Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environment Impact Report (DEIS/DEIR) for a Permit Application for the Proposed Salton Sea Species Conservation Habitat Project at the Salton Sea, in Riverside and Imperial Counties, CA
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), in conjunction with the California Natural Resources Agency, is preparing an EIS/EIR for the Salton Sea Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) Project. The Corps is considering the Natural Resources Agency's application for a Department of the Army permit under section 404 of the Clean Water Act to construct habitat configured in a series of interconnected shallow ponds within the current footprint of the Salton Sea. Preliminary evaluations of potential siting areas indicate that ponds could be constructed at either the north or south ends of the Salton Sea, or in both areas. The SCH Project would be created as the Sea recedes by constructing dikes below the elevation of -228 feet mean sea level (msl) using material excavated from the sea bed. Rivers, which have better water quality than agricultural drain water, would provide the source of water for the ponds. The Project size at total build-out is currently expected to be approximately 2,400 acres, which may be constructed over a period of several years depending on land availability and cost. The final project size may vary depending on the outcome of the alternatives development process. Habitat ponds would vary in size, with several ponds constructed in each phase depending on land availability. Habitat would continue to be constructed in phases in subsequent years as the Sea recedes until the targeted acreage of habitat was constructed. The habitat would be designed with varying ranges of salinity in order to maximize biological productivity and minimize adverse effects associated with water quality. It is anticipated that the SCH Project would begin construction in late 2011 or early 2012.
Notice of Availability for the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the Newhall Ranch Resource Management and Development Plan and Spineflower Conservation Plan, Los Angeles County, CA
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District (Regulatory Division), in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), has completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the Newhall Ranch Resource Management and Development Plan and Spineflower Conservation Plan. The project proponent and landowner, The Newhall Land and Farming Company, requires a long-term Section 404 permit from the Corps of Engineers for permanent impacts to approximately 93.3 acres of waters of the United States, including, 20.5 acres of wetlands, for the construction of various facilities in waters of the United States associated with the development of a new community composed of a broad range of residential, mixed-use and nonresidential land uses in the 12,000-acre project area located in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County, California. The Corps considered all comments received in preparing the Final EIS/EIR, which is available for a 30-day review. The Final EIS/ EIR includes a draft general conformity determination (see Section 3.2, Section 4.7 and Appendix D.7), pursuant to Section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act. A general conformity determination is necessary because construction of the proposed project would require Federal action (i.e., issuance of a Corps permit for activities proposed in waters of the U.S.) and not all the Federal action's direct and indirect emissions would be below specified de minimis thresholds (40 CFR 93.153(b)). Pursuant to the general conformity regulations (40 CFR part 93 Subpart B), general conformity determinations do not have to be included in the EIS and can be separately noticed, but the draft general conformity determination for the Federal action associated with the proposed project is being included in the Final EIS/EIR in this case.
Atlantic Ocean Off John F. Kennedy Space Center, FL; Restricted Area
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is revising its regulations by establishing a new restricted area in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. The KSC is the main launch facility for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and they need to have the capability to secure their shoreline at KSC. This amendment to the existing regulations is necessary to enhance KSC's ability to secure their shoreline to counter postulated threats to their facilities and to provide for safe launch operations.
Suspension of Nationwide Permit 21
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is immediately suspending Nationwide Permit (NWP) 21, which authorizes discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States for surface coal mining activities, in the Appalachian region of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. This suspension is an interim measure to protect the aquatic environment while we evaluate modification of NWP 21 or until NWP 21 expires in 2012. While the suspension is in effect, individuals who seek authorization for discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States for surface coal mining projects in the affected region will have to obtain Department of the Army authorization under the Clean Water Act (CWA), through the individual permit process. Individual permits will result in increased public involvement in the permit evaluation process, including an opportunity for public comment on individual projects. NWP 21 activities that have been verified by District Engineers prior to the effective date of this suspension in the affected region continue to be authorized by that NWP until it expires on March 18, 2012, unless the District Engineer takes action to modify, suspend or revoke a particular NWP authorization on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the procedures at 33 CFR 330.5(d). District engineers may not modify previously issued NWP 21 verifications in this region to authorize additional discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States; such discharges must be applied for and evaluated under the individual permit process. This suspension of NWP 21 does not apply to other regions of the United States. The suspension will remain in effect until the Corps takes further action on NWP 21 or until NWP 21 expires on March 18, 2012. The Corps will publish its decision concerning the proposed NWP 21 modification in a future Federal Register notice.
Notice of Availability of a Final General Conformity Determination and Record of Decision for the Pacific L.A. Marine Terminal LLC Crude Oil Terminal Project, Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA
In November 2008, the Los Angeles Harbor Department (LAHD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Regulatory Division (Corps) published a joint Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIS/SEIR) for the development of a marine oil terminal at Berth 408 on Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California (Project). On February 19, 2010, the Corps published a draft general conformity determination for the Federal action associated with the Project. Comments were received on the draft general conformity determination until March 22, 2010. A general conformity determination was required because Project construction would require Federal action (i.e., issuance of a Corps permit for work and structures in and over navigable waters of the U.S. pursuant to Section 10 of the River and Harbor Act) and not all the Federal action's direct and indirect air emissions would be below specified de minimis thresholds (40 CFR 51.853(b)). On June 1, 2010 and June 3, 2010, the Corps made a final general conformity determination and completed its environmental review and executed the Record of Decision (ROD), respectively, for the Federal action associated with the Project. The Corps considered and responded to all comments received in making the final general conformity determination and executing the ROD.
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Northwest Aggregates' Previously Authorized Replacement of an Existing Barge Loading Facility in East Passage of Puget Sound on the Southeast Shoreline of Maury Island, King County, WA
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Seattle District is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the environmental effects of replacing an existing barge loading dock to facilitate resumption of sand and gravel mining operations at Northwest Aggregates' Maury Island facility. The Corps issued a permit to Northwest Aggregates for the dock replacement project on July 2, 2008, under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Northwest Aggregates has been enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington from conducting any further marine construction work under the Corps' permit, until the Corps completes an EIS on the project. A portion of this marine construction work was done prior to the Court's 2009 ruling; the balance remains incomplete at this time. The EIS will analyze the environmental effects of the issuance of the Corps permit, including additional analysis of potential impacts of the project on the marine environment, including endangered species (Chinook salmon, Southern Resident Killer whales, rockfish, eulachon, and other listed species) and forage fish, additional analysis and evaluation of the no action and other alternatives to achieve the project purpose, and additional analysis of cumulative impacts associated with the permit project.