Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study, Charleston County, South Carolina, 15470-15471 [2021-05929]

Download as PDF 15470 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 54 / Tuesday, March 23, 2021 / Notices www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. DoD Clearance Officer: Ms. Angela James. Requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Ms. James at whs.mcalex.esd.mbx.dd-dod-informationcollections@mail.mil. Jennifer D. Johnson, Regulatory Control Officer, Defense Acquisition Regulations System. [FR Doc. 2021–06010 Filed 3–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study, Charleston County, South Carolina Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense (DoD). ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. AGENCY: Pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Charleston District, announces its intent to conduct public scoping and solicit public comments to gather information to prepare a draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement (IFR/ EIS). In April 2020, USACE released a draft Integrated Feasibility Report/ Environmental Assessment (IFR/EA) with a draft mitigated Finding of No Significant Impacts (FONSI) for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study. After further agency analysis, review of comments received on the Draft IFR/EA, and continued refinement of the study, USACE concluded that an IFR/EIS with a Record of Decision (ROD) would fulfill NEPA compliance for the study. Comments received during the draft IFR/EA public comment period will be considered as part of the scoping process for the IFR/EIS, and do not need be resubmitted. DATES: USACE requests comments concerning the scope of the alternatives and identification of relevant information, studies, and analyses. All comments must be received by April 22, 2021. The draft IFR/EIS is scheduled to be released for a minimum 45-day SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Mar 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 public review in late summer of 2021. The final IFR/EIS is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2022. The ROD will be signed no sooner than 30 days after the release of the IFR/EIS. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District, ATTN: Planning and Environmental Branch, 69A Hagood Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403. Send comments via email to Chs-PeninsulaStudy@usace.army.mil. Submit comments online at the website: www.sac.usace.army.mil/ charlestonpeninsulastudy. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Parrish, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 69A Hagood Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403, (843) 329–8050, or Chs-Peninsula-Study@ usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: USACE is issuing this notice pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; and, the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, 43 CFR parts 1500 through 1508. USACE is exercising its discretion to employ the 1978 CEQ NEPA regulations to this ongoing NEPA process pursuant to CEQ’s Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, Final Rule, 85 FR 43304, at 43339– 43340 (July 16, 2020). Background: In April 2020, USACE released a draft IFR/EA with a draft mitigated FONSI for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study. After further agency analysis, review of comments received on the draft IFR/EA, and continued refinement of the study, USACE concluded that NEPA compliance for the study should instead be completed by transitioning to an EIS with a ROD. Portions of the draft EA which remain pertinent and current will be integrated into the draft IFR/EIS, as appropriate. The IFR/EIS culminating in a ROD will enable the agency to develop a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of the study alternatives, cultural, visual, and natural resource impacts (among others), and mitigation proposals, as well as provide enhanced and additional opportunity for resource agency and public input to the process. Purpose and Need for the Proposed Action: The Charleston Peninsula, South Carolina, is a highly urbanized, relatively flat, low-lying coastal community. It is the historic core and urban center of the City of Charleston. The low elevation and tidal connections PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 to the Charleston Harbor, and Ashley and Cooper Rivers, put the Charleston Peninsula at particular risk of flooding from coastal storms and render it more vulnerable to sea level rise and climate change. The purpose of this proposed action is to reduce risk to human health and safety and reduce economic damages resulting from coastal storm surge inundation on the Charleston Peninsula. Preliminary Proposed Action and Alternatives: As described in the draft IFR/EA, multiple types of management measures (including structural, nonstructural, and natural or naturebased) were identified to achieve study objectives, take advantage of identified opportunities, and avoid constraints. Management measures were subjected to an initial evaluation assessment and combined into the initial range of alternatives. These were screened against the study’s objectives and the four evaluation criteria of the Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies, resulting in two action alternatives, in addition to the No Action Alternative. Alternative 2 consists of construction of a storm surge wall along the perimeter or nearshore of the peninsula, and nonstructural measures in select areas of the peninsula. Alternative 3 included the measures in Alternative 2 as well as an additional structural measure, the wave attenuator. Since the public release of the draft IFR/EA, Alternative 3 was further refined using modeling and analysis to reduce uncertainty associated with the wave attenuator. This analysis showed that the wave attenuator does not produce additional (incremental) inundation reduction benefits beyond the measures in Alternative 2. Therefore, Alternative 3 is not being carried forward into the final array of alternatives for the IFR/EIS. The final array is expected to include the No Action Alternative and an optimized Alternative 2, now known as the proposed action. Brief Summary of Expected Impacts: Under this proposed action, the storm surge wall would be strategically aligned to avoid and minimize impacts to existing wetland habitat and cultural resources (substantial avoidance and minimization of wetlands has already taken place as part of the refinement of the proposed action following release of the draft IFR/EA). The wall would be strategically located to allow for continued operation of all ports, marinas, and the Coast Guard Station. The wall would tie into high ground as appropriate, including the existing Battery Wall. Nonstructural measures E:\FR\FM\23MRN1.SGM 23MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 54 / Tuesday, March 23, 2021 / Notices would be applied in areas of the peninsula where it is not feasible to construct the storm surge wall. In addition to the storm surge wall and associated access and flow gates, pump stations could be necessary to alleviate interior flooding induced by the wall. Where possible, designs would be modified to adhere to the visual aesthetic of the city. The draft IFR/EIS will update and expand upon the effects analyzed in the draft IFR/EA which included, but were not limited to, positive and negative impacts to the cultural resources and historic properties, wetlands, visual aesthetics, aquatic and terrestrial resources, water quality, geology, air quality and noise, coastal hydrodynamics, hydrology and hydraulics, recreation, transportation, utilities, socioeconomics, and environmental justice. Anticipated Permits, Authorizations, Consultations, or Coordination: USACE anticipates that the following will be required for this proposed action: • Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report (already initiated). • Consultation under Section 106 and Section 110(f) of the National Historic Preservation Act (already initiated). • Consultations under MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act. • Clean Water Act: Section 401 Water Quality Certification, Section 404(b)1 analysis. • Coastal Zone Management Act consistency determination. Public Scoping Process: During the development of the draft IFR/EA, USACE engaged Federal, State, and local agencies, stakeholders, and the public through various meetings and the NEPA public comment period. On January 31, 2019, a project information meeting was held where the public was informed on the results of the first two planning iterations and input was solicited both in person and via an online form. USACE also solicited public comments on the draft IFR/EA during the public review period, April 20–June 20, 2020. Comments relevant to scoping that were received in response to the draft IFR/EA public comment period will be considered as part of the scoping process for the IFR/EIS, and do not need to be resubmitted. However, all are welcome to submit to USACE updated, additional, or superseding comments relevant to scoping in response to this NOI. Information regarding the upcoming public scoping meeting, including date and time, is published on the study’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Mar 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 website at: www.sac.usace.army.mil/ charlestonpeninsulastudy. Request for Identification of Potential Alternatives, Information, and Analyses Relevant to the Proposed Action: USACE requests assistance with identifying any new potential alternatives to the Proposed Action to be considered. Complete submittals of proposed alternatives would include the purpose of the suggested alternative. USACE also requests assistance with identifying any new potential impacts of the Proposed Action, identifying the activity and the potential impact that should be analyzed. Information interested parties possess which would assist in the analysis of resources issues is also appreciated. As noted above, USACE will consider input received on the draft IFR/EA pertinent to the scoping of potential alternatives and impacts. This information will be used in the determination of the scope of issues for analysis in the EIS. Special Assistance for Public Meeting. The scoping meeting will be virtual. People needing special assistance to attend and/or participate in the meeting should contact U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District, ATTN: Planning and Environmental Branch, 69A Hagood Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403 or via email to Chs-PeninsulaStudy@usace.army.mil. To allow sufficient time to process special requests, please contact no later than one week before the public meeting. Public Disclosure Statement. If you wish to comment, you may use the online form or mail or email your comments as indicated under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or any other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made available to the public at any time. While you can request in your comment for us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Jason E. Kelly, Project Management Professional. [FR Doc. 2021–05929 Filed 3–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15471 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED–2020–SCC–0183] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Office of Communication and Outreach (OCO), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of a currently approved information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 22, 2021. ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for proposed information collection requests should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/ do/PRAMain. Find this information collection request by selecting ‘‘Department of Education’’ under ‘‘Currently Under Review,’’ then check ‘‘Only Show ICR for Public Comment’’ checkbox. Comments may also be sent to ICDocketmgr@ed.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Simone Olson, 202–205–8719. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23MRN1.SGM 23MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 54 (Tuesday, March 23, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15470-15471]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-05929]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report 
and Environmental Impact Statement for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal 
Flood Risk Management Study, Charleston County, South Carolina

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as implemented by the Council on 
Environmental Quality Regulations, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(USACE), Charleston District, announces its intent to conduct public 
scoping and solicit public comments to gather information to prepare a 
draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement 
(IFR/EIS). In April 2020, USACE released a draft Integrated Feasibility 
Report/Environmental Assessment (IFR/EA) with a draft mitigated Finding 
of No Significant Impacts (FONSI) for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal 
Flood Risk Management Study. After further agency analysis, review of 
comments received on the Draft IFR/EA, and continued refinement of the 
study, USACE concluded that an IFR/EIS with a Record of Decision (ROD) 
would fulfill NEPA compliance for the study. Comments received during 
the draft IFR/EA public comment period will be considered as part of 
the scoping process for the IFR/EIS, and do not need be resubmitted.

DATES: USACE requests comments concerning the scope of the alternatives 
and identification of relevant information, studies, and analyses. All 
comments must be received by April 22, 2021. The draft IFR/EIS is 
scheduled to be released for a minimum 45-day public review in late 
summer of 2021. The final IFR/EIS is scheduled to be released in the 
summer of 2022. The ROD will be signed no sooner than 30 days after the 
release of the IFR/EIS.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
Charleston District, ATTN: Planning and Environmental Branch, 69A 
Hagood Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403. Send comments via email to [email protected]. Submit comments online at the website: 
www.sac.usace.army.mil/charlestonpeninsulastudy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Parrish, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, 69A Hagood Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403, (843) 329-8050, or 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: USACE is issuing this notice pursuant to 
section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; and, the Council on 
Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing the 
procedural provisions of NEPA, 43 CFR parts 1500 through 1508. USACE is 
exercising its discretion to employ the 1978 CEQ NEPA regulations to 
this ongoing NEPA process pursuant to CEQ's Update to the Regulations 
Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental 
Policy Act, Final Rule, 85 FR 43304, at 43339-43340 (July 16, 2020).
    Background: In April 2020, USACE released a draft IFR/EA with a 
draft mitigated FONSI for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk 
Management Study. After further agency analysis, review of comments 
received on the draft IFR/EA, and continued refinement of the study, 
USACE concluded that NEPA compliance for the study should instead be 
completed by transitioning to an EIS with a ROD. Portions of the draft 
EA which remain pertinent and current will be integrated into the draft 
IFR/EIS, as appropriate. The IFR/EIS culminating in a ROD will enable 
the agency to develop a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of the 
study alternatives, cultural, visual, and natural resource impacts 
(among others), and mitigation proposals, as well as provide enhanced 
and additional opportunity for resource agency and public input to the 
process.
    Purpose and Need for the Proposed Action: The Charleston Peninsula, 
South Carolina, is a highly urbanized, relatively flat, low-lying 
coastal community. It is the historic core and urban center of the City 
of Charleston. The low elevation and tidal connections to the 
Charleston Harbor, and Ashley and Cooper Rivers, put the Charleston 
Peninsula at particular risk of flooding from coastal storms and render 
it more vulnerable to sea level rise and climate change. The purpose of 
this proposed action is to reduce risk to human health and safety and 
reduce economic damages resulting from coastal storm surge inundation 
on the Charleston Peninsula.
    Preliminary Proposed Action and Alternatives: As described in the 
draft IFR/EA, multiple types of management measures (including 
structural, nonstructural, and natural or nature-based) were identified 
to achieve study objectives, take advantage of identified 
opportunities, and avoid constraints. Management measures were 
subjected to an initial evaluation assessment and combined into the 
initial range of alternatives. These were screened against the study's 
objectives and the four evaluation criteria of the Economic and 
Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Land Related 
Resources Implementation Studies, resulting in two action alternatives, 
in addition to the No Action Alternative. Alternative 2 consists of 
construction of a storm surge wall along the perimeter or nearshore of 
the peninsula, and nonstructural measures in select areas of the 
peninsula. Alternative 3 included the measures in Alternative 2 as well 
as an additional structural measure, the wave attenuator. Since the 
public release of the draft IFR/EA, Alternative 3 was further refined 
using modeling and analysis to reduce uncertainty associated with the 
wave attenuator. This analysis showed that the wave attenuator does not 
produce additional (incremental) inundation reduction benefits beyond 
the measures in Alternative 2. Therefore, Alternative 3 is not being 
carried forward into the final array of alternatives for the IFR/EIS. 
The final array is expected to include the No Action Alternative and an 
optimized Alternative 2, now known as the proposed action.
    Brief Summary of Expected Impacts: Under this proposed action, the 
storm surge wall would be strategically aligned to avoid and minimize 
impacts to existing wetland habitat and cultural resources (substantial 
avoidance and minimization of wetlands has already taken place as part 
of the refinement of the proposed action following release of the draft 
IFR/EA). The wall would be strategically located to allow for continued 
operation of all ports, marinas, and the Coast Guard Station. The wall 
would tie into high ground as appropriate, including the existing 
Battery Wall. Nonstructural measures

[[Page 15471]]

would be applied in areas of the peninsula where it is not feasible to 
construct the storm surge wall. In addition to the storm surge wall and 
associated access and flow gates, pump stations could be necessary to 
alleviate interior flooding induced by the wall. Where possible, 
designs would be modified to adhere to the visual aesthetic of the 
city.
    The draft IFR/EIS will update and expand upon the effects analyzed 
in the draft IFR/EA which included, but were not limited to, positive 
and negative impacts to the cultural resources and historic properties, 
wetlands, visual aesthetics, aquatic and terrestrial resources, water 
quality, geology, air quality and noise, coastal hydrodynamics, 
hydrology and hydraulics, recreation, transportation, utilities, 
socioeconomics, and environmental justice.
    Anticipated Permits, Authorizations, Consultations, or 
Coordination: USACE anticipates that the following will be required for 
this proposed action:
     Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report (already 
initiated).
     Consultation under Section 106 and Section 110(f) of the 
National Historic Preservation Act (already initiated).
     Consultations under Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal 
Protection Act.
     Clean Water Act: Section 401 Water Quality Certification, 
Section 404(b)1 analysis.
     Coastal Zone Management Act consistency determination.
    Public Scoping Process: During the development of the draft IFR/EA, 
USACE engaged Federal, State, and local agencies, stakeholders, and the 
public through various meetings and the NEPA public comment period. On 
January 31, 2019, a project information meeting was held where the 
public was informed on the results of the first two planning iterations 
and input was solicited both in person and via an online form. USACE 
also solicited public comments on the draft IFR/EA during the public 
review period, April 20-June 20, 2020. Comments relevant to scoping 
that were received in response to the draft IFR/EA public comment 
period will be considered as part of the scoping process for the IFR/
EIS, and do not need to be resubmitted. However, all are welcome to 
submit to USACE updated, additional, or superseding comments relevant 
to scoping in response to this NOI.
    Information regarding the upcoming public scoping meeting, 
including date and time, is published on the study's website at: 
www.sac.usace.army.mil/charlestonpeninsulastudy.
    Request for Identification of Potential Alternatives, Information, 
and Analyses Relevant to the Proposed Action: USACE requests assistance 
with identifying any new potential alternatives to the Proposed Action 
to be considered. Complete submittals of proposed alternatives would 
include the purpose of the suggested alternative. USACE also requests 
assistance with identifying any new potential impacts of the Proposed 
Action, identifying the activity and the potential impact that should 
be analyzed. Information interested parties possess which would assist 
in the analysis of resources issues is also appreciated. As noted 
above, USACE will consider input received on the draft IFR/EA pertinent 
to the scoping of potential alternatives and impacts. This information 
will be used in the determination of the scope of issues for analysis 
in the EIS.
    Special Assistance for Public Meeting. The scoping meeting will be 
virtual. People needing special assistance to attend and/or participate 
in the meeting should contact U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston 
District, ATTN: Planning and Environmental Branch, 69A Hagood Avenue, 
Charleston, SC 29403 or via email to [email protected]. To allow sufficient time to process special 
requests, please contact no later than one week before the public 
meeting.
    Public Disclosure Statement. If you wish to comment, you may use 
the online form or mail or email your comments as indicated under the 
ADDRESSES section of this notice. Before including your address, phone 
number, email address, or any other personal identifying information in 
your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--including 
your personal identifying information--may be made available to the 
public at any time. While you can request in your comment for us to 
withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we 
cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Jason E. Kelly,
Project Management Professional.
[FR Doc. 2021-05929 Filed 3-22-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3720-58-P