Construction and Operation of the Proposed White Wind Farm Project, Brookings County, SD, 8359-8361 [05-3147]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 33 / Friday, February 18, 2005 / Notices filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing. Documents filed electronically via the Internet must be prepared in MS Word, Portable Document Format, or ASCII format. To file the document, access the Commission’s Web site at http:// www.ferc.gov, click on ‘‘e-Filing’’ and then follow the instructions for each screen. First time users will have to establish a user name and password. The Commission will send an automatic acknowledgement to the sender’s e-mail address upon receipt of comments. User assistance for electronic filing is available at 202–502–8258 or by e-mail to efiling@ferc.gov. Do not submit comments to this e-mail address. For paper filings, the original and 14 copies of the comments should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426 and should refer to the abovereferenced docket numbers. All written comments will be placed in the Commission’s public files and will be available for inspection at the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC, 20426, during regular business hours. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice of intent. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD05–1–000] Principles for Efficient and Reliable Reactive Power Supply and Consumption; Notice Establishing Comment Date February 11, 2005. On February 4, 2005, the Commission made available to the public a Staff Report on Reactive Power Supply and Consumption. The Staff Report explores the issue of reactive power supply from both a technical and economic perspective. The Staff Report will be the subject of a March 8, 2005 technical conference.1 In addition, the Commission invites comment on the Staff Report, including but not limited to comments regarding the technical aspects of reactive power supply and the development of possible cost recovery mechanisms. The Commission encourages electronic submission of comments in 1 A Notice of Technical Conference was issued on January 31, 2005. Jkt 205001 BILLING CODE 6717–01–P Construction and Operation of the Proposed White Wind Farm Project, Brookings County, SD BILLING CODE 6717–01–P 15:41 Feb 17, 2005 Magalie R. Salas, Secretary. [FR Doc. E5–679 Filed 2–17–05; 8:45 am] Western Area Power Administration Magalie R. Salas, Secretary. [FR Doc. E5–678 Filed 2–17–05; 8:45 am] VerDate jul<14>2003 lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and copies of the comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link and is available for review in the Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an ‘‘eSubscription’’ link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive e-mail notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please e-mail FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Comment Date: April 4, 2005. SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposal by Navitas Energy (Navitas) to construct and operate the White Wind Farm Project (Project) in Brookings County, South Dakota. The EIS will address the construction and operation of the proposed Project, which includes wind turbine generators, access roads, collection and feeder lines, communications system, and a new electrical substation. Navitas has applied to Western to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s power transmission system. Western needs to grant or deny Navitas’ interconnection request under the provisions of its General Guidelines for Interconnections. Western will hold a 30-day scoping period and a scoping meeting near the project area to ensure that interested members of the public and groups, and Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies have an opportunity to provide input on the scope of the EIS. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8359 DATES: The open-house public scoping meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2005, in Hendricks, Minnesota. Written comments should be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2005, which marks the end of the EIS scoping period. ADDRESSES: The open-house public scoping meeting will be held at the Midwest Center for Wind Energy, 2390 County Highway 1, Hendricks, Minnesota. The Center is located approximately 25 miles northeast of the City of Brookings and approximately 15 miles east of the City of White, just east of the South Dakota/Minnesota state line. Written comments should be addressed to Mr. Dirk Shulund, B0402.BL, Western Area Power Administration, Upper Great Plains Regional Office, P.O. Box 35800, Billings, MT 59107–5800, telephone (406) 247–7402, fax (406) 247–7408, email shulund@wapa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mark J. Wieringa, NEPA Document Manager, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228–8213, telephone (720) 962–7448 or (800) 336–7288, fax (720) 962–7263 or 7269, e-mail wieringa@wapa.gov. For general information on DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review procedures or status of a NEPA review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of NEPA Policy and Compliance, EH–42, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586–4600 or (800) 472–2756. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western intends to prepare an EIS on the proposal by Navitas to construct and operate the Project in Brookings County, South Dakota, southeast of the City of White. The EIS will address the construction and operation of the proposed Project, which includes wind turbine generators, access roads, collection and feeder lines, a communications system, and a new electrical substation. In addition to the proposed action, the no-action alternative, and any action alternatives defined as a result of the EIS scoping process, will also be addressed in the EIS. The EIS process will comply with the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321–4347, as amended), Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and DOE NEPA implementing procedures (10 CFR part 1021). Navitas has applied to Western to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s power transmission system. Western is a power marketing agency of E:\FR\FM\18FEN1.SGM 18FEN1 8360 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 33 / Friday, February 18, 2005 / Notices DOE that markets Federal electric power to municipalities, public utilities, and Native American tribes. Western offers capacity on its transmission system to deliver electricity when such capacity is available, under Western’s Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (63 FR 5376). The Tariff substantively complies with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Final Orders No. 888 and 888A, which are intended to ensure non-discriminatory transmission system access. Western needs to grant or deny Navitas’ interconnection request under the provisions of its General Guidelines for Interconnections. Navitas is proposing to construct the Project, an approximately 200-megawatt (MW) wind turbine generation project, in a 31-square mile project area in Brookings County, South Dakota. The project area is surrounded by a 1-mile buffer zone, which would be included in the environmental analysis, for a total of approximately 55.5 square miles. The project area is located immediately southeast of the City of White and approximately 10 miles northeast of the City of Brookings, predominantly in Sherman Township, just west of the South Dakota/Minnesota state line. The project area is mostly rural cropland, with some grazing land in rougher topography. Navitas has identified National Wetland Inventory wetlands and 100-year floodplains within the project area; these would be considered avoidance areas when siting the wind generators and supporting facilities. Each wind turbine would involve the permanent disturbance of an average of 0.5 acre. The proposed Project would be constructed entirely on private land. The proposed Project would consist of up to 102 wind turbine generators on single pole structures, each rated at 2 MW. The turbines would have three blades, each 38 to 42 meters long, and would revolve at up to 18 revolutions per minute. The structures would each be 70 to 100 meters high and 4 to 5 meters in diameter at the base. The wind turbines would be installed on a concrete base, and each would have a pad-mounted transformer near the base. Lighting in accordance with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Federal Aviation Administration requirements would be provided. There would be a class 5 all-weather gravel access road constructed to each turbine location, located along existing fence lines to the extent possible. The wind turbines would be connected by overhead feeder lines, underground power collection circuits, and a communications network. The underground collector circuits, comprised of three cables, VerDate jul<14>2003 15:41 Feb 17, 2005 Jkt 205001 would be buried to a depth that would not interfere with farming operations. Siting of the wind turbine generators has not been completed, but would be designed to optimize wind and land resources in the area while minimizing environmental impacts to the extent practicable. Local zoning requirements would be complied with, including setbacks from residences, roads and existing transmission and distribution lines. Navitas has acquired lease options within the 31-square mile project area sufficient to support the 200-MW Project. Spacing of the wind turbines would also be determined by localized wind conditions and topography, turbine technology, and desired eastwest spacing of three rotor diameters and north-south spacing of six rotor diameters. Navitas would like to begin construction in Spring 2006; the life of the proposed Project is anticipated to be a minimum of 20 years. Power generated by the Project would be delivered to a new Navitas substation, which would be constructed immediately adjacent to Western’s existing White Substation. This new substation would occupy up to 11 acres of land. White Substation is located in the southeast corner of the project area. Navitas has applied to Western to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s power transmission system at White Substation. Because interconnection of the proposed Project would incorporate a major new generation resource into Western’s power transmission system, Western has determined that an EIS is required under DOE NEPA implementing procedures, 10 CFR part 1021, Subpart D, Appendix D, class of action D6. Western will be the lead Federal agency for preparing the EIS, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5. Since the proposed Project would be constructed entirely on private land, there are no Federal or state land management agencies with jurisdiction. Western will invite Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to environmental issues to be cooperating agencies on the EIS, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.6. Such agencies may also make a request to Western to be a cooperating agency. Designated cooperating agencies have certain responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified at 40 CFR 1501.6(b). Full public participation and disclosure are planned for the entire EIS process. Western anticipates the EIS process will take about one year, and will include the open-house public scoping meeting; consultation and PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 involvement with appropriate Federal, State, local, and tribal governmental agencies; public review and a hearing on the published draft EIS; a published final EIS; a review period; and publication of a Record of Decision expected in early 2006. Additional informal public meetings may be held in the project area if public interest and issues indicate a need. Western may also mail newsletters to the project mailing list to communicate Project status and developments. Western will hold a 30-day scoping period to ensure that interested members of the public and groups, and Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies have an opportunity to provide input on the scope of the process and the alternatives that will be addressed in the EIS. Western will also hold a public open-house scoping meeting near the project area during the scoping period. The purpose of the scoping meeting will be to provide information about the proposed Project, answer questions, and take verbal and written comments from interested parties. The open-house public scoping meeting will be held at the Midwest Center for Wind Energy, 2390 County Highway 1, Hendricks, Minnesota, on Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Members of the public and representatives of groups, Federal, state, local and tribal agencies are welcome to attend anytime between 5 and 8 p.m. The Center is located approximately 25 miles northeast of the City of Brookings and approximately 15 miles east of the City of White, just east of the South Dakota/Minnesota state line. The Center has displays and other information on the development of wind energy projects which attendees may find useful. Attendees will have the opportunity to view proposed Project and NEPA process displays and other information. The open-house scoping meeting will be very informal, with Western and Navitas representatives available for one-on-one discussions with attendees. Written comments may be left with one of Western’s representatives at the scoping meeting, or may be provided by e-mail or U.S. Postal Service mail to Western. Written comments should be sent to the address provided above. Comments on Project scoping and alternatives will be due before the scoping period expires on March 31, 2005, but comments on other aspects of the proposed Project will be accepted and considered throughout the NEPA process. E:\FR\FM\18FEN1.SGM 18FEN1 8361 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 33 / Friday, February 18, 2005 / Notices Dated: February 8, 2005. Michael S. Hacskaylo, Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–3147 Filed 2–17–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Boulder Canyon Project—Rate Order No. WAPA–120 AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment and Extension of RateSetting Formula. SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western) is initiating a rate adjustment process for Boulder Canyon Project (BCP) electric service. Western proposes to extend the existing rate-setting formula, and approve the proposed base charge and rates for FY 2006. Publication of this Federal Register notice begins the formal process to extend the existing ratesetting formula and the proposed base charge and rates. The proposed base charge and rates will provide sufficient revenue to pay all annual costs, including interest expense, and repayment of required investment within the allowable period. DATES: The consultation and comment period begins today and will end May 19, 2005. Western will present a detailed explanation of the proposed base charge and rates at a public information forum on April 6, 2005, 10:30 a.m. MST, Phoenix, AZ. Western will accept oral and written comments at a public comment forum on May 4, 2005, 10:30 a.m. MST, Phoenix, AZ. Western will accept written comments any time during the consultation and comment period. ADDRESSES: The public information forum and public comment forum will be held at the Desert Southwest Regional Customer Service Office, 615 South 43rd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ. Send written comments to J. Tyler Carlson, Regional Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005–6457, e-mail carlson@wapa.gov. Western will post information about the rate process on its Web site at http://www.wapa.gov/dsw/ pwrmkt/BCP/RateAdjust.htm. Western will post official comments received via letter and e-mail to its Web site after the close of the comment period. Western must receive written comments by the end of the consultation and comment period to ensure they are considered in Western’s decision process. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jack Murray, Rates Team Lead, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005– 6457, telephone (602) 605–2442, e-mail jmurray@wapa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Annual base charge and rates adjustments are required by the existing rate-setting formula methodology approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) on April 19, 1996. Rate Schedule BCP–F5 was placed into effect on November 1, 1995, and expires on September 30, 2005. Western proposes to extend the existing rate-setting formula through September 30, 2010, and approve the proposed base charge and rates for FY 2006. The proposed base charge and rates for BCP electric service are designed under the existing rate-setting formula to recover an annual revenue requirement that includes investment repayment, interest, operation and maintenance, replacements, payment to states, visitor services, and uprating program payments. These annual costs are reduced by the projected revenue from water sales, visitor services, water pump energy sales, facility use charges, miscellaneous leases, and late fees. The annual revenue requirement is the annual base charge. The annual base charge for electric service is divided equally between capacity and energy. Annual energy dollars are divided by annual energy sales, and annual capacity dollars are divided by annual capacity sales to determine the proposed energy rate and the proposed capacity rate. The Deputy Secretary of Energy (DOE) approved the extension of the existing rate-setting formula and Rate Schedule BCP–F6 for BCP firm power service on September 18, 2000 (Rate Order No. WAPA–94, October 13, 2000), and the Commission confirmed and approved the schedule on July 31, 2001, under FERC Docket No. EF00–5092–000. Approval for the rate-setting formula and Rate Schedule BCP–F6 covered 5 years beginning on October 1, 2000, ending on September 30, 2005. Under Rate Schedule BCP–F6, the composite rate is 14.82 mills/kWh and the base charge is $57,654,683 for FY 2005. The forecasted energy rate is 7.41 mills per kilowatt-hour (mills/kWh) and the forecasted capacity rate is $1.39 per kilowatt month (kWmonth). Under Rate Schedule BCP–F7, the proposed base charge for FY 2006 will result in an overall composite rate increase of about 10 percent. The proposed base charge will increase about 7 percent, the proposed forecasted energy rate will increase about 10 percent, and the proposed forecasted capacity rate will increase about 7 percent. The proposed base charge and rates for BCP electric service are listed in the following table. TABLE 1.—PROPOSED ELECTRIC SERVICE BASE CHARGE AND RATES Existing base charge and rates Total Composite (mills/kWh) ................................................................................................................ Base Charge ($) .................................................................................................................................. Energy Rate (mills/kWh) ...................................................................................................................... Capacity Rate ($/kWmonth) ................................................................................................................ Legal Authority Since the rate-setting formula and proposed base charge and rates constitute a major rate adjustment as defined by 10 CFR part 903, Western VerDate jul<14>2003 15:41 Feb 17, 2005 Jkt 205001 will hold both a public information forum and a public comment forum. After review of public comments, and possible amendments or adjustments, Western will recommend the Deputy PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14.82 $57,654,683 7.41 $1.39 Proposed base charge and rates October 1, 2005 Percent change 16.43 $61,694,940 8.21 $1.49 Secretary of Energy extend the ratesetting formula and approve the proposed base charge and rates for FY 2006 on an interim basis. Western is establishing the electric service base charge and rates for BCP E:\FR\FM\18FEN1.SGM 18FEN1 10 7 10 7

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 33 (Friday, February 18, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8359-8361]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-3147]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Construction and Operation of the Proposed White Wind Farm 
Project, Brookings County, SD

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western), U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) on the proposal by Navitas Energy (Navitas) to 
construct and operate the White Wind Farm Project (Project) in 
Brookings County, South Dakota. The EIS will address the construction 
and operation of the proposed Project, which includes wind turbine 
generators, access roads, collection and feeder lines, communications 
system, and a new electrical substation. Navitas has applied to Western 
to interconnect the proposed Project to Western's power transmission 
system. Western needs to grant or deny Navitas' interconnection request 
under the provisions of its General Guidelines for Interconnections. 
Western will hold a 30-day scoping period and a scoping meeting near 
the project area to ensure that interested members of the public and 
groups, and Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies have an 
opportunity to provide input on the scope of the EIS.

DATES: The open-house public scoping meeting will be held on Tuesday, 
March 1, 2005, in Hendricks, Minnesota. Written comments should be 
received no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2005, which marks the 
end of the EIS scoping period.

ADDRESSES: The open-house public scoping meeting will be held at the 
Midwest Center for Wind Energy, 2390 County Highway 1, Hendricks, 
Minnesota. The Center is located approximately 25 miles northeast of 
the City of Brookings and approximately 15 miles east of the City of 
White, just east of the South Dakota/Minnesota state line. Written 
comments should be addressed to Mr. Dirk Shulund, B0402.BL, Western 
Area Power Administration, Upper Great Plains Regional Office, P.O. Box 
35800, Billings, MT 59107-5800, telephone (406) 247-7402, fax (406) 
247-7408, e-mail shulund@wapa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mark J. Wieringa, NEPA Document 
Manager, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, 
CO 80228-8213, telephone (720) 962-7448 or (800) 336-7288, fax (720) 
962-7263 or 7269, e-mail wieringa@wapa.gov. For general information on 
DOE's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review procedures or 
status of a NEPA review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of 
NEPA Policy and Compliance, EH-42, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586-4600 
or (800) 472-2756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western intends to prepare an EIS on the 
proposal by Navitas to construct and operate the Project in Brookings 
County, South Dakota, southeast of the City of White. The EIS will 
address the construction and operation of the proposed Project, which 
includes wind turbine generators, access roads, collection and feeder 
lines, a communications system, and a new electrical substation. In 
addition to the proposed action, the no-action alternative, and any 
action alternatives defined as a result of the EIS scoping process, 
will also be addressed in the EIS. The EIS process will comply with the 
NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, as amended), Council on Environmental 
Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and 
DOE NEPA implementing procedures (10 CFR part 1021).
    Navitas has applied to Western to interconnect the proposed Project 
to Western's power transmission system. Western is a power marketing 
agency of

[[Page 8360]]

DOE that markets Federal electric power to municipalities, public 
utilities, and Native American tribes. Western offers capacity on its 
transmission system to deliver electricity when such capacity is 
available, under Western's Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (63 
FR 5376). The Tariff substantively complies with the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission Final Orders No. 888 and 888A, which are intended 
to ensure non-discriminatory transmission system access. Western needs 
to grant or deny Navitas' interconnection request under the provisions 
of its General Guidelines for Interconnections.
    Navitas is proposing to construct the Project, an approximately 
200-megawatt (MW) wind turbine generation project, in a 31-square mile 
project area in Brookings County, South Dakota. The project area is 
surrounded by a 1-mile buffer zone, which would be included in the 
environmental analysis, for a total of approximately 55.5 square miles. 
The project area is located immediately southeast of the City of White 
and approximately 10 miles northeast of the City of Brookings, 
predominantly in Sherman Township, just west of the South Dakota/
Minnesota state line.
    The project area is mostly rural cropland, with some grazing land 
in rougher topography. Navitas has identified National Wetland 
Inventory wetlands and 100-year floodplains within the project area; 
these would be considered avoidance areas when siting the wind 
generators and supporting facilities. Each wind turbine would involve 
the permanent disturbance of an average of 0.5 acre. The proposed 
Project would be constructed entirely on private land.
    The proposed Project would consist of up to 102 wind turbine 
generators on single pole structures, each rated at 2 MW. The turbines 
would have three blades, each 38 to 42 meters long, and would revolve 
at up to 18 revolutions per minute. The structures would each be 70 to 
100 meters high and 4 to 5 meters in diameter at the base. The wind 
turbines would be installed on a concrete base, and each would have a 
pad-mounted transformer near the base. Lighting in accordance with U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service and Federal Aviation Administration 
requirements would be provided. There would be a class 5 all-weather 
gravel access road constructed to each turbine location, located along 
existing fence lines to the extent possible. The wind turbines would be 
connected by overhead feeder lines, underground power collection 
circuits, and a communications network. The underground collector 
circuits, comprised of three cables, would be buried to a depth that 
would not interfere with farming operations.
    Siting of the wind turbine generators has not been completed, but 
would be designed to optimize wind and land resources in the area while 
minimizing environmental impacts to the extent practicable. Local 
zoning requirements would be complied with, including setbacks from 
residences, roads and existing transmission and distribution lines. 
Navitas has acquired lease options within the 31-square mile project 
area sufficient to support the 200-MW Project. Spacing of the wind 
turbines would also be determined by localized wind conditions and 
topography, turbine technology, and desired east-west spacing of three 
rotor diameters and north-south spacing of six rotor diameters. Navitas 
would like to begin construction in Spring 2006; the life of the 
proposed Project is anticipated to be a minimum of 20 years.
    Power generated by the Project would be delivered to a new Navitas 
substation, which would be constructed immediately adjacent to 
Western's existing White Substation. This new substation would occupy 
up to 11 acres of land. White Substation is located in the southeast 
corner of the project area. Navitas has applied to Western to 
interconnect the proposed Project to Western's power transmission 
system at White Substation.
    Because interconnection of the proposed Project would incorporate a 
major new generation resource into Western's power transmission system, 
Western has determined that an EIS is required under DOE NEPA 
implementing procedures, 10 CFR part 1021, Subpart D, Appendix D, class 
of action D6. Western will be the lead Federal agency for preparing the 
EIS, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5. Since the proposed Project would be 
constructed entirely on private land, there are no Federal or state 
land management agencies with jurisdiction. Western will invite 
Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction by law or 
special expertise with respect to environmental issues to be 
cooperating agencies on the EIS, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.6. Such 
agencies may also make a request to Western to be a cooperating agency. 
Designated cooperating agencies have certain responsibilities to 
support the NEPA process, as specified at 40 CFR 1501.6(b).
    Full public participation and disclosure are planned for the entire 
EIS process. Western anticipates the EIS process will take about one 
year, and will include the open-house public scoping meeting; 
consultation and involvement with appropriate Federal, State, local, 
and tribal governmental agencies; public review and a hearing on the 
published draft EIS; a published final EIS; a review period; and 
publication of a Record of Decision expected in early 2006. Additional 
informal public meetings may be held in the project area if public 
interest and issues indicate a need. Western may also mail newsletters 
to the project mailing list to communicate Project status and 
developments.
    Western will hold a 30-day scoping period to ensure that interested 
members of the public and groups, and Federal, state, local, and tribal 
agencies have an opportunity to provide input on the scope of the 
process and the alternatives that will be addressed in the EIS. Western 
will also hold a public open-house scoping meeting near the project 
area during the scoping period. The purpose of the scoping meeting will 
be to provide information about the proposed Project, answer questions, 
and take verbal and written comments from interested parties.
    The open-house public scoping meeting will be held at the Midwest 
Center for Wind Energy, 2390 County Highway 1, Hendricks, Minnesota, on 
Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Members of the public and representatives of 
groups, Federal, state, local and tribal agencies are welcome to attend 
anytime between 5 and 8 p.m. The Center is located approximately 25 
miles northeast of the City of Brookings and approximately 15 miles 
east of the City of White, just east of the South Dakota/Minnesota 
state line. The Center has displays and other information on the 
development of wind energy projects which attendees may find useful. 
Attendees will have the opportunity to view proposed Project and NEPA 
process displays and other information. The open-house scoping meeting 
will be very informal, with Western and Navitas representatives 
available for one-on-one discussions with attendees. Written comments 
may be left with one of Western's representatives at the scoping 
meeting, or may be provided by e-mail or U.S. Postal Service mail to 
Western. Written comments should be sent to the address provided above. 
Comments on Project scoping and alternatives will be due before the 
scoping period expires on March 31, 2005, but comments on other aspects 
of the proposed Project will be accepted and considered throughout the 
NEPA process.


[[Page 8361]]


    Dated: February 8, 2005.
Michael S. Hacskaylo,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-3147 Filed 2-17-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P