[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 204 (Friday, October 21, 2011)]
[Pages 65526-65527]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27244]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-FHC-2011-N187; 30140-1335-0000-W4]

Fisheries and Habitat Conservation; Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Proposed Demolition of the Ballville Dam on the 
Sandusky River, Fremont, OH

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; announcement of meeting; request for 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), advise the 
public that we intend to prepare a draft environmental impact statement 
(EIS) to evaluate the impacts of the proposed demolition of the 
Ballville Dam, located on the Sandusky River, near the City of Fremont 
in Sandusky County, Ohio. We are also announcing a public meeting and 
requesting public comments.

DATES: The public scoping period begins with publication of this notice 
in the Federal Register and will continue through November 21, 2011. 
The Service will consider all comments defining the scope of the EIS 
received or postmarked by this date. Comments received or postmarked 
after this date will be considered to the extent practicable. The 
Service will conduct a public scoping meeting in Fremont, Ohio, on 
October 27, 2011, from 7 to 9 p.m. The scoping meeting will provide the 
public with an opportunity to present comments, ask questions, and 
discuss issues with Service staff regarding the draft EIS.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will take place at Vanguard Vocational School 
Tech Center, 1220 Cedar Street, Fremont, OH 43420.
    You may submit comments by any one of the following methods:
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Brian Elkington, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Fisheries, 5600 American Boulevard West, Suite 990, 
Bloomington, MN 55437-1458.
     E-mail: Ballvilledam@fws.gov.
     Fax: (612) 713-5289 (Attention: Brian Elkington).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Elkington, 612-713-5168. 
Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the 
Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We publish this notice in compliance with 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). 
The Service, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural 
Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), 
will prepare a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal 
to remove the Ballville Dam from the Sandusky River. The purpose of the 
draft EIS is to address the environmental, economic, cultural and 
historical, and safety issues associated with removal of the dam.
    Ballville Dam is currently a complete barrier to upstream fish 
passage for the commercially and recreationally valuable Sandusky River 
walleye stock. Removal of the dam will restore access to approximately 
22 miles of previously unavailable riverine habitat, including an 
estimated 300 acres of suitable walleye spawning habitat. Removal of 
the dam is anticipated to restore the designated beneficial uses to 
this segment of the river. Additionally, ODNR has identified a number 
of safety hazards associated with the condition of the 97-year old 
structure. Removal of the dam will alleviate these hazards. Current 
funding for the dam removal is being provided through grants from the 
Service, through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) under 
the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (GLFWRA); the OEPA's 
Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program; and the Clean Water Act's 
section 319 nonpoint source pollution prevention program, which is 
administered by OEPA.
    Letters describing the proposed action and soliciting comments will 
be sent to appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, and to 
private organizations and citizens who have previously expressed or are 
known to have interest in this proposal. After the draft EIS is 
released, a public meeting will be held at a place to be determined to 
solicit comments. To ensure that the full range of issues related to 
this proposed action are addressed and all significant issues 
identified, comments and suggestions are invited from all interested 

Public Comments

    The Service requests data, comments, new information, or 
suggestions from the public, concerned governmental agencies, the 
scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party 
on this notice. These comments will be considered in the development of 
the draft EIS.
    You may submit your comments and materials considering this notice 
by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section.

[[Page 65527]]

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive in response to this request 
will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal 
business hours at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
    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. 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.


    Ballville Dam was built in 1913 for hydroelectric power generation. 
The City of Fremont purchased the dam in 1959 from the Ohio Power 
Company, which no longer used the dam for generating electricity, for 
the purpose of supplying raw water to the city. With the construction 
of a raw water reservoir, completion expected by the end of 2011, the 
dam will no longer be required for this purpose. In 2007, the ODNR 
issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the City, stating that the dam 
was being operated in violation of the law as a result of its 
deteriorated condition. The Ballville Dam cannot be rendered safe 
without expenditure of large sums of money. Removal of the dam will 
achieve the objective of opening approximately 22 miles of riverine 
habitat, including an estimated 300 acres of suitable walleye spawning 
habitat, that is currently inaccessible, thereby increasing walleye 
populations and stimulating the sport fishing and tourism industries. 
It will also help to restore impaired water quality in the project 

Environmental Review

    The Service will conduct an environmental review to analyze 
alternatives for implementing the proposed action and the associated 
impacts of each. The draft EIS will evaluate alternatives that are 
developed and the impact of each of those alternatives, including a no 
action alternative. Following completion of the environmental review, 
the Service will publish a notice of availability and a request for 
comments on the draft EIS.


    This notice is being furnished as provided for by NEPA and its 
implementing Regulations (40 CFR1501.7 and 1508.22). The intent of the 
notice is to obtain suggestions and additional information from other 
agencies and the public on the scope of issues to be considered. 
Comments and participation in this scoping process are solicited.

Mike Weimer,
Assistant Regional Director, Fisheries, Midwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-27244 Filed 10-20-11; 8:45 am]