Eastern Plains Transmission Project, Colorado and Kansas, 43733-43735 [E6-12426]

Download as PDF wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 148 / Wednesday, August 2, 2006 / Notices term of the proposed preliminary permit would be 36 months. The work proposed under the preliminary permit would include economic analysis, preparation of preliminary engineering plans, and a study of environmental impacts. Based on the results of these studies, the Applicant would decide whether to proceed with the preparation of a development application to construct and operate the project. r. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission’s Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application. 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 ‘‘efiling’’ link. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. s. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filings must bear in all capital letter the title ‘‘COMMENTS’’, ‘‘RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TERMS AND CONDITIONS’’, ‘‘PROTEST’’, ‘‘MOTION TO INTERVENE’’, ‘‘NOTICE OF INTENT’’, or ‘‘COMPETING APPLICATION’’, as applicable, and the Project Number of the particular application to which the filing refers. Any of the above-named documents must be filed by providing the original and the number of copies provided by the Commission’s regulations to: The Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. A copy of any motion to intervene must also be served upon each representative of the Applicant specified in the particular application. t. Agency Comments: Federal, state, and local agencies are invited to file comments on the described application. A copy of the application may be obtained by agencies directly from the applicant. If an agency does not file comments within the time specified for filing comments, it will be presumed to have no comments. One copy of an VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:40 Aug 01, 2006 Jkt 208001 agency’s comments must also be sent to the Applicant’s representatives. Magalie R. Salas, Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–12388 Filed 8–1–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Eastern Plains Transmission Project, Colorado and Kansas Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement; floodplain and wetlands involvement; and public scoping meetings. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Western Area Power Administration (Western) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for its proposal to participate with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (TriState), to construct the proposed Eastern Plains Transmission Project (Project). Western’s participation with Tri-State would be in exchange for capacity rights on the transmission lines. These rights would provide Western with approximately 275 megawatts (MW) of capacity on the proposed transmission system. Western needs this additional transmission capacity to provide more economical, reliable, diverse, and flexible power delivery to its customers. The EIS will address the construction, operation, and maintenance of approximately 1,000 miles of highvoltage transmission lines and ancillary facilities. In addition, the EIS will address expansions of existing substations and construction of new substations, access roads, and fiber optic communication facilities. The EIS will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures. Because the Project could involve action in a floodplain, the EIS will address floodplain and wetlands impacts under DOE regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review. DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates and locations. The public scoping period will close September 30, 2006. ADDRESSES: Written comments, questions, and information on the scope of the Project may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to Mr. Jim Hartman, Environmental Manager, Western Area PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43733 Power Administration, Rocky Mountain Region, P.O. Box 3700, Loveland, CO 80539; fax (970) 461–7213; or e-mail eptp@wapa.gov. Project and contact information will also be updated regularly on the Project Internet site at http://www.wapa.gov/transmission/ eptp.htm. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information or to request copies of the EIS, contact Mr. Hartman at the addresses provided or telephone the Project hotline toll-free at (888) 826– 4710. For general information on DOE’s NEPA review procedures or the status of a NEPA review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (EH–42), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585–0119; telephone (202) 586–4600 or (800) 472–2756; or fax (202) 586–7031. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background and Need for Agency Action Western, as an agency within DOE, markets Federal hydro-electric power to preference customers, as specified by law. They include municipalities, cooperatives, public utility and irrigation districts, Federal and state agencies, and Native American tribes in 15 Western states, including Colorado and Kansas. Western currently lacks adequate transmission capability in southeastern Colorado to serve its customers directly. Western needs additional transmission system capacity to provide more economical, reliable, diverse, and flexible power delivery to its customers. The Project would provide Western with improved access to alternative resources and suppliers by expanding the capacity and geographic reach of the transmission system. It would increase Western’s options for purchasing energy to meet contractual requirements. Enhancing and expanding transmission pathways would contribute to ensuring reliability of the Federal transmission system. Tri-State is a wholesale electric power supplier, owned by the 44 electric cooperatives it serves. Tri-State and the member utilities serve customers throughout Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Tri-State’s board of directors approved a resource development plan, which includes generation in Kansas and Colorado and construction of a transmission system to deliver the generation to customers. The transmission portion of Tri-State’s resource plan presents an opportunity for Western to obtain transmission capacity to meet Western’s needs. E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1 43734 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 148 / Wednesday, August 2, 2006 / Notices wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES Western will prepare the EIS according to NEPA requirements, including the Council on Environmental Quality’s NEPA Implementing Regulations under 40 CFR parts 1500– 1508 and DOE’s NEPA Implementing Procedures under 10 CFR part 1021. Because the Project could involve construction activities in floodplains and wetlands, the EIS will include floodplain and wetland assessments and a statement of findings, following DOE regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review under 10 CFR part 1022. Proposed Action and Alternatives Western’s proposed Project activities include construction planning and management for approximately 1,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines, and acquiring rights-of-way for transmission lines, access roads, and other facilities. In addition to the transmission lines and access roads, the Project includes four new substations; expansions of approximately eight existing substations; and installing a fiber optic communications system for the transmission lines. Preliminary locations of transmission line corridors and new substations have been identified and will be presented at the public scoping meetings. The EIS will evaluate the effects of constructing, operating, and maintaining approximately 750 miles of 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines and approximately 250 miles of 230- or 345kV transmission lines; constructing four new substations; expanding eight existing substations; installing a fiberoptic communication system for the transmission lines; and constructing and maintaining associated access roads. The Project study area includes part or all of the following counties in Colorado: Adams, Arapahoe, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Elbert, El Paso, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Morgan, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Washington, and Yuma; and in Kansas: Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Logan, Scott, Sherman, Thomas, Wallace, and Wichita. Among the alternatives Western will address in the EIS is the no action alternative. Under the no action alternative, Western would not participate in the Project. The EIS will evaluate the environmental effects of constructing, operating, and maintaining the Project and compare them to existing conditions. Alternative transmission line routes and substation locations will be refined as part of the EIS scoping process and addressed in the EIS. Western will consider additional reasonable alternatives VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:40 Aug 01, 2006 Jkt 208001 resulting from the scoping process. Reasonable alternatives would need to meet Western’s purpose and need and be technically and economically viable. Connected and Cumulative Actions Western will evaluate connected and cumulative actions in the EIS. Connected actions are defined under 40 CFR 1508.25(a)(1) as, ‘‘* * * closely related * * * [that] (i) Automatically trigger other actions which may require environmental impact statements; (ii) Cannot or will not proceed unless other actions are taken previously or simultaneously; [or] (iii) Are interdependent parts of a larger action and depend on the larger action for their justification.’’ Western has determined that connected actions for the Project include activities associated with the construction, maintenance, and operation of the proposed transmission line and ancillary facilities, including eight substation expansions, four new substations, associated access roads, and fiber optic communications facilities. Cumulative actions are defined in 40 CFR 1508.25(a)(2) as those, ‘‘* * * which when viewed with other proposed actions have cumulatively significant impacts. * * * ’’ Western has determined that cumulative actions for the Project include Tri-State’s proposed generation projects as well as other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable projects. Identification of Environmental Issues Western invites interested agencies, Tribes, organizations, and members of the public to submit comments or suggestions to assist in identifying the appropriate scope of the EIS. The following list of potential environmental issues has preliminarily been identified for inclusion in the EIS. This list is designed to help the public frame its comments: 1. Effects on protected, threatened, endangered, or sensitive species of animals or plants; or their critical habitats; 2. Effects on other biological resources; 3. Effects on land use, recreation, and transportation; 4. Effects on floodplains and wetlands; 5. Effects on cultural or historic resources and Tribal values; 6. Effects on human health and safety (including military, civilian, and agricultural aviation safety); 7. Effects on air, soil, and water resources; 8. Effects on agricultural operations; 9. Effects on visual resources; and 10. Effects on socioeconomic resources and disproportionately high PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and adverse impacts on minority and low-income groups. This list is not intended to be allinclusive or to imply predetermination of impacts. Western invites interested parties to suggest specific issues within these general categories or other issues not included above for consideration in the EIS. Scoping Process With this Notice of Intent, Western invites public participation in the EIS scoping process and solicits public comments to help establish the scope and content of the EIS. Scoping will allow Western to obtain information that will refine the preliminary Project alternatives; identify environmental issues to be considered in the EIS; and help eliminate, from detailed study, those alternatives and issues that are not feasible or relevant. To be assured consideration, all comments on the scope of the EIS must be received by the end of the scoping period. Meetings The dates and meeting locations are: 1. August 28, 2006, Carroll Building, 418 Edison Street, Brush, CO 80723. 2. August 29, 2006, City Hall, Community Room, 245 W. 4th Street, Wray, CO 80758. 3. August 30, 2006, Limon Community Building, North Room, 477 D Avenue, Limon, CO 80828. 4. August 31, 2006, Holiday InnDenver International Airport, Breckenridge Ballroom, 15500 East 40th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80239. 5. September 5, 2006, Lorraine High School/Community Center, 301 E. Iowa Avenue, Fountain, CO 80817. 6. September 6, 2006, Pueblo Convention Center, Fortino Grand Hall C–West, 320 Central Main Street, Pueblo, CO 81003. 7. September 11, 2006, Burlington Education and Community Center, 420 S. 14th Street, Old Town, Burlington, CO 80807. 8. September 12, 2006, Community Activity Building (CAB Building), Wallace County Fairgrounds, Sharon Springs, KS 67758. 9. September 13, 2006, Lamar Community Building, Multi-Purpose Room, 610 South 6th Street, Lamar, CO 81052. 10. September 14, 2006, Veteran’s Memorial Building, 207 North Main Street, Lakin, KS 67860. The time for each scoping meeting is 3 to 8 p.m. The meetings will be in an informal, ‘‘open house’’ format. No formal presentations are planned for the scoping meetings. The meetings are designed to provide interested parties E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 148 / Wednesday, August 2, 2006 / Notices the opportunity to receive information on the Project and the NEPA process, ask questions, and provide input and feedback through written and oral comments. All meeting locations are wheelchair accessible. Any individual needing special accommodations should contact Mr. Hartman. Participation in the NEPA Process Western invites interested Tribes and Federal, state, and local agencies with jurisdiction or special expertise to be cooperating agencies on the EIS. Request to be a cooperating agency by contacting Mr. Hartman. Designated cooperating agencies have certain responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified under 40 CFR 1501.6(b). Persons interested in receiving future notices, project information, copies of the EIS, and other information on the NEPA review process should contact Mr. Hartman. The EIS (choice of summary or full document) will be available in printed and electronic (compact disc) formats. Western anticipates the Draft EIS will be available summer 2007, with a Final EIS available spring 2008. A Record of Decision is expected to be issued spring 2008. The public will be provided opportunities to review progress on the identification of transmission line corridors and routes during public workshops, which will be scheduled after public scoping and prior to preparation of the Draft EIS. The location of additional public meetings and hearings will be provided in the Federal Register and/or to local media at a later date. Dated: July 21, 2006. Michael S. Hacskaylo, Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–12426 Filed 8–1–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–RCRA–2006–0624, FRL–8205–3] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Land Disposal Restrictions No-Migration Variances, EPA ICR Number 1353.08, OMB Control Number 2050–0062 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:40 Aug 01, 2006 Jkt 208001 that EPA is planning to submit a continuing Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This is a request for an existing approved collection. This ICR is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2006. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 2, 2006. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number EPA–HQ– RCRA–2006–0624, by one of the following methods: • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: rcra-docket@epa.gov. • Mail: RCRA Docket (5305T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. • Hand Delivery: See NOTE below. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–RCRA–2006– 0624. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD–ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43735 comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA’s public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http:// www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. Note: The EPA Docket Center suffered damage due to flooding during the last week of June 2006. The Docket Center is continuing to operate. However, during the cleanup, there will be temporary changes to Docket Center telephone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation for people who wish to make hand deliveries or visit the Public Reading Room to view documents. Consult EPA’s Federal Register notice at 71 FR 38147 (July 5, 2006) or the EPA Web site at http:// www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm for current information on docket operations, locations and telephone numbers. The Docket Center’s mailing address for U.S. mail and the procedure for submitting comments to www.regulations.gov are not affected by the flooding and will remain the same. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peggy Vyas, Mail Code 5302W, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703–308– 5477; fax number: 703–308–8433; e-mail address: vyas.peggy@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: How Can I Access the Docket and/or Submit Comments? EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. EPA– HQ–RCRA–2006–0624, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the RCRA Docket in the EPA Docket Center. See note at end of ADDRESSES section. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Reading Room is 202– 566–1744, and the telephone number for RCRA Docket is 202–566–0270. Use www.regulations.gov to obtain a copy of the draft collection of information, submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select ‘‘search,’’ then key in the docket ID number identified in this document. What Information Is EPA Particularly Interested in? Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA specifically solicits comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 148 (Wednesday, August 2, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43733-43735]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-12426]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Eastern Plains Transmission Project, Colorado and Kansas

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement; 
floodplain and wetlands involvement; and public scoping meetings.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Western Area Power 
Administration (Western) intends to prepare an environmental impact 
statement (EIS) for its proposal to participate with Tri-State 
Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (Tri-State), to construct 
the proposed Eastern Plains Transmission Project (Project). Western's 
participation with Tri-State would be in exchange for capacity rights 
on the transmission lines. These rights would provide Western with 
approximately 275 megawatts (MW) of capacity on the proposed 
transmission system. Western needs this additional transmission 
capacity to provide more economical, reliable, diverse, and flexible 
power delivery to its customers. The EIS will address the construction, 
operation, and maintenance of approximately 1,000 miles of high-voltage 
transmission lines and ancillary facilities. In addition, the EIS will 
address expansions of existing substations and construction of new 
substations, access roads, and fiber optic communication facilities.
    The EIS will be prepared in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures. 
Because the Project could involve action in a floodplain, the EIS will 
address floodplain and wetlands impacts under DOE regulations for 
compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review.

DATES: See Supplementary Information section for meeting dates and 
locations. The public scoping period will close September 30, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Written comments, questions, and information on the scope of 
the Project may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to Mr. Jim Hartman, 
Environmental Manager, Western Area Power Administration, Rocky 
Mountain Region, P.O. Box 3700, Loveland, CO 80539; fax (970) 461-7213; 
or e-mail eptp@wapa.gov. Project and contact information will also be 
updated regularly on the Project Internet site at http://www.wapa.gov/
transmission/eptp.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information or to request 
copies of the EIS, contact Mr. Hartman at the addresses provided or 
telephone the Project hotline toll-free at (888) 826-4710. For general 
information on DOE's NEPA review procedures or the status of a NEPA 
review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy 
and Compliance (EH-42), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0119; telephone (202) 586-4600 or 
(800) 472-2756; or fax (202) 586-7031.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Need for Agency Action

    Western, as an agency within DOE, markets Federal hydro-electric 
power to preference customers, as specified by law. They include 
municipalities, cooperatives, public utility and irrigation districts, 
Federal and state agencies, and Native American tribes in 15 Western 
states, including Colorado and Kansas. Western currently lacks adequate 
transmission capability in southeastern Colorado to serve its customers 
directly. Western needs additional transmission system capacity to 
provide more economical, reliable, diverse, and flexible power delivery 
to its customers. The Project would provide Western with improved 
access to alternative resources and suppliers by expanding the capacity 
and geographic reach of the transmission system. It would increase 
Western's options for purchasing energy to meet contractual 
requirements. Enhancing and expanding transmission pathways would 
contribute to ensuring reliability of the Federal transmission system.
    Tri-State is a wholesale electric power supplier, owned by the 44 
electric cooperatives it serves. Tri-State and the member utilities 
serve customers throughout Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming. 
Tri-State's board of directors approved a resource development plan, 
which includes generation in Kansas and Colorado and construction of a 
transmission system to deliver the generation to customers. The 
transmission portion of Tri-State's resource plan presents an 
opportunity for Western to obtain transmission capacity to meet 
Western's needs.

[[Page 43734]]

    Western will prepare the EIS according to NEPA requirements, 
including the Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA Implementing 
Regulations under 40 CFR parts 1500-1508 and DOE's NEPA Implementing 
Procedures under 10 CFR part 1021. Because the Project could involve 
construction activities in floodplains and wetlands, the EIS will 
include floodplain and wetland assessments and a statement of findings, 
following DOE regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetlands 
environmental review under 10 CFR part 1022.

Proposed Action and Alternatives

    Western's proposed Project activities include construction planning 
and management for approximately 1,000 miles of high voltage 
transmission lines, and acquiring rights-of-way for transmission lines, 
access roads, and other facilities. In addition to the transmission 
lines and access roads, the Project includes four new substations; 
expansions of approximately eight existing substations; and installing 
a fiber optic communications system for the transmission lines.
    Preliminary locations of transmission line corridors and new 
substations have been identified and will be presented at the public 
scoping meetings. The EIS will evaluate the effects of constructing, 
operating, and maintaining approximately 750 miles of 500-kilovolt (kV) 
transmission lines and approximately 250 miles of 230- or 345-kV 
transmission lines; constructing four new substations; expanding eight 
existing substations; installing a fiber-optic communication system for 
the transmission lines; and constructing and maintaining associated 
access roads. The Project study area includes part or all of the 
following counties in Colorado: Adams, Arapahoe, Bent, Cheyenne, 
Crowley, Elbert, El Paso, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Morgan, Otero, 
Prowers, Pueblo, Washington, and Yuma; and in Kansas: Finney, Greeley, 
Hamilton, Kearny, Logan, Scott, Sherman, Thomas, Wallace, and Wichita.
    Among the alternatives Western will address in the EIS is the no 
action alternative. Under the no action alternative, Western would not 
participate in the Project. The EIS will evaluate the environmental 
effects of constructing, operating, and maintaining the Project and 
compare them to existing conditions. Alternative transmission line 
routes and substation locations will be refined as part of the EIS 
scoping process and addressed in the EIS. Western will consider 
additional reasonable alternatives resulting from the scoping process. 
Reasonable alternatives would need to meet Western's purpose and need 
and be technically and economically viable.

Connected and Cumulative Actions

    Western will evaluate connected and cumulative actions in the EIS. 
Connected actions are defined under 40 CFR 1508.25(a)(1) as, ``* * * 
closely related * * * [that] (i) Automatically trigger other actions 
which may require environmental impact statements; (ii) Cannot or will 
not proceed unless other actions are taken previously or 
simultaneously; [or] (iii) Are interdependent parts of a larger action 
and depend on the larger action for their justification.'' Western has 
determined that connected actions for the Project include activities 
associated with the construction, maintenance, and operation of the 
proposed transmission line and ancillary facilities, including eight 
substation expansions, four new substations, associated access roads, 
and fiber optic communications facilities.
    Cumulative actions are defined in 40 CFR 1508.25(a)(2) as those, 
``* * * which when viewed with other proposed actions have cumulatively 
significant impacts. * * * '' Western has determined that cumulative 
actions for the Project include Tri-State's proposed generation 
projects as well as other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable 
projects.

Identification of Environmental Issues

    Western invites interested agencies, Tribes, organizations, and 
members of the public to submit comments or suggestions to assist in 
identifying the appropriate scope of the EIS. The following list of 
potential environmental issues has preliminarily been identified for 
inclusion in the EIS. This list is designed to help the public frame 
its comments:
    1. Effects on protected, threatened, endangered, or sensitive 
species of animals or plants; or their critical habitats;
    2. Effects on other biological resources;
    3. Effects on land use, recreation, and transportation;
    4. Effects on floodplains and wetlands;
    5. Effects on cultural or historic resources and Tribal values;
    6. Effects on human health and safety (including military, 
civilian, and agricultural aviation safety);
    7. Effects on air, soil, and water resources;
    8. Effects on agricultural operations;
    9. Effects on visual resources; and
    10. Effects on socioeconomic resources and disproportionately high 
and adverse impacts on minority and low-income groups.
    This list is not intended to be all-inclusive or to imply 
predetermination of impacts. Western invites interested parties to 
suggest specific issues within these general categories or other issues 
not included above for consideration in the EIS.

Scoping Process

    With this Notice of Intent, Western invites public participation in 
the EIS scoping process and solicits public comments to help establish 
the scope and content of the EIS. Scoping will allow Western to obtain 
information that will refine the preliminary Project alternatives; 
identify environmental issues to be considered in the EIS; and help 
eliminate, from detailed study, those alternatives and issues that are 
not feasible or relevant. To be assured consideration, all comments on 
the scope of the EIS must be received by the end of the scoping period.

Meetings

    The dates and meeting locations are:
    1. August 28, 2006, Carroll Building, 418 Edison Street, Brush, CO 
80723.
    2. August 29, 2006, City Hall, Community Room, 245 W. 4th Street, 
Wray, CO 80758.
    3. August 30, 2006, Limon Community Building, North Room, 477 D 
Avenue, Limon, CO 80828.
    4. August 31, 2006, Holiday Inn-Denver International Airport, 
Breckenridge Ballroom, 15500 East 40th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80239.
    5. September 5, 2006, Lorraine High School/Community Center, 301 E. 
Iowa Avenue, Fountain, CO 80817.
    6. September 6, 2006, Pueblo Convention Center, Fortino Grand Hall 
C-West, 320 Central Main Street, Pueblo, CO 81003.
    7. September 11, 2006, Burlington Education and Community Center, 
420 S. 14th Street, Old Town, Burlington, CO 80807.
    8. September 12, 2006, Community Activity Building (CAB Building), 
Wallace County Fairgrounds, Sharon Springs, KS 67758.
    9. September 13, 2006, Lamar Community Building, Multi-Purpose 
Room, 610 South 6th Street, Lamar, CO 81052.
    10. September 14, 2006, Veteran's Memorial Building, 207 North Main 
Street, Lakin, KS 67860.
    The time for each scoping meeting is 3 to 8 p.m. The meetings will 
be in an informal, ``open house'' format. No formal presentations are 
planned for the scoping meetings. The meetings are designed to provide 
interested parties

[[Page 43735]]

the opportunity to receive information on the Project and the NEPA 
process, ask questions, and provide input and feedback through written 
and oral comments. All meeting locations are wheelchair accessible. Any 
individual needing special accommodations should contact Mr. Hartman.

Participation in the NEPA Process

    Western invites interested Tribes and Federal, state, and local 
agencies with jurisdiction or special expertise to be cooperating 
agencies on the EIS. Request to be a cooperating agency by contacting 
Mr. Hartman. Designated cooperating agencies have certain 
responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified under 40 CFR 
1501.6(b).
    Persons interested in receiving future notices, project 
information, copies of the EIS, and other information on the NEPA 
review process should contact Mr. Hartman. The EIS (choice of summary 
or full document) will be available in printed and electronic (compact 
disc) formats.
    Western anticipates the Draft EIS will be available summer 2007, 
with a Final EIS available spring 2008. A Record of Decision is 
expected to be issued spring 2008. The public will be provided 
opportunities to review progress on the identification of transmission 
line corridors and routes during public workshops, which will be 
scheduled after public scoping and prior to preparation of the Draft 
EIS. The location of additional public meetings and hearings will be 
provided in the Federal Register and/or to local media at a later date.

    Dated: July 21, 2006.
Michael S. Hacskaylo,
Administrator.
 [FR Doc. E6-12426 Filed 8-1-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P