[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 114 (Friday, June 12, 2020)]
[Pages 35948-35949]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-12697]

[[Page 35948]]



Bureau of Indian Affairs


Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Conformity 
Determination for the Tejon Indian Tribe's Proposed Fee-to-Trust 
Acquisition and Casino Resort Project, Kern County, California

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA), as lead agency, with the Tejon Indian Tribe (Tribe), 
Kern County (County), National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), and the 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) serving as cooperating 
agencies, intends to file a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) 
with the EPA in connection with the Tribe's application for acquisition 
in trust by the United States of approximately 306 acres for gaming and 
other purposes to be located west of the Town of Mettler, Kern County, 
California. This notice also announces that the DEIS is now available 
for public review and that a public hearing will be held to receive 
comments on the DEIS.

DATES: Comments on the DEIS must arrive no later than 45 days after 
publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The date and time 
of the public hearing will be announced at least 15 days in advance 
through a notice to be published in a local newspaper (the Bakersfield 
Californian) and online at http://www.tejoneis.com.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments:
     By mail or hand-delivery to: Amy Dutschke, Regional 
Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Region, 2800 Cottage Way, 
Sacramento, CA 95825. Please include your name, return address, and 
``DEIS Comments, Tejon Indian Tribe Casino Project'' on the first page 
of your written comments.
     By email to: Chad Broussard, Environmental Protection 
Specialist, Bureau of Indian Affairs, at [email protected], using 
``DEIS Comments, Tejon Indian Tribe Casino Project'' as the subject of 
your email.
    The DEIS will be available for public review at:

 BIA Pacific Region, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825
 Kern County Public Library, Lamont Branch, 8304 Segrue Road, 
Lamont, CA 93241

The location of the public hearing will be announced at least 15 days 
in advance through a notice to be published in a local newspaper (the 
Bakersfield Californian) and online at http://www.tejoneis.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chad Broussard, Environmental 
Protection Specialist, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional 
Office, telephone: (916) 978-6165; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public review of the DEIS is part of the 
administrative process for the evaluation of the Tribe's application to 
the BIA for the placement of approximately 306 acres of fee land in 
trust in Kern County, California. The Tribe proposes to construct a 
casino resort on the trust property. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to 
prepare an EIS was published in the Bakersfield Californian and Federal 
Register on August 13, 2015. The BIA held a public scoping meeting for 
the project on September 1, 2015, at the East Bakersfield Veteran's 
Building, in Bakersfield, California.


    The Tribe's proposed project consists of the following components: 
(1) The Department's transfer of the approximately 306-acre fee 
property into trust status; (2) issuance of a determination by the 
Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 
25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.; (3) the approval of a management contract by 
the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission under 25 U.S.C. 
2711; and (4) the Tribe's proposed development of the trust parcel and 
the off-site improvement areas. The proposed casino resort would 
include a hotel, convention center, multipurpose event space, several 
restaurant facilities, parking facilities, a recreational vehicle (RV) 
park, fire, and sheriff stations and associated facilities.
    The following alternatives are considered in the DEIS: (1) Proposed 
Project; (2) Reduced Intensity Hotel and Casino; (3) Organic Farm; (4) 
Alternate Site for the Proposed Project; and (5) No Action Alternative. 
Environmental issues addressed in the DEIS include geology and soils, 
water resources, air quality, biological resources, cultural and 
paleontological resources, socioeconomic conditions (including 
environmental justice), transportation and circulation, land use, 
public services, noise, hazardous materials, aesthetics, cumulative 
effects, and indirect and growth inducing effects. In accordance with 
Section 176 of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7506, and the EPA general 
conformity regulations 40 CFR part 93, subpart B, a Draft Conformity 
Determination (DCD) has been prepared for the proposed project. The 
Clean Air Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that their actions 
conform to applicable implementation plans for achieving and 
maintaining the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for criteria air 
pollutants. The BIA has prepared a DCD for the proposed action/project 
described above. The DCD is included in Appendix N of the DEIS.
    Locations Where the DEIS Is Available for Review: The DEIS is 
available for review during regular business hours at the BIA Pacific 
Regional Office at the address noted above in the ADDRESSES section of 
this notice. To obtain a compact disc copy of the DEIS, please provide 
your name and address in writing or by phone to Chad Broussard, Bureau 
of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office. Contact information is 
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. 
Individual paper copies of the DEIS will be provided upon payment of 
applicable printing expenses by the requestor for the number of copies 
    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, the BIA cannot guarantee that this will 
    Authority: This notice is published pursuant to Sec. 1503.1 of the 
Council of Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 
1508) and Sec. 46.305 of the Department of the Interior Regulations (43 
CFR part 46), implementing the procedural requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of l969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4371, et seq.), 
and is in the exercise of authority delegated to the Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs by 209 DM 8. This notice is also published in 
accordance with 40 CFR 93.155, which provides reporting

[[Page 35949]]

requirements for conformity determinations.

Tara Sweeney,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2020-12697 Filed 6-11-20; 8:45 am]