Notice of Availability; City of San Diego Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement; San Diego County, California, 7215-7216 [2018-03315]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 34 / Tuesday, February 20, 2018 / Notices Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act. Leopoldo Miranda, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Southeast Region. [FR Doc. 2018–03302 Filed 2–16–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–RX–ES–2017–N167]; [FXES11140800000–178–FF08E00000] Notice of Availability; City of San Diego Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report/ Statement; San Diego County, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of final environmental impact report/ environmental impact statement and habitat conservation plan. AGENCY: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Availability of Documents The City of San Diego (applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Applicant is requesting a permit to incidentally take 2 animal species and seeking assurances for 5 plant species (all are federally listed species) during the term of the proposed 30-year permit. The permit is needed to authorize take of listed animal species (including harm, death, and injury) resulting from covered activities. The proposed Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan (VPHCP) plan area encompasses 206,124 acres in the southwestern portion of San Diego County within the State of California. Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we advise the public of the availability of the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the impacts of issuing an incidental take permit based on the City’s proposed VPHCP. The EIR portion of the joint document was prepared by the City in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). DATES: A record of decision will be signed no sooner than 30 days after the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice of the final EIS in the Federal Register. We must receive any comments by 5 p.m. on March 22, 2018. SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Feb 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 Please send written comments to Mr. Mendel Stewart, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 92008. You may also submit comments by facsimile to (760) 431–5901. Information and comments related specifically to the final EIR and the California Environmental Quality Act should be submitted to Myra Herrmann, Senior Environmental Planner, City of San Diego Planning Department, 1010 Second Avenue, East Tower, Suite 1200, MS 413, San Diego, CA 92101. You may also submit comments by email to PlanningCEQA@sandiego.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: G. Mendel Stewart, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 92008; or by phone at (760) 431–9440. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: Documents available for public review include the final EIR/EIS with response to public comments received on the draft EIR/EIS, VPHCP, and the Implementing Agreement. • For copies of the documents, please contact the Service by telephone at (760) 431–9440, or by letter to the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Copies of the final EIR/EIS, VPHCP also are available for public review, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office or at the City of San Diego. Copies are also on the City’s website at https://www.sandiego.gov/planning/ programs/mscp/vphcp. Background Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and Federal regulations prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of fish and wildlife species federally listed as endangered or threatened. Take of federally listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect listed species, or attempt to engage in such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1538). ‘‘Harm’’ includes significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). Under limited circumstances, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take, which is defined under the Act as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. ‘‘Take’’ PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7215 under the ESA does not apply to plant species, and is therefore not prohibited under the ESA; however, the plant species identified in the VPHCP are listed on the Federal Permit as Covered Species in recognition of the conservation measures provided for them under the Plan and receive ‘‘No Surprises’’ regulatory assurances under the Federal Permit. The Applicant seeks incidental take authorization for 2 animal species and assurances for 5 plant species. Collectively the 7 listed species are referred to as ‘‘Covered Species’’ by the VPHCP and include 2 crustaceans and 5 plant species (all listed). The permit would provide take authorization for both animal species and assurances for all plant species identified by the VPHCP as ‘‘Covered Species.’’ Take authorized for listed covered animal species would be effective upon permit issuance. The proposed permit would include the following 2 federally listed animal species: San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis; endangered) and Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni; endangered). The proposed permit would include assurances for the following 5 plant species included in the VPHCP: Otay Mesa mint (Pogogyne nudiuscula; endangered), San Diego mesa mint (Pogogyne abramsii; endangered), spreading navarretia (Navarretia fossalis; threatened), San Diego buttoncelery (Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii; endangered), and California Orcutt grass (Orcuttia californica; endangered). The VPHCP Plan Area encompasses 206,124 acres and is intended to protect and sustain viable populations of native plant and animal species and their habitats in perpetuity through avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures. It includes measures necessary to minimize and mitigate the impacts, to the maximum extent practicable, of potential proposed taking of federally listed species to be covered by the VPHCP, and the habitats upon which they depend, resulting from residential, commercial, and other development activities within the proposed plan area. The covered activities under the VPHCP are expected to include residential, commercial, and industrial development; airport operation; road and utility maintenance and construction; trail use; and vernal pool restoration and enhancement. The VPHCP is a conservation plan for vernal pools and seven threatened and endangered vernal pool species that do not currently have federal coverage under the section 10(a)(1)(B) permit E:\FR\FM\20FEN1.SGM 20FEN1 7216 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 34 / Tuesday, February 20, 2018 / Notices issued to the City of San Diego in association with its Multiple Species Conservation Program Subarea Plan (MSCP SAP). The VPHCP would be compatible with, and would expand upon, the City’s existing MSCP SAP by adding approximately 275 acres of additional lands with vernal pools that are occupied with threatened and endangered vernal pool species. The VPHCP would conserve an additional 8 vernal pool complexes and additional 226 pools (approximately 9% more), totaling 2.8 acres of basin area, over what is currently conserved. Once adopted, vernal pool lands would be subject to the provisions of the VPHCP, in addition to the City’s MSCP SAP and other existing land use and biological resource plans, policies, and regulations. and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Michael Senn, Acting Assistant Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. Authority: 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2; 42 U.S.C. 7709. National Environmental Policy Act Compliance SUMMARY: The EIR/EIS analyzes two alternatives in addition to the proposed action (i.e., permit issuance based on the VPHCP) described above. The other alternatives include a no-action (i.e., no permit) alternative and an expanded conservation alternative. The final EIR/EIS includes all comments we received on the draft EIR/ EIS and our response to those comments. After the 30 day waiting period, we will complete a Record of Decision that announces our decision on the action that will be implemented and discusses all factors leading to the decision. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Public Review Copies of the final EIR/EIS and the VPHCP are available for review (see Availability of Documents). Any comments we receive will become part of the administrative record and may 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, may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:55 Feb 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 [FR Doc. 2018–03315 Filed 2–16–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P William Leith, Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards. [FR Doc. 2018–03286 Filed 2–16–18; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [GX18GG00995TR00] Geological Survey Notice of Public Meeting of Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey, Interior. Notice. ACTION: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Authorization Act of 1977, the Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee (SESAC) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The SESAC will hold public meetings on March 5–6, 2018. On March 5, 2018, the SESAC will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on March 6, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ADDRESSES: The SESAC meeting will be held at the Caltech Avery Library, 370 Holliston Avenue, Pasadena, California. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions should be directed to Dr. William Leith, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 905, Reston, Virginia 20192. Dr. Leith can be reached by calling (703) 648–6712 or via email at wleith@usgs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The SESAC advises the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on matters relating to the USGS’s participation in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. The Committee is comprised of members from academia, industry, and State government. In this meeting, the Committee will review the current activities of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program and discuss future priorities. All meetings are open to the public. Public Disclosure: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 BILLING CODE 4338–11–P Sfmt 4703 National Geospatial Advisory Committee U.S. Geological Survey, Interior. ACTION: Notice of renewal of National Geospatial Advisory Committee. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, notice is hereby given that the Secretary of the Interior has renewed the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (Committee). DATES: Comments regarding the renewal of this Committee must be submitted not later than March 7, 2018. ADDRESSES: John Mahoney, U.S. Geological Survey, 900 First Avenue, Suite 800, Seattle, WA 98104. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Mahoney, U.S. Geological Survey; phone: 206–220–4621; email: jmahoney@usgs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), through the FGDC Chair (the Secretary of the Interior or designee), related to the management of Federal geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–16 and Executive Order 12906. The Committee will review and comment upon geospatial policy and management issues and will provide a forum to convey views representative of non-Federal partners in the geospatial community. Public Availability of Comments: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\20FEN1.SGM 20FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 34 (Tuesday, February 20, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7215-7216]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-03315]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-RX-ES-2017-N167]; [FXES11140800000-178-FF08E00000]


Notice of Availability; City of San Diego Vernal Pool Habitat 
Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement; San 
Diego County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of final environmental impact report/
environmental impact statement and habitat conservation plan.

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

SUMMARY: The City of San Diego (applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit under 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act). The Applicant is requesting a permit to incidentally take 2 
animal species and seeking assurances for 5 plant species (all are 
federally listed species) during the term of the proposed 30-year 
permit. The permit is needed to authorize take of listed animal species 
(including harm, death, and injury) resulting from covered activities. 
The proposed Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan (VPHCP) plan area 
encompasses 206,124 acres in the southwestern portion of San Diego 
County within the State of California.
    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we advise 
the public of the availability of the final Environmental Impact Report 
(EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the impacts of 
issuing an incidental take permit based on the City's proposed VPHCP. 
The EIR portion of the joint document was prepared by the City in 
compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

DATES: A record of decision will be signed no sooner than 30 days after 
the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice of 
the final EIS in the Federal Register. We must receive any comments by 
5 p.m. on March 22, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Please send written comments to Mr. Mendel Stewart, Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife 
Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 92008. You 
may also submit comments by facsimile to (760) 431-5901.
    Information and comments related specifically to the final EIR and 
the California Environmental Quality Act should be submitted to Myra 
Herrmann, Senior Environmental Planner, City of San Diego Planning 
Department, 1010 Second Avenue, East Tower, Suite 1200, MS 413, San 
Diego, CA 92101. You may also submit comments by email to 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: G. Mendel Stewart, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, California 
92008; or by phone at (760) 431-9440.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability of Documents

    Documents available for public review include the final EIR/EIS 
with response to public comments received on the draft EIR/EIS, VPHCP, 
and the Implementing Agreement.
     For copies of the documents, please contact the Service by 
telephone at (760) 431-9440, or by letter to the Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Copies of the 
final EIR/EIS, VPHCP also are available for public review, by 
appointment, during regular business hours, at the Carlsbad Fish and 
Wildlife Office or at the City of San Diego. Copies are also on the 
City's website at https://www.sandiego.gov/planning/programs/mscp/vphcp.

Background

    Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 
16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and Federal regulations prohibit the ``take'' 
of fish and wildlife species federally listed as endangered or 
threatened. Take of federally listed fish or wildlife is defined under 
the Act as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, 
capture, or collect listed species, or attempt to engage in such 
conduct (16 U.S.C. 1538). ``Harm'' includes significant habitat 
modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed 
wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, 
including breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). Under 
limited circumstances, we may issue permits to authorize incidental 
take, which is defined under the Act as take that is incidental to, and 
not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. ``Take'' under the ESA 
does not apply to plant species, and is therefore not prohibited under 
the ESA; however, the plant species identified in the VPHCP are listed 
on the Federal Permit as Covered Species in recognition of the 
conservation measures provided for them under the Plan and receive ``No 
Surprises'' regulatory assurances under the Federal Permit.
    The Applicant seeks incidental take authorization for 2 animal 
species and assurances for 5 plant species. Collectively the 7 listed 
species are referred to as ``Covered Species'' by the VPHCP and include 
2 crustaceans and 5 plant species (all listed). The permit would 
provide take authorization for both animal species and assurances for 
all plant species identified by the VPHCP as ``Covered Species.'' Take 
authorized for listed covered animal species would be effective upon 
permit issuance.
    The proposed permit would include the following 2 federally listed 
animal species: San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis; 
endangered) and Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni; 
endangered). The proposed permit would include assurances for the 
following 5 plant species included in the VPHCP: Otay Mesa mint 
(Pogogyne nudiuscula; endangered), San Diego mesa mint (Pogogyne 
abramsii; endangered), spreading navarretia (Navarretia fossalis; 
threatened), San Diego button-celery (Eryngium aristulatum var. 
parishii; endangered), and California Orcutt grass (Orcuttia 
californica; endangered).
    The VPHCP Plan Area encompasses 206,124 acres and is intended to 
protect and sustain viable populations of native plant and animal 
species and their habitats in perpetuity through avoidance, 
minimization, and mitigation measures. It includes measures necessary 
to minimize and mitigate the impacts, to the maximum extent 
practicable, of potential proposed taking of federally listed species 
to be covered by the VPHCP, and the habitats upon which they depend, 
resulting from residential, commercial, and other development 
activities within the proposed plan area. The covered activities under 
the VPHCP are expected to include residential, commercial, and 
industrial development; airport operation; road and utility maintenance 
and construction; trail use; and vernal pool restoration and 
enhancement.
    The VPHCP is a conservation plan for vernal pools and seven 
threatened and endangered vernal pool species that do not currently 
have federal coverage under the section 10(a)(1)(B) permit

[[Page 7216]]

issued to the City of San Diego in association with its Multiple 
Species Conservation Program Subarea Plan (MSCP SAP). The VPHCP would 
be compatible with, and would expand upon, the City's existing MSCP SAP 
by adding approximately 275 acres of additional lands with vernal pools 
that are occupied with threatened and endangered vernal pool species. 
The VPHCP would conserve an additional 8 vernal pool complexes and 
additional 226 pools (approximately 9% more), totaling 2.8 acres of 
basin area, over what is currently conserved. Once adopted, vernal pool 
lands would be subject to the provisions of the VPHCP, in addition to 
the City's MSCP SAP and other existing land use and biological resource 
plans, policies, and regulations.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The EIR/EIS analyzes two alternatives in addition to the proposed 
action (i.e., permit issuance based on the VPHCP) described above. The 
other alternatives include a no-action (i.e., no permit) alternative 
and an expanded conservation alternative.
    The final EIR/EIS includes all comments we received on the draft 
EIR/EIS and our response to those comments. After the 30 day waiting 
period, we will complete a Record of Decision that announces our 
decision on the action that will be implemented and discusses all 
factors leading to the decision.

Public Review

    Copies of the final EIR/EIS and the VPHCP are available for review 
(see Availability of Documents). Any comments we receive will become 
part of the administrative record and may 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, may be made publicly available at any time. While you may 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Authority: We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 
17.22) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

Michael Senn,
Acting Assistant Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, 
Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 2018-03315 Filed 2-16-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P