Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Sugar Creek Wind Project, Logan County, Illinois, 4039-4040 [2022-01437]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 17 / Wednesday, January 26, 2022 / Notices 2022, at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/ training/nfa/about/bov.html. Eriks J. Gabliks, Superintendent, National Fire Academy, United States Fire Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2022–01483 Filed 1–25–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–74–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R3–ES–2021–0158; FXES11140300000–212] Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Sugar Creek Wind Project, Logan County, 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 Sugar Creek Wind One, LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its Sugar Creek Wind Project (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, 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 February 25, 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–2021–0158 at https://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 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jan 25, 2022 Jkt 256001 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–2021–0158. • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R3– ES–2021–0158; 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 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 occurring in Logan County, Illinois across approximately 12,120 acres of private land. The estimated level of take from the project is up to 90 Indiana bats and 60 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 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 until wind speeds reach 3.0 meters per second (m/s) when temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the spring, summer, and fall (March 15 to November 15). Additionally, on-site minimization measures include feathering of turbine blades until wind speeds reach 5.0 m/s during fall (August 1 to October 15) when temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Minimization measures will be implemented nightly from sunset to sunrise. 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 an 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 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 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 57 wind turbines PO 00000 4039 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. E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1 4040 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 17 / Wednesday, January 26, 2022 / Notices 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 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. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 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 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jan 25, 2022 Jkt 256001 regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46). Lori Nordstrom, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services. [FR Doc. 2022–01437 Filed 1–25–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [2221A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G; OMB Control Number 1076–0149] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Class III Gaming Procedures Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs (AS–IA) are proposing to renew an information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before February 25, 2022. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments 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 1076–0149 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Ms. Paula Hart, Director, Office of Indian Gaming, AS– IA, telephone: 202–219–4066. You may also view the ICR at https:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. A Federal Register notice with a 60day public comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on August 12, 2021 (86 FR 44401). No comments were received. As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, we are again soliciting comments from the public and other Federal agencies on the proposed ICR that is described below. 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. 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 collection of information will ensure that the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and other applicable requirements are met when federally recognized Tribes submit Class III procedures for review and approval by the Secretary of the Interior. Sections 291.4, 291.10, 291.12 and 291.15 of 25 CFR 291, Class III Gaming Procedures, specify the information collection requirement. An Indian Tribe must ask the Secretary to issue Class III gaming E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 17 (Wednesday, January 26, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4039-4040]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-01437]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2021-0158; FXES11140300000-212]


Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation 
Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Sugar 
Creek Wind Project, Logan County, 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 Sugar Creek Wind One, LLC (applicant), for 
an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for 
its Sugar Creek Wind Project (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, 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 
February 25, 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-2021-0158 at https://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: https://www.regulations.gov. Search for and submit 
comments on Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2021-0158.
     By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2021-0158; 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 57 wind turbines occurring 
in Logan County, Illinois across approximately 12,120 acres of private 
land. The estimated level of take from the project is up to 90 Indiana 
bats and 60 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 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 until wind speeds reach 3.0 
meters per second (m/s) when temperatures are above 40 degrees 
Fahrenheit during the spring, summer, and fall (March 15 to November 
15). Additionally, on-site minimization measures include feathering of 
turbine blades until wind speeds reach 5.0 m/s during fall (August 1 to 
October 15) when temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Minimization measures will be implemented nightly from sunset to 
sunrise. 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 an 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 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.

[[Page 4040]]

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 
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 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 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 
1506.6; 43 CFR part 46).

Lori Nordstrom,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services.
[FR Doc. 2022-01437 Filed 1-25-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P