Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Rosewater Wind Farm, White County, Indiana; Categorical Exclusion, 79503-79504 [2020-27102]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 238 / Thursday, December 10, 2020 / Notices (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2020–27174 Filed 12–9–20; 8:45 am] [FR Doc. 2020–27175 Filed 12–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–23–P BILLING CODE 9111–23–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Emergency Management Agency [FWS–R3–ES–2020–0128; FXES11140300000–212] [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA–4567– DR; Docket ID FEMA–2020–0001] New York; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. AGENCY: ACTION: This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of New York (FEMA–4567–DR), dated October 2, 2020, and related determinations. SUMMARY: This amendment was issued November 3, 2020. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646–2833. The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of New York is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 2, 2020. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, and Westchester Counties for Public Assistance. The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance— Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance 17:36 Dec 09, 2020 Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of documents; request for comment and information. AGENCY: Notice. VerDate Sep<11>2014 Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Rosewater Wind Farm, White County, Indiana; Categorical Exclusion Jkt 253001 We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from Rosewater Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), for its Rosewater Wind Farm (project). If approved, the ITP would be for a 6-year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered species, the Indiana bat, and a threatened species, the northern long-eared bat. The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan 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 request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also able for public review. SUMMARY: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before January 11, 2021. ADDRESSES: Document availability: Electronic copies of the documents this notice announces, along with public comments received, will be available online in Docket No. FWS–R3–ES– 2020–0128 at http:// www.regulations.gov. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 79503 Comment submission: In your comment, please specify whether your comment addresses the proposed HCP, draft environmental action statement, 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–2020–0128. • U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R3– ES–2020–0128; 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, have received an application from Rosewater Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The applicant requests the 6-year ITP to take the federally listed Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) incidental to the operation of 25 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 102 megawatt (MW) at the Rosewater Wind Farm in White County, Indiana. While the ITP is for 6 years, the operational life of most new wind energy facilities is thirty years and intensive monitoring conducted during this permit term will inform the need for future avoidance or a new long-term ITP for the remaining life of the project that will comply with a new NEPA analysis and habitat conservation plan (HCP). The applicant has prepared a HCP that describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the covered species for the first 6 years. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed HCP, and on the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded under the E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 79504 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 238 / Thursday, December 10, 2020 / Notices National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also able for public review. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 any such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, 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 (16 U.S.C. 1539). 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 6-year ITP to take the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant determined that take is reasonably certain to occur incidental to operation of 25 previously constructed wind turbines in White County, Indiana, consisting of approximately 6,381 acres of private land. 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 onsite 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 authorized level of take from the project is 18 Indiana bats and 18 northern long-eared bats over the 6-year permit duration. To offset the impacts of the taking of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats, the applicant will implement one or more of the following mitigation options: Purchase credits from an approved conservation bank, contribute to an in-lieu fee mitigation fund, implement permittee responsible mitigation project, or VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:36 Dec 09, 2020 Jkt 253001 contribute to a white-nose syndrome treatment fund if such a fund is established during the permit term. National Environmental Policy Act The issuance of an ITP is a Federal action that triggers the need for compliance with NEPA. The Service has made a preliminary determination that the applicant’s project and the proposed mitigation measures would individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the covered species and the environment. Therefore, we have preliminarily concluded that the ITP for this project would qualify for categorical exclusion, and the HCP would be low effect under our NEPA regulations at 43 CFR 46.205 and 46.210. A low-effect HCP is one that would result in (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) incremental impacts from the federal action that, when added to other past, present, and reasonable foreseeable future actions, would not result in significant cumulative effects to environmental values or resources over time. Next Steps The Service will evaluate the application and the comments received to determine whether the permit 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 on the proposed HCP and screening form during a 30-day public comment period (see DATES). In particular, information and comments regarding the following topics are requested: 1. Whether adaptive management, monitoring and mitigation provisions in the proposed HCP are sufficient; 2. The requested 6-year ITP term; 3. Any threats to the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat that may influence their populations over the life of the ITP that are not addressed in the proposed HCP or screening form; PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4. Any new information on whitenose syndrome effects on the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat; 5. Whether or not the significance of the impact on various aspects of the human environment has been adequately analyzed; and 6. Any other information pertinent to evaluating the effects of the proposed action on the human environment, including those on the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. 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; 43 CFR part 46). Lori Nordstrom, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services. [FR Doc. 2020–27102 Filed 12–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [LLWO210000.L1610000] National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures for the Bureau of Land Management (516 DM 11) AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM Office of the Secretary, Interior. 10DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 238 (Thursday, December 10, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79503-79504]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27102]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2020-0128; FXES11140300000-212]


Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed 
Habitat Conservation Plan for the Rosewater Wind Farm, White County, 
Indiana; Categorical Exclusion

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an 
application from Rosewater Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an incidental 
take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), for its 
Rosewater Wind Farm (project). If approved, the ITP would be for a 6-
year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered 
species, the Indiana bat, and a threatened species, the northern long-
eared bat. The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan 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 request public comment on the application, 
which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan 
(HCP), and on the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP 
qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded under the National 
Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our 
environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of 
which are also able for public review.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
January 11, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: Electronic copies of the documents 
this notice announces, along with public comments received, will be 
available online in Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2020-0128 at http://www.regulations.gov.
    Comment submission: In your comment, please specify whether your 
comment addresses the proposed HCP, draft environmental action 
statement, 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-2020-0128.
     U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. 
FWS-R3-ES-2020-0128; 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, have 
received an application from Rosewater Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for 
an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The applicant requests 
the 6-year ITP to take the federally listed Indiana bat (Myotis 
sodalis) and northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) 
incidental to the operation of 25 wind turbines with a total generating 
capacity of 102 megawatt (MW) at the Rosewater Wind Farm in White 
County, Indiana. While the ITP is for 6 years, the operational life of 
most new wind energy facilities is thirty years and intensive 
monitoring conducted during this permit term will inform the need for 
future avoidance or a new long-term ITP for the remaining life of the 
project that will comply with a new NEPA analysis and habitat 
conservation plan (HCP). The applicant has prepared a HCP that 
describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement 
to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the covered species 
for the first 6 years. We request public comment on the application, 
which includes the applicant's proposed HCP, and on the Service's 
preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' 
categorically excluded under the

[[Page 79504]]

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). To 
make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and 
low-effect screening form, both of which are also able for public 
review.

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 any such conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, 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 (16 U.S.C. 1539). 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 6-year ITP to take the federally 
endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and threatened northern long-
eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant determined that take 
is reasonably certain to occur incidental to operation of 25 previously 
constructed wind turbines in White County, Indiana, consisting of 
approximately 6,381 acres of private land. 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 
onsite 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 authorized level of take from the project is 18 
Indiana bats and 18 northern long-eared bats over the 6-year permit 
duration. To offset the impacts of the taking of Indiana bats and 
northern long-eared bats, the applicant will implement one or more of 
the following mitigation options: Purchase credits from an approved 
conservation bank, contribute to an in-lieu fee mitigation fund, 
implement permittee responsible mitigation project, or contribute to a 
white-nose syndrome treatment fund if such a fund is established during 
the permit term.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The issuance of an ITP is a Federal action that triggers the need 
for compliance with NEPA. The Service has made a preliminary 
determination that the applicant's project and the proposed mitigation 
measures would individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible 
effect on the covered species and the environment. Therefore, we have 
preliminarily concluded that the ITP for this project would qualify for 
categorical exclusion, and the HCP would be low effect under our NEPA 
regulations at 43 CFR 46.205 and 46.210. A low-effect HCP is one that 
would result in (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed, 
proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) minor or 
negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) 
incremental impacts from the federal action that, when added to other 
past, present, and reasonable foreseeable future actions, would not 
result in significant cumulative effects to environmental values or 
resources over time.

Next Steps

    The Service will evaluate the application and the comments received 
to determine whether the permit 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 on the proposed HCP and screening form during a 30-day public 
comment period (see DATES).
    In particular, information and comments regarding the following 
topics are requested:
    1. Whether adaptive management, monitoring and mitigation 
provisions in the proposed HCP are sufficient;
    2. The requested 6-year ITP term;
    3. Any threats to the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat 
that may influence their populations over the life of the ITP that are 
not addressed in the proposed HCP or screening form;
    4. Any new information on white-nose syndrome effects on the 
Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat;
    5. Whether or not the significance of the impact on various aspects 
of the human environment has been adequately analyzed; and
    6. Any other information pertinent to evaluating the effects of the 
proposed action on the human environment, including those on the 
Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat.

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; 43 CFR part 46).

Lori Nordstrom,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 2020-27102 Filed 12-9-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P