Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rockies Express Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings, 2220-2222 [E6-287]

Download as PDF 2220 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 9 / Friday, January 13, 2006 / Notices EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information. Magalie R. Salas, Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–277 Filed 1–12–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF06–3–000] Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rockies Express Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings hsrobinson on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES January 6, 2006. The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that discusses the environmental impacts of the proposed Rockies Express Pipeline Project, Western Phase (the Project), which involves the construction and operation of facilities by Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC (Rockies Express) in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. These facilities would consist of 710 miles of 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline, 5 new compressor stations; and approximately 42 mainline valves and 12 interconnects. This EIS will be used by the Commission in its decisionmaking process to determine whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity. This notice explains the scoping process that will be used to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the Project. Your input will help us determine which issues/impacts need to be evaluated in the EIS. Please note that the scoping period for the Project will close on February 10, 2006. Comments may be submitted in written form or verbally. In lieu of or in addition to sending written comments, you are invited to attend the public scoping meetings that have been scheduled in the Project area. Nine scoping meetings are scheduled for January 23 through 27, 2006 in various locations along the route. Further instructions on how to submit written comments and additional details of the public scoping meetings are provided in the public participation section of this notice. The Rockies Express Project, Western Phase, is currently in the preliminary VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:41 Jan 12, 2006 Jkt 208001 stages of design, and at this time a formal application has not been filed with the Commission. For this proposal, the Commission is initiating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review prior to receiving the application. This allows interested stakeholders to become involved early in project planning and to identify and resolve issues before an application is filed with the FERC. A docket number (PF06–3–000) has been established to locate in the public record information filed by Rockies Express and related documents issued by the Commission.1 Once a formal application is filed with the FERC, a new docket number will be established. With this notice, we 2 are asking other Federal, State, and local agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues in the project area to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS. These agencies may choose to participate once they have evaluated the proposal relative to their responsibilities. Agencies that would like to request cooperating status should follow the instructions for filing comments described later in this notice. We encourage government representatives to notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern. This notice is being sent to landowners within 0.5 mile of the proposed compressor stations; landowners along the pipeline route under consideration; Federal, State, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; and local libraries and newspapers; and other interested parties. Some affected landowners may be contacted by a Project representative about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. If so, Rockies Express and the affected landowners should seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. In the event that the Project is certificated by the Commission, that approval conveys the right of eminent domain for securing easements for the facilities. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, Rockies Express could initiate condemnation proceedings in accordance with State law. A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ‘‘An Interstate Natural Gas 1 To view information in the docket, follow the instructions for using the eLibrary link at the end of this notice. 2 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the Office of Energy Projects. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?’’ addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission’s proceedings. It is available for viewing on the FERC Internet Web site (www.ferc.gov). Summary of the Proposed Project Rockies Express’ long-term plan is to construct three separately certificated pipelines that together would result in the installation of approximately 1,323 miles of 42-inch-diameter, high pressure natural gas pipeline linking producing areas in the Rocky Mountain region to the upper Midwest and Eastern United States. This pipeline system would originate near the Cheyenne Hub, in Weld County, Colorado, and would terminate in Monroe County, Ohio. Rockies Express intends to pursue this system plan in three discrete phases (Western, Central, and Eastern). The FERC is now considering only the facilities included in the Western Phase. Rockies Express currently envisions that the Western Phase would include: • Approximately 710 miles of 42inch-diameter pipeline between the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colorado and the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline system in Audrain County, Missouri; • 5 new compressor stations with a total of 116,500 horsepower of compression; • Approximately 42 mainline valves; and • 12 interconnects. A map depicting the general location of the Project facilities is shown in appendix 1.3 Rockies Express is requesting approval such that the facilities are completed and placed into service by January 2008. Construction of the facilities would take about eight months. Land Requirements for Construction It is estimated that the construction of the Project facilities would disturb about 6,929 acres of land. Following construction, about 4,358 acres of the total would be retained for the operation of the pipeline and the above ground facilities (compressor/meter stations). The pipeline would be constructed on a 125-foot-wide right-of-way with occasional increases in width for additional workspace at waterbody, 3 The appendices referenced in this notice are not being printed in the Federal Register. Copies are available from the Commission’s Public Reference and Files Maintenance Branch, at (202) 502–8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary refer to the last page of this Notice. E:\FR\FM\13JAN1.SGM 13JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 9 / Friday, January 13, 2006 / Notices wetland, road, and railroad crossings. Extra workspaces may also be required in areas with site-specific constraints, such as side-slope construction. Other temporary land requirements would include land for pipe storage and equipment yards. Operation of the pipeline facilities would require a nominal 50-foot-wide permanent rightof-way. The EIS Process hsrobinson on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES NEPA requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act. NEPA also requires us to identify and address concerns the public would have about proposals. This process is referred to as ‘‘scoping.’’ The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on important environmental issues and reasonable alternatives. By this Notice of Intent, the Commission staff requests agency and public comments on the scope of the issues to be addressed in the EIS. All comments received are considered during the preparation of the EIS. We have already started to meet with Rockies Express, agencies, and other interested stakeholders to discuss the Project and identify issues/impacts and concerns. Between December 5 and 16, 2005, representatives of FERC staff participated in public open houses sponsored by Rockies Express in the Project area to explain the NEPA environmental review process to interested stakeholders and take comments about the Project. Our independent analysis of the issues will be included in the draft EIS. The draft EIS will be published and mailed to Federal, State, and local agencies, Native American tribes, public interest groups, interested individuals, affected landowners, newspapers, libraries, and the Commission’s official service list for this proceeding. A comment period will be allotted for review of the draft EIS. We will consider all timely comments on the draft EIS and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the January 23, 2006 .............................................. January 24, 2006 .............................................. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:41 Jan 12, 2006 Jkt 208001 instructions in the public participation section beginning on page 6. Currently Identified Environmental Issues We have identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the proposed facilities and the information provided by Rockies Express. This preliminary list of issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis. • Geology and Soils: —Impact on agricultural lands and irrigation systems. —Impact on prime farmland soils. —Blasting and disposal of excess rock. —Erosion control. —Evaluation of noxious weed control measures. • Water Resources: —Impact on groundwater and water supply wells. —Impact of construction on wetlands. —Assessment of the use and release of hydrostatic test water. • Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation: —Development of revegetation plans. • Endangered and Threatened Species: —Potential effect on federally listed species. • Cultural Resources: —Impact on known and undiscovered cultural resources. —Native American and tribal concerns. • Land Use, Recreation and Special Interest Areas, and Visual Resources: —Permanent land use alteration associated with pipeline easement. —Impact on residences, including proximity of facilities to existing structures. —Restrictions on future use of pipeline right-of-way. • Socioeconomics: —Benefits to local communities. —Use of local labor, equipment, and supplies. • Air Quality and Noise: —Effects on local air quality and ambient noise from construction and operation of the proposed facilities. • Reliability and Safety: —Assessment of hazards associated with the transportation of natural gas. —Assessment of security associated with operation of natural gas facilities. • Alternatives: —Evaluation of pipeline route alternatives. Greeley, Colorado, Best Western Inn, 701 8th Street, Greeley, Colorado, 970–353–8444. Sidney, Nebraska, Holiday Inn, 664 Chase Blvd., Sidney, Nebraska, 308–254–2000. PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2221 —Identification of measures to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource and special interest areas. We will make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas and evaluate possible alternatives to the proposed Project or portions of the Project. Public Participation You are encouraged to become involved in this process and provide your specific comments or concerns about Rockies Express’ proposal. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To expedite the receipt and consideration of your comments, electronic submission of comments is strongly encouraged. See Title 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the FERC Internet Web site (http:// www.ferc.gov) under the eFiling link and the link to the User’s Guide. Before you can submit comments you will need to create a free account by clicking on ‘‘Sign-up’’ under ‘‘New User.’’ You will be asked to select the type of submission you are making. This type of submission is considered a ‘‘Comment on Filing.’’ Comments submitted electronically must be submitted by February 10, 2006. If you wish to mail comments, please mail your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before February 10, 2006 and carefully follow these instructions: • Send an original and two copies of your letter to: Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. • Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 1. • Reference Docket No. PF06–3–000 on the original and both copies. • Mail your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before February 10, 2006. In addition to or in lieu of sending written comments, we invite you to attend the public scoping meetings we will conduct in the Project area. The locations for these meetings are listed below. All meetings are scheduled to run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. St Joseph, Missouri, Stoney Creek Inn, 1201 N. Woodbine, St. Joseph, Missouri, 800– 659–2220. E:\FR\FM\13JAN1.SGM 13JAN1 2222 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 9 / Friday, January 13, 2006 / Notices January 25, 2006 .............................................. January 26, 2006 .............................................. January 27, 2006 .............................................. The public scoping meetings are designed to provide State and local agencies, interested groups, affected landowners, and the general public with another opportunity to offer your comments on the Project. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend the meetings and to present comments on the environmental issues they believe should be addressed in the EIS. A transcript of each meeting will be made so that your comments will be accurately recorded. All public meetings will be posted on the Commission’s calendar located at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/ EventsList.aspx along with other related information. hsrobinson on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Environmental Mailing List If you received this notice, you are on the environmental mailing list for this Project and will continue to receive Project updates including the draft and final EISs. If you want your contact information corrected or you do not want to remain on our mailing list, please return the Correct or Remove From Mailing List Form included as Appendix 2. To reduce printing and mailing costs, the draft and final EISs will be issued in both CD–ROM and hard copy formats. The FERC strongly encourages the use of the CD–ROM format in its publication of large documents. If you wish to receive a paper copy of the draft EIS instead of a CD–ROM, you must indicate that choice on the return postcard (Appendix 2). Additional Information Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission’s Office of External Affairs, at 1–866–208–FERC or on the FERC Internet Web site (http://www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on ‘‘General Search’’ and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field. Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1–866–208–3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502–8659. The VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:41 Jan 12, 2006 Jkt 208001 North Platte, Nebraska, Quality Inn Sandhills Convention Center, 2102 South Jeffers, North Platte, Nebraska, 308–532– 9090. Kearney, Nebraska, Holiday Inn Kearney, 110 Second Avenue, Kearney, Nebraska, 308–234–2212. Hastings, Nebraska, Hastings Convention Center, Holiday Inn Garden Center, 2201 Osborne Drive, Hastings, Nebraska, 402– 463–4661. Beatrice, Nebraska, Holiday Inn Express, 4005 N. 6th Street, Beatrice, Nebraska, 402–228–7000. eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. In addition, the Commission now offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries and direct links to the documents. Go to http:// www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm. Affected landowners and parties with environmental concerns may be granted intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which would not be adequately represented by any other parties. You do not need intervenor status to have your environmental comments considered. g. Applicant contact: Mr. Brent Smith, Northwest Power Services, Inc., 975 South State Highway, Logan, UT 84321, (208) 745–0834. h. FERC Contact: Tom Papsidero, (202) 502–6002. i. Deadline for filing comments, protests, and motions to intervene: 60 days from the issuance date of this notice. All documents (original and eight copies) should be filed with Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. Comments, protests and interventions may be filed electronically via the Internet in lieu of paper; see 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission’s Web site under the ‘‘e-Filing’’ link. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings. Please include the project number (P– 12617–000) on any comments or motions filed. The Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person in the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. j. Description of Existing Facilities and Proposed Project: The proposed project, utilizing the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fall Creek Dam and reservoir would consist of: (1) A proposed intake structure, (2) a proposed 650-foot-long, 144-inchdiameter steel penstock, (3) a proposed powerhouse containing a generator unit with an installed capacity of 4.7 megawatts, (4) a 1.0-mile-long, 15 kV transmission line, and (5) appurtenant facilities. The project would have an annual generation of 17.9 GWh. k. Location of Applications: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission’s Web site at http:// Magalie R. Salas, Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–287 Filed 1–12–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Protests, and Motions To Intervene January 5, 2006. Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection: a. Type of Application: Preliminary Permit. b. Project No.: 12617–000. c. Date filed: October 3, 2005. d. Applicant: Fall Creek Hydro, LLC. e. Name and Location of Project: The proposed Fall Creek Hydroelectric Project would be located on Fall Creek in Lane County, Oregon. The existing Fall Creek Dam is administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. f. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)–825(r). PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Moberly, Missouri, Best Western Inn, 1200 Hwy 24 East, Moberly, Missouri, 660– 263–6540. Chillicothe, Missouri, Grand River Inn, 606 W. Bus. Hwy 36, Chillicothe, Missouri, 888–317–8290. E:\FR\FM\13JAN1.SGM 13JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 9 (Friday, January 13, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2220-2222]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-287]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF06-3-000]


Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rockies Express 
Pipeline Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and 
Notice of Public Scoping Meetings

January 6, 2006.
    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that 
discusses the environmental impacts of the proposed Rockies Express 
Pipeline Project, Western Phase (the Project), which involves the 
construction and operation of facilities by Rockies Express Pipeline, 
LLC (Rockies Express) in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and 
Missouri. These facilities would consist of 710 miles of 42-inch-
diameter natural gas pipeline, 5 new compressor stations; and 
approximately 42 mainline valves and 12 interconnects. This EIS will be 
used by the Commission in its decision-making process to determine 
whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity.
    This notice explains the scoping process that will be used to 
gather input from the public and interested agencies on the Project. 
Your input will help us determine which issues/impacts need to be 
evaluated in the EIS. Please note that the scoping period for the 
Project will close on February 10, 2006.
    Comments may be submitted in written form or verbally. In lieu of 
or in addition to sending written comments, you are invited to attend 
the public scoping meetings that have been scheduled in the Project 
area. Nine scoping meetings are scheduled for January 23 through 27, 
2006 in various locations along the route. Further instructions on how 
to submit written comments and additional details of the public scoping 
meetings are provided in the public participation section of this 
notice.
    The Rockies Express Project, Western Phase, is currently in the 
preliminary stages of design, and at this time a formal application has 
not been filed with the Commission. For this proposal, the Commission 
is initiating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review prior 
to receiving the application. This allows interested stakeholders to 
become involved early in project planning and to identify and resolve 
issues before an application is filed with the FERC. A docket number 
(PF06-3-000) has been established to locate in the public record 
information filed by Rockies Express and related documents issued by 
the Commission.\1\ Once a formal application is filed with the FERC, a 
new docket number will be established.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view information in the docket, follow the instructions 
for using the eLibrary link at the end of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With this notice, we \2\ are asking other Federal, State, and local 
agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to 
environmental issues in the project area to formally cooperate with us 
in the preparation of the EIS. These agencies may choose to participate 
once they have evaluated the proposal relative to their 
responsibilities. Agencies that would like to request cooperating 
status should follow the instructions for filing comments described 
later in this notice. We encourage government representatives to notify 
their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to 
comment on their areas of concern.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ ``We,'' ``us,'' and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the Office of Energy Projects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This notice is being sent to landowners within 0.5 mile of the 
proposed compressor stations; landowners along the pipeline route under 
consideration; Federal, State, and local government agencies; elected 
officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American 
tribes; and local libraries and newspapers; and other interested 
parties.
    Some affected landowners may be contacted by a Project 
representative about the acquisition of an easement to construct, 
operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. If so, Rockies Express 
and the affected landowners should seek to negotiate a mutually 
acceptable agreement. In the event that the Project is certificated by 
the Commission, that approval conveys the right of eminent domain for 
securing easements for the facilities. Therefore, if easement 
negotiations fail to produce an agreement, Rockies Express could 
initiate condemnation proceedings in accordance with State law.
    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ``An Interstate Natural 
Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?'' addresses a number 
of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and 
how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is available for 
viewing on the FERC Internet Web site (www.ferc.gov).

Summary of the Proposed Project

    Rockies Express' long-term plan is to construct three separately 
certificated pipelines that together would result in the installation 
of approximately 1,323 miles of 42-inch-diameter, high pressure natural 
gas pipeline linking producing areas in the Rocky Mountain region to 
the upper Midwest and Eastern United States. This pipeline system would 
originate near the Cheyenne Hub, in Weld County, Colorado, and would 
terminate in Monroe County, Ohio. Rockies Express intends to pursue 
this system plan in three discrete phases (Western, Central, and 
Eastern). The FERC is now considering only the facilities included in 
the Western Phase. Rockies Express currently envisions that the Western 
Phase would include:
     Approximately 710 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline 
between the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colorado and the Panhandle 
Eastern Pipeline system in Audrain County, Missouri;
     5 new compressor stations with a total of 116,500 
horsepower of compression;
     Approximately 42 mainline valves; and
     12 interconnects.
    A map depicting the general location of the Project facilities is 
shown in appendix 1.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The appendices referenced in this notice are not being 
printed in the Federal Register. Copies are available from the 
Commission's Public Reference and Files Maintenance Branch, at (202) 
502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary refer to the 
last page of this Notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rockies Express is requesting approval such that the facilities are 
completed and placed into service by January 2008. Construction of the 
facilities would take about eight months.

Land Requirements for Construction

    It is estimated that the construction of the Project facilities 
would disturb about 6,929 acres of land. Following construction, about 
4,358 acres of the total would be retained for the operation of the 
pipeline and the above ground facilities (compressor/meter stations). 
The pipeline would be constructed on a 125-foot-wide right-of-way with 
occasional increases in width for additional workspace at waterbody,

[[Page 2221]]

wetland, road, and railroad crossings. Extra workspaces may also be 
required in areas with site-specific constraints, such as side-slope 
construction. Other temporary land requirements would include land for 
pipe storage and equipment yards. Operation of the pipeline facilities 
would require a nominal 50-foot-wide permanent right-of-way.

The EIS Process

    NEPA requires the Commission to take into account the environmental 
impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the 
issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity under 
section 7 of the Natural Gas Act. NEPA also requires us to identify and 
address concerns the public would have about proposals. This process is 
referred to as ``scoping.'' The main goal of the scoping process is to 
focus the analysis in the EIS on important environmental issues and 
reasonable alternatives. By this Notice of Intent, the Commission staff 
requests agency and public comments on the scope of the issues to be 
addressed in the EIS. All comments received are considered during the 
preparation of the EIS.
    We have already started to meet with Rockies Express, agencies, and 
other interested stakeholders to discuss the Project and identify 
issues/impacts and concerns. Between December 5 and 16, 2005, 
representatives of FERC staff participated in public open houses 
sponsored by Rockies Express in the Project area to explain the NEPA 
environmental review process to interested stakeholders and take 
comments about the Project.
    Our independent analysis of the issues will be included in the 
draft EIS. The draft EIS will be published and mailed to Federal, 
State, and local agencies, Native American tribes, public interest 
groups, interested individuals, affected landowners, newspapers, 
libraries, and the Commission's official service list for this 
proceeding. A comment period will be allotted for review of the draft 
EIS. We will consider all timely comments on the draft EIS and revise 
the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS.
    To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the 
instructions in the public participation section beginning on page 6.

Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have identified several issues that we think deserve attention 
based on a preliminary review of the proposed facilities and the 
information provided by Rockies Express. This preliminary list of 
issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis.

     Geology and Soils:
--Impact on agricultural lands and irrigation systems.
--Impact on prime farmland soils.
--Blasting and disposal of excess rock.
--Erosion control.
--Evaluation of noxious weed control measures.
     Water Resources:
--Impact on groundwater and water supply wells.
--Impact of construction on wetlands.
--Assessment of the use and release of hydrostatic test water.
     Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation:
--Development of revegetation plans.
     Endangered and Threatened Species:
--Potential effect on federally listed species.
     Cultural Resources:
--Impact on known and undiscovered cultural resources.
--Native American and tribal concerns.
     Land Use, Recreation and Special Interest Areas, and 
Visual Resources:
--Permanent land use alteration associated with pipeline easement.
--Impact on residences, including proximity of facilities to existing 
structures.
--Restrictions on future use of pipeline right-of-way.
     Socioeconomics:
--Benefits to local communities.
--Use of local labor, equipment, and supplies.
     Air Quality and Noise:
--Effects on local air quality and ambient noise from construction and 
operation of the proposed facilities.
     Reliability and Safety:
--Assessment of hazards associated with the transportation of natural 
gas.
--Assessment of security associated with operation of natural gas 
facilities.
 Alternatives:
--Evaluation of pipeline route alternatives.
--Identification of measures to lessen or avoid impacts on the various 
resource and special interest areas.

    We will make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on 
the various resource areas and evaluate possible alternatives to the 
proposed Project or portions of the Project.

Public Participation

    You are encouraged to become involved in this process and provide 
your specific comments or concerns about Rockies Express' proposal. 
Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, 
reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental 
impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. 
To expedite the receipt and consideration of your comments, electronic 
submission of comments is strongly encouraged. See Title 18 CFR 
385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the FERC Internet Web site 
(http://www.ferc.gov) under the eFiling link and the link to the User's 
Guide. Before you can submit comments you will need to create a free 
account by clicking on ``Sign-up'' under ``New User.'' You will be 
asked to select the type of submission you are making. This type of 
submission is considered a ``Comment on Filing.'' Comments submitted 
electronically must be submitted by February 10, 2006.
    If you wish to mail comments, please mail your comments so that 
they will be received in Washington, DC on or before February 10, 2006 
and carefully follow these instructions:
     Send an original and two copies of your letter to: Magalie 
R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First 
St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
     Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas 
Branch 1.
     Reference Docket No. PF06-3-000 on the original and both 
copies.
     Mail your comments so that they will be received in 
Washington, DC on or before February 10, 2006.
    In addition to or in lieu of sending written comments, we invite 
you to attend the public scoping meetings we will conduct in the 
Project area. The locations for these meetings are listed below. All 
meetings are scheduled to run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 
 
 
January 23, 2006............  Greeley, Colorado,    ....................
                               Best Western Inn,
                               701 8th Street,
                               Greeley, Colorado,
                               970-353-8444.
January 24, 2006............  Sidney, Nebraska,     St Joseph, Missouri,
                               Holiday Inn, 664      Stoney Creek Inn,
                               Chase Blvd.,          1201 N. Woodbine,
                               Sidney, Nebraska,     St. Joseph,
                               308-254-2000.         Missouri, 800-659-
                                                     2220.

[[Page 2222]]

 
January 25, 2006............  North Platte,         Beatrice, Nebraska,
                               Nebraska, Quality     Holiday Inn
                               Inn Sandhills         Express, 4005 N.
                               Convention Center,    6th Street,
                               2102 South Jeffers,   Beatrice, Nebraska,
                               North Platte,         402-228-7000.
                               Nebraska, 308-532-
                               9090.
January 26, 2006............  Kearney, Nebraska,    Moberly, Missouri,
                               Holiday Inn           Best Western Inn,
                               Kearney, 110 Second   1200 Hwy 24 East,
                               Avenue, Kearney,      Moberly, Missouri,
                               Nebraska, 308-234-    660-263-6540.
                               2212.
January 27, 2006............  Hastings, Nebraska,   Chillicothe,
                               Hastings Convention   Missouri, Grand
                               Center, Holiday Inn   River Inn, 606 W.
                               Garden Center, 2201   Bus. Hwy 36,
                               Osborne Drive,        Chillicothe,
                               Hastings, Nebraska,   Missouri, 888-317-
                               402-463-4661.         8290.
 

    The public scoping meetings are designed to provide State and local 
agencies, interested groups, affected landowners, and the general 
public with another opportunity to offer your comments on the Project. 
Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend the meetings 
and to present comments on the environmental issues they believe should 
be addressed in the EIS. A transcript of each meeting will be made so 
that your comments will be accurately recorded.
    All public meetings will be posted on the Commission's calendar 
located at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with 
other related information.

Environmental Mailing List

    If you received this notice, you are on the environmental mailing 
list for this Project and will continue to receive Project updates 
including the draft and final EISs. If you want your contact 
information corrected or you do not want to remain on our mailing list, 
please return the Correct or Remove From Mailing List Form included as 
Appendix 2.
    To reduce printing and mailing costs, the draft and final EISs will 
be issued in both CD-ROM and hard copy formats. The FERC strongly 
encourages the use of the CD-ROM format in its publication of large 
documents. If you wish to receive a paper copy of the draft EIS instead 
of a CD-ROM, you must indicate that choice on the return postcard 
(Appendix 2).

Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 1-866-208-FERC or on the 
FERC Internet Web site (http://www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. 
Click on the eLibrary link, click on ``General Search'' and enter the 
docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number 
field. Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For 
assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, 
contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the 
texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, 
notices, and rulemakings.
    In addition, the Commission now offers a free service called 
eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances 
and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time 
you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with 
notification of these filings, document summaries and direct links to 
the documents. Go to http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
    Affected landowners and parties with environmental concerns may be 
granted intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they 
have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which would not be 
adequately represented by any other parties. You do not need intervenor 
status to have your environmental comments considered.

Magalie R. Salas,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. E6-287 Filed 1-12-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P