Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Green River Wind Farm, Lee and Whiteside Counties, Illinois, 62839-62840 [2021-24638]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 216 / Friday, November 12, 2021 / Notices (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions. C. Authority Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507. Janet M. Golrick, Acting, Chief of Staff for the Office of Housing Federal Housing Administration. [FR Doc. 2021–24650 Filed 11–10–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R3–ES–2021–0100; FXES11140300000–212] Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Green River Wind Farm, Lee and Whiteside Counties, Illinois Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment and information. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from Green River Wind Farm Phase 1, LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), for its Green River Wind Farm (project). The applicant requests the ITP, which would be for a 30-year period, for the take of the federally listed endangered Indiana bat and threatened northern long-eared bat incidental to the otherwise lawful activities associated with the project. The applicant proposes a conservation program to minimize and mitigate for the unavoidable incidental take as described in their habitat conservation plan (HCP). The Service requests public comment on the application including the submission of written data, views or arguments with respect to the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed HCP, and the lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Nov 10, 2021 Jkt 256001 Service’s draft environmental assessment, prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. The Service provides this notice to seek comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 13, 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– 2021–0100 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–2021–0100. • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R3– ES–2021–0100; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: PRB/ 3W; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kraig McPeek, Field Supervisor, Illinois-Iowa Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1511 47th Ave, Moline, IL 61265; telephone: 309–757–5800, extension 202; 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: Background Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), 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, 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, PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 62839 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 30-year ITP for take of the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant determined that wind farm activities on this land are reasonably certain to result in incidental take of these federally listed species. Activity that could result in incidental take of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats is the operation of 74 wind turbines currently being constructed in Lee and Whiteside Counties, Illinois, within a permit area consisting of approximately 12,120 acres of private land. The estimated level of take from the project is 60 Indiana bats and 120 northern long-eared bats over the 30-year project duration. 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 and mitigation measures for Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats to offset any impacts from operations of the project. On-site minimization measures include feathering turbine blades up to 3.0 meters per second (m/s) during winter and spring (October 16–May 15), up to 5.0 m/s during fall (August 1– October 15), and up to 5.0 m/s at 24 turbines with risk and 3.0 m/s at the remaining turbines during summer (May 16–July 31). Minimization measures will be implemented nightly from a half hour before sunset to a half hour after sunrise when the temperature is above 10 °C. To offset the impacts of the taking of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats, the applicant proposes to protect known maternity colony habitat for both covered species. The Service requests public comments on the permit application, which includes a proposed HCP, and a draft EA prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The applicants’ HCP describes the activities that will be undertaken to implement the project, as well as the mitigation and minimization measures E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1 62840 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 216 / Friday, November 12, 2021 / Notices proposed to address the impacts to the covered species. Pursuant to NEPA, the EA analyzes the impacts the ITP issuance would have on the covered species and the environment. 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 applicant’s 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 review public comments on the draft EA, complete the NEPA process, and 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. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 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. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Nov 10, 2021 Jkt 256001 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. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1500–1508 (2020); 43 CFR part 46). Lori Nordstrom, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services. [FR Doc. 2021–24638 Filed 11–10–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLAK940000.L14100000.BX0000.22X. LXSS001L0100] Filing of Plats of Survey: Alaska Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of official filing. AGENCY: The plats of survey of lands described in this notice are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Alaska State Office, Anchorage, Alaska. The surveys, which were executed at the request of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the BLM, are necessary for the management of these lands. DATES: The BLM must receive protests by December 13, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may buy a copy of the plats from the BLM Alaska Public Information Center, 222 West 7th Avenue, Mailstop 13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513. You may also view the plats at the BLM Alaska Public Information Center, Fitzgerald Federal Building, 222 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska, at no cost. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas B. O’Toole, Chief, Branch of Cadastral Survey, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 222 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99513; telephone (907) 271–4231; email SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 totoole@blm.gov. People who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the BLM during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The lands surveyed are: Copper River Meridian, Alaska U.S. Survey No. 14531, accepted October 8, 2021, situated in T. 24 N., R. 11 E. U.S. Survey No. 14534, accepted October 8, 2021, situated in T. 15 N., R. 12 E. U.S. Survey No. 14535, accepted October 8, 2021, situated in T. 25 N., R. 12 E. U.S. Survey No. 14537, accepted October 8, 2021, situated in T. 15 N., R. 12 E. U.S. Survey No. 14541, accepted October 8, 2021, situated in T. 28 N., R. 10 E. Seward Meridian, Alaska U.S. Survey No. 4980, accepted October 1, 2021, situated in T. 13 S., R. 56 W. U.S. Survey No. 7143, accepted October 1, 2021, situated in T. 13 S., R. 56 W. A person or party who wishes to protest one or more plats of survey identified above must file a written notice of protest with the BLM Alaska State Director. The protest may be filed by mail addressed to ‘‘BLM State Director, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 222 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99513’’ or by delivering it in person to the BLM Alaska Public Information Center, Fitzgerald Federal Building, 222 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska. The notice of protest must identify the plat(s) of survey that the person or party wishes to protest. You must file the notice of protest by December 13, 2021. The BLM will not consider any notice of protest filed after this date. A notice of protest is considered filed on the date it is received by the BLM Alaska State Director during regular business hours; if received after regular business hours, a notice of protest will be considered filed the next business day. A written statement of reasons in support of a protest, if not filed with the notice of protest, must be filed with the BLM Alaska State Director within 30 calendar days after the notice of protest is filed. If a notice of protest of a plat of survey is timely, the official filing of the plat of survey identified in the notice of protest will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat of survey will not be officially filed until the dismissal or resolution of all protests of the plat. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in a E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 216 (Friday, November 12, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62839-62840]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-24638]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2021-0100; FXES11140300000-212]


Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation 
Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Green 
River Wind Farm, Lee and Whiteside Counties, Illinois

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have 
received an application from Green River Wind Farm Phase 1, LLC 
(applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA), for its Green River Wind Farm (project). The 
applicant requests the ITP, which would be for a 30-year period, for 
the take of the federally listed endangered Indiana bat and threatened 
northern long-eared bat incidental to the otherwise lawful activities 
associated with the project. The applicant proposes a conservation 
program to minimize and mitigate for the unavoidable incidental take as 
described in their habitat conservation plan (HCP). The Service 
requests public comment on the application including the submission of 
written data, views or arguments with respect to the application, which 
includes the applicant's proposed HCP, and the Service's draft 
environmental assessment, prepared pursuant to the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The Service provides this notice to seek 
comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local 
governments.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
December 13, 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-2021-0100 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-2021-0100.
     By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2021-0100; U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: PRB/3W; Falls Church, VA 
22041-3803.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kraig McPeek, Field Supervisor, 
Illinois-Iowa Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1511 47th Ave, Moline, IL 61265; telephone: 309-757-5800, 
extension 202; 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:

Background

    Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 
16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), 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, 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 30-year ITP for take of the federally 
endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and federally threatened 
northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The applicant 
determined that wind farm activities on this land are reasonably 
certain to result in incidental take of these federally listed species. 
Activity that could result in incidental take of Indiana bats and 
northern long-eared bats is the operation of 74 wind turbines currently 
being constructed in Lee and Whiteside Counties, Illinois, within a 
permit area consisting of approximately 12,120 acres of private land. 
The estimated level of take from the project is 60 Indiana bats and 120 
northern long-eared bats over the 30-year project duration.
    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 and mitigation measures for Indiana bats and northern 
long-eared bats to offset any impacts from operations of the project. 
On-site minimization measures include feathering turbine blades up to 
3.0 meters per second (m/s) during winter and spring (October 16-May 
15), up to 5.0 m/s during fall (August 1-October 15), and up to 5.0 m/s 
at 24 turbines with risk and 3.0 m/s at the remaining turbines during 
summer (May 16-July 31). Minimization measures will be implemented 
nightly from a half hour before sunset to a half hour after sunrise 
when the temperature is above 10 [deg]C. To offset the impacts of the 
taking of Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats, the applicant 
proposes to protect known maternity colony habitat for both covered 
species. The Service requests public comments on the permit 
application, which includes a proposed HCP, and a draft EA prepared in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.).
    The applicants' HCP describes the activities that will be 
undertaken to implement the project, as well as the mitigation and 
minimization measures

[[Page 62840]]

proposed to address the impacts to the covered species. Pursuant to 
NEPA, the EA analyzes the impacts the ITP issuance would have on the 
covered species and the environment.

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 applicant's 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 
review public comments on the draft EA, complete the NEPA process, and 
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.

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. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 
1500-1508 (2020); 43 CFR part 46).

Lori Nordstrom,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 2021-24638 Filed 11-10-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P