Bemidji to Grand Rapids Minnesota 230 kV Transmission Line Project, 56051-56052 [2010-22966]

Download as PDF 56051 Notices Federal Register Vol. 75, No. 178 Wednesday, September 15, 2010 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Bemidji to Grand Rapids Minnesota 230 kV Transmission Line Project Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement. AGENCY: ACTION: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Forest Service Chippewa National Forest (CNF), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Division of Resource Management (LLBO) have issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Bemidji to Grand Rapids, Minnesota 230 kV Transmission Line Project (‘‘Project’’) in Minnesota. The Final EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500–1508), and RUS regulations (7 CFR 1794). To minimize duplication of effort pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.2, RUS prepared the Final EIS jointly with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security (OES) in compliance with federal responsibilities under NEPA and other federal statutes and regulations, and state responsibilities under the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act and the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act. RUS is the lead federal agency as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5, and CNF and USACE are cooperating agencies. LLBO accepted an invitation to participate as a cooperating agency. The purpose of the Final EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the application of Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. for RUS financing to construct a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Wilton Substation near Bemidji, Minnesota and srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:57 Sep 14, 2010 Jkt 220001 the Boswell Substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which will cross portions of Beltrami, Hubbard, Itasca, and Cass counties. Minnkota also proposes to modify the Wilton and Boswell substations and construct a new 115 kV breaker station at Nary Junction, Minnesota. In addition, Minnkota proposes to upgrade an existing or construct a new substation in the Cass Lake, Minnesota area, depending on the route alternative selected for the Project. The Project is being jointly developed by Minnkota, Otter Tail Power Company, and Minnesota Power. DATES: Written comments on this Final EIS will be accepted 30 days following the publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of receipt of the Final EIS in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: To obtain copies of the Final EIS or further information, contact: Ms. Stephanie Strength, Environmental Protection Specialist, USDA Rural Utilities Service, Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 1571, Room 2239–S, Washington, DC 20250– 1571, telephone: (970) 403–3559, fax: (202) 690–0649, or e-mail: stephanie.strength@wdc.usda.gov. Or contact Suzanne Steinhauer, Project Manager, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security, 85 Seventh Place East, Suite 500, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101–2198; telephone (651) 296–2888, or e-mail suzanne.steinhauer@state.mn.us. A copy of the Final EIS has been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government agencies and to interested parties and can be viewed online at the RUS Web site at https://www.usda.gov/ rus/water/ees/eis.htm, or at the Minnesota Public Utilities Web site at https://energyfacilities.puc.state.mn.us/ Docket.html?Id=19344. Copies of the Final EIS will also be available for public review at the following public libraries: Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Ave., NW., Bemidji, MN 56601; Cass Lake Community Library, 223 Cedar Ave., NW., Cass Lake, MN 56633; Grand Rapids Area Library, 140 NE 2nd Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744; Blackduck Community Library, 72 First St., SE., Blackduck, MN 56630; Margaret Welch Memorial Library, 5051 State 84, Longville, MN 56655; PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Walker Public Library, 207 4th St., Walker, MN 56484; Bovey Public Library, Village Hall, 402 2nd Street, Bovey, MN 55709–0130; and Coleraine Public Library, Independent Building, 203 Cole Avenue, Coleraine, MN 55722–0225. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Minnkota Power, Otter Tail Power, and Minnesota Power propose to construct a new transmission line from Bemidji to Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The proposal is designed to correct a local load serving inadequacy for the Bemidji area and the northern Red River Valley in West Central Minnesota. It is part of the CapX2020 long-range planning effort that has identified a comprehensive framework for new transmission infrastructure that will be needed to maintain reliability of the transmission system throughout Minnesota and the surrounding region. Minnkota Power is seeking financing from RUS for its portion of the investment. Prior to making a financial decision about whether to provide financial assistance for a proposal, RUS is required to conduct an environmental review under NEPA in accordance with the Agency’s policies and procedures codified in 7 CFR Part 1794. This proposal is identified under RUS regulation 7 CFR 1794.24(b)(1) as requiring an Environmental Assessment (EA) with scoping meetings. The State of Minnesota requires that an EIS be prepared by OES in accordance with Chapter 216E of the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act, and Chapter 116D of the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act. RUS and OES have agreed to be colead agencies in preparing a joint federal/state EIS on the Project. Using information from the Alternatives Evaluation Study (AES), the MacroCorridor Study (MCS), Public Scoping Meetings, the Draft EIS and public hearings and comments on the Draft EIS, RUS and OES developed this Final EIS in consultation with the cooperating agencies, CNF, USACE, and LLBO. On July 18, 2008, RUS published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the proposal. The EIS focused on potential impacts to the following resources: soils, topography and geology, water resources, air quality, biological resources, the acoustic environment, recreation, cultural and historic resources, visual E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1 56052 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 178 / Wednesday, September 15, 2010 / Notices resources, transportation, farmland, land use, human health and safety, the socioeconomic environment, environmental justice, and cumulative effects. On March 3, 2010, the Rural Utilities Service published its Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS for the proposed project in the Federal Register. The 45-day comment period ended on April 19, 2010. Comments received on the Draft EIS were addressed in the Final EIS. After considering various ways to meet the reliability needs, Minnkota identified construction of the proposed Project as its best course of action. This EIS considered four route alternatives in terms of cost-effectiveness, technical feasibility, and environmental factors. The EIS analyzes in detail the no action alternative, the proposed action Route Alternative 4 and three other Route Alternatives. Route Alternative 4 has been identified as the applicants’ preferred alternative, the federally preferred alternative and the environmentally preferred alternative. Because the proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or wetlands, this Notice of Availability also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action. Any action by RUS related to the proposed Project will be subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, and completion of the environmental review requirements as prescribed in RUS’s Environmental Policies and Procedures, 7 CFR part 1794, as amended. Dated: September 7, 2010. Nivin Elgohary, Acting Assistant Administrator, Electric Programs. [FR Doc. 2010–22966 Filed 9–14–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the South Dakota Advisory Committee Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the South Dakota Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 1 p.m. and end at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28, 2010. The purpose of the meeting is for the committee to discuss recent VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:57 Sep 14, 2010 Jkt 220001 Commission and regional activities and current civil rights issues in the State and plan future activities. This conference call is available to the public through the following call-in number: 1–800–516–9896, access code: 8334. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges made over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund those charges incurred. Callers will incur no charge for calls using the callin number over land-line connections. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1– 800–977–8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and access code number. To ensure that the Commission secures an appropriate number of lines for the public, persons are asked to register by contacting the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled meeting date. Members of the public are entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by October 28, 2010. The address is Rocky Mountain Regional Office, 999–18th Street, Suite 1380 South, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 866– 1040. Comments may be e-mailed to ebohor@usccr.gov. Records generated by this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission’s Web site, https://www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above e-mail or street address. The meeting will be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the Commission and FACA. PLACE: Dated in Washington, DC, on September 10, 2010. Peter Minarik, Acting Chief, Regional Programs Coordination Unit. [FR Doc. 2010–23184 Filed 9–13–10; 4:15 pm] [FR Doc. 2010–22995 Filed 9–14–10; 8:45 am] 624 9th St., NW., Room 540, Washington, DC 20425. Meeting Agenda This meeting is open to the public. I. Approval of Agenda II. Program Planning • Approval of New Black Panther Party Enforcement Report • Consideration of Findings and Recommendations for Briefing Report on Health Care Disparities • Consideration of FY 2011 Enforcement Report Topic • Consideration of Concept Paper for Briefing on the Department of Education’s Investigation of Disparate Impact in Student Discipline • Consideration of Policy on Commissioner Statements and Rebuttals • Update on Sex Discrimination in Liberal Arts College Admissions Project—Some of the discussion of this agenda item may be held in closed session. • Update on Clearinghouse Project III. State Advisory Committee Issues • Maine SAC • New Mexico SAC IV. Approval of Minutes of September 10 Meeting V. Staff Director’s Report VI. Announcements VII. Adjourn CONTACT PERSON FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Lenore Ostrowsky, Acting Chief, Public Affairs Unit (202) 376– 8591. TDD: (202) 376–8116. Persons with a disability requiring special services, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, should contact Pamela Dunston at least seven days prior to the meeting at 202–376–8105. TDD: (202) 376–8116. Dated: September 13, 2010. David Blackwood, General Counsel. BILLING CODE 6335–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE BILLING CODE 6335–01–P Bureau of Industry and Security COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Action Affecting Export Privileges; Mahan Airways and Gatewick LLC Sunshine Act Notice United States Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: Friday, September 24, 2010; 9:30 a.m. EDT DATE AND TIME: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Mahan Airways, Mahan Tower, No. 21, Azadegan St., M.A. Jenah Exp. Way, Tehran, Iran; and Gatewick LLC, a/k/a Gatewick Freight & Cargo Services, a/k/a/Gatewick Aviation Services, G#22 Dubai Airport Free Zone, P.O. Box 393754, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and P.O. Box 52404, E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1

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[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 178 (Wednesday, September 15, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56051-56052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-22966]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 75 , No. 178 / Wednesday, September 15, 2010 
/ Notices

[[Page 56051]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Bemidji to Grand Rapids Minnesota 230 kV Transmission Line 
Project

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement.

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

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Forest Service 
Chippewa National Forest (CNF), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 
and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Division of Resource Management (LLBO) 
have issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 
proposed Bemidji to Grand Rapids, Minnesota 230 kV Transmission Line 
Project (``Project'') in Minnesota. The Final EIS was prepared pursuant 
to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et 
seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) 
regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 
1500-1508), and RUS regulations (7 CFR 1794). To minimize duplication 
of effort pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.2, RUS prepared the Final EIS jointly 
with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security 
(OES) in compliance with federal responsibilities under NEPA and other 
federal statutes and regulations, and state responsibilities under the 
Minnesota Environmental Policy Act and the Minnesota Power Plant Siting 
Act. RUS is the lead federal agency as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5, and 
CNF and USACE are cooperating agencies. LLBO accepted an invitation to 
participate as a cooperating agency. The purpose of the Final EIS is to 
evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the 
application of Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. for RUS financing to 
construct a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Wilton 
Substation near Bemidji, Minnesota and the Boswell Substation near 
Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which will cross portions of Beltrami, 
Hubbard, Itasca, and Cass counties. Minnkota also proposes to modify 
the Wilton and Boswell substations and construct a new 115 kV breaker 
station at Nary Junction, Minnesota. In addition, Minnkota proposes to 
upgrade an existing or construct a new substation in the Cass Lake, 
Minnesota area, depending on the route alternative selected for the 
Project. The Project is being jointly developed by Minnkota, Otter Tail 
Power Company, and Minnesota Power.

DATES: Written comments on this Final EIS will be accepted 30 days 
following the publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 
notice of receipt of the Final EIS in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: To obtain copies of the Final EIS or further information, 
contact: Ms. Stephanie Strength, Environmental Protection Specialist, 
USDA Rural Utilities Service, Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 1571, Room 
2239-S, Washington, DC 20250-1571, telephone: (970) 403-3559, fax: 
(202) 690-0649, or e-mail: stephanie.strength@wdc.usda.gov. Or contact 
Suzanne Steinhauer, Project Manager, Minnesota Department of Commerce, 
Office of Energy Security, 85 Seventh Place East, Suite 500, Saint 
Paul, Minnesota 55101-2198; telephone (651) 296-2888, or e-mail 
suzanne.steinhauer@state.mn.us.
    A copy of the Final EIS has been sent to affected Federal, State, 
and local government agencies and to interested parties and can be 
viewed online at the RUS Web site at https://www.usda.gov/rus/water/ees/eis.htm, or at the Minnesota Public Utilities Web site at https://energyfacilities.puc.state.mn.us/Docket.html?Id=19344.
    Copies of the Final EIS will also be available for public review at 
the following public libraries:

Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Ave., NW., Bemidji, MN 56601;
Cass Lake Community Library, 223 Cedar Ave., NW., Cass Lake, MN 56633;
Grand Rapids Area Library, 140 NE 2nd Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744;
Blackduck Community Library, 72 First St., SE., Blackduck, MN 56630;
Margaret Welch Memorial Library, 5051 State 84, Longville, MN 56655;
Walker Public Library, 207 4th St., Walker, MN 56484;
Bovey Public Library, Village Hall, 402 2nd Street, Bovey, MN 55709-
0130; and
Coleraine Public Library, Independent Building, 203 Cole Avenue, 
Coleraine, MN 55722-0225.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Minnkota Power, Otter Tail Power, and 
Minnesota Power propose to construct a new transmission line from 
Bemidji to Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The proposal is designed to correct 
a local load serving inadequacy for the Bemidji area and the northern 
Red River Valley in West Central Minnesota. It is part of the CapX2020 
long-range planning effort that has identified a comprehensive 
framework for new transmission infrastructure that will be needed to 
maintain reliability of the transmission system throughout Minnesota 
and the surrounding region.
    Minnkota Power is seeking financing from RUS for its portion of the 
investment. Prior to making a financial decision about whether to 
provide financial assistance for a proposal, RUS is required to conduct 
an environmental review under NEPA in accordance with the Agency's 
policies and procedures codified in 7 CFR Part 1794.
    This proposal is identified under RUS regulation 7 CFR 
1794.24(b)(1) as requiring an Environmental Assessment (EA) with 
scoping meetings. The State of Minnesota requires that an EIS be 
prepared by OES in accordance with Chapter 216E of the Minnesota Power 
Plant Siting Act, and Chapter 116D of the Minnesota Environmental 
Policy Act. RUS and OES have agreed to be co-lead agencies in preparing 
a joint federal/state EIS on the Project. Using information from the 
Alternatives Evaluation Study (AES), the Macro-Corridor Study (MCS), 
Public Scoping Meetings, the Draft EIS and public hearings and comments 
on the Draft EIS, RUS and OES developed this Final EIS in consultation 
with the cooperating agencies, CNF, USACE, and LLBO.
    On July 18, 2008, RUS published in the Federal Register a Notice of 
Intent to prepare an EIS for the proposal. The EIS focused on potential 
impacts to the following resources: soils, topography and geology, 
water resources, air quality, biological resources, the acoustic 
environment, recreation, cultural and historic resources, visual

[[Page 56052]]

resources, transportation, farmland, land use, human health and safety, 
the socioeconomic environment, environmental justice, and cumulative 
effects. On March 3, 2010, the Rural Utilities Service published its 
Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS for the proposed project in the 
Federal Register. The 45-day comment period ended on April 19, 2010. 
Comments received on the Draft EIS were addressed in the Final EIS.
    After considering various ways to meet the reliability needs, 
Minnkota identified construction of the proposed Project as its best 
course of action. This EIS considered four route alternatives in terms 
of cost-effectiveness, technical feasibility, and environmental 
factors.
    The EIS analyzes in detail the no action alternative, the proposed 
action Route Alternative 4 and three other Route Alternatives. Route 
Alternative 4 has been identified as the applicants' preferred 
alternative, the federally preferred alternative and the 
environmentally preferred alternative.
    Because the proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or 
wetlands, this Notice of Availability also serves as a notice of 
proposed floodplain or wetland action.
    Any action by RUS related to the proposed Project will be subject 
to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal, state 
and local environmental laws and regulations, and completion of the 
environmental review requirements as prescribed in RUS's Environmental 
Policies and Procedures, 7 CFR part 1794, as amended.

    Dated: September 7, 2010.
Nivin Elgohary,
Acting Assistant Administrator, Electric Programs.
[FR Doc. 2010-22966 Filed 9-14-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P