Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Meadow Lake Wind Resource Area, White and Benton Counties, Indiana, 78347-78348 [2020-26667]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 234 / Friday, December 4, 2020 / Notices Categories of Individuals DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DHS–USCIS will provide the following to CA–DSS: Records in DHS– USCIS VIS and SAVE Program containing information related to the status of aliens and other persons on whom DHS–USCIS has a record as an applicant, petitioner, or beneficiary. CA–DSS will provide the following to DHS–USCIS: CA–DSS records pertaining to alien and naturalized/ derived United States citizen applicants for, or recipients of, entitlement benefit programs administered by the State. Fish and Wildlife Service Categories of Records Data elements contained within CA– DSS records that may be matched with federal immigration records during automated initial verification or additional verification include the following: Full name; Date of Birth; One or More Immigration Number (e.g. Alien Registration USCIS Number; Arrival Departure Record (I–94 Number); SEVIS ID Number; Certificate of Naturalization Number; Certificate of Citizenship Number, or Unexpired Passport Number); and, Other information from Immigration Documentation (e.g. Country of Birth, Date of Entry, Employment Authorization Category). Data elements contained within DHS– USCIS’s records to be provided to CA– DSS may consist of the following: Full name; Date of Birth; one or more Immigration Number (e.g. Alien Registration USCIS Number; Arrival Departure Record (I–94 Number); SEVIS ID Number; Certificate of Naturalization Number, Certificate of Citizenship Number, or Unexpired Passport Number); Other information from Immigration Documentation (e.g. Country of Birth; Date of Entry; Employment Authorization Category); Sponsorship Data (e.g. name, address, and social security number of FORM I– 864/I–864EZ sponsors and Form I–864A household members, when applicable); and Case Verification Number. System of Records DHS/USCIS–004 Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Systems of Records Notice, 85 FR 31798 (May 27, 2020). Constantina Kozanas, Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2020–26699 Filed 12–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–9L–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Dec 03, 2020 Jkt 253001 [FWS–R3–ES–2020–0124; FXES11140300000–201] Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Meadow Lake Wind Resource Area, White and Benton Counties, Indiana Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment and information. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from six wholly owned subsidiaries of EDP Renewables North America LLC collectively known as Meadow Lake Group (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its Meadow Lake Wind Resource Area wind project. If approved, the ITP would be for a 29year period and would authorize the incidental take of the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan (HCP) that describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the species. We also announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment (DEA), which has been prepared in response to the permit application in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. We request public comment on the application and associated documents. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before January 4, 2021. ADDRESSES: Document availability: Electronic copies of the documents this notice announces, as well as public comments we receive, will be available online in Docket No. FWS–R3–ES– 2020–0124 at http:// www.regulations.gov. Comment submission: In your comment, please specify whether your comment addresses the proposed HCP, draft EA, or any combination of the aforementioned documents, or other supporting documents. You may submit written comments by one of the following methods: • Online: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for and submit comments on Docket No. FWS–R3–ES–2020–0124. • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R3– SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78347 ES–2020–0124; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: PRB/ 3W; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Pruitt, Field Supervisor, Bloomington Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 620 South Walker Street, Bloomington, IN 47403; telephone: 812–334–4261, extension 214; or Andrew Horton, Regional HCP Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—Interior Region 3, 5600 American Blvd., West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437–1458; telephone: 612–713–5337. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from EDP Renewables’ Meadow Lake Group (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), for its Meadow Lake Resource Area (project or MLWRA). The MLWRA consists of 414 turbines that are owned by six companies: Meadow Lake Wind Farm LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm II LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm III LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm IV LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm V LLC, and Meadow Lake Wind Farm VI LLC. If approved, the ITP would be for a 29-year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered species, the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), and a threatened species, the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan (HCP) that describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the Indiana bat and northern longeared bat. We also announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment (DEA), which has been prepared in response to the permit application in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We request public comment on the application and associated documents. Background Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing regulations prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. Take is defined under the ESA as to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect ‘‘listed animal species,’’ or to attempt to engage in such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1538). However, E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1 78348 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 234 / Friday, December 4, 2020 / Notices under section 10(a) of the ESA, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ‘‘Incidental take’’ is defined by the ESA as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for endangered and threatened species, respectively, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32. Applicant’s Proposed Project The applicant requests a 29-year ITP to take the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant determined that unavoidable take is reasonably certain to occur incidental to operation of 414 previously constructed wind turbines. The proposed conservation strategy in the applicant’s proposed HCP is designed to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of the covered activity on the covered species. The biological goals and objectives are to minimize potential take of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats through on-site minimization measures and to provide habitat conservation measures for Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats to offset any impacts from operations of the project. The HCP provides on-site avoidance and minimization measures, which include turbine operational adjustments. The estimated level of take from the project is 728 Indiana bats and 169 northern long-eared bats over the 29-year project duration. To offset the impacts of the taking of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats, the applicant proposes mitigation that will consist of one or more of the following: Protection of a hibernaculum, protection of summer maternity colony habitat, restoration of summer maternity colony habitat, and protection of swarming habitat. National Environmental Policy Act The issuance of an ITP is a Federal action that triggers the need for compliance with NEPA. We prepared a draft EA that analyzes the environmental impacts on the human environment resulting from three alternatives: A no-action alternative, the proposed action, and a more restrictive alternative consisting of feathering at a rate of wind speed that results in less impacts to bats. Next Steps The Service will evaluate the permit application and the comments received to determine whether the application VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Dec 03, 2020 Jkt 253001 meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. We will also conduct an intra-Service consultation pursuant to section 7 of the ESA to evaluate the effects of the proposed take. After considering the above findings, we will determine whether the permit issuance criteria of section 10(a)(l)(B) of the ESA have been met. If met, the Service will issue the requested ITP to the applicant. and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6 (2019); 43 CFR part 46). Lori Nordstrom, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services. [FR Doc. 2020–26667 Filed 12–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P Request for Public Comments The Service invites comments and suggestions from all interested parties during a 30-day public comment period (see DATES). In particular, information and comments regarding the following topics are requested: 1. The direct, indirect, or cumulative effects that implementation of any alternative could have on the human environment; 2. Whether or not the significance of the impact on various aspects of the human environment has been adequately analyzed; and 3. Any other information pertinent to evaluating the effects of the proposed action on the human environment. Because this permit application was sufficiently complete prior to the effective date of the new NEPA regulations, we are exercising our discretion to conduct our NEPA analysis under the regulations in effect prior to September 14, 2020. Availability of Public Comments You may submit comments by one of the methods shown under ADDRESSES. We will post on http://regulations.gov all public comments and information received electronically or via hardcopy. All comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record associated with this action. 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 request in your comment that we withhold your personal identifying 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. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [RR04900000, 200R0680R1, RR.17549897.2020000.01] Notice of Contract Execution Between the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (District) and Department of the Interior (Interior) for Prepayment of Costs Allocated to Municipal and Industrial Water from the Bonneville Unit of the Central Utah Project, Utah County, Utah Office of the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Interior. ACTION: Notice of contract execution. AGENCY: On October 1, 2020, Block Notice 7A–2 was issued to the District for 22,000 acre-feet of Municipal and Industrial water from the Utah Lake Drainage Basin Water Delivery System, Bonneville Unit of the Central Utah Project. Subsequently, on October 28, 2020, Interior and the District entered into a contract for the District to prepay the repayment obligation associated with Block Notice 7A–2. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Additional information on matters related to this Federal Register notice can be obtained by contacting Mr. Lee Baxter, Senior Program Coordinator, Central Utah Project Completion Act Office, Department of the Interior, 302 East Lakeview Parkway, Provo, Utah 84606; via telephone at (801) 379–1174; or by email at lbaxter@usbr.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Law 102–575, Central Utah Project Completion Act, Section 210, as amended through Public Law 104–286, stipulates that ‘‘the Secretary shall allow for prepayment of the repayment contract between the United States and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (District) dated December 28, 1965, and supplemented on November 26, 1985, or any additional or supplemental repayment contract providing for repayment of municipal and industrial water delivery facilities of the Central Utah Project for which repayment is provided pursuant to such contract, under terms and conditions SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 234 (Friday, December 4, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78347-78348]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-26667]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2020-0124; FXES11140300000-201]


Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation 
Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Meadow 
Lake Wind Resource Area, White and Benton Counties, Indiana

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment and information.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an 
application from six wholly owned subsidiaries of EDP Renewables North 
America LLC collectively known as Meadow Lake Group (applicant) for an 
incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its 
Meadow Lake Wind Resource Area wind project. If approved, the ITP would 
be for a 29-year period and would authorize the incidental take of the 
Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. The applicant has prepared 
a habitat conservation plan (HCP) that describes the actions and 
measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and 
mitigate incidental take of the species. We also announce the 
availability of a draft environmental assessment (DEA), which has been 
prepared in response to the permit application in accordance with the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. We request 
public comment on the application and associated documents.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
January 4, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: Electronic copies of the documents 
this notice announces, as well as public comments we receive, will be 
available online in Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2020-0124 at http://www.regulations.gov.
    Comment submission: In your comment, please specify whether your 
comment addresses the proposed HCP, draft EA, or any combination of the 
aforementioned documents, or other supporting documents. You may submit 
written comments by one of the following methods:
     Online: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for and submit 
comments on Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2020-0124.
     By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2020-0124; U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: PRB/3W; Falls Church, VA 
22041-3803.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Pruitt, Field Supervisor, 
Bloomington Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 620 South Walker Street, Bloomington, IN 47403; telephone: 
812-334-4261, extension 214; or Andrew Horton, Regional HCP 
Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service--Interior Region 3, 5600 
American Blvd., West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458; telephone: 
612-713-5337.
    Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call 
the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 for TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), have received an application from EDP Renewables' Meadow 
Lake Group (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.), for its Meadow Lake Resource Area (project or MLWRA). The MLWRA 
consists of 414 turbines that are owned by six companies: Meadow Lake 
Wind Farm LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm II LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm III 
LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm IV LLC, Meadow Lake Wind Farm V LLC, and 
Meadow Lake Wind Farm VI LLC. If approved, the ITP would be for a 29-
year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered 
species, the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), and a threatened species, 
the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant has 
prepared a habitat conservation plan (HCP) that describes the actions 
and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and 
mitigate incidental take of the Indiana bat and northern long-eared 
bat. We also announce the availability of a draft environmental 
assessment (DEA), which has been prepared in response to the permit 
application in accordance with the requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We request 
public comment on the application and associated documents.

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing regulations prohibit the 
``take'' of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. Take is 
defined under the ESA as to ``harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, 
kill, trap, capture, or collect ``listed animal species,'' or to 
attempt to engage in such conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 1538). However,

[[Page 78348]]

under section 10(a) of the ESA, we may issue permits to authorize 
incidental take of listed species. ``Incidental take'' is defined by 
the ESA as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying 
out an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take 
permits for endangered and threatened species, respectively, are found 
in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32.

Applicant's Proposed Project

    The applicant requests a 29-year ITP to take the federally 
endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and threatened northern long-
eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant determined that 
unavoidable take is reasonably certain to occur incidental to operation 
of 414 previously constructed wind turbines. The proposed conservation 
strategy in the applicant's proposed HCP is designed to avoid, 
minimize, and mitigate the impacts of the covered activity on the 
covered species. The biological goals and objectives are to minimize 
potential take of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats through on-
site minimization measures and to provide habitat conservation measures 
for Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats to offset any impacts 
from operations of the project. The HCP provides on-site avoidance and 
minimization measures, which include turbine operational adjustments. 
The estimated level of take from the project is 728 Indiana bats and 
169 northern long-eared bats over the 29-year project duration. To 
offset the impacts of the taking of Indiana bats and northern long-
eared bats, the applicant proposes mitigation that will consist of one 
or more of the following: Protection of a hibernaculum, protection of 
summer maternity colony habitat, restoration of summer maternity colony 
habitat, and protection of swarming habitat.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The issuance of an ITP is a Federal action that triggers the need 
for compliance with NEPA. We prepared a draft EA that analyzes the 
environmental impacts on the human environment resulting from three 
alternatives: A no-action alternative, the proposed action, and a more 
restrictive alternative consisting of feathering at a rate of wind 
speed that results in less impacts to bats.

Next Steps

    The Service will evaluate the permit application and the comments 
received to determine whether the application meets the requirements of 
section 10(a) of the ESA. We will also conduct an intra-Service 
consultation pursuant to section 7 of the ESA to evaluate the effects 
of the proposed take. After considering the above findings, we will 
determine whether the permit issuance criteria of section 10(a)(l)(B) 
of the ESA have been met. If met, the Service will issue the requested 
ITP to the applicant.

Request for Public Comments

    The Service invites comments and suggestions from all interested 
parties during a 30-day public comment period (see DATES). In 
particular, information and comments regarding the following topics are 
requested:
    1. The direct, indirect, or cumulative effects that implementation 
of any alternative could have on the human environment;
    2. Whether or not the significance of the impact on various aspects 
of the human environment has been adequately analyzed; and
    3. Any other information pertinent to evaluating the effects of the 
proposed action on the human environment.
    Because this permit application was sufficiently complete prior to 
the effective date of the new NEPA regulations, we are exercising our 
discretion to conduct our NEPA analysis under the regulations in effect 
prior to September 14, 2020.

Availability of Public Comments

    You may submit comments by one of the methods shown under 
ADDRESSES. We will post on http://regulations.gov all public comments 
and information received electronically or via hardcopy. All comments 
received, including names and addresses, will become part of the 
administrative record associated with this action. 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 request in your 
comment that we withhold your personal identifying 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.

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 the 
NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 
1506.6 (2019); 43 CFR part 46).

Lori Nordstrom,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 2020-26667 Filed 12-3-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P