Federal Register notices

 

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.

Click here for notices from earlier this year

Recent enforcement

Public Inspection

FWS releases DEIS/R, receives applications for 50-year incidental take permits in connection with draft Butte Regional Conservation Plan. "The permits are needed to authorize the incidental take of 39 covered species that could result from activities covered under the proposed Draft Plan." | More will be here, acc. to FWS

Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group to meet Dec. 10

NMFS issues rule to implement a Seabird Avoidance Program in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery. "The rule was recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) in November 2013 to minimize the take of ESA-listed short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus). A 2012 [FWS] Biological Opinion required NMFS to initiate implementation of regulations within 2 years that mandate the use of seabird avoidance measures by vessels greater than or equal to 55 feet length overall using bottom longline gear to harvest groundfish."

NMFS receives application from Sonoma County Water Agency for a 35-year Enhancement of Survival Permit and associated safe harbor agreement. "The Enhancement of Survival Permit will facilitate implementation of the Agreement that is expected to promote the recovery of the covered species on non-federal properties within Dry Creek below Warm Springs Dam, a tributary to the Russian River in Sonoma County, California." Species covered are endangered Central California Coast coho salmon, threatened California Coastal chinook, and threatened Central California Coast steelhead.

FTA, Sacramento Regional Transit District will prepare an EIS for the proposed Green Line to the Airport Project in Sacramento County, California

FDA releases FEIS and ROD for the standards for the growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce for human consumption  (pub. date: 11/27)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

FWS receives T&E species permit applications

FWS corrects permit # for Turner Endangered Species Fund application (dated April 2, 2015). The correct permit number is TE-43754A

FWS releases draft revised maps for all of the Coastal Barrier Resources System units in Alabama, all units in Florida (except for one unit that was remapped in 2014), all units in Georgia, several units in Louisiana, all units in Michigan, the only unit in Minnesota, all units in Mississippi, all units in the Great
Lakes region of New York, all units in Ohio, and all units in Wisconsin.

NMFS finds that "there are no marine areas within the jurisdiction of the United States that meet the definition of critical habitat for the Central and Southwest (Central & SW) Atlantic Distinction Population Segment (DPS), Indo-West Pacific DPS, or Eastern Pacific DPS of scalloped hammerhead shark."

NYC will prepare EIS to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of alternatives that are being proposed to improve coastal and social resiliency by installing an integrated flood protection system on the East Side of Southern Manhattan between Montgomery Street on the south and East 23rd Street on the north (with an alternative that extends to East 25th Street)

Monday, November 16, 2015

FWS removes Delmarva fox squirrel from T&E species list

BPA: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and notice of floodplain and wetlands assessment, "to determine whether to fund the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation's proposal to construct and operate a hatchery for coho salmon in the upper Yakima basin."

NMFS marine mammal permit actions: See Table of Contents link above.

FERC: Total Peaking Services, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Vaporization Capacity Increase and Bog Compressor Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

NPS releases DEIS for the Moose-Wilson Corridor Comprehensive Management Plan, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

FWS releases draft NEPA screening form and draft San Rafael Ranch low-effect habitat conservation plan (dHCP)  | More here

FERC releases EA for the Garden State Expansion Project, proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC. Transco requests authorization to build and operate a new compressor station and a new meter and regulating station in Burlington County, New Jersey and build and modify an existing compressor station and related appurtenant facilities in Mercer County, New Jersey.

Navy will prepare an EIS on potential environmental effects associated with continuing to conduct military readiness activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study Area

Navy to prepare EIS on Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

EPA: Science Advisory Board Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel to hold teleconference Dec. 3 (2-6 p.m.)

EPA asks for information "on existing public and private sector programs that address stormwater discharges from forest roads. This information will assist EPA in responding to the remand in Environmental Defense Center, Inc. v. U.S. EPA, 344 F.2d 832 (9th Cir. 2003) that requires EPA to consider whether the Clean Water Act requires the Agency to regulate forest roads."

BLM and Western Area Power Administration release FEIS for the proposed Southline Transmission Line Project | Southline web site | BLM has completed, "with Western input, formal consultation
under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service."

Monday, November 9, 2015

USACE Los Angeles District, in partnership with the Pinal County Flood Control District, will prepare an Integrated Feasibility Report and EIS for the Lower Santa Cruz River Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study.

FERC: Office of Energy Projects issues EA/FONSI on application submitted by FirstLight Hydro Generation Company to amend the license for the Scotland Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2662). The project is located on the Shetucket River in Windham County, Connecticut.

BIA, as the lead federal agency, with the Osage Nation and EPA, as cooperating agencies, has prepared a draft EIS on management of oil and gas resources owned by the United States in trust for the Osage in Osage County, Oklahoma.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Executive Order: "Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment."

Army releases FEIS 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 (MW) capacity, biofuel-capable generating station

EPA receives agency EIS's for review

FAA plans to prepare an EIS to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of issuing a Launch Site Operator License to the Camden County (Ga.) Board of Commissioners for a proposed commercial space launch site | Website

NMFS receives five scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, steelhead, and eulachon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

FWS receives application for an enhancement of survival permit for the federally threatened California red-legged frog, along w/ proposed safe harbor agreement from California Department of Parks and Recreation, Angeles District

FWS receives endangered species permit applications

NMFS issues Letters of Authorization to the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) for the take of marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted in multiple specified geographical
regions.

EPA releases first draft report on the National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA 2011), opens a 30-day public review and comment period on the draft report. "The NWCA 2011 is the first national assessment of the ecological condition of the nation’s wetlands."

FERC will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) on impacts of the Transco to Charleston Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC (DCG) in Aiken, Charleston, Dillon, Dorchester, Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry, and Spartanburg counties, South
Carolina.

Forest Service: Crested Butte Mountain Resort has submitted a proposal to the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests (NF) to pursue approval of select projects from its 2013 Master Development Plan (MDP). The GMUG has accepted this proposal and is initiating the preparation of an EIS to analyze and disclose the potential environmental effects of implementing the projects. The Proposed Action includes: a Special Use Permit (SUP) boundary adjustment to include skiable terrain in the Teo Drainage area, the addition of lift-served terrain in the Teo Park and Teo Drainage area, installation of additional snowmaking infrastructure, realignment of the existing North Face lift, and supplemental mountain biking trails.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FWS extends public review and comment period for the draft low effect habitat conservation plan (draft HCP) for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s operations, maintenance, and management activities on its land in Inyo and Mono Counties, California, and draft Environmental Action Statement/Low Effect Screening Form.

FERC releases EA/FONSI on application for an original license to construct the Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project

FERC releases DEIS for an original license for the Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Project, which would be located on Sweetheart Lake and Sweetheart Creek in Juneau, Alaska. If licensed, the project would
occupy 2,058 acres of land within the Tongass National Forest. Public meetings scheduled

Federal Railroad Administration will prepare an EIS "on potential impacts to the human and natural environment of the Washington Union Station Expansion Project proposed by the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation in coordination with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). The project includes expanding and modernizing the multimodal transportation facilities at Washington Union Station, while preserving the historically significant station building."

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

FWS receives ITP applications for participation in the Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan for the American Burying Beetle in Oklahoma

FWS submits ICR to OMB for review: a public survey of visitors to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge who participate in bear viewing at structured and unstructured sites.

NMFS issues an 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, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, mid-November through December 2015. | Go here for the BiOp on the survey

FWS receives draft Safe Harbor agreement and application for an enhancement of survival permit for the federally threatened northern spotted owl, from Roseburg Resources Company and Oxbow Timber I, LLC

FWS issues letters of authorization for the nonlethal take of polar bears and Pacific walrus incidental to oil and gas industry exploration, development, and production activities in the Beaufort Sea and the adjacent northern coast of Alaska and incidental to oil and gas industry exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea and the adjacent western coast of Alaska

NMFS revises incidental harassment authorization (IHA) issued 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

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries seeking applications for vacant seats for five of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils

DOI renews Big Cypress National Preserve Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee " to offer recommendations, alternatives and possible solutions to management of off-road vehicles at Big Cypress National Preserve."

BLM announces meeting of Pecos District Resource Advisory Council's Prairie-Chicken Habitat Preservation Area of Critical Environmental Concern Livestock Grazing Subcommittee

Monday, November 2, 2015

NMFS releases proposed ESA recovery plan for threatened Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon   |  will be here

FERC releases EA/FONSI on Baker County, Oregon’s application for a license to construct its proposed
Mason Dam Hydroelectric Project

FERC releases EA/FONSI on El Dorado Irrigation District's application to amend the El Dorado Project license by building an earthen stability buttress, raising the crest of the dam, and upgrading appurtenant facilities. No federal lands would be involved in the proposed action. The project is located on the South Fork American River next to the unincorporated community of Pollock Pines in El Dorado County,
California.

Friday, October 30, 2015

FWS, in coordination with the State of Wyoming and other partners, will reestablish additional populations of the blackfooted ferret (Mustela nigripes), a federally listed endangered mammal, into prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) occupied habitat in Wyoming and classify any reestablished population as a nonessential experimental population (NEP) under section 10(j) of the ESA.

FWS releases Delta Research Station Draft EIS/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS, or, if you prefer, EIS/R). "The DEIS/R evaluates impacts regarding construction and operation of the Delta Research Station in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta), California. The [station] would consist of two facilities, a proposed Estuarine Research Station and Fish Technology Center."   | Website

FWS releases final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and EIS for Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Barnstable County, MA

FWS proposes to add to the list of injurious fish the following freshwater fish species: crucian carp (Carassius carassius), Eurasian minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus), Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio), roach (Rutilus rutilus), stone moroko (Pseudorasbora parva), Nile perch (Lates niloticus), Amur sleeper (Perccottus glenii), European perch (Perca fluviatilis), zander (Sander lucioperca), and wels catfish (Silurus glanis).

BuRec to prepare EIS/R for the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District South County Ag
Water Recycling Program   |   "The Project would deliver approximately 45,000 acre-feet per year of Title 22 disinfected tertiary treated recycled water to about 16,000 acres of irrigated lands in southern Sacramento County for agricultural and urban landscape uses and to the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The Project could also provide an additional 5,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water for groundwater recharge, for a total recycled water delivery of 50,000 acre-feet per year."

North American Wetlands Conservation Council will meet Dec. 1 in Charleston, S.C., to select North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant proposals for recommendation to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. Meeting will take place at hotel named for the Swamp Fox, Francis Marion | Website

USACE releases DEIS for the proposed Glades Reservoir water supply project, sets public hearing for Dec. 8 in Hall County Board of Commissioners' Auditorium, Gainesville, Ga. (project website)

USACE Inland Waterways Users Board to meet in St. Louis from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Dec. 2

More meetings: Forest Service sets meeting of Tongass Advisory Comittee

EPA receives agency EIS's for comment | EPA comments on EIS's

EPA's Good Neighbor Environmental Board sets public teleconference for Nov. 30. "The Good Neighbor Environmental Board is a federal advisory committee.... By statute, the Board is required to submit an annual report to the President on environmental and infrastructure issues along the U.S. border with Mexico."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

DOI proposes to add a new categorical exclusion under NEPA (meaning no EA or EIS would be required), pertaining to adding species to the injurious wildlife list under the Lacey Act.

FERC:

FERC will prepare EA on Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC's SM-80 MAOP Restoration Project  (Wayne County, West Virginia)

EA available on Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC's Connecticut Expansion Project

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

FWS releases draft EA issuance of a 5-year take permit for golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, in association with the operation of the Alta East Wind Project in Kern County, California.

NMFS' Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee to meet in Silver Spring Nov. 9. "The Committee is convening to discuss and finalize recommendations on the Draft Habitat Enterprise Strategic Plan for submission to the NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator." | Website

EPA Office of Research and Development will hold public teleconference meeting on Nov. 13 of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee.

FERC to prepare EA on impacts of the Gaines County Crossover Compressor Station involving construction and operation of facilities by Northern Natural Gas Company in Gaines County, Texas

BLM, Forest Service release Jordan Cove Energy and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP) Projects Final EIS and proposed Land Management Plan amendments   |   Files

BLM finalizes supplementary rules for all BLM-administered public lands within an approximately 400-acre area in Idaho known as Castle Rocks.

NOAA's National Ocean Service (Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management) approves the Apalachicola, Florida National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. "The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the research & monitoring, education, training, and stewardship goals of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

FWS releases draft recovery plan for the endangered Gila chub, currently found in Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, and in northern Mexico  |  It will be posted here

FWS says comment period on Kaufman Real Estate HCP will end Dec. 21 (correction to Oct. 21 notice; see below)

FWS reopens public comment period for the DEIS/R for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties, California

FS issues corrected NOI to prepare EIS for Tongass National Forest Wrangell Island Project

NMFS issues minor amendment to National Museum of Natural History's Scientific Research Permit No. 14628, which authorizes the salvage, collection, importation, exportation, receipt, possession, archive, and analyses of marine mammal and endangered species parts under NMFS jurisdiction.

NMFS issues Incidental Harassment Authorization to Bergerson Construction Inc. to take, by Level B
harassment, small numbers of two species of marine mammals incidental to the Front Street Transload Facility construction project in Newport, Oregon, between November 1, 2015, and October 31, 2016.

APHIS releases preliminary FONSI and decision for an extension of a determination of nonregulated status of corn genetically engineered for glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium resistance  | Docket

APHIS determines nonregulated status for Monsanto's maize, genetically engineered for protection against corn rootworm and resistance to glyphosate  |  Docket

FERC issues EA/FONSI for the New Market Project, proposed by Dominion Transmission, Inc. "DTI requests authorization to construct and operate new compressors and associated improvements at
new and existing facilities in several counties in New York."

FERC staff will hold more public scoping meetings as part of their preparation of an EIS for the Alaska LNG Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Alaska Gasline Development Corporation; BP Alaska LNG, LLC; Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company; ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC; and TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP in Alaska

Monday, October 26, 2015

NMFS makes positive 90-day finding on petition to list Northwest Atlantic Distinct Population Segment  or United States DPS of thorny skate (Amblyraja radiata) as threatened or endangered

NMFS issues negative 12-month finding on a petition to identify and delist shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) within the Saint John River in New Brunswick, Canada. The shortnose sturgeon in that habitat does not qualify as a distinct population segment, NMFS concludes.

FWS receives ITP application/HCP from The Meier Group, LLC  Meier requests a 5-year permit authorizing “take” of the threatened Olympia pocket gopher incidental to otherwise lawful land development in Thurston County, Washington.

FWS sends Info Collection Request to OMB for approval: National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (FHWAR).

NMFS marine mammal permits:

NMFS receives request from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to rehabilitation of the jetty system at the mouth of the Columbia River, Washington and Oregon

NMFS receives application from the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to conducting aircraft operations in connection with St. George Reef Light Station Restoration and Maintenance (Northwest Seal Rock, Del Norte County, CA)

BLM Buffalo (Wyo.) Field Office to prepare an EIS for EOG Resources Inc.’s (EOG’s) proposed Greater Crossbow Oil and Gas Project

TVA issues ROD for Integrated Resource Plan

Friday, October 23, 2015

FWS issues endangered species and marine mammal permits

FWS receives endangered species permits (import of sport-hunted bontebok, live cheetahs)

USACE to prepare a DEIS for the general reevaluation of the Sacramento River Flood Control Project, California

EPA receives agency EIS's for comment

NPS releases DEIS for the Nonfederal Oil and Gas Regulations (36 CFR Part 9, Subpart B) Revisions.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

FWS releases draft EA on permit application submitted by Dallas Zoo Management, on behalf of the Dallas Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo, and Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. The zoos are requesting authorization under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to import 18 live African elephants from Swaziland | Docket

FAA releases draft EA examining the potential environmental impacts of proposed actions to initiate commercial service and to develop the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport in accordance with the approved Airport Layout Plan

FAA: Notice of Approval of Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD) for the Proposed Replacement Airport (XWA) Serving D-III Aircraft in Williston, North Dakota

USACE extends comment period to Nov. 1 on Final Integrated Feasibility Report/EIS/R, Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Study, published in the Sept. 25 Federal Register. | Go here for the study

NMFS issues an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the Navy to take marine mammals incidental to Civilian Port Defense training activities within and near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

FWS receives ITP application/HCP from Kaufman Real Estate LLC, Kaufman Holdings Inc., and Liberty Leasing & Construction, Inc. Twenty-year ITP would authorize “take” of five listed species incidental to otherwise lawful land development and habitat conservation activities on parcels they own in Thurston County, Washington. Species: endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, threatened streaked horned lark and two threatened subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher—Olympia pocket gopher and Yelm pocket gopher.

Department of Veterans Affairs, San Francisco Health Care System releases Record of Decision (ROD) for the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the San Francisco VA Medical Center

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

FWS releases draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment (Draft CCP/EA) for Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Bibb County, Alabama

BLM corrects Sept. 24 notice on sagebrush: "On page 57636, column 2, beginning on line 9, the text which reads “TheSagebrush Focal Areas include all public and National Forest System lands identified in
the townships below:”, is hereby corrected to read, “The Sagebrush Focal Areas consist of those public and National Forest System lands within the townships below that are identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas on the map posted on the BLM web site.”  (Sept. 24 notice)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reopens comment period for the agency’s draft recommended aquatic life water quality chronic criterion for selenium in freshwater.

Monday, October 19, 2015

FWS receives applications for enhancement of survival permits (EOS permits) under the ESA, pursuant to the Greater Sage-grouse Umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Wyoming Ranch Management  | More here at FWS Wyoming ES office

FHWA no longer preparing an EIS for the proposed Port Manatee Connector in Manatee and  Hillsborough Counties, Florida

BuRec Lahontan Basin Area Office to prepare an Extraordinary Operation and Maintenance (XM) EIS for the Truckee Canal

Friday, October 16, 2015

EPA receives agency EIS's for review, releases comments on EIS's

FERC releases EA/FONSI on Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s application for amendment of the license for the Norway-Oakdale Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 12514-074), on the Tippecanoe River near the city of Monticello in Carroll and White Counties, Indiana

BLM's White River Field Office (WRFO), Meeker, Colo., will prepare a Resource Management Plan amendment with an associated Environmental Assessment for the WRFO

Thursday, October 15, 2015

NMFS denies petition seeking to exclude waters from New York to Jacksonville from right-whale speed restrictions. Decision applies to federally-maintained dredged channels and pilot boarding areas (and the immediately adjacent waters) for ports from New York to Jacksonville. | More here

NMFS allows Navy to incidentally harass (Level B) marine mammals during construction activities associated with a pier replacement project at Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA.

FERC will prepare an EA on impacts of the New York Bay Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in Chester, Pennsylvania; Essex and Middlesex, New Jersey; and Richmond, New York

FERC releases DEIS for the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project, on the Bear River, near Preston, Franklin County, Idaho. The project would occupy 243 acres of federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.schedules public meetings

FWS submits ICR to OMB: Federal Subsistence Regulations and Associated Forms

FWS receives permit applications to conduct activities with endangered species, marine mammals, and birds (under Wild Bird Conservation Act)

FS to prepare EIS on commercial and non-commercial vegetation management activities, prescribed burning, road activities, recreation opportunity improvements, and other restoration activities on the Chiloquin Ranger District, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Klamath County, Oregon. Other design criteria are included to protect resources and facilitate management activities.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

NMFS receives permit application requests for one new scientific research permit and one new scientific research and enhancement permit (endangered black abalone)

FAA releases Final Written Re-Evaluation of the O’Hare Modernization EIS for Chicago O’Hare International Airport | More here

FERC to prepare EIS on impacts of the Plaquemines LNG Project, involving construction and operation of facilities by Venture Global Plaquemines in Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). to meet Oct. 28-30 in Beltsville, Md. (USDA)  |  More will be posted here

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

FWS begins five-year status review of polar bear  |  Docket will be here

FWS proposes to list as endangered species two endemic American Samoan land snails, the American Samoa distinct population segment of the friendly ground-dove, the Pacific sheath-tailed bat, (South Pacific subspecies), and the mao.

NMFS releases proposed Recovery Plan for Oregon Coast Coho Salmon

NMFS receives request from Point Blue Conservation Science to revise an issued Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting seabird research activities on Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California

BLM explains why it rejected the recommendations of the Governors of Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah regarding Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) Proposed Resource Management Plans Amendments (PRMPAs) and FEIS's and the South Dakota Proposed Resource Management Plan (PRMP) and FEIS published on May 29, 2015.  | Documents here

Monday was Columbus Day (federal holiday)

Friday, October 9, 2015

USACE, EIS's:

Corps "prepares" supplemental information for Berryessa Creek Element of the Coyote and Berryessa Creek Flood Control Project in Santa Clara County, CA; "in an effort to preserve the ability to improve flood risk management in this area without excessive delay, Corps may invoke the Clean Water Act (CWA) §404(r) exemption in lieu of obtaining a 401 Certification from the Regional Water Quality Control Board, which, "during the course of extensive coordination over the last six months ... has
stated that it may be unable or unwilling to issue a 401 Certification for the project.".

Corps releases DEIS analyzing the direct, indirect and cumulative effects of the Nebraska Highway 12 Niobrara East and West Project, proposed by the Nebraska Department of Roads.

Corps to prepare integrated Feasibility Report & Draft EIS for the Yuba River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study, Yuba River, California

EPA receives agency EIS's for comment

FHWA says it has granted approvals to proposed Porter Rockwell Boulevard Project, which proposes to provide transportation improvements along Porter Rockwell Boulevard, between Mountain View Corridor, Redwood Road, and the 14600 South interchange at I-15, in Salt Lake County, Utah.

FHWA has taken final agency actions by issuing a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Lynnwood Link Extension Project. The proposed project would extend the Sound Transit Link light rail system from Northgate in Seattle north into Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood in Snohomish County

NPS releases DEIS for the Scorpion Pier Replacement on Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park       |       More here

Thursday, October 8, 2015

USFWS finds listing "not warranted" for 19 species: American eel, Shawnee darter. Cumberland arrow darter, the Great Basin distinct population segment (DPS) of the Columbia spotted frog, Goose Creek milkvetch, Nevares spring bug, Page springsnail, Ramshaw meadows sand- verbena, Sequatchie caddisfly, Siskiyou mariposa lily, Sleeping ute milkvetch, Southern Idaho ground squirrel, Tahoe yellow cress, and six Tennessee cave beetles (Baker Station, Coleman, Fowler's, Indian Grave Point, inquirer, and Noblett's cave beetles).

FWS proposes to reclassify the Columbia River distinct population segment (DPS) of Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus) from endangered to threatened

FWS: Listing the entire Sierra Nevada red fox subspecies is not warranted. We were also petitioned to evaluate two populations within the subspecies' range as potential distinct population segments (DPSs). We find that both the Southern Cascades and Sierra Nevada population segments of the Sierra Nevada red fox meet the Service's DPS policy criteria, and therefore are valid DPSs. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information for these two DPSs, we find that listing the Southern Cascades DPS is not warranted at this time, and listing the Sierra Nevada DPS is warranted

FWS proposes to list the Kentucky arrow darter (Etheostoma spilotum), a fish species from the upper Kentucky River basin in Kentucky, as a threatened species

  • FWS proposes to designate critical habitat for the Kentucky arrow darter (Etheostoma spilotum) under the Endangered Species Act (Act). In total, approximately 395 stream kilometers (skm) (246 stream miles (smi)) are being proposed for designation of critical habitat for the Kentucky arrow darter in Breathitt, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Owsley, Perry, and Wolfe Counties, Kentucky

DOE's Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee to meet in Gaithersburg Oct. 28 and 29. | Website

Tentative Agenda Topics

  • Three reports, from Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Office of Science and Office of Biological and Environmental Research
  • News from the Biological Systems Science and Climate and Environmental Sciences Divisions
  • Report on the Biological Systems Science Division Strategic Plan
  • Briefings on the Industrialization of Biology and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy
  • Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory update
  • Integrated Field Laboratory workshop report and discussion
  • Science talk; new business; public comment

EPA: Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee to meet Oct. 21-22. Also, on Oct. 20, PPDC workgroups will meet on Integrated Pest Management, Comparative Safety Statements, 21st Century Toxicology/ New Integrated Testing Strategies, and Pesticide Incidents. Meeting will take place at 1 Potomac Yard South, 2777 S. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA. | Docket

FERC Office of Energy Projects releases EA/FONSI on application for a new license for the Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project, located on the Toxaway, Keowee, and Little Rivers in Oconee County and Pickens County, South Carolina and Transylvania County, North Carolina

NOAA Science Advisory Board will meet Thursday and Friday, Oct. 29-30   |   Website

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BuRec, in collaboration with USGS, FWS, NMFS, and USACE, announces a prize competition seeking a way to economically detect, count, and identify zooplankton and drift invertebrates in river and estuary systems.

  • "A solution is being pursued through a prize competition because the Bureau of Reclamation and the collaborating Federal agencies want to seek innovative solutions from those beyond the usual sources of potential solvers and experts that commonly work in the fish recovery management domain. We find ourselves often wondering if somebody, somewhere may know a better way to quantify the availability of food sources for threatened and endangered fish. The prize competition approach enables us to reach new sources of potential solvers to discover other technologies that could be adopted for this purpose; or generate new solutions that would not likely be accomplished by standard contractual methods."

EPA denies petition requesting that EPA "initiate rulemaking under TSCA to address risks related to carbon dioxide emissions, particularly those associated with ocean acidification, or, in the alternative, that EPA initiate rulemaking under TSCA to require testing to determine toxicity, persistence, and other characteristics of carbon dioxide emissions that affect human health and the environment." Petition was filed by Center for Biological Diversity and Donn J. Viviani, PhD.

FWS proposes to list the headwater chub (Gila nigra) and a distinct population segment (DPS) of the roundtail chub (Gila robusta) from the lower Colorado River basin as threatened

FWS receives application for a 10-year incidental take permit covering seven species from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The application includes the draft HCP for the department's operations, maintenance, and management activities on its land in Mono and Inyo counties. Species covered would be Owens tui chub, Owens pupfish, yellowbilled cuckoo (distinct population segment), southwestern willow flycatcher, and least Bell’s vireo. Unlisted species proposed for coverage under the draft HCP are the greater sage-grouse (bi-state distinct population segment) and the Long Valley/Owens speckled dace.

FWS receives recovery permit applications (Western U.S.)

FWS will hold two public meetings and accept comments for 30 days on a proposal to provide public access to the Rattlesnake Mountain Unit, including the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain, within the Hanford Reach National Monument | More here

NMFS lists three foreign corals and the dusky sea snake as endangered

  • More on the sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus)

                 From the depths of my heart, I thank you

NOAA begins process (EIS planned, meetings scheduled) to consider designating Mallows Bay-Potomac River as a national marine sanctuary  |  Docket will be here

NOAA: Notice of Intent to conduct scoping and to prepare a Draft EIS for the proposed Wisconsin – Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary

NMFS issues major amendment to Permit No. 14450-03 to NMFS' Southeast Fisheries Science Center, authorizing takes by harassment of non-ESA listed cetaceans during vessel surveys to support NMFS stock assessments

NMFS issues authorization (IHA) to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to incidentally harass four species of marine mammals during activities related to the reconstruction of the existing ferry terminal at Pier 1 in Kodiak, AK

USACE to prepare a draft Feasibility Study and EIS for Navigational Improvements to San Juan Harbor in San Juan, Puerto Rico

USACE publishes an interim deauthorization list of water resources development projects and separable elements that have been identified for deauthorization in accordance with section 6001(c) of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. Projects are worth about $14 billion. Comments sought for 90 days (until Jan. 4, 2016).

FS to prepare EIS on revision of existing Carson National Forest’s Land Management Plan  | More here

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

FWS finds listing of Sonoran desert tortoise "not warranted."   "Most simply and qualitatively, the best available data does not show that any one or more risk factors are likely to result in meaningful population declines in the foreseeable future." (see below for press release from WildEarth Guardians)

FWS lists Trichomanes punctatum ssp. floridanum (Florida bristle fern), a plant subspecies from Miami-Dade and Sumter Counties, Florida, as endangered.

FWS lists black pinesnake, a reptile subspecies from Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as a threatened species.

FWS proposes to list the Suwannee moccasinshell (Medionidus walkeri), a freshwater mussel species from the Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia, as a threatened species.

FERC and cooperating federal agencies (FS, BLM, DOE, FWS, , et al.) release final EIS for the Jordan Cove Liquefaction Project proposed by Jordan Cove Energy Project LP and the Pacific Connector Pipeline Project.

  • The FERC staff concludes that the proposed projects would have some limited adverse
    environmental impacts. However, with implementation of Jordan Cove’s and Pacific
    Connector’s proposed mitigation measures, and the additional mitigation measures
    recommended by the FERC staff and federal land managing agencies in the EIS, most of
    these impacts would be avoided or reduced to less-than-significant levels.

FERC: Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS for the Planned Mississippi River Lng Project

FERC releases DEIS for Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project, which would be located on the Bear River, near the city of Preston, in Franklin County, Idaho. The project would occupy 243 acres of federal land managed by BLM

FERC releases EA on applications for original licenses for the Arkabutla Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13704-002), Sardis Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13701-002), Enid Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13703-002), and Grenada Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13702-002). The proposed projects would be constructed at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps’) existing Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada dams located within the Yazoo River Basin in Mississippi.

FERC releases EA for the Summerlin Pipe Replacement Project, proposed by Kern River Transmission Company

FHWA to prepare EIS, in cooperation with the North Dakota DOT, for a proposed highway project in Stark, Billings, and McKenzie Counties, North Dakota

Monday, October 5, 2015

DOJ: Consent decree will be lodged Oct. 5 in U.S. v. BP Exploration and Production, et al, Civil No. 10-4536 (E.D. La.) (centralized in MDL 2179: In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010) | Comments may be submitted at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon

  • "Under the proposed Decree, BP, among other things, will pay (1) a $5.5 billion civil penalty under the Clean Water Act; (2) $8.1 billion for natural resource damages under the Oil Pollution Act (including the $1 billion that BP had previously pledged under a prior agreement), plus up to $700 million additional for unknown conditions and adaptive management; (3) $350 million for State and federal natural resource damages assessment costs; and (4) $250 million for other federal costs, including removal costs under the Oil Pollution Act, royalties, and a False Claims Act penalty."

At the same time, federal and state trustee agencies are accepting comments on the proposed “Deepwater Horizon Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (“PDARP/PEIS”).

NMFS releases Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan for the California Coastal Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), the Northern California steelhead (O. mykiss) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), and the Central California Coast steelhead (O. mykiss) DPS | Go here for the plan

FWS receives HCP/ITP application from the Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT seeks a 25-year permit authorizing “take” of the endangered Fender's blue butterfly and the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly "incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with road right-of-way (ROW) maintenance and management activities."

EPA receives EIS: NOAA Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Comment Period Ends: 12/4/15

NMFS permits:

Endangered Species; File No. 17304

Kristen Hart, Ph.D., USGS, seeks modification to permit allowing her to capture 100 green, 100 loggerhead, 90 Kemp's ridley, and 20 hawksbill sea turtles annually by hand or using nets in the northern Gulf of Mexico.Geological Survey.

  • "Dr. Hart is seeking to modify the permit to (1) authorize trawling as a capture method, and (2) increase the annual number of loggerhead and Kemp's ridley sea turtles taken by 200 and 210 turtles, respectively. This work would be used to (1) provide density and abundance data to managers for these species in Louisiana waters and associated federal waters, and (2) establish the feasibility of sea turtle monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico by trawl."

Endangered Species; File No. 19621

Mike Arendt, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, has applied in due form for a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), green (Chelonia mydas), and leatherback (Dermochelys coraicea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

Marine Mammals; File No. 14603

Charles Mayo, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Director, Right Whale Program—Center for Coastal Studies, 115 Bradford St., Provincetown, MA 02657 has been issued a minor amendment to Scientific Permit No. 14603 (extension of permit by a year)

Friday, October 2, 2015

FWS publishing official 12-month finding on greater sage-grouse (Hint: It's "not warranted")

FWS lists military macaw (Ara militaris) and the great green macaw (Ara ambiguus) as endangered. The birds are both endemic to Central and South America.

FWS: Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force to meet Nov. 4-5 at NOAA IN Silver Spring, Md.  |   ANS web page

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Mobile District will hold open house meetings on newly released draft EIS for the update of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin (ACF) Water Control Master Manual

EPA receives agency EIS's for comment

FS San Bernardino National Forest, together with the California Public Utilities Commission, will prepare a joint EIS/R for the Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas and Electric proposed North-South Project

Forest Service modifies the boundary of the West Mink Idaho Roadless Area on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest to relocate and expand the Gibson Jack Trailhead and also to incorporate the area bordering another trail that was previously excluded from the Roadless Area.

FERC Office of Energy Projects releases EA/FONSI on application for license for the Vanceboro Dam Storage Project, located on the East Branch of the St. Croix River Washington County, Maine

NMFS:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

FWS lists 23 species from Marianas as threatened or endangered  |  CBD press release

FWS designates critical habitat for two prairie butterfliesCBD press release:

  • "The Dakota skipper is gaining 19,903 acres of protected habitat in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota; the Poweshiek skipperling is gaining 25,888 acres of habitat protection in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. The inch-long orange and brown butterflies were protected under the Endangered Species Act in October 2014 due to widespread loss of the native prairie habitats they depend on for survival."

NMFS issues a final rule and final specifications under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act). The final rule establishes a framework under which NMFS will specify limits on fishing effort and catches, as well as spatial and temporal restrictions on particular fishing activities and other requirements, in U.S. fisheries for highly migratory fish species in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO).

NOAA: Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revision

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FWS to propose listing species as endangered and threatened

FWS releases bull trout recovery plan

FWS: Endangered Species; Applications for Permits

Agency Info Collection Requests:

NMFS releases Draft 2015 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports

NMFS Office of Protected Resources, upon request of NMFS’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), hereby issues regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted in multiple specified geographical regions, over the course of 5 years.

DOE: Notice of intent to prepare a Supplement to the Draft Northern Pass Transmission Line Project EIS (DOE/EIS –0463), extension of the public comment period and postponement of public hearings on the Draft EIS

USACE extends comment period on Draft Feasibility Study with Integrated EIS, Ala Wai Canal Project, Oahu, HI

Interior proposes to revise FOIA regulations

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

FWS proposes to list four plants from south Florida, three -- Chamaecrista lineata var. keyensis (Big Pine partridge pea), Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. serpyllum (wedge spurge), and Linum arenicola (sand flax) -- as endangered species, and one -- Argythamnia blodgettii (Blodgett’s silverbush) -- as threatened.

NMFS Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee to meet in Silver Spring, Md., Oct. 13-15. Following topics will be discussed:

  • NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy and its implementation
  • coastal resiliency
  • improving recovery of protected resources
  • implementation of the recreational fisheries policy
  • recreational bait and tackle economic survey and upcoming surveys
  • Office of Aquaculture Draft Strategic Plan FY 2016-2020
  • and the budget outlook for FY 2016

NMFS publishes proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2016, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed LOF for 2016 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. | Docket will be here

BLM Mount Lewis Field Office, Battle Mountain, Nevada, to prepare EIS on Newmont Mining Corporation's proposal to amend the existing Phoenix Mine Plan of Operations to construct, operate, reclaim, and close an open pit, heap leach, gold and copper mining operation known as the Greater Phoenix Mine Project. | More here

"The proposed Plan of Operations amendment would include increasing the existing Phoenix Mine plan boundary by 10,429 acres to 18,657 acres, of which approximately 9,950 acres is public land managed by the Mount Lewis Field Office. New surface disturbance would include approximately 3,245 acres, which includes approximately 2,285 acres of surface disturbance on public land administered by the BLM, and approximately 960 acres of surface disturbance on private land controlled by NMC."

BLM Alaska office to hold oil and gas lease sale bid opening for tracts in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

Forest Service to prepare an 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 Plumas National Forest; and to identify snow trails for grooming within the Plumas National Forest. In addition, FS proposes to:

  • formally adopt California State Parks’ OSV snow grooming standards requiring a minimum of 12 inches of snow depth before grooming can occur;
  • implement a forest-wide snow depth requirement for OSV use that would provide for public safety and natural and cultural resource protection by allowing OSV use, both on-trail and off-trail in designated Areas, when unpacked snow depths equal or exceed 12 inches. Exceptions would be allowed in order for OSVs to access higher terrain and deeper snow when snow depths are less than 12 inches, as long as this use does not cause visible damage to the underlying surface. Most groomed snow trails are co-located on underlying paved, dirt, and gravel National Forest System roads and trails;
  • identify snow trails for grooming on the Plumas National Forest for OSV use;
  • restrict OSV use to designated snow trails in specified areas;
  • enact OSV prohibitions in certain areas.

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council requests comment on proposed regulations to implement the Spill Impact Component of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act). The regs will establish the formula allocating funds made available from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund among the Gulf Coast States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

BOEM releases revised Environmental Assessment/FONSI for the approval of the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project. The revised EA provides a discussion of potential impacts of the proposed action and an analysis of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action. | http://www.boem.gov/VOWTAP/   More here

Monday, September 28, 2015

Corps' San Francisco District to prepare EIS on CWA Section 404 permit application from the Santa Clara Valley Water Control District to construct flood conveyance features and to deepen and widen Upper Llagas Creek | More here

  • "The Proposed Action, through the Corps permit review process, will require consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act."

Friday, September 25, 2015

Corps releases Final Integrated Feasibility Report (IFR), which includes a Final Feasibility Study (FS) and EIS/R for the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Study, Los Angeles County, CA | It will be posted here

  • "The recommended plan includes restoration of habitat within 719 acres of the study area through the following measures and features: riparian habitat corridor restoration throughout the 11 miles; restoration of the Arroyo Seco confluence; restoration of the Verdugo Wash confluence; restoration of riparian habitat, a historic wash and its braided channels in the Los Angeles Trailer and Container (LATC) intermodal facility site; removal of channel concrete and riverbed restoration for 0.75 miles; restoration of freshwater marsh in the Los Angeles State Historic Park; restoration of riparian habitat and reconnection to the historic floodplain in Taylor Yard; river widening in 2 reaches; restoration of 13 minor tributaries through stream daylighting; establishment of side channels; and removal of invasive vegetation throughout the project area."

EPA receives agency EIS's for review | http://www2.epa.gov/nepa

EPA: An Environmental Modeling Public Meeting (EMPM) will be held in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 26, 2015.

Tentative Topics for the Meeting:

  • Spatial Aquatic Model
  • Downstream chemical transport methods
  • Estuarine scenarios for pesticide risk assessment
  • PRZM-GW scenario development
  • Spray drift assessment procedures and refinements
  • Incorporation of filter strips in exposure assessments
  • Down-the-drain model development
  • Endangered species: probabilistic modeling, population modeling, and refined aquatic exposure methods
    New Tools to estimate pesticide exposure and effects for listed aquatic and terrestrial species

EPA asking for public comment period on draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of a group of pesticides known collectively as sulfonylureas (SUs) that are identified individually in this document in Table 1 of Unit III, as well as additional chemicals identified in Table 2 of Unit III.

FERC: PacifiCorp will prepare EA on proposed Weber Hydroelectric Project on Weber River on Forest Service lands in Utah; scoping meeting scheduled for Oct. 6

FWS issues Migratory Bird Hunting rules:

BLM reopens comment period on Draft Land Use Plan Amendment and Draft Supplemental EIS for the West Mojave Route Network Project for the West Mojave Planning Area of the California Desert Conservation Area, to amend the Motor Vehicle, Recreation, and Grazing Elements of the CDCA Plan and to designate a transportation network within the planning area.

BOEM will prepare an EIS for the Liberty Development and Production Plan in the Beaufort Sea Planning Area

Thursday, September 24, 2015

BLM: The Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management has approved an application to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of public and National Forest System lands identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming from location and entry under the United States mining laws to protect the Greater Sage-Grouse and its habitat from adverse effects of locatable mineral exploration and mining, subject to valid existing rights.

BLM releases Record of Decision (ROD) and approved Resource Management Plan Amendments (ARMPAs) for the Rocky Mountain Region Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) sub-regions of Lewistown, North Dakota, Northwest Colorado, and Wyoming; and Approved Resource Management Plans (ARMPs) for Billings, Buffalo, Cody, HiLine, Miles City, Pompeys Pillar National Monument, South Dakota, and Worland

BLM releases Record of Decision (ROD) and approved Resource Management Plan Amendments (ARMPAs) for the Great Basin Region Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) sub-regions of Idaho and Southwestern Montana, Nevada and Northeastern California, Oregon, and Utah

NMFS issues Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) to take, by harassment, small numbers of four species of marine mammals incidental to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) Pier E3 demolition via controlled implosion in San Francisco Bay (SFB or Bay), between October 1 and December 30, 2015.

FWS prescribes final late-season frameworks from which States may select season dates, limits, and other options for the 2015–16 migratory bird hunting seasons

The Salmon-Challis National Forest will prepare an EIS to analyze the potential effects of geothermal development on
approximately 5,600 acres.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

FWS releases 90-day findings on 25 species - 23 positive, 2 negative  (negatives include Stephens' kangaroo rat delisting petition and petition to list Cahaba pebblesnail)  More links here

NMFS proposes to list gulf grouper (Mycteroperca jordani) as endangered and the island grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) as threatened, following completion of "comprehensive status reviews for these two marine fish species in response to a petition submitted by WildEarth Guardians."

FS releases Record of Decision and approved Land Management Plan Amendments for the Rocky Mountain Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions Northwest Colorado, and Wyoming (GSG page for FS Intermountain Region)

FS releases Record of Decision and approved Land Management Plan Amendments for the Great Basin Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions of Idaho and Southwestern Montana; Nevada and Utah (GSG page for FS Intermountain Region)

EPA Region 10 releases final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Tribal Marine Net Pen Enhancement Facilities in Washington State. The General Permit authorizes discharges to Waters of the U.S. within the State of Washington | More here

FHWA and WisDOT will prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed transportation improvements along the Interstate (I)-39/90/94 corridor, from the United States Highway (US) 12/18 Interchange to the I-39/Wisconsin State Highway (WIS) 78 interchange in Dane and Columbia Counties in south-central Wisconsin. "FHWA's decision to prepare an EIS is based on the initial environmental investigation that indicates the proposed action is likely to have significant impacts on the environment, including wetlands."  | More here

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FWS asks OMB for approval of Information Collection Request: to implement the monitoring requirements discussed in the Post-delisting Monitoring Plan for the Bald Eagle. The plan is available at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/eagle/protect/FinalBAEA_PDMPlan.html

Army releases FEIS for the proposed update of the Real Property Master Plan (RPMP) for Fort Belvoir, VA

Army Corps of Engineers to prepare an EA on impacts from reasonable project alternatives and to determine the potential for significant impacts related to improvements to the Elizabeth River and Southern Branch Channels; scoping meeting scheduled

Corps to prepare EA on Norfolk Harbor and Channels Deepening

USAF to prepare EIS on proposal to improve F-22 operational efficiency at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK

Monday, September 21, 2015

FWS reopens comment period on draft Native American Policy, published Aug. 3   |  Draft policy

Bureau of Indian Affairs will prepare EIS in connection with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians' application for a proposed 60-acre fee-to-trust transfer and casino project to be located in Fruitport Township, Muskegon County, Michigan

DOJ files proposed Clean Water Act consent decree requiring payment of $205,000 in civil penalties, restoration (United States v. Lister Harrell, 12-cv-111-JRH-BKE, S.D. Ga.) | More info here    Complaint alleges defendant's actions caused "the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States at a site located north of Ocmulgee Church Road, near the city of Eastman, in Dodge County, Georgia, resulting in the creation of a dam and a related approximately 200-acre impoundment."

NOAA announces that Louis Charles Rose has filed an administrative appeal under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) asking the Secretary of Commerce to override an objection by the Puerto Rico Planning Board to the proposed construction of a private deck in Guánica, Puerto Rico.

Friday, September 18, 2015

BLM, FS (Caribou-Targhee National Forest) release DEIS for the proposed Rasmussen Valley Mine

NMFS has received six scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon and steelhead

DOE releases programmatic EIS evaluating potential environmental impacts associated with 31 energy efficiency activities and renewable energy technologies that could be implemented to assist the State of Hawaii in meeting the goals established under the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. DOE’s purpose and need is to support the State of Hawaii in its efforts to meet 70 percent of the State’s energy needs by 2030 through clean energy

EPA receives agency EIS's for review  |  EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search

NPS will prepare EA, not an EIS, for general management plan for Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

FERC releases EA for Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, Proposed Tri-County Bare Steel Replacement Project "Columbia requests authorization to replace about 34 miles of bare steel pipe within Columbia’s existing Line 1570 pipeline in three replacement segments spanning Allegheny, Washington, and Greene Counties."

FERC releases EA for Texas Gas Transmission's proposed Southern Indiana Market Lateral Project

Thursday, September 17, 2015

FWS receives endangered species permit applications (international)

FWS issues endangered species, marine mammal permits (international)

FS: The National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Committee will meet in Tempe, Arizona Oct. 5-8

NOAA adds public scoping meeting in Half Moon Bay on Oct. 14, 2015, for management plan review for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Docket number also corrected; regulatory docket is here

Navy issues Record of Decision for the Final Supplemental EIS for Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Military Relocation  |  Website

Rural Utilities Service extends comment period to Nov. 12 on DEIS for Energy Answers Arecibo, LLC’s proposed Waste to Energy Project in Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

FWS releases draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) for the Paso Robles Phase II draft Habitat Conservation Plan (dHCP) (golden-cheeked warbler)

FS: The Sequoia National Forest to prepare an EIS to document and publicly disclose the environmental effects of implementing a fuels reduction and forest health project within a 10,600-acre project analysis area. "[F]uels reduction, ecological restoration and movement toward the desired conditions identified in the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment are the driving influences that will dictate the end result, with an emphasis on 'what is left behind' rather than 'what is taken.' " (FS corrected this notice to change comment period end date from Sept. 16 to Oct. 16.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

FWS declines to list New England cottontail as a threatened or endangered species  |  Docket   and previous post

FWS proposes to list Platanthera integrilabia (white fringeless orchid), a plant species from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, as a threatened species | Docket

NPS approves a Record of Decision for the FEIS and Wilderness Stewardship Plan (WSP) for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

BuRec releases North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program FEIS. "The North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program would provide recycled water from the Cities of Turlock and Modesto via the Central Valley Project's Delta-Mendota Canal to Del Puerto Water District for irrigation purposes, and would further provide annual supplemental water to south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta Central Valley Project Improvement Act-designated wildlife refuges."

NPS amends special regulations for Lake Meredith National Recreation Area to require permits to operate motor vehicles off roads, designate areas and routes where motor vehicles may be used off roads, create management zones that will further manage this activity, and establish camping, operational, and vehicle requirements

Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California to prepare EIS for Highway 89 Safety Enhancement and Forest Ecosystem Restoration Project

EPA seeks comments and recommendations on national enforcement initiatives (NEI) for fiscal years 2017-2019.

Monday, September 14, 2015

FWS, NOAA, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Attorney General, collectively acting as trustees for natural resources, release Draft Restoration Plan and Programmatic EIS for Restoration Resulting from the Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Damage Assessment

FWS is seeking comments to assist us in developing a proposed rule for Clean Vessel Act grant program

BLM will prepare an EIS for the proposed Lost Creek Uranium In-Situ Recovery Project Amendments, Sweetwater County, WY

BLM releases ROD for the Approved Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Jarbidge Field Office located in the Twin Falls District (Idaho and Nevada)

NMFS receives application from Jane Provancha at Kennedy Space Center for a permit to take green sea (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research

NMFS receives application from Michael Bresette, Inwater Research Group Inc., 4160 NE Hyline Dr., Jensen Beach, FL, for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys [[Page 55096]] imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

USACE releases draft National Wetland Plant List (NWPL), which is used to delineate wetlands for purposes of the Clean Water Act and the Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Food Security Act. Other applications of the list include wetland restoration, establishment, and enhancement projects. (Part of an interagency effort with EPA, FWS, and NRCS)

USACE's Little Rock District will prepare a draft EIS for the Three Rivers Study. The EIS will evaluate potential impacts (beneficial and adverse) to the natural, physical, and human environment as a result of implementing any of the proposed project alternatives developed during the process. "Proposed improvements resulting from the study could impact (positively or negatively) navigation, agriculture, silviculture, hydropower, recreation, flood risk management, and fish and wildlife."

BOEM releases Proposed Notice of Sale for Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 241

BOEM releases Proposed Notice of Sale for Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 226

Friday, September 11, 2015

FWS releases final CCP/EIS Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Wallops Island NWR.  | Final will be here Sept. 11

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest will prepare a Supplemental EIS to the 2009 Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Revised Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) environmental analysis in response to an August 27, 2015, order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (and a previous order from the 9th Circuit: WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Forest Service, 790 F.3d 920 (9th Cir. 2015)

BLM Mount Lewis Field Office, Battle Mountain, Nevada, to prepare EIS on McEwen Mining Inc.'s plans to develop a gold mine in the southwest portion of the Roberts Mountains, approximately 30 miles northwest of Eureka, Nev.  | More information here

EPA receives agency EIS's for review

FERC NEPA docs:

EA's:

EIS's:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

FWS extends nominations period for Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking until Sept. 25

BuRec releases FEIS for the Central Valley Project Municipal and Industrial Water Shortage Policy. The Final EIS addresses updating the Central Valley Project Municipal and Industrial Water Shortage Policy and implementation guidelines. |   It will be here at some point

OSMRE extends comment period on proposed stream protection rule until October 26

Army Corps of Engineers withdraws application for an IHA, for the take of small numbers of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, by Level B harassment only, incidental to conducting confined blasting activities in the Port of Miami in Miami, Florida. Accordingly, NMFS has withdrawn its related proposed IHA. The Corps was able to complete the construction project using dredging methods and without needing to conduct confined blasting.

NMFS issues an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries System (WSF) to harass, by Level B harassment only, small numbers of eight marine mammal species incidental to construction work associated with the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal replacement project in Mukilteo, Snohomish County, Washington

FHWA, in cooperation with Washington DOT and Cowlitz County, will prepare an EIS on the Industrial Way/Oregon Way Intersection Project "to provide improvements at the intersection of State Route (SR) 432 and SR 433 to reduce congestion, increase freight mobility, and improve safety."

Navy issues incidental harassment authorization to the Navy to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, three species of marine mammals during construction activities associated with a pier maintenance project at Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton, Wash.

Navy will prepare an EIS to transition six FA-18C Strike Fighter Squadrons to FA-18E Strike Fighter Squadrons at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia; public scoping meetings announced

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

FWS releases final recovery plan for the endangered dusky gopher frog | will be posted here Sept. 9

FERC issues EA/FONSI on Exelon Generating Company's application to allow Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in York County, Pennsylvania, the use of Conowingo Hydroelectric project lands and water for the increased withdrawal and discharge of water.

BLM Tuscarora Field Office, Elko, Nev., to prepare EIS for the proposed Rossi Mine Expansion Project, Elko County, NV

Forest Resource Coordinating Committee will meet via teleconference Oct. 14

BLM: Subject to valid existing rights, this order withdraws 3,664 acres of public and National Forest System lands from location and entry under the United States mining laws for a period of 20 years, to protect the cultural, recreational, and biological resources within and along the Trinity Wild and Scenic River. The lands have been and will remain open to leasing under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws, and disposal of the mineral materials under the Mineral Materials Act of 1947.

Secretary of the Interior renews charter for the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

NMFS issues authorization to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, six species of marine mammals during activities related to the rehabilitation of Jetty A at the mouth of the Columbia River.

National Park Service to prepare EIS for a Breach Management Plan at Fire Island National Seashore, New York. The purpose of the Breach Management Plan is to address issues associated with a breach that developed within the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness at the Seashore

Friday, September 4, 2015

EPA receives agency EIS's for review

FERC releases EA for the Zone 3 Capacity Enhancement Project, proposed by Rockies Express Pipeline LLC. REX requests authorization to construct and operate natural gas compression facilities in Fayette, Pickaway, Muskingum, and Warren Counties, Ohio and Decatur County, Indiana.

Low-effect HCP: FWS receives application for a 30-year incidental take permit from Valley Electric Association. The requested permit would authorize take of the Mojave desert tortoise resulting from the construction, operation, and maintenance of a solar photovoltaic facility in the town of Pahrump, Nev.

FWS receives 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. If approved, the permit would be issued to the applicant under the Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan Associated with Issuance of Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permits for the American Burying Beetle in Oklahoma (ICP).

Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to meet Oct. 6-7 in Bozeman, Mont.

BOEM releases Final Supplemental EIS for the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Central Planning Area Lease Sales 241 and 247 and Eastern Planning Area Lease Sale 226. The FSEIS provides a discussion of potential significant impacts of the proposed actions, provides an analysis of reasonable alternatives to the proposed actions, and identifies the Bureau’s preferred alternatives.

BOEM releases Draft Supplemental EIS for the proposed Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas Western Planning Area (WPA) Lease Sale 248 (WPA Sale 248). WPA Sale 248 is tentatively scheduled for August 2016.

BOEM issues Call for Information and Nominations as the initial step in a multi-sale process covering all proposed lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) comprised of the Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas (WPA, CPA, and EPA, respectively), proposed for inclusion in the Draft Proposed Five Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022

NMFS receives request from the Navy for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) in connection with Civilian Port defense activities within and near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach from October through November 2015.

NMFS issues permit to Randy Sacco, Ph.D., Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA, to receive cell line specimens of Atlantic spotted, Atlantic bottlenose, and common dolphin for scientific research purposes

HUD: Notice of Intent to Prepare Draft EIS for the Rebuild By Design Hudson River Project: Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge in the City of Hoboken, Township of Weehawken and City of Jersey City, New Jersey.

NMFS receives application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Lamont-Doherty) in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment only, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical (seismic) survey in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, mid-November through December, 2015 (due for publication Sept. 4)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

FWS receives T&E species permit applications (international)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

FWS receives T&E species permit applications (Midwest)

FERC issues multi-project EA/FONSI, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on
licensing six projects: Beverly Lock and Dam Water Power Project (FERC Project No. 13404-002), Devola Lock and Dam Water Power Project (FERC Project No. 13405-002), Malta/McConnelsville Lock and Dam Water Power Project (FERC Project No. 13406-002), Lowell Lock and Dam Water Power Project (FERC Project No. 13407-002), Philo Lock and Dam Water Power Project (FERC Project No. 13408-002), and Rokeby Lock and Dam Water Power Project (FERC Project No. 13411-002).

NMFS receives request from the Navy for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of a pier replacement project, in San Diego Bay at Naval Base Point Loma  (More here)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FWS proposes to remove the plant Solidago albopilosa (white-haired goldenrod) from the federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants.

FWS issues rule prescribing hunting seasons, hours, areas, and daily bag and possession limits of mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves; band-tailed pigeons; rails; moorhens and gallinules; woodcock; common snipe; sandhill cranes; sea ducks; early (September) waterfowl seasons; migratory game birds in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; youth waterfowl day; and some extended falconry seasons. Taking of migratory birds is prohibited unless specifically provided for by annual regulations. This rule permits taking of designated species during the 2015–16 season.

This rule prescribes special early-season migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and ceded lands. This rule responds to Tribal requests for FWS recognition of Tribal authority to regulate hunting under established guidelines.

FWS requests comment on T&E species permit applications (Southwest)

NMFS: Marine mammal permit application withdrawn (Leslie Cornick, Ph.D., Alaska Pacific University, 4101 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508 has withdrawn her application for a permit to conduct research on northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus).

Forest Service to prepare supplemental EIS for Dakota Prairie Grasslands (DPG) Record of Decision
(ROD) for Oil and Gas Leasing on the Little Missouri and Cedar River National Grasslands. New information and changed circumstances include a change in the manner and pace of oil and gas development and the listing of the Dakota Skipper and Northern Long-Eared Bat as threatened species.

DOJ Enforcement (CWA): On August 26, 2015, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine in the lawsuit entitled United States of America and State of Maine v. City of Bangor, Maine (15-350-NT).

Monday, August 31, 2015

FWS receives application from Southern California Gas Company for a 5-year incidental take permit addressing the potential for "take'' of the federally endangered California tiger salamander and the federally threatened California red-legged frog, likely to occur incidental to excavation and maintenance of a gas pipeline between Buellton and Lompoc, in Santa Barbara County, California. FWS "invite[s] comments from the public on the application package, which includes the low-effect [HCP] for the endangered California tiger salamander and the threatened California red-legged frog."

FHWA to prepare a limited scope supplemental EIS to determine construction phasing impacts for the Interstate 55 (I-55) Interchange at E.H. Crump Boulevard and South Boulevard project in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee

NMFS, permits:

Marine Mammals; File Nos. 14122, 14585
Pages 52451-52452 [FR DOC# 2015-21391]
Marine Mammals; File No. 18902
Pages 52452-52453 [FR DOC# 2015-21392]
Marine Mammals; File Nos. 18722, 18897, 19425, and 19497
Pages 52453-52454 [FR DOC# 2015-21390]

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council establishes Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions (STCs) that will apply to all grants awarded by the Council

Earlier this year

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