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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No.

148 / Wednesday, August 3, 2005 / Notices 44585

vegetation, tussock formation and SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of approximately 730 square miles with an
organic build-up on lake bottoms. Engineers (Corps), Jacksonville District, average depth of 10 feet.
Scoping: Scoping public and agency intends to prepare a Draft Supplemental c. Need or Purpose. There have been
comments on this work will take place Environmental Impact Statement various regulation schedules since
from June 2005 to August 2006, by (DSEIS) for the Lake Okeechobee authorization of the C&SF project in
means of a scoping letter. In addition, Regulation Schedule Study (LORSS), 1948. The current regulation schedule,
all parties are invited to participate in Lake Okeechobee, FL. The DSEIS will Water Supply and Environment (WSE),
the scoping process by identifying any supplement the Final Environmental was the preferred alternative in the
additional concerns on issues, studies Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Lake LORSS FEIS and approved in July 2000
needed, alternatives, procedures, and Okeechobee Regulation Schedule Study for the regulation of Lake Okeechobee.
other matters related to the scoping prepared in 2000. The DSEIS will the WSE regulation schedule and the
process. At this time, there are no plans address additional alternatives to the Operational Guidelines Decision Trees
for a public scoping meeting. current regulation schedule in order to incorporate tributary hydrologic
Public Involvement. We invite the optimize environmental benefits at conditions and climate forecasts into
participation of affected Federal, state minimal or no impact to the competing guidelines for managing Lake
and local agencies, affected Indian project purposes, primarily flood Okeechobee discharges and water
tribes, and other interested private control and water supply. This study levels. This logic-driven regulation
organizations and parties. will consider operational changes to schedule balances the various purposes
Coordination: The proposed action is water management structures that of flood storage, water supply, fish and
being coordinated with the Fish and discharge water from the lake as well as wildlife resources, and water delivery to
Wildlife Service (FWS) under Section 7 criteria used to determine those the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee
of the Endangered Species act, and the operations. Any operational changes estuaries. The unusual range of weather
Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and will also consider current and planned conditions occurring since
with the State Historic preservation water management activities within the implementation of the WSE regulation
Officer. Kissimmee River Basin. No new schedule and the lessons learned as a
Other Environmental Review and structural features will be considered result, have indicated that modifications
Consultation: The proposed action except those already embedded within to the WSE are needed. The regulation
would involve evaluation for the South Florida Water Management schedule would benefit from greater
compliance with guidelines pursuant to Model. flexibility in achieving optimal lake
Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act; DATES: Comments and
levels and optimal discharges to various
application to the State of Florida for recommendations on this notice should downstream parts of the C&SF system.
Water Quality Certification pursuant to d. Scoping Process. The scoping
be received by September 30, 2005.
Section 401 of the Clean Water Act; and process as outlined by the Council on
ADDRESSES: Written comments should
certification of state lands, easements, Environmental Quality would be
be addressed to Ms. Yvonne Haberer, utilized to involve Federal, State, and
and rights of way. Biologist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Agency Role: As non-Federal sponsor local agencies, affected Indian tribes,
Planning Division, Environmental and other interested persons and
and leading local expert; the South Branch, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL
Florida Water Management District organizations. A scoping letter will be
32232. sent to the appropriate parties
(SFWMD) will provide extensive FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms.
information and assistance on the requesting their comments and
Yvonne L. Haberer, at the address concerns. Any persons or organizations
resources to be impacted, mitigation above, by electronic mail at
measures, and alternatives. requesting to participate in the scoping
Yvonne.l.haberer@saj02.usace.army.mil process should contact the U.S. Army
DESIS Preparation: It is estimated that or telephone at (904) 232–1701.
the DEIS will be available to the public Corps of Engineers (see ADDRESSES).
on or about November 2006. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: e. Alternatives. The DSEIS will
a. Authorization: Authority for this analyze reasonable alternatives,
Dated: July 11, 2005. action is the Flood Control Act of 1948. including the ‘‘no action’’ alternative to
Susan S. Lucas, It authorized the Central and Southern regulating lake levels and downstream
Acting Chief, Planning Division. Florida (C&SF) Project, which is a discharges to various parts of the
[FR Doc. 05–15295 Filed 8–2–05; 8:45 am] multipurpose project that provides flood system.
BILLING CODE 3710–AJ–M control, water supply for municipal, f. Issues. The work being performed
industrial, and agricultural uses; for this study will consist of identifying
prevention of salt water intrusion; water the impacts (both beneficial and
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE supply for Everglades National Park; adverse) associated with alternative
and protection of fish and wildlife Lake Okeechobee regulation schedules
Department of the Army; Corps of resources. and the approved regulation schedule
Engineers b. Study Area: The study area currently in place, WSE. Studies and
considered to be most affected by the investigations will be conducted to
Intent To Prepare a Draft Supplemental regulation schedule is Lake Okeechobee, provide the basis for determining the
Environmental Impact Statement for particularly within the littoral and environmental and socio-economic
the Lake Okeechobee Regulation marsh areas of the lake, the St. Lucie impacts of any proposed modifications
Schedule Study of the Central and Estuary, the Caloosahatchee Estuary, the to the WSE regulation schedule.
Southern Florida Project for Flood Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), and Significant issues anticipated include
Control and Other Purposes, Lake the Water Conservation Areas south of concern for: Water supply, continued
Okeechobee, FL Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee lies flood control, agriculture, protection of
AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. 30 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean and the lake’s environmental resources and
Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. 60 miles east of the Gulf of Mexico, in its downstream estuaries, water quality,
south central Florida. Lake Okeechobee fish and wildlife habitat, endangered
ACTION: Notice of intent.
is the largest lake in Florida covering and threatened species, and any issues

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44586 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 148 / Wednesday, August 3, 2005 / Notices

identified through scoping and public temperature water; and reduce or Management Unit (BCMU) and
involvement. Lake Okeechobee is one of manage sediment input into the interior supporting Environmental Assessment
the most critical components of the swamp. The action is necessary due to (EA) No. 366 and Finding of No
C&SF project and achieving the right the existing poor water quality resulting Significant Impact (FONSI) on July 15,
balance among the many, oftentimes from the lack of internal circulation and 2004, satisfy the requirements of the
competing demands on the lake, oxygenated water inputs, and increased National Environmental Policy Act
remains a difficult challenge. sedimentation. In addition if action is (NEPA) for the referenced pilot water
The proposed action will be not taken, both deep-water and shallow management unit impacts. The expected
coordinated with the U.S. Fish and water habitat utilized by fish and results of these improvements, while
Wildlife Service and the National wildlife resources will continue to be beneficially effective alone, will
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) lost, reduced, or degraded. The intended continue to contribute to the entire
pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered result of the proposed work is to comprehensive BCMU improvements in
Species Act, with the NMFS concerning prolong the life expectancy of the water quality and habitat that will be
Essential Fish Habitat, and with the productive habitat (primarily aquatic expanded as additional possible
State Historic Preservation Officer and cypress tupelo habitats) that would elements are added in the future.
concerning historic and cultural become scarce over time by restricting Because the BCMU constitutes a ‘‘pilot’’
resources. or redirecting sediments, while management unit, both the EDR and EA
g. Agency Role. The Corps is the lead simultaneously achieving a healthy No. 366 clearly identify the possibility
agency for this action. However, the water circulation pattern that would that additional future work may be
non-Federal sponsor,and leading local maintain or restore water quality and recommended in the BCMU if the
expert, the South Florida Water reestablish north to south water analysis of the operational monitoring
Management District will provide movement. This is a modification of the data supports a finding that the present
extensive information and assistance on notice of intent posted in the Federal EDR elements do not fully accomplish
the resources to be impacted, mitigation Register on July 16, 2004 (69 FR 42696). the goals and objectives of the
measures, and alternatives. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: authorized management unit project.
h. Draft Environmental Impact Questions concerning the DSEIS should The preparation of the DSEIS
Statement Availability. The DSEIS be addressed to Mr. Larry Hartzog at addressed by this NOI will commence
would be available on or about June U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PM-RP, and continue concurrently with the
2006. P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA monitored construction and operation,
Dated: July 21, 2005. 70160–0267, phone (504) 862–2524, fax data collection and analysis of the
Susan Scott Lucas, number (504) 862–2572 or by E-mail at BCMU water circulation improvements
Acting Chief, Planning Division.
Larry.M.Hartzog@ and sediment management initiatives
mvn02.usace.army.mil. (as described in EA No. 366), as well as
[FR Doc. 05–15296 Filed 8–2–05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3710–AJ–M SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Corps analysis and solicitation of public and
of Engineers is initiating this DSEIS resource agency input. Monitoring of
under the authority of the Flood Control the 10 elements and the elements
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Act of May 15, 1928 (Pub. L. 391, 70th constructed for the Bayou Eugene
Congress), as amended and Prototype Model Test Modification
Department of the Army; Corps of supplemented. Construction of two pilot (‘‘Bayou Eugene’’), comprising the water
Engineers management units (Buffalo Cove and circulation and sediment management
Henderson Lake) was authorized by the initiatives (described in EA No. 366)
Intent To Prepare a Draft Supplemental Supplemental Appropriations Act of will continue for a period of 5 years
Environmental Impact Statement 1985 (Pub. L. 99–88) and the Water following the construction of the last of
(DSEIS) for the Atchafalaya Basin Resources Development Act (WRDA) of the elements described in EA No. 366.
Floodway System, Louisiana Project, 1986 (Pub. L. 99–662), with If data collected during and prior to the
Including Flat Lake Management Unit, construction of three conditionally end of the 5 year monitoring period
Beau Bayou Management Unit and authorized management units—Flat indicates that modifications or
Cocodrie Swamp Management Unit, Lake Management Unit, Beau Bayou relocations of elements within the
and Possible Modifications or Management Unit, and Cocodrie Swamp bounds of the original project rights-of-
Additions to the Buffalo Cove Management Unit to take place upon way or areas of influence are needed to
Management Unit, Located in St. approval of the Chief of Engineers after achieve the goals and objectives for fish
Martin, St. Mary, Iberville, and Iberia evaluation of the operational success of and wildlife enhancement, a report will
Parishes, LA the pilot management units. (Hereafter, be prepared and submitted for approval.
AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. the three conditionally authorized The DSEIS will be prepared following
Army Corps of Engineers, DOD. management units will be collectively the incorporation and analysis of the
ACTION: Notice of intent. referred to as ‘‘conditionally authorized data from the completed construction
management units’’.) Section 601(a) of monitoring of the 10 elements as
SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of WRDA 1986 authorized the U.S. Army described in the approved EDR and EA
Engineers, New Orleans District Corps of Engineers to carry out the No. 366. Construction monitoring
(CEMVN), intends to evaluate water recommended plan for management described in the approved EDR is
management features for the units as described in the Atchafalaya scheduled for completion 5 years after
Atchafalaya Basin Floodway, System, Basin Floodway System, Louisiana the construction of the last of the 10
Louisiana Project, excluding the Feasibility Study and Environmental elements is completed. Based on this
Henderson Lake Management Unit, to Impact Statement of January 1982, as completion date, construction
improve water quality and interior approved by the Chief of Engineers monitoring and the concurrent DSEIS
water circulation, remove barriers to Report dated February 28, 1983. are currently estimated to be completed
reestablish north to south water flow; The Engineering Documentation in 2012. The DSEIS will utilize the
provide input of oxygenated low Report (EDR), Buffalo Cove Pilot monitoring data to evaluate the

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