delta Mendota Canal (DMC). This 
canal delivers water to CVP contractors, whom divert water directly 
from the DMC, and exchange contractors on the San Joaquin River, whom 
divert directly from the San Joaquin River and the Mendota Pool. CVP 
water is also conveyed to the San Luis Reservoir for deliveries to CVP 
contractors through the San Luis Canal. Water from the San Luis 
Reservoir is also conveyed through the Pacheco Tunnel to CVP 
contractors in Santa Clara and San Benito counties.
     The CVP provides water from Millerton Reservoir on the San 
Joaquin River to CVP contractors located near the Madera and Friant-
Kern canals. Water is stored in the New Melones Reservoir for water 
rights holders in the Stanislaus River watershed and CVP contractors in 
the northern San Joaquin Valley.
    B. State Water Project Facilities. The California Department of 
Water Resources operates and maintains the SWP, which delivers water to 
agricultural and municipal and industrial contractors in northern 
California, the San Joaquin Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, the 
Central Coast, and southern California.
     SWP water is stored and re-regulated in Lake Oroville and 
released into the Feather River, which flows into the Sacramento River.
     SWP water flows in the Sacramento River to the Delta and 
is exported from the Delta at the Banks Pumping Plant. The Banks 
Pumping Plant lifts the water into the California Aqueduct, which 
delivers water to the SWP contractors and conveys water to the San Luis 
Reservoir.
     The SWP also delivers water to the Cross-Valley Canal, 
when the systems have capacity, for CVP water service contractors.

VI. Alternatives Considered

    As required by NEPA, we developed a reasonable range of 
alternatives, including a No Action Alternative. Development of the 
alternatives included discussions with the Department of Water 
Resources. Development of the alternatives also was informed by 
comments submitted to us during the scoping process and the subsequent 
public involvement process.
    The DEIS analyzes five alternatives, in addition to the No Action 
Alternative, that consider modifications to operational components of 
the 2008 USFWS and the 2009 NMFS RPAs. All alternatives addressed 
continued operation of the CVP, in coordination with the SWP.
    The No Action Alternative assumes continuation of existing policy 
and management direction in Year 2030, including implementation of the 
RPAs included in the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs. Many of the RPAs 
were implemented prior to 2009 under other programs, such as Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act implementation, or are currently being 
implemented in accordance with the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs.
    In response to scoping comments, the DEIS also includes a Second 
Basis of Comparison that assumes coordinated operation of the CVP and 
SWP as if the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs had not been implemented. 
The Second Basis of Comparison includes several actions that were 
included in the RPAs of the 2008 USFWS and 2009 NMFS BOs and that would 
have occurred without the BOs, including projects that were being 
initiated prior to 2009 (e.g., Red Bluff Pumping Plant; Battle Creek 
restoration; and Suisun Marsh Habitat Management, Preservation, and 
Restoration Plan), legislatively mandated projects (e.g., San Joaquin 
River Restoration Program), and projects with substantial progress that 
would have occurred without implementation of the BOs (e.g., Yolo 
Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage).
    Alternative 1 was informed by scoping comments from CVP and SWP 
water users. Alternative 1 is identical to the Second Basis of 
Comparison and provides an opportunity for us to select an alternative 
with the same assumptions as the Second Basis of Comparison as the 
preferred alternative.
    Alternative 2 is similar to the No Action Alternative because it 
includes the RPA actions, except for actions that consist of projects 
to be evaluated for future implementation. For example, Alternative 2 
does not include fish passage programs to move fish from the Sacramento 
River downstream of Keswick Dam to the Sacramento River upstream of 
Shasta Dam.
    Alternative 3 was informed by scoping comments from CVP and SWP 
water users. Alternative 3 is similar to the Second Basis of Comparison 
and Alternative 1 because it generally does not include the RPA 
actions, but it includes additional restrictions on CVP and SWP Delta 
exports to reduce negative flows in the south Delta during critical 
periods for aquatic resources. Alternative 3 also includes provisions 
to reduce losses to fish that use the Delta due to predation, 
commercial and sport fishing ocean harvest, and fish passage through 
the Delta.
    Alternative 4 was informed by scoping comments from CVP and SWP 
water users. Alternative 4 is similar to the Second Basis of Comparison 
and Alternative 1 because it generally does not include the RPA 
actions, but it includes provisions to reduce losses to fish that use 
the Delta due to predation, commercial and sport fishing ocean harvest, 
and fish passage through the Delta.
    Alternative 5 was informed by scoping comments from environmental 
interest groups. Alternative 5 includes assumptions similar to the No 
Action Alternative regarding the incorporation of RPA actions, with 
additional provisions to provide for positive Old and Middle River 
(OMR) flows and increased Delta outflow from reduced exports in April 
and May; and modified operations for New Melones Reservoir.
    The DEIS does not identify a preferred alternative. Following 
receipt and evaluation of public comments on the DEIS, we will 
determine which alternative or combinations of features within the 
alternatives will become the preferred alternative. A discussion of the 
decision-making process used to define the preferred alternative will 
be included in the Final EIS.

[[Page 45684]]

VII. Statutory Authority

    NEPA [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] requires that Federal agencies 
conduct an environmental analysis of their proposed actions to 
determine if the actions may significantly affect the human 
environment. In addition, as required by NEPA, the Bureau of 
Reclamation analyzed the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative 
environmental effects that may result from the implementation of the 
alternatives, which may include, but are not limited to, the following 
areas of potential impact:
    a. Surface water and groundwater;
    b. Energy generation and use by CVP and SWP;
    c. Biological resources, aquatic and terrestrial resources;
    d. Land use, including agriculture;
    e. Recreation.
    f. Socioeconomics;
    g. Environmental justice;
    h. Air quality;
    i. Soils and geology;
    j. Visual resources;
    k. Cultural resources;
    l. Public health; and
    m. Indian trust assets.
    All alternatives and the Second Basis of Comparison were analyzed 
assuming conditions at Year 2030 with associated climate change and sea 
level rise.

VIII. Public Review of DEIS

    The notice of availability of the DEIS is being distributed to 
interested agencies, stakeholder organizations, and individuals that 
participated in the scoping process and subsequent public involvement 
activities. This distribution provides an opportunity for interested 
parties to express their views regarding the environmental effects of 
the project, and to ensure that the information pertinent to 
implementation of the project is provided to cooperating agencies. 
Copies of the DEIS are available for public review at the Bureau of 
Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 
95814-2536; and Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region, Regional 
Library, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825.

IX. How To Request Reasonable Accommodation

    If special assistance is required to participate in the public 
meeting, please contact Mr. Ben Nelson at (916) 414-2424, or via email 
at bcnelson@usbr.gov, or Wilbert Moore at (916) 978-5102, or via email 
at wmoore@usbr.gov, at least five working days before the meetings. If 
a request cannot be met, the requestor will be notified. A telephone 
device for the hearing impaired (TTY) is available at (800) 877-8339. 
The electronic version of the DEIS is published in accordance with the 
provisions of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

X. Public Disclosure

    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.

    Dated: July 2, 2015.
Pablo R. Arroyave,
Deputy Regional Director, Mid-Pacific Region.
[FR Doc. 2015-18307 Filed 7-30-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4332-90-P