Habitat Conservation Plan for the Coastal California Gnatcatcher; Categorical Exclusion for 93-129 Ltd, Orange County, California, 28578-28580 [2019-12953]

Download as PDF 28578 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 19, 2019 / Notices render an appropriate decision on the application. USCIS will use this information to determine if any changes to the respondent’s prior statements affect the decisions the agency has made in regards to the respondent’s ability to be naturalized. (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection N–445 is 741,541 and the estimated hour burden per response is .25 hours. (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 185,385 hours. (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $0. Dated: June 14, 2019. Samantha L Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2019–13017 Filed 6–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–7011–N–28] Notice of Emergency Approval of an Information Collection: Housing Counseling Training Grant Program Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HUD has requested from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) emergency approval of the information collection described in this notice. DATES: Comments Due Date: August 5, 2019. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202–395–5806. Email: OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:06 Jun 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at Colette.Pollard@ hud.gov or telephone 202–402–3400. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. This is not a toll-free number. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice informs the public that HUD has submitted to OMB a request for approval of the information collection described in Section A. A. Overview of Information Collection Title of Information Collection: Housing Counseling Training Grant Program. OMB Approval Number: 2502–0567. Type of Request: Emergency. Form Number: SF–424, Application for Federal Assistance; HUD–92910, Housing Counseling Training Charts; HUD–2880, Applicant/Recipient Disclosure/Update Report. Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Eligible organizations submit information to HUD through Grants.gov when applying for grant funds to provide housing counseling training to housing counselors. HUD uses the information collected to evaluate applicants competitively and then select qualified organizations to receive funding that supplement their housing counseling training program. Post-award collection, such as quarterly reports, will allow HUD to evaluate grantees’ performance. Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 24. Estimated Number of Responses: 40. Frequency of Response: One-time application and quarterly reports. Average Hours per Response: 34.50. Total Estimated Burdens: 1,380. B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions. C. Authority Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35. Dated: June 13, 2019. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–13019 Filed 6–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2019–N053; FXES11140800000–190–FF08ECAR00] Habitat Conservation Plan for the Coastal California Gnatcatcher; Categorical Exclusion for 93–129 Ltd, Orange County, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from 93–129 Ltd for a 10year incidental take permit for the coastal California gnatcatcher pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our preliminary determination that the applicant’s accompanying proposed habitat conservation plan qualifies as low effect, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. The basis for this determination is discussed in our environmental action statement and associated low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review. SUMMARY: Written comments should be received on or before July 19, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods. Please include ‘‘93– 129 Ltd’’ at the beginning of your comments. • U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. DATES: E:\FR\FM\19JNN1.SGM 19JNN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 19, 2019 / Notices Fish and Wildlife Service, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, CA 92008. • Fax: Field Supervisor, 760–431– 9624. • Email: fw8cfwocomments@fws.gov. Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents by the following methods: • Internet: https://www.fws.gov/ carlsbad/HCPs/HCP_Docs.html. • Telephone: 760–431–9440. • U.S. Mail: Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). • In-Person: You may examine the documents by appointment during regular business hours at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). Please call to make an appointment (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 760–431–9440. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from 93– 129 Ltd (applicant) for a 10-year incidental take permit for one covered species pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The application addresses the anticipated ‘‘take’’ of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica; gnatcatcher). The applicant proposes to grade, subdivide, and construct infrastructure for four estate custom home parcels on the approximately 50-acre parcel (Tentative Parcel Map 93–129) in Laguna Niguel, California. The proposed project will impact an estimated 4.3 acres of coastal sage scrub and up to two pairs of gnatcatchers. A conservation program to avoid, minimize, and mitigate for project activities would be implemented as described in the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP). On June 25, 2007, the Service issued a 10year incidental take permit for the subject project. Implementation of the project was delayed and the permit expired on June 25, 2017. We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our preliminary determination that the proposed HCP qualifies as a low-effect HCP, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The basis for this determination is discussed in our environmental action statement and associated low-effect screening form, VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:06 Jun 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 which are also available for public review. Background Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing Federal regulations prohibit the take of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. ‘‘Take’’ is defined under the ESA as to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect [listed animal species], or to attempt to engage in such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1538). ‘‘Harm’’ includes significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). However, under section 10(a) of the ESA, the Service may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ‘‘Incidental taking’’ is defined by the ESA implementing regulations as taking that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity (50 CFR 17.3). Regulations governing incidental take permits for endangered and threatened species, respectively, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32. Applicant’s Proposed Project The project is located on a 50-acre property in the City of Laguna Niguel in Orange County, California (Tentative Parcel Map 93–129). The applicant requests a 10-year permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. If we approve the permit, the applicant anticipates taking gnatcatcher as a result of permanent impacts to 4.3 acres of coastal sage scrub that the species uses for breeding, feeding, and sheltering. The take would be incidental to the applicant’s activities associated with the grading, subdivision, and construction of four estate custom home parcels. The applicant proposes to mitigate permanent impacts to 4.3 acres of occupied gnatcatcher habitat through the creation and restoration of 10.61 acres of coastal sage scrub and conservation of 12.8 acres of coastal sage scrub (including the created and restored habitat). The conserved habitat will be managed in perpetuity. The applicant’s proposed HCP also contains measures to minimize the effects of construction activities on the gnatcatcher, including the following: Oversight of project activities by a biological monitor; fencing the project limits; implementing an erosion control plan to avoid and minimize degradation of adjacent native habitat; removing invasive plant species from the property; minimizing the spillage of PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28579 project lighting into the conserved area; providing educational brochures to residents on the responsibilities associated with living near a conserved area; removing previously used dirt access roads to reduce illegal trespassing into natural areas; and monitoring and reporting to the Service upon project completion. Proposed Action and Alternatives The Proposed Action consists of the issuance of an incidental take permit and implementation of the proposed HCP, which includes measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the gnatcatcher. If we approve the permit, take of gnatcatcher would be authorized for the applicant’s activities associated with the implementation of the 93–129 project. In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers two alternatives. Under the No Action Alternative, no permit would be issued and incidental take of the gnatcatcher resulting from habitat loss would occur, and no longterm protection and management would be afforded to the species. The No Action Alternative would not meet the primary goal of the proposed Project, which is to construct residential homes. Under the Parcel by Parcel Alternative, each individual parcel owner would conduct grading and slope stabilization activities. This alternative would necessitate the construction of an additional road immediately adjacent to the coastal sage scrub habitat conservation area on the north side of the property’s ridgeline and would significantly increase the impacts to coastal sage scrub habitat. Our Preliminary Determination The Service has made a preliminary determination that approval of the HCP and issuance of an incidental take permit qualify for categorical exclusion under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215), and that the HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan as defined by the Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (December 2016). We base our determination that a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and E:\FR\FM\19JNN1.SGM 19JNN1 28580 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 19, 2019 / Notices (3) Impacts of the HCP, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. Based upon this preliminary determination, we do not intend to prepare further NEPA documentation. We will consider public comments in making the final determination on whether to prepare such additional documentation. Next Steps We will evaluate the proposed HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) incidental take permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by conducting an intra-Service consultation. We will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue a permit. If the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) are met, we will issue the permit to the applicant for incidental take of the gnatcatcher. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Scott Sobiech, Acting Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES [FR Doc. 2019–12953 Filed 6–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:06 Jun 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [190A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G] Comanche Nation; Amendment to Liquor Control Ordinance AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. This notice publishes the amendment to the Comanche Indian Tribe Liquor Control Ordinance. The liquor control ordinance regulates and controls the possession, sale, manufacture, and distribution of alcohol on Comanche trust lands in conformity with the laws of the State of Oklahoma where applicable and necessary. The amendment does not become effective until published in the Federal Register. SUMMARY: Dated: May 17, 2019. Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. The Comanche Indian Tribe Liquor Control Ordinance, Article VII. Taxes, Section (1), as amended, shall read as follows: Article VII, Taxes, Section (1) Section (1) Tax. There is hereby levied and shall be collected a tax on each wholesale and retail sale of Alcohol Beverages on Tribal land in the amount of one percent (1%) of the retail sales and an additional (5%) on-Premise Poured Liquor Tax, respectively, to be added to the wholesale and retail sales price. All taxes from the sale of such Alcohol Beverages shall be paid into a separate account under exclusive authority of the Tax Commission. This tax may be adjusted as requested by the Tax Commission and approved by the Business Committee. [FR Doc. 2019–12942 Filed 6–18–19; 8:45 am] DATES: This ordinance shall become effective on July 19, 2019. BILLING CODE 4337–15–P Ms. Sherry Lovin, Tribal Government Officer, Southern Plains Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Post Box 368, Anadarko, Oklahoma 73005, telephone: (405) 247–1534 or (405) 247–6673, fax: (405) 247–1534; or Ms. Laurel Iron Cloud, Chief, Division of Tribal Government Services, Office of Indian Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street NW, MS–4513–MIB, Washington, DC 20240, telephone: (202) 513–7641. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pursuant to the Act of August 15, 1953, Public Law 83–277, 67 Stat. 5886, 18 U.S.C. 1161, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Rice v. Rehner, 463 U.S. 713 (1983), the Secretary of the Interior shall certify and publish in the Federal Register notice of adopted liquor control ordinances for the purpose of regulating liquor transactions in Indian country. On April 7, 2001, the Comanche Business Committee duly adopted the Comanche Indian Tribe Liquor Control Ordinance. The Comanche Tribe Liquor Control Ordinance was published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2001 at 66 FR 54022. This notice is published in accordance with the delegated authority by the Secretary of the Interior to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. I certify that the Comanche Nation Business Committee duly adopted the amendment to the Comanche Tribe Liquor Control Ordinance by Resolution 89–18 on May 17, 2018. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Bureau of Indian Affairs [190A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G; OMB Control Number 1076–0155] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Leases and Permits Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) are proposing to renew an information collection. SUMMARY: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 19, 2019. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to Ms. Sharlene Round Face, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, 1001 Indian School Road NW, Mailbox #44, Albuquerque, NM 87104; or by email to Sharlene.RoundFace@bia.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number DATES: E:\FR\FM\19JNN1.SGM 19JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 19, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28578-28580]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-12953]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2019-N053; FXES11140800000-190-FF08ECAR00]


Habitat Conservation Plan for the Coastal California Gnatcatcher; 
Categorical Exclusion for 93-129 Ltd, Orange County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an 
application from 93-129 Ltd for a 10-year incidental take permit for 
the coastal California gnatcatcher pursuant to the Endangered Species 
Act. We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our 
preliminary determination that the applicant's accompanying proposed 
habitat conservation plan qualifies as low effect, eligible for a 
categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. The 
basis for this determination is discussed in our environmental action 
statement and associated low-effect screening form, which are also 
available for public review.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before July 19, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the 
following methods. Please include ``93-129 Ltd'' at the beginning of 
your comments.
     U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife 
Office, U.S.

[[Page 28579]]

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

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), have received an application from 93-129 Ltd (applicant) for 
a 10-year incidental take permit for one covered species pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The application addresses the 
anticipated ``take'' of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher 
(Polioptila californica californica; gnatcatcher). The applicant 
proposes to grade, subdivide, and construct infrastructure for four 
estate custom home parcels on the approximately 50-acre parcel 
(Tentative Parcel Map 93-129) in Laguna Niguel, California. The 
proposed project will impact an estimated 4.3 acres of coastal sage 
scrub and up to two pairs of gnatcatchers. A conservation program to 
avoid, minimize, and mitigate for project activities would be 
implemented as described in the applicant's proposed habitat 
conservation plan (HCP). On June 25, 2007, the Service issued a 10-year 
incidental take permit for the subject project. Implementation of the 
project was delayed and the permit expired on June 25, 2017.
    We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our 
preliminary determination that the proposed HCP qualifies as a low-
effect HCP, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.). The basis for this determination is discussed in our 
environmental action statement and associated low-effect screening 
form, which are also available for public review.

Background

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

Applicant's Proposed Project

    The project is located on a 50-acre property in the City of Laguna 
Niguel in Orange County, California (Tentative Parcel Map 93-129). The 
applicant requests a 10-year permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
ESA. If we approve the permit, the applicant anticipates taking 
gnatcatcher as a result of permanent impacts to 4.3 acres of coastal 
sage scrub that the species uses for breeding, feeding, and sheltering. 
The take would be incidental to the applicant's activities associated 
with the grading, subdivision, and construction of four estate custom 
home parcels.
    The applicant proposes to mitigate permanent impacts to 4.3 acres 
of occupied gnatcatcher habitat through the creation and restoration of 
10.61 acres of coastal sage scrub and conservation of 12.8 acres of 
coastal sage scrub (including the created and restored habitat). The 
conserved habitat will be managed in perpetuity.
    The applicant's proposed HCP also contains measures to minimize the 
effects of construction activities on the gnatcatcher, including the 
following: Oversight of project activities by a biological monitor; 
fencing the project limits; implementing an erosion control plan to 
avoid and minimize degradation of adjacent native habitat; removing 
invasive plant species from the property; minimizing the spillage of 
project lighting into the conserved area; providing educational 
brochures to residents on the responsibilities associated with living 
near a conserved area; removing previously used dirt access roads to 
reduce illegal trespassing into natural areas; and monitoring and 
reporting to the Service upon project completion.

Proposed Action and Alternatives

    The Proposed Action consists of the issuance of an incidental take 
permit and implementation of the proposed HCP, which includes measures 
to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to the gnatcatcher. If we 
approve the permit, take of gnatcatcher would be authorized for the 
applicant's activities associated with the implementation of the 93-129 
project. In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers two alternatives. 
Under the No Action Alternative, no permit would be issued and 
incidental take of the gnatcatcher resulting from habitat loss would 
occur, and no long-term protection and management would be afforded to 
the species. The No Action Alternative would not meet the primary goal 
of the proposed Project, which is to construct residential homes. Under 
the Parcel by Parcel Alternative, each individual parcel owner would 
conduct grading and slope stabilization activities. This alternative 
would necessitate the construction of an additional road immediately 
adjacent to the coastal sage scrub habitat conservation area on the 
north side of the property's ridgeline and would significantly increase 
the impacts to coastal sage scrub habitat.

Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that approval of 
the HCP and issuance of an incidental take permit qualify for 
categorical exclusion under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided 
by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 
of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, 
and 46.215), and that the HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan as defined 
by the Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (December 2016).
    We base our determination that a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan 
on the following three criteria:
    (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible 
effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their 
habitats;
    (2) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible 
effects on other environmental values or resources; and

[[Page 28580]]

    (3) Impacts of the HCP, considered together with the impacts of 
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated 
projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to 
environmental values or resources that would be considered significant.
    Based upon this preliminary determination, we do not intend to 
prepare further NEPA documentation. We will consider public comments in 
making the final determination on whether to prepare such additional 
documentation.

Next Steps

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

Public Availability of Comments

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

Authority

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

Scott Sobiech,
Acting Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2019-12953 Filed 6-18-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P