[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Pages 56681-56682]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22286]



Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers

Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 
for the Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement Project, Grays Harbor, 

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

ACTION: Notice of Intent.


[[Page 56682]]

SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(Corps), Seattle District, as lead Federal agency, will prepare a 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) evaluating the Grays 
Harbor Navigation Improvement Project. The purpose of this supplement 
is to address proposed changes to the Grays Harbor and Chehalis River 
Navigation Project developed since the Corps prepared the 1982 Grays 
Harbor, Chehalis and Hoquiam Rivers, Washington Channel Improvements 
for Navigation Interim Feasibility Report and Final Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) and its 1989 supplement. The SEIS updates the 
original EIS and its supplement with more recent relevant environmental 
information, and updates the description of effects that may 
potentially occur from implementing the proposed action. The SEIS will 
evaluate the practicality and potential environmental impacts of three 
alternatives: two with varying channel depths and no action.

ADDRESSES: To be included on the mailing list for review of the SEIS, 
all requests should be submitted to Mr. Kevin McKeag, U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers, Seattle District, 4735 East Marginal Way South, Seattle, 
Washington, 98134.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Kevin McKeag, Environmental and 
Cultural Resources Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at email: 
[email protected], by regular mail (see ADDRESSES), or 
telephone: 206-764-3576.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Preparation of an SEIS will inform the 
Corps' eventual decision on whether or not to implement the proposed 
action. As part of the NEPA process, the Corps will gather and analyze 
information to compare the potential environmental effects of possible 
project alternatives and a ``no action'' alternative in the SEIS. The 
SEIS will be prepared to assess the potential social, economic and 
environmental impacts of the project, and will be sufficient in scope 
to address Federal, State and local regulatory requirements and 
pertinent environmental and socio-economic issues. The Federal SEIS 
process begins with publication of this Notice of Intent. The SEIS will 
be prepared in accordance with the Corps' procedures for implementing 
NEPA (33 CFR Part 230) and consistent with the Corps' policy to 
facilitate public understanding and review of agency proposals.
    1. Proposed Action: The proposed action is to deepen the Federal 
navigation deep-draft channel in Grays Harbor from its currently 
maintained depth of minus 36 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) down to 
its authorized depth of minus 38 feet MLLW, including placement of the 
dredged material at existing authorized dredged material placement 
sites (including appropriate upland placement as necessary for any 
sediments not meeting unconfined aquatic placement criteria). Congress 
initially authorized construction of the navigation channel in the 
Rivers and Harbors Appropriations Act of 1899. Dredging of the 
navigation channel to a depth of minus 38 feet MLLW was subsequently 
authorized in the form of the Navigation Improvement Project by 
Congress in Section 202 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 
(Pub. L. 99-662) in November 1986.
    2. Alternatives: The SEIS will evaluate the practicability and 
environmental impacts of three alternatives, including the no action 
alternative: (1) Deepen channel to minus 37 feet MLLW; (2) Deepen 
channel to minus 38 feet MLLW; and (3) no action (continue to maintain 
channel at existing depth of minus 36 feet MLLW). The draft SEIS will 
identify the agency preferred action alternative, which will be 
identified in consideration of overall environmental impacts and 
contributions to cumulative impacts. The potential direct, indirect, 
and cumulative impacts of the proposed action and action alternatives 
on the following resource issues will be analyzed in the SEIS: Vessel 
traffic and navigational safety; aquatic habitats; aquatic species, 
including Endangered Species Act-listed species and Washington State 
species of concern; Tribal treaty rights; wetland and riparian habitat; 
wildlife; vehicle traffic; cultural, historic, and archeological 
resources; air and water quality; noise; recreation; land use; and 
    3. Public Involvement: Initial public participation included a 
December 2012 public meeting held at the Port of Grays Harbor. 
Additional public involvement efforts will continue throughout the 
development of a Draft SEIS, and when complete, the Draft SEIS will be 
distributed (either mailed or emailed) to pertinent Federal, State and 
local agencies, Government officials, local libraries, Native American 
Tribes, and environmental interest organizations, and known interested 
citizens, for review and comment.
    4. Scoping. Consistent with NEPA procedures, a public scoping 
meeting will not be held in the development of this Supplemental EIS. 
Comments received during the December 2012 public meeting will be used 
to assist in development of the Draft SEIS.
    5. Other Environmental Review and Coordination Requirements: The 
Corps has and will continue to coordinate with several agencies and 
entities throughout the NEPA process including: the Port of Grays 
Harbor, the Quinault Indian Nation, the Chehalis Tribe, Northwest 
Indian Fisheries Commission, Washington Department of Ecology, 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of 
Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine 
Fisheries Service. The draft SEIS will address the extent to which the 
proposed project is in compliance with all applicable laws and 
regulations, including NEPA, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered 
Species Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Air Act, the 
National Historic Preservation Act, and Treaty Rights.
    6. Availability of Draft SEIS. The draft SEIS is estimated to be 
completed and available for public review in fall 2013.

    Dated: September 3, 2013.
Bruce A. Estok,
Commanding Officer, COL, EN.
[FR Doc. 2013-22286 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]