[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75370-75371]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29047]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY AND WATER COMMISSION, UNITED STATES AND MEXICO


Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact for Flood Control Improvements to the Rio Grande 
Canalization Project in Vado, New Mexico; Notice of Availability

AGENCY: United States Section, International Boundary and Water 
Commission (USIBWC), United States and Mexico.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Draft Supplemental Environmental 
Assessment (SEA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy

[[Page 75371]]

Act of 1969; the Council on Environmental Quality Final Regulations (40 
CFR Parts 1500 through 1508); and the USIBWC's Operational Procedures 
for Implementing Section 102 of NEPA, published in the Federal Register 
September 2, 1981, (46 FR 44083); the USIBWC hereby gives notice that 
the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact 
for Flood Control Improvements to the Rio Grande Canalization Project 
in Vado, New Mexico are available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gilbert Anaya, Environmental 
Management Division; United States Section, International Boundary and 
Water Commission; 4171 N. Mesa, C-100; El Paso, Texas 79902. Telephone: 
(915) 832-4703, email: gilbertanaya@ibwc.state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Proposed Action

    The USIBWC is considering relocating the Rio Grande river channel 
in the Canalization Project Levee System in a 1.08 mile stretch in 
Vado, New Mexico and create new levees where no flood control measures 
exist in an effort to meet current flood control requirements. The 
Preferred Alternative would relocate the river channel approximately 
100 feet west due to the river channel moving east against the 
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad. The preferred alternative 
would then create a new levee that would tie into existing levee 
structures to the north and south of the project area. These 
improvements will be subject to availability of funds.
    The Supplemental Environmental Assessment assesses potential 
environmental impacts of the No Action Alternative and the Preferred 
Alternative. Two additional alternatives were considered but were not 
evaluated as they were determined to be more costly, more difficult to 
achieve, less reliable, and more difficult to maintain. Potential 
impacts on natural, cultural, and other resources were evaluated. A 
Finding of No Significant Impact was issued for the Preferred 
Alternative based on a review of the facts and analyses contained in 
the Environmental Assessment when taking the proposed mitigation into 
account.

Alternatives Considered

    A No Action Alternative was evaluated for the flood control 
improvements to the Rio Grande Canalization Project Levee System. This 
alternative would retain the existing configuration of the system, and 
the level of protection currently associated with this system. Under 
severe storm events, current containment capacity may be insufficient 
to fully control Rio Grande flooding, with risks to personal safety and 
potential property damage, as well as risks to the railroad system.
    Design alternatives were conducted and evaluated in the final 
design memorandum entitled ``Rehabilitation Improvements for the Vado 
East Levee, Do[ntilde]a Ana County, New Mexico,'' dated July 29, 2011. 
The final design memorandum evaluated three alternatives as described 
below.
    Preferred Alternative. The Preferred Alternative would allow the 
levees to meet the design criteria to contain flood flows and to comply 
with FEMA specifications for the levees in the Rio Grande Canalization 
Project Levee System. This would be accomplished by creating a flood 
containment levee 1.08 miles in length that would continue from the 
current levee system to the north and south of the project area. Fill 
material, obtained from commercial sources would be used to create a 
levee to meet the 3 foot freeboard criterion established by the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In order to create the levee in 
this area, the river channel would have to be relocated 100 feet to the 
west and the floodplain would have to be re-established on the eastern 
side of the river.
    Flood Wall Alternative. This alternative would construct a flood 
wall that would tie into the existing levee system to the north and 
south of the project. The flood wall would require dredging the river 
channel along the section that is currently against the railroad 
easement and construction of a concrete or metal wall that would extend 
888 feet along the river and existing flood plain to the current 
levees. The wall would be 8 feet tall above the flood plain and require 
pilings to be driven 40 feet in the ground.
    Sheet Pile Wall Alternative. This alternative would construct a 
sheet pile wall instead of the flood wall. This wall would follow the 
same requirements but would consist of interlocked metal sheets driven 
into the ground instead of a concrete wall. Therefore, the pilings 
would also have to be driven 40 feet into the ground but would instead 
of a few like in the flood wall; all of the pilings across the entire 
length would have to be driven down to bedrock.

Availability

    Single hard copies of the Final Environmental Assessment and 
Finding of No Significant Impact may be obtained by request at the 
above address. Electronic copies may also be obtained from the USIBWC 
Web page: www.ibwc.gov/Organization/Environmental/EIS_EA_Public_Comment.html.

    Dated: November 27, 2013.
Luisa Alvarez,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2013-29047 Filed 12-10-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7010-01-P