Notice of Availability of the Final Missouri River Recovery Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, 44609-44610 [2018-18982]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 170 / Friday, August 31, 2018 / Notices Dated: August 27, 2018. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2018–18888 Filed 8–30–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Availability of the Final Missouri River Recovery Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice. The Kansas City and Omaha Districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), have developed the Missouri River Recovery Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (MRRMP–EIS). This document is a programmatic assessment of major federal actions necessary to avoid a finding of jeopardy to the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), interior least tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos), and the Northern Great Plains piping plover (Charadrius melodus) caused by operation of the Missouri River Mainstem System and the Kansas River Reservoir System and operation and maintenance of the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project (BSNP) in accordance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. This programmatic document also assesses the Missouri River BSNP fish and wildlife mitigation project described in the 2003 Record of Decision (ROD) and authorized by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, 1999, and 2007 as it relates to endangered species. DATES: Submit written comments on the final EIS and supporting documents on or before October 9, 2018. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, ATTN: CENWO–PM–AC— MRRMP–EIS, 1616 Capitol Ave., Omaha, NE 68102; attach comment letters via email at cenwo-planning@ usace.army.mil; or provide comments via an online comment form (preferred method) at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ MRRMP. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tiffany Vanosdall, Project Manager at 402–995–2695. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Aug 30, 2018 Jkt 244001 The USACE is issuing this notice pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (43 CFR parts 1500 through 1508). This notice announces the availability of the final MRRMP–EIS. The MRRMP–EIS, its appendices, and other supporting documents can be accessed at: www.moriverrecovery.org under the ‘‘Management Plan’’ tab on the website homepage. These documents can also be accessed at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/MRRMP. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Information The draft MRRMP–EIS was released on December 23, 2016 and included a 122-day public comment period that ended on April 24, 2017. During that time USACE held six public meetings to solicit comments from the public. USACE analyzed the comments received from the public and considered them in preparation of the final MRRMP–EIS (Appendix K). The final MRRMP–EIS is available for public review until October 9, 2018. The USACE has also completed formal consultation with the USFWS under Section 7 of the ESA. A final Biological Assessment (BA) was completed by the USACE in October of 2017 and a Final BiOp was completed by the USFWS in April, 2018. The BiOp concludes that the proposed action described in the BA would not cause jeopardy for the least tern, piping plover, or pallid sturgeon. The preferred alternative in the Final EIS incorporates the proposed action described in the 2017 BA and incorporates the 2018 BiOp. This EIS provides the necessary information for the public to fully evaluate a range of alternatives designed to meet the purpose and need of the MRRMP–EIS and to provide thoughtful and meaningful comment for the Agency’s consideration. Six alternatives were carried forward for detailed evaluation in the MRRMP–EIS (the noaction alternative and five action alternatives). The following management actions were included in all six of the alternatives: —Mechanical construction of emergent sandbar habitat (ESH); —Vegetation management, predator management, and human restriction measures on ESH; —Pallid sturgeon propagation and augmentation; —Pallid sturgeon early life stage habitat construction downstream of Ponca, Nebraska; PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44609 —Habitat development and management of acquired lands; and —Monitoring and evaluation of management actions. However, the scale and extent of mechanical ESH creation and pallid surgeon early life stage habitat construction would vary among the alternatives. Under the no-action alternative, in addition to the actions common to all alternatives, the USACE would mechanically construct ESH at a rate of 164 acres per year in the Garrison and Gavins Point reaches and construct pallid early life stage habitat to achieve an average of 20 acres of shallow water habitat per river mile. The no-action alternative would also continue to implement the spring pulse included in the Master Manual. Alternative 2 represents the USFWS’s interpretation of the management actions that could be ultimately implemented as part of the 2003 Amended BiOp Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA). In addition to the actions common to all alternatives, the USACE would mechanically construct ESH at a rate up to 1,331 acres per year in the Garrison, Fort Randall, Lewis and Clark Lake, and Gavins Point reaches and pallid early life stage habitat to achieve an average of 30 acres of shallow water habitat per river mile. Alternative 2 would also include a spring pallid flow release consisting of a bimodal pulse in March and May and a low summer flow. Under Alternatives 3–6, the USACE would follow the processes and criteria in the SAMP that was developed based on the results of the effects analysis. The SAMP identifies the process and criteria to implement initial management actions, assess hypotheses, and introduce new management actions should they become necessary. Initial management actions include specific study efforts to fill data gaps in knowledge of the pallid sturgeon life cycle, creation of spawning habitat for pallid sturgeon to monitor effectiveness, and the construction of pallid early life stage habitat following the interception and rearing complex (IRC) concept identified in the effects analysis. In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3–6, Alternative 3 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 332 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 3 would not implement the plenary spring pulse included in the Master Manual. However, as part of the SAMP the potential for a one-time spawning cue E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 44610 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 170 / Friday, August 31, 2018 / Notices test release, if studies during the first 9– 10 years do not provide a clear answer on whether a spawning cue is important, is included in Alternative 3. In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3–6, Alternative 4 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 195 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 4 also includes implementation of a spring ESH creation release if System storage is at 42 MAF or greater on April 1, normal flows that could create 250 acres of ESH have not occurred in the previous four years, and downstream flow is below identified flood control constraints specific to this alternative. In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3–6, Alternative 5 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 253 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 5 also includes implementation of a fall ESH creation release if System storage is at 54.5 MAF or greater on October 17, normal flows that could create 250 acres of ESH have not occurred in the previous four years, and downstream flow is below identified flood control constraints specific to this alternative. In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3–6, Alternative 6 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 245 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 6 also includes implementation of a spawning cue release, attempted every 3 years, consisting of a bimodal pulse in March and May. These spawning cue releases would not be started or would be terminated whenever downstream flow is at identified flood control constraints specific to this alternative. The final EIS evaluates the potential effects on the human environment associated with each of the above alternatives. Resources and uses evaluated include: River infrastructure and hydrological processes; pallid sturgeon; piping plover and interior least tern; fish and wildlife habitat; other special status species; water quality; air quality; cultural resources; land use and ownership; commercial sand and gravel dredging; flood risk management and interior drainage; hydropower; irrigation; navigation; recreation; thermal power; water supply; wastewater facilities; tribal interests (other); human health and safety; environmental justice; ecosystem services; and Mississippi River resources. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Aug 30, 2018 Jkt 244001 Based on projected impacts, the ability to meet the plan’s purpose, need and species objectives, and other decision criteria, USACE has identified Alternative 3-Mechanical Construction as its preferred alternative. Importantly, Alternative 3 would be implemented under the science and adaptive management framework summarized in Chapter 4 of the MRRMP–EIS and detailed within the Science and Adaptive Management Plan (SAMP). Schedule. Public comments on the final MRRMP–EIS must be received by October 9, 2018. The USACE will consider new comments received on the final MRRMP–EIS prior to issuing a Record of Decision which is expected in the fall of 2018. Public Disclosure Statement. If you wish to comment, you may provide your comments as indicated under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or any other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made available to the public at any time. While you can request us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Dated: August 20, 2018. Mark Harberg, Program Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [FR Doc. 2018–18982 Filed 8–30–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED–2018–ICCD–0037] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application for the Educational Flexibility (Ed-Flex) Program Department of Education (ED), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a new information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 1, 2018. ADDRESSES: To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 searching the Docket ID number ED– 2018–ICCD–0037. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW, PCP, Room 9089, Washington, DC 20202–0023. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Melissa Siry, 202–260–0926. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: Application for the Educational Flexibility (Ed-Flex) Program. OMB Control Number: 1810—NEW. Type of Review: A new information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments. E:\FR\FM\31AUN1.SGM 31AUN1

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[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 170 (Friday, August 31, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44609-44610]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-18982]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Notice of Availability of the Final Missouri River Recovery 
Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Kansas City and Omaha Districts of the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers (USACE), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS), have developed the Missouri River Recovery Management 
Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (MRRMP-EIS). This document is a 
programmatic assessment of major federal actions necessary to avoid a 
finding of jeopardy to the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), 
interior least tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos), and the Northern 
Great Plains piping plover (Charadrius melodus) caused by operation of 
the Missouri River Mainstem System and the Kansas River Reservoir 
System and operation and maintenance of the Missouri River Bank 
Stabilization and Navigation Project (BSNP) in accordance with the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. This programmatic 
document also assesses the Missouri River BSNP fish and wildlife 
mitigation project described in the 2003 Record of Decision (ROD) and 
authorized by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, 1999, 
and 2007 as it relates to endangered species.

DATES: Submit written comments on the final EIS and supporting 
documents on or before October 9, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha 
District, ATTN: CENWO-PM-AC--MRRMP-EIS, 1616 Capitol Ave., Omaha, NE 
68102; attach comment letters via email at [email protected]; or provide comments via an online comment form 
(preferred method) at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/MRRMP.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tiffany Vanosdall, Project Manager at 
402-995-2695.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USACE is issuing this notice pursuant to 
section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Council on 
Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (43 CFR parts 1500 through 1508). This notice 
announces the availability of the final MRRMP-EIS. The MRRMP-EIS, its 
appendices, and other supporting documents can be accessed at: 
www.moriverrecovery.org under the ``Management Plan'' tab on the 
website homepage. These documents can also be accessed at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/MRRMP.

Background Information

    The draft MRRMP-EIS was released on December 23, 2016 and included 
a 122-day public comment period that ended on April 24, 2017. During 
that time USACE held six public meetings to solicit comments from the 
public. USACE analyzed the comments received from the public and 
considered them in preparation of the final MRRMP-EIS (Appendix K). The 
final MRRMP-EIS is available for public review until October 9, 2018. 
The USACE has also completed formal consultation with the USFWS under 
Section 7 of the ESA. A final Biological Assessment (BA) was completed 
by the USACE in October of 2017 and a Final BiOp was completed by the 
USFWS in April, 2018. The BiOp concludes that the proposed action 
described in the BA would not cause jeopardy for the least tern, piping 
plover, or pallid sturgeon. The preferred alternative in the Final EIS 
incorporates the proposed action described in the 2017 BA and 
incorporates the 2018 BiOp.
    This EIS provides the necessary information for the public to fully 
evaluate a range of alternatives designed to meet the purpose and need 
of the MRRMP-EIS and to provide thoughtful and meaningful comment for 
the Agency's consideration. Six alternatives were carried forward for 
detailed evaluation in the MRRMP-EIS (the no-action alternative and 
five action alternatives). The following management actions were 
included in all six of the alternatives:

--Mechanical construction of emergent sandbar habitat (ESH);
--Vegetation management, predator management, and human restriction 
measures on ESH;
--Pallid sturgeon propagation and augmentation;
--Pallid sturgeon early life stage habitat construction downstream of 
Ponca, Nebraska;
--Habitat development and management of acquired lands; and
--Monitoring and evaluation of management actions.

However, the scale and extent of mechanical ESH creation and pallid 
surgeon early life stage habitat construction would vary among the 
alternatives.
    Under the no-action alternative, in addition to the actions common 
to all alternatives, the USACE would mechanically construct ESH at a 
rate of 164 acres per year in the Garrison and Gavins Point reaches and 
construct pallid early life stage habitat to achieve an average of 20 
acres of shallow water habitat per river mile. The no-action 
alternative would also continue to implement the spring pulse included 
in the Master Manual.
    Alternative 2 represents the USFWS's interpretation of the 
management actions that could be ultimately implemented as part of the 
2003 Amended BiOp Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA). In addition 
to the actions common to all alternatives, the USACE would mechanically 
construct ESH at a rate up to 1,331 acres per year in the Garrison, 
Fort Randall, Lewis and Clark Lake, and Gavins Point reaches and pallid 
early life stage habitat to achieve an average of 30 acres of shallow 
water habitat per river mile. Alternative 2 would also include a spring 
pallid flow release consisting of a bimodal pulse in March and May and 
a low summer flow.
    Under Alternatives 3-6, the USACE would follow the processes and 
criteria in the SAMP that was developed based on the results of the 
effects analysis. The SAMP identifies the process and criteria to 
implement initial management actions, assess hypotheses, and introduce 
new management actions should they become necessary. Initial management 
actions include specific study efforts to fill data gaps in knowledge 
of the pallid sturgeon life cycle, creation of spawning habitat for 
pallid sturgeon to monitor effectiveness, and the construction of 
pallid early life stage habitat following the interception and rearing 
complex (IRC) concept identified in the effects analysis.
    In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3-6, Alternative 
3 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 
332 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort 
Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 3 would not implement 
the plenary spring pulse included in the Master Manual. However, as 
part of the SAMP the potential for a one-time spawning cue

[[Page 44610]]

test release, if studies during the first 9-10 years do not provide a 
clear answer on whether a spawning cue is important, is included in 
Alternative 3.
    In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3-6, Alternative 
4 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 
195 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort 
Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 4 also includes 
implementation of a spring ESH creation release if System storage is at 
42 MAF or greater on April 1, normal flows that could create 250 acres 
of ESH have not occurred in the previous four years, and downstream 
flow is below identified flood control constraints specific to this 
alternative.
    In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3-6, Alternative 
5 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 
253 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort 
Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 5 also includes 
implementation of a fall ESH creation release if System storage is at 
54.5 MAF or greater on October 17, normal flows that could create 250 
acres of ESH have not occurred in the previous four years, and 
downstream flow is below identified flood control constraints specific 
to this alternative.
    In addition to the actions common to Alternatives 3-6, Alternative 
6 would include mechanical construction of ESH at an average rate of 
245 acres per year when construction is needed in the Garrison, Fort 
Randall, and Gavins Point reaches. Alternative 6 also includes 
implementation of a spawning cue release, attempted every 3 years, 
consisting of a bimodal pulse in March and May. These spawning cue 
releases would not be started or would be terminated whenever 
downstream flow is at identified flood control constraints specific to 
this alternative.
    The final EIS evaluates the potential effects on the human 
environment associated with each of the above alternatives. Resources 
and uses evaluated include: River infrastructure and hydrological 
processes; pallid sturgeon; piping plover and interior least tern; fish 
and wildlife habitat; other special status species; water quality; air 
quality; cultural resources; land use and ownership; commercial sand 
and gravel dredging; flood risk management and interior drainage; 
hydropower; irrigation; navigation; recreation; thermal power; water 
supply; wastewater facilities; tribal interests (other); human health 
and safety; environmental justice; ecosystem services; and Mississippi 
River resources.
    Based on projected impacts, the ability to meet the plan's purpose, 
need and species objectives, and other decision criteria, USACE has 
identified Alternative 3-Mechanical Construction as its preferred 
alternative. Importantly, Alternative 3 would be implemented under the 
science and adaptive management framework summarized in Chapter 4 of 
the MRRMP-EIS and detailed within the Science and Adaptive Management 
Plan (SAMP).
    Schedule. Public comments on the final MRRMP-EIS must be received 
by October 9, 2018. The USACE will consider new comments received on 
the final MRRMP-EIS prior to issuing a Record of Decision which is 
expected in the fall of 2018.
    Public Disclosure Statement. If you wish to comment, you may 
provide your comments as indicated under the ADDRESSES section of this 
notice. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
any other personal identifying information in your comment, you should 
be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made available to the public at any time. While you 
can request us to withhold your personal identifying information from 
public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: August 20, 2018.
Mark Harberg,
Program Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
[FR Doc. 2018-18982 Filed 8-30-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3720-58-P