[Federal Register: December 17, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 242)]
[Page 77287-77288]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Revised Assessment Plan for the 
Natural Resource Damage Assessment at the St. Louis River/Interlake/
Duluth Tar Superfund Site

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: Notice is given that the document titled ``Assessment Plan for 
the Natural Resource Damage Assessment at the St. Louis River 
Interlake/Duluth Tar Superfund Site, 9/24/02'' (``The Plan'') is 
available for public review. The U.S. Departments of the Interior (Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs) and Commerce (National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), The State of Minnesota 
(Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control 
Agency), The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and The 1854 
Authority (representing the Bois Forte Band and Grand Portage Band of 
Lake Superior Chippewa) are trustees for natural resources 
(``trustees'') considered in this assessment, pursuant to subpart G of 
the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, 
40 CFR 300.600 and 300.610, and Executive Order 12580.
    The trustees are following the guidance of the Natural Resource 
Damage Assessment Regulations found at 43 CFR part 11, and provided the 
public an opportunity to review a draft Plan and submit comments (67 FR 
132, Jul. 10, 2002). The trustees considered all comments received, and 
revised the draft Plan. The Plan announced by this Notice is considered 
to be complete for implementation, as provided for in 43 CFR 11.32(c).
    Interested members of the public are invited to review the Plan. 
Copies of the Plan can be requested from the address listed below.

DATES: The trustees completed revisions to the Plan on September 24, 

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the Plan should be sent to: Marilyn 
Danks, Trustee Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 
Division of Ecological Services, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 
55155-4025. You may also submit requests for copies of the Plan by 
sending electronic mail (e-mail) to: marilyn.danks@dnr.state.mn.us. See 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for information about electronic mailing and 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Case Management and Logistical 
Information: Dave Warburton, (612) 725-3548 (x203) Technical 
Information: Annette Trowbridge, (612) 725-3548 (x202).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The trustees are undertaking an assessment 
of damages resulting from suspected injuries to natural resources in 
and near the Lower St. Louis River which have been exposed to hazardous 
substances released by industrial activity at the St. Louis River/
Interlake/Duluth Tar Superfund Site. The trustees suspect this exposure 
has caused injury and resultant damages to trustee resources. The 
injury and resultant damages will be assessed under the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response,

[[Page 77288]]

Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, and the Clean Water Act, 
as amended, in order to determine the appropriate type and extent of 
resource restoration. The Assessment Plan addresses the trustees' 
overall assessment approach, and utilizes both existing data as well as 
additional data to be collected as described in study workplans 
attached to the Plan. It is important to note that the purpose of the 
Plan is to organize the approach for determining and quantifying 
natural resource injuries and calculating the damages associated with 
those injuries; the Plan is not a claim for damages for injuries to all 
natural resources listed in the Assessment Plan. The trustees provided 
the public an opportunity to review a draft Plan and submit comments 
(67 FR 132, Jul. 10, 2002). All comments received by the trustees in 
response to the draft Plan were carefully reviewed and considered. As a 
result, a number of revisions were made to the draft Plan. Revisions 
made to the draft Plan in response to public comments include minor 
wording changes clarifying the responsible parties as identified by 
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, decisions regarding implementation 
of the assessment, the State's role under the Minnesota Environmental 
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and coordination of the 
assessment with the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study process. A 
paragraph was also added to clarify the availability of quality 
assurance project plans for trustee-conducted studies. Other changes 
included corrected capitalization of words and citations and/or 
references, wording edits, additions of scientific names for fish and 
wildlife species, and updated confirmation of exposure values. The 
Avian Exposure and Injury Study Workplan did not change. The Methods 
section of the Fish Exposure and Injury Study Workplan was rearranged 
to clarify procedures, and to note that individual fish are being 
analyzed in 2002, for greater statistical strength in the study. A 
``Revisions to Draft Assessment Plan'' document, is included with the 
Plan, and provides a listing of all revisions. These revisions are not 
significant and do not alter the scope or methodologies proposed for 
the assessment. Therefore, the Assessment Plan, with these 
modifications, is considered to be complete for implementation. All of 
the comments received on the draft Plan during the public review 
period, as well as trustee responses to those comments, will be 
included in the Report of Assessment to be completed at the conclusion 
of the assessment.
    This Plan may be modified at any stage of the assessment as new 
information becomes available. If significant modifications are made to 
this Plan, and when other major planning documents and/or reports that 
are part of the assessment process are completed, the trustees will 
solicit public comments on the modifications or other documents as 
provided in 43 CFR part 11. Any further Plan modifications considered 
to be non-significant will be made available for public review, but the 
implementation of such modifications will not be delayed as a result of 
the review. Plan addenda may be prepared by the trustees to provide 
public notice of additional data collection activities. Restoration of 
natural resources will be proposed by the trustees following the 

Electronic Mail and Access

    You may request copies of the Plan, and the ``Revisions to Draft 
Assessment Plan'' document, by sending electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
marilyn.danks@dnr.state.mn.us. Do not use any special characters or 
forms of encryption in your e-mail.

    Dated: November 22, 2002.
William F. Hartwig,
Regional Director, Region 3, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-31638 Filed 12-16-02; 8:45 am]