Receipt of Applications for Permit
The public is invited to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species and marine mammals.
Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Orange County Southern Subregion Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan, Orange County, CA
This notice announces the availability of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the Orange County Southern Subregion Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan), for public review and comment. The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is considering the proposed action of issuing three 75-year incidental take permits, pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for 32 species in response to receipt of applications from the County of Orange (County), Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC (RMV) and Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) (Applicants). The proposed permits would authorize take of individual members of animal species listed under the ESA. The permits are needed because take of species could occur during proposed urban development activities and associated infrastructure on Rancho Mission Viejo, expansion of the Prima Deshecha Landfill, the extension of Avenida La Pata, maintenance and operation of Santa Margarita Water District facilities, and reserve management activities within an approximately 132,000-acre Plan Area in southern Orange County, California. The Orange County Southern Subregion Habitat Conservation Plan also serves as a proposed Natural Community Conservation Plan under the State of California's Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCPA). The EIS analyzes the impacts of the Plan/NCCP and a Master Streambed Alteration Agreement which involves action by the County of Orange and the California Department of Fish and Game. For that reason, the EIS also serves as an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to satisfy requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in addition to those of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Comments regarding the Final EIS/EIR may be submitted to the Service pursuant to NEPA during a 30-day waiting period [See DATES].