[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 104 (Monday, June 1, 2015)]
[Pages 31022-31023]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-12877]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Proposed Monterey Bay Regional Water Project Desalination 
Facility; Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement; 
Scoping Meeting

AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean 
Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare environmental impact statement; 
Scoping meeting.


SUMMARY: An application for permit approval has been submitted by 
DeepWater Desal, LLC to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary 
(MBNMS) and California State Lands Commission (CSLC) to construct and 
operate a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination facility and co-
located seawater-cooled 150-megawatt computer data center campus 
project (Project) at Moss Landing, Monterey County, California. The 
permit review process will be conducted concurrently with a public 
process conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and the California Environmental 
Quality Act (CEQA). NOAA is soliciting information and comments on the 
range and significance of issues related to the Project proposed within 
MBNMS boundaries.

DATES: Comments must be received by July 1, 2015. A public meeting will 
be held as detailed below:
    Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
    Location: Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), Main Building 
Conference Room.
    Address: 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039.
    Times: sessions begin at 2:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by either of the following 
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= NOAA-NOS-2015-0069, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields and enter or attach 
your comments.
     Mail: MBNMS Desalination Project Lead, 99 Pacific Ave, 
BLDG 455a, Monterey, CA 93940
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NOAA. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. ONMS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bridget Hoover at 99 Pacific Ave, BLDG 
455a, Monterey, CA 93940 or [email protected].


Background Information

I. Background

    An application for permit approval has been submitted by DeepWater 

[[Page 31023]]

LLC to construct and operate a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) 
desalination facility capable of producing 25,000 acre-feet per year 
(AFY) of potable water and a co-located seawater-cooled computer data 
center campus on a 110-acre site located approximately 1.5 miles east 
of Moss Landing. Seawater intake and brine discharge pipelines would 
extend west from Moss Landing Harbor to the upper reaches of the 
submarine Monterey Canyon and the north shelf, respectively, Monterey 
Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).

II. Need for action

    This notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact 
statement and conduct scoping is published in accordance with: the 
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); California Public 
Resources Code section 21080.4, subdivision (a); State CEQA Guidelines 
section 15082; section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended; and the White House Council on 
Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural 
Provisions of NEPA (CEQ NEPA Regulations).
    The California State Lands Commission (CSLC) and MBNMS, as CEQA and 
NEPA lead agencies respectively, will prepare a joint Environmental 
Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) to identify and 
assess potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
DeepWater Desal, LLC Monterey Bay Regional Water Project (Project). 
Agencies would use the EIR/EIS to consider related permits or other 
approvals for the Project as proposed. Possible alternatives could 
include not approving the Project or approving the Project with 
additional modifications identified as part of the terms and conditions 
of a permit or other approval.
    Publication of this notice initiates the public scoping process to 
solicit public and agency comment, in writing or at the public meeting, 
regarding the full spectrum of environmental issues and concerns 
relating to the scope and content of the EIR/EIS, including:
     Analyses of the human and marine resources that could be 
     the nature and extent of the potential significant impacts 
on those resources;
     a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed action; 
     mitigation measures.

III. Process

    This NOI is published in conjunction with the CSLC NOI, as this is 
a joint process between NOAA/MBNMS, the lead federal agency, and the 
CSLC, the lead state agency. The two agencies will prepare a joint 
Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), 
and will hold a joint public scoping meeting for the project on 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015; Sessions begin at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm, at Moss 
Landing Marine Laboratories at 8272 Moss Landing Road, CA 95039.

IV. Federal Consultations

    This notice also advises the public that NOAA will coordinate its 
consultation responsibilities under section 7 of the Endangered Species 
Act (ESA), Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) under the Magnuson Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), section 106 of the 
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA, 16 U.S.C. 470), and Federal 
Consistency review under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), along 
with its ongoing NEPA process including the use of NEPA documents and 
public and stakeholder meetings to also meet the requirements of other 
federal laws.
    In fulfilling its consultation responsibility under the ESA, MSA, 
NHPA, CZMA and NEPA, NOAA intends to identify consulting parties and 
involve the public in accordance with NOAA's NEPA procedures, and 
develop in consultation with identified consulting parties alternatives 
and proposed measures that might avoid, minimize or mitigate any 
adverse effects on endangered species, essential fish habitat, historic 
properties, or coastal zone management issues, and describe them in any 
environmental assessment or draft environmental impact statement.

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.

    Dated: May 21, 2015.
John Armor,
Acting Director for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
[FR Doc. 2015-12877 Filed 5-29-15; 8:45 am]