Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement-Natural Resource Plan, 32945-32947 [2018-15161]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. AB 290 (Sub-No. 401X); Docket No. AB 1058X] sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway Company—Discontinuance of Service Exemption—in Walker County, Ga.; Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway Company—Discontinuance of Lease and Trackage Rights Operations—in Walker County, Ga. and Hamilton County, Tenn. Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway Company (TAG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Norfolk Southern Railway Company, and Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway Company (CCKY) (collectively, TAG and CCKY are referred to as Railroads) have jointly filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR pt. 1152 subpart F— Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances of Service for (1) TAG to discontinue service over approximately 16.8 miles of rail line extending between milepost TA 6.3 (at or near Flintstone, Ga.) and milepost TA 23.l (at or near Hedges, Ga.) in Walker County, Ga.; (2) CCKY to discontinue its lease of approximately 19.20 miles of rail line owned by TAG and the Alabama Great Southern Railroad Company (AGS) extending between milepost TA 3.94 (at Chattanooga, Tenn.) and milepost TA 23.1 in Hamilton County, Tenn., and Walker County, Ga.; and (3) CCKY to discontinue overhead trackage rights it holds over the following connecting lines, all located in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tenn.: (a) AGS’s line between milepost G–2.66 at a connection with TAG and milepost G– 1.02 at the north end of Shipp Yard, a distance of 1.6 miles; (b) Central of Georgia Railroad Company’s (COG) line between milepost C–445.4 and its connection with TAG at milepost TA 3.94, a distance of approximately 1.5 miles; and (c) TAG’s rail line between milepost TA 3.94 and milepost TA 3.39 (at TAG’s connection with AGS), a distance of approximately 0.55 miles (collectively, the ‘‘Line’’). The Line traverses United States Postal Zip Codes 30725, 30707, 37407, 37408, 37409, and 37410. The Railroads have certified that: (1) They have handled no local or overhead common carrier service over the Line for at least two years; (2) overhead traffic, if there were any, could be rerouted over other lines; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of a rail service on the Line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the Line is pending either with the Surface VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 Transportation Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of a complainant within the two-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 CFR 1105.12 (newspaper publication) and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to government agencies) have been met. As a condition to these exemptions, any employee adversely affected by the discontinuances of service shall be protected under Oregon Short Line Railroad—Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) must be filed. Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) 1 to subsidize continued rail service has been received, these exemptions will be effective August 15, 2018, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues and formal expressions of intent to file an OFA to subsidize continued rail service under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2) 2 must be filed by July 26, 2018.3 Petitions for reconsideration must be filed by August 6, 2018, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. A copy of any petition filed with Board should be sent to the Railroads’ representative, William A. Mullins, Baker & Miller PLLC, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037. If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Board decisions and notices are available on our website at: www.stb.gov. Decided: July 11, 2018. 1 The Board modified its OFA procedures effective July 29, 2017. Among other things, the OFA process now requires potential offerors, in their formal expression of intent, to make a preliminary financial responsibility showing based on a calculation using information contained in the carrier’s filing and publicly available information. See Offers of Financial Assistance, EP 729 (STB served June 29, 2017); 82 FR 30,997 (July 5, 2017). 2 Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which currently is set at $1,800. See Regulations Governing Fees for Servs. Performed in Connection with Licensing & Related Servs.—2017 Update, EP 542 (Sub-No. 25) (STB served July 28, 2017). 3 Because these are discontinuance proceedings and not abandonments, trail use/rail banking and public use conditions are not appropriate. Because there will be an environmental review during abandonment, these discontinuances do not require environmental review. PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32945 By the Board, Scott M. Zimmerman, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings. Marline Simeon, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2018–15142 Filed 7–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement—Natural Resource Plan Tennessee Valley Authority. Notice of intent. AGENCY: ACTION: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) intends to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) addressing proposed changes to its Natural Resource Plan (NRP). Public comment is invited concerning the scope of the supplemental EIS, including how the plan addresses TVA’s management of natural and cultural resources and the environmental issues that should be addressed in the supplemental EIS. DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 20, 2018. To facilitate the scoping process, TVA will hold public scoping meetings in late July and early August 2018; see https:// www.tva.gov/nrp for the dates and locations of the scoping meetings. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Matthew Higdon, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 W Summit Hill Drive #WT11D, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. Comments may also be emailed to nrp@tva.gov or submitted on the TVA website at: https://www.tva.gov/nrp. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the EIS process, contact Matthew Higdon, NEPA Specialist, by email at mshigdon@tva.gov or by phone at (865) 632–8051. For information about the NRP, contact Anthony Summitt by email at adsummitt@tva.gov or by phone at (423) 467–3811. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 to 1508) and TVA’s procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and its implementing regulations (36 CFR part 800). SUMMARY: Background TVA is an executive branch, corporate agency and instrumentality of the United States, established by an act of Congress in 1933, to foster the social and economic welfare of the people of the Tennessee Valley region and to E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 32946 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices promote the proper use and conservation of the region’s natural resources. Shortly after its creation, TVA began a dam and reservoir construction program that required the purchase of approximately 1.3 million acres of land for the creation of reservoirs within the Tennessee Valley region. Most of these lands are located underneath the water of the reservoir system or have since been sold by TVA or transferred to other state or federal agencies. Today, approximately 293,000 acres of land along TVA reservoirs are managed by TVA for the benefit of the public. Most of these lands remain undeveloped and have been managed by TVA for natural resource conservation, recreation, and the protection of cultural resources. In 2011, TVA completed its first Natural Resource Plan to guide its stewardship efforts for managing the waters and public lands of the Tennessee River Valley. The NRP represents TVA’s high level strategy for managing its natural resources in the near- and long-term. The purpose of the plan is to integrate the goals of resource management programs, provide for the optimum public benefit, and balance sometimes conflicting resource uses. The NRP also guides TVA in achieving the objectives of its Environmental Policy for a more systematic and integrated approach to natural resource stewardship. When planning for the 2011 NRP, TVA completed an EIS that described the potential resource management programs and activities, alternative approaches to TVA’s resource management efforts, and the environmental impacts of the alternatives. In the 2011 EIS, four alternatives were analyzed: The No Action Alternative, Custodial Management, Flagship Management, and Blended Management. In August 2011, the TVA Board of Directors decided that the Blended Management alternative should be implemented as the agency’s plan because the alternative aligns best with TVA’s Environmental Policy, focuses on key programs that establish a baseline for future enhanced implementation efforts, and provides flexibility for the use of partnerships, volunteers, and other sources of funding to leverage programs to their full potential while working within resource and staff constraints (75 FR 57100, September 15, 2011). Proposed Update of the Plan In the 2011 NRP, TVA committed to reviewing the NRP every five years and updating the plan to ensure it remains relevant and current. In 2016, in VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 advance of the first update of the NRP, TVA’s Natural Resources staff began a holistic review of the NRP and determined that, after extensive discussion and consideration, the plan does not completely fulfill the purposes intended when completed in 2011. The 2011 NRP was not all encompassing of Natural Resources programs and by not being inclusive, the NRP was not comprehensive as desired. TVA concluded that the NRP was not fully serving as the guide for business and budget planning as was first envisioned, and the non-comprehensive program coverage has impacted the plan’s usefulness to the Natural Resources group as a management guide. TVA is proposing to update the NRP to improve its efficacy and is initiating an environmental review of proposed changes. TVA proposes changes to the NRP’s structure and to the range of programs it identifies. TVA is seeking the public’s input in determining the scope of its environmental review of these changes. The proposed update to the NRP would be consistent with the Blended Management alternative approved by the TVA Board of Directors in August 2011. TVA is considering these changes in a supplement to the 2011 EIS. TVA proposes to update the NRP so that it is a more useful strategic document that outlines expected benefits and objectives for each of TVA’s natural resource management programs. TVA proposes to reorganize the plan and its programs into ten new ‘‘focus areas’’ rather than the six resource areas in the 2011 plan. TVA would address additional program efforts in the NRP that were excluded from the current plan, namely: Permitting under Section 26a of the TVA Act and land use agreements; public land protection; nuisance and invasive species management; and ecotourism. TVA has extensive experience in conducting these efforts in the region and proposes to include them in the NRP to ensure that the plan addresses the entire scope of the TVA Natural Resources group’s stewardship efforts. In addition, certain programs described in the 2011 NRP would be regrouped to create focus areas that better reflect the Natural Resources’ efforts in order to improve the plan’s clarity and usefulness. TVA also proposes to remove some programs from its NRP because these programs are managed better by other entities (e.g., universities, other TVA organizations, non-TVA entities); however, even if a program would be removed from the NRP, TVA may continue to support the PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 management of these programs. Lastly, TVA proposes to add several new programs under the ten focus areas. TVA proposes to update the NRP by grouping its programs into the following ten focus areas: Land and Habitat Stewardship (Biological Resources in the current NRP); Cultural Resources Management (currently Cultural Resources in the NRP); Water Resources Stewardship (currently Water Resources in the NRP); Public Outreach and Information (currently Public Engagement in the NRP); Reservoir Lands Planning (no change); Recreation (currently Recreation Management in the NRP); Public Land Protection (new); Nuisance and Invasive Species Management (new); Ecotourism (new); and Section 26a and Land Use Agreements (new). More information about the new focus areas and the changes to specific programs can be found at https://www.tva.gov/nrp. Numerous other changes proposed by TVA are administrative or procedural in nature and are unlikely to impact the environment; these changes will be included in the scope of the supplemental EIS to ensure public disclosure of how the NRP would be amended. For example, TVA is proposing to change how its NRP would be updated and how the public would be made aware of its plan implementation. In the revised NRP, TVA would eliminate the provision of the NRP that calls for periodic (5 year) updates to the plan. Alternatively, TVA proposes to inform the public of its activities and progress by publishing an Annual Report on Natural Resources’ stewardship efforts and by improving the information available to the public on TVA’s stewardship projects on TVA’s web page. TVA would provide multiple avenues for continuous public engagement and input, including through the Public Land Information Center, by incorporating a commenting mechanism into the NRP web page and by piloting region specific focus groups that would provide input regarding local needs and trends in the recreation and natural resource fields. To complement the strategic guidance that the updated NRP would provide, TVA’s Natural Resources group would develop a 3–5 Year Action Plan to provide a tactical approach to implement the specific activities associated with each of the ten focus area programs. TVA anticipates that utilizing a short term implementation strategy (3–5 Year Action Plan) that complements the long term strategic guidance document (the updated NRP) would provide the flexibility necessary to achieve the goals and objectives of E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 136 / Monday, July 16, 2018 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES the NRP. This approach is intended to ensure that the NRP remains relevant in the long term, since adjustments in the implementation of the NRP (e.g., due to changes such as availability of stewardship funding, new trends in public use and input from the public) would be addressed through the 3–5 Year Action Plan. TVA would also remove the ‘‘measures of success’’ for each program from the 2011 NRP, which experience has shown were too specific. The updated NRP would identify objectives for each focus area to provide highlevel, overarching strategic direction for each area. The objectives for the focus areas align with the 2011 NRP resource area goals and would be substantially consistent with TVA’s Blended Management approach analyzed in the 2011 EIS. Instead of ‘‘measures of success,’’ metrics to measure achievement of focus area objectives would be incorporated into the 3–5 Year Action Plan. Scoping Process The revised NRP will be considered as an action alternative in the supplemental EIS. TVA invites the public to review the detailed description of its NRP program areas and the revisions to the NRP that is available on the TVA website during the scoping period and to submit comments, questions or suggestions on its proposal. Additional action alternative(s) may be developed based on public input submitted to TVA during the scoping period. Public scoping is integral to the process for implementing NEPA and ensures that issues are identified early and properly studied; issues of little significance do not consume substantial time and effort; and analysis is thorough and balanced. TVA anticipates that the major environmental resource areas that will be addressed in the supplemental EIS will include water quality, water supply, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, endangered and threatened species, wetlands, prime farmlands, floodplains, recreation, aesthetics including visual resources, land use, historic and archaeological resources and socioeconomic resources. TVA invites members of the public as well as Federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes to comment on the scope of the supplemental EIS. Comments on the scope should be submitted no later than the date given under the DATES section of this notice. Pursuant to the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation implementing Section 106 of the NHPA, TVA also solicits VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:31 Jul 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 comments on the potential of the proposed Plan to affect historic properties. This notice also provides an opportunity under Executive Orders 11990 and 11988 for early public review of the potential for TVA’s proposal to affect wetlands and floodplains, respectively. Please note that any comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record and will be available for public inspection. After consideration of the public’s input and analyzing the environmental consequences of alternatives, TVA will issue a draft EIS for public review and comment. TVA will notify the public of the draft EIS’s availability and plans to hold public meetings during the review period. TVA expects to release the draft EIS in mid 2019 and the final EIS and NRP in early 2020. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7. David Bowling, Vice President, Land and River Management. [FR Doc. 2018–15161 Filed 7–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Environmental Impact Statement: Lake, Cook and McHenry Counties, Illinois Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS). AGENCY: The FHWA is issuing this notice to advise the public that an environmental impact statement will be prepared for a proposed transportation improvement project in Lake, Cook and McHenry Counties in Illinois. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine A. Batey, Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, 3250 Executive Park Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703, Phone: 217–492–4640. Paul Kovacs, Chief Engineer, Illinois Tollway, 2700 Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515, Phone 630–241–6800. Anthony Quigley, Deputy Director of Highways, Region 1 Engineer, Illinois Department of Transportation, 201 West Center Court, Schaumburg, Illinois 60196, Phone: 847–705–4401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FHWA, in cooperation with the Illinois Tollway and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a proposed transportation SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32947 improvement project in Lake County, northern portions of Cook County, and eastern portions of McHenry County. The FHWA intends to issue a single Final EIS and Record of Decision (ROD) document pursuant to the FAST Act Section 1311 requirements, unless FHWA determines statutory criteria or practicability considerations preclude issuance of a combined document. Improvements in the project area are proposed to reduce congestion, improve reliability of travel, improve travel options connecting major origins and destinations, and improve local and regional travel efficiency. Alternatives under consideration to address these needs include (1) improvements to the existing roadway network; (2) construction on new alignment; (3) improvements to transit, including rail and bus; (3) improvements to bicycle and pedestrian facilities; (4) transportation system management/ transportation demand management strategies; and (5) taking no action. Federal approvals needed for this project may include permits under Clean Water Act Sections 402 and 404 and Section 401 water quality certification. Section 7 consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service may also be required. The project will comply with the Clean Air Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966, and Executive Order 12898 ‘‘Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,’’ and other applicable state and Federal laws. A Stakeholder Participation Group, consisting of community leaders, technical experts, and interest groups, has been formed as part of early coordination efforts to assist in the development of the purpose and need and to provide input on alternative evaluation. Additionally, all individuals and organizations expressing interest in the project will be able to participate in the process through various public outreach opportunities. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, the project website, public meetings and hearings, speakers’ bureau events, and press releases. To ensure that the full range of issues related to this proposed action are addressed and all significant issues identified, comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties. Scoping input on the proposed project will be invited during a public informational meeting scheduled for July 25, 2018, and may also be submitted via the project website or in writing to the Illinois Tollway, 2700 E:\FR\FM\16JYN1.SGM 16JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 136 (Monday, July 16, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32945-32947]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15161]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY


Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement--Natural Resource 
Plan

AGENCY: Tennessee Valley Authority.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) intends to prepare a 
supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) addressing proposed 
changes to its Natural Resource Plan (NRP). Public comment is invited 
concerning the scope of the supplemental EIS, including how the plan 
addresses TVA's management of natural and cultural resources and the 
environmental issues that should be addressed in the supplemental EIS.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 20, 2018. To 
facilitate the scoping process, TVA will hold public scoping meetings 
in late July and early August 2018; see https://www.tva.gov/nrp for the 
dates and locations of the scoping meetings.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Matthew Higdon, Tennessee 
Valley Authority, 400 W Summit Hill Drive #WT11D, Knoxville, Tennessee 
37902. Comments may also be emailed to [email protected] or submitted on the 
TVA website at: https://www.tva.gov/nrp.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the EIS process, 
contact Matthew Higdon, NEPA Specialist, by email at [email protected] 
or by phone at (865) 632-8051. For information about the NRP, contact 
Anthony Summitt by email at [email protected] or by phone at (423) 467-
3811.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is provided in accordance with 
the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 
to 1508) and TVA's procedures for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and its implementing regulations (36 
CFR part 800).

Background

    TVA is an executive branch, corporate agency and instrumentality of 
the United States, established by an act of Congress in 1933, to foster 
the social and economic welfare of the people of the Tennessee Valley 
region and to

[[Page 32946]]

promote the proper use and conservation of the region's natural 
resources. Shortly after its creation, TVA began a dam and reservoir 
construction program that required the purchase of approximately 1.3 
million acres of land for the creation of reservoirs within the 
Tennessee Valley region. Most of these lands are located underneath the 
water of the reservoir system or have since been sold by TVA or 
transferred to other state or federal agencies. Today, approximately 
293,000 acres of land along TVA reservoirs are managed by TVA for the 
benefit of the public. Most of these lands remain undeveloped and have 
been managed by TVA for natural resource conservation, recreation, and 
the protection of cultural resources.
    In 2011, TVA completed its first Natural Resource Plan to guide its 
stewardship efforts for managing the waters and public lands of the 
Tennessee River Valley. The NRP represents TVA's high level strategy 
for managing its natural resources in the near- and long-term. The 
purpose of the plan is to integrate the goals of resource management 
programs, provide for the optimum public benefit, and balance sometimes 
conflicting resource uses. The NRP also guides TVA in achieving the 
objectives of its Environmental Policy for a more systematic and 
integrated approach to natural resource stewardship.
    When planning for the 2011 NRP, TVA completed an EIS that described 
the potential resource management programs and activities, alternative 
approaches to TVA's resource management efforts, and the environmental 
impacts of the alternatives. In the 2011 EIS, four alternatives were 
analyzed: The No Action Alternative, Custodial Management, Flagship 
Management, and Blended Management. In August 2011, the TVA Board of 
Directors decided that the Blended Management alternative should be 
implemented as the agency's plan because the alternative aligns best 
with TVA's Environmental Policy, focuses on key programs that establish 
a baseline for future enhanced implementation efforts, and provides 
flexibility for the use of partnerships, volunteers, and other sources 
of funding to leverage programs to their full potential while working 
within resource and staff constraints (75 FR 57100, September 15, 
2011).

Proposed Update of the Plan

    In the 2011 NRP, TVA committed to reviewing the NRP every five 
years and updating the plan to ensure it remains relevant and current. 
In 2016, in advance of the first update of the NRP, TVA's Natural 
Resources staff began a holistic review of the NRP and determined that, 
after extensive discussion and consideration, the plan does not 
completely fulfill the purposes intended when completed in 2011. The 
2011 NRP was not all encompassing of Natural Resources programs and by 
not being inclusive, the NRP was not comprehensive as desired. TVA 
concluded that the NRP was not fully serving as the guide for business 
and budget planning as was first envisioned, and the non-comprehensive 
program coverage has impacted the plan's usefulness to the Natural 
Resources group as a management guide.
    TVA is proposing to update the NRP to improve its efficacy and is 
initiating an environmental review of proposed changes. TVA proposes 
changes to the NRP's structure and to the range of programs it 
identifies. TVA is seeking the public's input in determining the scope 
of its environmental review of these changes. The proposed update to 
the NRP would be consistent with the Blended Management alternative 
approved by the TVA Board of Directors in August 2011. TVA is 
considering these changes in a supplement to the 2011 EIS.
    TVA proposes to update the NRP so that it is a more useful 
strategic document that outlines expected benefits and objectives for 
each of TVA's natural resource management programs. TVA proposes to 
reorganize the plan and its programs into ten new ``focus areas'' 
rather than the six resource areas in the 2011 plan. TVA would address 
additional program efforts in the NRP that were excluded from the 
current plan, namely: Permitting under Section 26a of the TVA Act and 
land use agreements; public land protection; nuisance and invasive 
species management; and ecotourism. TVA has extensive experience in 
conducting these efforts in the region and proposes to include them in 
the NRP to ensure that the plan addresses the entire scope of the TVA 
Natural Resources group's stewardship efforts.
    In addition, certain programs described in the 2011 NRP would be 
regrouped to create focus areas that better reflect the Natural 
Resources' efforts in order to improve the plan's clarity and 
usefulness. TVA also proposes to remove some programs from its NRP 
because these programs are managed better by other entities (e.g., 
universities, other TVA organizations, non-TVA entities); however, even 
if a program would be removed from the NRP, TVA may continue to support 
the management of these programs. Lastly, TVA proposes to add several 
new programs under the ten focus areas.
    TVA proposes to update the NRP by grouping its programs into the 
following ten focus areas: Land and Habitat Stewardship (Biological 
Resources in the current NRP); Cultural Resources Management (currently 
Cultural Resources in the NRP); Water Resources Stewardship (currently 
Water Resources in the NRP); Public Outreach and Information (currently 
Public Engagement in the NRP); Reservoir Lands Planning (no change); 
Recreation (currently Recreation Management in the NRP); Public Land 
Protection (new); Nuisance and Invasive Species Management (new); 
Ecotourism (new); and Section 26a and Land Use Agreements (new). More 
information about the new focus areas and the changes to specific 
programs can be found at https://www.tva.gov/nrp.
    Numerous other changes proposed by TVA are administrative or 
procedural in nature and are unlikely to impact the environment; these 
changes will be included in the scope of the supplemental EIS to ensure 
public disclosure of how the NRP would be amended. For example, TVA is 
proposing to change how its NRP would be updated and how the public 
would be made aware of its plan implementation. In the revised NRP, TVA 
would eliminate the provision of the NRP that calls for periodic (5 
year) updates to the plan. Alternatively, TVA proposes to inform the 
public of its activities and progress by publishing an Annual Report on 
Natural Resources' stewardship efforts and by improving the information 
available to the public on TVA's stewardship projects on TVA's web 
page. TVA would provide multiple avenues for continuous public 
engagement and input, including through the Public Land Information 
Center, by incorporating a commenting mechanism into the NRP web page 
and by piloting region specific focus groups that would provide input 
regarding local needs and trends in the recreation and natural resource 
fields.
    To complement the strategic guidance that the updated NRP would 
provide, TVA's Natural Resources group would develop a 3-5 Year Action 
Plan to provide a tactical approach to implement the specific 
activities associated with each of the ten focus area programs. TVA 
anticipates that utilizing a short term implementation strategy (3-5 
Year Action Plan) that complements the long term strategic guidance 
document (the updated NRP) would provide the flexibility necessary to 
achieve the goals and objectives of

[[Page 32947]]

the NRP. This approach is intended to ensure that the NRP remains 
relevant in the long term, since adjustments in the implementation of 
the NRP (e.g., due to changes such as availability of stewardship 
funding, new trends in public use and input from the public) would be 
addressed through the 3-5 Year Action Plan.
    TVA would also remove the ``measures of success'' for each program 
from the 2011 NRP, which experience has shown were too specific. The 
updated NRP would identify objectives for each focus area to provide 
high-level, overarching strategic direction for each area. The 
objectives for the focus areas align with the 2011 NRP resource area 
goals and would be substantially consistent with TVA's Blended 
Management approach analyzed in the 2011 EIS. Instead of ``measures of 
success,'' metrics to measure achievement of focus area objectives 
would be incorporated into the 3-5 Year Action Plan.

Scoping Process

    The revised NRP will be considered as an action alternative in the 
supplemental EIS. TVA invites the public to review the detailed 
description of its NRP program areas and the revisions to the NRP that 
is available on the TVA website during the scoping period and to submit 
comments, questions or suggestions on its proposal. Additional action 
alternative(s) may be developed based on public input submitted to TVA 
during the scoping period.
    Public scoping is integral to the process for implementing NEPA and 
ensures that issues are identified early and properly studied; issues 
of little significance do not consume substantial time and effort; and 
analysis is thorough and balanced. TVA anticipates that the major 
environmental resource areas that will be addressed in the supplemental 
EIS will include water quality, water supply, aquatic and terrestrial 
ecology, endangered and threatened species, wetlands, prime farmlands, 
floodplains, recreation, aesthetics including visual resources, land 
use, historic and archaeological resources and socioeconomic resources.
    TVA invites members of the public as well as Federal, state, and 
local agencies and Native American tribes to comment on the scope of 
the supplemental EIS. Comments on the scope should be submitted no 
later than the date given under the DATES section of this notice. 
Pursuant to the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation implementing Section 106 of the NHPA, TVA also solicits 
comments on the potential of the proposed Plan to affect historic 
properties. This notice also provides an opportunity under Executive 
Orders 11990 and 11988 for early public review of the potential for 
TVA's proposal to affect wetlands and floodplains, respectively. Please 
note that any comments received, including names and addresses, will 
become part of the administrative record and will be available for 
public inspection.
    After consideration of the public's input and analyzing the 
environmental consequences of alternatives, TVA will issue a draft EIS 
for public review and comment. TVA will notify the public of the draft 
EIS's availability and plans to hold public meetings during the review 
period. TVA expects to release the draft EIS in mid 2019 and the final 
EIS and NRP in early 2020.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7.

David Bowling,
Vice President, Land and River Management.
[FR Doc. 2018-15161 Filed 7-13-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 8120-08-P