[Federal Register: July 31, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 147)]
[Page 46729-46730]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability, Draft Natural Resource Restoration Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), on behalf of the 
Department of the Interior (DOI), as a natural resource trustee, 
announces the release for public review of the Draft Natural Resource 
Restoration Plan (NRRP) for the Jack's Creek/Sitkin Smelting National 
Priorities List Superfund Site (Jack's Creek/Sitkin Smelting Site). The 
Draft NRRP describes the DOI's proposal to restore natural resources 
injured as a result of

[[Page 46730]]

chemical contamination at the Jack's Creek/Sitkin Smelting Site.

Dates: Written comments must be submitted on or before August 31, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the Draft NRRP may be made to: Mark 
Roberts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania Field Office, 315 
South Allen Street, Suite 322, State College, Pennsylvania 16801.
    Written comments or materials regarding the Draft NRRP should be 
sent to the same address.

Contaminants Branch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania Field 
Office, 315 South Allen Street, Suite 322, State College, Pennsylvania 
16801. Interested parties may also call (814) 234-4090 or send e-mail 
to mark_roberts@fws.gov for further information.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the authority of the Comprehensive 
Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA), 
``natural resource trustees may assess damages to natural resources 
resulting from a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance 
* * *  and may seek to recover those damages.'' Natural resource damage 
assessments are separate from the cleanup actions undertaken at a 
hazardous waste site, and provide a process whereby the natural 
resource trustees can determine the proper compensation to the public 
for injury to natural resources. At the Jack's Creek/Sitkin Smelting 
Site in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, DOI was the sole natural resource 
trustee involved in the federal government's settlement with de minimus 
responsible parties. The Service determined that contamination at the 
Site had degraded habitat and injured trust resources (migratory 
birds). The injuries resulted from the exposure of migratory birds 
(such as killdeer, eastern bluebird, song sparrow, purple finch, 
American goldfinch, American robin, eastern phoebe, mourning doves, 
wood thrush, yellow warbler, and various species of waterfowl and 
shorebirds) to cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, 
silver, and zinc contamination in at least 5 acres of wetlands and 37 
acres of upland habitat on the site.
    As part of a Consent decree requiring remedial actions at the 
Jack's Creek/Sitkin Smelting Site, DOI agreed to a monetary settlement 
with de minimus responsible parties for natural resource damages. The 
settlement of $128,908 was designated for restoration, replacement, or 
acquisition of the equivalent natural resources injured by the release 
of contaminants at the site, and included reimbursement for costs 
related to assessing the damages.
    The Draft NRRP is being released in accordance with the Natural 
Resource Damage Assessment Regulations found at Title 43, Part 11 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations. The Draft NRRP describes habitat 
restoration and protection alternatives identified by the DOI, and 
evaluates each of the possible alternatives based on all relevant 
considerations. The DOI's Preferred Alternative entails the use of the 
settlement funds to restore several acres of wetlands and upland 
habitat located within the Jack's Creek watershed. Details regarding 
the proposed project is contained in the Draft NRRP.
    The Final Revised Procedures for the Service in implementing the 
National Environmental Protection Act were published in the Federal 
Register on January 16, 1997. That publication provides for a 
categorical exclusion for natural resource damage assessment 
restoration plans prepared under CERCLA when only minor or negligible 
change in the use of the affected areas is planned. The DOI has 
determined that the Preferred Alternative will result in only minor 
change in the use of the affected area. Accordingly this Restoration 
Plan qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NEPA.
    Interested members of the public are invited to review and comment 
on the Draft NRRP. Copies of the Draft NRRP are available from the 
Service's Pennsylvania Field Office at 315 South Allen Street, Suite 
322. State College, Pennsylvania 16801. Additionally the Draft NRRP is 
available for review at the Mifflin County Library located at 123 North 
Wayne Street, Lewistown, Pennsylvania. All comments received on the 
Draft NRRP will be considered and a response provided either through 
revision of this Draft Plan and incorporation into the Final Natural 
Resource Restoration Plan, or by letter to the commentor.
    Author: The primary author of this notice is Mark Roberts, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania Field Office, 315 South Allen 
Street, Suite 322, State College, Pennsylvania 16801.

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as 
amended (``CERCLA''), 42 U.S.C.

    Dated: July 24, 2000.
John R. Lemon,
Acting Deputy Regional Director, Region 5, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 00-19184 Filed 7-28-00; 8:45 am]