[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 46 (Friday, March 8, 2013)]
[Pages 15007-15008]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05416]



Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers

Notice of Open House--Draft Environmental Impact Statement for 
Revised Water Control Manuals for the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River 

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

ACTION: Notice of Open House meetings.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
Mobile District (USACE), will conduct open house style meetings and 
accept comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for 
the update of the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin (ACT) Water 
Control Master Manual (Master Manual). The public comment period began 
with the Notice of Availability published by the Environmental 
Protection Agency on March 1, 2013 and will end 60 days after that 
date. The open houses will be held at the times and places indicated in 

DATES: Comments on the DEIS are due by May 1, 2013 and should be 
submitted as indicated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Lewis Sumner at telephone (251) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Master Manual includes appendices 
prepared for individual projects in the ACT Basin and is the guide used 
by USACE to operate a system of five Federal reservoir projects in the 
basin--Allatoona Dam and Lake, Carters Dam and Lake and Carters 
Reregulation Dam, Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam and R.E. ``Bob'' 
Woodruff Lake, Millers Ferry Lock and Dam and William ``Bill'' Dannelly 
Lake, and Claiborne Lock and Dam and Lake. In addition the Master 
Manual includes appendices prepared for two of the Alabama Power 
Company (APC) projects for which USACE has authority for flood risk 
management water management control--Neely Henry and R.L. Harris. APC 
regulates these two non-federal projects in compliance with the 
projects' Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licenses and in 
accordance with USACE water control plans for flood management 
regulation and navigation support.
    USACE is updating the water control plans and manuals for the ACT 
Basin in order to improve operations for authorized purposes to reflect 
changed conditions since the manuals were last developed. The purpose 
and need for the updated Master Manual is to determine how the federal 
projects in the ACT Basin should adjust operations for their authorized 
purposes, in light of current conditions and applicable law and to 
implement those operations through updated water control plans and 
manuals. The updated plans and manuals will comply with existing USACE 
regulations and reflect operations under existing congressional 
authorizations, taking into account changes in basin hydrology and 
demands from years of growth and development, new/rehabilitated 
structural features, legal developments, and environmental issues.
    USACE regulations also provide specific policy and guidance for 
inclusion of drought contingency plans as part of USACE's overall water 
control management activities in the basin. To be effective, the 
drought plan must incorporate a comprehensive, basin-wide approach that 
considers the interrelationship of USACE projects and APC projects and 
the proposed drought plan was developed in collaboration with APC.
    USACE's objectives for the Master Manual are to develop a Water 
Control Plan that meets the existing water resources needs of the 
basin, fulfills its responsibilities in operating for the authorized 
project purposes, and complies with all pertinent laws. The DEIS 
presents the results of USACE's analysis of the environmental effects 
of the Proposed Action Alternative (PAA) that the USACE believes 
accomplishes these objectives.
    USACE evaluated an array of potential water management alternatives 
during the Master Manual update process, resulting in the selection of 
the PAA. Additional information on the components of the PAA can be 
found at www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/PlanningEnvironmental/ACTMasterWaterControlManualUpdate/ACTDocumentLibrary.aspx. One 
alternative available to USACE is to continue with current operations. 
This approach is

[[Page 15008]]

termed the No Action Alternative (NAA). Neither the PAA nor the NAA 
would alter existing water supply storage allocations, fish spawning or 
fish passage operations.
    The proposed action does not include the building, installing, or 
upgrading of any facilities. USACE will not modify any authorized 
project purpose via this action, although the extent to which some can 
be achieved may be affected. This action is limited to the way 
reservoir levels are managed and water is released from them.

Document Availability

    The DEIS and appendices are available to the public for review in 
the following formats:
     Online as PDF documents at www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/PlanningEnvironmental/ACTMasterWaterControlManualUpdate/ACTDocumentLibrary.aspx.
     As a CD or bound copies when requested in writing to: 
Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Attn: PD-EI 
(ACT-DEIS), P.O. Box 2288, Mobile AL 36628.
     A limited number of CD copies will also be available at 
the DEIS open houses.

Public Review and Comment

    USACE recognizes that the decisions made concerning revisions to 
the water control operations at USACE projects within the ACT Basin 
will have wide-ranging effects and encourages the public to submit 
comments on the content of the DEIS. All persons and organizations that 
have a potential interest in the proposed action, including minority, 
low-income, disadvantaged, and Native American groups, are urged to 
participate in this NEPA environmental analysis process by reviewing 
the DEIS and submitting comments for consideration.
    Comments may be submitted via the following methods:
     Onsite at open houses through comment cards.
     Verbally through the court reporter at open houses.
     Online at www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/PlanningEnvironmental/ACTMasterWaterControlManualUpdate.
     By emailing [email protected].
     By letter addressed to: Commander, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, Mobile District, Attn: PD-EI (ACT-DEIS), P.O. Box 2288, 
Mobile AL 36628.
    Further information regarding the update of the Master Manual, 
including all available documents, background and historical 
information, and updates is available online at the Web site given 

Open Houses

    Open house style meetings will be held the week of March 25, 2013 
at the following locations and times:
     Monday, March 25 from 5-8 p.m. at Cobb Conference Center 
755 Cobb Place Blvd. NW., Kennesaw, GA 30144.
     Tuesday, March 26 from 5-8 p.m. at The Forum Civic Center, 
2 Government Plaza, Rome, GA 301901.
     Wednesday, March 27 from 4-7 p.m. at The Senior Activity 
Center, 623 Broad Street, Gadsden, AL 35901.
     Thursday, March 28 from 5-8 p.m. at Auburn University-
Montgomery, Center for Lifelong Learning, 75 TechnaCenter Drive, 
Montgomery, AL 36117.

Next Steps

    All comments will be catalogued and reviewed after the 60-day 
public comment period. The final EIS (FEIS) is scheduled to be 
completed and filed with the USEPA in the summer of 2013. The Record of 
Decision, if appropriate, will be signed following the FEIS and the 
Master Manual is scheduled to be approved in October 2013.

Thomas F. Nelson,
Lt. Colonel, Deputy Commander, Mobile District, U.S. Army Corps of 
[FR Doc. 2013-05416 Filed 3-7-13; 8:45 am]