Interconnection of the Proposed Deer Creek Station Energy Facility Project, South Dakota, 6284-6286 [E9-2552]

Download as PDF 6284 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 24 / Friday, February 6, 2009 / Notices (866) 208–3372 (voice) or 202–502–8659 (TTY), or send a fax to 202–208–2106 with the required accommodations. All interested persons are permitted to attend. For further information please contact Vince Mareino at (202) 502– 6167 or e-mail Vince.Mareino@ferc.gov. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. E9–2525 Filed 2–5–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. RP08–591–000] Equitrans, L.P.; Notice of Technical Conference January 30, 2009. Take notice that Commission Staff is rescheduling the technical conference in the above-referenced proceedings, which was previously set to take place on Wednesday, January 28, 2009, to Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 10 a.m. (EST), in a room to be designated at the offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. FERC conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations please send an e-mail to accessibility@ferc.gov or call toll free (866) 208–3372 (voice) or (202) 502– 8659 (TTY), or send a fax to (202) 208– 2106 with the required accommodations. All interested persons are permitted to attend. For further information please contact Anna Fernandez at (202) 502– 6682 or e-mail Anna.Fernandez@ferc.gov. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. E9–2524 Filed 2–5–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES Interconnection of the Proposed Deer Creek Station Energy Facility Project, South Dakota AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and to conduct scoping meetings; Notice of floodplain and wetlands involvement. VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:16 Feb 05, 2009 Jkt 217001 SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western), an agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the interconnection of the proposed Deer Creek Station Energy Facility (Project) in South Dakota, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR 1021), and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500–1508). Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric) has requested to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s power transmission system. The EIS will address Western’s Federal action of whether to allow interconnection at its White Substation, and to make any necessary modifications to Western facilities to accommodate the interconnection. The EIS will also review the potential environmental impacts of constructing, operating, and maintaining Basin Electric’s proposed Project, which includes a 300 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle natural gas generation facility and associated electric, natural gas, and water lines that would be constructed east of White in Brookings and Deuel counties, South Dakota. Portions of Basin Electric’s proposed Project may affect floodplains and wetlands, so this Notice of Intent also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action, in accordance with 10 CFR 1022.12 (a). Western will hold a public scoping meeting near the Project area to share information and receive comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS. DATES: An open-house public scoping meeting will be held on February 24, 2009, in White, South Dakota, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST. The public scoping period starts with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register and will continue through April 7, 2009. To be assured of consideration, all fax or email comments or suggestions regarding the appropriate scope of the EIS must be received by the end of the scoping period. Mailed comments must be postmarked no later than midnight on the last day of the scoping period. ADDRESSES: The open-house public scoping meeting will be held at the following location starting at 6 p.m. CST.: February 24, 2009, McKnight Community Hall, 228 West Main Street, White, SD 57276. Written comments on the scope of the EIS should be addressed to the following: Mr. Matt Marsh, NEPA Document Manager, Western Area PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Power Administration, Upper Great Plains Customer Service Region, P.O. Box 35800, Billings, MT 59107–5800, fax (406) 247–7408, or e-mail DeerCreekStationEIS@wapa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed Project, the EIS process, and general information about interconnections with Western’s transmission system, contact Mr. Marsh at the address provided above. Parties wishing to be placed on the Project mailing list for future information, and to receive copies of the Draft and Final EIS when they are available, should also contact Mr. Marsh. For general information on DOE NEPA review procedures or status of a NEPA review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC–20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586-4600 or (800) 472-2756. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western, an agency within DOE, markets Federal hydroelectric power to preference customers, as specified by law. These customers include municipalities, cooperatives, public utilities, irrigation districts, Federal and State agencies, and Native American Tribes in 15 western states, including South Dakota. Western owns and operates about 17,000 miles of transmission line. Basin Electric is a regional wholesale electric generation and transmission cooperative owned and controlled by its member cooperatives. Basin Electric serves approximately 2.5 million customers covering 430,000 square miles in portions of nine states, including Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Project Description Basin Electric has requested interconnection with Western’s electric transmission system at White Substation, located in Brookings County, South Dakota. Western’s Federal action is to consider Basin Electric’s interconnection request under Western’s Open Access Transmission Service Tariff and make a decision whether to approve or deny the interconnection request. If the decision is to approve the request, Western’s action would include making necessary system modifications to accommodate the interconnection of Basin Electric’s proposed Project. Basin Electric’s proposed Project is to construct, own, operate, and maintain the Deer Creek Station Energy Facility Project, a 300 MW combined-cycle natural gas generation facility, water E:\FR\FM\06FEN1.SGM 06FEN1 dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 24 / Friday, February 6, 2009 / Notices pipeline, transmission lines, transmission interconnection(s), and other associated facilities, all in Brookings and Deuel counties in eastern South Dakota. The purpose of the proposed Project is to help serve increased load demand for electric power in the eastern portion of Basin Electric’s service area. Basin Electric’s eastern service area comprises western Nebraska, northwestern and central Iowa, portions of southern Minnesota, all of South Dakota, portions of eastern Montana, and western and central North Dakota. The need for additional generating capacity is driven by the increasing electrical power usage of the Basin Electric membership consumers. Between 1999 and 2006, Basin Electric’s total system peak demand increased 752 MW from 1,195 MW to 1,947 MW, or approximately 107 MW per year. In 2007 Basin Electric prepared a forecast showing load and capability surpluses/ deficits through the year 2021. The forecast predicts that by 2014, there will be a deficit of 800-900 MW for the eastern portion of their service area. The proposed Project’s addition of 300 MW of generation will help meet Basin Electric’s future energy requirements. Basin Electric’s proposed Project is subject to the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC) which has regulatory authority for siting power plants and transmission lines within the State. Basin Electric will submit an application for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit and a Route Permit to the SDPUC. The SDPUC permits would authorize Basin Electric to construct the proposed Project under South Dakota rules and regulations. Western intends to prepare an EIS to analyze the impacts of its Federal action and Basin Electric’s proposed Project in accordance with the NEPA, as amended, DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR 1021), and the CEQ regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 15001508). While Western’s Federal action would be limited to the approval or denial of the interconnection request and any modifications to Western’s power system necessary to accommodate the interconnection, the EIS will also identify and address the environmental impacts of Basin Electric’s proposed Project. Basin Electric has identified two preliminary alternative generation sites and associated linear facilities, located approximately 20 miles east of Brookings and 60 miles northeast of Sioux Falls. The EIS will evaluate these alternatives, any other viable alternatives to Basin Electric’s proposed Project identified during the public scoping process, and the No Action VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:16 Feb 05, 2009 Jkt 217001 Alternative in detail. The two preliminary alternative generation facility sites are: • The White Site I (Brookings County, T111N R48W, Section 25 NE Quarter). • The White Site II (Brookings County, T111N R48W, Section 2 NW Quarter). Basin Electric’s two alternative locations are in close proximity to the Northern Border Natural Gas Pipeline, water sources, and the existing transmission system for the delivery of power to its members. The proposed generation facility would require new infrastructure, including 10 to 14 miles of natural gas pipeline, up to a mile of 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, 3 to 4 miles of water pipeline, groundwater wells, a substation (on White Site II only), road access to the generation facility, and wastewater processing. Selection of White Site I would require the construction of a 345-kV single circuit transmission line so that power generated could be transmitted to the existing Western White Substation. White Site II would include construction of an on-site substation. A short double circuit 345-kV transmission line would be needed to transmit power from the on-site substation to the existing 345-kV transmission line, located approximately 1⁄2 mile east of the White Site II. For the 300 MW generation facility, Basin Electric proposes using a combined-cycle configuration where the exhaust from the combustion turbine generators passes through a heat recovery steam generator that extracts waste heat from the turbine exhaust. The recovery of the waste heat greatly increases the efficiency of the combined-cycle configuration. Most of the new base load fossil-fuel fired power plants built in the United States since the early 1990s have used combinedcycle technology. The generation facility would burn natural gas and would occupy approximately 40 acres. Because Basin Electric’s proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or wetlands, this Notice of Intent also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action, in accordance with 10 CFR 1022.12 (a). The EIS will include a floodplain/ wetland assessment and floodplain/ wetland statement of findings following DOE regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review (10 CFR 1022). Agency Responsibilities Western is the lead Federal agency, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5 for preparation of the NEPA analysis. The PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6285 Rural Utilities Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been invited by Western to be a cooperating agency. With this notice, Native American Tribes and agencies with jurisdiction or special expertise are invited to be cooperating agencies. Such tribes or agencies may make a request to Western to be a cooperating agency by contacting Western’s NEPA Document Manager. Designated cooperating agencies have certain responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified at 40 CFR 1501.6 (b). Environmental Issues This notice is to inform agencies and the public of Western’s Federal action and Basin Electric’s proposed Project, and to solicit comments and suggestions for consideration in preparing the EIS. To help the public frame its comments, this notice contains a list of potential environmental issues Western has tentatively identified for analysis. These issues include: 1. Impacts on protected, threatened, endangered, or sensitive species of animals or plants or their critical habitats; 2. Impacts on other biological resources; 3. Impacts on land use, recreation, and transportation; 4. Impacts on floodplains and wetlands; 5. Impacts on cultural or historic resources and tribal values; 6. Impacts on human health and safety; 7. Impacts on air, soil, and water resources (including air quality, surface water impacts, and ground water impacts); 8. Visual impacts; and 9. Socioeconomic impacts and disproportionately high and adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations. This list is not intended to be allinclusive or to imply any predetermination of impacts. Environmental issues associated with Western’s action and Basin Electric’s proposed Project will be addressed separately in the EIS. Western invites interested parties to suggest specific issues within these general categories, or other issues not included above, to be considered in the EIS. Public Participation Public participation and full disclosure are planned for the entire EIS process. The EIS process will include the public scoping open house meeting and a scoping comment period to solicit comments from interested parties; consultation and involvement with E:\FR\FM\06FEN1.SGM 06FEN1 6286 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 24 / Friday, February 6, 2009 / Notices appropriate Federal, State, local, and tribal governmental agencies; public review and a hearing on the draft EIS; publication of a final EIS; and publication of a Record of Decision expected in 2010. Additional informal public meetings may be held in the proposed Project area if public interest and issues indicate a need. Western will hold an open-house public scoping meeting on February 24, 2009, in White, South Dakota, as noted above. The purpose of the scoping meeting is to provide information about Western’s Federal action and Basin Electric’s proposed Project, display maps, answer questions, and take written comments from interested parties. Attendees are welcome to come and go at their convenience and to speak one-on-one with Western and Basin Electric representatives. The public will have the opportunity to provide written comments at the meeting. In addition, attendees may provide written comments by fax, email, or mail as discussed under DATES above. Dated: January 30, 2009. Timothy J. Meeks, Administrator. [FR Doc. E9–2552 Filed 2–5–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–SFUND–2009–0078; FRL–8771–9] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Brownfields Program—Revitalization Grantee Reporting (Renewal); EPA ICR No. 2104.03, OMB Control No. 2050–0192 dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that EPA is planning to submit a request to renew an existing approved Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR is scheduled to expire on July 31, 2009. 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 April 7, 2009. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:16 Feb 05, 2009 Jkt 217001 SFUND–2009–0078, by one of the following methods: • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: docket.superfund@epa.gov. • Fax: 202–566–0276. • Mail: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. 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–SFUND–2009– 0078. 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 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rachel Lentz, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, (5105–T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 telephone number: 202–566–2745; fax number: 202–566–1476; e-mail address: lentz.rachel@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–SFUND–2009–0078, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the EPA Docket Center (EPA/ DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 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 the Superfund Docket is 202–566–9744. 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 for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. In particular, EPA is requesting comments from very small businesses (those that employ less than 25) on examples of specific additional efforts that EPA could make to reduce the paperwork burden for very small businesses affected by this collection. E:\FR\FM\06FEN1.SGM 06FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 24 (Friday, February 6, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6284-6286]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-2552]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Interconnection of the Proposed Deer Creek Station Energy 
Facility Project, South Dakota

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
and to conduct scoping meetings; Notice of floodplain and wetlands 
involvement.

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

SUMMARY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western), an agency 
within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), intends to prepare an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) for the interconnection of the 
proposed Deer Creek Station Energy Facility (Project) in South Dakota, 
in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended, DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR 1021), and 
the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing 
NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508). Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin 
Electric) has requested to interconnect the proposed Project to 
Western's power transmission system. The EIS will address Western's 
Federal action of whether to allow interconnection at its White 
Substation, and to make any necessary modifications to Western 
facilities to accommodate the interconnection. The EIS will also review 
the potential environmental impacts of constructing, operating, and 
maintaining Basin Electric's proposed Project, which includes a 300 
megawatt (MW) combined-cycle natural gas generation facility and 
associated electric, natural gas, and water lines that would be 
constructed east of White in Brookings and Deuel counties, South 
Dakota. Portions of Basin Electric's proposed Project may affect 
floodplains and wetlands, so this Notice of Intent also serves as a 
notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action, in accordance with 10 
CFR 1022.12 (a). Western will hold a public scoping meeting near the 
Project area to share information and receive comments and suggestions 
on the scope of the EIS.

DATES: An open-house public scoping meeting will be held on February 
24, 2009, in White, South Dakota, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST. The public 
scoping period starts with the publication of this notice in the 
Federal Register and will continue through April 7, 2009. To be assured 
of consideration, all fax or e-mail comments or suggestions regarding 
the appropriate scope of the EIS must be received by the end of the 
scoping period. Mailed comments must be postmarked no later than 
midnight on the last day of the scoping period.

ADDRESSES: The open-house public scoping meeting will be held at the 
following location starting at 6 p.m. CST.: February 24, 2009, McKnight 
Community Hall, 228 West Main Street, White, SD 57276.
    Written comments on the scope of the EIS should be addressed to the 
following: Mr. Matt Marsh, NEPA Document Manager, Western Area Power 
Administration, Upper Great Plains Customer Service Region, P.O. Box 
35800, Billings, MT 59107-5800, fax (406) 247-7408, or e-mail 
DeerCreekStationEIS@wapa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed 
Project, the EIS process, and general information about 
interconnections with Western's transmission system, contact Mr. Marsh 
at the address provided above. Parties wishing to be placed on the 
Project mailing list for future information, and to receive copies of 
the Draft and Final EIS when they are available, should also contact 
Mr. Marsh.
    For general information on DOE NEPA review procedures or status of 
a NEPA review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of NEPA Policy 
and Compliance, GC-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586-4600 or (800) 
472-2756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western, an agency within DOE, markets 
Federal hydroelectric power to preference customers, as specified by 
law. These customers include municipalities, cooperatives, public 
utilities, irrigation districts, Federal and State agencies, and Native 
American Tribes in 15 western states, including South Dakota. Western 
owns and operates about 17,000 miles of transmission line.
    Basin Electric is a regional wholesale electric generation and 
transmission cooperative owned and controlled by its member 
cooperatives. Basin Electric serves approximately 2.5 million customers 
covering 430,000 square miles in portions of nine states, including 
Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, 
South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Project Description

    Basin Electric has requested interconnection with Western's 
electric transmission system at White Substation, located in Brookings 
County, South Dakota. Western's Federal action is to consider Basin 
Electric's interconnection request under Western's Open Access 
Transmission Service Tariff and make a decision whether to approve or 
deny the interconnection request. If the decision is to approve the 
request, Western's action would include making necessary system 
modifications to accommodate the interconnection of Basin Electric's 
proposed Project.
    Basin Electric's proposed Project is to construct, own, operate, 
and maintain the Deer Creek Station Energy Facility Project, a 300 MW 
combined-cycle natural gas generation facility, water

[[Page 6285]]

pipeline, transmission lines, transmission interconnection(s), and 
other associated facilities, all in Brookings and Deuel counties in 
eastern South Dakota. The purpose of the proposed Project is to help 
serve increased load demand for electric power in the eastern portion 
of Basin Electric's service area. Basin Electric's eastern service area 
comprises western Nebraska, northwestern and central Iowa, portions of 
southern Minnesota, all of South Dakota, portions of eastern Montana, 
and western and central North Dakota. The need for additional 
generating capacity is driven by the increasing electrical power usage 
of the Basin Electric membership consumers. Between 1999 and 2006, 
Basin Electric's total system peak demand increased 752 MW from 1,195 
MW to 1,947 MW, or approximately 107 MW per year. In 2007 Basin 
Electric prepared a forecast showing load and capability surpluses/
deficits through the year 2021. The forecast predicts that by 2014, 
there will be a deficit of 800-900 MW for the eastern portion of their 
service area. The proposed Project's addition of 300 MW of generation 
will help meet Basin Electric's future energy requirements.
    Basin Electric's proposed Project is subject to the jurisdiction of 
the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC) which has 
regulatory authority for siting power plants and transmission lines 
within the State. Basin Electric will submit an application for an 
Energy Conversion Facility Permit and a Route Permit to the SDPUC. The 
SDPUC permits would authorize Basin Electric to construct the proposed 
Project under South Dakota rules and regulations.
    Western intends to prepare an EIS to analyze the impacts of its 
Federal action and Basin Electric's proposed Project in accordance with 
the NEPA, as amended, DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR 1021), 
and the CEQ regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508). While 
Western's Federal action would be limited to the approval or denial of 
the interconnection request and any modifications to Western's power 
system necessary to accommodate the interconnection, the EIS will also 
identify and address the environmental impacts of Basin Electric's 
proposed Project. Basin Electric has identified two preliminary 
alternative generation sites and associated linear facilities, located 
approximately 20 miles east of Brookings and 60 miles northeast of 
Sioux Falls. The EIS will evaluate these alternatives, any other viable 
alternatives to Basin Electric's proposed Project identified during the 
public scoping process, and the No Action Alternative in detail. The 
two preliminary alternative generation facility sites are:
     The White Site I (Brookings County, T111N R48W, Section 25 
NE Quarter).
     The White Site II (Brookings County, T111N R48W, Section 2 
NW Quarter).

Basin Electric's two alternative locations are in close proximity to 
the Northern Border Natural Gas Pipeline, water sources, and the 
existing transmission system for the delivery of power to its members. 
The proposed generation facility would require new infrastructure, 
including 10 to 14 miles of natural gas pipeline, up to a mile of 345-
kilovolt (kV) transmission line, 3 to 4 miles of water pipeline, 
groundwater wells, a substation (on White Site II only), road access to 
the generation facility, and wastewater processing.
    Selection of White Site I would require the construction of a 345-
kV single circuit transmission line so that power generated could be 
transmitted to the existing Western White Substation. White Site II 
would include construction of an on-site substation. A short double 
circuit 345-kV transmission line would be needed to transmit power from 
the on-site substation to the existing 345-kV transmission line, 
located approximately \1/2\ mile east of the White Site II.
    For the 300 MW generation facility, Basin Electric proposes using a 
combined-cycle configuration where the exhaust from the combustion 
turbine generators passes through a heat recovery steam generator that 
extracts waste heat from the turbine exhaust. The recovery of the waste 
heat greatly increases the efficiency of the combined-cycle 
configuration. Most of the new base load fossil-fuel fired power plants 
built in the United States since the early 1990s have used combined-
cycle technology. The generation facility would burn natural gas and 
would occupy approximately 40 acres.
    Because Basin Electric's proposed Project may involve action in 
floodplains or wetlands, this Notice of Intent also serves as a notice 
of proposed floodplain or wetland action, in accordance with 10 CFR 
1022.12 (a). The EIS will include a floodplain/wetland assessment and 
floodplain/wetland statement of findings following DOE regulations for 
compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review (10 CFR 
1022).

Agency Responsibilities

    Western is the lead Federal agency, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5 for 
preparation of the NEPA analysis. The Rural Utilities Service of the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture has been invited by Western to be a 
cooperating agency. With this notice, Native American Tribes and 
agencies with jurisdiction or special expertise are invited to be 
cooperating agencies. Such tribes or agencies may make a request to 
Western to be a cooperating agency by contacting Western's NEPA 
Document Manager. Designated cooperating agencies have certain 
responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified at 40 CFR 
1501.6 (b).

Environmental Issues

    This notice is to inform agencies and the public of Western's 
Federal action and Basin Electric's proposed Project, and to solicit 
comments and suggestions for consideration in preparing the EIS. To 
help the public frame its comments, this notice contains a list of 
potential environmental issues Western has tentatively identified for 
analysis. These issues include:
    1. Impacts on protected, threatened, endangered, or sensitive 
species of animals or plants or their critical habitats;
    2. Impacts on other biological resources;
    3. Impacts on land use, recreation, and transportation;
    4. Impacts on floodplains and wetlands;
    5. Impacts on cultural or historic resources and tribal values;
    6. Impacts on human health and safety;
    7. Impacts on air, soil, and water resources (including air 
quality, surface water impacts, and ground water impacts);
    8. Visual impacts; and
    9. Socioeconomic impacts and disproportionately high and adverse 
impacts to minority and low-income populations.

This list is not intended to be all-inclusive or to imply any 
predetermination of impacts. Environmental issues associated with 
Western's action and Basin Electric's proposed Project will be 
addressed separately in the EIS. Western invites interested parties to 
suggest specific issues within these general categories, or other 
issues not included above, to be considered in the EIS.

Public Participation

    Public participation and full disclosure are planned for the entire 
EIS process. The EIS process will include the public scoping open house 
meeting and a scoping comment period to solicit comments from 
interested parties; consultation and involvement with

[[Page 6286]]

appropriate Federal, State, local, and tribal governmental agencies; 
public review and a hearing on the draft EIS; publication of a final 
EIS; and publication of a Record of Decision expected in 2010. 
Additional informal public meetings may be held in the proposed Project 
area if public interest and issues indicate a need.
    Western will hold an open-house public scoping meeting on February 
24, 2009, in White, South Dakota, as noted above. The purpose of the 
scoping meeting is to provide information about Western's Federal 
action and Basin Electric's proposed Project, display maps, answer 
questions, and take written comments from interested parties. Attendees 
are welcome to come and go at their convenience and to speak one-on-one 
with Western and Basin Electric representatives. The public will have 
the opportunity to provide written comments at the meeting. In 
addition, attendees may provide written comments by fax, e-mail, or 
mail as discussed under DATES above.

    Dated: January 30, 2009.
Timothy J. Meeks,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. E9-2552 Filed 2-5-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P