PUBLIC NOTICE

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Development

City of La Joya: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA

ACTION: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact.

SUMMARY: The RUS has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to a request for possible financing assistance to City of La Joya for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant in La Joya, Hidalgo County, Texas.

FURTHER INFORMATION: To obtain copies of the EA and FONSI, or for further information, contact: Terry Czerwien, State Environmental Coordinator, 101 South Main Street, Temple, Texas 76501, at 254-742-9789 or terry.czerwien@usda.gov; Edinburg Area Office, 2514 South Veterans Blvd, Suite 4, Edinburg, Texas 78539.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed project consists of construction of water improvements: rehabilitate and upsizing the water intake structure, add 14,200 linear feet of transmission line, add 14,800 of intake water line, and construct a 4.0 MGD pour-in-place water treatment facility. The existing water treatment facility will be decommissioned as a treatment plant and used as a transfer station.

Alternatives considered by RUS and City of La Joya include: No action; siting alternatives (other location, expand the existing facility), wastewater treatment alternatives. The alternatives are discussed in the La Joya Wastewater treatment plant EA. The 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: Progress Times on December 25, 2020 & January 1, 2021. A 14-day comment period was announced in the newspaper notice. The EA was also available for public review at the USDA Rural Development offices as well as City of La Joya offices. No comments were received.

Based on its EA, commitments made by City of La Joya, and public comments received, RUS has concluded that the project would have no significant impact (or no impacts) 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 is not likely to affect 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’s 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: January 29, 2021

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