Notice of Intent To Prepare Supplement II to the Final Environmental Impact Statement, Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Project, Mississippi River Mainline Levees and Channel Improvement, 32642-32644 [2018-14972]

Download as PDF 32642 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117, (334) 244–3343. Following the scoping meetings, individuals who have not already submitted their comments should submit them by August 15, 2018, by either: * Email to act-arc@usace.army.mil, or * Mail to Mr. Mike Malsom, Inland Environment Team, Environment and Resources Branch, Planning and Environmental Division, USACEMobile, Post Office Box 2288, Mobile, AL 36628–0001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Direct questions about the NEPA process to Mr. Mike Malsom by mail at Inland Environment Team, Environment and Resources Branch, Planning and Environmental Division, USACEMobile, Post Office Box 2288, Mobile, AL 36628–0001; telephone at (251) 690– 2023; electronic facsimile at (251) 694– 3815; or email at ACT-ACR@ usace.army.mil. You can also request to be added to the mailing list for public distribution of notices, meeting announcements, and documents. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additional information on the ACT River Basin study will be posted as it becomes available on the Mobile District website at http:// www.sam.usace.army.mil/. The USACE will hold five public scoping meetings during the months of July and August as part of its preparation to conduct the water supply storage reallocation study and update the WCMs for the Alabama Power Company’s Weiss and Logan Martin reservoirs in the ACT River Basin. The public is invited to attend the scoping meetings, which will provide information on the study process and afford interested parties the opportunity to submit to USACE input about their issues and concerns regarding that process. Each of the public scoping meetings will be presented in an open house format, allowing time for participants to review specific information and to provide comments either on forms available at the meeting or to a court reporter on-site at the meeting. Curtis M. Flakes, Chief, Planning and Environmental Division. [FR Doc. 2018–14975 Filed 7–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Intent To Prepare Supplement II to the Final Environmental Impact Statement, Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Project, Mississippi River Mainline Levees and Channel Improvement Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. Notice of Intent. AGENCY: ACTION: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (‘‘USACE’’), Memphis District, Vicksburg District, and the New Orleans District, is announcing its intent to prepare Supplement II (SEIS II) to the Final Environmental Impact Statement, Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Project, Mississippi River Mainline Levees and Channel Improvement of 1976 (1976 EIS), as updated and supplemented by Supplement No. 1, Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, Mississippi River Mainline Levee Enlargement and Seepage Control of 1998 (SEIS I) to the 1976 EIS, to cover construction of remaining authorized work on the Mississippi River mainline levees (MRL) feature. Over the past twenty years since the finalization of SEIS I, USACE has determined that various sections (reaches) of the mainline levee system are deficient in varying amounts, and that certain remedial measures need to be undertaken to control seepage and to raise and stabilize the deficient sections of the levee to protect the lower Mississippi River Valley against the Project Design Flood (PDF) and maintain the structural integrity of the MRL system. The Proposed Action of SEIS II is to supplement and, as necessary, augment the 1976 EIS and SEIS I using the primary MR&T goals of: (1) Providing flood protection from the PDF; and (2) developing an environmentally sustainable project; formulating alternatives; identifying significant resources; assessing the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to those resources; investigating and environmentally assessing potential borrow areas; developing mitigation measures; and evaluating and selecting a preferred method for the construction of necessary authorized MRL Project features, which may include but are not limited to, implementing seepage control measures and the construction of various remediation measures for deficient levee reaches to bring these reaches to the project design grade. SEIS II will evaluate the potential direct, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 indirect, and cumulative impacts for an array of alternatives, including a No Action alternative. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Comments and questions about SEIS II should be submitted to USACE by email to: MRL-EIS-2@usace.army.mil; or by regular mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CEMVN–PDC–UDC, 167 North Main Street, Room B–202, Memphis, Tennessee 38103–1894. For additional information, including but not limited to a copy of SEIS I and the 1976 EIS, please visit the Project website at: http:// www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS/. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Project Background and Authorization. The MR&T Project (and the MRL feature) was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1928, as amended. The 1976 EIS was filed with the Council of Environmental Quality on 8 April 1976. SEIS I, which was prepared to supplement the 1976 EIS to evaluate the effects of continued construction of the MRL levee enlargements, stability berms, seepage control, and erosion protection measures, was filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on 31 July 1998. SEIS I focused on the levees of the MRL that were the most deficient in height and on seepage control measures for levee reaches with observable signs of seepage during previous high water events. The MR&T Project is designed to manage flood risk damages in the alluvial valley between Cape Girardeau, Missouri and the Head of Passes, Louisiana. The goal of the MR&T Project is to provide an environmentally sustainable project for comprehensive flood damage control, protection, and risk reduction from the ‘‘Project Design Flood’’, in the alluvial valley beginning at Cape Girardeau, Missouri to the Head of Passes, Louisiana, by means of levees, floodwalls, floodways, reservoirs, banks stabilization and channel improvements in and along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The mainline levee system, comprised of levees, floodwalls, backwater areas, floodways, and various control structures, is approximately 1,610 miles long. The PDF is a hypothetical flood that was developed to determine the design flood to be used in designing the MR&T levee system in the lower Mississippi River Basin, and is defined as the ‘‘greatest flood having a reasonable probability of occurrence’’ when the operable features of the entire MR&T Project are considered. The PDF upon which the current design for the construction of the mainline levee system and remaining unconstructed levees is based, is the ‘‘Refined 1973 E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices MR&T PDF Flowline.’’ The Mississippi River mainline levees protect the lower Mississippi River Valley against the PDF by confining flow to the leveed channel, except where it enters backwater areas, overflows several levees designed to overtop and fill tributary basins, or is intentionally diverted into four floodway areas. (A figure which depicts the PDF in cubic feet per second for the lower Mississippi River and its tributaries as set forth in SEIS I will be available for review at the Project website.) The MR&T Project functions as a system and provides flood risk reduction across portions of seven states: Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana (a map of the area will be available on the Project website). The MR&T System includes an extensive levee system; floodways to divert excess flows past critical reaches; channel improvement and stabilization features to protect the integrity of flood risk management measures and to ensure proper alignment and depth of the navigation channel; and a system of reservoirs to regulate flows and backwater areas to provide storage during extreme events. The integrity of the levee system is also bolstered by control measures such as landside berms, drainage trenches, drainage blankets, and relief wells, and tributary basin improvements including levees, headwater reservoirs, and pumping stations that expand flood risk management coverage and improve drainage into adjacent areas within the alluvial valley. Through evaluation of information and data obtained from levee inspections, seepage analyses, research, studies, and engineering assessments, USACE has concluded that certain levee reaches are not at Project design grade due to effects from various changed conditions, including, but not limited to consolidation of levee materials, subsidence, and changes in river conditions and in survey datums over time. Additionally, advances in geotechnical mapping, data collected from recent high water events, and subsequent seepage analyses that have taken place since the finalization of SEIS I, have revealed the need for additional seepage control measures and the construction of other authorized Project features to facilitate structural integrity and stability of the MRL feature of the MR&T Project. As a result, in October of 2017, USACE completed an engineering risk assessment and programmatic review of the MRL based on the 1973 Refined MR&T Flowline Study. The assessment showed that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 integrity of the MRL levee system was at risk because numerous levee reaches are not currently constructed to the pass the PDF due to either height or seepage deficiencies. Based on the results, USACE has determined that SEIS II is necessary to formulate alternatives, identify significant resources, assess the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to the significant resources, develop mitigation measures, and evaluate and select a recommended plan. 2. Proposed Action. The Proposed Action is the construction of necessary additional authorized MRL Project features (e.g., levee enlargements; stability berms, underseepage controls such as berms, relief wells, cutoffs, riverside blankets and pit fills; and erosion protection such as slope paving), to improve sections of deficient MRL levees in order to provide the required PDF protection. The Proposed Action, and associated evaluations, does not include reformulation of the MRL feature. Measures to manage flood risk reduction along the mainline levee system from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Head of Passes, Louisiana, include but are not limited to, raising and widening portions of the levee to the authorized design grade and crosssections, stabilizing floodwalls, and seepage control (e.g. berms, relief wells, and cutoff trenches). 3. Alternatives. SEIS II will evaluate an array of site specific alternatives, including the No-Action alternative, with a focus to avoid and minimize reasonably foreseeable adverse effects from construction of necessary additional authorized MRL Project features. Alternatives will include evaluations of measures, or combination of measures, along with evaluation of locations of borrow areas that avoid and minimize reasonably foreseeable adverse effects. Potential alternatives may include flood risk reduction measures such as raising and widening portions of the levee to the authorized design grade and cross-sections, installing or stabilizing floodwalls, levee setbacks, and various seepage control measures such as, seepage berms, relief wells with the associated drainage and/ or pumping plants for water conveyance, and cutoff trenches. Other alternatives will be developed through the scoping period based on public input. Additionally, SEIS II will identify measures to avoid, offset, or minimize impacts to resources where feasible. 4. Scoping. Scoping is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process utilized for determining the range of alternatives and significant issues to be addressed in SEIS II. USACE invites full public participation PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32643 to promote open communication on the issues surrounding the Proposed Action. The public will be involved in the scoping and evaluation process through advertisements, notices, and other means. Project information will also be available on the Project website at: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/ MRLSEIS/. All individuals, organizations, NGOs, affected Indian tribes, and local, state, and Federal agencies that have an interest are urged to participate in the scoping process. The purpose of this Notice is to obtain suggestions and information that may inform the scope of the issues and range of alternatives to be evaluated in SEIS II, as well as to provide notice and request public input on the reasonably foreseeable effects to natural and cultural resources. This Notice of Intent commences the formal public scoping comment period which shall continue through October 1, 2018. Scoping is the NEPA process utilized for seeking public involvement in determining the range of alternatives and significant issues to be addressed in SEIS II. USACE invites full public participation to promote open communication in the public scoping phase and invites interested parties to identify potential issues, concerns, and reasonable alternatives that should be considered in SEIS II. In order for public comments to be recorded for inclusion in the Administrative Record and be considered in the SEIS II development process, members of the public, interested persons and entities must submit their comments to USACE by mail, email, or verbally at the Scoping Meeting(s). Written comments submitted for consideration are due no later than October 1, 2018. Written comments may be submitted: (1) To USACE at public scoping meetings; (2) by regular U.S. Mail mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CEMVN–PDC–UDC, 167 North Main Street, Room B–202, Memphis, Tennessee 38103–1894; and (3) by email to: MRL-SEIS-2@usace.army.mil. Please include your name and return address on the first page of your written comments. All personally identifiable information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by a commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. All timely received comment letters will be accessible on the Project website at http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/ MRLSEIS/. E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 32644 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices 5. Public Scoping Meetings: Public scoping meeting(s) will be held at various locations within the Project Area during approximately July or August of 2018 to present information to the public and to receive comments from the public. The date(s), time(s), and location(s) of the scoping meeting(s) will be publicly announced in advance by USACE on the Project website at: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/ MRLSEIS/, and in any other forms deemed appropriate once those dates, times, and locations are determined by USACE. Notices of the public scoping meetings will also be sent by USACE through email distribution lists, posted on the Project website, and mailed to public libraries, government agencies, and interested groups and individuals. Scoping meeting dates and locations will also be advertised in local newspapers. Interested parties unable to attend the scoping meetings can access additional information on SEIS II at: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/ MRLSEIS/. 6. Potentially Significant Issues. SEIS II will analyze the reasonably foreseeable impacts on the human and natural environment resulting from the Proposed Action. The scoping, public involvement, and interagency coordination processes will help identify and define the range of potential significant issues that will be considered. Important resources and issues evaluated in SEIS II could include, but are not limited to, the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on aquatic resources; bottomland hardwoods; wetlands; waterfowl; wildlife resources; water quality; cultural resources; geology and soils including agricultural land and prime and unique farmland; hydrology and hydraulics; air quality; threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat; socioeconomics; environmental justice; recreation; and cumulative effects of related projects along the MRL. USACE will also consider issues identified and comments made throughout scoping, public involvement, and interagency coordination. USACE expects to better define the issues of concern and the methods that will be used to evaluate those issues through the scoping process. 7. Availability. The current SEIS II development schedule anticipates the release of the draft of SEIS II by USACE for public review and comment in 2020. After it is published, USACE will hold public comment meetings to present the results of studies and identification of a recommended plan, to receive VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 comments, and to address questions concerning the draft SEIS II. Dated: June 27, 2018. Michael C. Derosier, Colonel, U.S. Army, Commander and District Engineer. [FR Doc. 2018–14972 Filed 7–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities—Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants To Support Personnel Working With Young Children With Disabilities Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants to Support Personnel Working with Young Children with Disabilities, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.325N. DATES: Applications Available: July 13, 2018. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 13, 2018. ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/ pdf/2018-02558.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julia Martin Eile, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5175, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–5076. Telephone: (202) 245–7431. Email: Julia.Martin.Eile@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help address PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 State-identified needs for personnel in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children. Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), the absolute and competitive preference priorities are from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 662 and 681 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481). Absolute Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority. This priority is: Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants To Support Personnel Working With Young Children With Disabilities Background The mission of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the Nation. The purpose of this priority is to fund eight Associate Degree Preservice Improvement Grants and improve the quality of existing associate degree programs so that associate degree-level personnel are well prepared to work with infants, toddlers, preschool, and early elementary school children ages birth through 8 (young children) with disabilities and their families in inclusive early childhood programs and elementary schools. Associate degreelevel personnel play critical roles in the development and learning of all young children, including young children with disabilities, as child care providers, preschool teachers, assistant teachers, and paraprofessionals. In these roles, associate degree-level personnel can use evidence-based (as defined in this notice) practices (EBPs) to meaningfully include young children with disabilities in early childhood programs and classrooms, individualize interventions and accommodations, collect data to monitor progress, and collaborate with other professionals. In elementary schools, paraprofessionals are often E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 135 (Friday, July 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32642-32644]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-14972]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Notice of Intent To Prepare Supplement II to the Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, Mississippi River and Tributaries 
(MR&T) Project, Mississippi River Mainline Levees and Channel 
Improvement

AGENCY: Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of Intent.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (``USACE''), Memphis 
District, Vicksburg District, and the New Orleans District, is 
announcing its intent to prepare Supplement II (SEIS II) to the Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, Mississippi River and Tributaries 
(MR&T) Project, Mississippi River Mainline Levees and Channel 
Improvement of 1976 (1976 EIS), as updated and supplemented by 
Supplement No. 1, Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, 
Mississippi River Mainline Levee Enlargement and Seepage Control of 
1998 (SEIS I) to the 1976 EIS, to cover construction of remaining 
authorized work on the Mississippi River mainline levees (MRL) feature. 
Over the past twenty years since the finalization of SEIS I, USACE has 
determined that various sections (reaches) of the mainline levee system 
are deficient in varying amounts, and that certain remedial measures 
need to be undertaken to control seepage and to raise and stabilize the 
deficient sections of the levee to protect the lower Mississippi River 
Valley against the Project Design Flood (PDF) and maintain the 
structural integrity of the MRL system. The Proposed Action of SEIS II 
is to supplement and, as necessary, augment the 1976 EIS and SEIS I 
using the primary MR&T goals of: (1) Providing flood protection from 
the PDF; and (2) developing an environmentally sustainable project; 
formulating alternatives; identifying significant resources; assessing 
the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to those resources; 
investigating and environmentally assessing potential borrow areas; 
developing mitigation measures; and evaluating and selecting a 
preferred method for the construction of necessary authorized MRL 
Project features, which may include but are not limited to, 
implementing seepage control measures and the construction of various 
remediation measures for deficient levee reaches to bring these reaches 
to the project design grade. SEIS II will evaluate the potential 
direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts for an array of alternatives, 
including a No Action alternative.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Comments and questions about SEIS II 
should be submitted to USACE by email to: [email protected]; or 
by regular mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CEMVN-PDC-UDC, 
167 North Main Street, Room B-202, Memphis, Tennessee 38103-1894. For 
additional information, including but not limited to a copy of SEIS I 
and the 1976 EIS, please visit the Project website at: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    1. Project Background and Authorization. The MR&T Project (and the 
MRL feature) was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1928, as 
amended. The 1976 EIS was filed with the Council of Environmental 
Quality on 8 April 1976. SEIS I, which was prepared to supplement the 
1976 EIS to evaluate the effects of continued construction of the MRL 
levee enlargements, stability berms, seepage control, and erosion 
protection measures, was filed with the Environmental Protection Agency 
on 31 July 1998. SEIS I focused on the levees of the MRL that were the 
most deficient in height and on seepage control measures for levee 
reaches with observable signs of seepage during previous high water 
events.
    The MR&T Project is designed to manage flood risk damages in the 
alluvial valley between Cape Girardeau, Missouri and the Head of 
Passes, Louisiana. The goal of the MR&T Project is to provide an 
environmentally sustainable project for comprehensive flood damage 
control, protection, and risk reduction from the ``Project Design 
Flood'', in the alluvial valley beginning at Cape Girardeau, Missouri 
to the Head of Passes, Louisiana, by means of levees, floodwalls, 
floodways, reservoirs, banks stabilization and channel improvements in 
and along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The mainline levee 
system, comprised of levees, floodwalls, backwater areas, floodways, 
and various control structures, is approximately 1,610 miles long. The 
PDF is a hypothetical flood that was developed to determine the design 
flood to be used in designing the MR&T levee system in the lower 
Mississippi River Basin, and is defined as the ``greatest flood having 
a reasonable probability of occurrence'' when the operable features of 
the entire MR&T Project are considered. The PDF upon which the current 
design for the construction of the mainline levee system and remaining 
unconstructed levees is based, is the ``Refined 1973

[[Page 32643]]

MR&T PDF Flowline.'' The Mississippi River mainline levees protect the 
lower Mississippi River Valley against the PDF by confining flow to the 
leveed channel, except where it enters backwater areas, overflows 
several levees designed to overtop and fill tributary basins, or is 
intentionally diverted into four floodway areas. (A figure which 
depicts the PDF in cubic feet per second for the lower Mississippi 
River and its tributaries as set forth in SEIS I will be available for 
review at the Project website.) The MR&T Project functions as a system 
and provides flood risk reduction across portions of seven states: 
Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and 
Louisiana (a map of the area will be available on the Project website). 
The MR&T System includes an extensive levee system; floodways to divert 
excess flows past critical reaches; channel improvement and 
stabilization features to protect the integrity of flood risk 
management measures and to ensure proper alignment and depth of the 
navigation channel; and a system of reservoirs to regulate flows and 
backwater areas to provide storage during extreme events. The integrity 
of the levee system is also bolstered by control measures such as 
landside berms, drainage trenches, drainage blankets, and relief wells, 
and tributary basin improvements including levees, headwater 
reservoirs, and pumping stations that expand flood risk management 
coverage and improve drainage into adjacent areas within the alluvial 
valley.
    Through evaluation of information and data obtained from levee 
inspections, seepage analyses, research, studies, and engineering 
assessments, USACE has concluded that certain levee reaches are not at 
Project design grade due to effects from various changed conditions, 
including, but not limited to consolidation of levee materials, 
subsidence, and changes in river conditions and in survey datums over 
time. Additionally, advances in geotechnical mapping, data collected 
from recent high water events, and subsequent seepage analyses that 
have taken place since the finalization of SEIS I, have revealed the 
need for additional seepage control measures and the construction of 
other authorized Project features to facilitate structural integrity 
and stability of the MRL feature of the MR&T Project. As a result, in 
October of 2017, USACE completed an engineering risk assessment and 
programmatic review of the MRL based on the 1973 Refined MR&T Flowline 
Study. The assessment showed that the integrity of the MRL levee system 
was at risk because numerous levee reaches are not currently 
constructed to the pass the PDF due to either height or seepage 
deficiencies. Based on the results, USACE has determined that SEIS II 
is necessary to formulate alternatives, identify significant resources, 
assess the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to the significant 
resources, develop mitigation measures, and evaluate and select a 
recommended plan.
    2. Proposed Action. The Proposed Action is the construction of 
necessary additional authorized MRL Project features (e.g., levee 
enlargements; stability berms, underseepage controls such as berms, 
relief wells, cutoffs, riverside blankets and pit fills; and erosion 
protection such as slope paving), to improve sections of deficient MRL 
levees in order to provide the required PDF protection. The Proposed 
Action, and associated evaluations, does not include reformulation of 
the MRL feature. Measures to manage flood risk reduction along the 
mainline levee system from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Head of Passes, 
Louisiana, include but are not limited to, raising and widening 
portions of the levee to the authorized design grade and cross-
sections, stabilizing floodwalls, and seepage control (e.g. berms, 
relief wells, and cutoff trenches).
    3. Alternatives. SEIS II will evaluate an array of site specific 
alternatives, including the No-Action alternative, with a focus to 
avoid and minimize reasonably foreseeable adverse effects from 
construction of necessary additional authorized MRL Project features. 
Alternatives will include evaluations of measures, or combination of 
measures, along with evaluation of locations of borrow areas that avoid 
and minimize reasonably foreseeable adverse effects. Potential 
alternatives may include flood risk reduction measures such as raising 
and widening portions of the levee to the authorized design grade and 
cross-sections, installing or stabilizing floodwalls, levee setbacks, 
and various seepage control measures such as, seepage berms, relief 
wells with the associated drainage and/or pumping plants for water 
conveyance, and cutoff trenches. Other alternatives will be developed 
through the scoping period based on public input. Additionally, SEIS II 
will identify measures to avoid, offset, or minimize impacts to 
resources where feasible.
    4. Scoping. Scoping is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
process utilized for determining the range of alternatives and 
significant issues to be addressed in SEIS II. USACE invites full 
public participation to promote open communication on the issues 
surrounding the Proposed Action. The public will be involved in the 
scoping and evaluation process through advertisements, notices, and 
other means. Project information will also be available on the Project 
website at: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS/. All individuals, 
organizations, NGOs, affected Indian tribes, and local, state, and 
Federal agencies that have an interest are urged to participate in the 
scoping process. The purpose of this Notice is to obtain suggestions 
and information that may inform the scope of the issues and range of 
alternatives to be evaluated in SEIS II, as well as to provide notice 
and request public input on the reasonably foreseeable effects to 
natural and cultural resources.
    This Notice of Intent commences the formal public scoping comment 
period which shall continue through October 1, 2018. Scoping is the 
NEPA process utilized for seeking public involvement in determining the 
range of alternatives and significant issues to be addressed in SEIS 
II. USACE invites full public participation to promote open 
communication in the public scoping phase and invites interested 
parties to identify potential issues, concerns, and reasonable 
alternatives that should be considered in SEIS II.
    In order for public comments to be recorded for inclusion in the 
Administrative Record and be considered in the SEIS II development 
process, members of the public, interested persons and entities must 
submit their comments to USACE by mail, email, or verbally at the 
Scoping Meeting(s). Written comments submitted for consideration are 
due no later than October 1, 2018. Written comments may be submitted: 
(1) To USACE at public scoping meetings; (2) by regular U.S. Mail 
mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CEMVN-PDC-UDC, 167 North 
Main Street, Room B-202, Memphis, Tennessee 38103-1894; and (3) by 
email to: [email protected]. Please include your name and 
return address on the first page of your written comments.
    All personally identifiable information (for example, name, 
address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by a commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information. All timely received 
comment letters will be accessible on the Project website at http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS/.

[[Page 32644]]

    5. Public Scoping Meetings: Public scoping meeting(s) will be held 
at various locations within the Project Area during approximately July 
or August of 2018 to present information to the public and to receive 
comments from the public. The date(s), time(s), and location(s) of the 
scoping meeting(s) will be publicly announced in advance by USACE on 
the Project website at: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS/, and in 
any other forms deemed appropriate once those dates, times, and 
locations are determined by USACE. Notices of the public scoping 
meetings will also be sent by USACE through email distribution lists, 
posted on the Project website, and mailed to public libraries, 
government agencies, and interested groups and individuals. Scoping 
meeting dates and locations will also be advertised in local 
newspapers. Interested parties unable to attend the scoping meetings 
can access additional information on SEIS II at: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS/.
    6. Potentially Significant Issues. SEIS II will analyze the 
reasonably foreseeable impacts on the human and natural environment 
resulting from the Proposed Action. The scoping, public involvement, 
and interagency coordination processes will help identify and define 
the range of potential significant issues that will be considered. 
Important resources and issues evaluated in SEIS II could include, but 
are not limited to, the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on 
aquatic resources; bottomland hardwoods; wetlands; waterfowl; wildlife 
resources; water quality; cultural resources; geology and soils 
including agricultural land and prime and unique farmland; hydrology 
and hydraulics; air quality; threatened and endangered species and 
their critical habitat; socioeconomics; environmental justice; 
recreation; and cumulative effects of related projects along the MRL. 
USACE will also consider issues identified and comments made throughout 
scoping, public involvement, and interagency coordination. USACE 
expects to better define the issues of concern and the methods that 
will be used to evaluate those issues through the scoping process.
    7. Availability. The current SEIS II development schedule 
anticipates the release of the draft of SEIS II by USACE for public 
review and comment in 2020. After it is published, USACE will hold 
public comment meetings to present the results of studies and 
identification of a recommended plan, to receive comments, and to 
address questions concerning the draft SEIS II.

    Dated: June 27, 2018.
Michael C. Derosier,
Colonel, U.S. Army, Commander and District Engineer.
[FR Doc. 2018-14972 Filed 7-12-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3720-58-P