Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly and Three Subspecies of the Mazama Pocket Gopher, Puget Sound Energy; Categorical Exclusion, 48723-48724 [2020-17579]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 12, 2020 / Notices Nature of Requirement: 24 CFR 972.227(c)(1)(i) requires for resident consultation specifically to include an explanation of the requirements of Section 22 of the 1937 Act as they apply to residents of the properties subject to Voluntary Conversion. Granted By: R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, granted this pursuant to 24 CFR 5.110, and found good cause to approve HASLC’s request for the waiver noted above, thus allowing for PIH’s approval of the subject Voluntary Conversion Plan and expediting the provision of tenant-based (Housing Choice Voucher) assistance for residents of the former Wellston Housing Authority public housing properties. Date Granted: January 13, 2020. Reason Waived: This will allow HASLC to request and receive Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) from HUD and begin the process of converting the units from public housing by providing relocation opportunities to the residents with Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenant-based assistance. Contact: Robert E. Mulderig, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Public Housing Investments, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW, Room 4130, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 402–4780. [FR Doc. 2020–17658 Filed 8–11–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2020–N105; FXES11140100000–201–FF01E00000] Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly and Three Subspecies of the Mazama Pocket Gopher, Puget Sound Energy; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received an application from Puget Sound Energy (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The ITP would authorize the applicant’s take of three threatened subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher incidental to otherwise lawful activities during replacement, repair, and upgrade of existing utility systems in Thurston khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:37 Aug 11, 2020 Jkt 250001 County, Washington. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) with measures to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the covered species, including maintenance of occupied habitat. The HCP would also result in habitat improvement for the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, which is not a covered species, at one mitigation site. The Service has prepared a draft environmental action statement for our preliminary determination that the HCP and permit decision may be eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We invite the public to review and comment on these documents. DATES: To ensure consideration, please submit written comments by September 11, 2020. ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods: • Internet: You may view or download copies of the HCP, draft EAS, and additional information on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/. • Email: wfwocomments@fws.gov. Include ‘‘PSE HCP’’ in the subject line of the message. • U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R1–ES–2020– N105; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Washington Fish and Wildlife Office; 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102; Lacey, WA 98503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Romanski, Conservation Planning and Hydropower Branch Manager, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 360–753–5823. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If the application is approved, the ITP would authorize the applicant’s ‘‘take’’ of three threatened subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama pugetensis, T. m. yelmensis, and T. m. tumuli) incidental to otherwise lawful activities during replacement, repair, and upgrades of existing utility systems in Thurston County, Washington, for a period of 5 years. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) with measures to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the above covered species, and to improve PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48723 habitat for the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori), which is not a covered species. We have also prepared a draft environmental action statement (EAS) for our preliminary determination that the HCP and permit decision may be eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Background Puget Sound Energy proposes to conduct maintenance, replacement, and upgrades of existing electric power and natural gas systems in Thurston County, Washington. Covered activities may include pole replacement, cable or pipe repairs, and tree pruning projects for purposes of safety and efficiency. Work may also include conversion of overhead power lines to underground power lines in existing rights-of-way, short extension of existing feeder lines, and new gas service to existing homes where the gas supply pipes already exists at the street. In some cases, project activity would occur in potential habitat for three subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher, but would not occur in critical habitat for these species. Puget Sound Energy would offset impacts to each of the covered species through the establishment and maintenance of permanent mitigation sites. Specifically, the applicant would permanently maintain suitable breeding, feeding and sheltering habitat for each of the covered species. In addition, the applicant would improve habitat for the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly at one mitigation site. However, the applicant does not anticipate any take of Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, and is not currently seeking ITP coverage for take of the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. The permit area includes 340,000 acres of lands in Thurston County, bounded to the west by the Black River and to the north by Interstate 5, and an area of more-preferred soils for the Mazama pocket gopher, as depicted in the HCP (Figure 3–1). The permit area encompasses lands where covered activities may occur, as well as 13 parcels of mitigation lands at 5 locations where mitigation would occur. The Service proposes to issue an ITP with a term limit of 5 years based on Puget Sound Energy’s commitment to implement their proposed HCP, if permit issuance criteria are met. Endangered Species Act Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) prohibits ‘‘take’’ of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Under the ESA, the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, harm, pursue, E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1 48724 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 12, 2020 / Notices hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)). The term ‘‘harm,’’ as defined in our regulations, includes significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury to listed species by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). The term ‘‘harass’’ is defined in our regulations as to carry out intentional or negligent actions that create the likelihood of injury to listed species to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns, which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions that authorize the Service to issue permits to non-Federal entities for the take of endangered and threatened species caused by otherwise lawful activities, provided the following criteria are met: (1) The taking will be incidental; (2) the applicant will, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; (3) the applicant will ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be provided; (4) the taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and (5) the applicant will carry out any other measures that the Service may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the plan. Regulations governing permits for endangered and threatened species are found in 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Public Comments You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We specifically request information, views, and suggestions from interested parties regarding our proposed Federal action, including adequacy of the HCP pursuant to the requirements for permits at 50 CFR parts 13 and 17 and adequacy of the EAS pursuant to the requirements of NEPA. Public Availability of Comments All comments and materials we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifiable information— may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:37 Aug 11, 2020 Jkt 250001 will be able to do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety. Next Steps After public review, we will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and any comments received to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. We will also evaluate whether issuance of the requested section 10(a)(1)(B) permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the ESA on the proposed ITP action. If we determine that the project qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NEPA because neither the permit nor the permit issuance is anticipated to significantly affect the quality of the human environment, we will finalize the EAS. The final NEPA and permit determinations will not be completed until after the end of the 30-day comment period, and will fully consider all comments received during the comment period. If we determine that all requirements are met, we will issue an ITP under section 10(A)(1)(B) of the ESA to the applicant for the take of the covered species, incidental to otherwise lawful covered activities. Authority We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and their implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.32 and 40 CFR 1506.6, respectively). Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2020–17579 Filed 8–11–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. TA–201–076 (Extension)] Large Residential Washers: Extension of Action United States International Trade Commission. ACTION: Institution and Scheduling of an Investigation under section 204(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2254(c)). AGENCY: Following receipt of a petition on August 3, 2020, requesting extension SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of the relief action currently in place on imports of large residential washers and parts thereof, the Commission on that date instituted investigation No. TA– 201–076 (Extension) under section 204(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 (‘‘the Act’’). The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether the action taken by the President under section 203 of the Act with respect to large residential washers and covered parts, provided for in subheadings 8450.20.00, 8450.11.00, 8450.90.60, and 8450.90.20 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), continues to be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury and whether there is evidence that the domestic industry is making a positive adjustment to import competition. DATES: August 3, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher W. Robinson (202–205– 2542), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission’s TDD terminal on 202– 205–1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202–205–2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background.— On January 23, 2018, the President, pursuant to section 203 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2253), issued Proclamation 9694, imposing a safeguard measure on imports of certain large residential washers and parts thereof in the form of tariff-rate quotas. The proclamation was published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2018 (83 FR 3553). The measure took effect on February 7, 2018, for a period of three years and one day, or through February 7, 2021. The President imposed the measure following receipt of a report from the Commission in December 2017 under section 202 of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2252) that contained an affirmative determination, remedy recommendations, and certain additional findings (see Large Residential Washers, Inv. No. TA–201– 076, USITC Publication 4745, Dec. 2017). Based on a petition filed on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, Michigan, the Commission is instituting E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 156 (Wednesday, August 12, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48723-48724]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-17579]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2020-N105; FXES11140100000-201-FF01E00000]


Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Taylor's Checkerspot 
Butterfly and Three Subspecies of the Mazama Pocket Gopher, Puget Sound 
Energy; Categorical Exclusion

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received an 
application from Puget Sound Energy (applicant) for an incidental take 
permit (ITP) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended. The ITP would authorize the applicant's take of three 
threatened subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher incidental to 
otherwise lawful activities during replacement, repair, and upgrade of 
existing utility systems in Thurston County, Washington. The 
application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) with measures to 
minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the covered species, 
including maintenance of occupied habitat. The HCP would also result in 
habitat improvement for the endangered Taylor's checkerspot butterfly, 
which is not a covered species, at one mitigation site. The Service has 
prepared a draft environmental action statement for our preliminary 
determination that the HCP and permit decision may be eligible for a 
categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We 
invite the public to review and comment on these documents.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please submit written comments by 
September 11, 2020.

ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, 
please use one of the following methods:
     Internet: You may view or download copies of the HCP, 
draft EAS, and additional information on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/.
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``PSE HCP'' in the 
subject line of the message.
     U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-
2020-N105; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Washington Fish and Wildlife 
Office; 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102; Lacey, WA 98503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Romanski, Conservation Planning 
and Hydropower Branch Manager, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 360-753-
5823. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call 
the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), 
received an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If the application is approved, the ITP 
would authorize the applicant's ``take'' of three threatened subspecies 
of the Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama pugetensis, T. m. 
yelmensis, and T. m. tumuli) incidental to otherwise lawful activities 
during replacement, repair, and upgrades of existing utility systems in 
Thurston County, Washington, for a period of 5 years. The application 
includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) with measures to minimize 
and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the above covered species, 
and to improve habitat for the endangered Taylor's checkerspot 
butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori), which is not a covered species. 
We have also prepared a draft environmental action statement (EAS) for 
our preliminary determination that the HCP and permit decision may be 
eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

Background

    Puget Sound Energy proposes to conduct maintenance, replacement, 
and upgrades of existing electric power and natural gas systems in 
Thurston County, Washington. Covered activities may include pole 
replacement, cable or pipe repairs, and tree pruning projects for 
purposes of safety and efficiency. Work may also include conversion of 
overhead power lines to underground power lines in existing rights-of-
way, short extension of existing feeder lines, and new gas service to 
existing homes where the gas supply pipes already exists at the street. 
In some cases, project activity would occur in potential habitat for 
three subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher, but would not occur in 
critical habitat for these species. Puget Sound Energy would offset 
impacts to each of the covered species through the establishment and 
maintenance of permanent mitigation sites. Specifically, the applicant 
would permanently maintain suitable breeding, feeding and sheltering 
habitat for each of the covered species. In addition, the applicant 
would improve habitat for the Taylor's checkerspot butterfly at one 
mitigation site. However, the applicant does not anticipate any take of 
Taylor's checkerspot butterfly, and is not currently seeking ITP 
coverage for take of the Taylor's checkerspot butterfly.
    The permit area includes 340,000 acres of lands in Thurston County, 
bounded to the west by the Black River and to the north by Interstate 
5, and an area of more-preferred soils for the Mazama pocket gopher, as 
depicted in the HCP (Figure 3-1). The permit area encompasses lands 
where covered activities may occur, as well as 13 parcels of mitigation 
lands at 5 locations where mitigation would occur. The Service proposes 
to issue an ITP with a term limit of 5 years based on Puget Sound 
Energy's commitment to implement their proposed HCP, if permit issuance 
criteria are met.

Endangered Species Act

    Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) prohibits ``take'' of 
fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Under the 
ESA, the term ``take'' means to harass, harm, pursue,

[[Page 48724]]

hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to 
engage in any such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)). The term ``harm,'' as 
defined in our regulations, includes significant habitat modification 
or degradation that results in death or injury to listed species by 
significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including 
breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). The term ``harass'' is 
defined in our regulations as to carry out intentional or negligent 
actions that create the likelihood of injury to listed species to such 
an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns, which 
include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 
CFR 17.3).
    Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions that authorize 
the Service to issue permits to non-Federal entities for the take of 
endangered and threatened species caused by otherwise lawful 
activities, provided the following criteria are met: (1) The taking 
will be incidental; (2) the applicant will, to the maximum extent 
practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; (3) the 
applicant will ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be 
provided; (4) the taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of 
the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and (5) the 
applicant will carry out any other measures that the Service may 
require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the plan. 
Regulations governing permits for endangered and threatened species are 
found in 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively.

Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in ADDRESSES. We specifically request information, views, and 
suggestions from interested parties regarding our proposed Federal 
action, including adequacy of the HCP pursuant to the requirements for 
permits at 50 CFR parts 13 and 17 and adequacy of the EAS pursuant to 
the requirements of NEPA.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive become part of the public 
record associated with this action. Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable 
information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire 
comment--including your personally identifiable information--may be 
made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your 
comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from 
public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All 
submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their 
entirety.

Next Steps

    After public review, we will evaluate the permit application, 
associated documents, and any comments received to determine whether 
the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of 
the ESA. We will also evaluate whether issuance of the requested 
section 10(a)(1)(B) permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by 
conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation under section 
7(a)(2) of the ESA on the proposed ITP action. If we determine that the 
project qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NEPA because 
neither the permit nor the permit issuance is anticipated to 
significantly affect the quality of the human environment, we will 
finalize the EAS. The final NEPA and permit determinations will not be 
completed until after the end of the 30-day comment period, and will 
fully consider all comments received during the comment period. If we 
determine that all requirements are met, we will issue an ITP under 
section 10(A)(1)(B) of the ESA to the applicant for the take of the 
covered species, incidental to otherwise lawful covered activities.

Authority

    We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of 
section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 
et seq.), and their implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.32 and 40 CFR 
1506.6, respectively).

Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-17579 Filed 8-11-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P