Habitat Conservation Plan for the Least Bell's Vireo; Categorical Exclusion for Chandler's Sand and Gravel Project, Orange, California, 44298-44299 [2018-18908]

Download as PDF 44298 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2018 / Notices Public Availability of Comments All comments we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Requests for copies of comments will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, NEPA, and Service and Department of the Interior policies and procedures. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA and ESA implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and it’s implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: August 20, 2018. James Broska, Acting Deputy Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico. [FR Doc. 2018–18809 Filed 8–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2018–N081; FXES11140800000–178–FF08ECAR00] Habitat Conservation Plan for the Least Bell’s Vireo; Categorical Exclusion for Chandler’s Sand and Gravel Project, Orange, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from Chandler’s Sand and Gravel, LLC for a 10-year incidental take permit for the endangered least Bell’s vireo pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, as amended. We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our preliminary determination that the applicant’s amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:25 Aug 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 accompanying proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP) qualifies as low effect, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. The basis for this determination is discussed in our environmental action statement (EAS) and associated low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review. DATES: Written comments should be received on or before October 1, 2018. ADDRESSES: Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods. Please include ‘‘OC Mine HCP’’ at the beginning of your comments. • U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, CA 92008. • Fax: Field Supervisor, 760–431– 9624. • Email: fw8cfwocomments@fws.gov. Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents by the following methods: • Internet: https://www.fws.gov/ carlsbad/HCPs/HCP_Docs.html. • Telephone: 760–431–9440. • U.S. Mail: Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). • In-Person: You may examine the documents by appointment during regular business hours at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). Please call to make an appointment (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 760–431–9440. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from Chandler’s Sand and Gravel, LLC (applicant) for a 10-year incidental take permit for one covered species pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The application addresses the anticipated ‘‘take’’ of the endangered least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus; vireo) associated with regrading a 14-acre property and filling an abandoned pit mine on site in the City of Orange, Orange County, California. A conservation program to avoid, minimize, and mitigate for project activities would be implemented as described in the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP). We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 preliminary determination that the proposed HCP qualifies as a low-effect HCP, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The basis for this determination is discussed in our EAS and associated low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review. Background Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing Federal regulations prohibit the take of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. ‘‘Take’’ is defined under the ESA as to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect [listed animal species], or to attempt to engage in such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1538). ‘‘Harm’’ includes significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). However, under section 10(a) of the ESA, the Service may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ‘‘Incidental taking’’ is defined by the ESA implementing regulations as taking that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity (50 CFR 17.3). Regulations governing incidental take permits for endangered and threatened species, respectively, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32. Applicant’s Proposed Project The project is located on a 14-acre property in the City of Orange in Orange County, California. The applicant requests a 10-year permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. If we approve the permit, the applicant anticipates taking vireo as a result of permanent impacts to 2.0 acres of riparian woodland that the species uses for breeding, feeding, and sheltering. The take would be incidental to the applicant’s activities associated with the regrading of the property and filling the abandoned pit mine on site. The applicant proposes to mitigate permanent impacts to 2.0 acres of occupied vireo habitat through the creation of 1.48 acres and enhancement of 1.88 acres of vireo habitat on site and enhancement of 2.53 acres of vireo habitat off site. All of the created and enhanced habitat will be conserved and managed in perpetuity. The applicant’s proposed HCP also contains measures to minimize the effects of construction activities on the vireo, including the following: E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2018 / Notices Oversight of project activities by a biological monitor; fencing the project limits; removing vegetation outside the vireo nesting season; implementing a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan to avoid and minimize erosion, sedimentation, and pollution in adjacent native habitat; removing invasive plant species from the project work area; minimizing the use of project lighting; storing and removing trash; controlling dust; ensuring that fire suppression equipment at all times; and monitoring and reporting to the Service upon project completion. (3) Impacts of the HCP, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. Proposed Action and Alternatives The Proposed Action consists of the issuance of an incidental take permit and implementation of the proposed HCP, which includes measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the vireo. If we approve the permit, take of vireo would be authorized for the applicant’s activities associated with the implementation of the OC Reclamation Mine project. In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers the No Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, no incidental take of least Bell’s vireo resulting from habitat modification would occur, and no longterm protection and management would be afforded to the species. The No Action Alternative would not meet the primary goal of the proposed Project, which is serve as a receiver site for excess fill and to fill the abandoned pit mine. Because the abandoned pit mine contains the habitat supporting the vireo, it is not possible to implement the project and avoid incidental take of vireo. Next Steps Our Preliminary Determination The Service has made a preliminary determination that approval of the HCP and issuance of an incidental take permit qualify for categorical exclusion under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215), and that the HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan as defined by the Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (December 2016). We base our determination that a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:25 Aug 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 Based upon this preliminary determination, we do not intend to prepare further NEPA documentation. We will consider public comments in making the final determination on whether to prepare such additional documentation. We will evaluate the proposed HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) incidental take permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by conducting an intra-Service consultation. We will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue a permit. If the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) are met, we will issue the permit to the applicant for incidental take of vireo. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). G. Mendel Stewart, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California. [FR Doc. 2018–18908 Filed 8–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44299 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [189D0102DM DLSN00000.000000 DS61200000 DX61201; OMB Control Number 1090–0011] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; DOI Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery Office of the Secretary, Interior. Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Office of the Secretary are proposing to renew an information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 1, 2018. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to Jeffrey Parrillo, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240; or by email to jeffrey_parrillo@ios.doi.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1090– 0011 in the subject line of your comments. SUMMARY: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Jeffrey Parrillo, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240; or by email to jeffrey_parrillo@ios.doi.gov. You may also view the ICR at https:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. A Federal Register notice with a 60day public comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on March 22, 2018 (83 FR 12590). No comments were received. We are again soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 169 (Thursday, August 30, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44298-44299]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-18908]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2018-N081; FXES11140800000-178-FF08ECAR00]


Habitat Conservation Plan for the Least Bell's Vireo; Categorical 
Exclusion for Chandler's Sand and Gravel Project, Orange, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an 
application from Chandler's Sand and Gravel, LLC for a 10-year 
incidental take permit for the endangered least Bell's vireo pursuant 
to the Endangered Species Act, as amended. We are requesting comments 
on the permit application and on our preliminary determination that the 
applicant's accompanying proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP) 
qualifies as low effect, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the 
National Environmental Policy Act. The basis for this determination is 
discussed in our environmental action statement (EAS) and associated 
low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before October 1, 
2018.

ADDRESSES: 
    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the 
following methods. Please include ``OC Mine HCP'' at the beginning of 
your comments.
     U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, 
Carlsbad, CA 92008.
     Fax: Field Supervisor, 760-431-9624.
     Email: [email protected].
    Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents by the 
following methods:
     Internet: https://www.fws.gov/carlsbad/HCPs/HCP_Docs.html.
     Telephone: 760-431-9440.
     U.S. Mail: Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (address 
above).
     In-Person: You may examine the documents by appointment 
during regular business hours at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office 
(address above). Please call to make an appointment (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field 
Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 760-431-9440. If you use 
a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal 
Relay Service (FRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), have received an application from Chandler's Sand and 
Gravel, LLC (applicant) for a 10-year incidental take permit for one 
covered species pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The 
application addresses the anticipated ``take'' of the endangered least 
Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus; vireo) associated with regrading a 
14-acre property and filling an abandoned pit mine on site in the City 
of Orange, Orange County, California. A conservation program to avoid, 
minimize, and mitigate for project activities would be implemented as 
described in the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP).
    We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our 
preliminary determination that the proposed HCP qualifies as a low-
effect HCP, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.). The basis for this determination is discussed in our EAS and 
associated low-effect screening form, which are also available for 
public review.

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing Federal regulations 
prohibit the take of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. 
``Take'' is defined under the ESA as to ``harass, harm, pursue, hunt, 
shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect [listed animal species], 
or to attempt to engage in such conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 1538). ``Harm'' 
includes significant habitat modification or degradation that actually 
kills or injures listed wildlife by significantly impairing essential 
behavioral patterns such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 
17.3). However, under section 10(a) of the ESA, the Service may issue 
permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ``Incidental 
taking'' is defined by the ESA implementing regulations as taking that 
is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise 
lawful activity (50 CFR 17.3). Regulations governing incidental take 
permits for endangered and threatened species, respectively, are found 
in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32.

Applicant's Proposed Project

    The project is located on a 14-acre property in the City of Orange 
in Orange County, California. The applicant requests a 10-year permit 
under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. If we approve the permit, the 
applicant anticipates taking vireo as a result of permanent impacts to 
2.0 acres of riparian woodland that the species uses for breeding, 
feeding, and sheltering. The take would be incidental to the 
applicant's activities associated with the regrading of the property 
and filling the abandoned pit mine on site.
    The applicant proposes to mitigate permanent impacts to 2.0 acres 
of occupied vireo habitat through the creation of 1.48 acres and 
enhancement of 1.88 acres of vireo habitat on site and enhancement of 
2.53 acres of vireo habitat off site. All of the created and enhanced 
habitat will be conserved and managed in perpetuity.
    The applicant's proposed HCP also contains measures to minimize the 
effects of construction activities on the vireo, including the 
following:

[[Page 44299]]

Oversight of project activities by a biological monitor; fencing the 
project limits; removing vegetation outside the vireo nesting season; 
implementing a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan to avoid and 
minimize erosion, sedimentation, and pollution in adjacent native 
habitat; removing invasive plant species from the project work area; 
minimizing the use of project lighting; storing and removing trash; 
controlling dust; ensuring that fire suppression equipment at all 
times; and monitoring and reporting to the Service upon project 
completion.

Proposed Action and Alternatives

    The Proposed Action consists of the issuance of an incidental take 
permit and implementation of the proposed HCP, which includes measures 
to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the vireo. If we approve 
the permit, take of vireo would be authorized for the applicant's 
activities associated with the implementation of the OC Reclamation 
Mine project. In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers the No 
Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, no incidental take 
of least Bell's vireo resulting from habitat modification would occur, 
and no long-term protection and management would be afforded to the 
species. The No Action Alternative would not meet the primary goal of 
the proposed Project, which is serve as a receiver site for excess fill 
and to fill the abandoned pit mine. Because the abandoned pit mine 
contains the habitat supporting the vireo, it is not possible to 
implement the project and avoid incidental take of vireo.

Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that approval of 
the HCP and issuance of an incidental take permit qualify for 
categorical exclusion under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided 
by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 
of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, 
and 46.215), and that the HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan as defined 
by the Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (December 2016).
    We base our determination that a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan 
on the following three criteria:
    (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible 
effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their 
habitats;
    (2) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible 
effects on other environmental values or resources; and
    (3) Impacts of the HCP, considered together with the impacts of 
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated 
projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to 
environmental values or resources that would be considered significant.

Based upon this preliminary determination, we do not intend to prepare 
further NEPA documentation. We will consider public comments in making 
the final determination on whether to prepare such additional 
documentation.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the proposed HCP and comments we receive to 
determine whether the permit application meets the requirements and 
issuance criteria under section 10(a) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) 
incidental take permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by 
conducting an intra-Service consultation. We will use the results of 
this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final 
analysis to determine whether or not to issue a permit. If the 
requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) are met, we will 
issue the permit to the applicant for incidental take of vireo.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you may 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

G. Mendel Stewart,
Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2018-18908 Filed 8-29-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P