[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 128 (Tuesday, July 5, 2011)]
[Pages 39072-39074]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16781]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Fish and Wildlife Service

RIN 0648-XA439

Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement 
and Final Habitat Conservation Plan

AGENCIES:  National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, Commerce; Fish and Wildlife Service, 

ACTION: Notice of Availability; Final Environmental Impact Statement 
and Habitat Conservation Plan.


SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (FWS) (collectively the Services) announce the 
availability of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
associated with the applications received from the City of Kent (Kent), 
Washington, for Incidental Take Permits (ITPs) under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We also announce the 
availability of Kent's Clark Springs Water Supply System Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP) and Implementing Agreement (IA). The final EIS 
addresses the Services' proposed issuance of ITPs to Kent for water 
withdrawal and habitat restoration actions on Rock Creek, King County, 
Washington. The proposed ITPs would authorize incidental take of three 
listed and six unlisted species of fish covered by Kent's Clark Springs 
Water Supply HCP. This notice provides an opportunity for the public to 
review the final EIS, HCP, and IA.

DATES: Comments must be received from interested parties on or before 
August 4, 2011. The Services' decisions on issuance of ITPs will occur 
no sooner than 30 days after the publication of the Environmental 
Protection Agency's (EPA) notice of the final EIS in the Federal 

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Tim Romanski, Project Lead, FWS, 510 
Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102, Lacey, WA 98503; by facsimile at (360) 
753-9518. Alternatively, you may send comments to Matt Longenbaugh, 
Project Lead, NMFS, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 103, Lacey, WA 98503; 
by facsimile at (360) 753-9517.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The final documents are posted on the

[[Page 39073]]

Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/. For further information, or to 
receive the documents on CD ROM, please contact Tim Romanski, at the 
FWS address above or by telephone at (360) 753-5823; or Matt 
Longenbaugh, at the NMFS address above or by telephone at (360) 753-



    Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1538) and implementing regulations 
prohibit the ``taking'' of a species listed as endangered or 
threatened. The term ``take'' is defined under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 
1532(19)) as to mean harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, 
trap, capture, or collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct. 
``Harm'' is defined by FWS regulation to include significant habitat 
modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife 
by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including 
breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3, 50 CFR 222.102). NMFS' 
definition of harm includes significant habitat modification or 
degradation where it actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by 
significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including 
breeding, feeding, spawning, migrating, rearing, and sheltering (64 FR 
60727; November 8, 1999).
    Section 10 of the ESA and implementing regulations specify 
requirements for the issuance of ITPs to non-Federal landowners for the 
take of endangered and threatened species. Any proposed take must be 
incidental to otherwise lawful activities, not appreciably reduce the 
likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild, and 
minimize and mitigate the impact of such take to the maximum extent 
practicable. In addition, an applicant must prepare a conservation plan 
describing the impact that will likely result from such taking, the 
strategy for minimizing and mitigating the incidental take, the funding 
available to implement such steps, alternatives to such taking, and the 
reasons such alternatives are not being implemented. FWS regulations 
governing permits for Federally endangered and threatened species can 
be found in 50 CFR part 17. NMFS regulations governing permits for the 
incidental take of Federally endangered and threatened species are 
found in 50 CFR 222.307.
    The ITP applications are for the operation and maintenance of 
Kent's Clark Springs Water Supply System adjacent to Rock Creek, King 
County, Washington. The Clark Springs Water Supply System consists of a 
spring-fed infiltration gallery and three well pumps. This facility is 
located adjacent to Rock Creek 1.8 miles upstream of the creek's 
confluence with the Cedar River. The facility is surrounded by 320 
acres of Kent-owned land that is geographically separated from Kent. 
Covered activities can be summarized as follows:
     Water diversions of Kent's existing groundwater and 
surface water rights via infiltration gallery, well pumps, and 
     Operation and maintenance of Clark Springs Water Supply 
     Maintenance of 320 acres of Kent-owned property as it 
relates to the protection of its water supply; and
     Operation and maintenance of a water augmentation system 
for the enhancement of instream flows.
    The ITP applications Kent submitted to the Services address the 
potential take of three ESA-listed threatened fish species and six non-
listed fish species that may be affected by Kent's water withdrawal 
activities at the Clark Springs facility in the Rock Creek Watershed. 
The listed species under FWS jurisdiction is the bull trout (Salvelinus 
confluentus), listed as threatened. Non-listed species under FWS 
jurisdiction include coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki 
clarki), Pacific lamprey (Lampetra tridentatus), and river lamprey (L. 
ayresi). Listed species under NMFS jurisdiction are the Puget Sound 
Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) and Puget Sound steelhead trout (O. 
mykiss), both listed as threatened. Non-listed species under NMFS 
jurisdiction include coho salmon (O. kisutch), chum salmon (O. keta), 
and sockeye salmon (O. nerka).

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.) requires Federal agencies to conduct an environmental analysis of 
their proposed actions to determine if the actions may significantly 
affect the human environment. The Services' proposals to issue ITPs are 
Federal actions that trigger the need for compliance with NEPA. 
Accordingly, as the Federal agencies responsible for compliance under 
NEPA, the Services have jointly prepared an EIS that analyzes 
alternatives associated with issuance of the ITPs. The analysis 
provided in the final EIS is intended to accomplish the following: 
Inform the public of the agencies' proposed action and alternatives; 
address public comments received on the draft EIS and draft HCP; and 
disclose the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on the human 
environment resulting from our proposed action and alternatives. The 
final EIS reflects changes made to the draft documents resulting from 
comments received during the public comment period. Responses to 
comments received from the public are included in the final EIS.
    The final EIS analyzed two alternatives: The ``No-Action'' 
alternative, under which Kent would continue operating the Clark 
Springs facility without benefit of incidental take coverage from the 
Services; and, the ``Proposed Action'' alternative involving 
implementation of Kent's HCP, FWS issuance of an ITP for bull trout and 
three unlisted species, and NMFS issuance of an ITP for Chinook salmon, 
steelhead trout, and three unlisted species. Five other alternatives 
were considered, but dismissed from detailed analysis. Four of the 
dismissed alternatives were not analyzed in detail because they did not 
meet the purpose and need. They would not produce reliable water 
sources with sufficient excess capacity to augment or replace water 
withdrawals at the Clark Springs Facility during the low-flow periods 
between October 1 and December 31 to a level that would meet the City's 
current and future water demands. The fifth dismissed alternative 
considered a shorter permit term. The Services determined that the 
environmental impacts between a 20-year and 50-year term would not 
differ, and analysis of a shorter permit term in the EIS would not 
garner additional information to make an informed decision regarding 
impacts to the listed species or the human environment.

Public Involvement

    The Services formally initiated an environmental review of the 
project through publication of a Notice of Intent to prepare a draft 
EIS in the Federal Register on June 19, 2006 (71 FR 35286). That notice 
also announced a public scoping period during which interested parties 
were invited to provide written comments expressing their issues or 
concerns relating to the proposal, and to attend a public scoping 
meeting held in Kent, Washington. Utilizing public scoping comments, 
the Services prepared a draft EIS to analyze the effects of 
alternatives on the human environment. On April 23, 2010, the Services 
published a notice of availability in the Federal Register (75 FR 
21344) of the draft EIS, draft HCP, and draft IA for a 60-day public 
comment period. On May 7, 2010, the EPA published in the Federal 

[[Page 39074]]

(75 FR 25238) their notice of availability of the draft EIS.

Public Review

    Copies of the final FEIS, HCP, and IA are available for review (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). Any comments we receive will 
become part of the administrative record and will be available to the 
public. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. If you wish us 
to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently 
at the beginning of your comment. While you can ask us in your comment 
to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, 
we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will honor your 
request to withhold your personal information to the extent allowable 
by law.
    We will evaluate the application, associated documents, and 
comments submitted to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of the ESA and NEPA. A permit decision will be made no 
sooner than 30 days after the publication of the EPA's final EIS notice 
in the Federal Register, completion of the Record of Decision and the 
Services' ESA decision documents. If the Services determine that all 
requirements are met, we will issue ITPs under section 10(a)(1)(B) of 
the ESA to Kent for take of the covered species, incidental to 
otherwise lawful activities in accordance with the HCP, the IA, and the 

    Dated: June 28, 2011.
Richard Hannan,
Deputy Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, 
Portland, Oregon.

    Dated: June 28, 2011.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-16781 Filed 7-1-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P; 4310-55-P