[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 88 (Monday, May 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26785-26786]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10948]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs


Implementation of Indian Reservation Roads Program and 
Streamlining the Federal Delivery of Tribal Transportation Services

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Tribal Consultations and Informational Meetings.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is announcing tribal 
consultations to discuss the following topics: (1) Changes in 
calculation of the Relative Needs Distribution Formula (RNDF) used to 
allocate Indian Reservation Roads (IRR) funding among tribes; (2) 
streamlining BIA delivery of transportation program services to tribal 
governments; and (3) update on implementation of ``Question 10.'' The 
BIA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will also present an 
update on legislation involving the Indian Reservation Roads program.

DATES: See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice for 
consultation dates.

ADDRESSES: See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice for 
locations where the consultations will be held.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: LeRoy M. Gishi, Chief, Division of 
Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street NW., MS-4513, 
Washington, DC 20240, telephone (202) 513-7711; or Robert W. Sparrow, 
Jr., IRR Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave. SE., Room E61-311, Washington, DC 20159, telephone (202) 
366-9483.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federally recognized tribes are invited to 
attend consultation and informational sessions regarding:
     A joint BIA and FWHA recommendation for changing how the 
Proposed Roads and Access Roads will contribute to the calculation of 
the RNDF for IRR Program funds. The recommendation is significant 
because it clarifies the criteria required for certain transportation 
facilities to generate RNDF funding and may affect the allocation of 
IRR Program funding among tribes. Proposed roads are defined by 25 CFR 
170.5 as, ``a road which does not currently exist and needs to be 
constructed.'' A primary access route is the shortest feasible route 
connecting two points, including roads between villages, roads to 
landfills, roads to drinking water sources, roads to natural resources 
identified for economic development, and roads that provide access to 
intermodal termini, such as airports, harbors, or boat landings. See 23 
U.S.C. 202(d)(2)(G).
     Your recommendations on how BIA could streamline its 
delivery and efficiency of transportation program services provided to 
tribal governments. Changes enacted in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, 
Efficient Transportation Equity Act--A Legacy for Users, Public Law 
109-59 (SAFETEA-LU), expanded options for tribes to carry out the IRR 
program, including entering into agreements directly with FHWA. 
Recently, BIA has developed an additional method for tribes to carry 
out the IRR program that is similar to FHWA's agreements. These changes 
have affected certain aspects of how the Federal functions of the IRR 
program are carried out by BIA. As a result, BIA has begun considering 
options for changing its IRR program management structure and 
oversight, as well as how technical assistance is provided to tribal 
transportation entities.
     An update on the implementation of ``Question 10'' from 
appendix C to subpart C of 25 CFR part 170. This question addresses the 
weight assigned a transportation facility's costs to construct (CTC) 
and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in calculating the RNDF. In 2010, BIA 
and FHWA presented a joint recommendation for how a transportation 
facility should be calculated at the non-Federal share under Question 
10 and consulted with tribes over three months at ten locations across 
the country on this subject. Question 10 states, in part:

    10. Do All IRR Transportation Facilities in the IRR Inventory 
Count at 100 Percent of their CTC and VMT?
    No. The CTC and VMT must be computed at the non-Federal share 
requirement for matching funds for any transportation facility that 
is added to the IRR inventory and is eligible for funding for 
construction or reconstruction with Federal funds, other than 
Federal Lands Highway Program funds.

    After consulting with tribes in 2010, BIA and FHWA began 
clarification of Question 10, including a review of the IRR inventory 
and its compatibility with the Federal-aid highways functional 
classification system. For additional information regarding the 
Question 10 consultations, please see 75 FR 40849 (July 14, 2010). The 
update will include discussion about implementation of the Question 10 
recommendation since 2010, and BIA and FHWA will invite additional 
input from tribal leaders and the public about their views on its 
effectiveness.

Meeting Dates and Locations

    The consultation sessions will be held on the following dates, at 
the following locations:

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          Meeting date                 Location              Time
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June 5, 2012...................  Anchorage, AK......  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 7, 2012...................  Spokane, WA........  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 12, 2012..................  Albuquerque, NM....  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

[[Page 26786]]

 
June 13, 2012..................  Phoenix, AZ........  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 14, 2012..................  Sacramento, CA.....  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 19, 2012..................  Nashville, TN......  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 20, 2012..................  Oklahoma City, OK..  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 21, 2012..................  Lincoln, NE........  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 26, 2012..................  Billings, MT.......  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 27, 2012..................  Rapid City, SD.....  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
June 28, 2012..................  Mount Pleasant, MI.  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
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Meeting Agenda (All Times Local)

9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
9:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Proposed/Access Roads (Recommendation, 
Expectations, Implementation)
10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Reauthorization Update
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Tribal Transportation Program Streamlining
3:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Question 10 Update
4:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Closing Comments
4:30 p.m. Adjourn

    Dated: May 1, 2012.
Donald E. Laverdure,
Acting Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-10948 Filed 5-4-12; 8:45 am]
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