[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 211 (Thursday, October 31, 2002)]
[Page 66388]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-27719]



Department of Army; Corps of Engineers

Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Millstone River Basin, New Jersey Flood Control and Ecosystem 
Restoration Feasibility Study

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

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New York District, 
announces its intent to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), in 
accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations 
for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA and the Department 
of the Army, USACE Procedures for Implementing NEPA, to assess the 
environmental impacts of a proposed flood control and ecosystem 
restoration study in the Millstone River Basin in New Jersey. This 
study is authorized by a resolution of the Committee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives, adopted August 5, 
1999. The purpose of this study is to identify and evaluate possible 
solutions for flood control and ecosystem restoration and to determine 
the extent of Federal interest.

DATES: Public scoping meeting on November 14, 2002, 7:30 PM --9:00 PM, 
to be held at the Borough of Manville Courtroom, 325 North Main Street, 
Manville, New Jersey, 08835.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action 
and DEIS can be answered by: Ms. Megan B. Grubb, (212) 264-5759, U.S. 
Army Engineer District, New York, Planning Division, Attn: CENAN-PL-EA, 
26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278-0090.


1. Project Location

    This notice announces the initiation of a feasibility phase study 
for flood control and ecosystem restoration purposes at Millstone River 
Basin, New Jersey. This study area is located in parts of the New 
Jersey counties of Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Hunterdom, and 
Somerset, and is bounded on the north by Morris County, on the east by 
Middlesex County, on the west by Hunterdon County and on the south by 
Mercer County. The study area is located in north-central New Jersey 
halfway between Philadelphia and New York City. The project study area 
consists of approximately 238 square miles of developed commercial and 
residential buildings as well as natural habitat.

2. Project Authorization and History

    The Millstone River Basin Study is authorized by a resolution of 
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of 
Representatives, adopted August 5, 1999. The USACE completed an initial 
Reconnaissance report entitled ``Millstone River Basin, New Jersey--
Reconnaissance Study For Flood Control & Ecosystem Restoration'' in 
September 2000. This report determined that there may be potential 
Federal interest in flood control and ecosystem restoration measures 
for the Millstone River Basin. Additional investigations have 
demonstrated Federal interest and the need for further study of the 
Millstone River Basin area, in the nature of a detailed feasibility 
study. The non-Federal sponsor, the New Jersey Department of 
Environmental Protection (NJDEP) signed an agreement on 14 March 2002 
to equally share the cost of the feasibility study with the USACE. The 
NJDEP in turn will act on behalf of all other local municipalities and 
jurisdictions as the primary non-Federal sponsor.

3. Project Need

    The Millstone River Basin has a history of severe flood damages. 
Low-lying residential and commercial structures in the area are 
experiencing flooding caused by intense thunderstorms, northeasters, 
and hurricanes. Evaluation of flooding problems in the Millstone River 
basin has identified the Borough of Manville as the most significant 
problem area in the Basin. Manville was selected for detailed 
consideration in this feasibility investigation. A number of 
improvement measures would be evaluated during the feasibility study. 
These may include such measures as: floodwalls, levees, pump stations, 
gates and ecological enhancement. Non-structural measures such as flood 
proofing, ring walls, raising or acquisitions will also be considered.
    The Millstone River Basin has a significant problem with ecosystem 
degradation. The structure and function of the natural systems in the 
Basin and the Millstone River's ability to perform critical local and 
regional ecological functions have been greatly reduced due to change 
in land use patterns and practices. A number of improvement measures 
would be evaluated during the feasibility study. The types of ecosystem 
restoration projects to be formulated could include: Lake Restoration 
and Watershed Management, Comprehensive Riparian System Restoration, 
Disturbed Land Restoration, and Ecological Enhancement in association 
with a Flood Control Project.

4. DEIS Scope

    The intended DEIS will evaluate the potential environmental and 
cultural resources impacts associated with the proposed alternatives 
for flood control and ecosystem restoration.

5. Public Involvement

    The USACE has scheduled a public environmental scoping meeting for 
November 14, 2002 (see DATES) to discuss the scope of the DEIS and data 
gaps. The public scoping meeting place, date and time will be 
advertised in advance in local newspapers, and meeting announcement 
letters will be sent to interested parties. The public will have an 
opportunity to provide written and oral comments at the public scoping 
meeting. Written comments may also be submitted via mail and should be 
directed to Ms. Megan B. Grubb at the address listed above. The USACE 
plans to issue the DEIS in the spring of 2005. The USACE will announce 
availability of the draft in the Federal Register and other media, and 
will provide the public, organizations, and agencies with an 
opportunity to submit comments, which will be addressed in the final 

Luz D. Ortiz,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 02-27719 Filed 10-30-02; 8:45 am]