Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent and Availability of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice to Hold a Public Meeting, 45720-45722 [2019-18790]

Download as PDF 45720 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices practicable after they decide to pursue any form of financial assistance directly or indirectly available through the Agency. (4) Appeals. A person may seek a review of an Agency decision or appeal to the National Appeals Division in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.105. (5) Reporting. Grants, guaranteed loans, combination guaranteed loans and grants, and energy audit and energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants that are awarded are required to fulfill the reporting requirements as specified in Departmental Regulations, the Grant Agreement, and in 7 CFR part 4280 subpart B and paragraphs VI.B.(5)(a) through (d) of this Notice. (a) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvements grants that are awarded are required to fulfill the reporting requirements as specified in 7 CFR 4280.123. (b) Guaranteed loan applications that are awarded are required to fulfill the reporting requirements as specified in 7 CFR 4280.143. (c) Combined guaranteed loan and grant applications that are awarded are required to fulfill the reporting requirements as specified in 7 CFR 4280.165(f). (d) Energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants grant applications that are awarded are required to fulfill the reporting requirements as specified in 7 CFR 4280.196. VII. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts For further information contact the applicable USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator for your respective State, as identified via the following link: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_ StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf. For information about this Notice, please contact Venus Welch-White, National Rural Energy Coordinator, USDA Rural Development, Energy Division, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 3225, Room 6901, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720–0400. Email: venus.welchwhite@usda.gov. VIII. Other Information jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES A. Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements associated with renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvements grants and guaranteed loans, as covered in this Notice, have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570–0067. The information collection VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 requirements associated with energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants have also been approved by OMB under OMB Control Number 0570–0067. B. Nondiscrimination Statement In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/ parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD– 3027, found online at http:// www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_ cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632–9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690–7442; or (3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. Bette B. Brand, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service. [FR Doc. 2019–18825 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XY–P PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent and Availability of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice to Hold a Public Meeting Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of intent and availability of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice to hold a public meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Supplemental Draft EIS) for Central Electric Power Cooperative’s (Central Electric) proposed McClellanville Area 115–kV Transmission Project (Project) in South Carolina. In this document, RUS analyzes the environmental impacts associated with an anticipated decision request to approve or deny funding for Central Electric’s proposed Project. The Supplement Draft EIS was prepared to address substantial changes to the proposed action and assesses new circumstances and information relevant to potential environmental impacts originally evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). In April 2014, RUS issued a Draft EIS that evaluated six 115–kV transmission line corridors originating in Georgetown County, South Carolina and terminating in the McClellanville area of Charleston County, South Carolina. Since publication of the Draft EIS, updated engineering data has resulted in substantial changes to the proposed action, including the need to evaluate new transmission line corridors originating from the Jamestown and Charity areas of Berkeley County, South Carolina, and to account for a new winter weather operating agreement between the former South Carolina Electric and Gas (now Dominion Energy South Carolina) and Berkeley Electric Cooperative that addresses load concerns during the winter months. In addition, the following changes made it necessary to supplement the Draft EIS: The promulgation of a new environmental regulation applicable to RUS (7 CFR part 1970, which replaced the former 7 CFR part 1794, RUS Environmental Policies and Procedures), issuance and implementation of Executive Order 13807: ‘‘Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects’’ (known as the ‘‘One Federal Decision Executive Order’’), and publication of the Francis Marion National Forest’s Forest Plan. The Supplemental Draft EIS addresses the construction, operation, and maintenance of Central Electric’s proposed Project. The Project includes the construction of a new 115 kV transmission line needed to energize the new McClellanville Substation located near the McClellanville service area. The Supplemental Draft EIS considers three alternatives, encompassing three potential corridor locations with one corridor including two different alignments. The overall project area encompasses parts of Berkeley, Georgetown and Charleston counties in coastal South Carolina, and potentially crosses the Francis Marion National Forest. The Supplemental Draft EIS has identified the potential for impacts to various resources, including wetlands, biological resources and cultural resources (including historic properties). Central Electric does not hold easements across these areas. Once a final right-of-way (ROW) is selected within the preferred corridor, coordination with federal and state agencies and other interested parties would occur to identify, evaluate and, if needed, mitigate any adverse effects. RUS will compile public comments received on the Supplemental Draft EIS and produce a Final EIS that considers and responds to those substantive public comments. Based on this analysis in additional to technical and financial reviews, RUS will decide to approve or deny an application for funding. DATES: The public comment period on the Supplemental Draft EIS starts with the publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental impact statement (EIS) receipt notice in the Federal Register and will continue for 60 days. The Supplemental Draft EIS and associated documents will be available for the public to view on the weblink provided in this Notice. RUS will consider all substantive written comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS received or postmarked within the 60-day timeframe. Agencies, interested parties, and the public are invited to submit comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS at any time during the public comment period RUS contact information provided in this Notice. The date(s) and time for a public meeting will be announced in local newspapers and published on the agency’s website at: https:// VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 www.rd.usda.gov/publications/ environmental-studies/impactstatements/mccllellanville-115kvtransmission-line. Attendees are welcome to attend any public meetings and to provide written or oral comments on the Project. A court reporter will be present. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed Project and the EIS process, please contact Ms. Lauren Rayburn, Environmental Scientist, Rural Utilities Service, 160 Zillicoa Street, Suite 2, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, Telephone: (202) 695– 2540 or email: lauren.rayburn@ usda.gov. Parties wishing to be placed on the Project mailing list for future information and to receive copies of the Supplemental Draft EIS and the Final EIS when available should also contact Ms. Rayburn. Comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS may be emailed to: Comments-mcclellanville@ louisberger.com or physically mailed to the address provided in this Notice. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RUS is authorized to make loans and loan guarantees that finance the construction of electric distribution, transmission, and generation facilities, including system improvements and replacements required to furnish and improve electric service in rural areas, as well as demand side management, energy conservation programs, and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems. Central Electric is an electric transmission cooperative that provides transmission service from the bulk transmission system to South Carolina’s 20 retail electric cooperatives. Berkeley Electric, a member distribution electric cooperative of Central Electric, was formed in 1940 to bring electric service to rural areas of coastal South Carolina. Berkeley Electric owns and operates more than 5,000 miles of distribution line serving more than 80,000 accounts in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. Project Description: Central Electric has identified the need for additional electric transmission capacity in the McClellanville area of coastal South Carolina to meet reliability and energy load requirements of its member owner, Berkeley Electric Cooperative. Investigations and analyses conducted for the overall power delivery systems found that without improvements, the flow of power along existing lines may result in local line overloads and power outages. To resolve these issues, Central Electric is proposing to construct, own and operate a new 115-kV transmission line and associated supporting infrastructure to energize the new PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45721 McClellanville Substation, located near the McClellanville service area. Berkeley Electric owner-customers that would benefit from the proposed Project include those located in the areas near Rutledge Road, South Santee Road, Wedge Plantation, Germantown, Toby Road, Dupree Road, Lincoln High School, Randall Road, Tibwin Road, St. James-Santee School, Shellmore, Buck Hall, Town of Awendaw, Doar Road, and areas adjacent to U.S. Highway 17 in northern Charleston County. The Supplemental Draft EIS considers three alternatives, encompassing three potential corridor locations with one corridor including two different alignments. The corridors range in length from 16 to 31 miles and encompasses parts of Berkeley, Georgetown and Charleston counties in South Carolina. The corridor locations propose to cross both public and private lands, including the Francis Marion National Forest, Santee Coastal Reserve, and other private and public lands used for conservation management purposes; all corridors are located entirely within the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. The Supplemental Draft EIS analyzes the extent of Central’s Electric’s proposal with regard to the following: Water resources, biological resources, soils and geology, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, cultural resources, recreation and land use, visual resources, socioeconomics, environmental justice, transportation, health and safety, and noise. Central Electric plans to request financial assistance for the proposed Project from RUS. Completing the EIS is one of RUS’s requirements in processing a future application from Central Electric, along with other technical and financial considerations. In accordance with 40 CFR 1501.5(b) of the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Regulation for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (CEQ Regulations), RUS will serve as the lead agency in the preparation of the EIS. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service are participating as cooperating agencies. RUS has prepared a Supplemental Draft EIS to analyze the impacts of the respective federal actions and the proposed Project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as amended, CEQ Regulations, RUS Environmental Policies and Procedures, and the U.S. Forest Service’s National Environmental Policy Act procedures. Because the proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or wetlands, this Notice also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 45722 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices wetland action. The Supplemental Draft EIS will include an assessment of effects to floodplains/wetlands and, if required, a statement of findings will be issued with the Final SEIS. RUS has determined that its action regarding the proposed Project would be an undertaking subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106), and its implementing regulations, ‘‘Protection of Historic Properties.’’ As part of its broad environmental review process, RUS must consider the effect of the proposed Project on historic properties in accordance with Section 106. 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. Accordingly, comments submitted in response to this Notice will inform RUS decision-making in its Section 106 review process. 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. Agency Responsibilities: RUS is serving as the lead agency, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5, for preparation of the Supplemental Draft EIS. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service are participating as cooperating agencies and may issue separate Records of Decision relevant to the Project under separate authorities. For the U.S. Forest Service, a draft Record of Decision would be subject to the Agency’s administrative review process at 36 CFR part 218, subparts A and B. The U.S. Forest Service may need to issue a special use permit to authorize occupancy of National Forest System lands for this proposal. Per 40 CFR 1506.3, the U.S. Forest Service intends to review and adopt the Final EIS, if found sufficient, in support of issuance of a special use permit. Public Participation: The EIS process has included past scoping meetings and comment periods; consultation and involvement with appropriate Federal, State, local, and tribal governments; and a public meeting and comment period on the Draft EIS issued in 2014. The date(s) and time for a public meeting will be announced in local newspapers and published on the agency’s website at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/ publications/environmental-studies/ impact-statements/mccllellanville115kv-transmission-line. Attendees are welcome to attend any public meetings and to provide written or oral comments on the Project. A court reporter will be present. The process will be followed by publication of a Final EIS and publication of a Record of Decision. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. AGENCY: Notice and opportunity for public comment. ACTION: The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of the firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firms’ workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Christopher A. Mclean, Assistant Administrator—Electric Program, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2019–18790 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P LIST OF PETITIONS RECEIVED BY EDA FOR CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY FOR TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES [8/2/2019 through 8/22/2019] Date accepted for investigation Firm name Firm address D & W, Inc .................... 941 Oak Street, Elkhart, IN 46514 .................... 8/14/2019 Fetting’s Frozen Foods, LLC. Sieling and Jones, Inc .. 206 4th Street West, Finley, ND 58230 ............ 8/21/2019 The firm manufactures mirrors and patterned glass. The firm manufactures frozen bread dough. 127 Pleasant Avenue, New Freedom, PA 17349. 8/22/2019 The firm manufactures veneer wood products. Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice. These petitions are received pursuant to section 251 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA’s regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms. Irette Patterson, Program Analyst. [FR Doc. 2019–18740 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–WH–P PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Product(s) DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 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 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 169 (Friday, August 30, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45720-45722]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18790]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent and 
Availability of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and 
Notice to Hold a Public Meeting

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent and availability of a Supplemental Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement and Notice to hold a public meeting.

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

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a Supplemental Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (Supplemental Draft EIS) for Central 
Electric Power Cooperative's (Central Electric) proposed McClellanville 
Area 115-kV Transmission Project (Project) in South Carolina. In this 
document, RUS analyzes the environmental impacts associated with an 
anticipated decision request to approve or deny funding for Central 
Electric's proposed Project. The Supplement Draft EIS was prepared to 
address substantial changes to the proposed action and assesses new 
circumstances and information relevant to potential environmental 
impacts originally evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (Draft EIS).
    In April 2014, RUS issued a Draft EIS that evaluated six 115-kV 
transmission line corridors originating in Georgetown County, South 
Carolina and terminating in the McClellanville area of Charleston 
County, South Carolina. Since publication of the Draft EIS, updated 
engineering data has resulted in substantial changes to the proposed 
action, including the need to evaluate new transmission line corridors 
originating from the Jamestown and Charity areas of Berkeley County, 
South Carolina, and to account for a new winter weather operating 
agreement between the former South Carolina Electric and Gas (now 
Dominion Energy South Carolina) and Berkeley Electric Cooperative that 
addresses load concerns during the winter months. In addition, the 
following changes made it necessary to supplement the Draft EIS: The 
promulgation of a new environmental regulation applicable to RUS (7 CFR 
part 1970, which replaced the former 7 CFR part 1794, RUS Environmental 
Policies and Procedures), issuance and implementation of Executive 
Order 13807: ``Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the 
Environmental

[[Page 45721]]

Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects'' (known as 
the ``One Federal Decision Executive Order''), and publication of the 
Francis Marion National Forest's Forest Plan.
    The Supplemental Draft EIS addresses the construction, operation, 
and maintenance of Central Electric's proposed Project. The Project 
includes the construction of a new 115 kV transmission line needed to 
energize the new McClellanville Substation located near the 
McClellanville service area. The Supplemental Draft EIS considers three 
alternatives, encompassing three potential corridor locations with one 
corridor including two different alignments. The overall project area 
encompasses parts of Berkeley, Georgetown and Charleston counties in 
coastal South Carolina, and potentially crosses the Francis Marion 
National Forest.
    The Supplemental Draft EIS has identified the potential for impacts 
to various resources, including wetlands, biological resources and 
cultural resources (including historic properties). Central Electric 
does not hold easements across these areas. Once a final right-of-way 
(ROW) is selected within the preferred corridor, coordination with 
federal and state agencies and other interested parties would occur to 
identify, evaluate and, if needed, mitigate any adverse effects. RUS 
will compile public comments received on the Supplemental Draft EIS and 
produce a Final EIS that considers and responds to those substantive 
public comments. Based on this analysis in additional to technical and 
financial reviews, RUS will decide to approve or deny an application 
for funding.

DATES: The public comment period on the Supplemental Draft EIS starts 
with the publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 
environmental impact statement (EIS) receipt notice in the Federal 
Register and will continue for 60 days. The Supplemental Draft EIS and 
associated documents will be available for the public to view on the 
weblink provided in this Notice. RUS will consider all substantive 
written comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS received or postmarked 
within the 60-day timeframe. Agencies, interested parties, and the 
public are invited to submit comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS at 
any time during the public comment period RUS contact information 
provided in this Notice. The date(s) and time for a public meeting will 
be announced in local newspapers and published on the agency's website 
at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/environmental-studies/impact-statements/mccllellanville-115kv-transmission-line. Attendees are 
welcome to attend any public meetings and to provide written or oral 
comments on the Project. A court reporter will be present.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed 
Project and the EIS process, please contact Ms. Lauren Rayburn, 
Environmental Scientist, Rural Utilities Service, 160 Zillicoa Street, 
Suite 2, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, Telephone: (202) 695-2540 or 
email: [email protected]. Parties wishing to be placed on the 
Project mailing list for future information and to receive copies of 
the Supplemental Draft EIS and the Final EIS when available should also 
contact Ms. Rayburn. Comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS may be 
emailed to: [email protected] or physically 
mailed to the address provided in this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RUS is authorized to make loans and loan 
guarantees that finance the construction of electric distribution, 
transmission, and generation facilities, including system improvements 
and replacements required to furnish and improve electric service in 
rural areas, as well as demand side management, energy conservation 
programs, and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems. Central 
Electric is an electric transmission cooperative that provides 
transmission service from the bulk transmission system to South 
Carolina's 20 retail electric cooperatives. Berkeley Electric, a member 
distribution electric cooperative of Central Electric, was formed in 
1940 to bring electric service to rural areas of coastal South 
Carolina. Berkeley Electric owns and operates more than 5,000 miles of 
distribution line serving more than 80,000 accounts in Berkeley, 
Charleston, and Dorchester counties.
    Project Description: Central Electric has identified the need for 
additional electric transmission capacity in the McClellanville area of 
coastal South Carolina to meet reliability and energy load requirements 
of its member owner, Berkeley Electric Cooperative. Investigations and 
analyses conducted for the overall power delivery systems found that 
without improvements, the flow of power along existing lines may result 
in local line overloads and power outages. To resolve these issues, 
Central Electric is proposing to construct, own and operate a new 115-
kV transmission line and associated supporting infrastructure to 
energize the new McClellanville Substation, located near the 
McClellanville service area. Berkeley Electric owner-customers that 
would benefit from the proposed Project include those located in the 
areas near Rutledge Road, South Santee Road, Wedge Plantation, 
Germantown, Toby Road, Dupree Road, Lincoln High School, Randall Road, 
Tibwin Road, St. James-Santee School, Shellmore, Buck Hall, Town of 
Awendaw, Doar Road, and areas adjacent to U.S. Highway 17 in northern 
Charleston County.
    The Supplemental Draft EIS considers three alternatives, 
encompassing three potential corridor locations with one corridor 
including two different alignments. The corridors range in length from 
16 to 31 miles and encompasses parts of Berkeley, Georgetown and 
Charleston counties in South Carolina. The corridor locations propose 
to cross both public and private lands, including the Francis Marion 
National Forest, Santee Coastal Reserve, and other private and public 
lands used for conservation management purposes; all corridors are 
located entirely within the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. 
The Supplemental Draft EIS analyzes the extent of Central's Electric's 
proposal with regard to the following: Water resources, biological 
resources, soils and geology, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, 
cultural resources, recreation and land use, visual resources, 
socioeconomics, environmental justice, transportation, health and 
safety, and noise.
    Central Electric plans to request financial assistance for the 
proposed Project from RUS. Completing the EIS is one of RUS's 
requirements in processing a future application from Central Electric, 
along with other technical and financial considerations. In accordance 
with 40 CFR 1501.5(b) of the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) 
Regulation for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (CEQ Regulations), RUS will serve as the lead 
agency in the preparation of the EIS. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
and the U.S. Forest Service are participating as cooperating agencies. 
RUS has prepared a Supplemental Draft EIS to analyze the impacts of the 
respective federal actions and the proposed Project in accordance with 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as amended, CEQ 
Regulations, RUS Environmental Policies and Procedures, and the U.S. 
Forest Service's National Environmental Policy Act procedures.
    Because the proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or 
wetlands, this Notice also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or

[[Page 45722]]

wetland action. The Supplemental Draft EIS will include an assessment 
of effects to floodplains/wetlands and, if required, a statement of 
findings will be issued with the Final SEIS.
    RUS has determined that its action regarding the proposed Project 
would be an undertaking subject to review under Section 106 of the 
National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106), and its implementing 
regulations, ``Protection of Historic Properties.'' As part of its 
broad environmental review process, RUS must consider the effect of the 
proposed Project on historic properties in accordance with Section 106. 
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. 
Accordingly, comments submitted in response to this Notice will inform 
RUS decision-making in its Section 106 review process. 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.
    Agency Responsibilities: RUS is serving as the lead agency, as 
defined at 40 CFR 1501.5, for preparation of the Supplemental Draft 
EIS. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service are 
participating as cooperating agencies and may issue separate Records of 
Decision relevant to the Project under separate authorities. For the 
U.S. Forest Service, a draft Record of Decision would be subject to the 
Agency's administrative review process at 36 CFR part 218, subparts A 
and B. The U.S. Forest Service may need to issue a special use permit 
to authorize occupancy of National Forest System lands for this 
proposal. Per 40 CFR 1506.3, the U.S. Forest Service intends to review 
and adopt the Final EIS, if found sufficient, in support of issuance of 
a special use permit.
    Public Participation: The EIS process has included past scoping 
meetings and comment periods; consultation and involvement with 
appropriate Federal, State, local, and tribal governments; and a public 
meeting and comment period on the Draft EIS issued in 2014. The date(s) 
and time for a public meeting will be announced in local newspapers and 
published on the agency's website at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/environmental-studies/impact-statements/mccllellanville-115kv-transmission-line. Attendees are welcome to attend any public 
meetings and to provide written or oral comments on the Project. A 
court reporter will be present. The process will be followed by 
publication of a Final EIS and publication of a Record of Decision.

Christopher A. Mclean,
Assistant Administrator--Electric Program, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-18790 Filed 8-29-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P