Federal Register

This notice advises the public that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), as lead agency, with the Tule River Indian Tribe (Tribe), City of Porterville (City), Tulare County (County), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) serving as cooperating agencies, intends to file a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) with the EPA in connection with the Tribe's application for transfer into trust by the United States of approximately 40 acres for gaming and other purposes in the City of Porterville, Tulare County, California.

The Tribe proposes to construct a casino resort on the approximately 40-acre trust property in Tulare County, California. The BIA published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS in the Federal Register on December 30, 2016 (81 FR 96477), and in the Porterville Recorder, and held a public scoping meeting on January 23, 2017, at the Veterans Memorial Building, in Porterville, California. The BIA published the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register on September 21, 2018 (83 FR 47935), and held a public hearing on October 15, 2018, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Porterville, California.

Background: The Tribe's proposed project consists of the following components: (1) The Department's transfer of approximately 40 acres from fee to trust status; (2) issuance of a determination by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. 2719; and (3) the development of the trust parcel and the off-site improvement areas. The proposed casino-hotel resort would include a hotel, convention center, multipurpose event space, several restaurant facilities, parking facilities and water reclamation infrastructure. The new facility would replace the Tribe's existing casino, and the existing casino buildings would be converted to Tribal government or service uses.