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Notice

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Schofield Generating Station Project, United States Army Garrison, Hawaii

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Department of the Army, DoD.

ACTION:

Notice of availability.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Army announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed lease of land and granting of easements on Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield to Hawaiian Electric Company (Hawaiian Electric) for the construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance of a 50-megawatt (MW) capacity, biofuel-capable power generation plant, referred to as the Schofield Generating Station, and associated power poles, high-tension power lines, and related equipment and facilities. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the DEIS analyzes the environmental impacts associated with construction and operation of the Schofield Generating Station and associated infrastructure. The Army has determined that there are historic properties nearby, but that the undertaking will have no effect upon them as defined in 36 CFR 800.16(i). The Draft EIS documents this finding and it is now being made available for public review. The Draft EIS comment process is also an opportunity for public to provide input about the effects of the proposed actions on historic property, for consideration in Army decision making.

DATES:

The public comment period will end 45 days after publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

Please send written comments by mail to the Department of the Army, Directorate of Public Works, United States Army Garrison, Hawaii, ATTN: IMHW-PWE (L. Graham), 947 Wright Avenue, Wheeler Army Airfield, Schofield Barracks, HI 96857-5013; or by email to sgspcomments@tetratech.com.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For more information please contact Ms. Lisa Graham, NEPA Coordinator, U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii. Ms. Graham can be reached by phone at (808) 656-3075, or by email at lisa.m.graham52.civ@mail.mil.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Proposed Action, referred to as the Schofield Generating Station Project (SGSP), consists of:

(1) The Army's lease of 8.13 acres of land and the related granting of a 2.5-acre interconnection easement on Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield to Hawaiian Electric to construct, operate, and maintain a 50-MW capacity renewable energy power plant to include associated power poles, high-tension power lines, and related equipment and facilities.

(2) The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources granting of a 1.28-acre easement and a 0.7-acre conservation district authorization to Hawaiian Electric allowing for the construction of a 46 kilovolt (kV) electrical power transmission line between the SGSP site and the existing Wahiawa Substation.

(3) Hawaiian Electric's construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance of a 50 MW capacity, biofuel-capable power generation plant and 46 kV sub-transmission line required to connect the Schofield Generating Station to the Hawaiian Electric grid.Start Printed Page 22979

The primary purpose of the Proposed Action is two-fold: to provide improved energy security to the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii at Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and Field Station Kunia and to provide new secure, firm, flexible, and renewable energy generation to the grid on Oahu, Hawaii.

The need for the Proposed Action are to increase energy security for the Army and Oahu; assist the Army in supporting renewable energy-related laws and Executive Orders and meeting its renewable energy goals; assist Hawaiian Electric in meeting the Hawaii Renewable Portfolio Standard goals; and improve future electrical generation on Oahu.

The electricity produced by the SGSP would normally supply power to all Hawaiian Electric customers through the island-wide electrical grid. During outages that meet the criteria specified in the Operating Agreement, SGSP output would first be provided to Army facilities at Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and Field Station Kunia up to their peak demand of 32 MW, to meet their missions, and would additionally support the grid up to the station's full capacity. If there were a full island outage, the power plant could be used to restart other plants on the island.

Under the No Action Alternative, the Army would not lease the property or grant the easement and Hawaiian Electric would not construct and operate the SGSP.

The DEIS evaluates the impacts on land use; airspace use; visual resources; air quality, including climate and greenhouse gasses; noise; traffic and transportation; water resources; geology and soils; biological resources; cultural resources; hazardous and toxic substances; socioeconomics, including environmental justice; and utilities and infrastructure.

Impacts were assessed assuming full-time operation of the generating facility (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). Under normal conditions, the facility would likely operate less than full-time, so projected impacts could be less.

Anticipated impacts would be less than significant for all resources. All activities would fall within existing regulations, permits, and plans. Best management practices and design measures that would avoid or minimize adverse effects would be implemented for these resources: visual, air quality, noise, traffic and transportation, water, geology and soils, biological resources, cultural resources, and hazardous and toxic substances.

All government agencies, special interest groups, and individuals are invited to attend the public meetings and/or submit their comments in writing. Information on the dates, times, and locations of the public meetings will be published locally.

The DEIS is available for review at the Sergeant Rodney J. Yano Main Library (on Schofield Barracks); Fort Shafter Library; Wahiawa Public Library; Mililani Public Library; Waialua Public Library; University of Hawaii libraries including Thomas H. Hamilton Library, Edwin H. Mookini Library, Maui College Library, and Kauai Community College Library; Hawaii State libraries including Kaimuki Regional Library, Kaneohe Regional Library, Pearl City Regional Library, Hawaii Kai Regional Library, Hilo Regional Library, Kahului Regional Library, and Lihue Regional Library, and the Hawaii State Library Documents Center; the Legislative Reference Bureau Library; and the City and County of Honolulu Department of Customer Services Municipal Library. The DEIS can also be viewed at the following Web site: http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/​schofieldplant.

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Brenda S Bowen,

Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2015-09518 Filed 4-23-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3710-08-P