Pipeline Safety: Technical Assistance Grants to Communities, 66098-66100 [E8-26506]

Download as PDF sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 66098 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 216 / Thursday, November 6, 2008 / Notices 133 can be found at https:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/ a133/a133.html. Also include signed copies of FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications, available at https:// www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/admin/ assurancesandcertifications.pdf. 5. Define the scope of work, budget and schedule for the proposed project. Describe the proposed project’s physical location, mile-post limits, and include any drawings, plans, or schematics that have been prepared relating to the proposed project. If funding requested under this Program is only going to support a portion of the overall rehabilitation and repair of the applicant’s project, describe the complete project and specify which portion will involve Federal funding. In addition, FRA strongly encourages applicants to estimate complete project costs and the future financial viability of the Class II and Class III railroad on whose property the project is located. 6. The budget for the cost of the project should, to the extent possible, be separated into the following categories: (1) Administrative; (2) Engineering fees; (3) Demolition and removal; (4) Construction labor, supervision, and management; (5) Equipment; (6) Materials, by type (e.g., ties, rail, ballast, signals, and switches); (7) Contingencies; and (8) Inspection fees. Costs may be reimbursed as long as expenditures were incurred after the date of the natural disaster. 7. Describe the source and amount of non-Federal funds, broken down by cash, equipment, or supplies. 8. Describe proposed project implementation and an overview of project management arrangements. 9. For the railroad(s) operating on the infrastructure proposed to be rehabilitated or repaired, describe the frequency of service, axle-load limits, and estimated railroad gross ton miles per mile for the first full year after completion of the project. 10. Provide an overview of all work done to date to rehabilitate and repair damage caused by the natural disaster. 11. Describe the status or progress toward completing any environmental documentation or clearance for the proposed project under the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, section 4(f) of the DOT Act, or other applicable federal or state environmental impact assessment laws. FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Fed. Reg. 28545) (May 26, 1999) (https://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/166) describe FRA’s process for the assessment of environmental impacts VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:11 Nov 05, 2008 Jkt 217001 and the preparation and processing of appropriate documents. For projects that may be categorically exempt from detailed environmental review, as discussed in FRA’s Procedures, categorical exclusion worksheets are available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/us/ content/1606. Applicants are encouraged to contact FRA as early as possible in the environmental/historic preservation review process to discuss the environmental review. Format: Excluding spreadsheets, drawings, and tables, the narrative statement for grant applications may not exceed twenty-five pages in length. With the exclusion of oversized engineering drawings (which may be submitted in hard copy to the FRA at the address indicated above), all application materials should be submitted as attachments through Grants.Gov. Spreadsheets consisting of budget or financial information should be submitted via Grants.Gov as Microsoft Excel (or compatible) documents. Issued in Washington, DC, on November 3, 2008. Mark E. Yachmetz, Associate Administrator for Railroad Development. [FR Doc. E8–26478 Filed 11–5–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket ID PHMSA–2008–0292] Pipeline Safety: Technical Assistance Grants to Communities Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of Technical Assistance Grant Criteria. AGENCY: SUMMARY: PHMSA has established the criteria and competitive procedures that will be used in awarding grants under the Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) program authorized in 49 U.S.C. 60130 and section 2(e) of the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006. Subject to future appropriations, the TAG program will provide grants to local governments and community groups for engineering and other technical assistance related to pipeline safety matters. This Notice also details PHMSA’s plans for awarding the three demonstration grants authorized under the TAG program. PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Fischer by e-mail at steve.fischer@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Experience shows that informed communities play a vital role in the safety and reliability of pipeline operations. Accurate information about the location, operation, and regulation of pipelines facilitates safe land use planning, effective damage prevention programs, and fast, safe, and capable emergency response. To those ends, PHMSA has actively developed and strengthened programs to improve the flow of pipeline safety information to communities. Over the past several years, PHMSA has established its Stakeholder Communications website; staffed a Community Assistance & Technical Services Program within the Office of Pipeline Safety; offered webcasting of Pipeline Safety Trust meetings; funded invitational travel for state and local officials to participate in various planning and review committees; invited public representatives to our Pipeline Safety Advisory Committees; made transmission pipeline location information available through the National Pipeline Mapping System; and strengthened standards for pipeline operator public awareness programs. Most recently, in January 2008, PHMSA launched the Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance to facilitate riskinformed land use and community planning. The Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) program, first authorized in the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107–355, codified at 49 U.S.C. 60130), offers new opportunities to strengthen the depth and quality of public participation in pipeline safety matters. Section 9 of the Act, titled: ‘‘Pipeline Safety Information Grants to Communities’’ authorized the Secretary of Transportation to make grants to local communities and organizations for technical assistance relating to pipeline safety issues. The grants would allow communities and groups of individuals (not including for-profit entities) to obtain funding for technical assistance in the form of engineering or other scientific analysis of pipeline safety issues and help promote public participation in official proceedings. For purposes of grants eligibility, communities are defined as cities, towns, villages, counties, parishes, townships, and similar governmental subdivisions, or consortiums of such subdivisions. A nongovernmental group E:\FR\FM\06NON1.SGM 06NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 216 / Thursday, November 6, 2008 / Notices of individuals is eligible for a grant under the TAG program if its members are affected or potentially affected individuals who are, or are willing to become, incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state where they are located. By law, the amount of any grant may not exceed $50,000 for a single grant recipient and the funds authorized for these grants may not be derived from user fees collected under 49 U.S.C. 60301. Although the 2002 Act authorized $1,000,000 for grant awards under the TAG program, to date, no funds have been appropriated for this purpose. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES II. Competitive Procedures for Awarding Technical Assistance Grants Beginning in 2005, PHMSA has used the Federal government-wide, webbased system Grants.gov for posting and processing all new grants programs. Grants.gov was established as a governmental resource under the EGrants Initiative, part of the President’s 2002 Fiscal Year Management Agenda to improve government services to the public. The system operates as a central storehouse for the timely and accurate exchange of information and processing of applications for Federal grant programs. Organizations and individuals who may be interested in applying for grants may register on the Grants.gov Web site to receive e-mail notification of grant postings. Subject to appropriations, PHMSA will post notice on Grants.gov of the application deadline and selection criteria for TAG program grants. The selection criteria will be those established in this Notice, as set forth below. PHMSA plans to use a committee of stakeholder representatives to assist in reviewing and evaluating applications under the TAG selection criteria. We have used similar multi-stakeholder committees to assist in reviewing and recommending awards for both Research and Development and State Damage Prevention Program grants. As with these grants, PHMSA will publish on our website the names of the individuals and organizations comprising the review committee and will identify the applicants selected and the amount of each grant award. III. TAG Criteria In keeping with Congressional intent, PHMSA has developed TAG evaluation criteria to be used to rate and select competing proposals. Together, these criteria are intended to identify projects that target high-risk areas; offer welldefined plans; foster open communication with a local community VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:11 Nov 05, 2008 Jkt 217001 and/or affected pipeline operators; and produce results that are measurable and transferable to other communities and/ or technology development. The evaluation criteria are as follows: 1. The extent to which the Applicant’s project scope is focused on areas where a pipeline failure could pose a significant risk to people or to unusually sensitive environmental areas; 2. The extent to which the proposed project scope demonstrates an understanding of the specific concern the Applicant wishes to address, as well as the range of risks affected pipelines pose to the affected geographic area and the risks the community poses to the pipelines; 3. The extent to which the proposal demonstrates the Applicant’s experience with and commitment to open communication with affected operators and to partnerships with other key members of the community; 4. The extent to which the Applicant’s project is designed to improve performance and safety over time in areas such as engineering, damage prevention, land use, public education, emergency response, and community awareness; 5. The extent to which the Applicant’s project plan establishes clear goals, objectives, milestones, and estimates of project costs; 6. The extent to which the Applicant has a plan for evaluating and disseminating results; and 7. The extent to which the Applicant’s project scope provides the potential for learning or technology transfer to other groups and communities. IV. Demonstration Grants—Three Pilots Section 5 of the PIPES Act requires the first three Technical Assistance Grants to be demonstration grants in amounts not exceeding $25,000 each. These demonstration grants will be funded out of general funds and will target a specific community information project—the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA), as referenced above. The PIPA project has brought together a wide range of pipeline safety and local planning interests for the purpose of developing risk-informed best practices for land use and community planning. The PIPA project groups have been working on the development of draft best practices for roughly ten months and are scheduled to report their conclusions in early 2009. More information on PIPA can be found on PHMSA’s Web site at https:// primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/ PIPA.htm?nocache=458. The PIPA project offers an excellent opportunity to pilot test the TAG PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66099 program in the context of an ongoing, previously-authorized community information project. PHMSA is working closely with the PIPA Steering Committee to identify communities interested in participating in the demonstration grants phase of the TAG program. The Steering Committee has endorsed the concept of asking the pilot communities to test draft recommended practices currently being developed by the PIPES task teams. We believe this is a valuable opportunity to advance both the TAG program and the PIPA project. However, although we anticipate awarding the three $25,000 grants designated for demonstration projects under PIPES Act section 5, we expect this amount to cover only a portion of the draft PIPA recommended practices. In keeping with the demonstration project scope, PHMSA intends to streamline the rating process. Because we are limiting the demonstration grants to a specific community information project, we will not use the grants.gov system for applications or the full range of TAG evaluation criteria discussed above in selecting the three demonstration grant recipients. Instead, PHMSA, in consultation with the PIPA Steering Committee, will select the three pilot communities based on the Applicant’s interest in pilot testing draft PIPA best practices. PHMSA and the PIPA Steering Committee will identify communities interested in focusing on PIPA related topics that are reflective of the scope and intent of the TAG criteria. Each demonstration grant recipient will be required to provide a report to PHMSA demonstrating completion of the work as outlined in the grant agreement. Further, each recipient of a grant under section 5 must ensure that: 1. The technical findings made possible by the grants are made available to the relevant operators; and 2. Open communication is maintained between the grant recipients, local operators, local communities and other interested parties. In reapportion for the demonstration projects, PHMSA and the PIPA Steering Committee have identified several potential projects and topics we may ask communities to investigate, including: Performing an annual review with pipeline operators having facilities within the community; mapping pipelines, abandoned pipelines and Consultation Zones in a geographic information system (GIS); drafting a model ordinance and reviewing one or more of the proposed PIPA best practices for legal issues associated with incorporating the best practices into law; developing educational material for local governments to distribute to E:\FR\FM\06NON1.SGM 06NON1 66100 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 216 / Thursday, November 6, 2008 / Notices developers, landowners and operators about Consultation Zones; or performing Consultation Zone discussions for several developments now being planned that are in close proximity to a transmission pipeline. Issued in Washington, DC, on October 29, 2008. Jeffrey D. Wiese, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety. [FR Doc. E8–26506 Filed 11–5–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Docket No. AB–33 (Sub-No. 271X); STB Docket No. AB–585 (Sub-No. 3X)] sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Union Pacific Railroad Company— Abandonment Exemption—in Bowie County, TX; Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad Company— Discontinuance of Service Exemption—in Bowie County, TX Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) and Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad Company (DGNO) (collectively, applicants) have jointly filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR part 1152 subpart F— Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances of Service for UP to abandon, and for DGNO to discontinue service over, a 0.3-mile line of railroad known as the Bonham Industrial Lead, extending between milepost 21.5 and milepost 21.8 near New Boston, in Bowie County, TX. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 75570. Applicants have certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) any overhead traffic on the line can be rerouted over other lines; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the line either is pending with the Surface Transportation Board or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the 2-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 CFR 1105.7 (environmental report), 49 CFR 1105.8 (historic report), 49 CFR 1105.11 (transmittal letter), 49 CFR 1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to governmental agencies) have been met. As a condition to these exemptions, any employee adversely affected by the abandonment or discontinuance shall be protected under Oregon Short Line R. Co.—Abandonment—Goshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:11 Nov 05, 2008 Jkt 217001 condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) must be filed. Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) has been received, these exemptions will be effective on December 6, 2008, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,1 formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),2 and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by November 17, 2008. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by November 26, 2008, with: Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423– 0001. A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to applicants’ representatives: (1) Gabriel S. Meyer, Assistant General Attorney, Union Pacific Railroad Company, 1400 Douglas Street, Mail Stop 1580, Omaha, NE 68179; and (2) Louis E. Gitomer, Esq., Law Offices of Louis E. Gitomer, 600 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 301, Towson, MD 21204. If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemptions are void ab initio. Applicants have filed a joint combined environmental and historic report, which addresses the effects, if any, of the abandonment and discontinuance on the environment and historic resources. SEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by November 10, 2008. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to SEA (Room 1100, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423–0001) or by calling SEA, at (202) 245–0305. [Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339.] Comments on environmental and historic 1 The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board’s Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemptions’ effective date. See Exemption of Outof-Service Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may take appropriate action before the exemptions’ effective date. 2 Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which is currently set at $1,500. The filing fee for an OFA increased from $1,300 to $1,500, effective July 18, 2008. See Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection with Licensing and Related Services—2008 Update, STB Ex Parte No. 542 (Sub-No. 15) (STB served June 18, 2008), which amends 49 CFR Part 1002 of the Code of Federal Regulations. PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 preservation matters must be filed within 15 days after the EA becomes available to the public. Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or trail use/rail banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent decision. Pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), UP shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the line. If consummation has not been effected by UP’s filing of a notice of consummation by November 6, 2009, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire. Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at https:// www.stb.dot.gov. Decided: November 3, 2008. By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings. Jeff Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. E8–26467 Filed 11–5–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Treasury. ACTION: Notice and request for comment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The OCC, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on a continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Currently, the OCC is soliciting comment concerning its extension of an information collection titled ‘‘Debt Cancellation Contracts and Debt Suspension Agreements—12 CFR 37.’’ The OCC is also giving notice that it has submitted the collection to OMB for review. DATES: You should submit written comments by: December 8, 2008. ADDRESSES: Communications Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Public Information Room, Mail Stop 1–5, Attention: 1557–0224, 250 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20219. In addition, comments may be sent by fax to (202) 874–4448, or by electronic mail to regs.comments@occ.treas.gov. You may personally inspect and photocopy comments at the OCC’s Public E:\FR\FM\06NON1.SGM 06NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 216 (Thursday, November 6, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66098-66100]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26506]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket ID PHMSA-2008-0292]


Pipeline Safety: Technical Assistance Grants to Communities

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Technical Assistance Grant Criteria.

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

SUMMARY: PHMSA has established the criteria and competitive procedures 
that will be used in awarding grants under the Technical Assistance 
Grants (TAG) program authorized in 49 U.S.C. 60130 and section 2(e) of 
the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 
2006. Subject to future appropriations, the TAG program will provide 
grants to local governments and community groups for engineering and 
other technical assistance related to pipeline safety matters. This 
Notice also details PHMSA's plans for awarding the three demonstration 
grants authorized under the TAG program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Fischer by e-mail at 
steve.fischer@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Experience shows that informed communities play a vital role in the 
safety and reliability of pipeline operations. Accurate information 
about the location, operation, and regulation of pipelines facilitates 
safe land use planning, effective damage prevention programs, and fast, 
safe, and capable emergency response. To those ends, PHMSA has actively 
developed and strengthened programs to improve the flow of pipeline 
safety information to communities. Over the past several years, PHMSA 
has established its Stakeholder Communications website; staffed a 
Community Assistance & Technical Services Program within the Office of 
Pipeline Safety; offered web-casting of Pipeline Safety Trust meetings; 
funded invitational travel for state and local officials to participate 
in various planning and review committees; invited public 
representatives to our Pipeline Safety Advisory Committees; made 
transmission pipeline location information available through the 
National Pipeline Mapping System; and strengthened standards for 
pipeline operator public awareness programs. Most recently, in January 
2008, PHMSA launched the Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance to 
facilitate risk-informed land use and community planning.
    The Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) program, first authorized in 
the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-355, codified 
at 49 U.S.C. 60130), offers new opportunities to strengthen the depth 
and quality of public participation in pipeline safety matters. Section 
9 of the Act, titled: ``Pipeline Safety Information Grants to 
Communities'' authorized the Secretary of Transportation to make grants 
to local communities and organizations for technical assistance 
relating to pipeline safety issues. The grants would allow communities 
and groups of individuals (not including for-profit entities) to obtain 
funding for technical assistance in the form of engineering or other 
scientific analysis of pipeline safety issues and help promote public 
participation in official proceedings. For purposes of grants 
eligibility, communities are defined as cities, towns, villages, 
counties, parishes, townships, and similar governmental subdivisions, 
or consortiums of such subdivisions. A nongovernmental group

[[Page 66099]]

of individuals is eligible for a grant under the TAG program if its 
members are affected or potentially affected individuals who are, or 
are willing to become, incorporated as a non-profit organization in the 
state where they are located. By law, the amount of any grant may not 
exceed $50,000 for a single grant recipient and the funds authorized 
for these grants may not be derived from user fees collected under 49 
U.S.C. 60301. Although the 2002 Act authorized $1,000,000 for grant 
awards under the TAG program, to date, no funds have been appropriated 
for this purpose.

II. Competitive Procedures for Awarding Technical Assistance Grants

    Beginning in 2005, PHMSA has used the Federal government-wide, web-
based system Grants.gov for posting and processing all new grants 
programs. Grants.gov was established as a governmental resource under 
the E-Grants Initiative, part of the President's 2002 Fiscal Year 
Management Agenda to improve government services to the public. The 
system operates as a central storehouse for the timely and accurate 
exchange of information and processing of applications for Federal 
grant programs. Organizations and individuals who may be interested in 
applying for grants may register on the Grants.gov Web site to receive 
e-mail notification of grant postings.
    Subject to appropriations, PHMSA will post notice on Grants.gov of 
the application deadline and selection criteria for TAG program grants. 
The selection criteria will be those established in this Notice, as set 
forth below.
    PHMSA plans to use a committee of stakeholder representatives to 
assist in reviewing and evaluating applications under the TAG selection 
criteria. We have used similar multi-stakeholder committees to assist 
in reviewing and recommending awards for both Research and Development 
and State Damage Prevention Program grants. As with these grants, PHMSA 
will publish on our website the names of the individuals and 
organizations comprising the review committee and will identify the 
applicants selected and the amount of each grant award.

III. TAG Criteria

    In keeping with Congressional intent, PHMSA has developed TAG 
evaluation criteria to be used to rate and select competing proposals. 
Together, these criteria are intended to identify projects that target 
high-risk areas; offer well-defined plans; foster open communication 
with a local community and/or affected pipeline operators; and produce 
results that are measurable and transferable to other communities and/
or technology development.
    The evaluation criteria are as follows:
    1. The extent to which the Applicant's project scope is focused on 
areas where a pipeline failure could pose a significant risk to people 
or to unusually sensitive environmental areas;
    2. The extent to which the proposed project scope demonstrates an 
understanding of the specific concern the Applicant wishes to address, 
as well as the range of risks affected pipelines pose to the affected 
geographic area and the risks the community poses to the pipelines;
    3. The extent to which the proposal demonstrates the Applicant's 
experience with and commitment to open communication with affected 
operators and to partnerships with other key members of the community;
    4. The extent to which the Applicant's project is designed to 
improve performance and safety over time in areas such as engineering, 
damage prevention, land use, public education, emergency response, and 
community awareness;
    5. The extent to which the Applicant's project plan establishes 
clear goals, objectives, milestones, and estimates of project costs;
    6. The extent to which the Applicant has a plan for evaluating and 
disseminating results; and
    7. The extent to which the Applicant's project scope provides the 
potential for learning or technology transfer to other groups and 
communities.

IV. Demonstration Grants--Three Pilots

    Section 5 of the PIPES Act requires the first three Technical 
Assistance Grants to be demonstration grants in amounts not exceeding 
$25,000 each. These demonstration grants will be funded out of general 
funds and will target a specific community information project--the 
Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA), as referenced above. 
The PIPA project has brought together a wide range of pipeline safety 
and local planning interests for the purpose of developing risk-
informed best practices for land use and community planning. The PIPA 
project groups have been working on the development of draft best 
practices for roughly ten months and are scheduled to report their 
conclusions in early 2009. More information on PIPA can be found on 
PHMSA's Web site at https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/
PIPA.htm?nocache=458.
    The PIPA project offers an excellent opportunity to pilot test the 
TAG program in the context of an ongoing, previously-authorized 
community information project. PHMSA is working closely with the PIPA 
Steering Committee to identify communities interested in participating 
in the demonstration grants phase of the TAG program. The Steering 
Committee has endorsed the concept of asking the pilot communities to 
test draft recommended practices currently being developed by the PIPES 
task teams. We believe this is a valuable opportunity to advance both 
the TAG program and the PIPA project. However, although we anticipate 
awarding the three $25,000 grants designated for demonstration projects 
under PIPES Act section 5, we expect this amount to cover only a 
portion of the draft PIPA recommended practices.
    In keeping with the demonstration project scope, PHMSA intends to 
streamline the rating process. Because we are limiting the 
demonstration grants to a specific community information project, we 
will not use the grants.gov system for applications or the full range 
of TAG evaluation criteria discussed above in selecting the three 
demonstration grant recipients. Instead, PHMSA, in consultation with 
the PIPA Steering Committee, will select the three pilot communities 
based on the Applicant's interest in pilot testing draft PIPA best 
practices. PHMSA and the PIPA Steering Committee will identify 
communities interested in focusing on PIPA related topics that are 
reflective of the scope and intent of the TAG criteria.
    Each demonstration grant recipient will be required to provide a 
report to PHMSA demonstrating completion of the work as outlined in the 
grant agreement. Further, each recipient of a grant under section 5 
must ensure that:
    1. The technical findings made possible by the grants are made 
available to the relevant operators; and
    2. Open communication is maintained between the grant recipients, 
local operators, local communities and other interested parties.
    In reapportion for the demonstration projects, PHMSA and the PIPA 
Steering Committee have identified several potential projects and 
topics we may ask communities to investigate, including: Performing an 
annual review with pipeline operators having facilities within the 
community; mapping pipelines, abandoned pipelines and Consultation 
Zones in a geographic information system (GIS); drafting a model 
ordinance and reviewing one or more of the proposed PIPA best practices 
for legal issues associated with incorporating the best practices into 
law; developing educational material for local governments to 
distribute to

[[Page 66100]]

developers, landowners and operators about Consultation Zones; or 
performing Consultation Zone discussions for several developments now 
being planned that are in close proximity to a transmission pipeline.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 29, 2008.
Jeffrey D. Wiese,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. E8-26506 Filed 11-5-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P