Federal Register

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is reopening the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Little River Band Trust Acquisition and Casino Project, Township of Fruitport, Muskegon County, Michigan (DEIS).

BIA will consider all comments submitted or postmarked by April 17, 2019. Comments submitted to BIA concerning the DEIS prior to this announcement do not need to be resubmitted.

Mr. Scott Doig, Regional Environmental Scientist, Division of Environmental, Facilities, Safety and Cultural Resource Management (DEFSCRM), Bureau of Indian Affairs, Midwest Region, Norman Pointe II Building, 5600 West American Boulevard, Suite 500, Bloomington, MN 55347; phone: (612) 725-4597; email: scott.doig@bia.gov. Information is also available online at littleriverEIS.com.

BIA published a notice of availability of the DEIS on November 21, 2018. See 83 FR 58783. Public review of the DEIS is part of the administrative process for the evaluation of the Tribe's application to the BIA for the Federal trust acquisition of approximately 60 acres in the Township of Fruitport, Muskegon County, Michigan, upon which the Tribe proposes to develop a casino, hotel, parking, and other supporting facilities. The BIA held a public meeting on the DEIS on December 12, 2018 at Fruitport Middle School, 3113 E Pontaluna Road, Fruitport, Michigan 49415.

Background: The Proposed Project consists of the following components: (1) The transfer of an approximately 60-acre property from fee to trust status; (2) issuance of a Secretarial Determination by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) under Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) that gaming on the project site would be in the best interest of the Tribe and not detrimental to the surrounding community (25 U.S.C. 2719(b)(1)(A)); and (3) development of the trust parcel and adjacent land owned by the Tribe, totaling approximately 86.5 acres, with a variety of uses including a casino, hotel, conference center, parking, and other supporting facilities. At full build-out, the proposed casino facility would include approximately 149,069 square feet of gaming floor; a hotel with 220 guest rooms; a 250-seat buffet, as well as a café, sports bar, food court, and other food and beverage providers; and an approximately 38,790-square foot convention center. Access to the project site would be provided via two driveways: One along Harvey Street and one along East Ellis Road. Five service driveways, not for public use, would be located on East Ellis Road.

The following alternatives are considered in the DEIS: (1) Proposed Project; (2) Reduced Intensity Alternative; (3) Non-Gaming Alternative; (4) Custer Site Alternative, and (5) No Action/No Development. 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.