Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Ford Ridge Wind Project, Ford County, Illinois; Categorical Exclusion, 3837-3839 [2022-01426]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 25, 2022 / Notices benefits to improve its approach to ensuring compliance with its civil rights, nondiscrimination and equity requirements, and obligations as outlined in federal civil rights laws such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794, and the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act). Such demographic data concerning individuals who participate in or benefit from the Agency’s programs and activities will increase FEMA’s ability evaluate the accessibility and distributional equity of their programs and then make alterations or pivot based upon identified areas of concern, thereby demonstrating compliance with civil rights laws. obligations as outlined in federal civil rights laws such as the Civil Rights Act, Rehabilitation Act, and the Stafford Act. Affected Public: Individuals or Households. Estimated Number of Respondents: 938,800. Estimated Number of Responses: 938,800. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 78,202. Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost: $3,069,429. Estimated Respondents’ Operation and Maintenance Costs: $0. Estimated Respondents’ Capital and Start-Up Costs: $0. Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Federal Government: $3,814,696. Collection of Information Title: Generic Clearance for Civil Rights and Equity. Type of Information Collection: New information collection. OMB Number: 1660–NW133. FEMA Forms: Under the Generic Clearance, each Federal Emergency Management Agency component will submit their specific forms for the collection of demographics. FEMA Form: FF–256–FY–21–100, Generic Clearance Civil Rights and Equity. The Agency is prepared to add these questions to the Individuals and Households program registration, FF– 104–FY–21–123 (formerly FEMA Form 009–0–1T (English)), Tele-Registration, Disaster Assistance Registration, FF– 104–FY–21–125 (formerly FEMA Form 009–0–1Int (English)), internet, Disaster Assistance Registration, FF–104–FY– 21–122 (formerly FEMA Form 009–0–1 (English)), Paper Application/Disaster Assistance Registration. The demographic data will help the Individuals and Households program improve operational outcomes for vulnerable communities by using analysis of demographic data against program outcomes to evaluate whether any disparities in eligibility determinations appear to impact vulnerable communities. FEMA would then use this data to determine how to improve service delivery for all survivors. FEMA expects a burden of no more than 5 minutes per registration to answer the additional questions, with the entire estimated annual burden outlined below. Abstract: The Federal Emergency Management Agency will use the demographic characteristics collected from applicants and beneficiaries to assess its civil rights, nondiscrimination and equity requirements, and Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) 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 responses. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Jan 24, 2022 Jkt 256001 Comments Millicent L. Brown, Records Management Branch, Team Lead, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2022–01314 Filed 1–24–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–19–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS–R3–ES–2021–0167; FXES11140300000–212] Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Ford Ridge Wind Project, Ford County, Illinois; Categorical Exclusion AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3837 Notice of availability of documents; request for comment and information. ACTION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from Ford Ridge Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its Ford Ridge Wind Project (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. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before February 24, 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–2021–0167 at https:// 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: https://www.regulations.gov. Search for and submit comments on Docket No. FWS–R3–ES–2021–0167. • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R3– ES–2021–0167; 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, by email at kraig_mcpeek@ fws.gov or telephone at 309–757–5800, extension 202; or Andrew Horton, Regional HCP Coordinator, Interior SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25JAN1.SGM 25JAN1 3838 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 25, 2022 / Notices Region 3, by email at andrew_horton@ fws.gov or telephone at 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 Ford Ridge 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 43 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 121 megawatts (MW) at the Ford Ridge Wind Project in Ford County, Illinois. While the ITP is for 6 years, the operational life of most new wind energy facilities is 30 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. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Background Section 9 of the ESA and its implementing regulations prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. Take is defined under the ESA as to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect [listed animal species,] or to attempt to engage in any such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, under section 10(a) of the ESA, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ‘‘Incidental take’’ is defined by the ESA as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity (16 U.S.C. 1539). Regulations governing incidental take permits for endangered and threatened VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Jan 24, 2022 Jkt 256001 species, respectively, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 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 43 previously constructed wind turbines in Ford County, Illinois, covering approximately 13,806 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 the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat through on-site minimization measures and to provide habitat conservation measures for the two species to offset any impacts from project operations. 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 bat and 18 northern longeared bat 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, PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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: 1. Whether the 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 https://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 E:\FR\FM\25JAN1.SGM 25JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 25, 2022 / Notices 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; 43 CFR part 46). Lori Nordstrom, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services. [FR Doc. 2022–01426 Filed 1–24–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [22XD4523WS/DWSN0000.000000/ DS61500000/DP.61501] Invasive Species Advisory Committee; Request for Nominations Office of the Secretary, Interior. Notice of request for nominations. AGENCY: ACTION: The U.S. Department of the Interior, on behalf of the interdepartmental National Invasive Species Council (NISC), proposes to appoint new members to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). The Secretary of the Interior, acting as administrative lead, is requesting nominations for qualified persons to serve as members of the ISAC. DATES: Nominations must be received by March 28, 2022. ADDRESSES: Electronic nomination packages are preferred and should be sent to invasive_species@ios.doi.gov. As necessary, hard copy nominations can be sent to Stanley W. Burgiel, Executive Director, National Invasive Species Council (OS/NISC), Regular/Express Mail: Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW (Mailstop 3530), Washington, DC 20240. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelsey Brantley, NISC Operations Director, at (202) 208–4122, or by email at Kelsey_Brantley@ios.doi.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Jan 24, 2022 Jkt 256001 Advisory Committee Scope and Objectives Executive Order (E.O.) 13112 authorized the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) to provide interdepartmental coordination, planning, and leadership for the Federal Government on the prevention, eradication, and control of invasive species. This authorization was reiterated in E.O. 13751. NISC is currently comprised of the senior-most leadership of twelve Federal Departments/Agencies and four Executive Offices of the President. The Co-chairs of NISC are the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce. NISC provides high-level interdepartmental coordination of Federal invasive species actions and works with other Federal and nonFederal groups to address invasive species issues at the national level. NISC duties, consistent with E.O. 13751, are to provide the vision and national leadership necessary to coordinate, sustain, and expand federal efforts to safeguard the interests of the United States through the prevention, eradication, and control of invasive species, and through the restoration of ecosystems and other assets impacted by invasive species. These duties and work priorities are further identified and outlined in NISC’s annual Work Plans. The Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC) advises NISC. ISAC is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA; 5 U.S.C. appendix 2). At the request of NISC, ISAC provides advice to NISC members on topics related to NISC’s aforementioned duties, as well as emerging issues prioritized by the Administration. As a multi-stakeholder advisory committee, ISAC is intended to play a key role in recommending plans and actions to be taken in different sectors, geographies, and/or scales to accomplish the activities set forth in NISC Work Plans. It is hoped that, collectively, ISAC will represent the views of the broad range of stakeholders, communities, and individuals knowledgeable of and affected by invasive species. NISC is requesting nominations for individuals to serve on the ISAC. Membership Criteria: Prospective members of ISAC must have knowledge in the prevention, eradication, and/or control of invasive species, as well as demonstrate a high degree of capacity for: Advising individuals in leadership positions, teamwork, project management, tracking relevant Federal PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3839 government programs and policy making procedures, and networking with and representing their peercommunity of interest. ISAC members need not be scientists. Membership from a wide range of disciplines and professional sectors is encouraged. At this time, we are particularly interested in applications from representatives of: Non-federal government agencies (e.g., state, territorial, tribal, local); academia, research institutions, and scientific societies; the private sector and industry/trade associations; conservation and land management organizations; landowners, farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other resource users; public health specialists; education and outreach specialists; regional organizations; and citizen scientists, recreationists, and other public interest groups. Additionally, ISAC membership will include one representative from each of the following organizations, serving in a non-voting ex officio capacity: The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA); the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD); the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA); the National Plant Board (NPB); the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS); and the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA). After consultation with the other members of NISC, the Secretary of the Interior will appoint members to ISAC. Members will be selected based on their individual qualifications as detailed in their nomination package, as well as the overall need to achieve a balanced representation of viewpoints, subject matter expertise, regional knowledge, and communities of interest. ISAC will hold approximately one or two in-person or virtual meetings per year. Between meetings, ISAC members are expected to participate in committee and subcommittee work via web-based meetings, teleconferences, and email exchanges. Members of the ISAC and its subcommittees serve without pay. However, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services of the ISAC, members may be reimbursed for travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the government service, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United States Code. Employees of the Federal Government ARE NOT eligible for nomination or appointment to ISAC. Individuals who are federally registered lobbyists are ineligible to E:\FR\FM\25JAN1.SGM 25JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 16 (Tuesday, January 25, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3837-3839]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-01426]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2021-0167; FXES11140300000-212]


Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed 
Habitat Conservation Plan for the Ford Ridge Wind Project, Ford County, 
Illinois; 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 Ford Ridge Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an 
incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its 
Ford Ridge Wind Project (project). If approved, the ITP would be for a 
6-year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered 
species, the Indiana bat, and a threatened species, the northern long-
eared bat. The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan that 
describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement 
to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the Indiana bat and 
northern long-eared bat. We request public comment on the application, 
which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan 
(HCP), and on the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP 
qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded under the National 
Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our 
environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of 
which are also able for public review.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
February 24, 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-2021-0167 at https://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: https://www.regulations.gov. Search for and submit 
comments on Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2021-0167.
     By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2021-0167; 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, by email at 
[email protected] or telephone at 309-757-5800, extension 202; or 
Andrew Horton, Regional HCP Coordinator, Interior

[[Page 3838]]

Region 3, by email at [email protected] or telephone at 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 Ford Ridge 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 43 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 121 
megawatts (MW) at the Ford Ridge Wind Project in Ford County, Illinois. 
While the ITP is for 6 years, the operational life of most new wind 
energy facilities is 30 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 (CFR) 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 43 previously 
constructed wind turbines in Ford County, Illinois, covering 
approximately 13,806 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 the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat through 
on-site minimization measures and to provide habitat conservation 
measures for the two species to offset any impacts from project 
operations. 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 bat and 18 northern long-
eared bat 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:
    1. Whether the 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 https://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

[[Page 3839]]

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; 43 CFR part 46).

Lori Nordstrom,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 2022-01426 Filed 1-24-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P