Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish, 53114-53115 [2019-21608]

Download as PDF 53114 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 193 / Friday, October 4, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XR053 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS advises interested parties that the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC) and the City of Prineville, Oregon (applicants) applied for an incidental take permit, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. The DBBC is composed of eight irrigation districts including Arnold, Swalley, Central Oregon, Tumalo, Lone Pine, Three Sisters, Ochoco and North Unit. The permit, if issued, would authorize take of five species under NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) jurisdiction. These species are the federally listed Middle Columbia River steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), nonlisted spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and nonlisted sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), species under NMFS jurisdiction; and the federally listed bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and federally listed Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa), species under USFWS jurisdiction. The permit application addresses incidental take related to irrigation activity including the storage, release, diversion and return of water by the DBBC districts; and groundwater withdrawals and effluent discharge by the City of Prineville. The applicants developed the proposed Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (DBHCP) in support of their application and have requested a permit term of 30 years. The USFWS prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NMFS is a cooperating agency under NEPA for this action. NMFS is furnishing this notice in order to allow the public and other agencies an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed DBHCP and the USFWS’ EIS. DATES: Comments must be received at the appropriate address (see ADDRESSES) no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on November 18, 2019. Comments received after this date may not be accepted. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 03, 2019 Jkt 250001 Public Meetings: During the open comment period, the USFWS will host two public meetings at the following times and locations: • October 15, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mount Bachelor Village Resort and Event Center, 19717 Mt. Bachelor Drive, Bend, Oregon 97702. • October 16, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Carey Foster Hall, Crook County Fairgrounds, 1280 Main Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754. ADDRESSES: Copies of the proposed DBHCP are available for public inspection online at https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/ proposed-deschutes-basin-habitatconservation-plan. The draft EIS (and the proposed DBHCP) can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2019–0091. The draft EIS and proposed DBHCP are also available at https://www.fws.gov/ Oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489716. You may submit comments by the following methods: • Electronic Submission: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2019–0091. • Public Meetings: The USFWS will provide computers at the public meetings (see DATES) to allow attendees to submit comments. • Hard Copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand delivery to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R1– ES–2019–0091, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: JAO/ 1N, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Carlon, NMFS (503) 231–2379 or by email at scott.carlon@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Statutory Authority Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the taking of any listed species. The definition of ‘‘take’’ under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)) includes to harass, harm, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 capture, collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct. NMFS may issue permits, under limited circumstances to take listed species incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activity. Section 10(a) of the ESA and implementing regulations specify requirements for the issuance of incidental take permits (ITP) to nonFederal entities for the take of endangered and threatened species. NMFS regulations governing permits for threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 222.307. Any proposed take must be incidental to otherwise lawful activities, not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild, and minimize and mitigate the impacts of such take to the maximum extent practicable. In addition, the applicant must prepare an habitat conservation plan describing the impact that will likely result from such taking, the strategy for minimizing and mitigating the take, the funding available to implement such steps, alternatives to such taking, and the reason such alternatives are not being implemented. Background The NMFS and USFWS received an incidental take permit application from the applicants on August 30, 2019. The eight DBBC-member districts are quasimunicipal organizations formed and operated according to Oregon state law to distribute water to irrigators within designated geographic boundaries. Collectively, the districts serve over 7,653 patrons and provide water for approximately 151,000 acres. The City of Prineville operates City-owned infrastructure and provides essential services to over 9,000 residents including municipal water supply, sewage treatment and public safety. The application included the proposed DBHCP, which describes how impacts to steelhead, spring-run Chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, bull trout and Oregon spotted frog (hereafter covered species) would be minimized and mitigated. The proposed DBHCP also describes the estimated potential impact on covered species’ populations, adaptive management, monitoring, and mitigation measures. The various activities carried out by the applicants modify the quantity and quality of flow in the Deschutes River and its tributaries through the storage, release, diversion and return of irrigation water and the release of treated municipal sewage. The proposed DBHCP would modify covered activities to reduce the negative effects on the covered species aquatic habitat. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 193 / Friday, October 4, 2019 / Notices Middle Columbia River Steelhead The Middle Columbia River (MCR) steelhead covered by the proposed DBHCP are part of a larger distinct population segment (DPS). This DPS was listed under the ESA as threatened on March 25, 1999 and its status was reaffirmed on January 5, 2005 (71 FR 834). This DPS includes all naturally spawned steelhead populations originating below natural and manmade impassable barriers from the Columbia River and its tributaries upstream of the Wind and Hood Rivers (exclusive) to and including the Yakima River; excluding steelhead originating from the Snake River Basin. This DPS also includes steelhead from seven artificial propagation programs. As a requirement of a new federal license for the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project on the Deschutes River, Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Spring Reservation of Oregon initiated reintroduction of MCR steelhead, nonlisted spring-run Chinook salmon and non-listed sockeye salmon upstream of the project. On January 15, 2013, NMFS designated the reintroduced MCR steelhead as a nonessential experimental population. This ruling alleviates ESA section 9 liabilities for lawful activities that may result in incidental take of reintroduced steelhead. This designation only applies to steelhead occurring upstream of Round Butte Dam, steelhead that occur below this dam retain their status as threatened. The nonessential experimental designation is set to expire on January 15, 2025 and take liabilities will apply for steelhead occurring upstream of Round Butte Dam. The DBHCP is proposed, in part, to mitigate to the maximum extent practicable the applicants’ ESA liabilities for otherwise lawful activities that may result in incidental take. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Issuing an ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) permit constitutes a Federal action requiring compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) as implemented by 40 CFR parts 1500–1508. For this action, the USFWS is the lead agency under NEPA. As the lead agency, the USFWS prepared a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and is accepting comments on the DEIS at http:// www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS– R1–ES–2019–0091. More information regarding the DEIS is available at: https://www.fws.gov/Oregonfwo/ articles.cfm?id=149489716. NMFS is a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 03, 2019 Jkt 250001 cooperating agency for this action and proposes to adopt the USFWS’ NEPA document through its own NEPA process (40 CFR 1506.3). meeting via webinar of its Standing, Reef Fish, Mackerel, and Socioeconomic Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC). Request for Comments If you wish to comment on the proposed DBHCP, you may submit your comments to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. NMFS requests that comments be specific. In particular, we request information regarding: direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts that implementation of the proposed DBHCP or other alternatives could have on MCR steelhead, spring-run Chinook salmon and sockeye salmon and their habitat; potential adaptive management and monitoring provisions; existing environmental conditions in the plan area; other plans or projects that might be relevant to this proposed project; permit duration; and minimization and mitigation efforts. The meeting will convene via webinar on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., EDT. ADDRESSES: You may register for the webinar by visiting www.gulfcouncil.org and clicking on the SSC meeting on the calendar. Council address: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 4107 W Spruce Street, Suite 200, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 348–1630. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Rindone, Fishery Biologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; ryan.rindone@gulfcouncil.org, telephone: (813) 348–1630. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Tuesday, October 29, 2019; 1 p.m.–4 p.m., EDT The meeting will begin with Introductions, Adoption of Agenda, and review of the Scope of Work. The Committees will review the NMFS Report to Congress: Section 201 of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018, review A Practitioner’s Guide to Fisheries Social Impact Assessment, and will discuss any other business items. —Meeting Adjourns The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version along with other meeting materials will be posted on www.gulfcouncil.org as they become available. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Scientific and Statistical Committee for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the Scientific and Statistical Committee will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take action to address the emergency. Next Steps NMFS provides this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. We will evaluate this permit application, proposed DBHCDP, associated documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. If NMFS determines that the requirements are met, a permit will be issued for incidental take of covered species. The final permit determinations will not be made until after the end of the comment period. NMFS will publish a record of its final action in the Federal Register. Dated: September 30, 2019. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–21608 Filed 10–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P National Environmental Policy Act Compliance 53115 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0649–XV088 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of a public meeting. AGENCY: The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DATES: Special Accommodations This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Gulf Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 193 (Friday, October 4, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53114-53115]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-21608]



[[Page 53114]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XR053


Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS advises interested parties that the Deschutes Basin Board 
of Control (DBBC) and the City of Prineville, Oregon (applicants) 
applied for an incidental take permit, pursuant to the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. The DBBC is composed of eight 
irrigation districts including Arnold, Swalley, Central Oregon, Tumalo, 
Lone Pine, Three Sisters, Ochoco and North Unit. The permit, if issued, 
would authorize take of five species under NMFS and U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USFWS) jurisdiction. These species are the federally 
listed Middle Columbia River steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), non-
listed spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and non-
listed sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), species under NMFS 
jurisdiction; and the federally listed bull trout (Salvelinus 
confluentus) and federally listed Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa), 
species under USFWS jurisdiction. The permit application addresses 
incidental take related to irrigation activity including the storage, 
release, diversion and return of water by the DBBC districts; and 
groundwater withdrawals and effluent discharge by the City of 
Prineville. The applicants developed the proposed Deschutes Basin 
Habitat Conservation Plan (DBHCP) in support of their application and 
have requested a permit term of 30 years. The USFWS prepared a draft 
environmental impact statement (EIS) in compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NMFS is a cooperating agency under 
NEPA for this action. NMFS is furnishing this notice in order to allow 
the public and other agencies an opportunity to review and comment on 
the proposed DBHCP and the USFWS' EIS.

DATES: Comments must be received at the appropriate address (see 
ADDRESSES) no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on November 18, 2019. 
Comments received after this date may not be accepted.
    Public Meetings: During the open comment period, the USFWS will 
host two public meetings at the following times and locations:
     October 15, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mount Bachelor 
Village Resort and Event Center, 19717 Mt. Bachelor Drive, Bend, Oregon 
97702.
     October 16, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Carey Foster 
Hall, Crook County Fairgrounds, 1280 Main Street, Prineville, Oregon 
97754.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the proposed DBHCP are available for public 
inspection online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/proposed-deschutes-basin-habitat-conservation-plan. The draft EIS (and the 
proposed DBHCP) can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov, 
Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0091. The draft EIS and proposed DBHCP are 
also available at https://www.fws.gov/Oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489716.
    You may submit comments by the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0091.
     Public Meetings: The USFWS will provide computers at the 
public meetings (see DATES) to allow attendees to submit comments.
     Hard Copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand delivery to Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0091, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: JAO/1N, Falls Church, VA 
22041-3803.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Carlon, NMFS (503) 231-2379 or 
by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Statutory Authority

    Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the taking of any listed species. 
The definition of ``take'' under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)) includes 
to harass, harm, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, or 
attempt to engage in any such conduct. NMFS may issue permits, under 
limited circumstances to take listed species incidental to, and not the 
purpose of, otherwise lawful activity. Section 10(a) of the ESA and 
implementing regulations specify requirements for the issuance of 
incidental take permits (ITP) to non-Federal entities for the take of 
endangered and threatened species. NMFS regulations governing permits 
for threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 222.307. Any 
proposed take must be incidental to otherwise lawful activities, not 
appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the 
species in the wild, and minimize and mitigate the impacts of such take 
to the maximum extent practicable. In addition, the applicant must 
prepare an habitat conservation plan describing the impact that will 
likely result from such taking, the strategy for minimizing and 
mitigating the take, the funding available to implement such steps, 
alternatives to such taking, and the reason such alternatives are not 
being implemented.

Background

    The NMFS and USFWS received an incidental take permit application 
from the applicants on August 30, 2019. The eight DBBC-member districts 
are quasi-municipal organizations formed and operated according to 
Oregon state law to distribute water to irrigators within designated 
geographic boundaries. Collectively, the districts serve over 7,653 
patrons and provide water for approximately 151,000 acres. The City of 
Prineville operates City-owned infrastructure and provides essential 
services to over 9,000 residents including municipal water supply, 
sewage treatment and public safety.
    The application included the proposed DBHCP, which describes how 
impacts to steelhead, spring-run Chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, bull 
trout and Oregon spotted frog (hereafter covered species) would be 
minimized and mitigated. The proposed DBHCP also describes the 
estimated potential impact on covered species' populations, adaptive 
management, monitoring, and mitigation measures.
    The various activities carried out by the applicants modify the 
quantity and quality of flow in the Deschutes River and its tributaries 
through the storage, release, diversion and return of irrigation water 
and the release of treated municipal sewage. The proposed DBHCP would 
modify covered activities to reduce the negative effects on the covered 
species aquatic habitat.

[[Page 53115]]

Middle Columbia River Steelhead

    The Middle Columbia River (MCR) steelhead covered by the proposed 
DBHCP are part of a larger distinct population segment (DPS). This DPS 
was listed under the ESA as threatened on March 25, 1999 and its status 
was reaffirmed on January 5, 2005 (71 FR 834). This DPS includes all 
naturally spawned steelhead populations originating below natural and 
manmade impassable barriers from the Columbia River and its tributaries 
upstream of the Wind and Hood Rivers (exclusive) to and including the 
Yakima River; excluding steelhead originating from the Snake River 
Basin. This DPS also includes steelhead from seven artificial 
propagation programs.
    As a requirement of a new federal license for the Pelton Round 
Butte Hydroelectric Project on the Deschutes River, Portland General 
Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Spring Reservation of 
Oregon initiated reintroduction of MCR steelhead, non-listed spring-run 
Chinook salmon and non-listed sockeye salmon upstream of the project. 
On January 15, 2013, NMFS designated the reintroduced MCR steelhead as 
a nonessential experimental population. This ruling alleviates ESA 
section 9 liabilities for lawful activities that may result in 
incidental take of reintroduced steelhead. This designation only 
applies to steelhead occurring upstream of Round Butte Dam, steelhead 
that occur below this dam retain their status as threatened. The 
nonessential experimental designation is set to expire on January 15, 
2025 and take liabilities will apply for steelhead occurring upstream 
of Round Butte Dam. The DBHCP is proposed, in part, to mitigate to the 
maximum extent practicable the applicants' ESA liabilities for 
otherwise lawful activities that may result in incidental take.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    Issuing an ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) permit constitutes a Federal 
action requiring compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) as implemented by 40 CFR parts 1500-
1508. For this action, the USFWS is the lead agency under NEPA. As the 
lead agency, the USFWS prepared a draft environmental impact statement 
(DEIS) and is accepting comments on the DEIS at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2019-0091. More information 
regarding the DEIS is available at: https://www.fws.gov/Oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489716. NMFS is a cooperating agency for this action 
and proposes to adopt the USFWS' NEPA document through its own NEPA 
process (40 CFR 1506.3).

Request for Comments

    If you wish to comment on the proposed DBHCP, you may submit your 
comments to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
document. NMFS requests that comments be specific. In particular, we 
request information regarding: direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts 
that implementation of the proposed DBHCP or other alternatives could 
have on MCR steelhead, spring-run Chinook salmon and sockeye salmon and 
their habitat; potential adaptive management and monitoring provisions; 
existing environmental conditions in the plan area; other plans or 
projects that might be relevant to this proposed project; permit 
duration; and minimization and mitigation efforts.

Next Steps

    NMFS provides this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. We 
will evaluate this permit application, proposed DBHCDP, associated 
documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the 
permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. 
If NMFS determines that the requirements are met, a permit will be 
issued for incidental take of covered species. The final permit 
determinations will not be made until after the end of the comment 
period. NMFS will publish a record of its final action in the Federal 
Register.

    Dated: September 30, 2019.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-21608 Filed 10-3-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P