[Federal Register: March 24, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 58)]
[Page 15916]
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 Saegertown Industrial Area National 
Priorities List Superfund Site (Saegertown Site). The Draft NRRP 
describes the DOI's proposal to restore natural resources injured as a 
result of chemical contamination at the Saegertown Site.

DATES:  Written comments must be submitted on or before April 15, 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Mark Roberts, Environmental 
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 Saegertown Site in the Borough 
of Saegertown. Crawford County, Pennsylvania, DOI was the sole natural 
resource trustee involved in the federal government's settlement with 
the GATX Corporation (GATX). GATX owns a portion of the site. The U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service determined that contamination on the GATX 
portion of the site had degraded habitat and injured trust resources 
(migratory birds). The injuries resulted from the exposure of migratory 
birds (such as killdeers, red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves, and 
waterflow) to mercury, lead, and PCB contamination in a 2.3-acre pond/
wetland complex on the site.
    As part of a Consent Decree requiring remedial actions at the 
Saegertown site, DOI agreed to a monetary settlement with GATX for 
natural resource damages. The settlement of $94,510 was designated for 
restoration, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent natural 
resource 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 of the Code of 
Federal Regulation Part II. The Draft NRRP describes several habitat 
restoration, acquisition, and protection alternatives identified by the 
DOI, and evaluates each of the possible alternatives based on all 
relevant considerations. The DOI's Preferred Alternative is to use the 
settlement funds to purchase and restore fish and wildlife habitat 
within the French Creek watershed, in cooperation with several 
identified partners. The Pennsylvania Game Commission will accept title 
of the property and manage it for the perpetual protection of fish and 
wildlife resources. Details regarding the proposed projects are 
contained in the Draft NRRP.
    The Final Revised Procedures for the Service in implementing the 
National Environmental Policy 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 a minor 
change in the use of the affected area. Accordingly this Draft NRRP 
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 U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife 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 Saegertown 
Area Library, 320 Broad Street, Saegertown, Pennsylvania 16433. All 
comments received on the Draft NRRP will be considered and a response 
provided either through revision of this Draft NRRP and incorporation 
into the Final Natural Resource Restoration Plan, or by letter to the 
    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: March 10, 2000.
M.A. Parker,
Assistant, Regional Director, Region 5, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 00-7286 Filed 3-23-00; 8:45 am]