Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, 45651-45652 [2020-16448]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 146 / Wednesday, July 29, 2020 / Notices collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the BIA; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the BIA enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the BIA minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. 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 review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: The Division of Economic Development (DED), within the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), established the Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) to provide technical assistance funding to federally recognized American Indian Tribes seeking to retain universities and colleges, private consulting firms, nonacademic/non-profit entities, or others to prepare feasibility studies of potential economic development opportunities. These studies will empower American Indian Tribes and Tribal businesses to make informed decisions regarding their economic futures. Studies may concern the viability of an economic development project or business or the practicality of a technology a Tribe may choose to pursue. The DED will specifically exclude from consideration proposals for research and development projects; requests for funding of salaries for Tribal government personnel; funding to pay legal fees; funding for the purchase or lease of structures, machinery, hardware or other capital items; and funding related to mineral, energy, or broadband development, as these are addressed by other IEED grant programs This is an annual program whose primary objective is to create jobs and foster economic activity within Tribal VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:23 Jul 28, 2020 Jkt 250001 communities. The DED will administer the program within IEED; and studies as described herein will be sole discretionary projects DED will consider or fund absent a competitive bidding process. When funding is available, DED will solicit proposals for studies. To receive these funds, Tribes may, if eligible, obtain adjustments to their funding from the Office of SelfGovernance. See 25 U.S.C. 450 et seq. Interested applicants must submit a Tribal resolution requesting funding, a statement of work describing the project for which the study is requested, the identity of the academic institution, consultants, or other entity the applicant wishes to retain (if known) and a budget indicating the funding amount requested and how it will be spent. The DED expressly retains the authority to reduce or otherwise modify proposed budgets and funding amounts. Applications for funding will be juried and evaluated primarily on the basis of a proposed project’s potential to generate jobs and economic activity in a Tribal community. Title of Collection: Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Funding Solicitations and Reporting. OMB Control Number: 1076–0178. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Extension without change of currently approved collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Indian Tribes with trust or restricted land. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 20 applicants per year; 20 project participants each year, on average. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 40. Estimated Completion Time per Response: 50 hours per application; 1.5 hours per progress report. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,030 hours (1,000 for applications and 30 for final reports). Respondent’s Obligation: Response is required to obtain a benefit. Frequency of Collection: Once per year for applications and final report. Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $0. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2020–16404 Filed 7–28–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45651 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [DOI–BLM–NV–W010–2020–0012–EIS; LLNVW00000.L51100000.GN0000. LVEMF1907180.19X .MO#4500145138] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Humboldt River Field Office, Winnemucca, Nevada, as the lead agency, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the potential impacts of approving the Lithium Nevada Corp. (LNC), Thacker Pass Project Proposed Plans of Operations and Reclamation Plan Permit Applications (Project) in Humboldt County, Nevada. In accordance with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is a cooperating agency with the BLM on the development of this Draft EIS to analyze the potential impacts of approving LNC’s request for an incidental take permit for golden eagles. The FWS will evaluate LNC’s Eagle Conservation Plan (ECP), which describes their request for incidental take of eagles and a 5-year incidental take permit for golden eagles under the Eagle Act. This notice announces the beginning of the public comment period to solicit public comments on the Draft EIS. SUMMARY: To ensure comments will be considered, BLM must receive written comments on the Draft EIS no later than 45 days after the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability of the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement DOI– BLM–NV–W010–2020–0012–EIS in the Federal Register, and will coordinate with the FWS on any comments received regarding impacts to golden eagles, and the Eagle Act permitting process. The BLM will announce the dates and locations of any future meetings or hearings and any other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through local media, newspapers and the BLM website at: https://www.blm.gov/office/ winnemucca-district-office. DATES: E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 45652 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 146 / Wednesday, July 29, 2020 / Notices You may submit comments related to the Project by any of the following methods: • Website: https://bit.ly/2Npgf9l. • Email: blm_nv_wdo_thacker_pass@ blm.gov, include ‘‘Thacker Pass Project EIS Comments’’ in the subject line. • Fax: (775) 623–1740, please mark ‘‘Attn: Thacker Pass Project EIS Comments’’. • Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Thacker Pass Project EIS Comments, 5100 E Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about the proposed Project, contact Mr. Ken Loda, telephone: (775) 623–1500, address: 5100 E Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445. Contact Mr. Loda to have your name added to our mailing list. For questions concerning the Eagle Act permitting process, contact Mr. Thomas Leeman at (916) 978–6189. 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 during normal business hours. 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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The applicant LNC proposes to construct, operate, reclaim, and eventually close an open pit lithium mine, processing operation, and continued exploration activities on public lands in northern Humboldt County, Nevada. LNC currently has two approved Plans of Operations (PoOs), one for exploration and one for a specialty clay mine, approved within the area proposed for the new lithium mine. There are 75 acres of exploration disturbance approved under LNC’s existing exploration PoO, and 140 acres of existing disturbance approved under their clay mine PoO. LNC has submitted two new PoOs to develop the Project and to provide a description of the proposed lithium mining, processing, and exploration operations. Each of these PoOs include a reclamation plan for the activities identified under the respective PoO. The operations proposed under the two new PoOs would involve a project area of about 18,000 acres, with an ultimate disturbance footprint of approximately 5,700 acres. The proposed lithium mine PoO boundary overlaps the existing PoO boundaries. LNC proposes to develop the Project in two phases over the estimated 41year mine life. Pending LNC receiving the required authorizations and permits ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:23 Jul 28, 2020 Jkt 250001 for Phase 1 of the Project, pre-stripping would commence in early 2021 and construction in the first quarter of 2021, with mining production and ore processing estimated to commence in late 2022. LNC estimates that it would complete mining, processing and concurrent reclamation activities in 2061, after which, reclamation, site closure activities, and post-closure monitoring would occur for a minimum of five years. The proposed activities and facilities associated with the Project include development of an open pit mine; construction and operation of lithium processing and production facilities, mine facilities to support mining operations, two waste rock storage facilities, a run-of-mine stockpile, a clay tailings filter stack, water supply facilities, two power transmission lines and substations, and various ancillary facilities. Pit dewatering is not expected to be required as part of the Project until 2055, and concurrent backfill of the open pit would occur after sufficient volume has been excavated to initiate direct placement of waste rock. Continued exploration would be conducted under both PoOs. Upon further review the BLM has determined than an amendment to the Winnemucca District Resource Management Plan is not necessary. In addition, the Project would affect golden eagle nests and territories by planned blasting within a two-mile radius of golden eagle nests; therefore, LNC has requested authorization from the FWS to disturb eagle nests and a 5year incidental take permit for golden eagles under the Eagle Act. LNC’s Eagle Conservation Plan is the foundation of the permit application and contains commitments to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse effects on golden eagles resulting from the implementation of the Project. Issuance of an eagle take permit must comply with the Eagle Act and all related regulatory requirements (50 CFR 22.26). The purpose of this comment period is for the public to comment on the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS, through scoping, has identified and analyzed impacts to the following resources: Air and atmospheric resources; cultural resources; noxious weeds, invasive species, and nonnative species; migratory birds; golden eagles; Native American religious concerns; wastes and materials (hazardous and solid); water quality (surface and ground); geology, minerals and energy; lands and realty; paleontology; rangeland management; recreation; social values and economics; soils; special status species (plants and wildlife); PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 transportation and access; vegetation; visual resources; and wildlife. The Draft EIS describes and analyzes the proposed Project’s direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on all affected resources. In addition to the Proposed Action, Alternative A, the following alternatives are also analyzed in the document: Alternative B, which is a partial backfilling of the pit that would result in a small wet area; Alternative C which does not backfill the pit and would result in three small, and probably seasonal, pit lakes; and the No Action Alternative. Alternatives A, B and C request an eagle take permit for loss of productivity of three golden eagle breeding pairs. Additionally, Alternative C would require nest site enhancement as compensatory mitigation under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The BLM has consulted and continues to consult with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts to Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources have been analyzed in the Draft EIS. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the proposed Project that the BLM and FWS are evaluating, are invited to participate in the comment process. 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 request in your comment that your personal identifying information be withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7. Ester McCullough, Winnemucca District Manager. [FR Doc. 2020–16448 Filed 7–28–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–HC–P E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 146 (Wednesday, July 29, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45651-45652]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-16448]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2020-0012-EIS; LLNVW00000.L51100000.GN0000. 
LVEMF1907180.19X .MO#4500145138]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Humboldt River 
Field Office, Winnemucca, Nevada, as the lead agency, has prepared a 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the potential 
impacts of approving the Lithium Nevada Corp. (LNC), Thacker Pass 
Project Proposed Plans of Operations and Reclamation Plan Permit 
Applications (Project) in Humboldt County, Nevada. In accordance with 
the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act), the Fish and 
Wildlife Service (FWS) is a cooperating agency with the BLM on the 
development of this Draft EIS to analyze the potential impacts of 
approving LNC's request for an incidental take permit for golden 
eagles. The FWS will evaluate LNC's Eagle Conservation Plan (ECP), 
which describes their request for incidental take of eagles and a 5-
year incidental take permit for golden eagles under the Eagle Act. This 
notice announces the beginning of the public comment period to solicit 
public comments on the Draft EIS.

DATES: To ensure comments will be considered, BLM must receive written 
comments on the Draft EIS no later than 45 days after the Environmental 
Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability of the Thacker 
Pass Lithium Mine Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement DOI-BLM-
NV-W010-2020-0012-EIS in the Federal Register, and will coordinate with 
the FWS on any comments received regarding impacts to golden eagles, 
and the Eagle Act permitting process. The BLM will announce the dates 
and locations of any future meetings or hearings and any other public 
involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through local media, 
newspapers and the BLM website at: https://www.blm.gov/office/winnemucca-district-office.

[[Page 45652]]


ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Project by any of the 
following methods:
     Website: https://bit.ly/2Npgf9l.
     Email: [email protected], include ``Thacker 
Pass Project EIS Comments'' in the subject line.
     Fax: (775) 623-1740, please mark ``Attn: Thacker Pass 
Project EIS Comments''.
     Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Thacker Pass 
Project EIS Comments, 5100 E Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about the proposed 
Project, contact Mr. Ken Loda, telephone: (775) 623-1500, address: 5100 
E Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445. Contact Mr. Loda to have your 
name added to our mailing list. For questions concerning the Eagle Act 
permitting process, contact Mr. Thomas Leeman at (916) 978-6189. 
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 during normal business hours. 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The applicant LNC proposes to construct, 
operate, reclaim, and eventually close an open pit lithium mine, 
processing operation, and continued exploration activities on public 
lands in northern Humboldt County, Nevada. LNC currently has two 
approved Plans of Operations (PoOs), one for exploration and one for a 
specialty clay mine, approved within the area proposed for the new 
lithium mine. There are 75 acres of exploration disturbance approved 
under LNC's existing exploration PoO, and 140 acres of existing 
disturbance approved under their clay mine PoO. LNC has submitted two 
new PoOs to develop the Project and to provide a description of the 
proposed lithium mining, processing, and exploration operations. Each 
of these PoOs include a reclamation plan for the activities identified 
under the respective PoO. The operations proposed under the two new 
PoOs would involve a project area of about 18,000 acres, with an 
ultimate disturbance footprint of approximately 5,700 acres. The 
proposed lithium mine PoO boundary overlaps the existing PoO 
boundaries.
    LNC proposes to develop the Project in two phases over the 
estimated 41-year mine life. Pending LNC receiving the required 
authorizations and permits for Phase 1 of the Project, pre-stripping 
would commence in early 2021 and construction in the first quarter of 
2021, with mining production and ore processing estimated to commence 
in late 2022. LNC estimates that it would complete mining, processing 
and concurrent reclamation activities in 2061, after which, 
reclamation, site closure activities, and post-closure monitoring would 
occur for a minimum of five years.
    The proposed activities and facilities associated with the Project 
include development of an open pit mine; construction and operation of 
lithium processing and production facilities, mine facilities to 
support mining operations, two waste rock storage facilities, a run-of-
mine stockpile, a clay tailings filter stack, water supply facilities, 
two power transmission lines and substations, and various ancillary 
facilities. Pit dewatering is not expected to be required as part of 
the Project until 2055, and concurrent backfill of the open pit would 
occur after sufficient volume has been excavated to initiate direct 
placement of waste rock. Continued exploration would be conducted under 
both PoOs. Upon further review the BLM has determined than an amendment 
to the Winnemucca District Resource Management Plan is not necessary.
    In addition, the Project would affect golden eagle nests and 
territories by planned blasting within a two-mile radius of golden 
eagle nests; therefore, LNC has requested authorization from the FWS to 
disturb eagle nests and a 5-year incidental take permit for golden 
eagles under the Eagle Act. LNC's Eagle Conservation Plan is the 
foundation of the permit application and contains commitments to avoid, 
minimize, and mitigate adverse effects on golden eagles resulting from 
the implementation of the Project. Issuance of an eagle take permit 
must comply with the Eagle Act and all related regulatory requirements 
(50 CFR 22.26).
    The purpose of this comment period is for the public to comment on 
the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS, through scoping, has identified and 
analyzed impacts to the following resources: Air and atmospheric 
resources; cultural resources; noxious weeds, invasive species, and 
nonnative species; migratory birds; golden eagles; Native American 
religious concerns; wastes and materials (hazardous and solid); water 
quality (surface and ground); geology, minerals and energy; lands and 
realty; paleontology; rangeland management; recreation; social values 
and economics; soils; special status species (plants and wildlife); 
transportation and access; vegetation; visual resources; and wildlife. 
The Draft EIS describes and analyzes the proposed Project's direct, 
indirect, and cumulative impacts on all affected resources. In addition 
to the Proposed Action, Alternative A, the following alternatives are 
also analyzed in the document: Alternative B, which is a partial 
backfilling of the pit that would result in a small wet area; 
Alternative C which does not backfill the pit and would result in three 
small, and probably seasonal, pit lakes; and the No Action Alternative. 
Alternatives A, B and C request an eagle take permit for loss of 
productivity of three golden eagle breeding pairs. Additionally, 
Alternative C would require nest site enhancement as compensatory 
mitigation under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
    The BLM has consulted and continues to consult with Indian tribes 
on a government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 
13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts to Indian 
trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources have been 
analyzed in the Draft EIS. Federal, State, and local agencies, along 
with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or 
affected by the proposed Project that the BLM and FWS are evaluating, 
are invited to participate in the comment process.
    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 
request in your comment that your personal identifying information be 
withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able 
to do so.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7.

Ester McCullough,
Winnemucca District Manager.
[FR Doc. 2020-16448 Filed 7-28-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-HC-P