NOTICE OF AVAILABILTY
PROPOSED TULE RIVER TRIBE
CONVEYANCE OF 876.12 ACRES OF FEE PROPERTY TO FEDERAL TRUST
TULARE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Notice is hereby given that the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA), dated May, 2013 for the proposed fee-to-trust acquisition of 876.12± acres of land on behalf of the Tule River Tribe (Tribe) the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, and the future construction of 21 housing units.
Two properties are involved in this project involving four Assessor Parcels, 305-130-06 (20.5 ac.) 305-130-017 (514.07 ac.), 305-130-011 (320.0 ac.), and 305-130-010 (21.55 ac.). The first three parcels listed above, are also known as the Lowe Ranch while the last parcel is known as the McDarment Parcel. Collectively, the 876.12 acres of property are located contiguous to the Tule River Indian Reservation, lands already held in federal trust by the BIA for the Tule River Tribe.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) will include a treatment gallery and effluent disposal facilities to be located on APN 305-130-017. The WWTP reflects the Tribe’s preferences as to the scope and nature of the proposed wastewater system, as refined through a scoping process and preparation of a Feasibility Study and Supplement by IHS. The Feasibility Study led to the design of the WWTP facility and the preparation of construction documents. The cost estimate for construction under the Proposed Action is $5,003,884 with an additional $1,427,575 from EPA for the collection system and up to $4,300,000 for the MBR treatment system, building, sludge handling, storage pond, and subsurface effluent disposal system. Funding would be provided by IHS and USEPA Region 9 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), as well as the IHS regular fund and the USEPA Clean Water Act Indian Set Aside Program.
Phase 1 of the project also included the installation of force main, gravity and lateral pipelines totally within the Reservation. Phase I completion of the approximately 1,539-foot long segment of the wastewater collection system within the right of way of Reservation Road located west of the Tule River Reservation occurred this past summer under a separate environmental analysis conducted by the Indian Health Service. The proposed project involves the construction of the WWTP that will interconnect with the force main already installed.
21 single-family units are proposed for construction on a portion the 876.12-acre parcel creating a one-housing unit to a 40-acre ratio of density. The housing units will be constructed in the foreseeable future (10 to 15 years) contingent on funding.
Copies of the EA are available for public review at the Tule River Tribal Office located at 340 N. Reservation Road, Tule River Indian Reservation. Copies are also available at the Porterville Public Library located at 41 W. Thurman, Porterville, Monday - Thursday: 10:00am-8:00pm and Friday & Saturday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Written comments regarding the EA must arrive by July 3, 2013. Written comments may be mailed or hand delivered to United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Region Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. For further information, please contact Chad Broussard, Environmental Specialist, at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office at (916) 978-6165.