Habitat Conservation Plan for South Sacramento County, California; Final Joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report, 22510-22512 [2018-10306]

Download as PDF 22510 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 15, 2018 / Notices Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202–475–3532, or fax 202–372–8405, for questions on these documents. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Public Participation and Request for Comments This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection’s purpose, the Collection’s likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice. We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG–2018–0135], and must be received by June 14, 2018. Submitting Comments We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https:// www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https:// www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website’s instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:27 May 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086). OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/ do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625–0068. Previous Request for Comments This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (83 FR 9012, March 2, 2018) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collection. Information Collection Request Title: State Access to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for removal costs under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. OMB Control Number: 1625–0068. Summary: This information collection is the mechanism for a Governor, or their designated representative, of a state to make a request for payment from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) in an amount not to exceed $250,000 for removal cost consistent with the National Contingency Plan required for the immediate removal of a discharge, or the mitigation or prevention of a substantial threat of discharge, of oil. Need: This information collection is required by, 33 CFR part 133, for implementing 33 U.S.C. 2712 (d) (1) of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). The information provided by the state to the NPFC is used to determine whether expenditures submitted by the state to the OSLTF are compensable, and, where compensable, to ensure the correct amount of reimbursement is made by the OSLTF to the state. If the information is not collected, the Coast Guard and the National Pollution Funds Center will be unable to justify the resulting expenditures, and thus be unable to recover costs from the parties responsible for the spill when they can be identified. Forms: None. Respondents: Governor of a state or their designated representative. Frequency: On occasion. PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated annual burden remains 3 hours a year. Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. Dated: May 8, 2018. James D. Roppel, Acting Chief, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Information Management. [FR Doc. 2018–10244 Filed 5–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2018–N016; FF08ESMF00– FXES11140800000–189] Habitat Conservation Plan for South Sacramento County, California; Final Joint Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/EIR) that evaluates the effects of issuing a 50-year incidental take permit (ITP or Permit) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, for 28 species covered under the final South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP, or Plan). The final EIS/EIR and the final SSHCP documents reflect changes resulting from comments received during a 90day public review of the draft EIS/EIR and the draft SSHCP. This notice provides an opportunity for the public to review the responses to comments and review the final documents. DATES: A Record of Decision on the ITP application will be signed no sooner than 30 days after the Environmental Protection Agency’s notice in the Federal Register announcing receipt of this final EIS/EIR. We will accept written comments on the final EIS/EIR or the final SSHCP documents that are received or postmarked on or before June 14, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may obtain the final documents by one of the following methods: • Internet: You may download electronic copies of the final EIS/EIR and the final HCP document from the SSHCP website at https:// www.southsachcp.com, or from the Sacramento County Project Viewer website at https:// planningdocuments.saccounty.net/ SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15MYN1.SGM 15MYN1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 15, 2018 / Notices ViewProjectDetails.aspx?ControlNum =2003-0637. • U.S. Mail: CD–ROMs of the final EIR/EIS and the final SSHCP are available, by request, from the County Environmental Coordinator, at the County of Sacramento, Office of Planning and Environmental Review, 827 7th Street, Room 225, Sacramento, CA 95814; or by email at SSHCP@ saccounty.net; or by phone at (916) 874– 6141. Please note that your request is in reference to the SSHCP. • In-Person: Hardbound copies of the final EIR/EIS and the final SSHCP documents are also available for public inspection and review at the following locations, during normal business hours: Æ Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W– 2605, Sacramento CA 95825. Æ County of Sacramento, 827 7th Street, Room 225, Sacramento, CA 95814. Æ Sacramento Public Library, Central Library, 828 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. You may submit written comments on the final documents by one of the following methods: • Electronically: Submit via email to: SSHCP@saccounty.net, and include ‘‘Final SSHCP’’ in the subject line, • By hard copy: (1) Submit by U.S. mail to: County Environmental Coordinator, at the County of Sacramento address above, or call (916) 874–6141 to make an appointment during regular business hours to drop off written comments at that location; or (2) submit by U.S. mail to Jan C. Knight, Deputy Field Supervisor, at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office address above, or by facsimile to (916) 414–6714, or call (916) 414–6700 to make an appointment during regular business hours to drop off written comments at that location. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: (1) Contact Nina Bicknese, Endangered Species Division, or Jan C. Knight, Deputy Field Supervisor, at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office address shown above, or at (916) 414– 6700 (telephone) for information on the SSHCP EIS/EIR. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339, or (2) contact Marianne Biner, Senior Planner, at the County of Sacramento address shown above, or at (916) 874–6141 for information on the final SSHCP EIS/EIR.; or (3) Kim Hudson, Senior Planner, at the County of Sacramento address shown above, or at (916) 874–5849 for information on the final SSHCP and associated documents. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:27 May 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 This notice announces the availability of the final SSHCP, prepared by the Permit Applicants in compliance with section 10(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531–1544; ESA). This notice also announces the availability of the final EIS/EIR for the SSHCP (final EIS/EIR or final SSHCP EIS/EIR), prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1500–1508), and also prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). We have prepared a joint EIS/EIR due to the combined local, State, and Federal discretionary actions and permits that are associated with the SSHCP. The colead agencies for the final SSHCP EIS/ EIR are Sacramento County, pursuant to CEQA, and the Service, pursuant to NEPA. The cooperating agencies for the EIS/EIR are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. With this notice, we continue the NEPA process, which included a notice in the Federal Register on June 2, 2017 (82 FR 25612), in which we announced the availability of the draft EIS/EIR and the draft SSHCP for public comment. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA, the Service may issue permits to authorize ‘‘incidental take’’ of listed animal species, which the ESA defines as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of otherwise lawful activities. Take of listed fish and 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. 1538). Harm includes significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury to listed wildlife species by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). In addition to meeting other criteria, activities covered by an incidental take permit must not jeopardize the continued existence in the wild of federally listed wildlife or plants. Although take of listed plant species is not prohibited under the ESA, plant species may be included on an incidental take permit in recognition of the conservation benefits provided to them by a habitat conservation plan. All species included on an incidental take permit would receive assurances under the Service’s ‘‘No Surprises’’ regulation [50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)]. For PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22511 more about the Federal HCP program, go to https://www.fws.gov/endangered/ what-we-do/hcp-overview.html. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. We propose to issue a 50-year permit for the incidental take of 28 covered species caused by future urban development, transportation, and infrastructure projects described in the General Plans of Sacramento County, the City of Rancho Cordova, and City of Galt, and would be permitted or authorized by the County of Sacramento, the City of Galt, the City of Rancho Cordova, the Sacramento County Water Agency, or the Capital SouthEast Connector Joint Powers Authority (together, the Permit Applicants. The Permit Applicants are also forming a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to be named the South Sacramento Conservation Agency, which would implement the SSHCP after it is approved and permitted. Following the formation of the South Sacramento Conservation Agency JPA, we anticipate that the Permit Applicants will submit an application to the Service to add the JPA to the incidental take permit. The proposed SSHCP is a regional strategy that would assure the permanent conservation of 28 covered species and their habitats within a 317,656-acre Plan Area, and would provide a comprehensive approach to the protection and long-term management of the relatively undisturbed vernal pool ecosystems that remain in the Plan Area. The SSHCP covered species include the federally endangered vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi), the threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi), the threatened Valley elderberry longhorn beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus), the threatened California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), the threatened giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas), the endangered Sacramento Orcutt grass (Orcuttia viscida), the threatened slender Orcutt grass (Orcuttia tenuis), as well as 21 unlisted species that have potential to become listed during the proposed permit term. Incidental take authorization for an unlisted SSHCP covered species would become effective concurrent with its listing under the ESA, should listing occur during the permit term. The proposed SSHCP would also provide a more streamlined and a more predictable process for Federal and State permitting of urban development and infrastructure covered activities within the SSHCP Plan Area. All SSHCP E:\FR\FM\15MYN1.SGM 15MYN1 22512 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 15, 2018 / Notices covered activities would incorporate measures that avoid or minimize the impacts of the incidental take to the maximum extent practicable. In total, the proposed SSHCP covered activities could result in the development and unavoidable loss of up to 33,639 acres of natural landcovers and species habitat present within the Plan Area. These losses would be mitigated by implementation of the SSHCP conservation strategy, which includes the establishment of a minimum 34,494acre interconnected preserve system in south Sacramento County, and the reestablishment or establishment of at least 1,787 acres of aquatic habitat, to provide a total SSHCP Preserve System of 36,281 acres. The entire SSHCP Preserve System would be preserved, monitored, and managed in perpetuity for the benefit of the covered species and their natural habitats. The issuance of the ITP is conditioned on the final SSHCP meeting all criteria in section 10(a)(2)(B) of the ESA. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES National Environmental Policy Act Compliance We published an initial notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft SSHCP EIS/EIR in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 10, 2008 (73 FR 32729), published a revised NOI on November 4, 2013 (78 FR 66058), and we published the notice of availability (NOA) of the draft SSHCP EIS/EIR on June 2, 2017 (82 FR 25612), which included a 90-day public comment period. The final SSHCP EIS/EIR studies three alternatives: The No Action Alternative, the Proposed Action Alternative, and the Reduced Permit Term Alternative. The Service has identified the Proposed Action Alternative as the preferred alternative. We received 26 comment letters on the draft EIS/EIR and the draft SSHCP. A response to each comment received in these letters has been included in the final EIS/EIR document. Minor revisions to the final EIS/EIR or to the final SSHCP have been made to address the comments received on the draft documents. The descriptions and analysis of the three SSHCP alternatives studied in the final EIS/EIR generally remain the same as presented in the draft EIS/EIR. Public Review Copies of the final EIS/EIR and the final SSHCP documents are available (see ADDRESSES) for a 30-day public review period (see DATES). If you wish to comment on the final documents, you may submit your comments to the address provided in ADDRESSES. Before VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:27 May 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 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. Next Steps We will evaluate the incidental take permit application, the associated documents, and any public comments submitted during the final EIS/EIR review period to determine whether the permit application meets all requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. The Service will then prepare a concise public record of our decision (the Record of Decision). Our permit decision will be made no sooner than 30 days after the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of this final EIS/EIR in the Federal Register. After they are completed and signed, the Record of Decision and the incidental take permit will be available on our web page at https://www.fws.gov/sacramento. Michael Long, Acting Assistant Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2018–10306 Filed 5–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWY–957000–18–L13100000–PP0000] Filing of Plats of Survey, Nebraska and Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of official filing. AGENCY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is scheduled to file plats of survey 30 calendar days from the date of this publication in the BLM Wyoming State Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming. The surveys, which were executed at the request of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the BLM, are necessary for the management of these lands. DATES: Protests must be received by the BLM by June 14, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit written protests to the Wyoming State Director at WY957, Bureau of Land Management, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sonja Sparks, BLM Wyoming Acting Chief Cadastral Surveyor at 307–775– 6225 or s75spark@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 to contact this office during normal business hours. The Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with this office. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The lands surveyed are: The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of portions of the west boundary of the Winnebago Indian Reservation, the subdivisional lines and the subdivision of section lines, and the survey of the subdivision of certain sections, Township 26 North, Range 5 East, Sixth Principal Meridian, Nebraska, Group No. 186, was accepted January 25, 2018. The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of portions of the east and north boundaries, portions of the subdivisional lines, and the survey of the subdivision of certain sections, Township 51 North, Range 66 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Wyoming, Group No. 934, was accepted January 25, 2018. The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the subdivisional lines and the survey of the subdivision of section 26, Township 18 North, Range 84 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Wyoming, Group No. 965, was accepted January 25, 2018. The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of portions of the subdivisional lines and the survey of the subdivision of sections 23 and 27, Township 42 North, Range 83 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Wyoming, Group No. 966, was accepted January 25, 2018. The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of a portion of the subdivisional lines and the subdivision of Section 26, and the metes-and-bounds survey of Parcels A and B, section 26, Township 20 North, Range 94 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Wyoming, Group No. 968, was accepted January 25, 2018. A person or party who wishes to protest one or more plats of survey identified above must file a written notice of protest within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication with the Wyoming State Director at the above address. Any notice of protest received after the scheduled date of official filing will be untimely and will E:\FR\FM\15MYN1.SGM 15MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 15, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22510-22512]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-10306]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2018-N016; FF08ESMF00-FXES11140800000-189]


Habitat Conservation Plan for South Sacramento County, 
California; Final Joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental 
Impact Report

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS/EIR) that evaluates the effects of issuing a 50-
year incidental take permit (ITP or Permit) under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended, for 28 species covered under the final 
South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP, or Plan). The final 
EIS/EIR and the final SSHCP documents reflect changes resulting from 
comments received during a 90-day public review of the draft EIS/EIR 
and the draft SSHCP. This notice provides an opportunity for the public 
to review the responses to comments and review the final documents.

DATES: A Record of Decision on the ITP application will be signed no 
sooner than 30 days after the Environmental Protection Agency's notice 
in the Federal Register announcing receipt of this final EIS/EIR. We 
will accept written comments on the final EIS/EIR or the final SSHCP 
documents that are received or postmarked on or before June 14, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain the final documents by one of the following 
methods:
     Internet: You may download electronic copies of the final 
EIS/EIR and the final HCP document from the SSHCP website at https://www.southsachcp.com, or from the Sacramento County Project Viewer 
website at https://planningdocuments.saccounty.net/

[[Page 22511]]

ViewProjectDetails.aspx?ControlNum=2003-0637.
     U.S. Mail: CD-ROMs of the final EIR/EIS and the final 
SSHCP are available, by request, from the County Environmental 
Coordinator, at the County of Sacramento, Office of Planning and 
Environmental Review, 827 7th Street, Room 225, Sacramento, CA 95814; 
or by email at [email protected]; or by phone at (916) 874-6141. 
Please note that your request is in reference to the SSHCP.
     In-Person: Hardbound copies of the final EIR/EIS and the 
final SSHCP documents are also available for public inspection and 
review at the following locations, during normal business hours:
    [cir] Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room 
W-2605, Sacramento CA 95825.
    [cir] County of Sacramento, 827 7th Street, Room 225, Sacramento, 
CA 95814.
    [cir] Sacramento Public Library, Central Library, 828 I Street, 
Sacramento, CA 95814.
    You may submit written comments on the final documents by one of 
the following methods:
     Electronically: Submit via email to: [email protected], 
and include ``Final SSHCP'' in the subject line,
     By hard copy: (1) Submit by U.S. mail to: County 
Environmental Coordinator, at the County of Sacramento address above, 
or call (916) 874-6141 to make an appointment during regular business 
hours to drop off written comments at that location; or (2) submit by 
U.S. mail to Jan C. Knight, Deputy Field Supervisor, at the Sacramento 
Fish and Wildlife Office address above, or by facsimile to (916) 414-
6714, or call (916) 414-6700 to make an appointment during regular 
business hours to drop off written comments at that location.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: (1) Contact Nina Bicknese, Endangered 
Species Division, or Jan C. Knight, Deputy Field Supervisor, at the 
Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office address shown above, or at (916) 
414-6700 (telephone) for information on the SSHCP EIS/EIR. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Relay 
Service at (800) 877-8339, or (2) contact Marianne Biner, Senior 
Planner, at the County of Sacramento address shown above, or at (916) 
874-6141 for information on the final SSHCP EIS/EIR.; or (3) Kim 
Hudson, Senior Planner, at the County of Sacramento address shown 
above, or at (916) 874-5849 for information on the final SSHCP and 
associated documents.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice announces the availability of 
the final SSHCP, prepared by the Permit Applicants in compliance with 
section 10(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-
1544; ESA). This notice also announces the availability of the final 
EIS/EIR for the SSHCP (final EIS/EIR or final SSHCP EIS/EIR), prepared 
pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 as amended 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 
1500-1508), and also prepared pursuant to the California Environmental 
Quality Act (CEQA). We have prepared a joint EIS/EIR due to the 
combined local, State, and Federal discretionary actions and permits 
that are associated with the SSHCP. The co-lead agencies for the final 
SSHCP EIS/EIR are Sacramento County, pursuant to CEQA, and the Service, 
pursuant to NEPA. The cooperating agencies for the EIS/EIR are the U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and 
the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. With this notice, we 
continue the NEPA process, which included a notice in the Federal 
Register on June 2, 2017 (82 FR 25612), in which we announced the 
availability of the draft EIS/EIR and the draft SSHCP for public 
comment.

Background

    Under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA, the Service may issue permits 
to authorize ``incidental take'' of listed animal species, which the 
ESA defines as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the 
carrying out of otherwise lawful activities. Take of listed fish and 
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. 1538). Harm includes significant 
habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury to 
listed wildlife species by significantly impairing essential behavioral 
patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3).
    In addition to meeting other criteria, activities covered by an 
incidental take permit must not jeopardize the continued existence in 
the wild of federally listed wildlife or plants. Although take of 
listed plant species is not prohibited under the ESA, plant species may 
be included on an incidental take permit in recognition of the 
conservation benefits provided to them by a habitat conservation plan. 
All species included on an incidental take permit would receive 
assurances under the Service's ``No Surprises'' regulation [50 CFR 
17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)]. For more about the Federal HCP program, 
go to https://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/hcp-overview.html. 
Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and 
endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively.
    We propose to issue a 50-year permit for the incidental take of 28 
covered species caused by future urban development, transportation, and 
infrastructure projects described in the General Plans of Sacramento 
County, the City of Rancho Cordova, and City of Galt, and would be 
permitted or authorized by the County of Sacramento, the City of Galt, 
the City of Rancho Cordova, the Sacramento County Water Agency, or the 
Capital SouthEast Connector Joint Powers Authority (together, the 
Permit Applicants. The Permit Applicants are also forming a Joint 
Powers Authority (JPA) to be named the South Sacramento Conservation 
Agency, which would implement the SSHCP after it is approved and 
permitted. Following the formation of the South Sacramento Conservation 
Agency JPA, we anticipate that the Permit Applicants will submit an 
application to the Service to add the JPA to the incidental take 
permit.
    The proposed SSHCP is a regional strategy that would assure the 
permanent conservation of 28 covered species and their habitats within 
a 317,656-acre Plan Area, and would provide a comprehensive approach to 
the protection and long-term management of the relatively undisturbed 
vernal pool ecosystems that remain in the Plan Area. The SSHCP covered 
species include the federally endangered vernal pool tadpole shrimp 
(Lepidurus packardi), the threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp 
(Branchinecta lynchi), the threatened Valley elderberry longhorn beetle 
(Desmocerus californicus dimorphus), the threatened California tiger 
salamander (Ambystoma californiense), the threatened giant garter snake 
(Thamnophis gigas), the endangered Sacramento Orcutt grass (Orcuttia 
viscida), the threatened slender Orcutt grass (Orcuttia tenuis), as 
well as 21 unlisted species that have potential to become listed during 
the proposed permit term. Incidental take authorization for an unlisted 
SSHCP covered species would become effective concurrent with its 
listing under the ESA, should listing occur during the permit term.
    The proposed SSHCP would also provide a more streamlined and a more 
predictable process for Federal and State permitting of urban 
development and infrastructure covered activities within the SSHCP Plan 
Area. All SSHCP

[[Page 22512]]

covered activities would incorporate measures that avoid or minimize 
the impacts of the incidental take to the maximum extent practicable. 
In total, the proposed SSHCP covered activities could result in the 
development and unavoidable loss of up to 33,639 acres of natural 
landcovers and species habitat present within the Plan Area. These 
losses would be mitigated by implementation of the SSHCP conservation 
strategy, which includes the establishment of a minimum 34,494-acre 
interconnected preserve system in south Sacramento County, and the re-
establishment or establishment of at least 1,787 acres of aquatic 
habitat, to provide a total SSHCP Preserve System of 36,281 acres. The 
entire SSHCP Preserve System would be preserved, monitored, and managed 
in perpetuity for the benefit of the covered species and their natural 
habitats. The issuance of the ITP is conditioned on the final SSHCP 
meeting all criteria in section 10(a)(2)(B) of the ESA.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    We published an initial notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft 
SSHCP EIS/EIR in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 10, 2008 (73 
FR 32729), published a revised NOI on November 4, 2013 (78 FR 66058), 
and we published the notice of availability (NOA) of the draft SSHCP 
EIS/EIR on June 2, 2017 (82 FR 25612), which included a 90-day public 
comment period.
    The final SSHCP EIS/EIR studies three alternatives: The No Action 
Alternative, the Proposed Action Alternative, and the Reduced Permit 
Term Alternative. The Service has identified the Proposed Action 
Alternative as the preferred alternative. We received 26 comment 
letters on the draft EIS/EIR and the draft SSHCP. A response to each 
comment received in these letters has been included in the final EIS/
EIR document. Minor revisions to the final EIS/EIR or to the final 
SSHCP have been made to address the comments received on the draft 
documents. The descriptions and analysis of the three SSHCP 
alternatives studied in the final EIS/EIR generally remain the same as 
presented in the draft EIS/EIR.

Public Review

    Copies of the final EIS/EIR and the final SSHCP documents are 
available (see ADDRESSES) for a 30-day public review period (see 
DATES). If you wish to comment on the final documents, you may submit 
your comments to the address provided in ADDRESSES. 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.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the incidental take permit application, the 
associated documents, and any public comments submitted during the 
final EIS/EIR review period to determine whether the permit application 
meets all requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. The Service will 
then prepare a concise public record of our decision (the Record of 
Decision). Our permit decision will be made no sooner than 30 days 
after the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency's notice 
of this final EIS/EIR in the Federal Register. After they are completed 
and signed, the Record of Decision and the incidental take permit will 
be available on our web page at https://www.fws.gov/sacramento.

Michael Long,
Acting Assistant Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 2018-10306 Filed 5-14-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P