d.Alternatives.An evaluation of alternatives to the proposed FEB project, including a No Action alternative will be performed. The Draft EIS will analyze reasonable alternatives to meet the project purpose and need. Alternatives will be determined through scoping, but are expected to include at a minimum the A1 Reservoir in addition to a “no action” alternative.
e.Issues.The following issues have been identified for analysis in the Draft EIS. This list is preliminary and is intended to facilitate public comment on the scope of the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS will consider the effects on Federally listed threatened and endangered species, health and safety, socioeconomics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands (and other aquatic resources), historic properties, cultural resources, fish and wildlife values, land use, transportation, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people, and other issues identified through scoping, public involvement, and interagency coordination. At the present time, our primary areas of environmental concern are the loss of wetland functions and value, mitigation of such losses, the improvements in the downstream timing and delivery of water, and water quality. We expect to better define the issues of concern and define the methods that will be used to evaluate those issues through the scoping comment period.
f.Scoping Process.CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) require an early and open process for determining the scope of a Draft EIS and for identifying significant issues related to the proposed action.
The Corps is furnishing this notice to advise other Federal and State agencies, affected federally recognized Tribes, and the public of our intentions. This notice announces the initiation of a 30-day scoping period which requests the public's involvement in the scoping and evaluation process of the Draft EIS. Stakeholders will be notified through advertisements, public notices and other means. All parties who express interest will be given an opportunity to participate in this process. The process allows the Corps to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues and an opportunity to provide reasonable alternatives to be included in the Draft EIS. (SeeDATESandADDRESSESfor meeting schedules)
g.Public Involvement.The USACE invites Federal agencies, American Indian Tribal Nations, state and local governments, and other interested private organizations and parties to attend the public scooping meeting and to provide comments in order to ensure that all significant issues are identifiedand the full range of issues related to the permit request are addressed.
h.Coordination.The proposed action is being coordinated with a number of Federal, state, regional, and local agencies including but not limited to the following: U.S. DOI, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. EPA, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes, Florida State Historic Preservation Officer, Palm Beach County, and other agencies as identified in scoping, public involvement, and agency coordination.
i.Agency Role.The Corps will be the lead agency for the EIS. The U.S. EPA and the U.S. DOI will be asked to be cooperating agencies. The Corps expects to receive input and critical information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. EPA, and other federal, state, and local agencies.
k.A1 FEB Draft EIS Preparation.It is estimated that the Draft EIS will be available to the public on or about December 2012. A Notice of Availability will be issued which will open the public comment period. Comments will be accepted during the Draft EIS public comment period which will last at least 30 days.
Dated: August 21, 2012.
Donald W. Kinard,
Chief, Regulatory Division.