[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 222 (Friday, November 16, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68749-68750]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27756]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft Environment Impact Statement 
for the Proposed Prado Basin, California Feasibility Study, City of 
Corona, Riverside County, CA

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of Intent.

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SUMMARY: The Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(Corps) and Orange County Water District (OCWD), the non-Federal 
sponsor for the project, intend to jointly prepare an Environmental 
Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) to study, plan, 
and implement a multifaceted project to restore

[[Page 68750]]

environmental resources and conserve water within Prado Basin and 
downstream of the Prado Dam, within the Santa Ana River. This effort 
will focus on restoring aquatic, wetland, and riparian habitats for 
endangered and otherwise associated native species, conserving water 
and resolving issues related to the alteration of the natural sediment 
transport regime.

ADDRESSES: Christopher T. Jones, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los 
Angeles District, Ecosystem Planning Section, CESPL-PD-RN, P.O. Box 
532711, Los Angeles, CA 90053-2325.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher T. Jones, Biologist, 
Christopher.T.Jones@usace.army.mil, 213-304-6234.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Prado Basin, California study was 
authorized by a study resolution dated May 8, 1964, the Committee on 
Public Works, U.S. House of Representatives (House Document No. 135, 
81st Congress, 1st Session). It was additionally authorized by Section 
401(a) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) previously conducted a 
Reconnaissance Phase Study of the Santa Ana River Basin and Orange 
County Streams, California. Ecosystem restoration and water 
conservation problems were identified as having a Federal interest. The 
study did not identify sediment management as a Federal interest to 
address at that time. However, sediment management has been determined 
to contribute to ecosystem restoration goals and is a planning 
objective of the study.
    1. Project Description. The proposed feasibility study will 
investigate alternatives to restore environmental resources, conserve 
water and resolve issues related to alterations to the natural sediment 
transport regime in the Santa Ana River.
    Preliminary objectives for this study were based on identification 
and consideration of problems, needs and opportunities in the areas 
associated with ecosystem restoration and watershed development. The 
establishment of these objectives focused primarily on the authorized 
study purpose of determining the Federal interest in ecosystem 
restoration in Prado Basin. However, related problems and needs in the 
study area were also given consideration.
    The first objective is to restore environmental resources in the 
study area, which would contribute to the National Ecosystem 
Restoration (NER) Federal objective. The efficiency of the restoration 
would be measured in the increases in the net quantity and/or quality 
of desired ecosystem resources.
    A second objective is to provide a more efficient means of meeting 
the study area's water demands. The efficiency of meeting these water 
demands is measured in the cost of providing the needed water supplies. 
A reduced cost in providing water supply as compared to the without 
project condition would result in savings to the nation's economic 
development (NED).
    A third objective is to improve sediment management and sediment 
transport in the study area. Improvements to sediment management and 
transport could result in habitat, water supply and flood risk 
reduction benefits.
    2. Alternatives. Several potential measures have been discussed 
that may meet the objectives of this study. Measures will be grouped 
into discrete alternatives and analyzed in the EIS/EIR. These potential 
measures include, but are not limited to, wetland and riparian habitat 
creation, restoration of stream banks through bio-engineering, creation 
of perennial stream habitat for the Santa Ana sucker, removal of non-
native vegetation, eradication of non-native fish species, enhancement 
of habitats and structures to facilitate wildlife movement, dredging 
sediment, sluicing sediment past Prado Dam, fish passage structures, 
passage of sediment through the dam's spillway via various means, re-
operate dam for water conservation year-round at 505 feet in elevation, 
and to re-operate the dam for water conservation at a level higher than 
498 feet elevation, but lower than 505 feet in elevation. This initial 
list of potential measures may be enhanced by input received at public 
meetings.
    3. Scoping. a. The Corps intends to hold a public scoping 
meeting(s) for the EIS/EIR to aid in the determination of significant 
environmental issues associated with the proposed project. Affected 
federal, state and local resource agencies, Native American groups and 
concerned interest groups/individuals are encouraged to participate in 
the scoping process. Public participation is critical in defining the 
scope of analysis in the Draft EIS/EIR, identifying significant 
environmental issues in the Draft EIS/EIR, providing useful information 
such as published and unpublished data, and knowledge of relevant 
issues and recommending mitigation measures to offset potential impacts 
from proposed actions. The time and location of the public scoping 
meeting will be advertised in letters, public announcements and news 
releases.
    b. Potential impacts associated with the proposed project will be 
fully evaluated. Resource categories that will be analyzed include: 
physical environment, geology, biological resources, air quality, water 
quality, recreational usage, aesthetics, cultural resources, 
transportation, noise, hazardous waste, socioeconomics and safety.
    c. Individuals and agencies may offer information or data relevant 
to the environmental or socioeconomic impacts of the proposed project 
by submitting comments, suggestions, and requests to be placed on the 
mailing list for announcements by sending correspondence to the address 
listed above, or to the following email address: 
christopher.t.jones@usace.army.mil.
    d. The project will require certification under Section 401 of the 
Clean Water Act from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. 
Depending upon the recommended alternative, the project may also 
require additional real property rights for construction and operation 
of a facility, compliance with Federal and State Endangered Species 
Acts, and relevant Department of California Fish and Game Code.
    4. Public Scoping Meeting: A public scoping meeting will be held at 
the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) Events Center on Wednesday, 
November 28, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The project will be 
presented twice during this open house style meeting. The address for 
the IEUA Events Center is: Inland Empire Utilities Agency, 6075 Kimball 
Avenue, Chino, CA 91708, Phone: (909) 993-1600.
    5. The Draft EIS/EIR is scheduled to be published and circulated 
for public review in May 2014.

Brenda S. Bowen,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-27756 Filed 11-15-12; 8:45 am]
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