Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm, White County, Indiana; Categorical Exclusion, 73797-73799 [2021-28223]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 28, 2021 / Notices Covered Species Public Comments Authority The California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), a species federally listed as threatened, is proposed to be included as a covered species in the proposed HCP. We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this notice, the draft screening form, and the draft HCP. We particularly seek comments on the following: 1. Biological information concerning the species; 2. Relevant data concerning the species; 3. Additional information concerning the range, distribution, population size, and population trends of the species; 4. Current or planned activities in the area and their possible impacts on the species; 5. The presence of archeological sites, buildings and structures, historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic preservation concerns, which are required to be considered in project planning by the National Historic Preservation Act; and 6. Any other environmental issues that should be considered with regard to the proposed development and permit action. We publish this notice under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321–4347 et seq.), and its implementing regulations at 40 CFR 1500–1508, as well as in compliance with section 10(c) of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531–1544 et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR 17.32(b)(1)(ii). No-Action Alternative Under the No-Action Alternative, the Service would not issue an ITP to the applicant, and routine operations and maintenance activities and pond monitoring and maintenance would not be implemented. The No-Action Alternative is not feasible, based on the purpose and need of the operations and maintenance activities. Without the action, Lehigh would not be able to maintain compliance with applicable water quality and erosion control requirements and operational safety standards. Lehigh is mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board to comply with existing and applicable Clean Water Act permits and Water Quality Certifications; full compliance would not be possible if operations and maintenance activities are not conducted. In addition, not implementing these activities would result in erosion and sedimentation that degrade habitat for the California redlegged frog. Finally, without the Covered Activities, safety of on-site material transport and vehicle travel would be jeopardized. For these reasons, the No-Action Alternative has been rejected. Reduced Project Alternative khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 73797 Under the reduced project alternative, the Service would issue an ITP to the applicant for a period of 20 years for the same covered activities and species described for the Proposed Action Alternative, but within a reduced HCP area. The smaller HCP area would presumably result in reduced probability for take of California redlegged frog. However, the HCP area associated with the Proposed Action Alternative has been minimized to the smallest possible footprint to fulfill requirements of the existing storm water pollution prevention plan and applicable permits associated with quarry operation, and to preserve safe quarry operations. In addition, a reduced HCP area would reduce the extent and effectiveness of erosion and sedimentation control measures, potentially resulting in degradation of California red-legged frog habitat. For these reasons, the Reduced Project Alternative would not accomplish the project’s goals and has been rejected. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:45 Dec 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—might be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Next Steps Issuance of an incidental take permit is a Federal proposed action subject to compliance with NEPA and section 7 of the ESA. We will evaluate the application, associated documents, and any public comments we receive as part of our NEPA compliance process to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA. If we determine that those requirements are met, we will conduct an intra-Service consultation under section 7 of the ESA for the Federal action for the potential issuance of an ITP. If the intra-Service consultation confirms that issuance of the ITP will not jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species, or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat, we will issue a permit to the applicant for the incidental take of the covered species. PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Michael Fris, Field Supervisor, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2021–28124 Filed 12–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R3–ES–2021–0139; FXES11140300000–223] Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm, White County, Indiana; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of documents; request for comment and information. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its Indiana Crossroads 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 longeared 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 longeared 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: E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 73798 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 28, 2021 / Notices We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before January 27, 2022. 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–2021–0139 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–2021–0139. • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R3– ES–2021–0139; 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 Indiana Crossroads 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 ITP to take the federally listed Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) incidental to the operation of 72 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 302 megawatt (MW) at the Indiana Crossroads 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 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:45 Dec 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 (HCP). The applicant has prepared an 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 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 72 previously constructed wind turbines in White County, Indiana, consisting of approximately 32,763 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 on-site minimization measures and to provide habitat conservation measures for Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat to offset any impacts from operations of the project. The HCP provides on-site avoidance and minimization measures, which include turbine operational PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 the species, the applicant will implement one or more of the following mitigation options: Purchase credits from an approved conservation bank, contribute to an inlieu fee mitigation fund, implement permittee responsible mitigation project, or contribute to a white-nose syndrome treatment fund. 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) impacts that, when considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonable foreseeable similarly situated projects, 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: E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 28, 2021 / Notices 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 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. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 1500–1508 (2020); 43 CFR part 46). Lori Nordstrom, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services. [FR Doc. 2021–28223 Filed 12–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:45 Dec 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [222A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900253G; OMB Control Number 1076–NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities; Tribal Colleges and Universities CARES Act and CRRSA Act Report Bureau of Indian Education, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), are proposing a new information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before February 28, 2022. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to Steven Mullen, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action—Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1001 Indian School Road NW, Suite 229, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104; or by email to comments@bia.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1076–NEW in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Dr. Katherine Campbell, Program Analyst, Office of Research, Policy and Post-secondary, by email at Katherine.campbell@bie.edu or by telephone at (703) 390–6697. Individuals who are hearing or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. You may also view the ICR at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/ PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), all information collections require approval under the PRA. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, we invite the public and other Federal agencies to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 73799 the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following: (1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether or not the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) How might the agency minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of response. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. 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 ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116–136, established the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) and allocated $30.75 billion to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, Public Law 116–260, added $81.9 billion to the ESF. ED allocated ESF funds to the Secretary of Interior for programs operated or funded by the BIE to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19). Specifically, ED allocated one-half of 1 percent for the Secretary of Interior for programs operated or funded by the BIE. On June 12, 2020 ED and BIE executed a memorandum of agreement (ESF–BIE I Agreement) regarding the use of funds. Additionally, the CRRSA Act requires ED to allocate one-half of 1 percent of E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 246 (Tuesday, December 28, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73797-73799]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-28223]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2021-0139; FXES11140300000-223]


Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed 
Habitat Conservation Plan for the Indiana Crossroads 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 Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an 
incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its 
Indiana Crossroads 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.

[[Page 73798]]


DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
January 27, 2022.

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-2021-0139 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-2021-0139.
     By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2021-0139; 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 Indiana Crossroads 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 ITP to take the federally listed Indiana bat 
(Myotis sodalis) and northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) 
incidental to the operation of 72 wind turbines with a total generating 
capacity of 302 megawatt (MW) at the Indiana Crossroads 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 an 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 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 72 previously 
constructed wind turbines in White County, Indiana, consisting of 
approximately 32,763 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 on-
site minimization measures and to provide habitat conservation measures 
for Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat 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 the species, 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.

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) 
impacts that, when considered together with the impacts of other past, 
present, and reasonable foreseeable similarly situated projects, 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:

[[Page 73799]]

    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 
1500-1508 (2020); 43 CFR part 46).

Lori Nordstrom,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 2021-28223 Filed 12-27-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P