Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application for Participation in the General Conservation Plan for Oil and Gas Activities; Draft Categorical Exclusion for the Conoco Philips Soil Remediation Project; Santa Barbara County, CA
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Conoco Philips for an incidental take permit (ITP), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, under the approved General Conservation Plan for Oil and Gas Activities (GCP). If granted, the ITP would authorize take of the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and the Santa Barbara County distinct population segment (DPS) of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), incidental to excavation and remediation of soils contaminated with hydrocarbons at the historical Cox 3-32 oil well sump and oilfield lease access road. The Service prepared a draft screening form in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential effects of the specific project to the natural and human environment resulting from issuing an ITP to the applicant. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on the draft screening form and the Service's preliminary determination that the proposed permitting action may be eligible for a categorical exclusion pursuant to the Council on Environmental Quality's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations, the Department of the Interior's (DOI) NEPA regulations, and the DOI Departmental Manual.