Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Coon Creek Watershed, La Crosse, Vernon, and Monroe Counties, Wisconsin, 15640-15641 [2021-06050]

Download as PDF 15640 Notices Federal Register Vol. 86, No. 55 Wednesday, March 24, 2021 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS–2020–0007] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Coon Creek Watershed, La Crosse, Vernon, and Monroe Counties, Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). AGENCY: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wisconsin State Office announces its intent to prepare an EIS for the Coon Creek Watershed Project in the proximity of Cashton, Westby, Bloomingdale, Coon Valley, and Chaseburg, Wisconsin. NRCS is requesting comments to identify significant issues and alternative to be addressed in the EIS from all interested all interested individuals. The EIS process will examine existing flood control measures and evaluate additional (new) alternatives identified during scoping. DATES: We will consider comments received by April 23, 2021. Comments received after this date will be considered to the extent possible. ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments in response to this notice. You may submit your comments through one of the methods below: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket ID NRCS–2020–0007. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments; or • Mail or Hand Delivery: Keri Hill, Project Manager, Sundance Consulting, Inc., 305 N 3rd Ave., Ste. B, Pocatello, ID 83201. For written comments that are submitted via mail, specify the docket khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:30 Mar 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 ID NRCS–2020–0007. All written comments received will be posted without change and publicly available on the website: www.regulation.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Biggs, telephone: (608) 662– 4422, email: angela.biggs@usda.gov. In addition, for questions related to submitting comments via Sundance Hill Consulting: Keri Hill at (208) 274–9004, Fax (208) 478–2032, khill@sundanceinc.net, or the project website at: www.wfkandccwatershed.com. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need The primary purpose for watershed planning and preparation of an EIS is flood prevention and flood damage reduction in the Coon Creek Valley. Watershed planning was authorized under Public Law 83–566, the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954, as amended, and Public Law 78–534, the Flood Control Act of 1944. This proposed action is prepared under the authority of the Watershed Prevention and Flood Protection Act (Pub. L. 83–566). This action is needed because three flood control dams failed, and two additional dams over-topped during an 11-inch rainstorm on August 27–28, 2018. These dams are critical to prevent future flood damages and loss of life. Initial agency scoping of this federally assisted action indicates that proposed alternatives may have significant local, regional, or national impacts on the environment. Angela Biggs, State Conservationist, has determined that the preparation of an EIS is needed. This EIS will be prepared as required by section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA); the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500– 1508); and NRCS regulations that implement NEPA in 7 CFR part 650. Description A watershed project plan was developed in 1958 to reduce flood damages in the Coon Creek Valley. Major problems in the watershed were floodwater damages to crops and pasture, fences, farmsteads, machinery, buildings, livestock, county and township roads and bridges, and urban areas of Coon Valley and Chaseburg. Fourteen flood control dams and a PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 multitude of land treatment measures were implemented between 1961 and 1963 under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954, as amended in 1956. On the night of August 27, 2018, two dams over-topped and three dams failed as a result of rainfall amounts up to 11 inches over a 6-hour period. The dams breached along the interface between the earthfill and bedrock abutments. Each breach extended full depth to the valley floor. No one was injured or killed. Large debris fields were observed downstream of the dams for about 1⁄4 mile. An unoccupied house was moved off its foundation. Agricultural lands and road crossings were damaged. The Sponsors and NRCS are concerned about the commonality in breach descriptions. The consensus is that flow through the foundations during high pool stage contributed to the failures. A similar vulnerability may exist in the remaining 11 dams. NRCS is proposing to develop a Watershed Project Plan (Planning-EIS) to evaluate alternatives to reduce flood damage in the Coon Creek valley including analysis of the flood control structures and the watershed. Watershed planning under the EIS will evaluate the effectiveness, environmental effects, and socioeconomic impacts of the original project measures over the last 59 years. The results of these analyses will provide the context for determining the environmental, economic, and social effects of considered alternatives for additional (new) flood prevention or flood damage reduction measures. Potential impacts (beneficial and adverse) related to the project include modifications to ecological habitat, fish and wildlife resources, downstream effects, flood control capability, floodplain alteration, safety and engineering improvements, cultural resources, environmental justice, and recreation. An in-depth analysis of impacts will be evaluated for each alternative in the draft Planning-EIS. The focused planning area is 68,762 acres (107.4 square miles). Scoping Process Two scoping meetings will be held to present the project and develop the scope of the draft EIS. The first meeting was Wednesday, September 17, 2020 at the Coon Valley Legion Hall. Comments E:\FR\FM\24MRN1.SGM 24MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 55 / Wednesday, March 24, 2021 / Notices received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record. Scoping meeting presentation materials will be available on the project website when this notice is published: www.wfkandccwatershed.com. The date, time, and location for the second meeting will be announced on the project website. Alternatives Federal Assistance Programs khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS–2020–0006] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the West Fork Kickapoo Watershed, Monroe and Vernon Counties, Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). AGENCY: The objective of the EIS is to formulate and evaluate alternatives for flood prevention or flood damage reduction in the Coon Creek Valley through the Village of Chaseburg. Alternatives to be evaluated include the repair, replacement, relocation, or removal of the three failed dams, final disposition of future dams that fail or require major rehabilitation, upland watershed treatments to reduce runoff, and land use changes in the floodplain. Implementation of the proposed federal action would require a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project would also require water quality certification under Section 401 of the CWA. Permitting under Section 402 of the CWA (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit) may be required. Local dam safety and floodplain permits may be required dependent upon the selected alternative. A draft EIS will be prepared and circulated for review and comment by agencies and the public per 40 CFR 1503.1, 1502.20, 1506.11, 1502.17, and 7 CFR 650.13. The draft EIS is estimated to be complete and available for public review in 2021. NRCS invites agencies and individuals who have special expertise, legal jurisdiction, or interest in the Coon Creek Watershed to participate and identify potential alternatives. The title and number of the Federal assistance program in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance to which this NOFA applies: 10.904 Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention- and is subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. Angela Biggs, Wisconsin State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service. [FR Doc. 2021–06050 Filed 3–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 16:30 Mar 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wisconsin State Office announces its intent to prepare an EIS for the West Fork Kickapoo Watershed Project in the proximity of Cashton, Westby, Viroqua, and Liberty, Wisconsin. NRCS is requesting comments to identify significant issues and alternatives to be addressed in the EIS from all interested individuals. The EIS process will examine existing flood control measures and evaluate additional (new) alternatives identified during scoping. DATES: We will consider comments that we receive by April 23, 2021. Comments received after this date will be considered to the extent possible. ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments in response to this notice. You may submit your comments through one of the methods below: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket ID NRCS–2020–0006. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments; or • Mail or Hand Delivery: Keri Hill, Project Manager, Sundance Consulting, Inc., 305 N 3rd Ave., Ste. B, Pocatello, ID 83201. For written comments that are submitted via mail, specify the docket ID NRCS–2020–0006. All comments received will be posted without change and publicly available on www.regulation.gov. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Biggs, telephone: 608–662–4422; email: angela.biggs@usda.gov. In addition, for questions related to submitting comments via Sundance Hill Consulting: Kari Hill at 202–274–9004, Fax (208) 478–2032, khill@sundanceinc.net, or the project website at: www.wfkandccwatershed.com. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication should contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Target Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice). PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15641 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need The primary purpose for watershed planning and preparation of an EIS is flood prevention and flood damage reduction in the West Fork Kickapoo Valley. Watershed planning was authorized under Public Law 83–566, the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954, as amended, and Public Law 78–534, the Flood Control Act of 1944. This proposed action is prepared under the authority of the Watershed Prevention and Flood Protection Act (Pub. L. 83–566). This action is needed because two flood control dams failed, and two additional dams over-topped during an 11-inch rainstorm on August 27–28, 2018. These dams are critical to prevent future flood damages and loss of life. Initial agency scoping of this federally assisted action indicates that proposed alternatives may have significant local, regional, or national impacts on the environment. Angela Biggs, State Conservationist, has determined that the preparation of an EIS is needed. This EIS will be prepared as required by section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA); the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500– 1508); and NRCS regulations that implement NEPA in 7 CFR part 650. Description A watershed project plan was developed in 1961 to reduce flood damages in the West Fork Kickapoo Valley. Major problems in the watershed were floodwater damages to crops and pasture, fences, farmsteads, machinery, buildings, livestock, county and township roads and bridges, and urban areas in the Town of Liberty. Nine flood control dams and a multitude of land treatment measures were implemented between 1956 and 1971 under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954, as amended in 1956. On the night of August 27, 2018, two dams over-topped and two dams failed as a result of rainfall amounts up to 11 inches over a 6-hour period. The dams breached along the interface between the earthfill and bedrock abutments. Each breach extended full depth to the valley floor. No one was injured or killed. Large debris fields were observed downstream of the dams for about 1⁄4 mile. An unoccupied house was moved off its foundation. Agricultural lands and road crossings were damaged. The Sponsors and NRCS are concerned about the commonality in breach E:\FR\FM\24MRN1.SGM 24MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 24, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15640-15641]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06050]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 55 / Wednesday, March 24, 2021 / 
Notices

[[Page 15640]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Natural Resources Conservation Service

[Docket No. NRCS-2020-0007]


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Coon Creek Watershed, La Crosse, Vernon, and Monroe Counties, 
Wisconsin

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA.

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

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

SUMMARY: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wisconsin 
State Office announces its intent to prepare an EIS for the Coon Creek 
Watershed Project in the proximity of Cashton, Westby, Bloomingdale, 
Coon Valley, and Chaseburg, Wisconsin. NRCS is requesting comments to 
identify significant issues and alternative to be addressed in the EIS 
from all interested all interested individuals. The EIS process will 
examine existing flood control measures and evaluate additional (new) 
alternatives identified during scoping.

DATES: We will consider comments received by April 23, 2021. Comments 
received after this date will be considered to the extent possible.

ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments in response to this notice. 
You may submit your comments through one of the methods below:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket ID NRCS-2020-0007. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments; or
     Mail or Hand Delivery: Keri Hill, Project Manager, 
Sundance Consulting, Inc., 305 N 3rd Ave., Ste. B, Pocatello, ID 83201.
    For written comments that are submitted via mail, specify the 
docket ID NRCS-2020-0007. All written comments received will be posted 
without change and publicly available on the website: 
www.regulation.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Biggs, telephone: (608) 662-
4422, email: [email protected]. In addition, for questions related 
to submitting comments via Sundance Hill Consulting: Keri Hill at (208) 
274-9004, Fax (208) 478-2032, inc.net">[email protected]inc.net, or the project 
website at: www.wfkandccwatershed.com.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose and Need

    The primary purpose for watershed planning and preparation of an 
EIS is flood prevention and flood damage reduction in the Coon Creek 
Valley. Watershed planning was authorized under Public Law 83-566, the 
Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954, as amended, and 
Public Law 78-534, the Flood Control Act of 1944.
    This proposed action is prepared under the authority of the 
Watershed Prevention and Flood Protection Act (Pub. L. 83-566). This 
action is needed because three flood control dams failed, and two 
additional dams over-topped during an 11-inch rainstorm on August 27-
28, 2018. These dams are critical to prevent future flood damages and 
loss of life.
    Initial agency scoping of this federally assisted action indicates 
that proposed alternatives may have significant local, regional, or 
national impacts on the environment. Angela Biggs, State 
Conservationist, has determined that the preparation of an EIS is 
needed. This EIS will be prepared as required by section 102(2)(C) of 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA); the Council on 
Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); and NRCS 
regulations that implement NEPA in 7 CFR part 650.

Description

    A watershed project plan was developed in 1958 to reduce flood 
damages in the Coon Creek Valley. Major problems in the watershed were 
floodwater damages to crops and pasture, fences, farmsteads, machinery, 
buildings, livestock, county and township roads and bridges, and urban 
areas of Coon Valley and Chaseburg. Fourteen flood control dams and a 
multitude of land treatment measures were implemented between 1961 and 
1963 under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954, 
as amended in 1956.
    On the night of August 27, 2018, two dams over-topped and three 
dams failed as a result of rainfall amounts up to 11 inches over a 6-
hour period. The dams breached along the interface between the 
earthfill and bedrock abutments. Each breach extended full depth to the 
valley floor. No one was injured or killed. Large debris fields were 
observed downstream of the dams for about \1/4\ mile. An unoccupied 
house was moved off its foundation. Agricultural lands and road 
crossings were damaged. The Sponsors and NRCS are concerned about the 
commonality in breach descriptions. The consensus is that flow through 
the foundations during high pool stage contributed to the failures. A 
similar vulnerability may exist in the remaining 11 dams.
    NRCS is proposing to develop a Watershed Project Plan (Planning-
EIS) to evaluate alternatives to reduce flood damage in the Coon Creek 
valley including analysis of the flood control structures and the 
watershed. Watershed planning under the EIS will evaluate the 
effectiveness, environmental effects, and socio-economic impacts of the 
original project measures over the last 59 years. The results of these 
analyses will provide the context for determining the environmental, 
economic, and social effects of considered alternatives for additional 
(new) flood prevention or flood damage reduction measures. Potential 
impacts (beneficial and adverse) related to the project include 
modifications to ecological habitat, fish and wildlife resources, 
downstream effects, flood control capability, floodplain alteration, 
safety and engineering improvements, cultural resources, environmental 
justice, and recreation. An in-depth analysis of impacts will be 
evaluated for each alternative in the draft Planning-EIS. The focused 
planning area is 68,762 acres (107.4 square miles).

Scoping Process

    Two scoping meetings will be held to present the project and 
develop the scope of the draft EIS. The first meeting was Wednesday, 
September 17, 2020 at the Coon Valley Legion Hall. Comments

[[Page 15641]]

received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will 
be part of the public record. Scoping meeting presentation materials 
will be available on the project website when this notice is published: 
www.wfkandccwatershed.com. The date, time, and location for the second 
meeting will be announced on the project website.

Alternatives

    The objective of the EIS is to formulate and evaluate alternatives 
for flood prevention or flood damage reduction in the Coon Creek Valley 
through the Village of Chaseburg. Alternatives to be evaluated include 
the repair, replacement, relocation, or removal of the three failed 
dams, final disposition of future dams that fail or require major 
rehabilitation, upland watershed treatments to reduce runoff, and land 
use changes in the floodplain.
    Implementation of the proposed federal action would require a Clean 
Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers. The project would also require water quality certification 
under Section 401 of the CWA. Permitting under Section 402 of the CWA 
(National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit) may be 
required. Local dam safety and floodplain permits may be required 
dependent upon the selected alternative. A draft EIS will be prepared 
and circulated for review and comment by agencies and the public per 40 
CFR 1503.1, 1502.20, 1506.11, 1502.17, and 7 CFR 650.13. The draft EIS 
is estimated to be complete and available for public review in 2021. 
NRCS invites agencies and individuals who have special expertise, legal 
jurisdiction, or interest in the Coon Creek Watershed to participate 
and identify potential alternatives.

Federal Assistance Programs

    The title and number of the Federal assistance program in the 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance to which this NOFA applies: 
10.904 Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention- and is subject to the 
provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental 
consultation with State and local officials.

Angela Biggs,
Wisconsin State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-06050 Filed 3-23-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-16-P