South Central Power

South Central Power Company (SCP): Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

July 12, 2019

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Development

South Central Power Company (SCP): Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA

ACTION: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact.

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to a request for possible financing assistance to South Central Power Company (SCP) for the construction of the South Central Power Company (SCP) Headquarters Construction Project (Project) in Fairfield County, Ohio.

FURTHER INFORMATION: To obtain copies of the EA and FONSI, or for further information, contact: Lauren Cusick; Environmental Protection Specialist, RUS, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2244, Mail Stop 1571, Washington, DC 20250, Phone: 202-720-1414, Lauren.cusick@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed project consists of constructing a new headquarters facility. The SCP headquarters will be located in the city of Lancaster, Ohio. The Project area is anticipated to be square and occupy approximately 42 acres. The SCP Headquarters Project will allow for the consolidation of three existing SCP operations centers: the Lancaster Headquarters & Operations Center, the Circleville Operations Center and the Canal Winchester Operations Center. Alternatives considered by RUS and SCP include: No action; RUS would not provide financial assistance to SCP, and/or the proposed Project would not be constructed. The alternatives are discussed in the Project EA. RUS has reviewed and approved the EA for the proposed project.

The availability of the EA for public review was announced via notice in the following newspaper(s): The Lancaster Eagle Gazette and The Circleville Herald on June 25, 2019 through June 27, 2019. A 14-day comment period was announced in the newspaper notice(s). The EA was also available for public review at the USDA Rural Development office as well as SCP’s website: https://www.southcentralpower.com/news/. No public comments were received.

Based on its EA, commitments made by SCP, and public comments received, RUS has concluded that the project would have no significant impact to water quality, wetlands, floodplains, land use, aesthetics, transportation, or human health and safety.

The proposed project will have no adverse effect on resources listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Agency has also concluded that the proposed project will have no effect on federally listed threatened and endangered species or designated critical habitat thereof. The proposed project would not disproportionately affect minority and/or low-income populations.

No other potential significant impacts resulting from the proposed project have been identified. Therefore, RUS has determined that this FONSI fulfills its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR §§ 1500-1508), and USDA Rural Development’s Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Part 1970) for its action related to the project.

RUS is satisfied that the environmental impacts of the proposed project have been adequately addressed. RUS’ federal action would not result in significant impacts to the quality of the human environment, and as such it will not prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for its action related to the proposed project.

Dated: 7/12/2019