[Federal Register: August 27, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 166)]
[Page 52778]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-ES-2010-N182; 50120-1113-0000-F2]

Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for Issuance of 
an Incidental Take Permit Associated With a Habitat Conservation Plan 
for the Beech Ridge Wind Energy Project, Greenbrier and Nicholas 
Counties, West Virginia; Re-opening and Extension of Comment Period

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; re-opening of comment period; extension of comment 


SUMMARY: In response to substantial public interest and requests to 
extend the comment period, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
extend the scoping period on a notice of intent to gather information 
necessary to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the 
proposed issuance of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit (incidental 
take permit and associated Habitat Conservation Plan) for the Beech 
Ridge Wind Energy Project (HCP). Pursuant to the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA), we seek suggestions and information from the public 
on the scope of issues and alternatives to be included in the EIS. 
Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they have been 
incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the 
final decision on the permit application.

DATES: The public comment period that closed on August 23, 2010, (75 FR 
42767) is reopened and extended until September 23, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Information, written comments, or questions related to the 
preparation of the EIS and NEPA process should be submitted to Ms. 
Laura Hill, Assistant Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
West Virginia Field Office, 694 Beverly Pike, Elkins, West Virginia 
26241; FAX 304-636-7824; or fw5es_wvfo@fws.gov.

636-6586, extension18. Individuals who are hearing-impaired or speech-
impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8337 for TTY 


Public Comments Solicited

    On July 22, 2010, we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 
42767) a notice of intent to prepare an EIS and a notice of a meeting. 
On August 9, 2010, we held a public meeting in Rupert, West Virginia, 
to provide information on the proposed action and to solicit comments 
and suggestions from the public on the scope of issues and alternatives 
to be addressed in the draft EIS. The scoping comment period closed on 
August 23, 2010; however, due to substantial public interest in the 
proposed action and receipt of requests to extend the comment period, 
we are hereby reopening and extending the comment period until 
September 23, 2010.
    As stated in the July 22, 2010, Federal Register notice, we seek 
comments, in particular, concerning: (1) Biological information 
concerning the Indiana bat and Virginia big-eared bat, as well as 
unlisted bats and birds; (2) relevant data concerning wind power and 
bat and bird interactions; (3) additional information concerning the 
range, distribution, population size, and population trends of the 
Indiana bat and Virginia big-eared bat, as well as unlisted bats and 
birds; (4) current or planned activities in the subject area and their 
possible impacts on the environment and resources; (5) the presence of 
facilities within the project area which are eligible to be listed on 
the National Register of Historic Places or whether other historical, 
archeological, or traditional cultural properties may be present; (6) 
the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects that implementation of any 
reasonable alternatives could have on endangered and threatened species 
and their habitats, as well as unlisted bats and birds; (7) adequacy 
and advisability of proposed minimization and mitigation measures for 
ESA listed species and other wildlife; (8) post-construction monitoring 
techniques; and (9) identification of any other environmental issues 
that we should consider with regard to the proposed development and 
permit action.
    We welcome written comments from interested parties to ensure that 
the full range of issues related to the permit request is identified. 
Comments will only be accepted in written form. You may submit written 
comments by regular mail, electronic mail, or facsimile transmission 
    All comments and materials we receive, including names and 
addresses, will become part of the administrative record and may be 
released to the public. Comments we receive will be available for 
public inspection, by appointments, during normal business hours 
(Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the West Virginia Field 
Office (see ADDRESSES). 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 may ask us in your comment to withhold personally 
identifying information from public review, we can not guarantee that 
we will be able to do so.


    For background information, please refer to the previous Federal 
Register Notice (75 FR 42767) published on July 22, 2010.


    The primary author of this notice is Laura Hill, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, West Virginia Field Office.


    The authority for this section is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and National Environmental 
Policy Act, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    Dated: August 23, 2010.
Anthony D. L[eacute]ger,
Acting Regional Director, Region 5, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-21337 Filed 8-26-10; 8:45 am]