Energy Northwest; Columbia Generating Station, 32916-32918 [2018-15091]

Download as PDF 32916 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices charge by contacting the NRC’s Clearance Officer, David Cullison, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–2084; email: INFOCOLLECTS.Resource@NRC.GOV. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES B. Submitting Comments The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information in comment submissions that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. All comment submissions are posted at https:// www.regulations.gov and entered into ADAMS. Comment submissions are not routinely edited to remove identifying or contact information. If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the OMB, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that comment submissions are not routinely edited to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS. II. Background Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the NRC recently submitted a request for renewal of an existing collection of information to OMB for review entitled, ‘‘10 CFR [Code of Federal Regulations] Part 62, Criteria and Procedures for Emergency Access to Non-Federal and Regional Low-Level Waste Disposal Facilities.’’ The NRC hereby informs potential respondents that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and that a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The NRC published a Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period on this information collection on April 24, 2018 (83 FR 18353). 1. The title of the information collection: 10 CFR part 62, ‘‘Criteria and Procedures for Emergency Access to Non-Federal and Regional Low-Level Waste Disposal Facilities.’’ 2. OMB approval number: 3150–0143. 3. Type of submission: Revision. 4. The form number if applicable: Not applicable. 5. How often the collection is required or requested: On occasion. 6. Who will be required or asked to respond: Part 62 of 10 CFR sets out the information that must be provided to the NRC by any low-level waste VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 generator or governor of a State on behalf of generators seeking emergency access to an operating low-level waste disposal facility. The information is required to allow the NRC to determine if denial of disposal constitutes a serious and immediate threat to public health and safety or common defense and security. Part 62 of 10 CFR also provides that the Commission may grant an exemption from the requirements in this part upon application of an interested person or upon its own initiative. 7. The estimated number of annual responses: 2. 8. The estimated number of annual respondents: 1. 9. An estimate of the total number of hours needed annually to comply with the information collection requirement or request: 233. 10. Abstract: Part 62 of 10 CFR sets out the information that must be provided to the NRC by any low-level waste generator or governor of a State on behalf of generators seeking emergency access to an operating low-level waste disposal facility. The information is required to allow the NRC to determine if denial of disposal constitutes a serious and immediate threat to public health and safety or common defense and security. Part 62 of 10 CFR also provides that the Commission may grant an exemption from the requirements in this part upon application of an interested person or upon its own initiative. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 10th day of July 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Kristen Benney, Acting NRC Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2018–15081 Filed 7–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–397; NRC–2018–0146] Energy Northwest; Columbia Generating Station Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License No. NPF–21, issued on May 22, 2012, and held by Energy Northwest (the licensee) for the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 operation of Columbia Generating Station (Columbia), located in Benton County, Washington. The proposed amendment would revise the Environmental Protection Plan (NonRadiological) (EPP), contained in Appendix B to the Columbia renewed facility operating license. The NRC is issuing a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) associated with the proposed license amendment. DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document is available on July 16, 2018. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0146 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0146. Address questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Klos, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–5136; email: John.Klos@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License No. NPF–21 issued to E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices Energy Northwest for operation of Columbia, located in Benton County, Washington. The licensee submitted its license amendment request by letter dated December 18, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17352B255). If approved, the license amendment would add Section 4.2.2, ‘‘Aquatic Issues,’’ to the Columbia EPP to require Energy Northwest to adhere to the specific requirements within the Incidental Take Statement (ITS) in the currently applicable biological opinion. The NRC prepared an EA to document its findings related to the proposed license amendment request in accordance with Section 51.21 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). Based on the results of the EA documented herein, the NRC did not identify any significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed amendment and is, therefore, issuing a FONSI in accordance with 10 CFR 51.32. II. Environmental Assessment sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Plant Site and Environs Columbia is a single unit plant with a boiling water reactor and a closedcycle cooling system that withdraws water from and discharges water to the Columbia River. The facility occupies approximately 1,089 acres (441 hectares) of land leased from the U.S. Department of Energy within the Hanford Reservation. The leased land is located in Benton County, Washington, 12 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Richland and approximately 160 miles (257 kilometers) southeast of Seattle. The Columbia River borders the site to the east and flat rolling hills surround the site. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the NRC’s predecessor agency, and the NRC have previously conducted environmental reviews of Columbia operations in several documents, which contain more detailed descriptions of the plant site and environs. Those documents include the Final Environmental Statement related to construction of the facility in December 1972 (ADAMS Accession No. ML101870543); the Final Environmental Statement related to initial operation of the facility in December 1981 (ADAMS Accession No. ML100570374); and NUREG–1437, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS] for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants, Supplement 47, Regarding Columbia Generating Station—Final Report,’’ dated April 2012 and its associated GEIS documents (ADAMS Package Accession No. ML12097A267). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 Description of the Proposed Action The proposed action would add language in Section 4.2, ‘‘Environmental Monitoring,’’ of the Columbia EPP to require Energy Northwest to adhere to the specific requirements within the ITS in the currently applicable biological opinion. The proposed action would be in accordance with the licensee’s application dated December 18, 2017. By amending Section 4.2 of the EPP to state that Energy Northwest must adhere to the ITS in the currently applicable biological opinion, the proposed action would require Energy Northwest’s compliance with the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) biological opinion, dated March 10, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17072A036). This biological opinion applies to Upper Columbia River spring run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Upper Columbia River steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and concludes that the continued operation of Columbia is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of these species or destroy or adversely modify the designated critical habitat of these species. The ITS included in the biological opinion exempts the incidental take of these species from the prohibitions of Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), provided that the specified Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) are implemented. The RPMs are: 1. Minimize the potential for incidental take of ESA-listed species as a result of elevated concentrations of chemical constituents in the mainstem Columbia River. 2. Minimize the potential for incidental take of ESA-listed species as a result of entrainment and impingement associated with the cooling water intake structure for Columbia. 3. Minimize the potential for incidental take 1 of ESA-listed species as a result of biological monitoring. 4. Ensure completion of a monitoring and reporting program to confirm that the terms and conditions in this ITS were effective in avoiding and minimizing incidental take from permitted activities and ensuring incidental take is not exceeded. In order to implement the RPMs, the ITS prescribes a number of Terms and Conditions (T&Cs). The T&Cs require Energy Northwest to conduct effluent 1 The ESA prohibits the take of any federally listed species without a special exemption and states that the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32917 monitoring (RPM1), conduct impingment and entrainment studies (RPM 2), implement various best practices while conducting biological monitoring studies to minimize impacts to listed species (RPM 3), and submit a report to NMFS regarding all biological monitoring activites (RPM 4). Specificially, to minimize chemical exposures to ESA-listed species as described in RPM 1, Energy Northwest must conduct physical and chemical monitoring of the Columbia effluent, as specified in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit No. WA002515–1, to ensure that effluent water quality controls are functioning as intended. To minimize potential impingment and entrainment as described in RPM 2, Energy Northwest must prepare and conduct an impingment study and an entrainment study for NMFS’s review and comment, as described in its NPDES permit. To minimize the potential for a take during biological monitoring as described in RPM 3, the ITS prescribes several best practices and reporting requirements for Energy Northwest to implement, including: • Fish handling practices. • Requirements to stop sampling when water temperatures reach specified limits, or if any ESA-listed adult salmon or steelhead or steelhead redds are observed at the site. • Reporting requirments if Energy Northwest unintentionally captures any ESA-listed adult salmon or steelhead while angling for resident fish, if a take is likely, or if any authorized level of take is exceeded than the levels specied in the ITS. To ensure completion of a monitoring and reporting program and to ensure that incidental take is not exceeded as described in RPM 4, Energy Northwest must submit to NMFS, with a copy to NRC, an annual post-season report describing the biological monitoring activities that occurred and a summary of each take including the ESA-listed species affected, the type of take, the location where the take occurred, and the date of occurrence. The annual report must also summarize any operational changes to Columbia that affect the effluent discharge and have the potential to affect ESA-listed resources. Notably, because the proposed amendment would require Energy Northwest’s compliance with the ‘‘currently applicable’’ biological opinion, if NMFS were to issue a new biological opinion in the future, the proposed amendment would require Energy Northwest to adhere to the specific requirements in the ITS of that E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1 32918 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices new biological opinion, and Energy Northwest would no longer be required to adhere to the March 10, 2017, biological opinion upon issuance of a new biological opinion. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Need for the Proposed Action The proposed action is needed to reflect the biological opinion issued by NMFS on March 10, 2017, and to require Energy Northwest’s compliance with the ITS and related RPMs and T&Cs contained therein. The proposed action is administrative in nature. Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and concludes that the proposed changes are administrative in nature, would have no direct effects on plant equipment or plant operation, and would not involve any changes to the design bases for Columbia. With regard to potential radiological impacts, the proposed action would not increase the probability or consequences of accidents, would not change the types or increase the amount of effluent that may be released offsite, and would result in no increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. With regard to potential nonradiological impacts, because the proposed action is administrative in nature, it would not have any direct impacts on land, air, or water resources, including impacts to terrestrial biota. In addition, the NRC staff identified no socioeconomic or environmental justice impacts associated with the proposed action. Therefore, there are no significant non-radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. An indirect effect of the proposed action is that Energy Northwest’s impingement and entrainment studies (RPM 1 and 2) would likely require inwater work and the collection of larvae and eggs. In-water work could cause minor disturbances to nearby biota. However, the activity would be temporary and fish could swim away to avoid the area and return once the temporary work is completed. Removal of larvae and eggs of resident fish species could occur during collection periods for the entrainment study. However, the amount of individuals that would be collected for the study would be negliable when compared to the size of local resident fish populations. In addition, RPM 3 requires Energy Northwest to modify some of its VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 collection practices while conducting biological monitoring studies. In general, these practices will result in beneficial effects to ESA-listed species because the purpose of the modifications are to minimize impacts. For example, during electrofishing, where fish are temporarily stunned for biologists to collect and measure them, RPM 3 requires Energy Northwest to handle ESA-listed fish with extreme care and keep them in cold water to the maximum extent possible during sampling and processing procedures. The NRC staff concludes that the indirect effects from the impingement and entrainment studies as well as the modified collection practices will not result in significant environmental impacts to the radiological or nonradiological environment. Based on the foregoing analysis, the NRC concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered denial of the proposed license amendment (i.e., the ‘‘no-action’’ alternative). Denial of the application would result in no change in current environmental conditions or impacts. Accordingly, the environmental impacts of the proposed action and the no-action alternative are similar. Alternative Use of Resources The proposed action does not involve the use of any different resources than those previously considered in NUREG– 1437, Supplement 47, prepared for the license renewal of Columbia. Agencies and Persons Consulted The NRC did not enter into consultation with any other Federal Agency or with the State of Washington regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. However, on June 6, 2018, the NRC notified the Washington State official, Mr. Richard Cowley, Washington State Department of Health, Office of Radiation Protection of the proposed amendment. The State official had no comments. III. Finding of No Significant Impact The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License No. NPF–21, issued to Energy Northwest for operation of Columbia. The proposed amendment would revise the Columbia EPP to require Energy Northwest to adhere to the specific requirements within the ITS in the currently applicable biological PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 opinion. On the basis of the EA included in Section II of this document and incorporated by reference into this finding, the NRC concludes that the proposed action would not have significant effects on the quality of the human environment. The NRC’s evaluation considered information provided in the licensee’s application as well as the NRC’s independent review of other relevant environmental documents. Based on its findings, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed action. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of July 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. L. John Klos, Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV–1, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2018–15091 Filed 7–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2018–0050] Information Collection: 10 CFR Part 140, Financial Protection Requirements and Indemnity Agreements Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of submission to the Office of Management and Budget; request for comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has recently submitted a request for renewal of an existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The information collection is entitled, ‘‘10 CFR part 140, Financial Protection Requirements and Indemnity Agreements.’’ DATES: Submit comments by August 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: Submit comments directly to the OMB reviewer at: OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (3150–0039), Attn: Desk Officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503; email: oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Cullison, NRC Clearance Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–2084; email: INFOCOLLECTS.Resource@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 136 (Monday, July 16, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32916-32918]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15091]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-397; NRC-2018-0146]


Energy Northwest; Columbia Generating Station

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 
issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License No. NPF-
21, issued on May 22, 2012, and held by Energy Northwest (the licensee) 
for the operation of Columbia Generating Station (Columbia), located in 
Benton County, Washington. The proposed amendment would revise the 
Environmental Protection Plan (Non-Radiological) (EPP), contained in 
Appendix B to the Columbia renewed facility operating license. The NRC 
is issuing a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no 
significant impact (FONSI) associated with the proposed license 
amendment.

DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document is available on 
July 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0146 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0146. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-
9127; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and 
then select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, 
please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 
1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]. The 
ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this notice (if 
that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a 
document is referenced.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Klos, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; telephone: 301-415-5136; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility 
Operating License No. NPF-21 issued to

[[Page 32917]]

Energy Northwest for operation of Columbia, located in Benton County, 
Washington. The licensee submitted its license amendment request by 
letter dated December 18, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17352B255). If 
approved, the license amendment would add Section 4.2.2, ``Aquatic 
Issues,'' to the Columbia EPP to require Energy Northwest to adhere to 
the specific requirements within the Incidental Take Statement (ITS) in 
the currently applicable biological opinion. The NRC prepared an EA to 
document its findings related to the proposed license amendment request 
in accordance with Section 51.21 of title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR). Based on the results of the EA documented herein, 
the NRC did not identify any significant environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed amendment and is, therefore, issuing a 
FONSI in accordance with 10 CFR 51.32.

II. Environmental Assessment

Plant Site and Environs

    Columbia is a single unit plant with a boiling water reactor and a 
closed-cycle cooling system that withdraws water from and discharges 
water to the Columbia River. The facility occupies approximately 1,089 
acres (441 hectares) of land leased from the U.S. Department of Energy 
within the Hanford Reservation. The leased land is located in Benton 
County, Washington, 12 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Richland and 
approximately 160 miles (257 kilometers) southeast of Seattle. The 
Columbia River borders the site to the east and flat rolling hills 
surround the site.
    The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the NRC's predecessor agency, 
and the NRC have previously conducted environmental reviews of Columbia 
operations in several documents, which contain more detailed 
descriptions of the plant site and environs. Those documents include 
the Final Environmental Statement related to construction of the 
facility in December 1972 (ADAMS Accession No. ML101870543); the Final 
Environmental Statement related to initial operation of the facility in 
December 1981 (ADAMS Accession No. ML100570374); and NUREG-1437, 
``Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS] for License Renewal of 
Nuclear Plants, Supplement 47, Regarding Columbia Generating Station--
Final Report,'' dated April 2012 and its associated GEIS documents 
(ADAMS Package Accession No. ML12097A267).

Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would add language in Section 4.2, 
``Environmental Monitoring,'' of the Columbia EPP to require Energy 
Northwest to adhere to the specific requirements within the ITS in the 
currently applicable biological opinion. The proposed action would be 
in accordance with the licensee's application dated December 18, 2017.
    By amending Section 4.2 of the EPP to state that Energy Northwest 
must adhere to the ITS in the currently applicable biological opinion, 
the proposed action would require Energy Northwest's compliance with 
the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) biological opinion, 
dated March 10, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17072A036). This biological 
opinion applies to Upper Columbia River spring run Chinook salmon 
(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Upper Columbia River steelhead 
(Oncorhynchus mykiss), and concludes that the continued operation of 
Columbia is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of these 
species or destroy or adversely modify the designated critical habitat 
of these species. The ITS included in the biological opinion exempts 
the incidental take of these species from the prohibitions of Section 9 
of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), provided that 
the specified Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) are implemented. 
The RPMs are:
    1. Minimize the potential for incidental take of ESA-listed species 
as a result of elevated concentrations of chemical constituents in the 
mainstem Columbia River.
    2. Minimize the potential for incidental take of ESA-listed species 
as a result of entrainment and impingement associated with the cooling 
water intake structure for Columbia.
    3. Minimize the potential for incidental take \1\ of ESA-listed 
species as a result of biological monitoring.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The ESA prohibits the take of any federally listed species 
without a special exemption and states that the term ``take'' means 
to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or 
collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4. Ensure completion of a monitoring and reporting program to 
confirm that the terms and conditions in this ITS were effective in 
avoiding and minimizing incidental take from permitted activities and 
ensuring incidental take is not exceeded.
    In order to implement the RPMs, the ITS prescribes a number of 
Terms and Conditions (T&Cs). The T&Cs require Energy Northwest to 
conduct effluent monitoring (RPM1), conduct impingment and entrainment 
studies (RPM 2), implement various best practices while conducting 
biological monitoring studies to minimize impacts to listed species 
(RPM 3), and submit a report to NMFS regarding all biological 
monitoring activites (RPM 4). Specificially, to minimize chemical 
exposures to ESA-listed species as described in RPM 1, Energy Northwest 
must conduct physical and chemical monitoring of the Columbia effluent, 
as specified in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 
(NPDES) Permit No. WA002515-1, to ensure that effluent water quality 
controls are functioning as intended. To minimize potential impingment 
and entrainment as described in RPM 2, Energy Northwest must prepare 
and conduct an impingment study and an entrainment study for NMFS's 
review and comment, as described in its NPDES permit.
    To minimize the potential for a take during biological monitoring 
as described in RPM 3, the ITS prescribes several best practices and 
reporting requirements for Energy Northwest to implement, including:
     Fish handling practices.
     Requirements to stop sampling when water temperatures 
reach specified limits, or if any ESA-listed adult salmon or steelhead 
or steelhead redds are observed at the site.
     Reporting requirments if Energy Northwest unintentionally 
captures any ESA-listed adult salmon or steelhead while angling for 
resident fish, if a take is likely, or if any authorized level of take 
is exceeded than the levels specied in the ITS.
    To ensure completion of a monitoring and reporting program and to 
ensure that incidental take is not exceeded as described in RPM 4, 
Energy Northwest must submit to NMFS, with a copy to NRC, an annual 
post-season report describing the biological monitoring activities that 
occurred and a summary of each take including the ESA-listed species 
affected, the type of take, the location where the take occurred, and 
the date of occurrence. The annual report must also summarize any 
operational changes to Columbia that affect the effluent discharge and 
have the potential to affect ESA-listed resources.
    Notably, because the proposed amendment would require Energy 
Northwest's compliance with the ``currently applicable'' biological 
opinion, if NMFS were to issue a new biological opinion in the future, 
the proposed amendment would require Energy Northwest to adhere to the 
specific requirements in the ITS of that

[[Page 32918]]

new biological opinion, and Energy Northwest would no longer be 
required to adhere to the March 10, 2017, biological opinion upon 
issuance of a new biological opinion.

Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to reflect the biological opinion 
issued by NMFS on March 10, 2017, and to require Energy Northwest's 
compliance with the ITS and related RPMs and T&Cs contained therein. 
The proposed action is administrative in nature.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes that the proposed changes are administrative in nature, would 
have no direct effects on plant equipment or plant operation, and would 
not involve any changes to the design bases for Columbia.
    With regard to potential radiological impacts, the proposed action 
would not increase the probability or consequences of accidents, would 
not change the types or increase the amount of effluent that may be 
released offsite, and would result in no increase in occupational or 
public radiation exposure. Therefore, there are no significant 
radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, because the 
proposed action is administrative in nature, it would not have any 
direct impacts on land, air, or water resources, including impacts to 
terrestrial biota. In addition, the NRC staff identified no 
socioeconomic or environmental justice impacts associated with the 
proposed action. Therefore, there are no significant non-radiological 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    An indirect effect of the proposed action is that Energy 
Northwest's impingement and entrainment studies (RPM 1 and 2) would 
likely require in-water work and the collection of larvae and eggs. In-
water work could cause minor disturbances to nearby biota. However, the 
activity would be temporary and fish could swim away to avoid the area 
and return once the temporary work is completed. Removal of larvae and 
eggs of resident fish species could occur during collection periods for 
the entrainment study. However, the amount of individuals that would be 
collected for the study would be negliable when compared to the size of 
local resident fish populations. In addition, RPM 3 requires Energy 
Northwest to modify some of its collection practices while conducting 
biological monitoring studies. In general, these practices will result 
in beneficial effects to ESA-listed species because the purpose of the 
modifications are to minimize impacts. For example, during 
electrofishing, where fish are temporarily stunned for biologists to 
collect and measure them, RPM 3 requires Energy Northwest to handle 
ESA-listed fish with extreme care and keep them in cold water to the 
maximum extent possible during sampling and processing procedures. The 
NRC staff concludes that the indirect effects from the impingement and 
entrainment studies as well as the modified collection practices will 
not result in significant environmental impacts to the radiological or 
non-radiological environment.
    Based on the foregoing analysis, the NRC concludes that there are 
no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
action.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered 
denial of the proposed license amendment (i.e., the ``no-action'' 
alternative). Denial of the application would result in no change in 
current environmental conditions or impacts. Accordingly, the 
environmental impacts of the proposed action and the no-action 
alternative are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

    The proposed action does not involve the use of any different 
resources than those previously considered in NUREG-1437, Supplement 
47, prepared for the license renewal of Columbia.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    The NRC did not enter into consultation with any other Federal 
Agency or with the State of Washington regarding the environmental 
impact of the proposed action. However, on June 6, 2018, the NRC 
notified the Washington State official, Mr. Richard Cowley, Washington 
State Department of Health, Office of Radiation Protection of the 
proposed amendment. The State official had no comments.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility 
Operating License No. NPF-21, issued to Energy Northwest for operation 
of Columbia. The proposed amendment would revise the Columbia EPP to 
require Energy Northwest to adhere to the specific requirements within 
the ITS in the currently applicable biological opinion. On the basis of 
the EA included in Section II of this document and incorporated by 
reference into this finding, the NRC concludes that the proposed action 
would not have significant effects on the quality of the human 
environment. The NRC's evaluation considered information provided in 
the licensee's application as well as the NRC's independent review of 
other relevant environmental documents. Based on its findings, the NRC 
has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the 
proposed action.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of July 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
L. John Klos,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV-1, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2018-15091 Filed 7-13-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P