Editor's note: Some of the brief summaries below may contain direct quotes from the notice but may not be framed by quotation marks. You can usually tell, but please read the actual notice itself before citing.
Go here for notices on Public Inspection (those not yet officially published in Federal Register)
Dates link to FR Tables of Contents
Corps Wilmington District releases DEIS, will hold public hearing on request for CWA Section 404 permit from the Town of Holden Beach, N.C., to install a terminal groin structure on the east end of Holden Beach, extending into the Atlantic Ocean, just west of Lockwood Folly Inlet.
DOE announces public hearings on draft EIS evaluating the environmental impacts of DOE’s proposed federal action of issuing a Presidential permit to Northern Pass LLC, to build, operate, maintain, and connect a new electric transmission line across the U.S./Canada border in northern New Hampshire.
FHWA to prepare EIS for a proposed transportation project to construct State Highway (SH) 68 from Interstate (I)-2/ United States Highway (US) 83 to I-69C/ US 281 in Hidalgo County, Texas
Forest Service to prepare EIS on proposed land exchange in Minnesota: "The purpose and need for the land exchange is: the Superior National Forest would acquire land inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) from the Minnesota School Trust with outstanding wilderness/scenic/recreational opportunities, which will consolidate ownership and eliminate the risk of development or uses incompatible with wilderness values and management."
South Dakota: BLM Public Land Order withdraws 2,387.22 acres of National Forest System land from location and entry under the United States mining laws for a period of 20 years on behalf of the United States Forest Service to protect the unique cave resources in the area adjacent to the Jewel Cave National Monument
NMFS releases Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for fisheries research conducted and funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
NMFS’ Office of Protected Resources receives request from the NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) for five-year authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting fisheries research.
NPS will prepare EIS on Transportation Plan for Acadia National Park, ME
NPS releases FEIS for the General Management Plan/East Everglades Wilderness Study (EIS/GMP/EEWS) for Everglades National Park, Florida
FWS releases FEIS for the comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (refuge) in Adams County, Colorado. || More here
NMFS: Marine Mammals; File No. 16239 (Permit amendment application; permit No. 16239, issued on September 11, 2013 (78 FR 60852), authorizes the permit holder to harass cetacean and pinniped species during vessel and aerial survey activities, including behavioral observations and photo-identification)
Marine Mammals; File No. 18636 (Iain Kerr, D.H.L., Ocean Alliance, 32 Horton Street, Gloucester, MA 01930, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on multiple cetacean species.)
International: FWS asks for comment on proposed amendments to the CITES Appendices (species proposals) that the United States might submit for consideration at CoP17. The United States is likely to develop and submit proposals for the following taxa:
1. Saw-toothed Lewisia (Lewisia serrata)—Potential amendment to Appendix-II listing
2. Fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus spp.)—Potential amendments to Appendix-I and Appendix-II
3. Wabash riffleshell (Epioblasma sampsonii)—Potential amendment to Appendix-I listing
4. Puerto Rican boa (Epicrates inornatus)—Amendment to Appendix-I listing
5. Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis)—Potential amendment to Appendix-I listing
6. Guam flying-fox (Pteropus tokudae)—Potential amendment to Appendix-II listing
7. Eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) and Florida panther (P. concolor coryi)—Potential
amendments to Appendix I listings—Potential amendments to Appendix-II listings
8. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)—Transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I
Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District will prepare an integrated Feasibility Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (FR/SDEIS) for the Lower Cache Creek Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study (Woodland, Calif., in Yolo County)
FWS adds 1 national wildlife refuge to the list of areas open for hunting, adds four NWRs to the list of areas open for fishing, increases the hunting activities available at 16 other NWRs, increases fishing
opportunities at one NWR, and adds pertinent refuge-specific regulations for other NWRs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing for the 2015–2016 season.
FWS-Arkansas Ecological Services Field Office, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Natural Resources Conservation Service, and The Nature Conservancy have applied for 30-year enhancement of survival permits. The permit application includes a proposal that combines a safe harbor agreement (SHA) for five endangered and threatened species and a candidate conservation agreement with assurances for 20 state species of concern. Federally listed species: Arkansas fatmucket (Lampsilis powellii), pink mucket (Lampsilis abrupta), spectaclecase (Cumberlandia monodonta), and rabbitsfoot (Quadrula cylindrica cylindrica) mussels, and Harperella (Ptilmnium nodosum), a plant. The agreement covers approximately 439,792 acres of potentially eligible lands in the upper Saline River watershed; 412,556 acres of potentially eligible lands in the upper Ouachita River watershed; and 235,010 acres of potentially eligible lands in the upper
Caddo River watershed.
Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group to meet Sept. 15-16
NOAA to prepare EIS, hold scoping meeting on permit application from California American Water Company (CalAm) to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to build and operate a seawater reverse
osmosis desalination facility project in Monterey County, California.
NMFS releases final NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy || Strategy is here
EPA will host public meeting, "Workshop for Public Input on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Algae'' on Sept. 30. "The objective of this workshop is to receive public input and comments on EPA's data needs to support risk assessments of biotechnology products subject to oversight under the Toxic Substances Control Act that make use of genetically engineered algae and cyanobacteria."
FWS proposes to establish the 2015-16 late-season hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds.
FERC to prepare EA released for Freeport LNG Train 4 Project, Freeport LNG Development, L.P., Brazoria, Texas
FERC to prepare EA on Equitrans, L.P.'s TP371 Pipeline Replacement Project, involving abandonment and the construction and operation of replacement facilities in Armstrong and Indiana counties, Pennsylvania
NMFS receives request from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to reconstructing the existing ferry terminal at Pier 1 in Kodiak, Alaska, referred to as the Kodiak Ferry Terminal and Dock Improvements project
FWS receives endangered species permit applications (international)
BuRec extends comment period for 60 days on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix (BDCP/CWA), Partially Recirculated Draft EIS/Supplemental Draft EIS
EPA (Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10) proposes to issue a general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for Offshore Seafood Processors discharging in federal Waters off the coasts of Washington and Oregon. As proposed, the draft general permit authorizes the discharge of treated seafood processing wastes from facilities to federal waters of the contiguous zone and ocean.
NMFS revises critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal: 16 occupied areas within the range of the species: ten areas in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and six in the main Hawaiian Islands :: Monk seal page and more on the CH designation
FERC to prepare EA on impacts of the Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC’s and Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, L.P.’s Stage 3 Project involving the expansion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction and storage capacity of the previously approved Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project
Public meetings scheduled on DEIS for the Oregon LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project proposed by LNG Development Company, LLC and Oregon Pipeline Company, LLC and the Washington Expansion Project proposed by Northwest Pipeline LLC
FWS issues final rule prescribing early-season frameworks from which the states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands may select season dates, limits, and other options for the 2015–16 migratory bird hunting seasons.
DOJ announces proposed consent decree in U.S.A. and Commonwealth of Pa. Dep't pf Env'l Protection v. Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority, 15-4652.
BLM releases Moab Master Leasing Plan (MLP) and Draft Resource Management Plan Amendments/ Draft EIS for the Moab and Monticello Field Offices in the Canyon Country District. The MLP/Draft RMP Amendments/Draft EIS would amend the Resource Management Plans for the Moab and Monticello Field Offices
Navy extends public comment period for third time on the Draft EIS/Overseas EIS for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Joint Military Training, this time for 45 days (to Oct. 2). || Website || Annct
- Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): threatened Central Valley springrun (CVSR); endangered Sacramento River winter-run (SRWR)
- Steelhead (O. mykiss): threatened California Central Valley (CCV)
- North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medisrostris): threatened southern distinct population segment (SDPS).
FERC approves PacifiCorp request to use Alternative Licensing Process for Weber Hydroelectric Project in Utah.
- Pacificorp: "With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402. We are also initiating consultation with the Utah State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2."
FWS submits info collection to OMB for approval, re: Wolf-Livestock Demonstration Project Grant Program
FWS designates 2,624 acres as critical habitat for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and 2,649 acres as CH for Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's Small-flowered Flax) | Docket
BOEM announces preparation of Supplemental EIS, scoping meetings and comment period for proposed Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Central Planning Area Lease Sale 247
DOJ lodges proposed Consent Decree in U.S. and the state of Texas v. Koch Pipeline Co. (15-cv-676, Tex. W.D.) ("The proposed Consent Decree requires Defendant to pay the sum of $770,000, an amount which will: (1) Fund the restoration option selected by the federal and state trustees, (2) reimburse the trustees for their past assessment costs, and (3) provide for future administrative and assessment costs associated with implementation of the restoration plan.") | Consent decrees
Because of typo, NMFS extends comment period for 30 days on proposed authorization of harassment of northern bottlenose whales. Original notice said 10 whales, but the actual number is 12. "This change accounts for the annual estimate of level B harassment for this species in both inshore (10 individuals) and offshore waters (2 individuals) in the Atlantic coast region."
Daniel P. Costa, Ph.D., Department of Biology and Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 17952-01. | All info on permits
FERC to prepare EA on impacts of the Access South, Adair Southwest, and Lebanon Extension Projects in Docket No. PF15-17-000. "The projects involve construction, abandonment, and operation of facilities by Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern) that would provide incremental pipeline transportation service from the Appalachia area natural gas supply basins to markets in the Midwest and Southeast."
FERC to prepare EIS on Equitrans Expansion Project, involving construction and operation of facilities by Equitrans, L.P. in Allegheny, Washington, and Green Counties, Pennsylvania and Wetzel County, West Virginia
FWS extends comment period on the draft Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan by 30 days (Alaska had asked for more time)
Meetings: Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council to meet at Room 104A, Sept. 1-2 at the USDA Whitten Building, 12th Street and Jefferson Dr. SW., Washington DC 20250. } Final agenda will be posted here
BLM releases DEIS for the Proposed Bald Mountain Mine North and South Operations Area Projects, White Pine County, NV || More here
APHIS has received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 15-113-01p) from the Monsanto Company (Monsanto) of St. Louis, MO, seeking a determination of nonregulated status for maize (Zea mays) designated as event MON 87419 which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicides dicamba and glufosinate.
BIA to prepare EIS for the Tejon Indian Tribe's Proposed Trust Acquisition and Casino Project, Kern County, California
NMFS receives request from the Bergerson Construction for an authorization to take small numbers of two species of marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to proposed construction activities for Front Street Transload Facility construction project in Newport, Oregon
Enforcement: DOJ files consent decree to resolve Clean Water Act and associated state claims alleged in this action by the United States, the State of West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection against Arch Coal, Inc. and 14 of its subsidiaries for the discharge of pollutants into state waters and waters of the United States in violation of limits in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System | Documents | Recently filed consent decrees Case: United States v. Arch Coal, 15-11838, W.V. S.D.)
FWS releases final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and final environmental impact statement (EIS) for three national wildlife refuges (Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Baca National Wildlife Refuges) within the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex (refuge complex) in Alamosa, Rio Grande, and Saguache, Colorado | More here
FWS announces teleconference for the Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group (TAMWG). The TAMWG is a Federal advisory committee that affords stakeholders the opportunity to give policy, management, and technical input concerning Trinity River (California) restoration efforts to the Trinity Management Council (TMC)
NMFS issues four 1-year Letters of Authorization to Navy to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to their military readiness activities associated with the routine training, testing, and military operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) sonar within the northwest Pacific Ocean and the north-central Pacific Ocean.
NMFS will prepare a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the environmental impacts of issuing annual Incidental Take Authorizations (ITAs) under the MMPA for the taking of marine mammals incidental to human-caused activities in the waters of Cook Inlet, AK, for the 2016 season
- National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) will meet on Sept. 1-2, 2015 at the National Conservation Training Center, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV 25443 | More on NGAC website
- BLM's Pecos District Resource Advisory Council's Lesser Prairie- Chicken Habitat Preservation Area of Critical Environmental Concerns (ACEC) Livestock Grazing Subcommittee to meet Sept. 29
- NPS reopens public comment period on proposal to allow Native American tribes to gather plants or plant parts for traditional purposes
- From Office of DOI Secretary Sally Jewell: Invasive Species Advisory Committee to meet Aug. 18 via web conferencing :: To register for the call, go here
NRC denies 15 petitions for rulemaking that asked NRC to rescind its regulations that "reach generic conclusions about the environmental impacts of severe reactor and/or spent fuel pool accidents and therefore prohibit considerations of those impacts in reactor licensing proceedings.'' See notice for full list of petitioners
- "[T]he NRC has thoroughly considered the question of spent fuel pool accidents before and after promulgating the 1996 GEIS, and these studies have consistently found that the probability of a spent fuel pool fire is low."
FWS designates critical habitat for Vandenberg monkeyflower: about 5,755 acres (2,329 hectares) in Santa Barbara
Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking to meet Aug. 24 at Dept. of the Interior, to discuss the implementation of the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. Final agenda will be posted here
FWS: Comments sought on endangered species permit applications (International)
FERC issues EA/FONSI for an original license to construct the Coleman Hydroelectric Project, located on Little
Timber Creek near the Town of Leadore, in Lemhi County, Idaho
FWS receives application for an enhancement of survival permit supported by draft candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) between Smith Creek Ranch LTD and service for the greater sage-grouse on private rangelands in Churchill and Lander counties, Nevada.
NMFS: Peter Tyack, Ph.D., Senior Scientist Emeritus, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 86 Water Street ,Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, has applied for a permit to conduct research on several species of cetaceans worldwide.
NMFS: Michael Adkesson, D.V.M., Chicago Zoological Society, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield, IL 60527 has been issued a minor amendment (1-year extension) to Scientific Research Permit No. 15471-0. "The original permit (No. 15741), issued on August 23, 2010 (75 FR 52721), and subsequent amendment (No. 15741-01; 76 FR 60808) authorizes the importation of biological samples from South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) and South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) for scientific research. These samples are part of ongoing health assessment studies of these species in Punta San Juan, Peru."
FERC to prepare EA for the proposed San Elizario Crossing Project involving construction and operation of specific border crossing facilities for the export of natural gas by Comanche Trail Pipeline, LLC in El Paso County, Texas
EPA proposes interpretive rule: "Waters on the majority of Indian reservations do not have water quality standards under the Clean Water Act to protect human health and the environment. Only 40 of over 300 federally recognized tribes with reservations have completed the process of obtaining EPA’s approval to be treated in a manner similar to a state (TAS), and adopting standards for their waters that EPA has approved. EPA proposes to streamline how tribes apply for TAS for the water quality standards program and other Clean Water Act regulatory programs."
FHWA says a a Tier 1 EIS will not be prepared for the 66 Corridor Project in Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski, and Union Counties, Illinois; Ballard and McCracken Counties, Kentucky; and Cape Girardeau, Scott, and Mississippi Counties, Missouri.
FWS proposes to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2016–17 hunting season. We annually prescribe outside limits (frameworks) within which States may select hunting seasons. This proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee and Flyway Council (SRC) meetings, describes the regulatory alternatives for the 2016–17 duck hunting seasons, and requests proposals from Indian tribes that wish to establish special migratory game bird hunting regulations on Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands.
- "A Notice of Proposed Withdrawal was published in the Federal Register (FR) on June 29, 2015, for approximately 5,216.18 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed public domain and revested Oregon California Railroad lands and 95,805.53 acres of National Forest System lands (80 FR 37015). The application provides a two-year temporary segregation of the described Federal land from settlement, sale, location, and entry under public
land and United States mining laws. The requested withdrawal is to protect lands identified in House Resolution 682 and Senate Bill 346, known as the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act, while Congress considers the merits of the proposed legislation to permanently withdraw those areas."
NMFS corrects preamble to proposed regulations published on July 9 that would establish a framework for authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to the NEFSC’s fisheries research activities in the Atlantic coast region for a five-year period, 2015-2020. This action is necessary to correct errors in the estimates presented for Level B harassment of northern bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus), dwarf sperm/pygmy sperm whales (Kogia spp.), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). This action also corrects errors in the mortality estimates presented for gray seals (Haliochoerus grypus) and harbor seals.
NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) will evaluate the performance of the Weeks Bay and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserves.
FERC issues EA/FONSI for a new license for the existing 3.35-megawatt (MW) Chasm Hydroelectric Project, located on the Salmon River, near the Town of Malone, in Franklin County, New York.
NMFS: Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities:
EPA releases final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and EPA’s 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report. The document whose release the notice is announcing is not yet available., but will be when the notice is officially published in the FR. || go here for the plan
FWS issues draft Native American policy for public comment. "The purpose of this policy is to further the United States' trust responsibility to Indian tribes by establishing a framework on which to base our continued interactions with federally recognized tribes as well as interactions with Alaska Native Corporations. The policy recognizes the sovereignty of federally recognized tribes; states that the Service will work on a government- to-government basis with tribal governments; and includes guidance on co-management, access to and use of cultural resources, capacity development, law enforcement, and education." || Draft policy
NMFS proposes regulations to amend the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to implement the ESA regarding experimental populations. "The CFR would be amended to establish definitions and procedures for: establishing and/or designating certain populations of species otherwise listed as endangered or threatened as experimental populations; determining whether experimental populations are "essential'' or "nonessential,'' and promulgating appropriate protective measures for experimental populations."
NMFS issues regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to training and testing activities conducted in the Mariana Islands Training and Testing (MITT) Study Area from August 2015 through August 2020 ::
FHWA and state of Alaska propose to renew state's participation in the 23 U.S.C. 326 program, which would allow Alaska to determine for itself whether certain designated activities within its borders are categorically excluded from preparation of an EA or EIS under NEPA.
NRC is considering issuance of amendments to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-11 and NPF-18 issued to Exelon Generation Company, LLC for operation of LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2, located in LaSalle County, Illinois. The proposed amendment would revise the maximum allowable technical specification temperature of the ultimate heat sink for the plant. The NRC staff is issuing a final EA and FONSI associated with the proposed license amendments.
NMFS Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, will prepare an EIS to evaluate a range of alternative management actions in association with Amendment 37 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 37)
Department of State will prepare an environmental analysis to evaluate the potential impacts of the construction and operation of proposed Upland Pipeline, which would carry crude oil across the United States-Canada border
FWS receives recovery permit applications (Colo., Calif., Ariz.)
FWS receives recovery permit applications (Wyo., Utah)
FWS releases Draft Recovery Plan for Vine Hill Clarkia (Clarkia imbricata) | will be here
FERC to prepare EA on environmental impacts of the Leidy (South Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Dominion Transmission, Inc. (DTI) in Clinton, Centre, and Franklin counties, Pennsylvania, Frederick County, Maryland, and Loudoun and Fauquier counties, Virginia.
FERC to prepare an EA on effects of Presidio Border Crossing Project involving construction and operation of facilities for the export of natural gas by Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC in Presidio County, Texas.
FERC to prepare EIS on impacts of the planned Annova LNG Brownsville Project involving construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, storage, and export facility by Annova LNG Common Infrastructure, LLC; Annova LNG Brownsville A, LLC; Annova LNG Brownsville B, LLC; and Annova LNG Brownsville C, LLC (collectively, Annova) in Cameron County, Texas
FERC to prepare EIS on impacts of the Rio Grande LNG Project and Rio Bravo Pipeline Project involving construction and operation of natural gas pipeline and liquefaction facilities by Rio Grande LNG, LLC, and Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC, collectively the Rio Grande Developers, in Kleberg, Kenedy, Willacy, and Cameron counties, Texas.
FERC to prepare EIS on Texas LNG Project planned by Texas LNG Brownsville LLC. The project involves the construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction and export terminal on the Brownsville Ship Channel located in Cameron County, Texas
FWS is listing the Honduran emerald hummingbird (Amazilia luciae) as endangered. "This species is endemic to Honduras, and the population is estimated to be between 5,000 and 10,000 breeding pairs."
FWS proposing rule to "incorporate into the 4(d) rule certain restrictions on the import and export of African elephant ivory contained in the African Elephant Conservation Act (AfECA) as measures necessary and advisable for the conservation of the African elephant."
EPA adds water bodies to list of impaired waters in Louisiana. Agency "finds no new information or persuasive arguments as to why the 43 water quality limited segments should not be added to the 2014 Louisiana Section 303(d) list as proposed. Therefore, EPA is taking Final Action on the addition of 43 water quality limited segments and associated 93 waterbody-pollutant combinations to the final Louisiana 2014 Section 303(d) list." | More here
FERC to prepare an EA discussing environmental impacts of the WB XPress Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC in Kanawha, Grant, Upshur, Randolph, Pendleton, Clay, Braxton, and Hardy Counties, West Virginia and Fairfax, Shenandoah, Warren, Clark, Fauquier, and Loudoun Counties, Virginia
NPS preparing an EIS for the Visitor Use Management Plan for Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA), in New Jersey and Pennsylvania | http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dewa
NPS finishes environmental assessment (EA) for the general management plan (GMP) for Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.
Marine mammals, PDF | Text | More "NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), 8901 La Jolla Shore Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037, [Responsible Party: Lisa Ballance, Ph.D.], has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on five species of pinnipeds, over 50 species of cetaceans, and five species of sea turtles."
"NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), 8901 La Jolla Shore Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037, [Responsible Party: Lisa Ballance, Ph.D.], has applied in due form for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research." PDF | Text | More
BLM reopens comment period for the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Revisions and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Western Oregon. | More here
NPS releases Record of Decision for the FEIS for the Wilderness Management Plan for Lake Mead National Recreation Area
BuRec will prepare an EIS for the long-term recapture and recirculation of San Joaquin River Restoration Program Flows.
Terrie Williams, University of California at Santa Cruz, applies for marine mammal permit PDF | Text | More ("The applicant is requesting a permit to continue activities authorized under Permit No. 13602. This research compares the energetic and cardiovascular responses and diving physiology of odontocetes and pinnipeds to determine key physiological factors.")
NMFS Office of Protected Resources, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, receives marine mammal permit
NMFS, FWS extend comment period again on identification and proposed listing of 11 Distinct Population Segments of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) as endangered or threatened and revision of current listings
- "This proposed rule would better protect streams, fish, wildlife, and related environmental values from the adverse impacts of surface coal mining operations and provide mine operators with a regulatory framework to avoid water pollution and the long-term costs associated with water treatment."
FWS sends ICR to OMB for approval: Survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Bank Sponsors and Managers
Marine mammal takings:
- San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Pier E3 Demolition via Controlled Implosion
- Two Pier Maintenance Projects
Department of State receives application from Upland Pipeline, LLC for a Presidential Permit authorizing the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of pipeline facilities for the export of crude oil. If the application is approved, the proposed facilities will transport crude oil from the Williston Basin region in North Dakota across the U.S.-Canadian border near Burke County, North Dakota, for onward transportation to refineries in Canada and the eastern United States. | Application is here
APHIS reopens comment period on petition "requesting that we amend the Animal Welfare Act regulations to specify ethologically appropriate standards that researchers must adhere to in order to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates used in research. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments." :: Docket
FERC releases DEIS for the Magnolia LNG Project proposed by Magnolia LNG and the Lake Charles Expansion Project proposed by Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC | DEIS is supposed to be here. Let us know if you can get it
Institute for Applied Ecology, Corvallis, Oregon applies for recovery permit application (Taylor's checkerspot butterfly)
FWS receives three applications for incidental take permits concerning low-effect HCP's, from Lake County Board of County Commissioners (5-year ITP); Property Investment Brokers (10-year ITP); and Casabella Development, LLC requests (5- year ITP). (Florida scrub-jay)
EPA extends comment period to Aug. 24 on “Risk Management Approach to Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly.” Crop Life America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, and the California Crops Council "requested an extension of the comment period to allow sufficient time to analyze the subject document and assemble relevant information."
Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties, California
FERC will prepare an EA on impacts of the Columbia to Eastover Project involving construction and operation of
facilities by Dominion South Carolina Gas, Inc (DCG) in Calhoun, Richland, and Lexington counties, South Carolina
FWS proposes to establish the 2015–16 early-season hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. Meetings scheduled in Alaska July 29-30
USDA Agricultural Research Service issues EA/FONSI for the transfer of land and facilities from USDA-ARS Subtropical Agricultural Research Station (STARS) in Brooksville, Florida, to the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) for the purpose of agricultural research
NRCS plans to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. These standards include: Channel Bed Stabilization (Code 584), Karst Sinkhole Treatment (Code 527), Open Channel (Code 582), Pond (Code 378), Surface Drain, Field Ditch (Code 607), Surface Drain, Main or Lateral (Code 608), Vertical Drain (Code 630) and Waste Hauling (Code 321).
Kootenai NF: The Forest Service will prepare an EIS to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and non-commercial vegetation management activities and prescribed burning of activity fuels
APHIS releases preliminary plant pest risk assessment and draft EA for maize designated as event MON 87403, which has been genetically engineered for increased ear biomass
Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.:
FWS receives from the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) of an application for an enhancement of survival permit that would authorize take of the relict leopard frog (RLF) resulting from certain land use and conservation activities, should the species be listed as endangered or threatened in the future | More here
"On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made a determination that the suspension on the import of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Zimbabwe on or after April 4, 2014, would be continued until further notice. The decision to continue the suspension on importation of African elephant trophies taken in Zimbabwe through the 2015 hunting season and future hunting seasons is due to the Service's inability to determine that the killing of the animal whose trophy is intended for import into the United States would enhance the survival of the species in the wild." | Enhancement finding
BLM releases EIS on draft Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for the Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and a Draft Amendment to the St. George Field Office RMP
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (St. Paul District) will prepare a programmatic EIS for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan from Burlington, North Dakota, to a point downstream of Minot, North Dakota
Navy to conduct restoration planning, prepare a Draft Damage Assessment Restoration Plan Environmental Assessment for the Omega 707 Air Tanker Crash of May 18, 2011 at Mugu Lagoon, Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, CA
NOAA: During a meeting of the Parties to the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol), held in Cartagena, Colombia in December 2014, ten species of flora and fauna were added to the Annexes of the SPAW Protocol. The United States voted against these amendments to the Annexes because a failure by the Parties to follow the procedures for adding species to the Annexes prevented the United States from following the domestic procedures that are a prerequisite for acceptance by the United States of such amendments to the SPAW Protocol Annexes.
- Species Added to the SPAW Annexes in December 2014. Annex II: Staghorn coral, elkhorn coral, Boulderstar coral, Mountain star coral, Bicknell's Thrush, Black-capped Petrel. Annex III: White-crowned pigeon. Plants: Lignum vitae, Holywood, Roble Real, Seibon de Arroyo.
USDA issues Conservation Reserve Program interim rule. "A wide range of conservation practices may be enrolled under CRP, including but not limited to, introduced or native grasses and legumes, hardwood trees, wildlife habitat, grass waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetlands, rare and declining habitat, upland bird habitat, longleaf pine, duck nesting habitat, and pollinator habitat."
CWA Enforcement: DOJ lodges a proposed Consent Decree with the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming in the lawsuit entitled (U.S. v. Cottonwood Creek, 15-108-SWS, D. Wyo.). :: Proposed consent decree
USGS reopens nomination and comment period for 30 days for non-federal members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science "The Committee provides advice on matters and actions relating to the establishment and operations of the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
and the DOI Climate Science Centers." | More
NOAA’s Office of Science and Technology, Silver Spring, MD, (Brandon Southall, Ph.D. – Principal Investigator) has been issued a minor amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14534-02
NMFS proposes listing three foreign marine angelshark species as endangered: the sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata), smoothback angelshark (Squatina oculata), and common angelshark (Squatina squatina).
- Petition can be found here and status review and peer review here
- Sawback angelshark information (from "petition can be found here" link)
- Smoothback angelshark (Squatina oculata) (ditto)
- Common angel shark (Squatina squatina) (ditto)
NMFS plans to obtain information necessary to prepare an EIS for five Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) for early winter steelhead hatchery programs jointly submitted by the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife (WDFW), with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Tribe, the Stillaguamish Tribes, and the Tulalip Tribes (referred to as the co-managers) for NMFS’s evaluation and determination under Limit 6 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 4(d) Rule for threatened salmon and steelhead.
NMFS, in consultation with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, will prepare an EIS on a new management program for trawl groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska.
FWS receives application from Diversified Pacific for a 5-year incidental take permit, including proposed habitat conservation plan. "If approved, the permit would authorize incidental take of the endangered San Bernardino
Merriam’s kangaroo rat in the course of routine construction activities associated with the development of residential houses in the City of Redlands."
BuRec will prepare an EIS to evaluate the effects of the Long-Term Plan for the Protection of Adult Salmon in the lower Klamath River. "The proposed action is to increase lower Klamath River flows to reduce the likelihood, and potentially reduce the severity, of any fish dieoff in future years due to crowded holding conditions for pre-spawn adults, warm water
temperatures, and presence of disease pathogens as the likely major factors contributing to the adult mortalities."
The Bonneville Power Administration has decided to implement its part of the Proposed Action identified in the Whistling Ridge Energy Project FEIS. Under the Proposed Action, BPA will offer Whistling Ridge Energy LLC (WRE) contract terms for interconnection of WRE’s planned Whistling Ridge Energy Project with the FCRTS, the high-voltage electric transmission system in the Pacific Northwest.
NMFS issues Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to SAExploration, Inc. to take, by harassment, small numbers of marine mammals incidental to a marine 3-dimensional (3D) ocean bottom node (OBN) seismic survey program in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, during the 2015 Arctic open-water season.
NMFS has issued an IHA to the City of San Diego for an IHA to take small numbers of marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to construction activities at the Children’s Pool Lifeguard Station in La Jolla, California.
FERC to prepare an EA on impacts of the South Texas Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Texas Eastern Transmission, LP in Nueces, Matagorda, Brazoria, Chambers, and Orange counties, Texas.
USACE releases SEIS on Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project, New Hanover County, NC | More here
USACE releases draft regional EIS to analyze potential impacts within defined geographic regions in Texas that may be affected by future Corps' Fort Worth District permit decisions for future surface coal and lignite mine expansions or satellite mines within the district’s area of responsibility (USACE Project No. SWF-2010-00244) | Go here for more
NMFS marine mammal permit notices:
- SeaWorld (minor amendment issued)
- NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center applies for amendment to SRP (seals on Eastern seaboard)
- Minnesota Zoological Gardens issued permit to conduct research on and enhancement of Hawaiian monk seals
- Daniel P. Costa, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, gets permit to conduct research on northern elephant seals
- Permit issued to Adam White, BBC Natural History Unit, to conduct commercial or educational photography on four species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds.
FWS proposes to issue 10-year permit to the Monterey District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation authorizing take of the endangered Smith’s blue butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi) incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with the repair and reconstruction of five existing timber bridges located along the access roads to the Point Sur Light Station and Lighthouse at the Point Sur State Historic Park (PSSHP).
NMFS’ Office of Protected Resources has received a request from NMFS’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) for five-year authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted in a specified geographical region.
- NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) in Miami Beach has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14450-02
- NMFS issues permit to Dolphin World Productions Ltd in the U.K. to conduct commercial or educational photography on bottlenose dolphins
- NMFS issues major amendments to James Shine at Harvard University School of Public Health and the NMFS Forensics Office in Charleston, SC
NMFS proposes to issue permits and permit amendments for take of protected species in the wild by authorizing the use of unmanned vehicle systems (UVS), mainly small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)
NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Hilcorp Alaska, LLC to take, by harassment, small numbers of marine mammals incidental to a shallow geohazard survey in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, during the 2015 Arctic open-water season.
FERC to prepare EA on impacts of the Line 138 Abandonment and Lateral Construction Project involving abandonment, construction, and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC in Fayette and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania; Preston County, West Virginia; and Garrett County, Maryland.
FERC will prepare an EIS on impacts of the Northeast Energy Direct Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.
FWS releases draft addendum to 2005 Barton Springs salamander (Eurycea sosorum) Recovery Plan, to include the Austin blind salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis). | Here it is (thanks to FWS Austin office, including Paige Najvar and Adam Zerrenner) :: Will be here later :: FWS Austin office page
The Department of the Interior and the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission have prepared separate Records of Decision (RODs) that disclose their selection of Alternative B for implementing the restoration of the Provo River Delta as described in the Provo River Delta Restoration Project (PRDRP) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
FAA releases final EA to analyze the potential environmental impacts of Houston Airport System’s (HAS’s) proposal to establish and operate a commercial space launch site at the Ellington Airport (EFD), in Houston, Texas and offer the site to prospective commercial space launch operators for the operation of horizontal take-off and horizontal landing Concept X and Concept Z reusable launch vehicles (RLVs).
The National Park Service (NPS) concludes that of 557,065 acres assessed in Big Cypress National Preserve, 188,323 acres meet the criteria indicating eligibility for preservation as wilderness.
NPS, in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and BLM, has prepared a draft EIS and General Management Plan for City of Rocks National Reserve. | Planning website
USACE extends comment period on South Shore of Staten Island (SSSI) Draft Environmental Impact Statement
FWS designates approximately 5,214 acres in the Spring Mountains of Clark County, Nevada, as critical habitat for the Mount Charleston blue butterfly (Icaricia (Plebejus) shasta charlestonensis)
NMFS has received an application from ExxonMobil Alaska LNG LLC (AK LNG) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a geophysical and geotechnical survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska :: More
NMFS is considering an amendment to Permit No. 15337 issued to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS), P.O. Box 207, Gulfport, MS 39502 (Dr. Moby Solangi, Responsible Party). This permit authorizes the acquisition of stranded, releasable California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) from the National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program for the purposes of public display. The permit amendment is in response to a court decision to remand this permit to NMFS for reconsideration.
NRCS Notice of Determination: "Secretary of Agriculture has determined that cost-share payments made by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) through its Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems (FARMS) Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, Quality of Water Improvement Program (QWIP), and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative are primarily for the purpose of conserving soil and water resources or protecting and restoring the environment." | Docket
BLM'S Ukiah, Calif., field office, will prepare a Resource Management Plan (RMP) amendment with an associated Environmental Assessment (EA) to modify the boundary of the Knoxville Area of Environmental Concern (ACEC) and identify public lands for exchange in Lake, Napa and Yolo counties
BLM, FS propose to withdraw, subject to valid existing rights, approximately 5,216 acres of BLM-managed public domain and Revested Oregon California Railroad lands (O&C) and 95,806 acres of National Forest System lands for 5 years to preserve the status quo while Congress considers legislation to permanently withdraw those areas. Such legislation is currently pending in the 114th Congress as S. 346 and H.R. 682 and identified as the “Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act of 2015.”
Safe Harbor: PG&E applies to FWS for an Enhancement of Survival permit (Shasta crayfish, Rock Creek, Shasta Co., Calif.)
NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1601 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814 [Responsible Party: Michael Tosatto], has been issued a permit to take hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), leatherback (Dermochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DENREC) [Responsible Party: Michael Stangl], 3002 Bayside Dr., Dover, Delaware 19977, has submitted a revised application for a permit to take shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) in the Delaware River for purposes of scientific research
NMFS issues permit to Richard Breezy Wynn, 7216 Wellington Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919, to conduct commercial or educational photography on killer (Orcinus orca) and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) whales
NMFS issues IHA to Navy to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, five species of marine mammals during construction activities as part of a wharf maintenance project conducted in the Hood Canal, Washington.
FWS receives T&E species permit applications (international)
FWS receives T&E species permit applications (Mountain-Prairie Region)
NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the U.S. Navy to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, five species of marine mammals during construction activities as part of a wharf maintenance project conducted in the Hood Canal, Washington.
APHIS receives petition requesting amendment to regulations to require that research facilities include information about the uses of animals in the annual report they submit to APHIS. We are making this petition available to the public and soliciting comments regarding any issues raised by the petition that we should consider.
FERC will prepare EA on environmental impacts of the Cameron LNG Expansion Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by Cameron LNG, LLC in Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, Louisiana
New Latin: FWS revises taxonomy of 4 wildlife species and 50 plant species under the ESA "The basis for these taxonomic changes is supported by published studies in peer-reviewed journals."
FWS finds that listing Leona’s little blue butterfly (right) is not warranted | Finding can be found here | Docket ("Leona’s little blue butterfly occupancy appears to be coincident with the northern edge of the Sand Creek and Scott Creek alluvial fans (fan-shaped deposits of volcanic material) deposited after the eruption of Mt. Mazama (present day Crater Lake, OR) 6,600 to 7,700 years ago.") | Info from Xerces Society (petitioner)
FWS submits ICR to OMB for approval: National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Check-In Permit and Use Report
FWS receives incidental take permit renewal application and HCP from TAVCOR LLC, which anticipates taking about 1.91 acres of feeding, breeding, and sheltering habitat used by the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) in connection with land preparation and construction in Charlotte County, Florida.
Pacific Rim Conservation, Honolulu, Hawaii, requests a new permit to take (survey, monitor, capture, handle, weigh, measure, collect bio-samples, band, translocate, captive propagate, and release) Hawaiian dark-rumped petrel chicks (Pterodroma phaeopygia sandwichensis)
Tongass NF: Forest Service publishes corrected NOI for an EIS due to changes in the anticipated dates for the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD, to designate a new responsible official for the plan amendment, and to clarify the pre-decisional administrative review process.
FHwA, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), will prepare a Supplemental EIS to evaluate the Hampton Roads Crossing Study FEIS. The purpose of the SEIS is to evaluate new information regarding environmental impacts and the alternatives described in the
March 2001 FEIS.
NMFS extends for a year marine mammal scientific research permits to Jim Darling, Ph.D., Whale Trust, P.O. Box 384, Tofino, BC, V0R2Z0, Canada, and Ann Zoidis, Cetos Research Organization, 11 Des Isle Ave Bar Harbor, ME 04609, for whale research
FWS submits Information Collection Request to OMB for approval: "To assist us in evaluating a formalized conservation effort under [Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts when making listing decisions], we collect information such as conservation plans, monitoring results, or progress reports. The development of such agreements/plans is voluntary." | PECE policy
Department of Energy (DOE) Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) releases draft EIS for the Recapitalization of Infrastructure Supporting Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel Handling at the Idaho National Laboratory (DOE/EIS-0453-D)
Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District releases supplemental Draft EIS to analyze the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of a water supply project called the Northern Integrated Supply Project in Larimer County and Weld County, CO.
Forest Service withdraws proposal to establish direction for management of groundwater resources on national forest lands: On May 7, 2014, the Forest Service published an action proposing to amend its internal agency directives for the National Forest System (NFS), Watershed and Air Management to establish direction for management of groundwater resources on NFS lands (79 FR 25815). The proposed amendment was intended to provide internal agency direction on the consideration of groundwater resources in Agency activities, approvals, and authorizations; encourage source water protection and water conservation; establish systematic procedures for reviewing new proposals for groundwater withdrawals on NFS lands; and require the evaluation of potential impacts from groundwater withdrawals on public resources on NFS lands. That notice invited public comment on the proposal.
BLM releases national Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on vegetation treatments involving the use of aminopyralid, fluroxypyr, and rimsulfuron herbicides on public lands administered by the BLM in 17 western states, including Alaska. | More here
FWS receives nine Enhancement of Survival Permit applications that were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement (Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) | More here | The nine permit applicants are: (1) Morris Farms; (2) Overen Living Trust; (3) North Ranches, LLC; (4) Baird Springs Environmental; (5) Buster Boruff, LLC; (6) Ms. Susan Chace; (7) Mr. Garey Clements; (8) Mr. Greg Lehr and Ms. Christine Lehr; and (9) Sandygren Properties Limited Partnership.
Farm Service Agency issues Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the alternative selected for implementation from the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS) for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). CRP is a voluntary program that supports the implementation of long-term conservation measures designed to improve the quality of ground and surface waters, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat on environmentally sensitive agricultural land.
Proposal to establish 11 Distinct Population Segments for green sea turtles: FWS, NMFS announce more public hearings in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and American Samoa, extend comment period through July 27.
FWS says Eastern puma (=cougar) is extinct, proposes removing it from list of threatened and endangered wildlife
FWS receives application from Steven Sannella for a 5-year incidental take permit addressing potential “take” of California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog. "The applicant would implement a conservation program to minimize and mitigate the project activities, as described in the applicant’s low-effect habitat conservation plan (HCP)."
FWS will prepare an EA or EIS on an application from Praxair Inc. for a right-of-way (ROW) permit to build, operate, and maintain two pipelines within an existing maintained pipeline corridor crossing the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Brazoria County, Texas. Scoping process begins.
EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 issue final 2015 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activity, also referred to as the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). | March 12 final rule
Forest Service will prepare an EIS for a project called Ringo, centered around Ringo Butte south of Wickiup Reservoir on the Crescent Ranger District. Proposed action includes about 6,688 acres of thinning. "In order to continue to provide these values and services on the landscape into the future, there is a need to reduce tree density and surface fuels in order to restore and maintain a resilient, fire-adapted ecosystem."
The Commander of the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers solicits applications to fill vacant stakeholder representative member positions on the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC). Members are sought to fill vacancies on a committee to represent various categories of interests within the Missouri River basin. | MRRIC
NMFS issues Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to BLM to take marine mammals, by harassment incidental to conducting a one-day field-based land survey of cultural sites located on a small island within the eastern Aleutian Islands archipelago, Alaska, June through July, 2015.
NMFS: Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), Division of Wildlife Conservation, Juneau, AK (Principal Investigator: Lori Quakenbush) has been issued a minor amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14610-03
FERC will prepare an EA on impacts of the Susquehanna West Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (TGP) in Tioga and Bradford counties, Pennsylvania
Low-effect HCPs, Florida (sand skink, Florida scrub-jay): FWS receives three applications for incidental take permits (ITPs) associated with low-effect HCPs. DCS Capital Investments I, LLC requests a 15-year ITP; Preferred Materials, Inc., doing business as Conrad Yelvington Distributors, requests a 3-year ITP; and Wickham Summerbrook, LLC requests a 5-year ITP
NOAA says March 12, 2015, final rule, which expanded Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary from approximately 1,282 square miles (968 square nautical miles) to approximately 3,295 square miles (2,488 square nautical miles), became effective on June 9, 2015. NOAA has also changed the name of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary to Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
BuRec and the California Department of Water Resources will prepare a partially Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIR/SDEIS) on the Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan. "The RDEIR/SDEIS will describe and analyze refinement of the resource area analyses, alternatives, and actions, including additional alternatives that describe conveyance alternatives that do not contain all the elements of a Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Communities Conservation Plan that are described in the previously circulated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS)."
NMFS issues revised Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to The Narragansett Electric Company, doing business as National Grid (TNEC), to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to construction of the Block Island Transmission System (BITS).
FWS begins scoping period on an EIS to evaluate the impacts of several alternatives relating to the proposed issuance of Incidental Take Permits under the Midwest Wind Energy MultiSpecies Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). We also provide this notice to announce a public scoping period. The MSHCP is being prepared by the service and their planning partners for wind energy development within an eight-state Plan Area.
Forest Service to prepare an EA to establish management direction for the land and resources within San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, designated by Presidential Proclamation on Oct. 10, 2014
Enbridge spill: DOI, acting through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribe; and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of the Pottawatomi Indians has written a Draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment, which describes proposed alternatives for restoring injured natural resources and compensating for losses resulting from the discharges of oil from Enbridge’s Line 6B oil pipeline near Marshall, Michigan, in July 2010.
Amendment with an associated Environmental Assessment (EA) for target shooting in
the Eastern Lake Mountains area.
Migratory birds: "FWS proposed in an earlier document to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2015–16 hunting season. This supplement to the proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee and Flyway Council meetings, and provides Flyway Council recommendations resulting from their March meetings."
North American Wetlands Conservation Council will meet in British Columbia to select North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) U.S. Standard grant proposals for recommendation to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.
FWS reopens comment period on June 11, 2012 (77 FR 34464), proposal to designate or revise critical habitat for 135 plant and animal species on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe
FWS proposes adding one national wildlife refuge to the list of areas open for hunting, add four NWRs to the list of areas open for fishing, increase the hunting activities available at 16 other NWRs, increase fishing opportunities at one NWR, and add pertinent refuge-specific regulations for other NWRs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishning for the 2015–2016 season.
USFS National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Committee will meet Aug. 4-6 at Centennial Hall Convention Center, 101 Egan Drive, Juneau, Alaska
NRC considers issuing an amendment to Renewed License Nos. DPR-66 and NPF-73, issued on November 5, 2009, and held by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company for the operation of Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (BVPS). EA/FONSI released
NMFS issues final regulations to implement Special Management Zones for four Delaware artificial reefs under the black sea bass provisions of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan
NMFS has requested the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) meet to conduct a peer review of the agency’s stock assessment of the General Model for Alaskan Crabs Stocks (GMACs) and its implementation for Bristol Bay Red King Assessment (BBRKC). Meeting will be held in Seattle June 29 – July 1, 2015.
NRCS implements WBP in accordance with 16 U.S.C. 1301 et seq. (the Water Bank Act). The purpose of the program is to conserve water, preserve and improve the condition of migratory waterfowl habitat and other wildlife resources, and secure other wildlife benefits through 10-year land use agreements with landowners and operators in important migratory waterfowl nesting and breeding areas. Unlike other Federal wetland laws, the Water Bank Act defines wetlands in accordance with Department of the Interior Circular 39, “Wetlands of the United States.” WBP agreements encompass inland fresh wetland areas (types 1 through 7) as described in Circular 39, artificially developed inland fresh water areas that meet the description of inland fresh wetland areas (types 1 through 7), and other wetland types designated by the Secretary.
Bureau of Reclamation and the State Lands Commission have made available for public review and comment the Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Improvements Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR). The Mendota Pool Bypass and Reach 2B Improvements Project is a component of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program which seeks to restore flows to the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River, and restore a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery in the river while reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts associated with Restoration Flows.
BLM's Barstow Field Office has prepared a Proposed California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan Amendment and Joint Final EIS/R in cooperation with San Bernardino County for the Soda Mountain Solar Project | More here
- "The Proposed Project is a 358 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar energy generation facility, along with supporting infrastructure, in rural San Bernardino County. After review, the BLM’s Preferred Alternative identified in the Final EIS excludes the proposed northern solar array, includes the Applicant Proposed alignment for Rasor Road, and excludes the proposed brine ponds associated with reverse osmosis treatment of groundwater. TheBLM’s Preferred Alternative would reduce the Project size from 2,557 to 1,923 acres, and decrease the Project’s output from 358 to 264 MW."
FWS discontinues preparation of a programmatic Environmental Assessment on the use of genetically modified crops on national wildlife refuges in the Southeast Region. FWS had agreed, as part of settlement agreement, to discontinue cultivating and using the GMCs in the Southeast Region after the 2012 crop year.
NMFS adopts recovery plan for the Snake River Sockeye Salmon (Onchorhynchus nerka) evolutionarily significant unit (ESU), listed as endangered under the ESA. "The geographic area covered by the plan is the Sawtooth Valley in Idaho including the Upper Salmon River and its tributaries, Stanley Lake, Redfish Lake, Yellowbelly Lake, Pettit Lake, and Alturas Lake, and the migration corridor from the Sawtooth Valley to the ocean." | More here
NMFS issues Letter of Authorization (LOA) to the Navy "to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) training activities conducted in nearshore waters at the Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia and at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, from June 2, 2015 through June 1, 2020 | More permits
NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to take, by harassment, small numbers of nine species of marine mammals incidental to construction activities for Vashon Seismic Retrofit Project in Vashon Island, Washington, between August 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016.
EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public meeting and three teleconferences (Sept. 29, Sept. 30 and Oct.19) of the SAB Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel to conduct a review of the EPA draft report, Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources, (May, 2015 External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-15/047). In addition, a public face-to-face meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 in Washington, D.C. | More info (trying to get study)
FERC issues supplemental notice to prepare EA seeking comments on Uquitrans' revised pipeline alignment for planned Ohio Valley Connector Project. New scoping period opened for interested parties to file comments on environmental issues.
FWS finds delisting of Hualapai Mexican vole is warranted: "There is sufficient evidence to indicate that the currently listed entity for the Hualapai Mexican vole is not a valid taxonomic subspecies." | Docket
FWS releases six draft recovery unit implementation plans (RUIPs) that are part of the recovery plan we are developing for the coterminous United States population of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus)
NMFS prohibits fishing with large-mesh drift gillnet (DGN) gear (>14 inches mesh) off the coast of southern California east of 120° W. meridian from the effective date of this rule through August 31, 2015. This prohibition is based on the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries' (AA) determination that El Niño conditions are occurring off the coast of southern California. This action protects Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), specifically the endangered North Pacific Ocean Distinct Population Segment.
NMFS receives request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) study area from November 2015 through November 2020.
NMFS issues incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Huna Totem Corporation (HTC) of Hoonah, Alaska to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, nine species of marine mammals during construction activities associated with the re-development of the cruise ship terminal at Hoonah, Alaska
NMFS issues regs under MMPA to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) training activities conducted in Virginia and North Carolina, from June 2015 through June 2020
Federal Railroad Administration issues NOI to advise public that the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission will prepare an EIS on impacts of construction and operation of the Port Bienville Railroad Project. The EIS will evaluate route alternatives for freight rail service from the Port Bienville Short Line Railroad in Hancock County, Mississippi to Nicholson in Pearl River County, Mississippi | More here on FRA environmental reviews
FWS says delisting Bone Cave harvestman is not warranted :: Petition and more info from petitioners :: USFWS page w/ more information
BLM: Notice of Intent to Prepare the Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan and an Associated EIS for the Royal Gorge Field Office, Colorado
EPA is seeking comment on a proposal to adopt mandatory pesticide label restrictions to protect managed bees under contract pollination services from foliar application of pesticides that are acutely toxic to bees on a contact exposure basis. These label restrictions would prohibit applications of pesticide products, which are acutely toxic to bees, during bloom when bees are known to be present under contract.
BLM releases a slew of RMP's/EIS's addressing sage-grouse:
APHIS releases preliminary determination of nonregulated status (with EA) regarding a request from Dow AgroSciences LLC, for cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicides 2,4-D and glufosinate | Docket
FHWA, Iowa DOT and Polk County are issuing this notice to rescind the NOI published on Oct. 13, 2006 and to advise the public that studies for the environmental impact statement (EIS) will cease for the proposed transportation project in Polk County, Iowa.
FWS receives application for a 10-year incidental take permit for potential for “take” of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail likely to result incidental to the construction of a single-family residence, barn, septic system, and improved residential access; management of an existing open space area; and implementation of a conservation strategy.
FWS asks for comment on an incidental take permit application for take of the federally listed American burying beetle resulting from activities associated with the geophysical exploration (seismic) and construction, maintenance, operation, repair, and decommissioning of oil and gas well field infrastructure within Oklahoma.
FWS receives low-effect ITP application for potential “take” of the endangered San Diego fairy shrimp in the course of activities associated with the construction of the Main 16, LP, Ramona commercial development project in unincorporated San Diego County, California. A conservation program to avoid, minimize, and mitigate for project activities would be implemented as described in the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) by the applicant.
"We are considering rulemaking to address various approaches to regulating incidental take of migratory birds, including issuance of general incidental take authorizations for some types of hazards to birds associated with particular industry sectors; issuance of individual permits authorizing incidental take from particular projects or activities; development of memoranda of understanding with federal agencies authorizing incidental take from those agencies' operations and activities; and/or development of voluntary guidance for industry sectors regarding operational techniques or technologies that can avoid or minimize incidental take. The rulemaking would establish appropriate standards for any such regulatory approach to ensure that incidental take of migratory birds is appropriately mitigated, which may include requiring measures to avoid or minimize take or securing compensation."
On June 2, 2015 the Office of Energy Projects staff will be in Chester County, Pennsylvania to gather data related to the environmental analysis of the proposed White Oak Mainline Expansion Project. Staff will examine Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company’s (ESNG) proposed pipeline route as well as several alternative routes filed by ESNG on November 21, 2014 and March 6, 2015.
USACE requests proposals by non-Federal interests for inclusion in annual report to Congress identifying "feasibility reports, proposed feasibility studies submitted by non-federal interests, and proposed modifications to an authorized water resources development project or feasibility study that meet certain criteria."
NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, on behalf of SIO and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting a low-energy marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, East of New Zealand, May to June 2015. | All permits
FERC releases EA/FONSI on Antrim County's application for a subsequent license for the Elk Rapids Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 3030), located on the Elk River in the Village of Elk Rapids in Antrim, Grand Traverse, and Kalkaska Counties, Michigan
BLM releases Record of Decision (ROD) for the approved Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Winnemucca District located in northern Nevada. The Nevada State Director signed the ROD on May 21, 2015, which constitutes the final decision of the BLM and makes the approved RMP effective immediately || FEIS is here
FWS proposes to remove Louisiana black bear from endangered species list due to recovery. FWS also would take American black bear off the list; it is listed within the historic range of the Louisiana black bear due to similarity of appearance.
FWS proposes to amend public use regulations for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to clarify the existing regulations; implement management decisions from our June 2010 Kenai NWR revised comprehensive conservation plan (CCP); establish regulations for managing wildlife attractants, including food, refuse, and retained fish; and revise the regulations for hunting and trapping.
NMFS: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council announces its intent to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, either an amendment to the fishery management plan for golden tilefish or a new fishery management plan. To support this effort, the Council may prepare an EIS
FERC to prepare EA on impacts of the Line WB2VA Integrity Project involving abandonment, construction, and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC in Hardy County, West Virginia, and Shenandoah, Page, Rockingham, and Greene counties, Virginia
Federal and state natural resource trustee agencies have prepared a Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments (Draft Phase IV ERP/EA) describing and proposing a suite of early restoration projects intended to continue the process of restoring natural resources and services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred on or about April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. | You can get the plan here
NMFS is issuing an Incidental Harassment Authorization in response to a request from SAExploration Inc. (SAE) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to an oil and gas exploration seismic survey program in Cook Inlet, Alaska between May 13, 2015 and May 12, 2016
Defense Dept.: Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program's Scientific Advisory Board will meet in Portsmouth, Va., June 16. Topics include impact of climate change on military training, coastal and estuarine research, more.
FWS Information Collection Requests:
Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group to meet June 16-17 in Weaverville, CA
NMFS: Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities:
- Anacortes Tie-up Slips Dolphin and Wingwall Replacement
- Construction Activities at the Children's Pool Lifeguard Station at La Jolla, CA
NMFS issues an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Glacier Bay National Park to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting seabird monitoring and research activities in Alaska, May through September, 2015.
DOE's Office of Fossil Energy issues Record of Decision and Floodplain Statement of Findings for the Cheniere Marketing, LLC and Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC Application To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries
NOAA announces funding availability for FY 2015 Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program (up to $5 million available)
Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) Draft Recovery Plan released | More information (but not plan, yet)
NMFS receives application from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC. for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to shallow geohazard survey in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska
BIA, with BLM, EPA, FWS, and the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians as cooperating agencies, has prepared a draft EIS for the proposed Aiya Solar Project on the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Clark County, Nevada.
FAA releases EA on proposal to fund, build and operate a new Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and Base Building at the General Wayne A. Downing - Peoria International Airport (PIA), Peoria, Ill. The FAA’s preferred alternative is to construct the ATCT at a location approximately 1,000 feet east of the PIA terminal building.
FERC's Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for an original license to construct the Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project, and has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) with the cooperation of FWS (Alaska)
FWS asks for comment on endangered species permit applications (fairy shrimp, tidewater goby, mountain yellow-legged frog, more)
NMFS issues Incidental Harassment Authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a component of Columbia University, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the northwest Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey coast June through August 2015
NRC releases for public comment a draft EIS for the construction permit application submitted by SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc. (SHINE), for the SHINE Medical Radioisotope Production Facility in Janesville, Wis.
Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans District will prepare a Draft Supplemental EIS to be integrated with a General Reevaluation Report (GRR) for the Mississippi River Ship Channel, Gulf to Baton Rouge, Louisiana Project. The GRR and SEIS will investigate deepening and maintaining the Mississippi River Ship Channel from 45 feet deep to as much as 50 feet deep. Corps estimates that the draft SEIS will be available to the public for review and comment in December 2016.
FERC: Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.:
- Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC; Atlantic Bridge Project (PDF)
- Texas Gas Transmission, LLC; Western Kentucky Lateral Project (PDF)
- Virginia Southside Expansion Project II; Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC (PDF)
FWS asks for "information and recommendations on resolutions, decisions, and agenda items that the United States might consider submitting for discussion" at the 17th regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, tentatively scheduled to be held in September 2016 in South Africa.
BLM releases EA/FONSI on Buckingham Coal Company's application "to lease federal coal in Perry and Morgan counties, Ohio" | Documents here
FWS issues technical changes to headquarters address changes -- in other words, lets public know where it should send comments on certain matters (law enforcement, CITES, etc)
NOAA asks for comments on information collection request. "Recipients of NOAA [Restoration Center] funds submit information such as project location, restoration techniques used, species benefited, acres restored, stream miles opened to access for diadromous fish, volunteer participation, and other parameters."
FWS reopens comment period for an application from the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for an incidental take permit. The permit application includes a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) addressing private land management activities within upland prairie in Yamhill County, Oregon, that may result in the incidental take of the endangered Fender's blue butterfly | HCPs in Oregon
Rural Utilities Service will hold a public scoping workshop and prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) in connection with possible impacts related to the construction and operation of a new gas-fired combustion turbine generation facility. The project, Hill County Generation Facility, is proposed by Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., of Waco, Texas
FERC will prepare an EA on Broad Run Expansion Project, involving construction and operation of facilities by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. in Kanawha County, West Virginia; Madison, Powell, and Boyd counties, Kentucky; and Davidson County, Tennessee
FERC will analyze impacts of the Panhandle Backhaul Project and Trunkline Backhaul Project, involving the modification and upgrades of existing facilities by Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, LP and Trunkline Gas Company in FERC's EIS currently under preparation for the Rover Pipeline Project in Docket No. CP15-93-000. The Panhandle Backhaul Project would modify existing facilities in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The Trunkline Backhaul Project would modify existing facilities in Illinois, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
EPA extends comment period on preliminary determination that certain stormwater discharges in Los Alamos County, New Mexico will be required to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage under the Clean Water Act | More here
FERC to prepare supplemental EA on National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation's and Empire Pipeline Inc.'s plans for one new compressor station and one natural gas dehydration facility in Niagara County, New York, as pat of Northern Access 2016 Project
FERC will prepare an environmental assessment that will discuss the environmental impacts of the REX Zone 3 Capacity Enhancement Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Rockies Express LLC (REX) in Decatur County, Indiana and Pickaway, Fayette, Muskingum, and Warrenton Counties, Ohio
FERC's Office of Energy Projects releases EA on application for amendment to authorize the construction of the new Slab Creek powerhouse and boating flow release valve for the Upper American River Hydroelectric Project ("The project is located on Silver Creek and the Rubicon and South Fork American Rivers in El Dorado and Sacramento counties, California... The project occupies federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and by the U.S. Forest Service within the Eldorado National Forest. On April 20, 2015, the licensee filed a supplemental biological resource analysis to its application. In staff’s independent review of the licensee’s Exhibit E and the April 20, 2015 supplement, staff has decided to adopt the licensee’s Environmental Analysis and issue it as staff’s Environmental Assessment.")
FWS receives application from City of Everett, Wash., for an enhancement of survival permit for the threatened northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet (safe harbor agreement addresses habitat conservation and forest management, including timber harvest on lands within Everett’s municipal watershed in Snohomish County, Washington)
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council issues procedures for implementing NEPA, including categorical exclusions (CEs) of actions the council has determined do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and, thus, do not necessitate preparation of an EA or EI
FWS issues final revised maps for all of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System units in Maine, all units in Maryland, all units in New Jersey, all units in Virginia, 1 unit in New York, and 13 units in North Carolina.
NMFS extends comment period by 60 days on status review for the common thresher shark. The service concluded in March that a threatened or endangered listing may be justified for the shark "worldwide," but that there was not enough data to support recognition of 11 Distinct Population Segments. | Docket
- March 3: NMFS issues positive 90-day finding on a petition to list the common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) as either endangered or threatened worldwide. However, "We find that the petition fails to present substantial scientific or commercial information to support the identification of DPSs of the common thresher suggested by the petitioners, and, as such, we find that the petitioned action of listing one or more of these DPSs is not warranted." More comment requested as the service begins a status review.| Friends of Animals files petition (news release)
FWS releases draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (Draft CCP/EA) for Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana | http://www.fws.gov/southeast/planning/
FWS to prepare DEIS (EIS) for Pacific Gas and Electric Company's proposed Eagle Conservation Plan (ECP) and request for a 30-year programmatic eagle take permit for take of bald eagles and golden eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
FWS receives request from Pacific Gas and Electric for a 5-year extension of existing Enhancement of Survival permit. The Safe Harbor Agreement covers the endangered Lange's metalmark butterfly, Antioch Dunes evening primrose, and Contra Costa wallflower.
Forest Service extends comment period by 10 days on proposal to revise the land and resource management plan of the Flathead National Forest and amend the forest plans of the Helena, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark, and Lolo National Forest Plans to incorporate relevant direction from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy.
BLM, BuRec, Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, Western Area Power Administration, Forest Service release FEIS for the TransWest Express Transmission Project and proposed land use plan amendments :: Documents
NMFS Office of Protected Resources, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program applies for a permit to take, import, and export marine mammals and marine mammal parts for research and enhancement purposes
species: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and American Museum of Natural History
USAF releases Addendum to the 26 June 2014 Record of Decision for the Final Supplemental EIS on the F-35 Beddown at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
NMFS issues incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, three species of marine mammals during estuary management activities conducted at the mouth of the Russian River, Sonoma County, California
NMFS receives request from the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) for an incidental take authorization to take small numbers of California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and gray whales, by harassment, incidental to construction activities associated with the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SF-OBB) in California
NOAA adds two additional hearings on proposal to expand the boundaries and scope of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The end of the scoping period remains June 19, 2015.
BOEM will prepare an EIS ON Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sales tentatively proposed in the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program | BOEM Gulf of Mexico
FWS plans to prepare a NEPA document for an anticipated Incidental Take Permit (ITP) application and associated draft habitat conservation plan (HCP) from Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC for construction and operation of a wind energy facility on private lands that provide potential habitat for the northern long-eared bat and the federally listed endangered Indiana bat | More info here
DOJ taking comments on proposed Consent Decree in U.S. and State of Arkansas v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and Mobil Pipe Line Company (13-355, E.D. Ark.) "This case concerns a March 2013 oil spill from the Pegasus Pipeline, which is a crude oil pipeline owned and operated by the
defendants." | CD
FERC to prepare EA on impacts of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company's Abandonment and Capacity Restoration Project. "Tennessee proposes to abandon in place and remove from service approximately 964 miles of Tennessee's existing pipelines that run from Natchitoches Parish, LA, to Columbiana County, Ohio."
FERC to prepare EIS on impacts of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project involving construction and operation of natural gas facilities by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, a joint venture between affiliates of EQT Corporation and NextEra Energy Inc., in West Virginia and Virginia
Western Area Power Administration releases ROD on an agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect its proposed project to Western's transmission system and to build, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection.
NMFS grants major amendment to Permit No. 15543-03 issued to Randall S. Wells, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator), Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
EPA invites nominations of scientific experts from a diverse range of disciplines to be considered for appointment to the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and six SAB committees. Appointments are anticipated to be filled by the start of Fiscal Year 2016 (October 2015).
- Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee
- Drinking Water Committee
- Ecological Processes and Effects Committee
- Environmental Economics Advisory Committee
- Environmental Engineering Committee
- Radiation Advisory Committee
FERC to prepare a supplemental environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the amendment to the Rock Springs Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Army releases draft EIS for the proposed lease of land and granting of easements on Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield to Hawaiian Electric Company for the construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance of a 50-megawatt capacity, biofuel-capable power generation plant, referred to as the Schofield Generating Station | More here
USDA amends regulations that specify the conservation compliance requirements that participants in USDA programs must meet to be eligible for certain USDA benefits. The conservation compliance requirements apply to land that is either highly erodible land (HEL) or that is wetlands.
GSA files FEIS with EPA for the proposed development of a U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) in Nottoway County, Virginia | FEIS is here
Endangered Species; File No. 18604 Guam Department of Agriculture Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources receives permit to take green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
NMFS issues an amended permit to authorize the incidental, but not intentional, take of two stocks of marine mammals listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), by the California (CA) thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 in mesh) and the Washington (WA)/Oregon (OR)/CA sablefish pot fishery.
Re: FWS April 1 proposed rule to govern the use of captive-bred, trained raptors to control or take birds or other wildlife to mitigate damage or other problems, including risks to human health and safety. "In that proposed rule, we provided a partially incorrect address for the submission of hard-copy comments and some incorrect information regarding information collection requirements. With this document, we correct these errors."
NMFS receives request from the Navy for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of a wharf maintenance project (explosives handling wharf (EHW-1) in the Hood Canal at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, WA)
FERC Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the applications for license for the Merced River Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2179), and the Merced Falls Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2467) and prepared a draft multi-project environmental impact statement (EIS) for the projects.
NMFS completes comprehensive status review of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), proposes to revise the listing status of the species. "We propose to divide the globally listed endangered species into 14 distinct population segments (DPSs), remove the current species-level listing, and in its place list [two] DPS's as endangered and [two] DPS's as threatened. The remaining 10 DPS's are not proposed for listing based on their current statuses."
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Army Corps of Engineers' Baltimore District, release for public comment NUREG-2179, “Environmental Impact Statement for the Combined License (COL) for the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant” to support the environmental review for the COL
NMFS approves and implements through regulations the measures included in Framework Adjustment 26 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. Among other things, the action "aligns two gear measures designed to protect sea turtles."
New York intends to prepare an EIS to evaluate alternatives for increasing coastal and social resiliency along the Tottenville shoreline on the South Shore of Staten Island and to help to avoid or minimize adverse impacts to the quality of the human environment
FWS: Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Hunting and Fishing Application Forms and Activity Reports for National Wildlife Refuges
FWS; Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force to meet May 6-8 in Fort Lauderdale
FWS receives endangered species permit applications -- black-footed ferret, sport-hunted bonteboks, one female Tomistoma (L.A. Zoo)
NMFS has received an application from BLM to take marine mammals, by harassment incidental to conducting a one-day field-based land survey of cultural sites located on a small island within the eastern Aleutian Islands archipelago for a land claim made by an Alaska Regional Native Corporation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
NMFS issues Letter of Authorization to the Marine Corps to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to training operations at the Brant Island Bombing Target (BT-9) and Piney Island Bombing Range (BT-11) located within the Marine Corps’ Cherry Point Range Complex in Pamlico Sound, NC.
FERC releases DEIS for the Lake Charles Liquefaction Project, proposed by Trunkline Gas Company, LLC, Lake Charles LNG Company, LLC, and Lake Charles LNG Export Company, LLC
FWS to conduct five-year status reviews on endangered black-lace cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albertii), the endangered Bone Cave harvestman (Texella reyesi), the endangered Pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina), the endangered Texas snowbells (Styrax texanus), and the endangered Walker’s manioc (Manihot walkerae).
FERC will prepare an EIS on impacts of the NEXUS Gas Transmission Project and Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease (TEAL) Project involving construction and operation of facilities by NEXUS Gas Transmission LLC in Ohio and Michigan and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP in Ohio.
BuRec reopens public comment period, announces more meetings on the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance draft EIS, Kittitas and Yakima counties, Washington :: More
FWS reopens comment period for 30 days, extends by six months its final decision on whether to list the West Coast distinct population segment (DPS) of fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species. "We are taking this action based on substantial disagreement regarding available information related to toxicants and rodenticides (including law enforcement information and trend data) and related to surveyed versus unsurveyed areas (including data on negative survey results) to help assess distribution and population trends." Service says it will make a final determination on the proposed rule "no later than April 7, 2016." | Fisher page | Docket
FWS reopens comment period on the Jan. 25, 2013, proposed designation of critical habitat for the Zuni bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus yarrowi) | PDF of FR notice | Docket (economic analysis not there yet, presumably will be when notice is officially published in FR; 4/13/15)
APHIS releases EA "concerning authorization to ship for the purpose of field testing, and then to field test, an unlicensed Marek’s disease-Newcastle disease vaccine, serotype 3, live Marek’s disease vector."
USDA Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health will meet in Bethesda April 28-29. "The meeting is being organized by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to discuss matters of animal health."
NMFS proposes issuing Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to SAExploration, Inc. (SAE) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a marine 3-dimensional (3D) ocean bottom node (OBN) seismic surveys program in the state and federal waters of the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, during the open-water season of 2015
NPS has received from Unit Petroleum Company a plan of operations to plug, abandon, and reclaim two natural gas wells in Big Thicket National Preserve in Polk County, Texas
FWS issues 90-day findings on 10 (de)listing petitions (followed by docket # at www.regulations.gov)
- Clear Lake hitch, (listing) California, positive FWS-R8-ES-2015-0017
- Egyptian tortoise (listing), Egypt, Libya, Israel, positive FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0018
- Golden conure (delisting), Brazil, positive FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0019
- Long-tailed chinchilla (listing), Chile, positive FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0020
- Mojave (or Mohave) shoulderband snail (listing), California, positive FWS-R8-ES-2015-0021
- Northern spotted owl (uplisting), Calif., Ore., Wash. B.C., positive FWS-R1-ES-2014-0061
- Relict dace (listing), Nevada, positive FWS-R8-ES-2015-0022
- San Joaquin Valley giant flower-loving fly (listing), California, positive FWS-R8-ES-2015-0023
- Western pond turtle (listing), California and Washington, positive FWS-R8-ES-2015-0024
- Yellow-cedar (listing), AK, Calif., Ore., Wash.,Canada, positive FWS-R7-ES-2015-0025
FWS proposes to reestablish additional populations of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), a federally listed endangered mammal, into occupied prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) habitat in Wyoming | Docket
FWS receives endangered species permit applications (Southeast).
FWS reopens comment period for an application from the Oregon Department of State Lands (and associated EA) for an enhancement of survival permit for a draft candidate conservation agreement with assurances for the greater sage-grouse, addressing rangeland management activities on Oregon State Trust Lands administered by DSL. | More here
FWS receives endangered species permit applications (International)
BuRec releases final supplemental EIS for the Northwest Area Water Supply Project. "Reclamation has evaluated comments received from the public on the Draft SEIS and is recommending a preferred alternative for approval. The Missouri River and Groundwater Alternative would provide a high quality and reliable water supply to meet existing and future water needs." | Dakotas Area Office
FERC to prepare an EA on impacts of the Gulf Markets Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Texas Eastern Transmission, LP in Lavaca County, Texas; St. Landry, Pointe Coupee, and Beauregard Parishes, Louisiana; Scioto, Ohio; Bath County, Kentucky; Giles County, Tennessee; and Monroe and Franklin counties, Mississippi.
FERC releases FEIS for Martin Dam Hydroelectric Project, located on the Tallapoosa River in Tallapoosa, Coosa, and Elmore counties, Alabama. The project occupies 1.39 acres of federal lands administered by BLM.
Minnesota Division of FHWA signs Record of Decision (ROD) for the Trunk Highway 41 River Crossing Tier I FEIS. "The ROD states the FHWA decision to declare the modified Alternative C-2 corridor as the selected alternative. The selected alternative involves the construction of a new east-west freeway connection between US 169 and US 212 within the modified Alternative C-2 corridor. The selected alternative is the environmentally-preferred alternative."
FS asks for comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with no revision of a currently approved information collection, "Understanding Value Trade-offs regarding Fire Hazard Reduction Programs in the Wildland-Urban Interface."
NMFS asks for comment on Pacific Islands Region Coral Reef Ecosystems Permit Form. NMFS "requires any person 1) fishing for, taking, retaining, or using a vessel to fish for Western Pacific coral reef ecosystem management unit species in the designated low-use Marine Protected Areas, 2) fishing for any of these species using gear not specifically allowed in the regulations, or 3) fishing for, taking, or retaining any Potentially Harvested Coral Reef Taxa in the coral reef ecosystem regulatory area, to obtain and carry a permit."
FHWA and WisDOT will be preparing a Tier 1 EIS for proposed transportation improvements in the United States Highway (US) 51 corridor in Dane County, Wisconsin generally between Interstate 39/90 east of the City of Stoughton and US 12/18 (Madison South Beltline Highway).
NPS proposes to use iNaturalist so visitors can record observations. NPS "is in the process of developing a partnership with the California Academy of Sciences to use its iNaturalist web-based and mobile applications to digitally record natural history observations during selected NPS parks and sponsored events. This information will be recorded by park visitor participants to help verify and substantiate the presence of wildlife and plant species in over 300 NPS units. Because the parks have no formal mechanism for visitors to contribute natural history observations to our current listings, we are requesting to use iNaturalist as a platform to submit observations that can be used by NPS."
FWS asks for comment on incidental take permit applications for take of the federally listed American burying beetle resulting from activities associated with the geophysical exploration (seismic) and construction, maintenance, operation, repair, and decommissioning of oil and gas well field infrastructure within Oklahoma. Applicants: American Energy-Woodford, LLC; Phillips 66 Pipeline Company;
National Park Service releases Wilderness Stewardship Plan and EIS (w/ five alternatives) to provide direction re: the future use and protection of the Sequoia-Kings Canyon and John Krebs Wilderness within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Department of the Interior, Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission, and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, as Joint Lead Agencies, have prepared and made available to the public a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that discloses the effects of the Provo River Delta Restoration Project, which is a recovery action within the approved June Sucker Recovery Plan of 1999. | Central Utah Project Completion Office
NMFS, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, intends to prepare a DEIS to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management actions to be included in Amendment 36 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 36)
FWS proposes to list list both the Big Sandy crayfish (C. callainus), a freshwater crustacean from Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the Guyandotte River crayfish (C. veteranus), a freshwater crustacean from West Virginia, as endangered species.
In response to a petition, FWS "recognize[s] a coastal DPS of the Pacific marten (which includes coastal Oregon populations of marten and the current classification of Humboldt marten) and find that this DPS is not warranted for listing at this time. However, we ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the stressors that may be impacting the coastal DPS of Pacific marten or its habitat at any time. | Docket
FS begins process of preparing a supplemental EIS "to propose reinstatement of the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception of the Colorado Roadless Rule. The exception would allow for temporary road construction for coal exploration and/or coal-related surface activities in a 19,100-acre area defined as the North Fork Coal Mining Area." (see criticism)
DOJ files proposed Partial Consent Decree in United States v. Sainz (15-21212-RNS, S.D. Fla.). Section 404 violations result in $45,000 fine. They have already paid (nine years late) $222,483 to Miami-Dade County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management on behalf of the Miami-Dade County Freshwater Wetland Mitigation Trust Fund and must make future interest payments on that amount. (The Corps permit issued to Sion Home Builders required that before the start of construction, the permittee provide to the Miami-Dade County Freshwater Wetland Mitigation Trust a mitigation fee to compensate for 9.283 acres of wetlands impacts. They paid, but not the amount they should have, according to the complaint. "It will likely be shown, after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery, that Defendants Juan Carlos Sainz and Siramad Trujillo-Sainz created an inaccurate record of compliance by the Mansions at Sion for purposes that included concealing from regulators violations of the permit." | FedReg notice
Wisconsin: FHWA to prepare EIS for a proposed freeway interchange improvement project on I-39/90 from the County N interchange in the south to the I-39/90/94/WIS 30 interchange (Badger Interchange) in the north and on US 12/18 from the West Broadway interchange in the west to the County AB intersection in the east in Dane County in south-central Wisconsin.
FERC will prepare an EA on Union Meter Station Upgrade Project, involving construction and operation of facilities by Northwest Pipeline LLC in Union County, Oregon
Office of Energy Projects releases draft multi-project environmental impact statement (EIS) on license applications for the Merced River Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2179) and the Merced Falls Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2467)
NMFS issues positive finding on petition to identify the Saint John River population of shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) as a distinct population segment and delist it. | Docket (will be active when notice is published)
NMFS issues positive 90-day finding on petition to list the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) as an endangered distinct population segment.
BOEM releases ROD for remanded Chukchi Sea OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193, originally held on Feb. 6, 2008
Navy releases draft EIS/Overseas EIS, which "evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with the establishment of a series of live-fire ranges, training courses and maneuver areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to reduce existing joint service training deficiencies and meet U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Service Components’ unfilled unit and combined level training requirements in the Western Pacific." | More
Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science to meet April 28 and 29, National Weather Center, Don Nickles Conference Room 3rd Floor (NWC3910 A/B), 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK | Website | Members
BLM withdraws 230.08 acres of public lands "from location and entry under the U.S. mining laws for 20 years . . . to protect scenic, recreational, and other natural resource values within the Browns Canyon corridor of the Arkansas River. The lands have been and will remain open to leasing under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws."
BLM Pocatello Field Office, FS (Caribou-Targhee National Forest) will jointly prepare an EIS "to analyze the potential effects of approving a proposed lease modification and phosphate mine and reclamation plan (M&RP) on federal mineral leases held by the J.R. Simplot Company (Simplot), in southeastern Idaho; and to amend the CTNF Revised Forest Plan (2003) in conjunction with the project."
FWS receives T&E species permit applications (Southwest)
FERC to prepare EA on the Garden State Expansion Project, involving construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC in Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey.
FWS proposes permit regulations to govern the use of captive-bred, trained raptors to control or take birds or other wildlife to mitigate damage or other problems, including risks to human health and safety. "This action would allow us to respond to increasing public interest in the use of trained raptors to haze (scare) depredating and other problem birds from airports and agricultural crops while maintaining our statutory responsibility to protect migratory birds."
FWS receives applications for enhancement of survival permits (EOS permits) pursuant to the Greater Sage-grouse Umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Wyoming Ranch Management (Umbrella CCAA).
Pesticide meeting scheduled for April 13-14 in Arlington, Va. (Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), Joint EQI and POM Committee). Endangered species on the agenda
NMFS issues Incidental Harassment Authorization to Air Force's Eglin Air Force Base to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a Maritime Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (Maritime WSEP) within the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range in the Gulf of Mexico from
February 5 through April 1, 2015. | More on military permits
Hydro rule from NOAA, USDA, Interior: "The Departments of Agriculture, the Interior, and Commerce are jointly revising the procedures they established in November 2005 for expedited trial-type hearings required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The hearings are conducted to expeditiously resolve disputed issues of material fact with respect to conditions or prescriptions developed for inclusion in a hydropower license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under the Federal Power Act. The Departments are also revising the procedures for considering alternative conditions and prescriptions submitted by a party to a license proceeding."
The Departments are promulgating three substantially similar rules—one for each agency—with a common preamble. The rules and preamble address a few issues that were left open in the 2005 rulemaking, such as who has the burden of proof in a trial-type hearing and whether a trial-type hearing is an administrative remedy that a party must exhaust before challenging conditions or prescriptions in court. In addition, the rules and preamble respond to the public comments we received on the 2005 rules, and they make a number of changes reflecting our experience in implementing those rules.
Matters of policy are also not appropriate for a trial-type hearing. Examples of such matters include what types and levels of adverse effects to a species from a project would be “acceptable,” or what kinds of mitigation measures may be desirable or “necessary” to protect a resource. These are not matters of fact, but rather matters of policy judgment committed to the discretion of the Departments, in light of their management objectives for the resource. Under EPAct and these regulations, the Departments retain the prerogative to make these ultimate decisions in light of their policies; the ALJ may not appropriately address those issues. See 7 CFR 1.660(b)(3), 43 CFR 45.60(b)(3), 50 CFR 221.60(b)(3).
Related: Press release: 'The U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of the Army for Civil Works announced today that the three agencies have extended their partnership to advance hydropower development for an additional five years."
FTA and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will prepare an EIS on extension of high capacity, rapid transit in the Georgia
400 corridor in north Fulton County, GA from Dunwoody to Alpharetta
FWS releases final CCP and EA/FONSI (and associated step-down plans, including the Habitat Management Plan, Integrated Pest Management Plan, and the Visitor Services Plan) for Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Oktibbeha, Noxubee, and Winston Counties, Mississippi.
FWS seeks comment on endangered species, marine mammal permit applications from Houston Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom (Florida), The Wild Animal Park in Chittenango, NY, USFWS/Ecological Services Field Office, Cheyenne, WY, Edgar Hinkle, Lexington, NC (sport-hunted trophy of one male bontebok), Tom Smith, Brigham Young University (polar bears)
DOJ announces that proposed consent decree was lodged in Herberg v. U.S. EPA (14-1443 DWF/LIB, D. Minn.) on Feb. 27, 2015 (CD with exhibits) (complaint, 5/18/14) [Civil penalty of $10,000, restoration and granting of easement in case in Minnesota]
- Editorial Note: The Public Inspection PDF incorrectly states the FR Doc # as 2015-2015 [that would be a coincidence]; the correct FR Doc # is C1-2015-06658.
NOAA National Ocean Service announces a series of webinars "designed to initiate conversation between federal representatives and stakeholders on a number of topics related to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia, as mandated by the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2014." First one: March 26. Notice won't be published till March 30. Oops.
Commerce, DOI propose updated Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States and response to comments on Draft Updated Framework.
FERC to prepare EA on Utica Access Project, involving construction and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC. in Clay and Kanawha counties, West Virginia.
FERC to prepare EA on the Loudon Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by East Tennessee Natural Gas in Monroe and Loudon counties, Tennessee
EPA makes interim registration review decisions on pesticide tolerances (Excerpt re: Fluazinam: "The Agency is not proposing mitigation changes at this time. EPA published an interim proposed registration review decision in the Federal Register on Sept. 24, 2014 (79 FR 57084) (FRL-9916-39). Two comments were received on the proposed interim decision, which did not change the conclusions of the decision. At this time in registration review, it is premature to make an endangered species effects determination for federally listed species and their designated critical habitats under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)." Other pesticides reviewed: Flumetsulam, Flutolanil, Hexaflumuron, Iron salts, Piperalin, Quinclorac, Triflumizole :: EPA registration review :: Earlier documents
EPA grants exemption to the land disposal restrictions under the 1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to RCRA to Vickery Environmental Inc., which "has demonstrated, to a reasonable degree of certainty, that there will be no migration of hazardous constituents out of the injection zone or into an underground source of drinking water for at least 10,000 years."
BLM's Challis (Idaho) Field Office releases FEIS and proposed resource management plan (RMP) amendment for: 1) a proposed modified mining plan of operations for the Thompson Creek molybdenum mine, and 2) a land exchange proposal with the mine operator :: More here
BLM releases proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment and FEIS for Oil and Gas Development in the White River Field Office (Colorado)
FS, BLM release FEIS for the proposed Smoky Canyon Mine, Panels F and G Lease and Mine Plan Modification Project (Caribou-Targhee National Forest) | BLM link | FS page
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement reopens public comment period on proposed amendment to the Kentucky regulatory program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 that was originally published on February 20, 2013
EPA holding workshop on April 15 "to provide an update on the status of interagency efforts to further develop interim scientific methods that were issued in November 2013 by EPA, the Services, and USDA in response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, 'Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides'.'' | EPA page on process
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), with the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, the Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Tribe, the Stillaguamish Tribes, and the Tulalip Tribes as the U.S. v. Washington salmon resource co-managers, has submitted three Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans, to be considered jointly, to NMFS pursuant to the limitation on take prohibitions for actions conducted under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead promulgated under the ESA
NMFS withdraws DEIS that was being prepared on two resource management plans (RMPs) and 114 supporting hatchery and genetic management plans (HGMPs) for Puget Sound hatchery programs
Alaska Department of Fish and Game applies for a permit to conduct research on bowhead (Balaena mysticetus), gray (Eschrichtius robustus), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) whales.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council announces its intent to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish, and to potentially prepare an EIS on impacts of any proposed management measures. The current focus of the amendment is to consider alternatives to reduce the capacities of the longfin squid and Illex squid fleets as defined by vessels with limited access permit. | MAFMC site
Homeland Security extends comment period for the proposed "Revised Guidelines for Implementing Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management'' published in the Federal Register on February 5, 2015 (80 FR 6530). The comment period for the proposed revised guidelines, which would have ended on April 6, 2015, is extended for 30 days
FWS reopens public comment period on May 8, 2014, proposed rule to amend listing of the southern Selkirk Mountains population of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). FWS proposed to make the Southern Mountain caribou population a distinct population segment (DPS) and list it as threatened. The southern Selkirk Mountains population of woodland caribou is currently listed as endangered.
NMFS finds that the harbor porpoise population in the Baltic Sea is not a DPS "because it does not meet the criterion for significance outlined by our DPS Policy. Thus, we find this population is not warranted for listing." (12-month finding).
NMFS, USFWS, find that the green turtle is composed of 11 distinct population segments (DPSs) that qualify as “species” for listing under the ESA, propose to list eight DPSs as threatened and three as endangered. Green sea turtle is "currently listed . . . as threatened, with the exception of the Florida and Mexican Pacific coast breeding populations, which are listed as endangered." :: More on the sea turtle |
Minnesota Zoological Gardens, 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on and enhancement of Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi) in captivity.
FERC to prepare an EA on impacts of the Sunbury Pipeline Project involving the construction and operation of approximately 34.5 miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline and related facilities by UGI Sunbury, LLC in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Montour, and Lycoming counties, Pennsylvania
Endangered and Threatened Species Permits issued (Region 6, from 6/23/14 - 12/15/14)
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants Permit Applications (Colorado, Minnesota)
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants Permit Applications (Missouri, Utah, Colorado)
NMFS: Amendments requested for scientific research permits (James Shine, Ph.D., Harvard University School of Public Health, 401 Park Drive, 404H West, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, and the NMFS Forensics Office, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, have applied for amendments to their respective permits, Scientific Research Permit Nos. 17278 and 17557.)
NMFS: Tim Gallagher, Alaska Area Manager, HDR, Inc., 2525 C Street, Suite 305, Anchorage, AK 99503-2632, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on spotted seals (Phoca largha), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus), bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), and Beluga whales (Delphinapteras leucas)
FHWA, on behalf of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), is issuing this notice to advise the public that a Supplemental DEIS will be prepared for a proposed highway project in Orange County and Riverside County, California
FWS receives application from NiSource Inc. and its subsidiary Columbia Pipeline Group, for an amendment to add the northern long-eared bat to its Endangered Species Act (ESA) incidental take permit (ITP). The application includes a revised Habitat Conservation Plan. | More on the HCP
NMFS proposes to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. This action proposes to change the minimum number of traps per trawl to allow fishing with a single trap in certain Massachusetts and Rhode Island state waters; and proposes to modify the requirement to use one endline on trawls within certain areas in Massachusetts state waters. NMFS also proposes a \1/4\ mile buffer in waters surrounding certain islands in Maine to allow fishing with a single trap. In addition, NMFS proposes additional gear marking requirements for those waters allowing single traps as well as two new high use areas for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).
NMFS extends public comment period until April 9 on proposal to govern the take of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical (seismic) survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska from March 1, 2015 to Feb. 29, 2020.
NMFS publishes its final Annual Determination (AD) for 2015, implementing the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement. Through the AD, NMFS identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take observers upon NMFS' request
FWS proposes to designate critical habitat for black pinesnake, releases economic analysis, reopens comment period on proposed threatened listing | Press release | Listing docket
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering approval of the URENCO USA (UUSA) license amendment request 12-10 (LAR- 12-10) that would authorize capacity expansion of the UUSA enrichment facility near Eunice, New Mexico (EA/FONSI released)
EPA extends the deadline for submitting a nomination to serve on the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) for 30 days from the original deadline of March 16, 2015 to April 16, 2015. The nomination period is being extended to ensure the Agency receives a diverse range of qualified candidates.
FWS announces Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 priority list of wildlife and sport fish conservation projects from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA)
FERC's Office of Energy Projects releases a final multi-project EIS on applications for license for the York Haven Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 1888), the Muddy Run Pumped Storage Project (FERC No. 2355), and the Conowingo Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 405)
NMFS has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Lamont-Doherty) in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (Foundation), for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to take marine mammals, by harassment incidental to conducting a marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the northwest Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey coast June through August, 2015
Sea turtles: NMFS proposes to approve and implement through regulations measures included in Framework Adjustment 26 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which the New England Fishery Management Council adopted and submitted to NMFS for approval. The purpose of Framework 26 is to prevent overfishing, improve yield-per-recruit, and improve the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery. The Framework 26 proposed measures would also: Close a portion of the Elephant Trunk Access Area and extend the boundaries of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area to protect small scallops; adjust the State Waters Exemption Program; allow for Vessel Monitoring System declaration changes for vessels to steam home with product on board; implement a proactive accountability measure to protect windowpane flounder and yellowtail flounder; align two gear measures designed to protect sea turtles; and implement other measures to improve the management of the scallop fishery.
EPA makes preliminary determination that certain storm water discharges in Los Alamos County, New Mexico will be required to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage under the Clean Water Act || Documents
EPA invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates for serving on a new subcommittee under the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) to provide advice and recommendations on how the EPA can best clarify assumable waters for dredge and fill permit programs pursuant to the Clean Water Act section 404(g)(1). The EPA is undertaking this effort to support states and tribes that wish to assume the program. "The Assumable Waters Subcommittee will have a limited duration and narrow focus."
FWS reduces information collection requirements "for participants in the light goose conservation order, which authorizes methods of take to increase harvest of certain populations of light geese in the Atlantic, Central, Mississippi, and Pacific Flyways, and to reduce the burden on State and tribal wildlife agencies that are required to submit annual light goose harvest reports to us."
FWS receives endangered species permit applications (California, Oregon)
Forest Service: The Camp Hale – Eagle River Headwaters Collaborative Group recently submitted a proposal to the White River National Forest (WRNF) for restorative and enhancement activities in the Camp Hale area. The WRNF is initiating a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis to document and disclose potential impacts.
FWS receives endangered species permit applications (sport-hunted bontebok, captive-bred wildlife registration for Lincoln Children's Zoo in Nebraska)
NPS will prepare an EIS for a Livestock Grazing and Trailing Management Plan (plan/EIS) for Capitol
Reef National Park, Utah. | Go here for more
NPS, state of Montana are serving as joint lead agencies in the preparation of an EIS for a plan to manage a wild and migratory population of Yellowstone-area bison, while minimizing brucellosis transmission between these wild bison and livestock to the extent practicable. | More
Army releases FEIS for proposed training and operations at Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS), CO. PCMS is the maneuver site for Fort Carson and is located near Trinidad, CO, approximately 150 miles southeast of Fort Carson. The Final EIS evaluates the environmental impacts associated with the proposed action, which is to conduct realistic, coordinated, large-scale training that integrates the ground and air resources of Fort Carson’s mechanized, infantry, support, and combat aviation units. | More here
FERC: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Coastal Bend Header Project, involving construction and
operation of facilities by Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP (Gulf South) in southeastern Texas
FERC Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for a subsequent license for the Narrows No. 2 Transmission Line Project and has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA). The project occupies 1.28 acres of public land managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and provides service from the Yuba County Water Agency’s Narrows No. 2 Powerhouse (a component of FERC Project No. 2246), in Yuba County, to PG&E’s Narrows No. 2 Substation, in Nevada County
FERC to prepare EIS for the planned Alaska LNG Project (Alaska Gasline Development Corporation; BP Alaska LNG, LLC; Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company; ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC; TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP; Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement)
FHWA and FTA release revised Section 139 Environmental Review Process guidance (previously referred to as the SAFETEA-LU Environmental Review Process Final Guidance), which was amended to reflect provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The document provides guidance on environmental review process requirements and best management practices for transportation projects funded or approved by the FHWA, FTA, or both agencies. | Regulatory docket
FWS releases Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (Draft CCP/EA) for Theodore Roosevelt and Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in Sharkey and Washington Counties, Mississippi | Southeast refuge documents
FS: Sierra National Forest proposes to approve the Notice of Intent (NOI) and Proposed Action (PA) with appropriate mitigation measures to reduce resource impacts of the Exchequer Restoration Project. This NOI is to reduce hazardous fuels and restore ecological components within the Exchequer Management Unit Group (MUG), McKinley Grove (MUG), and a managed-fire area. "In the project area, there is a need to protect from wildfire and enhance nesting and foraging structures for California spotted owl and fisher"
Re: Marine Corps' application. NMFS issues regulations under MMPA "to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals, incidental to training operations at the Brant Island Bombing Target (BT-9) and Piney Island Bombing Range (BT-11) located within the Marine Corps’ Cherry Point Range Complex in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina from March 2015 to March 2020. NMFS received an application from the Marine Corps requesting 5-year regulations and one 5-year Letter of Authorization to take marine mammals, specifically bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), by harassment, injury, and mortality incidental to training operations at BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets. NMFS has determined that these operations, which constitute a military readiness activity, have the potential to cause behavioral disturbance and injury to marine mammals." | EA
BIA, in cooperation with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, will file a draft EIS for the Tribe’s application requesting a fee-to-trust transfer of land located within the municipal limits of the City of South Bend, Indiana, for the construction of a tribal housing, government facilities, and a Class III gaming facility. | EIS page
"NOAA is expanding the boundaries of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) to an area north and west of their current boundaries. As part of this action, NOAA is revising the terms of designation, management plans, and regulations for these two sanctuaries."
NRC will prepare a supplement to DOE's ‘‘Final Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada’’ (February 2002), and its ‘‘Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada’’ (July 2008)
EPA proposes to approve an expansion of the ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS) site offshore of Jacksonville, Fla., pursuant to the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, as amended (MPRSA). The primary purpose for the site expansion is to serve the long-term need for a location to dispose of material dredged from the St. Johns River navigation channel, and to provide a location for the disposal of dredged material for persons who have received a permit for such disposal. The expanded site will be subject to ongoing monitoring and management to ensure continued protection of the marine environment. | Docket will be here
FWS proposes to designate critical habitat for black pinesnake, releases economic analysis, reopens comment period on proposed threatened listing | Press release | Listing docket
FWS adds reticulated python (Python reticulatus), DeSchauensee’s anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), and Beni anaconda (Eunectes beniensis) to the list of injurious wildlife
EPA decides to partially approve, and proposes to partially disapprove, Louisiana’s 2014 Clean Water Act Section 303(d) submission of water quality limited segments and associated pollutants. "Specifically, EPA approved Louisiana’s listing of 279 waterbody-pollutant combinations, and associated priority rankings. EPA proposed to disapprove Louisiana’s decision not to list 43 water quality limited segments and associated pollutants constituting 93 waterbody-pollutant combinations. EPA also proposed to add these waterbody-pollutant combinations to the 2014 Section 303(d) list because applicable numeric water quality standards were not attained in these segments for one of the following parameters: dissolved oxygen (marine criterion); turbidity; and minerals (individually or a combination of sulfates, chlorides, and/or total dissolved solids)." List Decisions: Clean Water Act
FWS amends List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to reflect the scientifically accepted taxonomy and nomenclature of the Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi (=Monachus schauinslandi)). This amendment is based on a previously published determination by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, which has jurisdiction for this species.
FWS releases final recovery plan for the four subspecies of island fox (Urocyon littoralis). Each of the four subspecies, San Miguel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis littoralis), Santa Rosa Island fox (U. l. santarosae), Santa Cruz Island fox (U. l. santacruzae), and Santa Catalina Island fox (U. l. catalinae), is endemic to the Channel Island off southern California (to be published 3/9) | FWS recovery plans
FHWA: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for the Cross Harbor Freight Program, Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (to be published 3/9)
NMFS reschedules hearing on Large Coastal and Small Coastal Atlantic Shark Management Measures. Now March 18 in Manteo, NC
FERC to prepare EIS on impacts of the Supply Header Project (SHP) involving construction and operation of facilities by Dominion Transmission, Inc. in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project, involving construction and operation of facilities by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina
Forest Service is preparing the Flathead National Forest’s revised land management plan (forest plan) and an amendment to provide relevant direction from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy into the forest plans for the Helena, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark and Lolo National Forests. The Forest Service will prepare a single EIS for its revised forest plan and the amendment.
BLM releases Draft Land Use Plan Amendment and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the West Mojave Route Network Project (WMRNP) for the West Mojave (WEMO) Planning Area of the California Desert Conservation Area | More here
BLM's Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office, Palm Springs, California, together with Riverside County, California, intend to prepare a joint EIS/R, which may include an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan, for the Desert Quartzite Solar Project | More here
NOAA submits ICR to OMB for review. On March 28, 2003, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Services) announced a final policy on the criteria the Services will use to evaluate conservation efforts by states and other non-Federal entities (68 FR 15100). The services take these efforts into account when making decisions on whether to list a species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
BOEM has prepared a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas Lease Sales 246 and 248, which are tentatively scheduled to be held in August 2015 and 2016, respectively, in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Western Planning Area (WPA) offshore the States of Texas and Louisiana.
BOEM announces three additional public scoping meetings for the EIS on the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Leasing Program
NMFS: Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals:
- Economic Value of Non-Consumptive Recreation Use From Those Accessing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary via For Hire Operation Boats (PDF)
- Economic Value of the Reduction in the Risk of Whale Strikes in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (PDF)
Forest Service will prepare EIS on a proposal to designate over-snow vehicle (OSV) use on National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands within the Eldorado National Forest; and to identify snow trails for grooming. In addition, FS proposes to: (1) formally adopt California State Parks’ Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division snow depth standards for grooming to occur; (2) implement a forest-wide snow depth requirement for OSV use that would provide for public safety and natural and cultural resource protection by allowing off-trail, crosscountry OSV use in designated Areas when there is a minimum of 12 inches of continuous and supportable snow covering the landscape; (3) allow OSV use on designated National Forest System snow trails when there is a minimum of 6 inches of snow, regardless of the underlying surface; and (4) prohibit OSV use in selected Areas and on non-motorized trails.| More here
NMFS sends ICR to OMB for approval. "This action would continue the reporting measure requiring all Virginia Chesapeake Bay pound net fishermen to report interactions with endangered and threatened sea turtles, found both live and dead, in their pound net operations"
Takes of marine mammals
- Anacortes Tie-Up Slips Dolphin and Wingwall Replacement
- Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to an Exploration Drilling Program in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska
- Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Shell Ice Overflight Surveys in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, Alaska
BLM, NPS release FEIS for the Wilderness Management Plan for the Jimbilnan, Pinto Valley, Black Canyon, Eldorado, Ireteba Peaks, Nellis Wash, Spirit Mountain, and Bridge Canyon Wilderness Areas at Lake Mead National Recreation Area and adjacent public lands. | More here at Lake Mead planning page
NMFS proposes to list the Tanzanian Distinct Population Segment of the African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) as a threatened species under the ESA. "We have determined that, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species, L. chalumnae does not meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species when evaluated throughout all of its range. However, we determined that the Tanzanian population of the taxon represents a significant portion of the taxon’s range, is threatened across that portion, and is a valid distinct population segment (DPS)." | Petition, more information
NMFS issues positive 90-day finding on a petition to list the common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) as either endangered or threatened worldwide. However, "We find that the petition fails to present substantial scientific or commercial information to support the identification of DPSs of the common thresher suggested by the petitioners, and, as such, we find that the petitioned action of listing one or more of these DPSs is not warranted." More comment requested as the service begins a status review.| Friends of Animals files petition (news release)
NMFS receives application from Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to ice overflight surveys in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska
FWS, BLM to prepare a Supplemental Draft EIS for the proposed Upper Santa Ana River Wash Habitat Conservation Plan, and a related land exchange. Two public scoping meetings scheduled -- March 18, 2015, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District office located at 1630 West Redlands Avenue, Redlands, CA 92373
Bureau of Indian Affairs has funding available for support of tribal climate change adaptation and ocean and coastal management planning. Any federally recognized tribe (or tribal organization whose application is supported by a tribal resolution) may submit an application for these funds.
Dolphin World Productions Ltd, 59 Cotham Hill, Bristol, BS6 6JR, United Kingdom, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct commercial or educational photography on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
USDA releases draft EA on proposed transfer of approximately 3,800 acres of land at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Subtropical Agricultural Research Station (STARS) in Brooksville, Florida to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).
FERC releases multi-project environmental assessment on applications for original licenses for the Heidelberg Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13213-003) and Ravenna Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13214-003). The proposed projects would be located on the Kentucky River in Kentucky.
FERC will develop an EIS examining the potential environmental effects of the Jacksonville Project involving the construction an operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, storage, and export facility at a site on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Fla.
FS to prepare EIS on Stanislaus National Forest proposal for about 42,000 acres of reforestation, plantation thinning, additional deer habitat and noxious weed treatments on National Forest System (NFS) lands within the 2013 Rim Fire in order to: return mixed conifer forest to the landscape; restore old forest for wildlife; reduce fuels; enhance deer habitat; and eradicate noxious weeds. | More here
FS retracts Notice of Intent to prepare EIS for Salt River Allotments Vegetative Management
BLM releases Record of Decision (ROD) for the Approved Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Tres Rios Field Office located in Archuleta, Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, San Juan and San Miguel counties in southwest Colorado | It's here
FERC release FEIS for the Aguirre Offshore GasPort Project, proposed by Aguirre Offshore GasPort, LLC, which is seeking authorization from the FERC to develop, construct, and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.
NMFS: The New England Fishery Management Council plans to prepare, in cooperation with NMFS, an EIS to provide analytical support for Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 8 would specify a long-term acceptable biological catch control rule for the herring fishery and consider acceptable biological catch control rule alternatives that account for herring’s role in the ecosystem
NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) to take, by harassment, small numbers of two species of marine mammals incidental to pile driving and removal associated with the Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility Project in the City of Alameda, California, between December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2016
NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue), to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting seabird and pinniped research activities in central California, January 2015 through January 2016.
NPS has prepared a DEIS for the Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation project. The project would establish a new, long-term ferry embarkation site for passenger service between the northern San Francisco waterfront and Alcatraz Island | Web page
NMFS will continue studies to inform a 12-month finding on a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale (Links)
The Department of the Interior (DOI), acting through BOEM and BSEE, proposes to revise and add new requirements to regulations for exploratory drilling and related operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) seaward of the State of Alaska (Alaska OCS). The Alaska OCS has the potential to be an integral part of the Nation’s “all of the above” domestic energy strategy. This proposed rule focuses solely on the OCS within the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Area
BOEM corrects Feb. 6 notice on Oil and Gas Lease Sales: Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, Outer Continental Shelf, CPA Sale 235: The list and map identifies blocks to be offered in CPA Sale 235; however, due to a clerical error, one block, South Marsh Island Area, North Addition, Block Number 242, was inadvertently omitted from the list and map.
FERC, supplemental NOI to prepare EA: In response to concerns raised about the Dalton Expansion Project planned by the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, a new route variation -- the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation -- was created to avoid and minimize potential environmental impacts on the biologically sensitive Raccoon Creek Watershed. The Raccoon Creek Watershed covers about 35,000 acres, includes several high priority streams, significant wetlands, and provides habitat for numerous federally listed threatened and endangered species. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources - Wildlife Resources Division, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nature Conservancy requested a route variation in northern Paulding County, Georgia. (News coverage) (Previous FR notice)
FWS receives application from the Oregon Department of State Lands for an enhancement of survival permit under the ESA. The permit application includes a draft candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) for the greater sage-grouse, addressing rangeland management activities on Oregon State Trust Lands administered by DSL | More here
FWS releases EA on proposed HCP addressing private land management activities within upland prairie in Yamhill County, Oregon, that may result in the incidental take of the federally endangered Fender’s blue butterfly. ITP application received from the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District | Docs here
Forest Service will prepare EIS on a proposal to designate over-snow vehicle (OSV) use on National Forest System (NFS) roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands within the Tahoe National Forest; and to identify snow trails for grooming within the Tahoe National Forest
Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District releases DEIS to analyze the direct, indirect and cumulative effects of the construction and operation of the proposed Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir (LBCR) and related actions proposed by the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) in Fannin County, TX. The Proposed Action is a regional water supply project intended to provide up to 175,000 acre-feet/year (AFY), with an estimated firm yield of 126,200 AFY, of new water for NTMWD’s member cities and direct customers in all or portions of nine counties in northern Texas – Collin, Dallas, Denton, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains and Rockwall. Construction of the reservoir and related facilities would result in permanent impacts to approximately 6,180 acres of wetlands and 651,024 linear feet of streams. This action requires authorization from the USACE under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Section 404 permit applicant is the NTMWD. | More here
BLM Pecos District Resource Advisory Council’s Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat Preservation Area of Critical Environmental Concerns Livestock Grazing Subcommittee will meet March 31
EPA identifies certain water quality limited waters and the associated pollutant to be listed pursuant to the Clean Water Act Section 303(d)(2) on New York’s list of impaired waters
CEQ extends comment period to March 25 on “Revised Draft Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews”
FWS reinstates the April 2, 2009 (74 FR 15123), final rule regulating reintroduced gray wolves in the State of Wyoming as a nonessential experimental population. "Gray wolves in Montana, Idaho, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and north-central Utah retain their delisted status and are not impacted by this final rule. In addition, pursuant to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia court order dated December 19, 2014, this rule reinstates the March 9, 1978 (43 FR 9607), final rule as it relates to gray wolves in the western Great Lakes including endangered status for gray wolves in all of Wisconsin and Michigan, the eastern half of North Dakota and South Dakota, the northern half of Iowa, the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, and the northwestern portion of Ohio; threatened status for gray wolves in Minnesota; critical habitat for gray wolves in Minnesota and Michigan; and the rule promulgated under section 4(d) of the ESA for gray wolves in Minnesota." (Wyoming gray wolf coverage)
NMFS proposes "to replace the critical habitat for right whales in the North Atlantic with two new areas. "The areas under consideration as critical habitat contain approximately 29,945 nm² of marine habitat in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank region (Unit 1) and off the Southeast U.S. coast (Unit 2)."
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe have submitted three Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans, "to be considered jointly, to NMFS pursuant to the limitation on take prohibitions for actions conducted under Limit 6 of the 4(d) Rule for salmon and steelhead promulgated under the Endangered Species Act."
BOEM releases Final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193 | Available here
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE or OSM) grants "in principle" a petition for rulemaking that was submitted by WildEarth Guardians requesting that OSM revise its regulations to prohibit "visible nitrogen oxide clouds" during blasting at surface coal mining operations. "[A]lthough we do not intend to propose the specific rule changes requested in the petition, [we] will instead initiate a rulemaking to address this issue."
- "OSMRE does not intend to propose the petitioner’s suggested rule language because the petitioner’s language focused solely on nitrogen oxide emissions, instead of all blast-generated fumes and toxic gases."
- Regulatory docket :: Petition
National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service are preparing a North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan and Environmental Impact Statement to determine how to restore the grizzly bear to the North Cascades ecosystem (NCE), a portion of its historical range | Web page
FS: The Lewis and Clark National Forest (LCNF) will prepare an EIS for vegetation management actions in the Castle Mountains located in Central Montana. "The project is designed to meet the desired condition of restoring forest and grasslands ecosystems to promote landscape resiliency over time for multiple resource values while minimizing the threat of high intensity wildfire within the Willow Creek municipal watershed and areas of other valued resources and infrastructure in the 69,610 acre Castle Mountains landscape."
FS to prepare EIS analyzing impacts of the proposal to continue to authorize term livestock grazing permit(s) on all or portions of the Weminuche Landscape in a manner that moves resource conditions toward desired on-the-ground conditions and is consistent with Forest Plan standards and guidelines.
NMFS issues final rule on introduced species in Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries
NPS terminates preparation of an EIS for a proposed Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan at Shenandoah National Park. Instead, the NPS has prepared an environmental assessment to amend its approved Chronic Wasting Disease Detection and Assessment Plan to include chronic wasting disease management actions.
NMFS issues negative 90-day finding on a petition to list yellowtail damselfish (Microspathodon chrysurus) | More on petitions in SE region | Reef fish page from NOAA
NMFS submits ICR to OMB for approval. "The required information is used to evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity on endangered species, to make the determinations required by the ESA prior to issuing a permit, and to establish appropriate permit conditions."
American burying beetle: ONE GAS, Inc., Tulsa, OK. and TOMPC, LLC, Edmond, OK, apply to participate in HCP
FWS to ask OMB to approve ICR: National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation
NMFS solicits nominations for new members to fill vacancies on the Atlantic and Pacific Scientific Review Groups (SRGs). There is also an Alaska SRG | More about SRG's, which provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues.
FERC issues supplemental Notice of Intent to prepare an EA for the proposed Southern Indiana Market Lateral Project, requests comment on environmental issues (new scoping comment deadline is March 12)
FWS reopens public comment period on our February 13, 2014, proposed rule to remove the Modoc sucker (Catostomus microps) from list of endangered species | Docket
Endangered species recovery permit application: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Saipan, MP, requests amendment of a permit to take (playback survey) Mariana common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus guami) and to take (playback survey, photograph, and videograph) Micronesian megapodes (Megapodius laperouse) throughout the Commonwealth of the Northern Islands in conjunction with research for the purpose of enhancing species' survival.
Endangered species recovery permit application: U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Hawaii National Park, Hawaii, requests a permit amendment to take (capture, band, mark, measure, weigh, collect blood samples, radio-tag, release, recapture, and search for and monitor nests) the Hawaiian coot (Fulica americana alai) and the Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni) on the island of Oahu,
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee to hold webinar Feb. 25, 1-2:30 p.m. (ESA among issues on tap)
NMFS’ Office of Protected Resources has received a request from NMFS’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted in multiple specified geographical regions, over the course of five years from the date of issuance. More:
- Marine mammal permits (Texas Sealife Center, 14220 South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78418, [Responsible Party: Tim Tristan], has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
- Marine mammal permits - a major amendment to Permit No. 13430-01 has been issued to the NMFS National Marine Mammal Laboratory (Responsible Party: John Bengtson, Ph.D.), 7600 Sand Point Way, NE, BIN C15700, Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0070
- Marine mammal permits - The University of Alaska Museum of the North, 907 Yukon Drive Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960 (Link Olson, Responsible Party) has been issued a minor amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14301-01
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries seeks applications for vacant seats for 11 of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils and for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council
BLM's Egan Field Office, Ely, Nevada has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the proposed Gold Rock Mine Project in White Pine County, NV, announces opening of the public comment period on the Draft EIS
BLM's Gunnison Field Office, Gunnison, Colo., will prepare a Resource Management Plan (RMP) amendment with an associated Environmental Impact Statement | Gunnison FO page
The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and non-commercial vegetation management activities, prescribed burning, road activities, recreation opportunity improvements, and other restoration activities. Other design criteria are included to protect resources and facilitate management activities. The project is located on the Blue Mountain Ranger District, Malheur National Forest, Grant County, Oregon, approximately 7 miles north of the town of John Day, Oregon.
APHIS releases Environmental Assessment for the Biological Control of Emerald Ash Borer | Docket will be active tomorrow
PennEast Pipeline: FERC sets new dates for scoping meetings in N.J.
FWS releases draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment (Draft CCP/EA) for Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge | More here
Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to meet at Ding Darling refuge Feb. 24-25 :: SFBPC page
NOAA corrects earlier notice (comments now requested by April 3): "This request is for a revision and extension of an approved data collection effort to provide ocean managers, users and other interested parties with accurate, objective and useful information about the location, purpose, management and human uses of marine protected areas in the coastal and marine waters of the United States."
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) releases an Environmental Assessment for the potential environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action to implement a Real Property Master Plan at Defense Distribution Depot, San Joaquin
FERC to prepare EA on proposed Gulf Trace Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line company, LLC in Cameron, Calcasieu, Beauregard, Evangeline, and East Feliciana Parishes, Louisiana
FWS asks OMB for approval of Info Collection (FWS Form 3–2311, Horseshoe Crab Tagging)
FWS releases three John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) draft revised maps for public review and comment. The draft maps, all dated November 10, 2014, are for three existing CBRS units and two proposed new CBRS units located in Collier County, Florida | CBRA site
NMFS amends regulatory language of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of the Southern Resident killer whale DPS "by removing the exclusion for captive members of the population. We have further determined that Lolita, a female killer whale captured from the Southern Resident killer whale population in 1970 who resides at the Miami Seaquarium in Miami, Florida, is not excluded from the Southern Resident killer whale DPS due to her captive status." | More here
NMFS: Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 13602 (captive odontocetes and pinnipeds)
NMFS: Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 18638 and 17305 (18638: specimens from dead cetacean and pinniped species, and to receive, import, and export specimens taken legally worldwide) (17305: all species of marine mammals -- pinnipeds except walrus, and cetaceans -- under the jurisdiction of the NMFS)
NMFS final rule amends Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan and its implementing regulations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. "The rule requires the year-round use of modified pound net leaders for offshore Virginia pound nets in specified waters of the lower mainstem Chesapeake Bay and coastal state waters." | Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan "[A]mendments to the ESA sea turtle conservation regulations for the Virginia pound net fishery are finalized within the same rulemaking for consistency in definitions and regulations." | "This final rule requires the year-round use of modified pound net leaders for offshore Virginia pound nets within the Bottlenose Dolphin Pound Net Regulated Area. It removes the land-based inspection program for modified pound net leaders under the ESA. Instead, under both the MMPA and ESA, it requires fishermen to attend a one-time compliance training before setting modified pound net leaders and to kee