[Federal Register: July 13, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 133)]
[Page 37806-37808]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Receipt of 
Applications for Incidental Take Permits for the Delhi Sands Flower-
loving Fly Associated With Industrial Developments on the Angelus Block 
Company Site, City of Rialto, San Bernardino County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that Angelus Block Company, 
Inc., Edward Antonini Residuary Trust, and E-Z Mix, Inc. (Applicants) 
have applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service for the approval of a 
Habitat Conservation Plan and issuance of incidental take permits 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act, 1973, as 
amended (Act). The Applicants propose to develop various industrial 
facilities, including: a sacking plant and facility for concrete, pre-
blended mortar, asphalt and associated materials; a paver production 
plant; and a concrete block plant within various lots on the property. 
Except for those lots within the approximately 30.5-acre on-site 
Conservation Area, the other lots are

[[Page 37807]]

expected to be sold to other industrial users for development. The 
Applicants seek permits for a period of 30 years that would authorize 
incidental take of the endangered Delhi Sands flower-loving fly 
(Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis) associated with the construction, 
development, and maintenance of industrial facilities on approximately 
65 acres of the 96-acre site. The permit applications include a Habitat 
Conservation Plan and an Implementation Agreement, both of which are 
available for public review and comment. The Service also announces the 
availability of an Environmental Assessment for the proposed issuance 
of the incidental take permits. All comments on the Environmental 
Assessment and permit applications will become part of the 
administrative record and will be available to the public.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before August 12, 

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to the Field 
Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, 2730 Loker Avenue West, 
Carlsbad, California 92008. Comments may be sent by facsimile to 
telephone (760) 431-9624.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Beth Woulfe, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above address or call (760) 431-9440.


Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of the documents for review by calling the 
Service's Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at the above referenced 
telephone number. Documents also are available for public inspection, 
by appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.


    Section 9 of the Act and its implementing regulations prohibit the 
``taking'' of threatened or endangered species. Take means to harass, 
harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect listed 
animal species, or attempt to engage in such conduct (16 USC 1538). 
Harm may include significant habitat modification where it actually 
kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing essential 
behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and sheltering [50 
CFR 17.3(c)]. The Service, however, may issue permits to take 
endangered and/or threatened wildlife species incidental to, and not 
the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing 
permits for endangered and/or threatened species are found at 50 CFR 
17.22 and 17.32.
    Under the proposed action, construction, development, and 
maintenance activities would directly impact the Delhi Sands flower-
loving fly by removing about 65 acres of habitat on the 96-acre parcel. 
The permit applications include a Habitat Conservation Plan and an 
Implementation Agreement that define the responsibilities of all of the 
parties under the Plan. The Applicants' Habitat Conservation Plan 
describes consideration of alternatives to the action and provisions 
for minimization and mitigation of impacts.
    The Applicants propose to dedicate about 30.5 acres of on-site 
Delhi Sands flower-loving fly habitat to a land manager/conservation 
organization to be managed and preserved in perpetuity. A 5-acre 
mitigation bank would be established in the 30.5-acre Conservation 
Area. Proceeds from the sale of credits would off-set the management 
endowment cost. The incidental take permit would also address any take 
that may occur due to management and maintenance activities within the 
Conservation Area. This action would compensate for the loss of habitat 
resulting from the project and would benefit the long-term conservation 
of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly.
    The Habitat Conservation Plan was prepared by the Applicants' 
representatives and reflects the opinions of the Applicants; whereas, 
the Environmental Assessment was prepared by the Service and reflects 
our opinions regarding the proposed action. This fact will account for 
the differences in opinion and analysis reflected in the Habitat 
Conservation Plan and the Environmental Assessment.
    The Applicants considered going forward without receiving a section 
10(a)(1)(B) incidental take permit under the Act. The Service sought 
and was granted a preliminary injunction by the United States District 
Court of Los Angeles that prohibited Angelus Block Company, Inc. from 
proceeding with their planned development. The Service and 
representatives from Angelus Block Company, Inc. worked out a 
settlement agreement regarding this injunction that resulted in 
finalizing the Habitat Conservation Plan.
    The Habitat Conservation Plan and the Environmental Assessment 
considered four alternatives to the proposed project: (1) Abandonment 
of the industrial facility projects (the ``No Project'' alternative); 
(2) abandonment of the industrial facility projects and establishment 
of a Delhi Sands flower-loving fly habitat mitigation bank; (3) 
participation in the San Bernardino Valley-wide Multiple Species Plan; 
and (4) development of 83 acres, dedication of a 13.4-acre Conservation 
Area, habitat restoration, and an endowment fund for maintenance and 
management of the Conservation Area. The Applicants also considered the 
redesign of the industrial facilities and establishing a 24-acre 
Conservation Area including a mitigation bank. This alternative was 
within the full range of alternatives considered, and therefore, was 
not further analyzed by the Service in its Environmental Assessment.
    Under the first alternative the Angelus Block facilities would not 
be constructed on the Site, nor would the remaining lots be used for 
other industrial uses or sold to other industrial users. Although this 
alternative would result in no impact by development of the Project 
Site, the Applicants would not take any measures to enhance the site or 
establish permanent on-site conservation that is expected to have long-
term benefits for the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly.
    Under the second alternative the Project Site would not be 
developed and the Site would be used as a habitat mitigation bank for 
Delhi Sands flower-loving fly. Establishment of a Delhi Sands flower-
loving fly habitat mitigation bank on the Site could possibly result in 
protection of approximately 73 acres of Delhi Sands flower-loving fly 
habitat. The success of the mitigation bank would be primarily 
dependent on the ability and willingness of others to purchase Delhi 
Sands flower-loving fly habitat credits arising from establishment of a 
bank on Site. The certainty that such would actually occur is not 
    Under the third alternative the Applicants would mitigate for any 
potential take of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly by participating in 
a larger geographic scale, multiple species Habitat Conservation Plan 
under development by local jurisdictions for a portion of San 
Bernardino County, as opposed to their own site-specific Habitat 
Conservation Plan. Under this alternative, the Applicants would need to 
delay construction of their project until the San Bernardino Valley-
Wide Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan is complete.
    Under the fourth alternative about 83 acres would be developed, a 
13.4-acre conservation area would be dedicated to a conservation 
organization, Delhi Sands flower-loving fly habitat would be restored 
in the conservation area, and a long-term maintenance endowment

[[Page 37808]]

would be provided for the conservation area. The conservation area 
would be used for the recovery and long-term conservation of the Delhi 
Sands flower-loving fly. This alternative would result in construction 
within approximately 60 acres of potential Delhi Sands flower-loving 
fly habitat. Impacts to the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly would be 
greater than the proposed project and there would be less benefit to 
the species.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act and Service regulations for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (40 CFR 1506.6). The Service will 
evaluate the permit applications, the Habitat Conservation Plan, 
Environmental Assessment, the associated documents and comments 
submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act. If we 
determine that the requirements are met, we will issue permits for the 
incidental take of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly. A final decision 
on permit issuance will be made no sooner than 30 days from the date of 
this notice.

    Dated: July 7, 1999.
Elizabeth H. Stevens,
Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Sacramento, California
[FR Doc. 99-17743 Filed 7-12-99; 8:45 am]