Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Houston Ship Channel 45-Foot Expansion Channel Improvement Project (HSC ECIP), Harris and Chambers Counties, Texas, 17450-17451 [2016-07061]

Download as PDF 17450 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 60 / Tuesday, March 29, 2016 / Notices and Response Office Request for SAPRO’s Assistance’’ and DD Form 2985–1 ‘‘Military Feedback Form’’; OMB Control Number 0704–XXXX. Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to facilitate a timely response and appropriate resolution to inquiries from DoD sexual assault victims/survivors, support personnel and others. Collection of this information promotes victim recovery. Affected Public: Individuals or Households. Annual Burden Hours: 15. Number of Respondents: 30. Responses per Respondent: 1. Annual Responses: 30. Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes. Frequency: On occasion. This information collection is used to support victims and survivors of sexual assault in their recovery and to maintain a database of inquiries that documents the nature and status of inquiries in order to provide adequate follow-up services and inform sexual assault prevention and response program and policy improvements. Dated: March 24, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2016–07029 Filed 3–28–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Houston Ship Channel 45-Foot Expansion Channel Improvement Project (HSC ECIP), Harris and Chambers Counties, Texas AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of intent. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Houston Ship Channel 45Foot Expansion Channel Improvement Project (HSC ECIP), Harris and Chambers Counties, Texas. This study will identify and evaluate a combination of modifications to the HSC to improve the efficiency and safety of the HSC system. A 905(b) report recommending a cost shared feasibility-level study was approved on September 22, 2015. DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for scoping meeting dates. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:43 Mar 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning the draft EIS should be addressed to Ms. Tammy Gilmore, CEMVN–PDN–CEP, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160–0267; telephone: (504) 862–1002; fax: (504) 862–1583; or by email: tammy.h.gilmore@usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Authority. Public Law 91–611; Title II—Flood Control Act of 1970, Section 216 dated December 31, 1970. The study is being performed in response to the standing authority of Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970, as amended. 2. Proposed Action. In general, the entire HSC will be evaluated for up to date current and projected vessel size and traffic. The study focus will include deepening and widening opportunities of the upper reach of the HSC referred to as Boggy Bayou to the Main Turning Basin; improvements to side channels, Bayport Ship Channel and Barbour’s Cut Channel; and Galveston Bay Reach safety and efficiency enhancements. Details of the study include the following 5 separable elements: HSC—Boggy Bayou to I–610 Bridge: This analysis would evaluate deepening and widening the 8-mile portion of the HSC from Boggy Bayou to the Interstate 610 Bridge (mile 40 to mile 48) to a depth beyond the existing 40 feet (Boggy Bayou to Sims Bayou) and a width greater than the existing 300 feet (in 50foot increments) and possibly improvements to turning basin and mooring areas. HSC—I–610 Bridge to Main Turning Basin: This analysis would evaluate the deepening and widening of the 4-mile portion of the HSC from the Interstate I– 610 Bridge to the Main Turning Basin (mile 48 to mile 52) to a depth beyond the existing 36 feet (in 2-foot increments), a new turning basin near Brays Bayou, and revisit dimensions of existing turning basins and mooring areas. Bayport Ship Channel: The 4.1 mile long Bayport Ship Channel is currently authorized to a depth of 40 feet. The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) has the authority under 33 U.S.C. Section 408 to deepen the channel to 45 feet and widen the bay portions of the channel 100 feet and widen the constricted portion of the channel within the land cut 50 feet. This analysis would evaluate whether to include the PHA’s channel deepening for Federal authorization. The analysis would also evaluate widening to a width greater than 350 feet (25-foot increments). Other opportunities in this area are to evaluate the need for open water turning basin, and adding jetty/ PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 structures for minimizing shoaling and flare improvements. Barbours Cut Channel: The 1.1 mile long Barbour’s Cut Channel is currently authorized to a depth of 40 feet. The PHA has the authority, under 33 U.S.C. Section 408, to deepen the channel to 45 feet. This analysis would evaluate whether to include the PHA’s channel deepening for Federal authorization. The analysis would also evaluate widening to a width greater than 300 feet (25-foot increments). Other opportunities in this area are to evaluate the need for open water turning basin and flare improvements. Bay-reach safety and efficiency enhancements: This analysis would evaluate whether to construct an anchorage basin in or near Galveston Bay, the need of selectively widening the existing 530 feet wide HSC to develop passing lanes or improved vessel meeting opportunities; evaluate improvements to channel turns and bends; and evaluate the depth of the existing barge lanes. 3. Public Involvement. Public involvement, an essential part of the NEPA process, is integral to assessing the environmental consequences of the proposed action and improving the quality of the environmental decision making. The public includes affected and interested Federal, state, and local agencies, Indian tribes, concerned citizens, stakeholders, and other interested parties. Public participation in the EIS process will be strongly encouraged, both formally and informally, to enhance the probability of a more technically accurate, economically feasible, and socially acceptable EIS. Public involvement will include, but is not limited to: Information dissemination; identification of problems, needs and opportunities; idea generation; public education; problem solving; providing feedback on proposals; evaluation of alternatives; conflict resolution; public and scoping notices and meetings; public, stakeholder and advisory groups consultation and meetings; and making the EIS and supporting information readily available in conveniently located places, such as libraries and on the world wide web. 4. Scoping. Scoping, an early and open process for identifying the scope of significant issues related to the proposed action to be addressed in the EIS, will be used to: (a) Identify the affected public and agency concerns; (b) facilitate an efficient EIS preparation process; (c) define the issues and alternatives that will be examined in detail in the EIS; and (d) save time in the overall process by helping to ensure E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 60 / Tuesday, March 29, 2016 / Notices that the draft EIS adequately addresses relevant issues. A Scoping Meeting Notice announcing the locations, dates and times for scoping meetings is anticipated to be posted on the PHA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Web sites and published in the local newspaper in April 2016. 5. Coordination. The USACE and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have formally committed to work together to conserve, protect, and restore fish and wildlife resources while ensuring environmental sustainability of our Nation’s water resources under the January 22, 2003, Partnership Agreement for Water Resources and Fish and Wildlife. The USFWS will provide a Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report. Coordination will be maintained with the USFWS, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Texas Park and Wildlife Department (TPWD) regarding threatened and endangered species under their respective jurisdictional responsibilities. Coordination will be maintained with the NMFS regarding essential fish habitat. Coordination will be maintained with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerning compliance with Executive Order 12898, ‘‘Federal Action to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.’’ Coordination will be maintained with the Advisory Counsel on Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Office. Coordination will be maintained with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to assure no interruption with navigation. Coordination will be maintained with the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) to assure limited interruption to highway traffic. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be coordinated with to obtain Water Quality Certification. The Texas General Land Office (GLO) will be coordinated with on coastal management. 5. Availability of Draft EIS. The earliest that the draft EIS will be available for public review would be in 2017. The draft EIS or a notice of availability will be distributed to affected Federal, state, and local agencies, Indian tribes, and other interested parties. Dated: March 21, 2016. Richard P. Pannell, Colonel, U.S. Army, Commanding. [FR Doc. 2016–07061 Filed 3–28–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:43 Mar 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Meeting of the Chief of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of open Federal advisory committee meeting. SUMMARY: The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Chief of Engineers, Environmental Advisory Board (EAB). This meeting is open to the public. For additional information about the EAB, please visit the committee’s Web site at http://www. usace.army.mil/Missions/ Environmental/EnvironmentalAdvisory Board.aspx. DATES: The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on April 27, 2016. Public registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. ADDRESSES: The EAB meeting will be conducted at The Residence Inn Washington, DC Downtown, located at 1199 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005, (202) 898–1100. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Mindy M. Simmons, the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the committee, in writing at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CECW–P, 441 G St. NW.; Washington, DC 20314; by telephone at 202–761–4127; and by email at Mindy.M.Simmons@ usace.army.mil. Alternatively, contact Ms. Anne Cann, the Alternate Designated Federal Officer (ADFO), in writing at the Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CEIWR–GW, 7701 Telegraph Road, Casey Building, Alexandria, VA 22315–3868; by telephone at 703–428–7166; and by email at Anne.R.Cann@usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The committee 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 EAB will advise the Chief of Engineers on environmental policy, identification and resolution of environmental issues and missions, and addressing challenges, problems, and opportunities in an environmentally responsible manner. The EAB is interested in written and verbal comments from the public relevant to these purposes. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17451 Proposed Agenda: At this meeting the agenda will include discussions and presentations on ongoing work plan efforts including: ecosystem restoration project prioritization criteria, ecosystem goods and services, and aging infrastructure and aquatic ecosystem integrity. The EAB will also discuss modifications to their work plan. The EAB will also hear presentations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on its sustainability and resilience programs. Availability of Materials for the Meeting. A copy of the agenda or any updates to the agenda for the April 27, 2016 meeting will be available at the meeting. The final version will be provided at the meeting. All materials will be posted to the Web site after the meeting. Public Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102–3.140 through 102– 3.165, and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Registration of members of the public who wish to attend the meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the meeting. Seating is limited and is on a first-to-arrive basis. Attendees will be asked to provide their name, title, affiliation, and contact information to include email address and daytime telephone number at registration. Any interested person may attend the meeting, file written comments or statements with the committee, or make verbal comments from the floor during the public meeting, at the times, and in the manner, permitted by the committee, as set forth below. Special Accommodations: The meeting venue is fully handicap accessible, with wheelchair access. Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting or seeking additional information about public access procedures, should contact Ms. Simmons, the committee DFO, or Ms. Cann, the ADFO, at the email addresses or telephone numbers listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102–3.105(j) and 102–3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the EAB about its mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Ms. Simmons, the committee DFO, or Ms. Cann, the committee ADFO, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 60 (Tuesday, March 29, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17450-17451]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-07061]


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

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Houston Ship Channel 45-Foot Expansion Channel Improvement Project (HSC 
ECIP), Harris and Chambers Counties, Texas

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) intends to prepare an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Houston Ship Channel 45-
Foot Expansion Channel Improvement Project (HSC ECIP), Harris and 
Chambers Counties, Texas.
    This study will identify and evaluate a combination of 
modifications to the HSC to improve the efficiency and safety of the 
HSC system. A 905(b) report recommending a cost shared feasibility-
level study was approved on September 22, 2015.

DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for scoping meeting dates.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning the draft EIS 
should be addressed to Ms. Tammy Gilmore, CEMVN-PDN-CEP, P.O. Box 
60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267; telephone: (504) 862-1002; fax: 
(504) 862-1583; or by email: tammy.h.gilmore@usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    1. Authority. Public Law 91-611; Title II--Flood Control Act of 
1970, Section 216 dated December 31, 1970. The study is being performed 
in response to the standing authority of Section 216 of the Flood 
Control Act of 1970, as amended.
    2. Proposed Action. In general, the entire HSC will be evaluated 
for up to date current and projected vessel size and traffic. The study 
focus will include deepening and widening opportunities of the upper 
reach of the HSC referred to as Boggy Bayou to the Main Turning Basin; 
improvements to side channels, Bayport Ship Channel and Barbour's Cut 
Channel; and Galveston Bay Reach safety and efficiency enhancements. 
Details of the study include the following 5 separable elements:
    HSC--Boggy Bayou to I-610 Bridge: This analysis would evaluate 
deepening and widening the 8-mile portion of the HSC from Boggy Bayou 
to the Interstate 610 Bridge (mile 40 to mile 48) to a depth beyond the 
existing 40 feet (Boggy Bayou to Sims Bayou) and a width greater than 
the existing 300 feet (in 50-foot increments) and possibly improvements 
to turning basin and mooring areas.
    HSC--I-610 Bridge to Main Turning Basin: This analysis would 
evaluate the deepening and widening of the 4-mile portion of the HSC 
from the Interstate I-610 Bridge to the Main Turning Basin (mile 48 to 
mile 52) to a depth beyond the existing 36 feet (in 2-foot increments), 
a new turning basin near Brays Bayou, and revisit dimensions of 
existing turning basins and mooring areas.
    Bayport Ship Channel: The 4.1 mile long Bayport Ship Channel is 
currently authorized to a depth of 40 feet. The Port of Houston 
Authority (PHA) has the authority under 33 U.S.C. Section 408 to deepen 
the channel to 45 feet and widen the bay portions of the channel 100 
feet and widen the constricted portion of the channel within the land 
cut 50 feet. This analysis would evaluate whether to include the PHA's 
channel deepening for Federal authorization. The analysis would also 
evaluate widening to a width greater than 350 feet (25-foot 
increments). Other opportunities in this area are to evaluate the need 
for open water turning basin, and adding jetty/structures for 
minimizing shoaling and flare improvements.
    Barbours Cut Channel: The 1.1 mile long Barbour's Cut Channel is 
currently authorized to a depth of 40 feet. The PHA has the authority, 
under 33 U.S.C. Section 408, to deepen the channel to 45 feet. This 
analysis would evaluate whether to include the PHA's channel deepening 
for Federal authorization. The analysis would also evaluate widening to 
a width greater than 300 feet (25-foot increments). Other opportunities 
in this area are to evaluate the need for open water turning basin and 
flare improvements.
    Bay-reach safety and efficiency enhancements: This analysis would 
evaluate whether to construct an anchorage basin in or near Galveston 
Bay, the need of selectively widening the existing 530 feet wide HSC to 
develop passing lanes or improved vessel meeting opportunities; 
evaluate improvements to channel turns and bends; and evaluate the 
depth of the existing barge lanes.
    3. Public Involvement. Public involvement, an essential part of the 
NEPA process, is integral to assessing the environmental consequences 
of the proposed action and improving the quality of the environmental 
decision making. The public includes affected and interested Federal, 
state, and local agencies, Indian tribes, concerned citizens, 
stakeholders, and other interested parties. Public participation in the 
EIS process will be strongly encouraged, both formally and informally, 
to enhance the probability of a more technically accurate, economically 
feasible, and socially acceptable EIS. Public involvement will include, 
but is not limited to: Information dissemination; identification of 
problems, needs and opportunities; idea generation; public education; 
problem solving; providing feedback on proposals; evaluation of 
alternatives; conflict resolution; public and scoping notices and 
meetings; public, stakeholder and advisory groups consultation and 
meetings; and making the EIS and supporting information readily 
available in conveniently located places, such as libraries and on the 
world wide web.
    4. Scoping. Scoping, an early and open process for identifying the 
scope of significant issues related to the proposed action to be 
addressed in the EIS, will be used to: (a) Identify the affected public 
and agency concerns; (b) facilitate an efficient EIS preparation 
process; (c) define the issues and alternatives that will be examined 
in detail in the EIS; and (d) save time in the overall process by 
helping to ensure

[[Page 17451]]

that the draft EIS adequately addresses relevant issues. A Scoping 
Meeting Notice announcing the locations, dates and times for scoping 
meetings is anticipated to be posted on the PHA and U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers Web sites and published in the local newspaper in April 2016.
    5. Coordination. The USACE and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(USFWS) have formally committed to work together to conserve, protect, 
and restore fish and wildlife resources while ensuring environmental 
sustainability of our Nation's water resources under the January 22, 
2003, Partnership Agreement for Water Resources and Fish and Wildlife. 
The USFWS will provide a Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report. 
Coordination will be maintained with the USFWS, the National Marine 
Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Texas Park and Wildlife Department 
(TPWD) regarding threatened and endangered species under their 
respective jurisdictional responsibilities. Coordination will be 
maintained with the NMFS regarding essential fish habitat. Coordination 
will be maintained with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
concerning compliance with Executive Order 12898, ``Federal Action to 
Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations.'' Coordination will be maintained with the Advisory 
Counsel on Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation 
Office. Coordination will be maintained with the U.S. Coast Guard 
(USCG) to assure no interruption with navigation. Coordination will be 
maintained with the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) to 
assure limited interruption to highway traffic. The Texas Commission on 
Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be coordinated with to obtain Water 
Quality Certification. The Texas General Land Office (GLO) will be 
coordinated with on coastal management.
    5. Availability of Draft EIS. The earliest that the draft EIS will 
be available for public review would be in 2017. The draft EIS or a 
notice of availability will be distributed to affected Federal, state, 
and local agencies, Indian tribes, and other interested parties.

    Dated: March 21, 2016.
Richard P. Pannell,
Colonel, U.S. Army, Commanding.
[FR Doc. 2016-07061 Filed 3-28-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3720-58-P