Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345-kV Transmission Line Project, 63149-63151 [2018-26558]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 235 / Friday, December 7, 2018 / Notices (3) Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the submission for Office of Management and Budget approval. Steve Peterson, Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency. [FR Doc. 2018–26504 Filed 12–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Information Collection Request; Request for Special Priorities Assistance Farm Service Agency, USDA. Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension of a currently approved information collection request associated with the Request for Special Priorities Assistance. The information collection established by the Agriculture Priorities and Allocations System (APAS) regulation is necessary for the program applicant (person) to request prioritizing of a contract above all other contracts. The purpose of the priority rating is to obtain item(s) in support of national defense programs that they are not able to obtain in time through normal market channels. DATES: We will consider comments that we receive by February 5, 2019. ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments on the notice. In your comments, include date, volume, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: David Weschsler, USDA/ FPAC/HS, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 0092–S, Mail Stop 0560, Washington, DC 20250–0567. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Dec 06, 2018 Jkt 247001 You may also send comments to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503. Copies of the information collection may be requested by contacting Lesa A. Johnson at the above addresses. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Wechsler, (202) 720–2929. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Request for Special Priorities Assistance for APAS. OMB Control Number: 0560–0280. Expiration Date of Approval: March 31, 2019. Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection. Abstract: APAS would efficiently place priority ratings on contracts or orders of agriculture commodities up through the wholesale levels, agriculture production equipment, allocate resources, and handle food claims within its authority as specified in the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950, as amended, when necessary to promote national defense. It was determined that food is a scarce and critical commodity essential to the national defense (including civil emergency preparedness and response). Unless its production, processing, storage, and wholesale distribution are regulated during times of emergencies, the national defense requirement for food and food production may not be met without creating hardship in the civilian marketplace. Applicants (Government agencies or private individuals with a role in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery functions) will request authorization from USDA to place a rating on a contract for items to support national defense activities. Priority rating request procedures and forms can be found on USDA’s website. Applicants must supply, at time of request, their name, location, contact information, items for which the applicant is requesting assistance on, quantity, and delivery date. Applicants can submit the request by mail or fax. There are no changes to the burden hours since the last OMB approval. For the following estimated total annual burden on respondents, the formula used to calculate the total burden hour is the estimated average time per responses hours multiplied by the estimated total annual responses. Estimate of Respondent Burden: Public reporting burden for the information collection is estimated to average 30 minutes (0.50) per response. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63149 Respondents: Individuals, businesses, and agencies with responsibilities for emergency preparedness and response. Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 100. Estimated Number of Reponses per Respondent: 0.95. Estimated Total Annual Responses: 95. Estimated Average Time per Response: 0.5 hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 50 hours. We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to: (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the FSA, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the FSA’s estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the submission for Office of Management and Budget approval. Steven Peterson, Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency. [FR Doc. 2018–26505 Filed 12–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345-kV Transmission Line Project Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of availability of a draft environmental impact statement; notice of public meetings; and section 106 notification to the public. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental policies and procedures related to providing financial assistance SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 63150 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 235 / Friday, December 7, 2018 / Notices to Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC). Further, in accordance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and pursuant to the regulations participation in the section 106 process and coordination with the National Environmental Policy Act, RUS is using its procedures for public involvement under NEPA to meet its responsibilities to solicit and consider the views of the public during the section 106 review for the proposed project. RUS would be providing financial assistance to DPC for its share in the construction of a proposed 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated infrastructure connecting the Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, with the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton, Wisconsin (near Madison, Wisconsin). The Project also includes a new intermediate 345/138-kV substation near the Village of Montfort the transmission system to additional resources, increase the transfer capability of the electrical system between Iowa and Wisconsin, reduce the losses in transferring power and increase the efficiency of the transmission system, and respond to public policy objectives aimed at enhancing the nation’s transmission system and to support the changing generation mix. A more detailed explanation of the purpose and need for the project can be found in the Draft EIS. Written comments on this Draft EIS will be accepted for 60 calendar days following the publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of receipt of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register. RUS will conduct six formal public meetings in the project area. A court reporter will be available to record agency and public comments. DATES: Date Location Time Venue January 22, 2019 .................... Peosta, IA ............................. 1:00–3:00 p.m ..... January 22, 2019 .................... Guttenberg, IA ....................... 6:00–8:00 p.m ..... January 23, 2019 .................... Cassville, WI ......................... 5:00–7:00 p.m ..... January 24, 2019 .................... Dodgeville, WI ....................... 5:00–7:00 p.m ..... January 28, 2019 .................... Barneveld, WI ....................... 5:00–8:00 p.m ..... January 29, 2019 .................... Middleton, WI ........................ 5:00–8:00 p.m ..... Peosta Community Center, 7896 Burds Road, Peosta, IA 52068. Guttenberg Municipal Bldg., 502 First St., Guttenberg, IA 52052. Cassville Middle School Cafeteria, 715 E Amelia St., Cassville, WI 53806. Dodgeville Bowl Banquet Hall, 318 King St., Dodgerville, WI 53533. Deer Valley Lodge, 401 West Industrial Drive, Barneveld, WI 53507. Madison Marriott West, 1313 John Q. Hammonds Drive, Middleton, WI 53562. A copy of the Draft EIS may be viewed online at the following website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/ publications/environmental-studies/ impact-statements/cardinal%E2%80%93-hickory-creektransmission-line and Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3521 East Avenue South, La Crosse, WI 54602 and at 13 local libraries in the project area and the USFWS McGregor District Office in Prairie du Chien, WI. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To obtain copies of the Draft EIS, to request further participation or request consulting party status under section 106 of the NHPA or for further information, contact: Lauren Cusick or Dennis Rankin, Environmental Protection Specialist, USDA, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2244, Stop 1571, Washington, DC 20250–1571, by phone at (202) 720–1414 or email Lauren.Cusick@usda.gov or Dennis.Rankin@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RUS is the lead agency for the federal ADDRESSES: amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES in either Grant County or Iowa County, Wisconsin. The total length of the 345kV transmission lines associated with the proposed project will be approximately 125 miles. DPC and the other project participants have identified proposed and alternate segments and locations for transmission lines and associated facilities and for the intermediate substation. Dairyland Power Cooperative is requesting RUS to provide financing for its portion of the proposed project. DPC is participating in the proposed project with two other utilities, American Transmission Company LLC, and ITC Midwest LLC (Utilities). The purpose of the proposed project is to: Address reliability issues on the regional bulk transmission system, alleviate congestion that occurs in certain parts of the transmission system and remove constraints that limit the delivery of power, expand the access of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Dec 06, 2018 Jkt 247001 environmental review with cooperating and participating agencies as outlined in the Draft EIS. The first Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an EIS and Hold Public Scoping Meeting was published in the Federal Register at 81 FR 71697, on October 18, 2016 to initiate a 30-day public scoping period. Four public scoping meetings for the EIS were held in the project area in October and November 2016, and the public comment was extended to 81 days and comments were accepted from October 18, 2016 through January 6, 2017. On November 22, 2016 RUS published a second NOI announcing a second round of public scoping meetings in December 2017. RUS issued a Scoping Report in May 2018. The Draft EIS addresses the construction and operation of the proposed project, which, in addition to the 345-kV transmission line and associated infrastructure, includes the following facilities: a. At the existing Cardinal Substation in Dane County, Wisconsin: A new 345kV terminal within the substation; PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 b. At the new proposed Hill Valley Substation near the Village of Montfort, Wisconsin: A 10-acre facility with four 345-kV circuit breakers, one 345-kV shunt reactor, one 345-kV/138-kV autotransformer, and three 138-kV circuit breakers; c. At the existing Eden Substation near the village of Montfort, Wisconsin: Transmission line protective relaying upgrades, ground grid improvements, and replacement of equipment within the Eden Substation; d. Between the existing Eden Substation and the proposed Hill Valley Substation near the Village of Montfort, Wisconsin: A rebuild of the approximately 1-mile Hill Valley to Eden 138-kV transmission line; e. At the existing Wyoming Valley Substation near Wyoming, Wisconsin: Ground grid improvements; f. Between the existing Cardinal Substation and the proposed Hill Valley Substation: A new 50- to 53-mile (depending on the final route) 345-kV transmission line; g. Between the proposed Hill Valley Substation and existing Hickory Creek E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 235 / Friday, December 7, 2018 / Notices Substation: A new 50- to 70-mile (depending on the final route) 345-kV transmission line; h. At the Mississippi River in Cassville, Wisconsin: A rebuild and possible relocation of the existing Mississippi River transmission line crossing to accommodate the new 345kV transmission line and Dairyland’s 161-kV transmission line, and which would be capable of operating at 345kV/345-kV but will initially be operated at 345-kV/161-kV; 1. depending on the final route and the Mississippi River crossing locations: i. A new 161-kV terminal and transmission line protective relaying upgrades within the existing Nelson Dewey Substation in Cassville, Wisconsin; ii. a replaced or reinforced structure within the Stoneman Substation in Cassville, Wisconsin; iii. multiple, partial, or complete rebuilds of existing 69-kV and 138-kV transmission lines in Wisconsin that would be collocated with the new 345kV line; i. At the existing Turkey River Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa: Two 161-/69-kV transformers, four 161kV circuit breakers, and five 69-kV circuit breakers; and j. At the existing Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa: A new 345-kV terminal within the existing Hickory Creek Substation. Among the alternatives addressed in the Draft EIS is the No Action alternative, under which the proposed project would not be undertaken. Additional alternatives addressed in the Draft EIS include six action alternatives connecting the Cardinal Station in Wisconsin with the Hickory Creek Station in Iowa. RUS has carefully studied public health and safety, environmental impacts, and engineering aspects of the proposed project. RUS used input provided by government agencies, private organizations, and the public in the preparation of the Draft EIS. RUS will prepare a Final EIS that considers all comments received on the Draft EIS. Following the 30 calendar day comment period for the Final EIS, RUS will prepare a Record of Decision (ROD). Notices announcing the availability of the Final EIS and the ROD will be published in the Federal Register and in local newspapers. In accordance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulation, ‘‘Protection of Historic Properties’’ (36 CFR part 800) and as part of its broad environmental review process, RUS must take into account the effect of the proposed VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Dec 06, 2018 Jkt 247001 project on historic properties. Pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3), RUS is using its procedures for public involvement under NEPA to meet its responsibilities to solicit and consider the views of the public during section 106 review. Any party wishing to participate more directly with RUS as a ‘‘consulting party’’ in section 106 review may submit a written request to the RUS contact provided in this notice. The proposed project involves unavoidable impacts to wetlands and floodplains; this Notice of Availability also serves as a statement of no practicable alternatives to impacts on wetlands and floodplains, in accordance with Executive Orders 11990 and 11988, respectively. Any final action by RUS related to the proposed project will be subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal, State and local environmental laws and regulations, and completion of the environmental review requirements as prescribed in the RUS Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1970). Dated: November 8, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Assistant Administrator, Electric Programs, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2018–26558 Filed 12–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Agency: U.S. Census Bureau. Title: Annual Survey of Manufactures. OMB Control Number: 0607–0449. Form Number(s): MA–10000. Type of Request: Reinstatement, with change of an expired collection. Number of Respondents: 55,000. Average Hours per Response: 3.5 hours. Burden Hours: 192,500. Needs and Uses: The Census Bureau is requesting a reinstatement with changes of the expired collection for the Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM). The Census Bureau has conducted the ASM since 1949 to provide key measures of manufacturing activity during intercensal periods. In census years ending in ‘‘2’’ and ‘‘7,’’ we mail and collect the ASM as part of the PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63151 Economic Census covering the Manufacturing Sector. The Census Bureau allowed the previous clearance to lapse since ASM inquiries for survey year 2017 (collected in 2018) are cleared as part of the 2017 Economic Census (0607–0998). The Census Bureau is requesting reinstatement to continue annual collection of the ASM for survey years 2018, 2019, and 2020. The ASM collects data on employment, payroll, hours, wages of production workers, value added by manufacture, cost of materials, value of shipments by North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) product code, inventories, cost of employer’s fringe benefits, operating expenses, and expenditures for new and used plant and equipment. The Census Bureau tabulates and publishes data for most of these items by two-digit through sixdigit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) levels. The Census Bureau also publishes ASM data by state at the two-through fourdigit NAICS levels. Federal agencies use ASM data as benchmarks for their statistical programs, including the Federal Reserve Board’s Index of Industrial Production and the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) National Income and Product Accounts. The Department of Energy relies on ASM estimates on the use of energy during production in the manufacturing sector. These data also are used as benchmark data for the Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey, which is conducted for the Department of Energy by the Census Bureau. Within the Census Bureau, the ASM data are used to benchmark and reconcile monthly and quarterly estimates of manufacturing production and inventories. The survey also provides valuable information to private companies, research organizations, and trade associations. Industry makes extensive use of the annual figures on NAPCS product shipments for market analysis, product planning, and investment planning. State development and planning agencies rely on ASM data for policymaking, planning, and administration. The Census Bureau plans to make the following changes to the ASM data collection: a. Elimination of the MA–10000(S) The MA–10000(S) questionnaire will be eliminated. Historically, all locations of multiple-establishment firms and large single-establishment firms in the sample were asked to report on the MA– 10000(L) questionnaire. The remaining E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 235 (Friday, December 7, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63149-63151]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-26558]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345-kV Transmission Line Project

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability of a draft environmental impact 
statement; notice of public meetings; and section 106 notification to 
the public.

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

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) 
has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet its 
responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 
environmental policies and procedures related to providing financial 
assistance

[[Page 63150]]

to Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC). Further, in accordance with 
section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and 
pursuant to the regulations participation in the section 106 process 
and coordination with the National Environmental Policy Act, RUS is 
using its procedures for public involvement under NEPA to meet its 
responsibilities to solicit and consider the views of the public during 
the section 106 review for the proposed project. RUS would be providing 
financial assistance to DPC for its share in the construction of a 
proposed 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated 
infrastructure connecting the Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque 
County, Iowa, with the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton, 
Wisconsin (near Madison, Wisconsin). The Project also includes a new 
intermediate 345/138-kV substation near the Village of Montfort in 
either Grant County or Iowa County, Wisconsin. The total length of the 
345- kV transmission lines associated with the proposed project will be 
approximately 125 miles. DPC and the other project participants have 
identified proposed and alternate segments and locations for 
transmission lines and associated facilities and for the intermediate 
substation. Dairyland Power Cooperative is requesting RUS to provide 
financing for its portion of the proposed project. DPC is participating 
in the proposed project with two other utilities, American Transmission 
Company LLC, and ITC Midwest LLC (Utilities).
    The purpose of the proposed project is to: Address reliability 
issues on the regional bulk transmission system, alleviate congestion 
that occurs in certain parts of the transmission system and remove 
constraints that limit the delivery of power, expand the access of the 
transmission system to additional resources, increase the transfer 
capability of the electrical system between Iowa and Wisconsin, reduce 
the losses in transferring power and increase the efficiency of the 
transmission system, and respond to public policy objectives aimed at 
enhancing the nation's transmission system and to support the changing 
generation mix. A more detailed explanation of the purpose and need for 
the project can be found in the Draft EIS.

DATES: Written comments on this Draft EIS will be accepted for 60 
calendar days following the publication of the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency's notice of receipt of the Draft EIS in the Federal 
Register. RUS will conduct six formal public meetings in the project 
area. A court reporter will be available to record agency and public 
comments.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Date                       Location                    Time                       Venue
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 22, 2019..................  Peosta, IA..........  1:00-3:00 p.m..............  Peosta Community Center,
                                                                                        7896 Burds Road, Peosta,
                                                                                        IA 52068.
January 22, 2019..................  Guttenberg, IA......  6:00-8:00 p.m..............  Guttenberg Municipal
                                                                                        Bldg., 502 First St.,
                                                                                        Guttenberg, IA 52052.
January 23, 2019..................  Cassville, WI.......  5:00-7:00 p.m..............  Cassville Middle School
                                                                                        Cafeteria, 715 E Amelia
                                                                                        St., Cassville, WI
                                                                                        53806.
January 24, 2019..................  Dodgeville, WI......  5:00-7:00 p.m..............  Dodgeville Bowl Banquet
                                                                                        Hall, 318 King St.,
                                                                                        Dodgerville, WI 53533.
January 28, 2019..................  Barneveld, WI.......  5:00-8:00 p.m..............  Deer Valley Lodge, 401
                                                                                        West Industrial Drive,
                                                                                        Barneveld, WI 53507.
January 29, 2019..................  Middleton, WI.......  5:00-8:00 p.m..............  Madison Marriott West,
                                                                                        1313 John Q. Hammonds
                                                                                        Drive, Middleton, WI
                                                                                        53562.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ADDRESSES: A copy of the Draft EIS may be viewed online at the 
following website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/environmental-studies/impact-statements/cardinal-%E2%80%93-hickory-creek-transmission-line and Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3521 East Avenue 
South, La Crosse, WI 54602 and at 13 local libraries in the project 
area and the USFWS McGregor District Office in Prairie du Chien, WI.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To obtain copies of the Draft EIS, to 
request further participation or request consulting party status under 
section 106 of the NHPA or for further information, contact: Lauren 
Cusick or Dennis Rankin, Environmental Protection Specialist, USDA, 
Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2244, Stop 
1571, Washington, DC 20250-1571, by phone at (202) 720-1414 or email 
[email protected] or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RUS is the lead agency for the federal 
environmental review with cooperating and participating agencies as 
outlined in the Draft EIS. The first Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare 
an EIS and Hold Public Scoping Meeting was published in the Federal 
Register at 81 FR 71697, on October 18, 2016 to initiate a 30-day 
public scoping period. Four public scoping meetings for the EIS were 
held in the project area in October and November 2016, and the public 
comment was extended to 81 days and comments were accepted from October 
18, 2016 through January 6, 2017. On November 22, 2016 RUS published a 
second NOI announcing a second round of public scoping meetings in 
December 2017. RUS issued a Scoping Report in May 2018.
    The Draft EIS addresses the construction and operation of the 
proposed project, which, in addition to the 345-kV transmission line 
and associated infrastructure, includes the following facilities:
    a. At the existing Cardinal Substation in Dane County, Wisconsin: A 
new 345-kV terminal within the substation;
    b. At the new proposed Hill Valley Substation near the Village of 
Montfort, Wisconsin: A 10-acre facility with four 345-kV circuit 
breakers, one 345-kV shunt reactor, one 345-kV/138-kV autotransformer, 
and three 138-kV circuit breakers;
    c. At the existing Eden Substation near the village of Montfort, 
Wisconsin: Transmission line protective relaying upgrades, ground grid 
improvements, and replacement of equipment within the Eden Substation;
    d. Between the existing Eden Substation and the proposed Hill 
Valley Substation near the Village of Montfort, Wisconsin: A rebuild of 
the approximately 1-mile Hill Valley to Eden 138-kV transmission line;
    e. At the existing Wyoming Valley Substation near Wyoming, 
Wisconsin: Ground grid improvements;
    f. Between the existing Cardinal Substation and the proposed Hill 
Valley Substation: A new 50- to 53-mile (depending on the final route) 
345-kV transmission line;
    g. Between the proposed Hill Valley Substation and existing Hickory 
Creek

[[Page 63151]]

Substation: A new 50- to 70-mile (depending on the final route) 345-kV 
transmission line;
    h. At the Mississippi River in Cassville, Wisconsin: A rebuild and 
possible relocation of the existing Mississippi River transmission line 
crossing to accommodate the new 345-kV transmission line and 
Dairyland's 161-kV transmission line, and which would be capable of 
operating at 345-kV/345-kV but will initially be operated at 345-kV/
161-kV;
    1. depending on the final route and the Mississippi River crossing 
locations:
    i. A new 161-kV terminal and transmission line protective relaying 
upgrades within the existing Nelson Dewey Substation in Cassville, 
Wisconsin;
    ii. a replaced or reinforced structure within the Stoneman 
Substation in Cassville, Wisconsin;
    iii. multiple, partial, or complete rebuilds of existing 69-kV and 
138-kV transmission lines in Wisconsin that would be collocated with 
the new 345-kV line;
    i. At the existing Turkey River Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa: 
Two 161-/69-kV transformers, four 161-kV circuit breakers, and five 69-
kV circuit breakers; and
    j. At the existing Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, 
Iowa: A new 345-kV terminal within the existing Hickory Creek 
Substation.
    Among the alternatives addressed in the Draft EIS is the No Action 
alternative, under which the proposed project would not be undertaken. 
Additional alternatives addressed in the Draft EIS include six action 
alternatives connecting the Cardinal Station in Wisconsin with the 
Hickory Creek Station in Iowa. RUS has carefully studied public health 
and safety, environmental impacts, and engineering aspects of the 
proposed project.
    RUS used input provided by government agencies, private 
organizations, and the public in the preparation of the Draft EIS. RUS 
will prepare a Final EIS that considers all comments received on the 
Draft EIS. Following the 30 calendar day comment period for the Final 
EIS, RUS will prepare a Record of Decision (ROD). Notices announcing 
the availability of the Final EIS and the ROD will be published in the 
Federal Register and in local newspapers.
    In accordance with section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act and its implementing regulation, ``Protection of 
Historic Properties'' (36 CFR part 800) and as part of its broad 
environmental review process, RUS must take into account the effect of 
the proposed project on historic properties. Pursuant to 36 CFR 
800.2(d)(3), RUS is using its procedures for public involvement under 
NEPA to meet its responsibilities to solicit and consider the views of 
the public during section 106 review. Any party wishing to participate 
more directly with RUS as a ``consulting party'' in section 106 review 
may submit a written request to the RUS contact provided in this 
notice.
    The proposed project involves unavoidable impacts to wetlands and 
floodplains; this Notice of Availability also serves as a statement of 
no practicable alternatives to impacts on wetlands and floodplains, in 
accordance with Executive Orders 11990 and 11988, respectively.
    Any final action by RUS related to the proposed project will be 
subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal, 
State and local environmental laws and regulations, and completion of 
the environmental review requirements as prescribed in the RUS 
Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1970).

    Dated: November 8, 2018.
Christopher A. McLean,
Assistant Administrator, Electric Programs, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-26558 Filed 12-6-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-15-P