Otay River Estuary Restoration Project, South San Diego Bay Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California; Record of Decision, 54771-54772 [2018-23823]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 211 / Wednesday, October 31, 2018 / Notices Verdes and was a compromise of Alternative A and B. The preserve size under Alternative C is slightly larger than that under the Proposed Action (Alternative D), but the total amount of coastal sage scrub habitat under Alternative C is slightly lower than that in the Proposed Action (Alternative D). The Proposed Action (Alternative D) is the same as Alternative C, with the following exceptions: (1) A 27.0-acre parcel in the Upper Filiorum property has been removed from the preserve and is now identified as a covered project, including the associated dedication of 30 acres of functional and connected habitat; (2) 40.0 acres of a former archery range property have been removed from the preserve due to landslide and legal constraints; and (3) 61.5 acres of Malaga Canyon have been purchased by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and have been incorporated into the preserve. The preserve in Alternative D totals 1,402.4 acres. Request for Comments Consistent with section 10(c) of the ESA, we invite your submission of written comments, data, or arguments with respect to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ permit application, the City of RPV NCCP/HCP, and proposed permitting decision. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Public Availability of Comments Written comments we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. 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 request in your comment that we 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. Next Steps Issuance of an incidental take permit is a Federal proposed action subject to compliance with NEPA. We will evaluate the application, associated documents, and any public comments we receive to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. If we determine that those requirements are met, we will issue a permit to the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Oct 30, 2018 Jkt 247001 applicant for the incidental take of the covered species. We will make our final permit decision no sooner than 60 days after the public comment period closes. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Scott Sobiech, Acting Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California. [FR Doc. 2018–23762 Filed 10–30–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–R–2018–N122; FF08RSDC00– 190–F1611MD–FXRS12610800000] Otay River Estuary Restoration Project, South San Diego Bay Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California; Record of Decision Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; record of decision. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the record of decision (ROD) for the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge—Otay River Estuary Restoration Project final environmental impact statement (EIS). The ROD explains that, of the three alternatives examined in the final EIS, the chosen alternative is the environmentally preferred alternative. ADDRESSES: Document Availability: The ROD is available at: • Internet: https://www.fws.gov/ refuge/San_Diego_Bay/what_we_do/ Resource_Management/Otay_ Restoration.html. • In Person: o San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, 1080 Gunpowder Point Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910; telephone: 619–476–9150, extension 103. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Collins, Refuge Manager, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge at 619–575–2704, extension 302 (telephone) or brian_collins@fws.gov (email); or Andy Yuen, Project Leader, 619–476–9150, extension 100 (telephone), or andy_yuen@fws.gov (email). SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54771 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background In 2006, we completed the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and final EIS/ROD to guide the management of the San Diego Bay NWR over a 15-year period (71 FR 64552, November 2, 2006). The wildlife and habitat management goal of the selected management alternative in the CCP for the South San Diego Bay Unit is to ‘‘Protect, manage, enhance, and restore . . . coastal wetlands . . . to benefit the native fish, wildlife, and plant species supported within the South San Diego Bay Unit.’’ One of the strategies identified to meet this goal is to restore native habitats in the Otay River floodplain and the salt ponds. On September 29, 2010, the San Diego NWR Complex and Poseidon Resources (Channelside) LP (Poseidon) entered into a memorandum of understanding to establish a partnership to facilitate the restoration of property within the San Diego Bay NWR, consistent with the CCP and Poseidon’s restoration requirements from the California Coastal Commission (Commission) in an approved coastal development permit (CDP No. E–06–013) related to the construction and operation of a desalination plant in Carlsbad, California. We published a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the Otay River Estuary Restoration Project on November 14, 2011 (76 FR 70480), followed by a second NOI on January 8, 2013 (78 FR 1246), when the project was expanded to include the restoration of Pond 15. We published a notice of availability (NOA) of the draft EIS for the project on October 21, 2016 (81 FR 72817), and an NOA of the final EIS on May 18, 2018 (83 FR 23289). Project The project site is located at the south end of San Diego Bay, San Diego County, California, within the South San Diego Bay Unit of the San Diego Bay NWR. Restoration activities will occur at two separate locations within the Refuge: The 34-acre Otay River Floodplain Site, located to the west of Interstate 5 between Main Street to the north and Palm Avenue to the south in the City of San Diego, and the 91-acre Pond 15 Site, an active solar salt pond, located in the northeastern portion of the Refuge to the northwest of the intersection of Bay Boulevard and Palomar Street in the City of Chula Vista. E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 54772 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 211 / Wednesday, October 31, 2018 / Notices Alternatives We analyzed three alternatives in the final EIS, including the no action alternative and two action alternatives, for restoring the two areas on the San Diego Bay NWR that comprise the restoration project. In addition to a noaction alternative, the action alternatives include an intertidal alternative and a subtidal alternative. Alternative B: Intertidal Alternative (Selected Alternative) The Intertidal Alternative (Alternative B) proposes to lower the elevation and re-contour the Otay River Floodplain Site to create approximately 30 acres of tidally influenced habitat consisting of approximately 5 acres of intertidal mudflat and 25 acres of intertidal salt marsh habitat, 1 acre of transitional habitat and high tide refugia, and 4 acres of upland habitat. Approximately 320,000 cubic yards of soil would be excavated from the Otay River Floodplain Site to achieve elevations suitable for sustaining intertidal wetlands. The majority of the excavated material, approximately 260,000 cubic yards, would be transported to Pond 15 to be beneficially used as fill within the Pond 15 Site, as well as to reinforce existing levees around the pond. Pond 15 would be filled and contoured to achieve elevations required to support approximately 10 acres of subtidal habitat, 18 acres of intertidal mudflat, 57 acres of intertidal salt marsh habitat, 1.6 acres of transitional habitat and high tide refugia, and 4 acres of upland habitat. The combination of the wetlands created at the Otay River Floodplain Site and Pond 15 Site under this alternative would be consistent with the intent of the CCP and would provide sufficient mitigation credit to meet Poseidon’s Coastal Development Permit requirements. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Alternative C: Subtidal Alternative The Subtidal Alternative (Alternative C), which would include a subtidal channel within the Otay River Floodplain Site, would result in the restoration of approximately 4.5 acres of subtidal habitat, 6.5 acres of intertidal mudflat, 18 acres of intertidal salt marsh habitat, and 4 acres of upland habitat. Within the Pond 15 Site, tidally influenced habitat would be similar to that proposed under Alternative B, with approximately 10 acres of subtidal habitat, 16 acres of intertidal mudflat, 59 acres of intertidal salt marsh, 2 acres of high-tide refugia, and 4 acres of upland habitat. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Oct 30, 2018 Jkt 247001 Implementation of this alternative would involve the excavation of approximately 370,000 cubic yards of material from the Otay River Site, of which approximately 310,000 cubic yards of this material would be transported to the Pond 15 Site for beneficial use in creating tidal elevations that would support the desired intertidal habitats and improving levees to separate Pond 15 from the remaining active solar salt operation. The combination of the wetlands created at the Otay River Floodplain Site and Pond 15 Site under this alternative would also provide sufficient mitigation credit to meet the Commission’s permit requirements. Selected Alternative The ROD identifies the intertidal alternative (Alternative B) as the selected alternative. This alternative was also identified as the environmentally preferred alternative in the final EIS. The basis for the decision, descriptions of the alternatives considered, an overview of the measures to be implemented to avoid and minimize environmental effects, and a summary of the public involvement process are provided in the ROD. Authority We publish this notice under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and the Department of the Interior’s implementing regulations in title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR part 46). Jody Holzworth, Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region. [FR Doc. 2018–23823 Filed 10–30–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX14BA02EEW0200; OMB Control Number 1028–0103] Agency Information Collection Activities; USA National Phenology Network—The Nature’s Notebook Plant and Animal Observing Program U.S. Geological Survey, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is proposing to renew an information collection (IC). SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 31, 2018. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on the information collection request (ICR) by mail to the U.S. Geological Survey, Information Collections Clearance Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; or by email to gs-info_collections@usgs.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1028– 0103 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Jake F. Weltzin by email at jweltzin@usgs.gov, or by telephone at 520–626–3821. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Geological Survey, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on 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. We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the USGS; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the USGS enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the USGS minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. 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. Abstract: The USA–NPN is a program sponsored by the USGS that uses standardized forms for tracking plant DATES: E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1

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[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 211 (Wednesday, October 31, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54771-54772]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-23823]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2018-N122; FF08RSDC00-190-F1611MD-FXRS12610800000]


Otay River Estuary Restoration Project, South San Diego Bay Unit 
of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California; Record of 
Decision

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; record of decision.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the record of decision (ROD) for the San Diego Bay 
National Wildlife Refuge--Otay River Estuary Restoration Project final 
environmental impact statement (EIS). The ROD explains that, of the 
three alternatives examined in the final EIS, the chosen alternative is 
the environmentally preferred alternative.

ADDRESSES: Document Availability: The ROD is available at:
     Internet: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/San_Diego_Bay/what_we_do/Resource_Management/Otay_Restoration.html.
     In Person:
    o San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, 1080 
Gunpowder Point Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91910; telephone: 619-476-9150, 
extension 103.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Collins, Refuge Manager, San 
Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge at 619-575-2704, extension 302 
(telephone) or [email protected] (email); or Andy Yuen, Project 
Leader, 619-476-9150, extension 100 (telephone), or [email protected] 
(email).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    In 2006, we completed the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge 
(NWR) Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and final EIS/ROD to guide 
the management of the San Diego Bay NWR over a 15-year period (71 FR 
64552, November 2, 2006). The wildlife and habitat management goal of 
the selected management alternative in the CCP for the South San Diego 
Bay Unit is to ``Protect, manage, enhance, and restore . . . coastal 
wetlands . . . to benefit the native fish, wildlife, and plant species 
supported within the South San Diego Bay Unit.'' One of the strategies 
identified to meet this goal is to restore native habitats in the Otay 
River floodplain and the salt ponds.
    On September 29, 2010, the San Diego NWR Complex and Poseidon 
Resources (Channelside) LP (Poseidon) entered into a memorandum of 
understanding to establish a partnership to facilitate the restoration 
of property within the San Diego Bay NWR, consistent with the CCP and 
Poseidon's restoration requirements from the California Coastal 
Commission (Commission) in an approved coastal development permit (CDP 
No. E-06-013) related to the construction and operation of a 
desalination plant in Carlsbad, California.
    We published a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the 
Otay River Estuary Restoration Project on November 14, 2011 (76 FR 
70480), followed by a second NOI on January 8, 2013 (78 FR 1246), when 
the project was expanded to include the restoration of Pond 15. We 
published a notice of availability (NOA) of the draft EIS for the 
project on October 21, 2016 (81 FR 72817), and an NOA of the final EIS 
on May 18, 2018 (83 FR 23289).

Project

    The project site is located at the south end of San Diego Bay, San 
Diego County, California, within the South San Diego Bay Unit of the 
San Diego Bay NWR. Restoration activities will occur at two separate 
locations within the Refuge: The 34-acre Otay River Floodplain Site, 
located to the west of Interstate 5 between Main Street to the north 
and Palm Avenue to the south in the City of San Diego, and the 91-acre 
Pond 15 Site, an active solar salt pond, located in the northeastern 
portion of the Refuge to the northwest of the intersection of Bay 
Boulevard and Palomar Street in the City of Chula Vista.

[[Page 54772]]

Alternatives

    We analyzed three alternatives in the final EIS, including the no 
action alternative and two action alternatives, for restoring the two 
areas on the San Diego Bay NWR that comprise the restoration project. 
In addition to a no-action alternative, the action alternatives include 
an intertidal alternative and a subtidal alternative.

Alternative B: Intertidal Alternative (Selected Alternative)

    The Intertidal Alternative (Alternative B) proposes to lower the 
elevation and re-contour the Otay River Floodplain Site to create 
approximately 30 acres of tidally influenced habitat consisting of 
approximately 5 acres of intertidal mudflat and 25 acres of intertidal 
salt marsh habitat, 1 acre of transitional habitat and high tide 
refugia, and 4 acres of upland habitat.
    Approximately 320,000 cubic yards of soil would be excavated from 
the Otay River Floodplain Site to achieve elevations suitable for 
sustaining intertidal wetlands. The majority of the excavated material, 
approximately 260,000 cubic yards, would be transported to Pond 15 to 
be beneficially used as fill within the Pond 15 Site, as well as to 
reinforce existing levees around the pond. Pond 15 would be filled and 
contoured to achieve elevations required to support approximately 10 
acres of subtidal habitat, 18 acres of intertidal mudflat, 57 acres of 
intertidal salt marsh habitat, 1.6 acres of transitional habitat and 
high tide refugia, and 4 acres of upland habitat.
    The combination of the wetlands created at the Otay River 
Floodplain Site and Pond 15 Site under this alternative would be 
consistent with the intent of the CCP and would provide sufficient 
mitigation credit to meet Poseidon's Coastal Development Permit 
requirements.

Alternative C: Subtidal Alternative

    The Subtidal Alternative (Alternative C), which would include a 
subtidal channel within the Otay River Floodplain Site, would result in 
the restoration of approximately 4.5 acres of subtidal habitat, 6.5 
acres of intertidal mudflat, 18 acres of intertidal salt marsh habitat, 
and 4 acres of upland habitat. Within the Pond 15 Site, tidally 
influenced habitat would be similar to that proposed under Alternative 
B, with approximately 10 acres of subtidal habitat, 16 acres of 
intertidal mudflat, 59 acres of intertidal salt marsh, 2 acres of high-
tide refugia, and 4 acres of upland habitat.
    Implementation of this alternative would involve the excavation of 
approximately 370,000 cubic yards of material from the Otay River Site, 
of which approximately 310,000 cubic yards of this material would be 
transported to the Pond 15 Site for beneficial use in creating tidal 
elevations that would support the desired intertidal habitats and 
improving levees to separate Pond 15 from the remaining active solar 
salt operation.
    The combination of the wetlands created at the Otay River 
Floodplain Site and Pond 15 Site under this alternative would also 
provide sufficient mitigation credit to meet the Commission's permit 
requirements.

Selected Alternative

    The ROD identifies the intertidal alternative (Alternative B) as 
the selected alternative. This alternative was also identified as the 
environmentally preferred alternative in the final EIS. The basis for 
the decision, descriptions of the alternatives considered, an overview 
of the measures to be implemented to avoid and minimize environmental 
effects, and a summary of the public involvement process are provided 
in the ROD.

Authority

    We publish this notice under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and the Department of 
the Interior's implementing regulations in title 43 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (43 CFR part 46).

Jody Holzworth,
Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2018-23823 Filed 10-30-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P