[Federal Register: September 2, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 170)]
[Page 48189-48190]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service
[TE 016724]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Notice of 
Availability and Opening of Comment Period for an Application for an 
Incidental Take Permit to Allow Take of an Endangered Species by 
Cinergy Corporation, Gibson County, IN, and National Environmental 
Policy Act Determination

SUMMARY: The US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) provides notice of 
the availability of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Incidental 
Take Permit Application received from Cinergy Corporation, Gibson 
County, Indiana, and the Service's National Environmental Policy Act 
Determination for the proposed action of permit issuance. In 1986, a 
single pair of endangered interior least terns (Sterna antillarum) 
nested at Cinergy's Gibson Generating Station in Gibson County, 
Indiana. Since that time, the least tern colony at the facility has 
grown. The most terns ever recorded in a single year was in 1998 when 
an estimated 85 adult terns, 63 nests, and 72 fledged young were 
present. Since the initial discovery, Cinergy has worked with the 
Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Service to maintain 
conditions favorable for successful tern production at the Gibson 
Generating Station. All tern nesting habitat at the Gibson Generating 
Station was created as the result of the construction and maintenance 
of the facility. No tern habitat existed at this site prior to 
construction of the generating station and associated facilities. 
Cinergy has voluntarily enhanced the habitat to maintain and improve 
nesting conditions for least terns. Cinergy proposes to continue 
efforts to enhance nesting opportunities for least terns on the 
facility. However, some least tern nesting has occurred in active ash 
disposal areas and on access roads to these areas and Cinergy 
acknowledges that the operation and maintenance of the Gibson 
Generating Station entails some potential for incidental take. The 
applicant has submitted an HCP detailing their proposal for management 
of least terns at the facility, and seeks an incidental take permit for 
a 5 year period. The proposed take of least terns (adults, chicks, or 
eggs) will not exceed 5% of the estimated maximum adult population 
present on the facility in any given year. The net result of activities 
proposed in Cinergy's HCP will be an increase in suitable tern nesting 
habitat; no existing habitat will be destroyed. However, attempts may 
be made to make ash disposal areas and associated access roads, areas 
where there is potential for incidental take of terns, less attractive 
as potential nesting sites. Cinergy will continue to maintain the core 
nesting area at the Gibson Generating Station in a condition favorable 
for least tern nesting. In addition, Cinergy will assist in the 
development of the 187-hectare Cane Ridge Wildlife Area, which will 
include creation of least tern nesting units. These tern nesting units, 
which will be immediately adjacent to the Gibson Generating Station, 
will be owned and managed by the Service and will provide additional 
suitable habitat for least terns. The HCP and Incidental Take Permit 
Application are available for public review and comment for a

[[Page 48190]]

period of 30 days. In addition, the Service has determined that the HCP 
meets the criteria for a ``Low Effect'' HCP and has determined that it 
qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion. This NEPA determination is 
available for review by interested parties. All comments received, 
including commentors names and addresses, will become part of the 
Service's Administrative Record and may be made available to the 

DATES: Written comments on the Habitat Conservation Plan/Incidental 
Take Permit Application and the Service's NEPA Determination must be 
received on or before October 4, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application and associated 
documents may obtain copies by writing to the Regional HCP/NEPA 
Coordinator, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, 
Minnesota 55111-4056. Documents will be available for public inspection 
by appointment only, during normal business hours (8:00-4:30), at the 
US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, 
Minnesota, (612-713-5350) and at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, 620 
South Walker Street, Bloomington, Indiana (812-334-4261). Written 
comments should be submitted to the Regional HCP/NEPA Coordinator at 
the address listed above or via FAX at 612-713-5292. Please refer to 
permit number TE 016724 when submitting comments.

Coordinator, at (612) 713-5350.

    Dated: August 27, 1999.
Charles M. Wooley,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Region 3, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
[FR Doc. 99-22918 Filed 9-1-99; 8:45 am]