Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft General Conservation Plan for Oil and Gas Activities in Santa Barbara County, California, 13181-13182 [2020-04562]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 45 / Friday, March 6, 2020 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2019–N015; FXES11140800000–190–FF08EVEN00] Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft General Conservation Plan for Oil and Gas Activities in Santa Barbara County, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a draft General Conservation Plan (GCP), as well as the associated draft environmental assessment (EA), for oil and gas activities in Santa Barbara County. The Service developed the GCP in accordance with the Endangered Species Act to provide a streamlined mechanism for proponents engaged in oil and gas activities to meet statutory and regulatory requirements while promoting conservation of the Santa Barbara County distinct population segment of the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and Lompoc yerba santa. The Service prepared the draft EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential effects to the natural and human environment resulting from issuing permits under the GCP. We invite public comment on these documents. DATES: Written comments should be received on or before April 6, 2020. ADDRESSES: Obtaining documents: You may download a copy of the draft GCP and draft EA at http://www.fws.gov/ ventura/, or you may request copies of the documents from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office by U.S. mail (address below) or by phone (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Submitting written comments: Please send us your written comments using one of the following methods: • U.S. mail: Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. • Email: sbc-oilandgasgcp@fws.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel Henry, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES), by phone at 805–677–3312 or via the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:31 Mar 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 announce the availability of a draft General Conservation Plan (GCP), as well as the associated draft environmental assessment (EA), for oil and gas activities in Santa Barbara County. The GCP was developed by the Service in accordance with section 10(a)(2)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The GCP meets the issuance criteria as required by section 10(a)(2)(B) of the ESA for issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) incidental take permit (ITP). The Service developed the GCP to provide a streamlined mechanism for proponents engaged in oil and gas development, expansion, operations, maintenance, and decommissioning of infrastructure to meet statutory and regulatory requirements while promoting conservation of the Santa Barbara County distinct population segment (DPS) of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), and Lompoc yerba santa (Eriodictyon capitatum). The GCP includes measures to mitigate and minimize impacts to the covered species. Permits issued under the GCP would authorize incidental take of the covered species for up to 20 years after the plan becomes effective. The Service prepared the draft EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) to evaluate the potential effects to the natural and human environment resulting from issuing permits under the GCP. We invite public comment on these documents. Background The Service listed the Santa Barbara County DPS of the California tiger salamander as endangered on September 21, 2000 (65 FR 57242); the Lompoc yerba santa as endangered on March 20, 2000 (65 FR 14888); and the California red-legged frog as threatened on May 23, 1996 (61 FR 25813). Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing regulations prohibit the take of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. The ESA defines ‘‘take’’ as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1532); however, under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. Our regulations at 50 CFR 17.3 define ‘‘incidental taking’’ as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for endangered PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13181 and threatened species are in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. Under the ESA, protections for federally listed plants differ from the protections afforded to federally listed animals. Issuance of an incidental take permit also must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plant species. The permittees would receive assurances under our ‘‘No Surprises’’ regulations ((50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)) regarding conservation activities for the Santa Barbara County DPS of the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and Lompoc yerba santa. Proposed Action The proposed action is approval of the GCP that has been prepared by the Service in accordance with section 10(a)(2)(A) of the ESA to provide a more efficient and standardized mechanism for proponents engaged in commercial oil and gas development, expansion, operations, maintenance, and decommissioning of infrastructure on non-Federal lands. The GCP meets the permit issuance criteria as required by section 10(a)(2)(B) of the ESA and enables the establishment of a programmatic permitting and conservation process to address a defined suite of proposed activities over a defined planning area. The proposed GCP would allow private individuals, local and State agencies, and other nonFederal entities to meet the statutory and regulatory requirements of the ESA by applying for a permit and complying with the requirements of the GCP, including all applicable avoidance, minimization, and mitigation actions. The draft EA provides the required NEPA documentation for the proposed Federal action (i.e., approval of a conservation plan and subsequent issuance of permits pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA), providing information on the environmental baseline and a discussion of impacts to the human and natural environment that may occur as a result of implementation of the proposed GCP. Importantly, the scope of the EA is limited to the evaluation of the proposed GCP as a mechanism to standardize permit issuance for covered activities; this EA neither evaluates nor results in approval of oil and gas development projects or activities. Alternatives We are considering a no-action alternative to the proposed action in the EA. Under this alternative, the Service would not establish the proposed GCP as a standardized mechanism for E:\FR\FM\06MRN1.SGM 06MRN1 13182 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 45 / Friday, March 6, 2020 / Notices compliance with section 10 of the ESA. Entities planning to conduct oil and gas activities involving potential impacts to the Santa Barbara County DPS of the California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog would continue to be required to obtain permits with associated project-specific HCPs. 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 can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Stephen Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California. [FR Doc. 2020–04562 Filed 3–5–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWY921000.L14400000.ET0000; WYW 141567] Public Land Order No. 7892; Extension of Public Land Order No. 7434; Withdrawal of Public Land for Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Winter Range, Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Public land order. AGENCY: This order extends the duration of the withdrawal created by Public Land Order (PLO) No. 7434, which would otherwise expire on March 23, 2020, for an additional 20year period. PLO No. 7434 withdrew 1,430.92 acres of public lands from settlement, sale, location, or entry under the general land laws, including the United States mining laws, but not from leasing under the mineral leasing laws. The purpose of this withdrawal extension is to protect the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Winter Range lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:31 Mar 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 and capital investments in the area for an additional 20-year term. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION This PLO takes effect on March 24, 2020. [Investigation No. 337–TA–1151] DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keesha Cary, Realty Specialist, at (307) 775–6189, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, P.O. Box 1828, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. This Order extends the existing withdrawal to continue to protect the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Winter Range and capital investments in the area. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Order By virtue of the authority vested in the Secretary of the Interior by Section 204 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1714, it is ordered as follows: 1. Subject to valid existing rights, PLO No. 7434 (65 FR 15920 (2000)), which withdrew 1,430.92 acres of public lands from settlement, sale, location, or entry under the general land laws, including the United States mining laws, but not from leasing under the mineral leasing laws, is hereby extended for an additional 20-year period. 2. This withdrawal extended by this Order will expire on March 23, 2040, unless as a result of a review conducted prior to the expiration date pursuant to Section 204(f) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1714(f), the Secretary determines that the withdrawal shall be further extended. Dated: March 2, 2020. Rob Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2020–04637 Filed 3–5–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Certain Photovoltaic Cells and Products Containing Same; Commission Decision Not To Review an Initial Determination Granting Complainants’ Unopposed Motion To Amend the Complaint and Notice of Investigation U.S. International Trade Commission. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined not to review an initial determination (‘‘ID’’) (Order No. 38) of the presiding administrative law judge (‘‘ALJ’’) granting complainants’ unopposed motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation (‘‘NOI’’) in the above-captioned investigation to substitute Hanwha Solutions Corporation (‘‘HSC’’) for Hanwha Q CELLS & Advanced Materials Corporation (‘‘HQC–AMC’’) as a complainant. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clint Gerdine, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708–2310. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205–2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission’s electronic docket (EDIS) at https:// edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission’s TDD terminal on (202) 205–1810. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission instituted this investigation on April 9, 2019, based on a complaint filed on behalf of Hanwha Q CELLS USA, Inc. of Dalton, Georgia and HQC– AMC of Seoul, Republic of Korea. 84 FR 14134–35 (April 9, 2019). The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale E:\FR\FM\06MRN1.SGM 06MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 45 (Friday, March 6, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13181-13182]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-04562]



[[Page 13181]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2019-N015; FXES11140800000-190-FF08EVEN00]


Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft General Conservation 
Plan for Oil and Gas Activities in Santa Barbara County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft General Conservation Plan (GCP), as well as the 
associated draft environmental assessment (EA), for oil and gas 
activities in Santa Barbara County. The Service developed the GCP in 
accordance with the Endangered Species Act to provide a streamlined 
mechanism for proponents engaged in oil and gas activities to meet 
statutory and regulatory requirements while promoting conservation of 
the Santa Barbara County distinct population segment of the California 
tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and Lompoc yerba santa. 
The Service prepared the draft EA in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential effects to the 
natural and human environment resulting from issuing permits under the 
GCP. We invite public comment on these documents.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before April 6, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Obtaining documents: You may download a copy of the draft 
GCP and draft EA at http://www.fws.gov/ventura/, or you may request 
copies of the documents from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office by 
U.S. mail (address below) or by phone (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).
    Submitting written comments: Please send us your written comments 
using one of the following methods:
     U.S. mail: Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura 
Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola 
Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003.
     Email: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel Henry, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES), by phone 
at 805-677-3312 or via the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 for 
TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce the availability of a draft General Conservation 
Plan (GCP), as well as the associated draft environmental assessment 
(EA), for oil and gas activities in Santa Barbara County. The GCP was 
developed by the Service in accordance with section 10(a)(2)(A) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). The GCP meets the issuance criteria as required by section 
10(a)(2)(B) of the ESA for issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) incidental 
take permit (ITP).
    The Service developed the GCP to provide a streamlined mechanism 
for proponents engaged in oil and gas development, expansion, 
operations, maintenance, and decommissioning of infrastructure to meet 
statutory and regulatory requirements while promoting conservation of 
the Santa Barbara County distinct population segment (DPS) of the 
California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), California red-
legged frog (Rana draytonii), and Lompoc yerba santa (Eriodictyon 
capitatum). The GCP includes measures to mitigate and minimize impacts 
to the covered species. Permits issued under the GCP would authorize 
incidental take of the covered species for up to 20 years after the 
plan becomes effective. The Service prepared the draft EA in accordance 
with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.) to evaluate the potential effects to the natural and 
human environment resulting from issuing permits under the GCP. We 
invite public comment on these documents.

Background

    The Service listed the Santa Barbara County DPS of the California 
tiger salamander as endangered on September 21, 2000 (65 FR 57242); the 
Lompoc yerba santa as endangered on March 20, 2000 (65 FR 14888); and 
the California red-legged frog as threatened on May 23, 1996 (61 FR 
25813).
    Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing regulations prohibit the 
take of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. 
The ESA defines ``take'' as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, 
wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any 
such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1532); however, under section 10(a)(1)(B) of 
the ESA, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed 
species. Our regulations at 50 CFR 17.3 define ``incidental taking'' as 
take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out of an 
otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take 
permits for endangered and threatened species are in the Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. 
Under the ESA, protections for federally listed plants differ from the 
protections afforded to federally listed animals. Issuance of an 
incidental take permit also must not jeopardize the existence of 
federally listed fish, wildlife, or plant species. The permittees would 
receive assurances under our ``No Surprises'' regulations ((50 CFR 
17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)) regarding conservation activities for the 
Santa Barbara County DPS of the California tiger salamander, California 
red-legged frog, and Lompoc yerba santa.

Proposed Action

    The proposed action is approval of the GCP that has been prepared 
by the Service in accordance with section 10(a)(2)(A) of the ESA to 
provide a more efficient and standardized mechanism for proponents 
engaged in commercial oil and gas development, expansion, operations, 
maintenance, and decommissioning of infrastructure on non-Federal 
lands. The GCP meets the permit issuance criteria as required by 
section 10(a)(2)(B) of the ESA and enables the establishment of a 
programmatic permitting and conservation process to address a defined 
suite of proposed activities over a defined planning area. The proposed 
GCP would allow private individuals, local and State agencies, and 
other non-Federal entities to meet the statutory and regulatory 
requirements of the ESA by applying for a permit and complying with the 
requirements of the GCP, including all applicable avoidance, 
minimization, and mitigation actions.
    The draft EA provides the required NEPA documentation for the 
proposed Federal action (i.e., approval of a conservation plan and 
subsequent issuance of permits pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
ESA), providing information on the environmental baseline and a 
discussion of impacts to the human and natural environment that may 
occur as a result of implementation of the proposed GCP. Importantly, 
the scope of the EA is limited to the evaluation of the proposed GCP as 
a mechanism to standardize permit issuance for covered activities; this 
EA neither evaluates nor results in approval of oil and gas development 
projects or activities.

Alternatives

    We are considering a no-action alternative to the proposed action 
in the EA. Under this alternative, the Service would not establish the 
proposed GCP as a standardized mechanism for

[[Page 13182]]

compliance with section 10 of the ESA. Entities planning to conduct oil 
and gas activities involving potential impacts to the Santa Barbara 
County DPS of the California tiger salamander and California red-legged 
frog would continue to be required to obtain permits with associated 
project-specific HCPs.

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 can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able 
to do so.

Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) 
and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 
CFR 1506.6).

Stephen Henry,
Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2020-04562 Filed 3-5-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P