Joint Notice of Availability for the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement, 54096-54097 [2018-23450]

Download as PDF 54096 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 208 / Friday, October 26, 2018 / Notices end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described above, will be allotted no more than three (3) minutes during this period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the DFO and ADFO. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2018–23448 Filed 10–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Joint Notice of Availability for the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District (USACE) announces the release of the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement (DIFR–EIS) for the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) of the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study, Texas. The DIFR–EIS documents the existing condition of environmental resources in and around areas considered for development, and potential impacts on those resources as a result of implementing the alternatives. This public notice is also issued for the purpose of advising all known interested parties that there is pending before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) a decision on water quality certification. A copy of the public notice, with a description of work, has been made available for review in the TCEQ’s Austin office. DATES: USACE will accept written public comments on the DIFR–EIS from October 26, 2018 to January 9, 2019. Comments on the DIFR–EIS must be postmarked by January 9, 2019. ADDRESSES: Public comments can be mailed to: USACE, Galveston District, Attn: Mrs. Jennifer Morgan, Environmental Compliance Branch, Regional Planning and Environmental Center, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553–1229 or emailed to khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Oct 25, 2018 Jkt 247001 CoastalTexas@usace.army.mil. See website: http://coastalstudy.texas.gov/ for additional information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Jennifer Morgan, (409) 766–3131. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority: The lead agency for this proposed action is the USACE. This study has been prepared under the standing authority of Section 4091, Water Resources Development Act of 2007, Public Law 110–114. The nonFederal sponsor is the Texas General Land Office. Background: This DIFR–EIS was prepared as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to present an evaluation of potential impacts associated with the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study (Coastal Texas) TSP. The USACE and the non-Federal sponsor for the study, the Texas General Land Office (GLO), have conducted this study and prepared the DIFR–EIS. The study area for the Coastal Texas Study consists of the entire Texas Gulf coast from the mouth of the Sabine River to the mouth of the Rio Grande, and includes the Gulf and tidal waters, barrier islands, estuaries, coastal wetlands, rivers and streams, borrow sources, and adjacent areas that make up the interrelated ecosystems along the coast of Texas. The study area encompasses 18 coastal counties along the Gulf coast and bayfronts. This report presents the proposed alternatives that would reduce the risk of storm damage to industries and businesses critical to the Nation’s economy and protect the health and safety of Texas coastal communities. The study analyzed alternatives that involved structural and nonstructural measures. Additionally, the report discusses alternatives intended to address critical coastal ecosystems in need of restoration, including wetlands, seagrass beds, sea turtle nesting habitat, piping plover critical habitat, and bird rookery islands, as well as numerous Federal and State wildlife refuges. Tentatively Selected Plan: The TSP consists of the Coastal Barrier Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) System, South Padre Island CSRM measure, and a comprehensive set of ecosystem restoration (ER) measures. The Coastal Barrier is a risk reduction system made up of the following features: Floodwalls, floodgates, seawall improvements, drainage structures, pump stations, and surge barrier gates. One fundamental feature of the TSP is surge barrier structures that include floating sector gates for navigation traffic and environmental lift gates PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 across the span at Bolivar Roads between Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island. The alternative includes four reaches: Eastern Tie-in Reach, Bolivar Peninsula Reach, Galveston Ring Levee/Floodwall Reach, and West Galveston Island Reach in addition to features located at Clear Creek Channel and Dickinson Bayou. The South Padre Island CSRM measure consists of approximately 2.2 miles of dune and beach restoration along the barrier island on the Gulf, including renourishment cycles. The ER component of the TSP has been formulated to address the habitat loss and degradation from coastal processes. ER measures restore and create habitat and support structural CSRM efforts by providing a natural buffer from coastal storms. ER measures proposed in this study include a combination of features formulated in specific geographic locations to restore diverse habitats and coastal features that provide multiple lines of defense against coastal storms and long term coastal processes. Restoration measures include beach and dune complexes, oyster reefs, bird rookery islands, wetland and marsh complexes, and protection of submerged aquatic vegetation. A final decision will be made following the reviews and higher-level coordination within the USACE to select a plan for feasibility-level design and recommendation for implementation. The decision will be documented in the Final Integrated Feasibility Report (FIFR)–EIS. Coordination with the natural resource agencies will continue throughout the study process. Project Impacts and Environmental Compliance: Preliminary studies indicate that the recommended plan’s surge barrier gates (proposed as features of the Coastal Barrier) may alter wetland functions by constricting tidal exchange and associated sediment transport, altering hydrosalinity gradients, reducing flow into and out of Galveston Bay, and increasing velocities near the gate openings at specific times. The TSP was formulated to reduce the risk of damages from coastal storms as well as avoid disturbance to environmentally significant resources. Where impacts could not be avoided, they were quantified, and a conceptual mitigation plan was formulated. Impacts would be fully compensated with the restoration of palustrine and estuarine emergent marsh in the amount determined during final feasibility planning. The Coastal Barrier would provide a level of protection to tidal and freshwater wetlands north of the barrier location by serving as a physical barrier against E:\FR\FM\26OCN1.SGM 26OCN1 khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 208 / Friday, October 26, 2018 / Notices storm surge during coastal storms. The South Padre Island CSRM feature would restore the beach and dune complex; therefore, providing reduced risk to the area while sustaining and increasing beach habitat, and helping preserve existing wetland habitat on the bayside of the measure. Ecosystem restoration measures would restore the natural features of the Texas coast that provide habitat for many Federally threatened and endangered species and State species of concern. These measures will also maintain a natural buffer for upland areas from coastal processes, relative sea level rise (RSLR), and storm surge, while stabilizing the coastline by absorbing energy from waves and vessel wakes. The DIFR–EIS presents an evaluation of the potential impacts to soils, waterbottoms, water quality, protected wildlife species, benthic organisms, essential fish habitat, coastal barrier resources, air quality, and noise. Additionally, potential impacts to floodplains, flood control, protected/ managed lands, and minority or lowincome populations have been evaluated. Steps would be taken to avoid, minimize, and mitigate any potential impacts to the best extent practicable. The USACE is proposing to execute a Programmatic Agreement among USACE, the Texas State Historic Preservation Office, and any NFS, in coordination with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and Tribal Nations, to address the identification and discovery of cultural resources that may occur during the construction and maintenance of proposed or existing facilities. Solicitation of Comments: The USACE is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies, elected officials, Tribal Nations, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Comments will be used in preparation of the FIFR–EIS. Any comments concerning water quality certification may be submitted to the TCEQ, 401 Coordinator, MSC–150, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711–3087. Meetings: The Galveston District will hold public meetings at 5:30 p.m. for the DIFR–EIS on the following dates and locations: November 27, 2018 at Bauer Community Center, 2300 TX–35, Port Lavaca, TX 77979; November 28, 2018 at Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78412; November 29, 2018 at Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center, 309 Railroad Ave., Port Isabel, TX 78578; December 11, 2018 at Winnie Community Building, 335 South Park VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Oct 25, 2018 Jkt 247001 St., Winnie, TX 77665; December 12, 2018 at Galveston Island Convention Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77551; and December 18, 2018 at Bay Area Community Center, 5002 E NASA Parkway, Seabrook, TX 77586. Document Availability: Compact disc copies of the DIFR–EIS are available for viewing at county libraries throughout the 18 county study area. The document can also be viewed and downloaded from the Galveston District website: http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/ Business-With-Us/PlanningEnvironmental-Branch/Documents-forPublic-Review/. Lars N. Zetterstrom, Colonel, U.S. Army, Commanding. [FR Doc. 2018–23450 Filed 10–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P 54097 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23508–1278. Dated: October 23, 2018. Meredith Steingold Werner, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2018–23488 Filed 10–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 18–144–LNG] Energı´a Costa Azul S. de R.L. de C.V; Application for Long-Term, MultiContract Authorization To Export Natural Gas to Mexico and To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations Office of Fossil Energy, DOE. Notice of application. AGENCY: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ACTION: Department of the Navy SUMMARY: Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Final Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement Department of the Navy, DoD. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The United States Department of the Navy (DoN), announces its decision to conduct training and testing in the Atlantic Fleet study area as described in Alternative 1 of the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Final Environmental Impact Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (AFTT FEIS/OEIS). Under Alternative 1, the DoN will be able to meet current and future DoN training and testing requirements. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Alternative 1 is the DoN’s preferred alternative, and is representative of training to account for the natural fluctuations of training cycles, deployment schedules, and use of synthetic training opportunities. Alternative 1 also includes an annual level of testing that reflects the fluctuations in DoN testing programs. The complete text of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the AFTT FEIS/OEIS is available on the project website at http://aftteis.com, along with the September 2018 AFTT FEIS/OEIS, dated September 2018 and supporting documents. Single copies of the ROD are available upon request by contacting: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, Attn: Code EV22 (AFTT EIS/OEIS project manager), 6506 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application), filed on September 27, 2018, by Energı´a Costa Azul S. de R.L. de C.V (Energı´a Costa Azul), a subsidiary of Infrastructura Energetica Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) and IEnova’s subsidiaries. A majority of the ownership interests in IEnova (66.43%) is held by indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Sempra Energy, a publicly traded California corporation. The Application requests long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced natural gas to Mexico in a volume up to 182 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year (Bcf/yr) (0.5 Bcf per day), and to re-export a portion of this natural gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a volume equivalent to 161 Bcf/yr of natural gas (0.44 Bcf per day). Energı´a Costa Azul seeks to export this LNG from the proposed Energı´a Costa Azul Mid-Scale Project, which consists of certain liquefaction and export terminal facilities located on the site of Energı´a Costa Azul’s existing LNG import terminal north of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The volumes for which Energı´a Costa Azul seeks authorization in this Application would be additive to the volumes for which Energı´a Costa Azul seeks authorization in its application in FE Docket No. 18– 145–LNG. Energı´a Costa Azul requests authorization to export this LNG to: (i) Countries with which the United States has entered into a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas (FTA countries) and (ii) any other countries with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries). Energı´a Costa Azul E:\FR\FM\26OCN1.SGM 26OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 208 (Friday, October 26, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54096-54097]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-23450]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Joint Notice of Availability for the Coastal Texas Protection and 
Restoration Study Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental 
Impact Statement

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

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District (USACE) announces the 
release of the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental 
Impact Statement (DIFR-EIS) for the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) of 
the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study, Texas. The DIFR-EIS 
documents the existing condition of environmental resources in and 
around areas considered for development, and potential impacts on those 
resources as a result of implementing the alternatives.
    This public notice is also issued for the purpose of advising all 
known interested parties that there is pending before the Texas 
Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) a decision on water quality 
certification. A copy of the public notice, with a description of work, 
has been made available for review in the TCEQ's Austin office.

DATES: USACE will accept written public comments on the DIFR-EIS from 
October 26, 2018 to January 9, 2019. Comments on the DIFR-EIS must be 
postmarked by January 9, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Public comments can be mailed to: USACE, Galveston District, 
Attn: Mrs. Jennifer Morgan, Environmental Compliance Branch, Regional 
Planning and Environmental Center, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553-
1229 or emailed to [email protected]. See website: http://coastalstudy.texas.gov/ for additional information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Jennifer Morgan, (409) 766-3131.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Authority: The lead agency for this proposed action is the USACE. 
This study has been prepared under the standing authority of Section 
4091, Water Resources Development Act of 2007, Public Law 110-114. The 
non-Federal sponsor is the Texas General Land Office.
    Background: This DIFR-EIS was prepared as required by the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to present an evaluation of potential 
impacts associated with the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration 
Feasibility Study (Coastal Texas) TSP. The USACE and the non-Federal 
sponsor for the study, the Texas General Land Office (GLO), have 
conducted this study and prepared the DIFR-EIS.
    The study area for the Coastal Texas Study consists of the entire 
Texas Gulf coast from the mouth of the Sabine River to the mouth of the 
Rio Grande, and includes the Gulf and tidal waters, barrier islands, 
estuaries, coastal wetlands, rivers and streams, borrow sources, and 
adjacent areas that make up the interrelated ecosystems along the coast 
of Texas. The study area encompasses 18 coastal counties along the Gulf 
coast and bayfronts.
    This report presents the proposed alternatives that would reduce 
the risk of storm damage to industries and businesses critical to the 
Nation's economy and protect the health and safety of Texas coastal 
communities. The study analyzed alternatives that involved structural 
and nonstructural measures. Additionally, the report discusses 
alternatives intended to address critical coastal ecosystems in need of 
restoration, including wetlands, seagrass beds, sea turtle nesting 
habitat, piping plover critical habitat, and bird rookery islands, as 
well as numerous Federal and State wildlife refuges.
    Tentatively Selected Plan: The TSP consists of the Coastal Barrier 
Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) System, South Padre Island CSRM 
measure, and a comprehensive set of ecosystem restoration (ER) 
measures. The Coastal Barrier is a risk reduction system made up of the 
following features: Floodwalls, floodgates, seawall improvements, 
drainage structures, pump stations, and surge barrier gates. One 
fundamental feature of the TSP is surge barrier structures that include 
floating sector gates for navigation traffic and environmental lift 
gates across the span at Bolivar Roads between Bolivar Peninsula and 
Galveston Island. The alternative includes four reaches: Eastern Tie-in 
Reach, Bolivar Peninsula Reach, Galveston Ring Levee/Floodwall Reach, 
and West Galveston Island Reach in addition to features located at 
Clear Creek Channel and Dickinson Bayou. The South Padre Island CSRM 
measure consists of approximately 2.2 miles of dune and beach 
restoration along the barrier island on the Gulf, including 
renourishment cycles. The ER component of the TSP has been formulated 
to address the habitat loss and degradation from coastal processes. ER 
measures restore and create habitat and support structural CSRM efforts 
by providing a natural buffer from coastal storms. ER measures proposed 
in this study include a combination of features formulated in specific 
geographic locations to restore diverse habitats and coastal features 
that provide multiple lines of defense against coastal storms and long 
term coastal processes. Restoration measures include beach and dune 
complexes, oyster reefs, bird rookery islands, wetland and marsh 
complexes, and protection of submerged aquatic vegetation.
    A final decision will be made following the reviews and higher-
level coordination within the USACE to select a plan for feasibility-
level design and recommendation for implementation. The decision will 
be documented in the Final Integrated Feasibility Report (FIFR)-EIS. 
Coordination with the natural resource agencies will continue 
throughout the study process.
    Project Impacts and Environmental Compliance: Preliminary studies 
indicate that the recommended plan's surge barrier gates (proposed as 
features of the Coastal Barrier) may alter wetland functions by 
constricting tidal exchange and associated sediment transport, altering 
hydrosalinity gradients, reducing flow into and out of Galveston Bay, 
and increasing velocities near the gate openings at specific times. The 
TSP was formulated to reduce the risk of damages from coastal storms as 
well as avoid disturbance to environmentally significant resources. 
Where impacts could not be avoided, they were quantified, and a 
conceptual mitigation plan was formulated. Impacts would be fully 
compensated with the restoration of palustrine and estuarine emergent 
marsh in the amount determined during final feasibility planning. The 
Coastal Barrier would provide a level of protection to tidal and 
freshwater wetlands north of the barrier location by serving as a 
physical barrier against

[[Page 54097]]

storm surge during coastal storms. The South Padre Island CSRM feature 
would restore the beach and dune complex; therefore, providing reduced 
risk to the area while sustaining and increasing beach habitat, and 
helping preserve existing wetland habitat on the bayside of the 
measure. Ecosystem restoration measures would restore the natural 
features of the Texas coast that provide habitat for many Federally 
threatened and endangered species and State species of concern. These 
measures will also maintain a natural buffer for upland areas from 
coastal processes, relative sea level rise (RSLR), and storm surge, 
while stabilizing the coastline by absorbing energy from waves and 
vessel wakes.
    The DIFR-EIS presents an evaluation of the potential impacts to 
soils, waterbottoms, water quality, protected wildlife species, benthic 
organisms, essential fish habitat, coastal barrier resources, air 
quality, and noise. Additionally, potential impacts to floodplains, 
flood control, protected/managed lands, and minority or low-income 
populations have been evaluated. Steps would be taken to avoid, 
minimize, and mitigate any potential impacts to the best extent 
practicable. The USACE is proposing to execute a Programmatic Agreement 
among USACE, the Texas State Historic Preservation Office, and any NFS, 
in coordination with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and 
Tribal Nations, to address the identification and discovery of cultural 
resources that may occur during the construction and maintenance of 
proposed or existing facilities.
    Solicitation of Comments: The USACE is soliciting comments from the 
public, Federal, State, and local agencies, elected officials, Tribal 
Nations, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate 
the impacts of this proposed activity. Comments will be used in 
preparation of the FIFR-EIS. Any comments concerning water quality 
certification may be submitted to the TCEQ, 401 Coordinator, MSC-150, 
P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.
    Meetings: The Galveston District will hold public meetings at 5:30 
p.m. for the DIFR-EIS on the following dates and locations: November 
27, 2018 at Bauer Community Center, 2300 TX-35, Port Lavaca, TX 77979; 
November 28, 2018 at Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M Corpus 
Christi, 6300 Ocean Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78412; November 29, 2018 at 
Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center, 309 Railroad Ave., Port Isabel, TX 
78578; December 11, 2018 at Winnie Community Building, 335 South Park 
St., Winnie, TX 77665; December 12, 2018 at Galveston Island Convention 
Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX 77551; and December 18, 2018 
at Bay Area Community Center, 5002 E NASA Parkway, Seabrook, TX 77586.
    Document Availability: Compact disc copies of the DIFR-EIS are 
available for viewing at county libraries throughout the 18 county 
study area. The document can also be viewed and downloaded from the 
Galveston District website: http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Planning-Environmental-Branch/Documents-for-Public-Review/.

Lars N. Zetterstrom,
Colonel, U.S. Army, Commanding.
[FR Doc. 2018-23450 Filed 10-25-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3720-58-P