Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement To Study Mertarvik Community Infrastructure Development Project, Alaska, 12448-12449 [2017-04119]

Download as PDF 12448 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 41 / Friday, March 3, 2017 / Notices and operators in approaching the Central Basin and Pier 70 Shipyard. Pursuant to NEPA, USACE has prepared a Draft DPR/EA analyzing the potential environmental impacts of planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining a commercial navigation project at the Central Basin. The primary action areas for this analysis include the proposed Central Basin approach area dredge footprint, the dredged material placement site (the San Francisco Deep Ocean Disposal Site as well as the alternative placement sites evaluated), and waterways used for vessel transit between the dredge and placement sites. The Port of San Francisco is the Non-Federal Sponsor (NFS). 2. Alternatives. The study considers both non-structural and structural measures. Non-structural measures include: Lightering, light loading, the use of favorable tides, and daylight transit only. Structural measures proposed include dredging to various depths in combination with dredged material placement at a range of sites. Three sets of alternative deepening plans were evaluated based on three different depths (30 feet mean lower low water [MLLW], 32 feet MLLW, and 35 feet MLLW) and three alternative sediment placement locations (beneficial use, deep ocean disposal at the San Francisco Deep Ocean Disposal Site, and an in-bay site), which resulted in a total of 16 alternatives considered including the no-action plan. The final array of four alternatives (including the No Action Alternative) from the alternative formulation process were carried forward for analysis in the EA. The recommended plan (Proposed Action, Agency-Preferred Alternative) is the National Economic Development Plan (Alternative 6) to dredge the Central Basin to 32 feet MLLW plus two feet of overdepth and place all of the material at the San Francisco Deep Ocean Disposal Site. Approximately 237,700 cubic yards of material (including the two feet of overdepth) would be dredged. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison. [FR Doc. 2017–04123 Filed 3–2–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DENALI COMMISSION Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement To Study Mertarvik Community Infrastructure Development Project, Alaska Denali Commission. Notice of intent. AGENCY: ACTION: The Denali Commission, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), announces its intention to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study the feasibility of relocating the threatened Newtok Village from its current location to Mertarvik, a site roughly nine miles away on Nelson Island, which is across the Ninglik River from mainland Alaska. The EIS will address the potential for positive and negative environmental impacts associated with constructing all required infrastructure at the new village townsite of Mertarvik. The Denali Commission, along with the USACE, will hold a scoping meeting in Newtok Village, Alaska, in an effort to better define the issues associated with permanently relocating village residents. While the official scoping period concludes 30 days following the publication of this NOI, public input will continue to be solicited throughout the study process. DATES: A scoping meeting will be held in Newtok Village, AK at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday March 22 in the school gymnasium. (Schedule updates will be posted to the ‘‘Events’’ section of the Denali Commission Web page found at https://www.denali.gov/.) A summary of the comments received will be forwarded to meeting participants and other public as requested. The scoping meeting will be advertised as necessary. ADDRESSES: Please direct comments or suggestions on the scope of the EIS to: Mr. Christopher Floyd, NEPA Coordinator, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, CEPOA–PM– C–ER, P.O. Box 6898, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK 99506–0898; Phone: 907–753–2700; email christopher.b.floyd@usace.army.mil. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information or questions concerning the proposed project, please contact: CAPT Donald Antrobus, Environmentally Threatened Communities Program Manager, Denali Commission, 510 L Street, Suite 410, Anchorage, AK 99501; 907–271–3500; dantrobus@denali.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background The village of Newtok (population 354, 2010 census) is on the west coast VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 Mar 02, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of Alaska in the broad, low-lying delta between the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. The village is located on low marshy terrain on the banks of a tidally influenced slough of the Ninglik River. The Ninglik River is eroding toward the village of Newtok at an average rate of 72 feet per year. The maximum yearly observed rate of erosion is 300 feet per year. Based upon an average annual riverbank loss resulting from fall storms, the village has approximately four years before critical village infrastructure will be threatened and/or destroyed. Changes in river channels surrounding the village of Newtok have also increased the frequency and severity of flooding in the village. Lower lying areas of the village flood almost every year. Flooding events in 2005 and 2006 flooded the village water supply, causing raw sewage to be spread throughout the village, displacing residents from homes, destroying subsistence food storage and other facilities, and shutting down essential utilities. The closest high ground to the village of Newtok that avoids damages from both flooding and erosion is the Mertarvik site on Nelson Island, a 10,943-acre site transferred to the Newtok Native Corporation, from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in November 2003 by Public Law 108–129, and designated as ‘‘Proposed Village Site’’ on a map titled ‘‘Proposed Newtok Exchange,’’ dated September 2002. Additional information related to past efforts to address erosion and relocate the village can be found at: https:// www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/dcra/ PlanningLandManagement/ NewtokPlanningGroup.aspx. Purpose and Need for Agency Action The purpose and need for this study is to identify a practicable and environmentally responsible solution to protect the village of Newtok from both flooding and erosion damages and loss of life. This EIS will assess the potential environmental impacts of reconstructing all required village infrastructure at the new village site of Mertarvik on Nelson Island. This action is needed without delay to avoid the potential loss of life and/or the indefinite dislocation of Newtok Village residents associated with the relentless migration of the Ninglik River. Preliminary Alternatives Consistent with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementation requirements, this EIS will assess the full range of reasonable and practicable alternatives regarding E:\FR\FM\03MRN1.SGM 03MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 41 / Friday, March 3, 2017 / Notices • Potential impacts on health from the village of Newtok remaining in its current location. • Potential impacts on health, both positive and negative, as a result of relocation. • Potential impacts to workers during the construction of the facilities. • Potential impacts to surface water, tidelands, flora and fauna including turbidity from construction activities. • Potential impacts on air quality from emissions and from noise during construction and operations. • Potential cumulative impacts of the past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions. • Potential impacts to historically significant properties, if present, and on access to traditional use areas. • Potential impacts on local, regional, or national resources from materials and utilities required for construction. • Potential impacts on ecological resources, including threatened and endangered species and water quality. • Potential impacts on local employment, income, population, housing, and public services from harbor construction and operations. Identification of Environmental and Other Issues mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES protecting the village of Newtok from erosion and flooding. Structural Alternatives: This set of alternatives will investigate and describe possible improvement alternatives that would allow village residents to stay in their current location. Types of structural solutions could include, but are not limited to, constructing an earth-filled levee surrounding the entire village, including the airport, and/or raising the buildings above the highest flood level. Proposed Action: In collaboration with the Newtok Village Council (NVC), the Denali Commission has proposed to complete comprehensive townsite planning for the new Mertarvik village site encompassing all infrastructure projects necessary to support the entire village of Newtok population, which needs relocation from the endangered village of Newtok site. The townsite plan will include at a minimum the following infrastructure projects: Airport; solid waste landfill; wastewater collection system and wastewater treatment lagoon; bulk fuel farm and fuel dispensing facility; power house and power distribution system; water treatment plan, water storage tank, and water distribution lines; barge landing; the town center consisting of housing, school, public buildings, and subdivision roads; and all associated connecting roads. The final siting of these proposed facilities will be determined in the townsite planning effort through a village engagement process. The proposed Federal actions to be covered by the EIS will consist of all infrastructure identified and sited in the final townsite plan. No Action Alternative: Under the ‘‘no action’’ alternative, the village of Newtok would remain in its current location as long as physically possible, continue to experience severe damages from flooding and erosion, and eventually be forced to evacuate the site when it succumbs to catastrophic flooding and/or erosion. EIS Schedule The Draft EIS is scheduled to be published no sooner than 1 July 2017. A 45-day comment period on the Draft EIS is planned, which will include public meeting(s) to receive comments. Availability of the Draft EIS, the dates of the public comment period, and information about public meeting(s) will be announced in the Federal Register and in the local news media. The Final EIS for the Mertarvik Infrastructure Development Project is scheduled to be available no sooner The Denali Commission intends to address the following environmental issues when assessing the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives in this EIS. Additional issues may be identified as a result of the scoping process. The Denali Commission invites comment from Federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; and the general public on these and any other issues that should be considered in the EIS: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 Mar 02, 2017 Jkt 241001 NEPA Process The EIS for the proposed project will be prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and Denali Commission NEPA Implementing Procedures (45 CFR part 900). Following publication of this Notice of Intent, the Denali Commission will continue the scoping process, prepare and distribute the Draft EIS for public review, hold public meeting(s) to solicit public comment on the Draft EIS, and publish a Final EIS. Not less than 30 days after the publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Notice of Availability of the Final EIS, the Denali Commission may issue a Record of Decision (ROD) documenting its decision concerning the proposed action. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12449 than 30 September 2017. A Record of Decision would be issued no sooner than 30 days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of availability of the Final EIS is published in the Federal Register. Joel Neimeyer, Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission. [FR Doc. 2017–04119 Filed 3–2–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3300–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED–2016–ICCD–0138] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; International Early Learning Study (IELS) 2018 Field Test Recruitment National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a new information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 3, 2017. ADDRESSES: To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED– 2016–ICCD–0138. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 224–84, Washington, DC 20202–4537. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact NCES Information Collections at NCES.Information.Collections@ed.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03MRN1.SGM 03MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 41 (Friday, March 3, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12448-12449]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-04119]


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DENALI COMMISSION


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement To 
Study Mertarvik Community Infrastructure Development Project, Alaska

AGENCY: Denali Commission.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: The Denali Commission, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers (USACE), announces its intention to prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study the feasibility of 
relocating the threatened Newtok Village from its current location to 
Mertarvik, a site roughly nine miles away on Nelson Island, which is 
across the Ninglik River from mainland Alaska. The EIS will address the 
potential for positive and negative environmental impacts associated 
with constructing all required infrastructure at the new village 
townsite of Mertarvik. The Denali Commission, along with the USACE, 
will hold a scoping meeting in Newtok Village, Alaska, in an effort to 
better define the issues associated with permanently relocating village 
residents. While the official scoping period concludes 30 days 
following the publication of this NOI, public input will continue to be 
solicited throughout the study process.

DATES: A scoping meeting will be held in Newtok Village, AK at 6:00 
p.m. on Wednesday March 22 in the school gymnasium. (Schedule updates 
will be posted to the ``Events'' section of the Denali Commission Web 
page found at https://www.denali.gov/.) A summary of the comments 
received will be forwarded to meeting participants and other public as 
requested. The scoping meeting will be advertised as necessary.

ADDRESSES: Please direct comments or suggestions on the scope of the 
EIS to: Mr. Christopher Floyd, NEPA Coordinator, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, Alaska District, CEPOA-PM-C-ER, P.O. Box 6898, Joint Base 
Elmendorf-Richardson, AK 99506-0898; Phone: 907-753-2700; email 
christopher.b.floyd@usace.army.mil.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information or questions 
concerning the proposed project, please contact: CAPT Donald Antrobus, 
Environmentally Threatened Communities Program Manager, Denali 
Commission, 510 L Street, Suite 410, Anchorage, AK 99501; 907-271-3500; 
dantrobus@denali.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The village of Newtok (population 354, 2010 census) is on the west 
coast of Alaska in the broad, low-lying delta between the Yukon and 
Kuskokwim Rivers. The village is located on low marshy terrain on the 
banks of a tidally influenced slough of the Ninglik River. The Ninglik 
River is eroding toward the village of Newtok at an average rate of 72 
feet per year. The maximum yearly observed rate of erosion is 300 feet 
per year. Based upon an average annual riverbank loss resulting from 
fall storms, the village has approximately four years before critical 
village infrastructure will be threatened and/or destroyed.
    Changes in river channels surrounding the village of Newtok have 
also increased the frequency and severity of flooding in the village. 
Lower lying areas of the village flood almost every year. Flooding 
events in 2005 and 2006 flooded the village water supply, causing raw 
sewage to be spread throughout the village, displacing residents from 
homes, destroying subsistence food storage and other facilities, and 
shutting down essential utilities.
    The closest high ground to the village of Newtok that avoids 
damages from both flooding and erosion is the Mertarvik site on Nelson 
Island, a 10,943-acre site transferred to the Newtok Native 
Corporation, from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in November 2003 by 
Public Law 108-129, and designated as ``Proposed Village Site'' on a 
map titled ``Proposed Newtok Exchange,'' dated September 2002.
    Additional information related to past efforts to address erosion 
and relocate the village can be found at: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/dcra/PlanningLandManagement/NewtokPlanningGroup.aspx.

Purpose and Need for Agency Action

    The purpose and need for this study is to identify a practicable 
and environmentally responsible solution to protect the village of 
Newtok from both flooding and erosion damages and loss of life.
    This EIS will assess the potential environmental impacts of 
reconstructing all required village infrastructure at the new village 
site of Mertarvik on Nelson Island. This action is needed without delay 
to avoid the potential loss of life and/or the indefinite dislocation 
of Newtok Village residents associated with the relentless migration of 
the Ninglik River.

Preliminary Alternatives

    Consistent with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
implementation requirements, this EIS will assess the full range of 
reasonable and practicable alternatives regarding

[[Page 12449]]

protecting the village of Newtok from erosion and flooding.
    Structural Alternatives: This set of alternatives will investigate 
and describe possible improvement alternatives that would allow village 
residents to stay in their current location. Types of structural 
solutions could include, but are not limited to, constructing an earth-
filled levee surrounding the entire village, including the airport, 
and/or raising the buildings above the highest flood level.
    Proposed Action: In collaboration with the Newtok Village Council 
(NVC), the Denali Commission has proposed to complete comprehensive 
townsite planning for the new Mertarvik village site encompassing all 
infrastructure projects necessary to support the entire village of 
Newtok population, which needs relocation from the endangered village 
of Newtok site. The townsite plan will include at a minimum the 
following infrastructure projects: Airport; solid waste landfill; 
wastewater collection system and wastewater treatment lagoon; bulk fuel 
farm and fuel dispensing facility; power house and power distribution 
system; water treatment plan, water storage tank, and water 
distribution lines; barge landing; the town center consisting of 
housing, school, public buildings, and subdivision roads; and all 
associated connecting roads. The final siting of these proposed 
facilities will be determined in the townsite planning effort through a 
village engagement process. The proposed Federal actions to be covered 
by the EIS will consist of all infrastructure identified and sited in 
the final townsite plan.
    No Action Alternative: Under the ``no action'' alternative, the 
village of Newtok would remain in its current location as long as 
physically possible, continue to experience severe damages from 
flooding and erosion, and eventually be forced to evacuate the site 
when it succumbs to catastrophic flooding and/or erosion.

Identification of Environmental and Other Issues

    The Denali Commission intends to address the following 
environmental issues when assessing the potential environmental impacts 
of the alternatives in this EIS. Additional issues may be identified as 
a result of the scoping process. The Denali Commission invites comment 
from Federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; and the 
general public on these and any other issues that should be considered 
in the EIS:
     Potential impacts on health from the village of Newtok 
remaining in its current location.
     Potential impacts on health, both positive and negative, 
as a result of relocation.
     Potential impacts to workers during the construction of 
the facilities.
     Potential impacts to surface water, tidelands, flora and 
fauna including turbidity from construction activities.
     Potential impacts on air quality from emissions and from 
noise during construction and operations.
     Potential cumulative impacts of the past, present, and 
reasonably foreseeable future actions.
     Potential impacts to historically significant properties, 
if present, and on access to traditional use areas.
     Potential impacts on local, regional, or national 
resources from materials and utilities required for construction.
     Potential impacts on ecological resources, including 
threatened and endangered species and water quality.
     Potential impacts on local employment, income, population, 
housing, and public services from harbor construction and operations.

NEPA Process

    The EIS for the proposed project will be prepared pursuant to the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA Regulations (40 CFR 
parts 1500-1508), and Denali Commission NEPA Implementing Procedures 
(45 CFR part 900). Following publication of this Notice of Intent, the 
Denali Commission will continue the scoping process, prepare and 
distribute the Draft EIS for public review, hold public meeting(s) to 
solicit public comment on the Draft EIS, and publish a Final EIS. Not 
less than 30 days after the publication of the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency's Notice of Availability of the Final EIS, the Denali 
Commission may issue a Record of Decision (ROD) documenting its 
decision concerning the proposed action.

EIS Schedule

    The Draft EIS is scheduled to be published no sooner than 1 July 
2017. A 45-day comment period on the Draft EIS is planned, which will 
include public meeting(s) to receive comments. Availability of the 
Draft EIS, the dates of the public comment period, and information 
about public meeting(s) will be announced in the Federal Register and 
in the local news media.
    The Final EIS for the Mertarvik Infrastructure Development Project 
is scheduled to be available no sooner than 30 September 2017. A Record 
of Decision would be issued no sooner than 30 days after the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency's notice of availability of the Final 
EIS is published in the Federal Register.

Joel Neimeyer,
Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission.
[FR Doc. 2017-04119 Filed 3-2-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3300-01-P