[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 214 (Tuesday, November 5, 2013)]
[Pages 66377-66379]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26465]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2013-N213; FXES11120100000-134-FF01E00000]

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement on a Proposed Incidental Take Permit for the Na Pua Makani 
Project, Kahuku, Hawaii

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; announcement of public scoping meeting; 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to 
conduct public scoping under the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) to gather information to prepare a draft environmental impact 
statement (DEIS) related to an incidental take permit (ITP) application 
that Champlin Hawaii Wind Holdings, LLC (Champlin) intends to submit to 
the Service pursuant to the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The proposed permit 
would authorize the incidental take of listed species caused by the 
construction and operation of Champlin's proposed Na Pua Makani Project 
(Project) near Kahuku, Hawaii, for production of wind-generated 
electrical energy on the island of Oahu. In accordance with ESA 
requirements for an ITP, Champlin is preparing a habitat conservation 
plan (HCP) to minimize and mitigate the impacts of take of the covered 
species likely to be caused by the Project. The DEIS will address the 
impacts of, and alternatives to, issuance of the ITP and implementation 
of the HCP to determine if these actions may significantly affect the 
human environment. This notice initiates the public scoping period for 
the DEIS during which we invite other agencies and the public to attend 
a public meeting and submit oral and written comments that provide 
suggestions and information on the scope of issues and alternatives 
that should addressed in the DEIS.

DATES: A public scoping meeting will be held on November 13, 2013, from 
5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Kahuku Village Association Community 
Center, 56576 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, Hawaii 96731. The public is 
invited to provide oral and written comments at this meeting related to 
our preparation of a DEIS for this proposed permit action. To ensure 
consideration of written comments, please send your written comments on 
or before December 5, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Comments concerning the issuance of the ITP, the development 
of the Na Pua Makani HCP and the preparation of the associated DEIS 
should be identified as such, and may be submitted by one of the 
following methods:
     Email: NaPuaMakanihcp@fws.gov. Include ``Na Pua Makani HCP 
and DEIS'' in the subject line of the message;
     U.S. Mail: Loyal Mehrhoff, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala 
Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850;
     In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Written comments 
will be accepted at the public meeting on November 13, 2013, or can be 
dropped off during regular business hours at the above address on or 
before December 5, 2013; or
     Written comments can also be faxed (Fax: (808) 792-9581, 
Attn.: Loyal Mehrhoff) to the Service on or before December 5, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Loyal Mehrhoff or Aaron Nadig, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES above); by telephone 
(808) 792-9400; or by email at NaPuaMakanihcp@fws.gov. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal 
Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.


Reasonable Accommodation

    Persons needing reasonable accommodations to attend and participate 
in the public meeting should contact Loyal Mehrhoff or Aaron Nadig (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). Please note that the meeting 
location is accessible to wheelchair users. To allow sufficient time to 
process requests, please call no later than 1 week in advance of the 


    Section 9 of the ESA and the implementing regulations for the ESA 
in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR part 17 prohibit the 
``take'' of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or 
threatened. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the ESA as 
``to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or 
collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 
1532). The term ``harass'' is defined in the regulations as ``an 
intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood 
of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to 
significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns which include, but are 
not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering'' (50 CFR 17.3). The 
term ``harm'' is defined in the regulations as ``an act which actually 
kills or injures wildlife. Such act may 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).
    Under limited circumstances, we issue permits to authorize 
incidental take--i.e., take that is incidental to, and not the purpose 
of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations 
governing ITPs for threatened and endangered species are found at 50 
CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. In addition to meeting other 
criteria, an ITP must not jeopardize the continued existence of 
federally listed threatened or endangered species. Section 10(a)(1)(B) 
of the ESA contains provisions for issuing such ITPs to non-Federal 
entities for the take of endangered and threatened species, provided 
the permit and related conservation plan meet the following criteria: 
(1) The taking will be incidental; (2) the applicant will, to the 
maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such 
taking; (3) the applicant ensures that adequate funding for the plan 
will be provided; (4) the taking will not appreciably reduce the 
likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild;

[[Page 66378]]

and (5) the applicant will carry out any other measures that the 
Service may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes 
of the HCP.
    NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) requires that Federal agencies 
conduct an environmental analysis of their proposed actions to 
determine if the actions may significantly affect the human 
environment. Under NEPA, a reasonable range of alternatives to a 
proposed project is developed and considered in the Service's 
environmental review. Alternatives considered for analysis in an EIS 
for an HCP may include, but are not limited to: Variations in the scope 
of covered activities; variations in the location, amount, and type of 
conservation activities; variations in permit duration; or a 
combination of these elements.

Proposed Action

    Champlin's proposed Project would be located on private and public 
lands near the town of Kahuku, County of Honolulu, on the island of 
Oahu, Hawaii. The proposed Project would provide up to 45 megawatt 
capacity of renewable wind-generated electrical energy to the island of 
Oahu. A portion of the Project would be located on State of Hawaii 
lands managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). 
The proposed Project's location is adjacent to the existing Kahuku Wind 
Farm. The Project would be completed in two phases. Phase 1 is 
anticipated to include approximately eight turbines and phase 2 is 
anticipated to include approximately six turbines. Supporting 
infrastructure for the proposed Project may include access roads, wind 
turbine assembly lay down areas, overhead and underground transmission 
and collector lines, and may also include an on-site substation and an 
operations and maintenance building.
    Champlin proposes to develop an HCP as part of their application 
for an ITP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. The proposed HCP will 
cover potential take of the federally-listed species discussed below 
that is incidental to activities associated with the construction, 
operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of the Project. The HCP 
will include measures to minimize and mitigate impacts to covered 
species and their habitats.
    The proposed Federal action would be the issuance of an ITP to 
Champlin to authorize incidental take of the covered species, subject 
to compliance with and implementation of Champlin's HCP for the 
Project. We anticipate Champlin to request ITP coverage for a period of 
20 years.

Covered Species

    Champlin intends to seek incidental take coverage for the following 
five federally-listed threatened and endangered species:
     Newell's shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli)--
     Hawaiian coot (Fulica americana alai)--Endangered;
     Hawaiian common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus 
     Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni)--
Endangered; and
     Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)--
    The following State-listed endangered species may also be included 
as a covered species in Champlin's proposed HCP:
     pueo or Hawaiian short-eared owl (Asio flammeus 
    The final list of covered species may include the above listed 
species, a subset, or additional species, based on the outcome of the 
planning process.

Public Scoping

    The primary purpose of the scoping process is for the public to 
assist the Service in developing a DEIS for this proposed ITP action by 
identifying important issues and alternatives related to Champlin's 
proposed Project, to provide the public with a general understanding of 
the background of the proposed HCP and activities it would cover, and 
an overview of the NEPA process. In order to ensure that we identify a 
range of issues and alternatives related to the proposed ITP action, we 
invite comments and suggestions from all interested parties.
    The scoping meeting will be held on November 13, 2013, from 5:30 
p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Kahuku Village Association Community Center, 
56576 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, Hawaii 96731. The meeting format will 
consist of an initial open house from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The open 
house format will provide an opportunity to learn about the proposed 
action, permit area, and the covered species. The open house will be 
followed by a formal presentation from 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. of the 
proposed action and a summary of the NEPA process, followed by an 
opportunity for oral comments from the public from 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 
p.m. We will accept oral and written comments at the public meeting. A 
court reporter and an interpreter will be present if deemed necessary. 
You may also submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in the ADDRESSES section. Once the DEIS and draft HCP are 
complete and made available for review, there will be additional 
opportunity for public comment on the content of these documents 
through an additional public hearing and comment period.

Public Comments

    We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, native Hawaiian organizations, industry, or any other 
interested party on this notice. We and the applicant will consider 
these comments in developing the DEIS and the draft HCP related to the 
proposed Project. We particularly seek comments on the following:
    1. The direct, indirect, and cumulative effects that implementation 
of any reasonable alternative to the proposed Project could have on 
endangered or threatened species and other unlisted species and their 
    2. Other reasonable alternatives to the proposed permit action for 
issuance of an ITP for the proposed Project or that avoid the need for 
an ITP that should be considered and their associated effects;
    3. Relevant biological data and additional information concerning 
the proposed covered species;
    4. Current or planned activities in the subject area and their 
possible impacts on the proposed covered species;
    5. The presence of archaeological sites, buildings and structures, 
historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic 
preservation concerns;
    6. The scope of covered activities, including potential avoidance, 
minimization, and mitigation measures for incidental take of the 
proposed covered species;
    7. Appropriate monitoring and adaptive management provisions that 
should be included in the HCP; and
    8. Identification of any other environmental issues that should be 
considered with regard to the proposed Project and permit action.

Public Availability of Comments

    Comments and materials we receive in response to this notice and at 
the public meeting, as well as supporting documentation we use in 
preparing the DEIS under NEPA, will become part of the public record 
and will be available for public inspection by appointment, during 
normal business hours, at the Service's Pacific Islands Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES above). Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information 
in your comment(s), you should be aware that

[[Page 66379]]

your entire comment(s)--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment(s) to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Environmental Review and Next Steps

    The Service will conduct an environmental review to analyze the 
proposed action, along with other alternatives considered and the 
associated impacts of each for the development of the DEIS. The DEIS 
will include an analysis of impacts on each covered species and the 
range of alternatives to be addressed. The DEIS is expected to provide 
biological descriptions of the affected species and habitats, as well 
as the effects of the alternatives on other resources, such as 
vegetation, wetlands, wildlife, geology and soils, air quality, water 
resources, water quality, cultural resources, land use, recreation, 
water use, the local economy, and environmental justice. Following 
completion of the environmental review, the Service will publish a 
notice of availability and request for public comments on the DEIS, 
Champlin's permit application, and the draft HCP. The DEIS and draft 
HCP are expected to be completed and available to the public in 2014.


    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the NEPA of 1969, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 
CFR Parts 1500--1508), other applicable Federal laws and regulations, 
and applicable policies and procedures of the Service. This notice is 
being furnished in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 of the NEPA 
regulations to obtain suggestions and information from other agencies 
and the public on the scope of issues and alternatives to be addressed 
in the DEIS.

    Dated: October 18, 2013.
Richard R. Hannan,
Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2013-26465 Filed 11-4-13; 8:45 am]