South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2, Eden Landing Ecological Reserve; Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report, 14667-14669 [2018-06941]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 66 / Thursday, April 5, 2018 / Notices SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and our implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR part 17 prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the ESA as ‘‘to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)). However, under limited circumstances, we issue permits to authorize incidental take—i.e., take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for endangered and threatened wildlife species are at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. In addition to meeting other criteria, the take authorized by an incidental take permit must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plants. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Applicant’s Proposal Meritage Homes of Florida, Inc. (the Applicant), is requesting an incidental take permit (ITP) to take sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) through the permanent destruction of approximately 3.6 acres (ac) of occupied foraging and sheltering habitat incidental to construction of a residential development in Orange County, Florida. Included with the permit application is a draft habitat conservation plan (HCP). The 126.94-ac HCP project site is located on parcel number 05–23–27– 0000–00–002, within sections 5 and 6, Townships 23 South, Range 27 East in Orange County. The project activities also include the clearing, infrastructure building, and landscaping associated with residential construction. The sand skink will likely be subjected to take in the forms of injury, mortality, and/or loss of habitat. The Applicant proposes to mitigate for take of the species by purchasing 7.2 mitigation credits within the Sebring Scrub Conservation Bank or another Service-approved sand skink conservation bank. Our Preliminary Determination We have determined that the Applicant’s proposed plan, including the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or negligible effects on the covered species and the environment so as to be ‘‘low effect’’ and qualify for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Apr 04, 2018 Jkt 244001 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided by 43 CFR 46.205 and 46.210. A low-effect HCP is one involving (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed or candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources. Next Steps We will evaluate the HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the ITP application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. We will also conduct an intraService consultation to evaluate take of the sand skink in accordance with section 7 of the ESA. We will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our analysis of whether or not to issue the ITP. If the requirements are met, we will issue ITP number TE59063C–0 to the Applicant. Public Comments If you wish to comment on the permit application, HCP, or associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods listed above in ADDRESSES. Public Availability of Comments 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 cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA and NEPA regulation 40 CFR 1506.6. Jay B. Herrington, Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office, Southeast Region. [FR Doc. 2018–06940 Filed 4–4–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14667 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–R–2017–N124; FXRS282108E8PD0–178–F2013227943] South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2, Eden Landing Ecological Reserve; Draft Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for public comments; announcement of meeting. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California State Coastal Conservancy, announce the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in Alameda County, California. The DEIS/ EIR, which we prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, describes and analyzes the alternatives identified for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before May 21, 2018. A public meeting will be held on May 8, 2018, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (see ADDRESSES). Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and participate in the public meeting should contact Ariel Ambruster, by email at aambrust@ccp.csus.edu or by phone at 510–528–5006, at least 1 week in advance of the meeting to allow time to process the request. ADDRESSES: Document Availability: You may obtain copies of the document in the following places: • Internet: https:// www.southbayrestoration.org/planning/ phase2/. • In-Person: Æ San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94555. Æ The following libraries: D California State University, East Bay Library, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542. D Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538. D Hayward Public Library, Central Library, 835 C St., Hayward, CA 94541. D Natural Resources Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1 amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 14668 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 66 / Thursday, April 5, 2018 / Notices D Union City Library, 34007 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City, CA 94587. For how to view comments on the draft EIS from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or for information on EPA’s role in the EIS process, see EPA’s Role in the EIS Process under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Submitting Comments: You may submit written comments by one of the following methods: • Electronically: Comments may be submitted via email to phase2comments@ southbayrestoration.org. Your correspondence should make clear the alternatives or issues to which your comments pertain. • By Hard Copy: Send written comments to Brenda Buxton, Deputy Program Manager, State Coastal Conservancy, 1515 Clay St., 10th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612. • By Fax: You may also send written comments by facsimile to 510–286– 0470. To have your name added to our mailing list, contact Ariel Ambruster (see DATES). Public Meeting: A public meeting will be held on May 8, 2018, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, Third Floor Auditorium at 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, California 94555. Staff will be available to take comments and answer questions during this time. The details of the public meeting will be posted on the SBSP Restoration Project’s website at (https://www.southbayrestoration.org/ events/). Meeting details will also be emailed to the Project’s Stakeholder Forum and to those interested parties who request to be notified. Notification requests can be made by contacting Ariel Ambruster, the SBSP Restoration Project’s public outreach coordinator (see DATES). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brenda Buxton, Deputy Project Manager, State Coastal Conservancy, (510) 286–1015. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California State Coastal Conservancy, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (SBSP) at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (Eden Landing) in Alameda County, California. Phase 2 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Apr 04, 2018 Jkt 244001 activities would occur within 11 ponds located between Old Alameda Creek and Alameda Creek Flood Control Channel. These ponds are organized by their similarities and location within the Phase 2 project area into three subgroups: the Bay Ponds (E1, E2, E4, and E7), the Inland Ponds (E5, E6, and E6C), and the Southern Ponds (E1C, E2C, E4C, and E5C). The DEIS/EIR, which we prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA), describes and analyzes the alternatives identified for Eden Landing Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. In addition to our publication of this Federal Register notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is publishing its own Federal Register notice announcing the draft EIS, as required under section 309 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.; CAA) The publication date of EPA’s notice of availability is the official start of the public comment period for our draft EIS. Under the CAA, EPA also must subsequently announce the final EIS via the Federal Register. EPA’s Role in the EIS Process The EPA is charged under section 309 of the CAA to review all Federal agencies’ environmental impact statements (EISs) and to comment on the adequacy and the acceptability of the environmental impacts of proposed actions in the EISs. EPA also serves as the repository (EIS database) for EISs prepared by Federal agencies and provides notice of their availability in the Federal Register. The Environmental Impact Statement Database provides information about EISs prepared by Federal agencies, as well as EPA’s comments concerning the EISs. All EISs are filed with EPA, which publishes a notice of availability on Fridays in the Federal Register. The EPA notice of availability is the start of the public comment period for draft EISs, and the start of the 30-day ‘‘wait period’’ for final EISs, during which agencies are generally required to wait 30 days before making a decision on a proposed action. For more information, see https://www.epa.gov/ nepa. You may search for EPA comments on EISs, along with EISs themselves, at https://www.epa.gov/ nepa/how-obtain-copy-environmentalimpact-statement. Background In December 2007, the USFWS and CDFW published a Final EIS/EIR for the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project (December 19, 2007; 72 FR 71937). The overall SBSP restoration PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 area includes 15,100 acres, which the USFWS and the CDFW acquired from Cargill, Inc. in 2003. The lands acquired from Cargill are divided into three pond complexes: The Ravenswood Pond complex, in San Mateo County, managed by the USFWS; the Alviso Pond complex, also managed by the USFWS, which is mostly in Santa Clara County, with five ponds in Alameda County; and the Eden Landing Pond complex, in Alameda County, which is owned and managed by the CDFW. The SBSP Restoration Project presented in the Final EIS/EIR was both programmatic, covering a 50-year period, and project-level, addressing the specific components and implementation of Phase 1. In January 2008, we signed a Record of Decision selecting the Tidal Emphasis Alternative (Alternative C) for implementation. This alternative will result in 90 percent of the USFWS’s and CDFW’s ponds being restored to tidal wetlands and 10 percent converted to managed ponds. Under Phase 1 of Alternative C, we restored ponds E8A, E8X, E9, E12, and E13 at the Eden Landing complex; A6, A8, A16, and A17 at the Alviso complex; and SF2 at the Ravenswood complex. We also added several trails, interpretive features, a kayak launch, and other recreational access points. Construction was completed on the USFWS ponds in 2013 and on the CDFW ponds in 2016. We now propose restoration or enhancement of over 2,270 acres of former salt ponds in the second phase of the SBSP Restoration Project at Eden Landing. In the DEIS/EIR, we provide project level analysis of proposed restoration or enhancement of portions of Eden Landing, specifically at the Bay Ponds (E1, E2, E4, and E7), the Inland Ponds (E5, E6, E6C), and the Southern Ponds (E1C, E2C, E4C, and E5C). These ponds are illustrated on the SBSP Restoration Project website at https:// www.southbayrestoration.org/planning/ phase2/. Phase 2 of the SBSP Restoration Project is intended to restore and enhance tidal wetlands and managed pond habitats in South San Francisco Bay while simultaneously providing flood risk management and wildlifeoriented public access and recreation. In this Phase 2 document, we would continue habitat restoration activities and public access opportunities in the CDFW pond complex, while maintaining or improving current levels of flood risk management in the surrounding communities. E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 66 / Thursday, April 5, 2018 / Notices Alternatives We consider a range of alternatives and their impacts in the DEIS/EIR, including a No Action Alternative. The range of alternatives include varying approaches to restoring tidal marshes (including number and location of breaches, other levee modifications, and beneficial reuse of dredged material), habitat enhancements (islands, transition zones, and channels), modifications to existing levees and berms to maintain or improve flood risk management, and recreation and public access components (trails, boardwalks, and viewing platforms) which correspond to the project objectives. The alternatives are described below. Alternative Eden A (No Action) Under Alternative Eden A (the No Action Alternative), no new activities would be implemented as part of Phase 2. The ponds would continue to be monitored and managed through the activities described in the Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) and in accordance with current CDFW practices. The high priority levees that function as inland flood risk management would continue to be maintained as appropriate and with consultation with the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (ACFCWCD). amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Alternative Eden B Alternative Eden B would breach and lower levees to restore the ponds to tidal marsh and thereby improve the ecological function of the ponds. The easternmost levees would be improved to provide flood risk management to the inland communities. The internal levees along the J-ponds and other ACFCWCDowned channels would also be improved, as needed. The tidal marsh habitats would also be enhanced by placing dredged material to raise pond bottoms, using remnant levees as habitat islands, constructing habitat transition zones, excavating pilot channels to enhance water circulation, and increasing connectivity for anadromous fish habitat. Root wads and logs would be used to prevent erosion on the Bay side of Pond E2. Water control structures would be used during the transition of the Southern Ponds into tidal marsh. Implementation of this alternative would increase wildlifeoriented public access and recreational opportunities in the region. A piped connection from the Alameda County Water District’s nearby Aquifer VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Apr 04, 2018 Jkt 244001 Reclamation Program wells would be added to deliver brackish groundwater and water habitat transition zones in the Inland and Southern Ponds. Finally, a piped connection with the adjacent Union Sanitary District (USD) would be added to deliver treated wastewater from that facility and deliver it onto the habitat transition zone that would be built in the Inland Ponds. This would water the vegetation on that feature and also add a salinity gradient to the marsh that would form there. Alternative Eden C Alternative Eden C would retain the Inland and Southern Ponds as managed ponds, and the Bay Ponds would be restored to tidal marsh. A mid-complex levee would be constructed mostly by improving existing internal levees along the Inland Ponds, the J-Ponds, and Pond E1C of the Southern Ponds. Several water control structures would be placed within the Inland and Southern Ponds so that a variety of pond characteristics could be modified as necessary to support a range of ponddependent wildlife. This alternative would implement many of the same habitat enhancements as Alternative Eden B, but in different locations. For example, the habitat transition zone would be built against the mid-complex levee, and the excavated pilot channels would also be in different places. Similar recreational opportunities would be created under this alternative, but additional trails have been proposed. These include a set of trails along, and a bridge across, the Old Alameda Creek. These trails would end at the Alvarado Salt Works at a new viewing platform. This alternative also proposes to build a bridge to extend the Bay Trail spine over the Alameda Creek Flood Control Channel beyond the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve boundary. Alternative Eden D Alternative Eden D would restore the ponds to tidal marsh in a staged approach. Similar to Alternative Eden C, a mid-complex levee would be constructed; however this levee would be temporary. The first stage of this alternative would restore the Bay Ponds to tidal marsh and retain the Inland and Southern Ponds as managed ponds using the temporary mid-complex levee and water control structures. These water control structures would be installed in the Inland and Southern Ponds while they are managed ponds. Once tidal marsh becomes established in the Bay Ponds, the Inland and PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14669 Southern Ponds would likely be restored to tidal marsh by removing the water control structures and introducing tidal flows to the Inland and Southern Ponds. This end result would be much like Alternative Eden C. However, if ongoing wildlife monitoring conducted under the AMP shows that the pondassociated wildlife species continue to require pond habitat, the Inland Ponds and Southern Ponds could be retained in that managed pond configuration indefinitely. The end result in that case would be much like Alternative Eden C. The proposed recreational features for this alternative are identical to Alternative Eden B, which includes extending the Bay Trail spine through southern Eden Landing on top of improved internal levees and also adding a viewing platform. National Environmental Policy Review Act Compliance We are conducting environmental review in accordance with the requirements of NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), its implementing regulations (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), other applicable regulations, and our procedures for compliance with those regulations. The DEIS/EIR discusses the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the alternatives on biological resources, cultural resources, water quality, and other environmental resources. Measures to minimize adverse environmental effects are identified and discussed in the DEIS/ EIR. Public Comments We request that you send comments only by one of the methods described in ADDRESSES. If you submit a 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. In addition to providing written comments, the public is encouraged to attend a public meeting on (see DATES), to solicit comments on the DEIS/EIR. The location of the public meeting is provided in the ADDRESSES section. We will accept both oral and written comments at the public meeting. Jody Holzworth, Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region. [FR Doc. 2018–06941 Filed 4–4–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 66 (Thursday, April 5, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14667-14669]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-06941]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2017-N124; FXRS282108E8PD0-178-F2013227943]


South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2, Eden Landing 
Ecological Reserve; Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental 
Impact Report

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for public comments; 
announcement of meeting.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in coordination with 
the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California State 
Coastal Conservancy, announce the availability of a Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) for Phase 2 of 
the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project at the Eden Landing 
Ecological Reserve in Alameda County, California. The DEIS/EIR, which 
we prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, describes and analyzes the alternatives identified for Phase 2 of 
the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before May 
21, 2018. A public meeting will be held on May 8, 2018, from 6 p.m. to 
8 p.m. (see ADDRESSES).
    Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and 
participate in the public meeting should contact Ariel Ambruster, by 
email at [email protected] or by phone at 510-528-5006, at least 1 
week in advance of the meeting to allow time to process the request.

ADDRESSES: 
    Document Availability: You may obtain copies of the document in the 
following places:
     Internet: https://www.southbayrestoration.org/planning/phase2/.
     In-Person:
    [cir] San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex 
Headquarters, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94555.
    [cir] The following libraries:
    [ssquf] California State University, East Bay Library, 25800 Carlos 
Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542.
    [ssquf] Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont, CA 
94538.
    [ssquf] Hayward Public Library, Central Library, 835 C St., 
Hayward, CA 94541.
    [ssquf] Natural Resources Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, 
1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

[[Page 14668]]

    [ssquf] Union City Library, 34007 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City, 
CA 94587.
    For how to view comments on the draft EIS from the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA), or for information on EPA's role in the EIS 
process, see EPA's Role in the EIS Process under SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION.
    Submitting Comments: You may submit written comments by one of the 
following methods:
     Electronically: Comments may be submitted via email to 
[email protected]. Your correspondence should make 
clear the alternatives or issues to which your comments pertain.
     By Hard Copy: Send written comments to Brenda Buxton, 
Deputy Program Manager, State Coastal Conservancy, 1515 Clay St., 10th 
Floor, Oakland, CA 94612.
     By Fax: You may also send written comments by facsimile to 
510-286-0470.
    To have your name added to our mailing list, contact Ariel 
Ambruster (see DATES).
    Public Meeting: A public meeting will be held on May 8, 2018, from 
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex Headquarters, Third Floor Auditorium at 1 Marshlands Road, 
Fremont, California 94555. Staff will be available to take comments and 
answer questions during this time. The details of the public meeting 
will be posted on the SBSP Restoration Project's website at (https://www.southbayrestoration.org/events/). Meeting details will also be 
emailed to the Project's Stakeholder Forum and to those interested 
parties who request to be notified. Notification requests can be made 
by contacting Ariel Ambruster, the SBSP Restoration Project's public 
outreach coordinator (see DATES).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brenda Buxton, Deputy Project Manager, 
State Coastal Conservancy, (510) 286-1015.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In coordination with the California 
Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California State Coastal 
Conservancy, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental 
Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond 
Restoration Project (SBSP) at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (Eden 
Landing) in Alameda County, California. Phase 2 activities would occur 
within 11 ponds located between Old Alameda Creek and Alameda Creek 
Flood Control Channel. These ponds are organized by their similarities 
and location within the Phase 2 project area into three subgroups: the 
Bay Ponds (E1, E2, E4, and E7), the Inland Ponds (E5, E6, and E6C), and 
the Southern Ponds (E1C, E2C, E4C, and E5C). The DEIS/EIR, which we 
prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA), describes and analyzes the 
alternatives identified for Eden Landing Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt 
Pond Restoration Project. In addition to our publication of this 
Federal Register notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 
publishing its own Federal Register notice announcing the draft EIS, as 
required under section 309 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et 
seq.; CAA) The publication date of EPA's notice of availability is the 
official start of the public comment period for our draft EIS. Under 
the CAA, EPA also must subsequently announce the final EIS via the 
Federal Register.

EPA's Role in the EIS Process

    The EPA is charged under section 309 of the CAA to review all 
Federal agencies' environmental impact statements (EISs) and to comment 
on the adequacy and the acceptability of the environmental impacts of 
proposed actions in the EISs.
    EPA also serves as the repository (EIS database) for EISs prepared 
by Federal agencies and provides notice of their availability in the 
Federal Register. The Environmental Impact Statement Database provides 
information about EISs prepared by Federal agencies, as well as EPA's 
comments concerning the EISs. All EISs are filed with EPA, which 
publishes a notice of availability on Fridays in the Federal Register.
    The EPA notice of availability is the start of the public comment 
period for draft EISs, and the start of the 30-day ``wait period'' for 
final EISs, during which agencies are generally required to wait 30 
days before making a decision on a proposed action. For more 
information, see https://www.epa.gov/nepa. You may search for EPA 
comments on EISs, along with EISs themselves, at https://www.epa.gov/nepa/how-obtain-copy-environmental-impact-statement.

Background

    In December 2007, the USFWS and CDFW published a Final EIS/EIR for 
the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project (December 19, 2007; 
72 FR 71937). The overall SBSP restoration area includes 15,100 acres, 
which the USFWS and the CDFW acquired from Cargill, Inc. in 2003. The 
lands acquired from Cargill are divided into three pond complexes: The 
Ravenswood Pond complex, in San Mateo County, managed by the USFWS; the 
Alviso Pond complex, also managed by the USFWS, which is mostly in 
Santa Clara County, with five ponds in Alameda County; and the Eden 
Landing Pond complex, in Alameda County, which is owned and managed by 
the CDFW. The SBSP Restoration Project presented in the Final EIS/EIR 
was both programmatic, covering a 50-year period, and project-level, 
addressing the specific components and implementation of Phase 1.
    In January 2008, we signed a Record of Decision selecting the Tidal 
Emphasis Alternative (Alternative C) for implementation. This 
alternative will result in 90 percent of the USFWS's and CDFW's ponds 
being restored to tidal wetlands and 10 percent converted to managed 
ponds. Under Phase 1 of Alternative C, we restored ponds E8A, E8X, E9, 
E12, and E13 at the Eden Landing complex; A6, A8, A16, and A17 at the 
Alviso complex; and SF2 at the Ravenswood complex. We also added 
several trails, interpretive features, a kayak launch, and other 
recreational access points. Construction was completed on the USFWS 
ponds in 2013 and on the CDFW ponds in 2016.
    We now propose restoration or enhancement of over 2,270 acres of 
former salt ponds in the second phase of the SBSP Restoration Project 
at Eden Landing. In the DEIS/EIR, we provide project level analysis of 
proposed restoration or enhancement of portions of Eden Landing, 
specifically at the Bay Ponds (E1, E2, E4, and E7), the Inland Ponds 
(E5, E6, E6C), and the Southern Ponds (E1C, E2C, E4C, and E5C). These 
ponds are illustrated on the SBSP Restoration Project website at https://www.southbayrestoration.org/planning/phase2/.
    Phase 2 of the SBSP Restoration Project is intended to restore and 
enhance tidal wetlands and managed pond habitats in South San Francisco 
Bay while simultaneously providing flood risk management and wildlife-
oriented public access and recreation. In this Phase 2 document, we 
would continue habitat restoration activities and public access 
opportunities in the CDFW pond complex, while maintaining or improving 
current levels of flood risk management in the surrounding communities.

[[Page 14669]]

Alternatives

    We consider a range of alternatives and their impacts in the DEIS/
EIR, including a No Action Alternative. The range of alternatives 
include varying approaches to restoring tidal marshes (including number 
and location of breaches, other levee modifications, and beneficial 
reuse of dredged material), habitat enhancements (islands, transition 
zones, and channels), modifications to existing levees and berms to 
maintain or improve flood risk management, and recreation and public 
access components (trails, boardwalks, and viewing platforms) which 
correspond to the project objectives. The alternatives are described 
below.

Alternative Eden A (No Action)

    Under Alternative Eden A (the No Action Alternative), no new 
activities would be implemented as part of Phase 2. The ponds would 
continue to be monitored and managed through the activities described 
in the Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) and in accordance with current 
CDFW practices. The high priority levees that function as inland flood 
risk management would continue to be maintained as appropriate and with 
consultation with the Alameda County Flood Control and Water 
Conservation District (ACFCWCD).

Alternative Eden B

    Alternative Eden B would breach and lower levees to restore the 
ponds to tidal marsh and thereby improve the ecological function of the 
ponds. The easternmost levees would be improved to provide flood risk 
management to the inland communities. The internal levees along the J-
ponds and other ACFCWCD-owned channels would also be improved, as 
needed. The tidal marsh habitats would also be enhanced by placing 
dredged material to raise pond bottoms, using remnant levees as habitat 
islands, constructing habitat transition zones, excavating pilot 
channels to enhance water circulation, and increasing connectivity for 
anadromous fish habitat. Root wads and logs would be used to prevent 
erosion on the Bay side of Pond E2. Water control structures would be 
used during the transition of the Southern Ponds into tidal marsh. 
Implementation of this alternative would increase wildlife-oriented 
public access and recreational opportunities in the region. A piped 
connection from the Alameda County Water District's nearby Aquifer 
Reclamation Program wells would be added to deliver brackish 
groundwater and water habitat transition zones in the Inland and 
Southern Ponds. Finally, a piped connection with the adjacent Union 
Sanitary District (USD) would be added to deliver treated wastewater 
from that facility and deliver it onto the habitat transition zone that 
would be built in the Inland Ponds. This would water the vegetation on 
that feature and also add a salinity gradient to the marsh that would 
form there.

Alternative Eden C

    Alternative Eden C would retain the Inland and Southern Ponds as 
managed ponds, and the Bay Ponds would be restored to tidal marsh. A 
mid-complex levee would be constructed mostly by improving existing 
internal levees along the Inland Ponds, the J-Ponds, and Pond E1C of 
the Southern Ponds. Several water control structures would be placed 
within the Inland and Southern Ponds so that a variety of pond 
characteristics could be modified as necessary to support a range of 
pond-dependent wildlife. This alternative would implement many of the 
same habitat enhancements as Alternative Eden B, but in different 
locations. For example, the habitat transition zone would be built 
against the mid-complex levee, and the excavated pilot channels would 
also be in different places. Similar recreational opportunities would 
be created under this alternative, but additional trails have been 
proposed. These include a set of trails along, and a bridge across, the 
Old Alameda Creek. These trails would end at the Alvarado Salt Works at 
a new viewing platform. This alternative also proposes to build a 
bridge to extend the Bay Trail spine over the Alameda Creek Flood 
Control Channel beyond the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve boundary.

Alternative Eden D

    Alternative Eden D would restore the ponds to tidal marsh in a 
staged approach. Similar to Alternative Eden C, a mid-complex levee 
would be constructed; however this levee would be temporary. The first 
stage of this alternative would restore the Bay Ponds to tidal marsh 
and retain the Inland and Southern Ponds as managed ponds using the 
temporary mid-complex levee and water control structures. These water 
control structures would be installed in the Inland and Southern Ponds 
while they are managed ponds. Once tidal marsh becomes established in 
the Bay Ponds, the Inland and Southern Ponds would likely be restored 
to tidal marsh by removing the water control structures and introducing 
tidal flows to the Inland and Southern Ponds. This end result would be 
much like Alternative Eden C. However, if ongoing wildlife monitoring 
conducted under the AMP shows that the pond-associated wildlife species 
continue to require pond habitat, the Inland Ponds and Southern Ponds 
could be retained in that managed pond configuration indefinitely. The 
end result in that case would be much like Alternative Eden C. The 
proposed recreational features for this alternative are identical to 
Alternative Eden B, which includes extending the Bay Trail spine 
through southern Eden Landing on top of improved internal levees and 
also adding a viewing platform.

National Environmental Policy Review Act Compliance

    We are conducting environmental review in accordance with the 
requirements of NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), its 
implementing regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), other applicable 
regulations, and our procedures for compliance with those regulations. 
The DEIS/EIR discusses the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of 
the alternatives on biological resources, cultural resources, water 
quality, and other environmental resources. Measures to minimize 
adverse environmental effects are identified and discussed in the DEIS/
EIR.

Public Comments

    We request that you send comments only by one of the methods 
described in ADDRESSES. If you submit a 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.
    In addition to providing written comments, the public is encouraged 
to attend a public meeting on (see DATES), to solicit comments on the 
DEIS/EIR. The location of the public meeting is provided in the 
ADDRESSES section. We will accept both oral and written comments at the 
public meeting.

Jody Holzworth,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2018-06941 Filed 4-4-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P