Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement and Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Orange County Southern Subregion Habitat Conservation Plan, Orange County, CA
The County of Orange, Rancho Mission Viejo, and Santa Margarita Water District (Applicants) have applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Service is requesting public comment on the Draft Orange County Southern Subregion Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), Draft Implementing Agreement, and Draft Environmental Impact Report/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS). The Applicants seek a permit to incidentally take 25 animal species and assurances for 7 plant species, including 25 unlisted species should any of them become listed under the Act during the term of the proposed 75-year permit. The permit is needed to authorize take of listed animal species (including harm and injury) for Covered Activities, including development and associated infrastructure in Rancho Mission Viejo, expansion of the Prima Deshecha Landfill, and the extension of La Pata Road in the approximately 132,000-acre Plan Area in southern Orange County, California. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is the Federal portion of the Draft EIR/EIS, has been prepared jointly by the Service and the County of Orange to analyze the impacts of the HCP and is also available for public review. The analyses provided in the Draft EIR/EIS are intended to inform the public of the proposed action, alternatives, and associated impacts; address public comments received during the scoping period for the Draft EIR/EIS; disclose the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the proposed action and each of the alternatives; and indicate any irreversible commitment of resources that would result from implementation of the proposed action.