[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 156 (Thursday, August 13, 2015)]
[Page 48559]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-19973]

[[Page 48559]]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

[156A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G]

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Tejon Indian Tribe's Proposed Trust Acquisition and Casino Project, 
Kern County, California

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) as lead agency and the Tejon Indian Tribe (Tribe) as 
cooperating agency intend to gather information necessary to prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Tribe's Proposed Trust 
Acquisition and Casino Project, Kern County, California. This notice 
also opens public scoping to identify potential issues, concerns and 
alternatives to be considered in the EIS.

DATES: To ensure consideration during the development of the EIS, 
written comments on the scope of the EIS should be sent as soon as 
possible and no later than September 14, 2015. The date of the public 
scoping meeting will be announced at least 15 days in advance through a 
notice to be published in the local newspaper (the Bakersfield 
Californian) and online at http://www.tejoneis.com.

ADDRESSES: You may mail or hand-deliver written comments to Amy 
Dutschke, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Region, 
2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, California 95825. Please include your 
name, return address, and ``NOI Comments, Tejon Indian Tribe Project'' 
on the first page of your written comments. The location of the public 
scoping meeting will be announced at least 15 days in advance through a 
notice to be published in the local newspaper (the Bakersfield 
Californian) and online at http://www.tejoneis.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Rydzik, Chief, Division of 
Environmental, Cultural Resource Management and Safety, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, 
Room W-2820, Sacramento, California 95825, telephone (916) 978-6051, 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed action and a reasonable range 
of alternatives, including a no-action alternative, will be analyzed in 
the EIS. The Tribe has submitted a request to the Department of the 
Interior (Department) for the placement of approximately 306 acres of 
fee land in trust by the United States upon which the Tribe would 
construct a gaming facility. The facility would initially be 
approximately 250,000 square feet, and in a subsequent phase, an 
approximately 300-room hotel and banquet space would be added. 
Accordingly, the proposed action for the Department is the acquisition 
requested by the Tribe. The proposed fee-to-trust property is located 
in unincorporated Kern County, immediately west of the town of Mettler 
and approximately 14 miles south of the City of Bakersfield. The 
property is comprised of four parcels, Assessor's Parcel Numbers 
(APN's) 238-204-02, 238-204-04, 238-204-07 and 238-204-14. The purpose 
of the proposed action is to improve the economic status of the Tribal 
government so it can better provide housing, health care, education, 
cultural programs, and other services to its members.
    The proposed action encompasses the various Federal approvals which 
may be required to implement the Tribe's proposed economic development 
project, including approval of the Tribe's fee-to-trust application. 
The EIS will identify and evaluate issues related to these approvals, 
and will also evaluate a range of reasonable alternatives. Other 
possible alternatives currently under consideration are a reduced-
intensity casino alternative, an alternate-use (non-casino) alternative 
and one or more off-site alternatives. The range of issues and 
alternatives may be expanded based on comments received during the 
scoping process.
    Areas of environmental concern preliminarily identified for 
analysis in the EIS include land resources; water resources; air 
quality; noise; biological resources; cultural/historical/
archaeological resources; resource use patterns; traffic and 
transportation; public health and safety; hazardous materials and 
hazardous wastes; public services and utilities; socioeconomics; 
environmental justice; visual resources/aesthetics; and cumulative, 
indirect, and growth-inducing effects. Additional information, 
including a map of the project site, is available by contacting the 
person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this 
    Public comment availability: Comments, including names and 
addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the 
BIA address shown in the ADDRESSES section, during regular business 
hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. 
Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask in your comment that your personal identifying information be 
withheld from public review, BIA cannot guarantee that this will occur.
    Authority: This notice is published in accordance with sections 
1503.1 and 1506.6 of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations 
(40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508) implementing the procedural 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 4321-4345 et seq.), and the Department of the 
Interior National Environmental Policy Act Regulations (43 CFR part 
46), and is in the exercise of authority delegated to the Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs by 209 DM 8.

    Dated: August 6, 2015.
Kevin K. Washburn,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2015-19973 Filed 8-12-15; 8:45 am]