Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage Project, Dawson County, Montana, 82-84 [2015-33066]

Download as PDF 82 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 1 / Monday, January 4, 2016 / Notices Special Accommodations The public listening station is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt (503) 820–2280 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Dated: December 29, 2015. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–33046 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE378 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting recommendations for the full Council to consider at their February 2016 meeting. This amendment will prohibit the development of new, or expansion of existing, directed fisheries on unmanaged forage species in MidAtlantic Federal waters until adequate scientific information is available to promote ecosystem sustainability. The Committee will consider advice from the Unmanaged Forage Fishery Management Action Team and recommendations from the Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Advisory Panel before developing recommendations for a draft list of unmanaged forage species to include in the amendment. The Committee will also discuss and may develop recommendations for a draft range of alternatives for analysis, a draft purpose and need statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, and other aspects of the amendment. A detailed agenda will be posted to www.mamfc.org. period has been extended to February 16, 2016. DATES: A public scoping meeting was originally scheduled for January 14, 2016, but will now be held on January 28, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (PST). ADDRESSES: The scoping meeting location is: The Marin Arts and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross, CA 94957–9601. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen M. Willis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District, Planning Branch, 1455 Market Street, San Francisco CA 94103–1398, (415) 503–6861, stephen.m.willis2@ usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: None. Special Accommodations The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526–5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the GEMPAC’s and GEMTAC’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE James S. Boyette, Major, US Army, Deputy District Engineer. [FR Doc. 2015–33065 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; public meeting. Dated: December 29, 2015. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–33045 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage Project, Dawson County, Montana The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s (MAFMC) Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Committee will hold a public meeting. DATES: The meeting will be held on Friday, January 22, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton Baltimore– BWI Airport, 890 Elkridge Landing Road, Linthicum, Maryland, 21090; telephone: (410) 859–8400. Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674–2331; Web site: www.mafmc.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526–5255. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The MAFMC’s Ecosystem and Ocean Planning Committee will meet to discuss the Council’s Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment. The Committee will develop BILLING CODE 3510–22–P AGENCIES: AGENCY: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Dec 31, 2015 Jkt 238001 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Intent to Prepare a Joint Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report and Conduct Scoping Meeting for the Corte Madera Creek Flood Control Project General Reevaluation Report and Integrated EIS/EIR, County of Marin, CA Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice; change in public meeting date and extension of comment period. AGENCY: The comment period for the Notice of Intent to prepare a joint EIS/ EIR and conduct a scoping meeting for the Corte Madera Creek Flood Control Project published in the Federal Register on Friday, December 18, 2015 (80 FR 79034) and required comments by February 1, 2016. The comment SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD; Department of the Interior, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. ACTION: Notice. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) propose to jointly prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that analyzes and discloses effects associated with actions to provide fish passage at the Intake Diversion Dam. The proposed Federal action is to improve passage for endangered pallid sturgeon and other native fish at Intake Diversion Dam in the lower Yellowstone River. The Corps and Reclamation will serve as joint lead Federal agencies in the preparation of the Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage EIS. The Corps will serve as administrative lead for National Environmental Policy Act compliance activities during preparation of the EIS. The EIS will include consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives to the proposed Federal action that meet the purpose and need of improving passage while continuing a viable and effective SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04JAN1.SGM 04JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 1 / Monday, January 4, 2016 / Notices tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES operation of the Lower Yellowstone Project. The Corps and Reclamation will each consider and approve a Record of Decision regarding actions and decisions for which the respective agencies are responsible. DATES: Submit written comments on the scope of the issues and alternatives to be considered in the EIS on or before February 18, 2016. A public scoping meeting will be held on January 21, 2016, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in Glendive, MT. ADDRESSES: Send written scoping comments, requests to be added to the mailing list, or requests for sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired or other special assistance needs to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, ATTN: CENWO–PM– AA, 1616 Capitol Ave., Omaha, NE 68102; or email to cenwo-planning@ usace.army.mil. The scoping meeting will be located at Dawson County High School Auditorium, 900 N. Merrill Avenue, Glendive, MT 59330. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Tiffany Vanosdall, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1616 Capitol Ave, Omaha, NE 68102, or tiffany.k.vanosdall@ usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Corps and Reclamation are issuing this notice pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, 43 CFR parts 1500 through 1508; the Department of the Interior’s NEPA regulations, 43 CFR part 46. Background Information Reclamation’s Lower Yellowstone Project is located in eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Intake Diversion Dam is located approximately 70 miles upstream of the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers near Glendive, Montana. The Lower Yellowstone Project was authorized by the Secretary of the Interior on May 10, 1904. Construction of the Lower Yellowstone Project began in 1905 and included Intake Diversion Dam (also known as Yellowstone River Diversion Dam)—a 12-foot high wood and stone diversion dam that spans the Yellowstone River and diverts water into the Main Canal for irrigation. The Lower Yellowstone Project was authorized to provide a dependable water supply sufficient to irrigate approximately 52,000 acres of land on the benches above the west bank of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Dec 31, 2015 Jkt 238001 Yellowstone River. Water is also supplied to irrigate approximately 830 acres in the Intake Irrigation Project and 2,200 acres in the Savage Unit. Both of the smaller irrigation projects pump water from the Main Canal. The average annual volume of water diverted for these projects is 327,046 acre-feet. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed the pallid sturgeon as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1990. The best available science suggests Intake Diversion Dam impedes upstream migration of pallid sturgeon and their access to spawning and larval drift habitats. The lower Yellowstone River is considered by the Service to provide one of the best opportunities for recovery of pallid sturgeon. Section 7(a)(2) requires each Federal agency to consult on any action authorized, funded, or carried out by the agency to ensure it does not jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species. Reclamation has been in formal consultation with the Service to identify potential conservation measures to minimize adverse effects to pallid sturgeon associated with continued operation of the Lower Yellowstone Project. The Pallid Sturgeon Recovery Plan specifically identifies providing passage at Intake Diversion Dam to protect and restore pallid sturgeon populations. By providing passage at Intake Diversion Dam, approximately 165 river miles of spawning and larval drift habitat would become accessible in the Yellowstone River. Section 3109 of the 2007 Water Resources Development Act authorizes the Corps to use funding from the Missouri River Recovery and Mitigation Program to assist Reclamation in the design and construction of Reclamation’s Lower Yellowstone Project at Intake, Montana for the purpose of ecosystem restoration. Planning and construction of the Intake Project is a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) for the Corps in the 2003 Missouri River Amended Biological Opinion (BiOp) as amended by letter exchange in 2009, 2010, and 2013. The Reclamation Act/Newlands Act of 1902 (Pub. L. 161) authorizes Reclamation to construct and maintain the facilities associated with the Lower Yellowstone Project, which includes actions or modifications necessary to comply with Federal law such as the ESA. Reclamation initiated a collaborative effort with the Service; Corps; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; and The Nature Conservancy through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83 signed on July 8, 2005. Reclamation coordinated a value planning study in August 2005 with representatives from parties signatory to the MOU and the Lower Yellowstone Project Irrigation Districts to explore and evaluate a broad range of alternatives for fish passage and entrainment reduction. In 2010, Reclamation and the Corps authorized the construction of a rock ramp and new screened headworks with the completion of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact. The construction of the new headworks is complete and began operation during the 2012 irrigation season. During the final design of the rock ramp, following the release of the 2010 Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact, important new information on the design, constructability, and sustainability of the proposed rock ramp surfaced along with new information regarding pallid sturgeon movement which led to a reevaluation of fish passage options. In 2013, the Corps and Reclamation conducted a planning effort to examine new and previously considered alternatives. Following this effort, the Corps and Reclamation identified the bypass channel for detailed analysis which included a constraint related to Reclamation’s obligation to deliver water necessary to continue a viable and effective operation of the Lower Yellowstone Project. A Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact selecting the bypass channel were completed in 2015. In response to concerns about the selected Bypass Channel Alternative, the Corps and Reclamation are proposing to prepare this EIS. The Corps and Reclamation will use the scoping period to fully identify the range of potentially significant issues, actions, alternatives, and impacts to be considered in the EIS. This scoping period will ensure the public has sufficient opportunity to review and comment on the proposed Federal action and reasonable alternatives for fish passage at Intake Diversion Dam. Public comments are invited and encouraged to assist agencies in identifying the scope of potentially significant environmental, social, and economic issues relevant to the proposed Federal action and determining reasonable alternatives to be considered in the EIS. Current and past project information and analyses can be accessed at: http://www.usbr.gov/ gp/mtao/loweryellowstone. The Corps and Reclamation will host a public scoping meeting and are inviting agencies, tribes, non- E:\FR\FM\04JAN1.SGM 04JAN1 84 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 1 / Monday, January 4, 2016 / Notices governmental organizations, and the public to participate in an open exchange of information and to provide comments on the proposed scope of the EIS. As required by CEQ’s implementing regulations, the EIS will include consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives to the proposed Federal action that meet the purpose and need of improving pallid sturgeon passage while continuing a viable and effective operation of the Lower Yellowstone Project. The EIS will analyze and disclose environmental impacts associated with the proposed Federal action and alternatives together with engineering, operations and maintenance, social, and economic considerations. The public is invited and encouraged to identify issues and effects that should be addressed in the EIS, as well as reasonable alternatives to improve fish passage at the Intake Diversion Dam. The public scoping meeting date or location may change based on inclement weather or exceptional circumstances. If the meeting date or location is changed, the Corps and Reclamation will issue a press release and post it on the web at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/ loweryellowstone and http:// www.nwo.usace.army.mil to announce the updated meeting details. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Special Assistance for Public Scoping Meeting The meeting facility is physically accessible to people with disabilities. People needing special assistance to attend and/or participate in the open house should contact: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, ATTN: CENWO–PM–AA, 1616 Capitol Ave, Omaha, NE 68102; or email cenwoplanning@usace.army.mil. To allow sufficient time to process special requests, please contact no later than one week before the public scoping meeting. Public Disclosure Statement The Corps and Reclamation believe it is important to inform the public of the environmental review process. To assist the Corps and Reclamation in identifying and considering issues related to the proposed Federal action, comments made during formal scoping and later on the draft EIS should be as specific as possible. Reviewers must structure their participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts the Corps and Reclamation to the reviewer’s position and contentions. It is very important that those interested in this proposed Federal action participate by VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Dec 31, 2015 Jkt 238001 the close of the scoping period so that substantive comments and objections are made available to the Corps and Reclamation at a time when they can meaningfully consider and respond to them. If you wish to comment, you may mail or email your comments as indicated under the ADDRESSES section. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or any other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made available to the public at any time. While you can request in your comment for us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. John W. Henderson, Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Commander. John F. Soucy, Deputy Regional Director, Great Plains Region, Bureau of Reclamation. [FR Doc. 2015–33066 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.354A. The Secretary intends to use the existing slate of applicants developed for the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to make new grant awards in FY 2016. The Secretary takes this action because a number of highquality applications remain on the grant slate and available funding for the program in FY 2016 can support only a limited number of new awards. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clifton Jones, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 4W244, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: 202–205–2205 or by email: clifton.jones@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: On January 15, 2014, we published in the Federal Register (79 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FR 2640) a notice inviting applications (NIA) for new awards for FY 2014 under the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program. In this NIA, we indicated that, contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards later in FY 2014 and FY 2015 from the list of unfunded applicants from the FY 2014 competition. We received a number of applications for grants under the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program in FY 2014, many of which received very high scores. We made two initial awards in FY 2014 and two additional awards in FY 2015. Because we received a large number of high-quality applications and had limited funds available for awards, many high scoring applications did not receive funding in FY 2014 or FY 2015. Based on historical data, we believe that the funding available for this program in FY 2016 1 could support approximately two new awards. We do not believe that conducting a new competition in FY 2016, for so few awards, is warranted; and therefore, we intend to select FY 2016 grantees from the unfunded high-quality applications in the existing slate of applicants. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 223– 7223j. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. 1 The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 requires the Secretary to use not less than $16 million of the funds available for part B of title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program (subpart 2 of part B). We intend to use $16 million of such funds for awards under the program in FY16, consistent with the appropriations act requirement. E:\FR\FM\04JAN1.SGM 04JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 1 (Monday, January 4, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 82-84]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-33066]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

 Bureau of Reclamation


Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage Project, Dawson 
County, Montana

AGENCIES: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD; 
Department of the Interior, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Bureau 
of Reclamation (Reclamation) propose to jointly prepare an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) that analyzes and discloses 
effects associated with actions to provide fish passage at the Intake 
Diversion Dam. The proposed Federal action is to improve passage for 
endangered pallid sturgeon and other native fish at Intake Diversion 
Dam in the lower Yellowstone River.
    The Corps and Reclamation will serve as joint lead Federal agencies 
in the preparation of the Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage EIS. The 
Corps will serve as administrative lead for National Environmental 
Policy Act compliance activities during preparation of the EIS. The EIS 
will include consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives to the 
proposed Federal action that meet the purpose and need of improving 
passage while continuing a viable and effective

[[Page 83]]

operation of the Lower Yellowstone Project. The Corps and Reclamation 
will each consider and approve a Record of Decision regarding actions 
and decisions for which the respective agencies are responsible.

DATES: Submit written comments on the scope of the issues and 
alternatives to be considered in the EIS on or before February 18, 
2016.
    A public scoping meeting will be held on January 21, 2016, 6:00 
p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in Glendive, MT.

ADDRESSES: Send written scoping comments, requests to be added to the 
mailing list, or requests for sign language interpretation for the 
hearing impaired or other special assistance needs to U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers Omaha District, ATTN: CENWO-PM-AA, 1616 Capitol Ave., 
Omaha, NE 68102; or email to cenwo-planning@usace.army.mil.
    The scoping meeting will be located at Dawson County High School 
Auditorium, 900 N. Merrill Avenue, Glendive, MT 59330.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Tiffany Vanosdall, U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers, 1616 Capitol Ave, Omaha, NE 68102, or 
tiffany.k.vanosdall@usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Corps and Reclamation are issuing this 
notice pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; the 
Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing 
the procedural provisions of NEPA, 43 CFR parts 1500 through 1508; the 
Department of the Interior's NEPA regulations, 43 CFR part 46.

Background Information

    Reclamation's Lower Yellowstone Project is located in eastern 
Montana and western North Dakota. Intake Diversion Dam is located 
approximately 70 miles upstream of the confluence of the Yellowstone 
and Missouri rivers near Glendive, Montana. The Lower Yellowstone 
Project was authorized by the Secretary of the Interior on May 10, 
1904. Construction of the Lower Yellowstone Project began in 1905 and 
included Intake Diversion Dam (also known as Yellowstone River 
Diversion Dam)--a 12-foot high wood and stone diversion dam that spans 
the Yellowstone River and diverts water into the Main Canal for 
irrigation. The Lower Yellowstone Project was authorized to provide a 
dependable water supply sufficient to irrigate approximately 52,000 
acres of land on the benches above the west bank of the Yellowstone 
River. Water is also supplied to irrigate approximately 830 acres in 
the Intake Irrigation Project and 2,200 acres in the Savage Unit. Both 
of the smaller irrigation projects pump water from the Main Canal. The 
average annual volume of water diverted for these projects is 327,046 
acre-feet.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed the pallid 
sturgeon as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1990. 
The best available science suggests Intake Diversion Dam impedes 
upstream migration of pallid sturgeon and their access to spawning and 
larval drift habitats. The lower Yellowstone River is considered by the 
Service to provide one of the best opportunities for recovery of pallid 
sturgeon.
    Section 7(a)(2) requires each Federal agency to consult on any 
action authorized, funded, or carried out by the agency to ensure it 
does not jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or 
threatened species. Reclamation has been in formal consultation with 
the Service to identify potential conservation measures to minimize 
adverse effects to pallid sturgeon associated with continued operation 
of the Lower Yellowstone Project. The Pallid Sturgeon Recovery Plan 
specifically identifies providing passage at Intake Diversion Dam to 
protect and restore pallid sturgeon populations. By providing passage 
at Intake Diversion Dam, approximately 165 river miles of spawning and 
larval drift habitat would become accessible in the Yellowstone River.
    Section 3109 of the 2007 Water Resources Development Act authorizes 
the Corps to use funding from the Missouri River Recovery and 
Mitigation Program to assist Reclamation in the design and construction 
of Reclamation's Lower Yellowstone Project at Intake, Montana for the 
purpose of ecosystem restoration. Planning and construction of the 
Intake Project is a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) for the 
Corps in the 2003 Missouri River Amended Biological Opinion (BiOp) as 
amended by letter exchange in 2009, 2010, and 2013. The Reclamation 
Act/Newlands Act of 1902 (Pub. L. 161) authorizes Reclamation to 
construct and maintain the facilities associated with the Lower 
Yellowstone Project, which includes actions or modifications necessary 
to comply with Federal law such as the ESA.
    Reclamation initiated a collaborative effort with the Service; 
Corps; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; and The Nature Conservancy 
through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on July 8, 2005. 
Reclamation coordinated a value planning study in August 2005 with 
representatives from parties signatory to the MOU and the Lower 
Yellowstone Project Irrigation Districts to explore and evaluate a 
broad range of alternatives for fish passage and entrainment reduction.
    In 2010, Reclamation and the Corps authorized the construction of a 
rock ramp and new screened headworks with the completion of an 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact. The 
construction of the new headworks is complete and began operation 
during the 2012 irrigation season. During the final design of the rock 
ramp, following the release of the 2010 Environmental Assessment and 
Finding of No Significant Impact, important new information on the 
design, constructability, and sustainability of the proposed rock ramp 
surfaced along with new information regarding pallid sturgeon movement 
which led to a reevaluation of fish passage options.
    In 2013, the Corps and Reclamation conducted a planning effort to 
examine new and previously considered alternatives. Following this 
effort, the Corps and Reclamation identified the bypass channel for 
detailed analysis which included a constraint related to Reclamation's 
obligation to deliver water necessary to continue a viable and 
effective operation of the Lower Yellowstone Project. A Supplemental 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact selecting 
the bypass channel were completed in 2015. In response to concerns 
about the selected Bypass Channel Alternative, the Corps and 
Reclamation are proposing to prepare this EIS.
    The Corps and Reclamation will use the scoping period to fully 
identify the range of potentially significant issues, actions, 
alternatives, and impacts to be considered in the EIS. This scoping 
period will ensure the public has sufficient opportunity to review and 
comment on the proposed Federal action and reasonable alternatives for 
fish passage at Intake Diversion Dam. Public comments are invited and 
encouraged to assist agencies in identifying the scope of potentially 
significant environmental, social, and economic issues relevant to the 
proposed Federal action and determining reasonable alternatives to be 
considered in the EIS. Current and past project information and 
analyses can be accessed at: http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/loweryellowstone.
    The Corps and Reclamation will host a public scoping meeting and 
are inviting agencies, tribes, non-

[[Page 84]]

governmental organizations, and the public to participate in an open 
exchange of information and to provide comments on the proposed scope 
of the EIS.
    As required by CEQ's implementing regulations, the EIS will include 
consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
Federal action that meet the purpose and need of improving pallid 
sturgeon passage while continuing a viable and effective operation of 
the Lower Yellowstone Project. The EIS will analyze and disclose 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed Federal action and 
alternatives together with engineering, operations and maintenance, 
social, and economic considerations. The public is invited and 
encouraged to identify issues and effects that should be addressed in 
the EIS, as well as reasonable alternatives to improve fish passage at 
the Intake Diversion Dam.
    The public scoping meeting date or location may change based on 
inclement weather or exceptional circumstances. If the meeting date or 
location is changed, the Corps and Reclamation will issue a press 
release and post it on the web at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/loweryellowstone and http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil to announce the 
updated meeting details.

Special Assistance for Public Scoping Meeting

    The meeting facility is physically accessible to people with 
disabilities. People needing special assistance to attend and/or 
participate in the open house should contact: U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers Omaha District, ATTN: CENWO-PM-AA, 1616 Capitol Ave, Omaha, 
NE 68102; or email cenwo-planning@usace.army.mil. To allow sufficient 
time to process special requests, please contact no later than one week 
before the public scoping meeting.

Public Disclosure Statement

    The Corps and Reclamation believe it is important to inform the 
public of the environmental review process. To assist the Corps and 
Reclamation in identifying and considering issues related to the 
proposed Federal action, comments made during formal scoping and later 
on the draft EIS should be as specific as possible. Reviewers must 
structure their participation in the environmental review of the 
proposal so that it is meaningful and alerts the Corps and Reclamation 
to the reviewer's position and contentions. It is very important that 
those interested in this proposed Federal action participate by the 
close of the scoping period so that substantive comments and objections 
are made available to the Corps and Reclamation at a time when they can 
meaningfully consider and respond to them.
    If you wish to comment, you may mail or email your comments as 
indicated under the ADDRESSES section. Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or any other personal identifying 
information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire 
comment--including your personal identifying information--may be made 
available to the public at any time. While you can request in your 
comment for us to withhold your personal identifying information from 
public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

John W. Henderson,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Commander.
John F. Soucy,
Deputy Regional Director, Great Plains Region, Bureau of Reclamation.
[FR Doc. 2015-33066 Filed 12-31-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3720-58-P