[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 48 (Tuesday, March 12, 2013)]
[Pages 15737-15738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05594]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2013-N030; 40120-1112-0000-F2]

Incidental Take Permit Amendment and Supplemental Environmental 
Assessment for Wind Energy Development, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Under the Endangered Species Act (Act), we, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, announce the receipt and availability of a revised 
habitat conservation plan (revised HCP) and accompanying documents for 
wind energy development by San Francisco Wind Farm LLC (formerly 
WindMar R.E.) (Permittee). The revised HCP analyzes take of Puerto 
Rican crested toad (Peltophryne lemur) incidental to the previously 
authorized wind energy development activities in Guayanilla, Puerto 
Rico, so that this listed species might be added to those already 
covered by the existing incidental take permit (ITP). We invite public 
comments on these documents.

DATES: We must receive any written comments at our Regional Office (see 
ADDRESSES) on or before April 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Documents are available for public inspection by appointment 
during normal business hours at the Fish and Wildlife Service's 
Regional Office, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30345; 
or at the Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Road 301, Km. 5.1, Boquer[oacute]n, PR 00622.

Coordinator (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 404-679-7313; or Mr. 
Jos[eacute] Cruz-Burgos, Endangered Species Coordinator, at the 
Caribbean Field Office (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 787-851-7297 
extension 218.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of the revised 
HCP and supplemental environmental assessment (Supplemental EA), which 
analyzes the take of the threatened Puerto Rican crested toad. The 
Service previously advertised (71 FR 951), and issued in September 
2006, TE104073 as a 40-year ITP authorizing incidental take of Puerto 
Rican nightjar (Caprimulgus noctitherus), brown pelican (Pelecanus 
occidentalis occidentalis), and roseate tern (Sterna dougallii 
    The Permittee requests an amendment for the remaining term of the 
ITP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), as 
amended. The Permittee's revised HCP describes the mitigation and 
minimization measures proposed to address the impacts to the Puerto 
Rican crested toad within the Punta Ventana section of the covered 
    We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the 
public via this notice on our proposed Federal action, including 
identification of any other aspects of the human environment not 
already identified in the supplemental EA pursuant to National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations in the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR) at 40 CFR 1506.6. Further, we specifically solicit 
information regarding the adequacy of the revised HCP per 50 CFR parts 
13 and 17.
    The supplemental EA assesses the likely environmental impacts 
associated with the implementation of the activities and proposed 
amendments, including the environmental consequences of the no-action 
alternative and the proposed action. The proposed action alternative is 
amendment of the ITP and implementation of the revised HCP as submitted 
by the Permittee. The revised HCP evaluates potential take of the 
Puerto Rican crested toad and presents conservation measures needed to 
add incidental take authority for this species to previously authorized 
incidental take associated with wind energy development.
    Avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures include, but are 
not limited to: monitor Puerto Rican crested toad breeding events in 
order to adapt work plans and timing of covered activities while 
implementing measures to avoid and minimize take of dispersing toads 
and toadlets; install

[[Page 15738]]

fencing to keep Puerto Rican crested toads outside of certain areas of 
the project; and mitigation measures such as trapping and removing non-
native, invasive predators, competitors, and invasive vegetation, as 
well as conduct research and implement measures to enhance breeding 

Public Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email 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.
    If you wish to comment, you may submit comments by any one of 
several methods. Please reference TE104073 in such comments. You may 
mail comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service's Regional Office (see 
ADDRESSES). You may also comment via the internet to david_dell@fws.gov. Please include your name and return address in your 
internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation from us that we 
have received your internet message, contact us directly at either 
telephone number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to either of our offices 
listed under ADDRESSES.

Covered Area

    The ITP covers a 290-ha (725-acre) wind generation facility 
including up to 25 turbines in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican 
crested toads have been observed in the Punta Ventana portion of the 
project. The Permittee proposes installation and operation of eight 
wind turbines in Punta Ventana over 79 ha (195 acres) that would affect 
about 5.1 ha (12.6 acres) of dry forest habitat. The revised HCP 
includes the site plan for the project and detailed information on the 
areas within Punta Ventana that would be affected by the construction 
and operation turbine sites, connecting roads, staging areas and 
connection to a substation.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the ITP amendment application, including the 
revised HCP and any comments we receive, to determine whether the 
amendment application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of 
the Act. We will also evaluate whether amendment of the section 
10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 of the Act by conducting an 
intra-Service section 7 consultation. We will use the results of this 
consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final 
analysis to determine whether or not to amend the ITP. If we determine 
that the requirements are met, we will amend the ITP to include the 
Puerto Rican crested toad as a covered species for incidental take.

    Authority:  We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: February 15, 2013.
Kenneth A. Garrahan,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-05594 Filed 3-11-13; 8:45 am]