Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for Karner Blue Butterfly, From the Slack Chemical Company, and Availability of Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan, 49686-49687 [2016-17866]

Download as PDF 49686 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 145 / Thursday, July 28, 2016 / Notices Dated: July 22, 2016. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. [FR Doc. 2016–17915 Filed 7–27–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R5–ES–2015–N203]; [50120–1112– 0000–F2] Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for Karner Blue Butterfly, From the Slack Chemical Company, and Availability of Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability, receipt of application. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of an application for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) and a proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) from the Slack Chemical Company for public review and comment. We received the permit application from the Slack Chemical Company for incidental take of the endangered Karner blue butterfly resulting from the construction of a gravel access road, as well as from proposed mitigation activities over the next 10 years. Our preliminary determination is that the proposed HCP qualifies as low-effect in accordance with our Handbook for Habitat Conservation Planning and Incidental Taking Permitting Process. To make this determination, we used our Low-Effect HCP Screening Form/Environmental Action Statement (EAS), the preliminary version of which is also available for review. We provide this notice to (1) seek public comments on the proposed HCP and application; (2) seek public comments on our preliminary determination that the HCP qualifies as low-effect and is therefore eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); and (3) advise other Federal and State agencies, affected Tribes, and the public of our intent to issue an ITP. DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments by August 29, 2016. ADDRESSES: Reviewing documents: You may obtain copies of the proposed HCP and preliminary EAS for review by any of the following methods: Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:44 Jul 27, 2016 Jkt 238001 Internet: New York Field Office Web site, at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ nyfo/; In-person: Copies will be available for public review during regular business hours at the New York Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT); U.S. mail: You may request copies by sending a letter to the New York Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT); or Telephone: Those who do not have access to the Web site or cannot visit our office may request copies by telephone at 607–753–9334. Submitting comments: You may submit written comments by any one of the following methods: Email: FW5ES_NYFO@fws.gov. Please put Slack Chemical HCP in the subject line; or U.S. mail: Noelle Rayman-Metcalf (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Noelle Rayman-Metcalf, by U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045; or via phone at 607–753–9334. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We received an application from the Slack Chemical Company for an ITP for take of the federally listed endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) resulting from the construction of a gravel access road, as well as from proposed mitigation activities. To minimize and mitigate for the incidental take, the Slack Chemical Company will implement a conservation program as described in its proposed HCP. We prepared a preliminary EAS to comply with NEPA. The Service will evaluate whether the proposed action, issuance of an ITP to the Slack Chemical Company, is adequate to support a categorical exclusion. We are requesting comments on the proposed HCP and our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies as low-effect under NEPA. Background Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. Take is defined under the Act as to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect listed animal species, or to attempt to engage in such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1538). However, under section 10(a) of the Act, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ‘‘Incidental take’’ is defined by the Act as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species, respectively, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (October 1, 2006, 50 CFR 17.22; October 1, 2001, 50 CFR 17.32). Proposed Project Slack Chemical Company is seeking a permit for the incidental take of the Karner blue butterfly for a term of 10 years. Incidental take of this species will occur in an approximate 0.10-acre area within a National Grid right-of-way (ROW). Slack Chemical Company proposes to construct a gravel access road through the ROW to access approximately 8 acres for construction of a parking lot for their trucking fleet and a building. The project is located in Grande Industrial Park, Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, New York. An additional 4.81 acres of temporary impacts to enhance Karner blue butterfly habitat will occur due to periodic mowing. Proposed covered activities include the new construction of a gravel access road, as well as periodic mowing of occupied habitat of two existing New York State Department of Environmental Conservation management areas, and one National Grid easement area, as well as the seeding of wild blue lupine and other nectar species within a 0.10 acre patch in National Grid’s ROW. The HCP’s proposed conservation strategy is designed to minimize and mitigate the impacts of covered activities on the covered species. The biological goal is to complement the existing conservation efforts in New York State for the butterfly. The proposed action consists of the issuance of an ITP and implementation of the proposed HCP. One alternative to the proposed action was considered in the HCP: No action (i.e., operation of the project without an ITP and without avoidance, minimization, or mitigation of Karner blue butterfly impacts). This alternative was deemed not practicable by Slack Chemical Company because the project would not have the important protections of the ITP and would not have the conservation benefits proposed by the Slack Chemical Company. National Environmental Policy Act We have made a preliminary determination that the Slack Chemical Company’s proposed HCP, including proposed minimization and mitigation measures, will have a minor or negligible effect on the species covered in the plan, and that the plan qualifies E:\FR\FM\28JYN1.SGM 28JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 145 / Thursday, July 28, 2016 / Notices as a ‘‘low-effect’’ HCP as described in the Service’s HCP Handbook (61 FR 63854, December 2, 1996). Therefore, our proposed issuance of the requested incidental take permit qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, as provided by Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215). As further explained in the preliminary EAS, included for public review, our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies as a low-effect HCP is based on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the plan would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the plan would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources prior to implementation of the mitigation measures; and (3) Impacts of the plan, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to the environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. Lhorne on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Next Steps We will evaluate the proposed HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. We will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue a permit. If the requirements are met, we will issue the permit to the applicant. Public Comments We invite the public to comment on the proposed HCP and preliminary EAS during a 30-day public comment period (see DATES). You may submit written comments by one of the methods in the ADDRESSES section. All comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record and will be available to the public. 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—will be VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:44 Jul 27, 2016 Jkt 238001 publicly available. If you submit a hard copy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: July 21, 2016. Cindy Schulz, Acting Assistant Regional Director— Ecological Services, Northeast Region. 49687 For the phone number and access code, please contact Michael Marketti, U.S. Geological Survey, Mail Stop 908, National Center, Reston, Virginia 20192, (703) 648–6976. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Meetings of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program and National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program Advisory Committee are open to the public. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: July 25, 2016. Michael J. Marketti, Program Analyst, NCGMP. [FR Doc. 2016–17882 Filed 7–27–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4311–AM–P [FR Doc. 2016–17866 Filed 7–27–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Geological Survey [LLMTC02900.L16100000.DF0000] [GX16GC009PLSS00] Notice of Public Meeting, Dakotas Resource Advisory Council Meeting National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) and National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) Advisory Committee AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey, Interior. Notice of annual meeting: Audio conference. ACTION: Pursuant to Public Law 106– 148, the NCGMP and NGGDPP Advisory Committee will hold an audio conference call on Thursday, September 22, 2016, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Advisory Committee, comprising representatives from Federal agencies, State agencies, academic institutions, and private companies, shall advise the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey on planning and implementation of the geologic mapping and data preservation programs. The Committee will hear updates on progress of the NCGMP toward fulfilling the purposes of the National Geological Mapping Act of 1992, as well as updates on the NGGDPP toward fulfilling the purposes of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Retraction: Please note that this meeting was originally scheduled for August 8, 2016 and a notice was published in the Federal Register, dated June 13, 2016. The original advertised date of this meeting is no longer accurate and the meeting has been postponed to September 22, 2016. DATES: September 22, 2016, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Public Meeting. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Dakotas Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The Dakotas Resource Advisory Council meeting will be held on August 25, 2016. When determined, the meeting location and times will be announced in a news release. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Jacobsen, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Eastern Montana/Dakotas District, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, Montana, 59301; (406) 233–2831; mjacobse@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–677–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 15member council advises the Secretary of the Interior through the BLM on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in eastern Montana. At this meeting, topics will include: An Eastern Montana/Dakotas District report, North Dakota and South Dakota Field Office SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28JYN1.SGM 28JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 145 (Thursday, July 28, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49686-49687]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17866]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-ES-2015-N203]; [50120-1112-0000-F2]


Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for 
Karner Blue Butterfly, From the Slack Chemical Company, and 
Availability of Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability, receipt of application.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an application for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) and 
a proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) from the Slack Chemical 
Company for public review and comment. We received the permit 
application from the Slack Chemical Company for incidental take of the 
endangered Karner blue butterfly resulting from the construction of a 
gravel access road, as well as from proposed mitigation activities over 
the next 10 years. Our preliminary determination is that the proposed 
HCP qualifies as low-effect in accordance with our Handbook for Habitat 
Conservation Planning and Incidental Taking Permitting Process. To make 
this determination, we used our Low-Effect HCP Screening Form/
Environmental Action Statement (EAS), the preliminary version of which 
is also available for review.
    We provide this notice to (1) seek public comments on the proposed 
HCP and application; (2) seek public comments on our preliminary 
determination that the HCP qualifies as low-effect and is therefore 
eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA); and (3) advise other Federal and State agencies, 
affected Tribes, and the public of our intent to issue an ITP.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by August 29, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Reviewing documents: You may obtain copies of the proposed 
HCP and preliminary EAS for review by any of the following methods:
    Internet: New York Field Office Web site, at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/;
    In-person: Copies will be available for public review during 
regular business hours at the New York Field Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT);
    U.S. mail: You may request copies by sending a letter to the New 
York Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT); or
    Telephone: Those who do not have access to the Web site or cannot 
visit our office may request copies by telephone at 607-753-9334.
    Submitting comments: You may submit written comments by any one of 
the following methods:
    Email: FW5ES_NYFO@fws.gov. Please put Slack Chemical HCP in the 
subject line; or
    U.S. mail: Noelle Rayman-Metcalf (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Noelle Rayman-Metcalf, by U.S. mail at 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, 
Cortland, NY 13045; or via phone at 607-753-9334.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We received an application from the Slack 
Chemical Company for an ITP for take of the federally listed endangered 
Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) resulting from the 
construction of a gravel access road, as well as from proposed 
mitigation activities. To minimize and mitigate for the incidental 
take, the Slack Chemical Company will implement a conservation program 
as described in its proposed HCP. We prepared a preliminary EAS to 
comply with NEPA. The Service will evaluate whether the proposed 
action, issuance of an ITP to the Slack Chemical Company, is adequate 
to support a categorical exclusion. We are requesting comments on the 
proposed HCP and our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies 
as low-effect under NEPA.

Background

    Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations prohibit the ``take'' of animal species listed as 
endangered or threatened. Take is defined under the Act as to ``harass, 
harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect 
listed animal species, or to attempt to engage in such conduct'' (16 
U.S.C. 1538). However, under section 10(a) of the Act, we may issue 
permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ``Incidental 
take'' is defined by the Act as take that is incidental to, and not the 
purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations 
governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered 
species, respectively, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations 
(October 1, 2006, 50 CFR 17.22; October 1, 2001, 50 CFR 17.32).

Proposed Project

    Slack Chemical Company is seeking a permit for the incidental take 
of the Karner blue butterfly for a term of 10 years. Incidental take of 
this species will occur in an approximate 0.10-acre area within a 
National Grid right-of-way (ROW). Slack Chemical Company proposes to 
construct a gravel access road through the ROW to access approximately 
8 acres for construction of a parking lot for their trucking fleet and 
a building. The project is located in Grande Industrial Park, Saratoga 
Springs, Saratoga County, New York. An additional 4.81 acres of 
temporary impacts to enhance Karner blue butterfly habitat will occur 
due to periodic mowing.
    Proposed covered activities include the new construction of a 
gravel access road, as well as periodic mowing of occupied habitat of 
two existing New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 
management areas, and one National Grid easement area, as well as the 
seeding of wild blue lupine and other nectar species within a 0.10 acre 
patch in National Grid's ROW. The HCP's proposed conservation strategy 
is designed to minimize and mitigate the impacts of covered activities 
on the covered species. The biological goal is to complement the 
existing conservation efforts in New York State for the butterfly.
    The proposed action consists of the issuance of an ITP and 
implementation of the proposed HCP. One alternative to the proposed 
action was considered in the HCP: No action (i.e., operation of the 
project without an ITP and without avoidance, minimization, or 
mitigation of Karner blue butterfly impacts). This alternative was 
deemed not practicable by Slack Chemical Company because the project 
would not have the important protections of the ITP and would not have 
the conservation benefits proposed by the Slack Chemical Company.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have made a preliminary determination that the Slack Chemical 
Company's proposed HCP, including proposed minimization and mitigation 
measures, will have a minor or negligible effect on the species covered 
in the plan, and that the plan qualifies

[[Page 49687]]

as a ``low-effect'' HCP as described in the Service's HCP Handbook (61 
FR 63854, December 2, 1996). Therefore, our proposed issuance of the 
requested incidental take permit qualifies as a categorical exclusion 
under the National Environmental Policy Act, as provided by Department 
of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215).
    As further explained in the preliminary EAS, included for public 
review, our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies as a low-
effect HCP is based on the following three criteria:
    (1) Implementation of the plan would result in minor or negligible 
effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their 
habitats;
    (2) Implementation of the plan would result in minor or negligible 
effects on other environmental values or resources prior to 
implementation of the mitigation measures; and
    (3) Impacts of the plan, considered together with the impacts of 
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated 
projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to the 
environmental values or resources that would be considered significant.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the proposed HCP and comments we receive to 
determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of 
section 10(a) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We will also 
evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit would comply 
with section 7 of the ESA by conducting an intra-Service section 7 
consultation. We will use the results of this consultation, in 
combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine 
whether or not to issue a permit. If the requirements are met, we will 
issue the permit to the applicant.

Public Comments

    We invite the public to comment on the proposed HCP and preliminary 
EAS during a 30-day public comment period (see DATES). You may submit 
written comments by one of the methods in the ADDRESSES section.
    All comments received, including names and addresses, will become 
part of the administrative record and will be available to the public. 
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--will be publicly available. If you submit a hard copy 
comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request 
at the top of your document that we withhold this information from 
public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do 
so.

Authority

    We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: July 21, 2016.
Cindy Schulz,
Acting Assistant Regional Director--Ecological Services, Northeast 
Region.
[FR Doc. 2016-17866 Filed 7-27-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P