Record of Decision for the Modification of the Groton Generation Station Interconnection Agreement (DOE/EIS-0435), 75876-75878 [2011-31124]

Download as PDF 75876 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2011 / Notices Issued in Washington, DC on November 29, 2011. Patricia A. Hoffman, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. [FR Doc. 2011–31118 Filed 12–2–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of open teleconference. AGENCY: This notice announces a teleconference call of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463; 86 Stat.770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Thursday, January 19, 2012. 3:30 p.m.–4 p.m. EST. To receive the call-in number and passcode, please contact the Board’s Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the address or phone number listed below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gil Sperling, STEAB Designated Federal Officer, Senior Management Technical Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20585. Phone (202) 287–1644. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: To provide advice and recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy regarding goals and objectives, programmatic and administrative policies, and to otherwise carry out the Board’s responsibilities as designated in the State Energy Efficiency Programs Improvement Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101– 440). Tentative Agenda: Welcome new members to the Board, review and update accomplishment of STEAB’s Task Forces since the November meeting in Knoxville, TN, review the revised priorities of the STEAB, and provide an update to the Board on routine business matters and other topics of interest. Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Members of the public who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Dec 02, 2011 Jkt 226001 should contact Gil Sperling at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests to make oral comments must be received five days prior to the meeting; reasonable provision will be made to include requested topic(s) on the agenda. The Chair of the Board is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 60 days on the STEAB Web site: http://www.steab.org. Issued at Washington, DC, on November 28, 2011. LaTanya R. Butler, Acting Deputy Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–31120 Filed 12–2–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: This notice announces a live Board meeting of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463; 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: March 13–14, 2012 9 a.m.–5 p.m. March 15, 2012 9 a.m.–12 p.m. ADDRESSES: Key Bridge Marriott, 1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gil Sperling, STEAB Designated Federal Officer, Senior Management Technical Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., Washington DC, 20585. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: To provide advice and recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) regarding goals and objectives, programmatic and administrative policies, and to otherwise carry out the Board’s responsibilities as designated in the State Energy Efficiency Programs Improvement Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101– 440). Tentative Agenda: Receive updates and reviews of the accomplishments of SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 STEAB’s Sub-committee and Task Forces, meet with key members of DOE and the Office of EERE to discuss new initiatives and technologies, and explore possible technology transfer programs, meet with EERE Program Managers to gain a better understanding of deployment efforts and ongoing initiatives, discuss ways to make sure States are successful with implementing ARRA funding before the March 2012 deadline, and update the Board on routine business matters and other topics of interest. Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Members of the public who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Gil Sperling at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests to make oral comments must be received five days prior to the meeting; reasonable provision will be made to include requested topic(s) on the agenda. The Chair of the Board is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 60 days on the STEAB Web site: http://www.steab.org. Issued at Washington, DC, on November 29, 2011. LaTanya R. Butler, Acting Deputy Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–31122 Filed 12–2–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Record of Decision for the Modification of the Groton Generation Station Interconnection Agreement (DOE/EIS– 0435) Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Record of Decision. AGENCY: In 2009, Western Area Power Administration (Western) received a request from Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric) to modify its Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) with Basin Electric for the Groton Generation Station to eliminate current operating limits on the generating station. The LGIA currently limits the output of the Groton Generating Station to 50 average megawatts (MW). The Groton Generation Station is located about 5 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2011 / Notices jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES miles south of Groton, in Brown County, South Dakota. On September 21, 2009, a notice was issued of the LGIA modification request and of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (74 FR 48067). On June 3, 2011, the Notice of Availability of the Final EIS for the Modification of the Groton Generation Station Interconnection Agreement was published in the Federal Register (76 FR 32198). Western considered the environmental impacts and has decided to modify its LGIA with Basin Electric for the Groton Generation Station eliminating the 50-MW annual average operating limit. Basin Electric could then produce additional power up to the limits established in the current Title V air quality operating permit for the generating station. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, please contact Ms. Erika Walters, NEPA Document Manager, Groton EIS, Western Area Power Administration, A7400, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228, telephone (720) 962–7279, fax (720) 962–7269, or email Groton@wapa.gov. For general information on DOE’s NEPA review process, please contact Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC–20, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586–4600 or (800) 472–2756. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal agency under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that markets and transmits wholesale electric power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system across 15 western states. Western’s Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff) provides open access to its transmission system. Western provides these services through granting an interconnection request if there is available capacity on the transmission system, while protecting the transmission system reliability, and subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Western and Basin Electric have entered into a LGIA per Western’s Tariff. Basin Electric currently operates the generating station with a condition in the LGIA with Western that limits the output of the generating station to 50MW on an average annual basis. Station, and would not require any modifications to the Groton Generation Station or Western’s Groton Substation, or any new permits or authorizations from local, State, or Federal agencies. The elimination of the 50-MW annual average operating limit would meet Basin Electric’s purpose and need by providing greater operational flexibility in meeting its objectives, and allowing Basin Electric to produce an estimated additional 305,760 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year, up to the limits imposed by the current Title V air quality control operating permit, which is based on emission limits of 238 tons for both nitrogen oxides (NOX) and carbon monoxide (CO) per year. No other changes to Western’s LGIA or the interconnection configuration with the Groton Generation Station would be required. Western’s proposed Federal action is its preferred alternative. Proposed Federal Action Mitigation Measures Western’s proposed action would result in a modification only to the LGIA for the Groton Generation Station. The elimination of the 50-MW annual average operating limit would not require any modifications to the Groton Western’s need for action is triggered by Basin Electric’s request to eliminate the 50-MW annual average operating limit. Western’s proposed Federal action would result in a modification only to the LGIA for the Groton Generation VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Dec 02, 2011 Jkt 226001 No Action Alternative Under the No Action Alternative, Western would not approve modification to the LGIA to eliminate the operating limit. The Groton Generation Station would continue to operate with the 50-MW annual average operating limit. Western has determined that the No Action Alternative is the environmentally preferred alternative. However, the No Action Alternative would not meet Basin Electric’s purpose and need. Alternatives Considered In addition to the proposed Federal action and the no action alternative as described above, Western considered and dismissed several other alternatives including generation output above levels currently authorized by the Title V air permit, greenhouse gas capture and sequestration, and demand-side management. Western does not, however have authority to participate in or regulate generation projects. In addition, it is speculative that Basin Electric would apply for a revised Title V permit or implement greenhouse gas emission reductions. Also, while Western did not fully evaluate an alternative addressing demand-side management due to lack of regulatory authority over Basin Electric, Western did provide information on Basin Electric’s demand-side management program. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75877 Generation Station or Western’s Groton Substation, or any new permits or authorizations from local, State, or Federal agencies. Because eliminating Western’s operating limit would not result in any significant environmental impacts, no mitigation measures have been adopted. Comments on the Final EIS Western received comments from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a letter dated July 5, 2011. EPA’s comment letter recommended additional disclosure and clarification of the impacts of the proposed actions, as well as the purpose of and need for the action. Based on a review of EPA’s comments, and a subsequent meeting with EPA staff on August 25, 2011, Western has determined that the comments do not present any significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on its proposed action or its impacts. Therefore, a Supplemental EIS is not required. The basis for this determination is summarized below. EPA indicated that Western did not address its comment on the Draft EIS regarding the need to do additional analysis for the 1-hour NO2 standard. Western did not request Basin Electric to conduct additional analysis for the 1hour NO2 standard because the Groton Generating Station’s air quality permit would not be affected by Western’s proposed action. In addition, Western recognizes any future station upgrade or modification would require a permit review, including analysis for the NO2 standard, to be taken into account before a new or amended permit is issued. As explained in the Final EIS, it is speculative for Western to determine if Basin Electric would apply for a new permit. EPA’s comment letter indicated that EPA did not agree with Western’s determinations for eliminating alternatives from full evaluation in the Final EIS, and encouraged Western to consider other mechanisms for emission reductions and increased energy efficiency. In the meeting with EPA staff on August 25, 2011, Western provided additional information on its roles and responsibilities under Western’s Tariff, including clarifications why Western was not involved in the operation of the Groton Generation Station. Based on the Final EIS and this discussion with EPA, Western determined that there was no additional need to address alternatives outside of Western’s authority. EPA’s comment letter recommended additional clarification on Western’s need for agency action and Basin Electric’s need for peaking generation. E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1 75878 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2011 / Notices jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Western’s need for agency action in response to Basin Electric’s request to eliminate the average 50-MW operating limit is distinct from Basin Electric’s need to provide additional peaking energy. Language added in the Final EIS in Section 1.2 noting that the station does not gain any additional peaking generation capability is correct. While there is a need for additional peaking resource to serve projected additional member load growth, the capability of the Groton Generation Station would remain at 200 MW with Western’s proposed action. EPA’s comment letter encouraged the disclosure and consideration of potential indirect effects from increased or decreased natural gas production for the Groton Generation Station. While Western acknowledges the potential for indirect effects from continued natural gas production and use, Western explained in the Final EIS that natural gas production would not be increased to serve additional output of the Groton Generation Station because the capacity of the natural gas production system meets the needs of the Groton Generation Station at full output. In addition, any gas not currently used by the station under the 50-MW average limit is provided to the market. Lastly, EPA recommended disclosure of the temperature impairments at Lake Sharpe, along with acknowledgement that additional withdrawals, although small, may cumulatively contribute to this impairment unless demonstrated otherwise. In the Final EIS, Western indicated that the additional 15-acrefeet consumed by the Groton Generation Station under Western’s proposed Federal action would be minuscule compared to the water level of Lake Oahe, corresponding to a lack of subsequent temperature effect of Lake Sharpe. However, Western does acknowledge EPA’s comment. Decision Western’s decision is to modify its LGIA with Basin Electric to eliminate the 50-MW annual average operating limit,1 allowing operation up to the limits imposed by the current Title V air quality control operating permit. Western’s decision to modify its LGIA with Basin Electric is based on providing open access under its Tariff and satisfying Basin Electric’s objectives while recognizing there will be minimal harm to the environment. This decision is based on the information contained in the 1 Western’s authority to issue a record of decision is pursuant to authority delegated on October 4, 1999, from the Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health to Western’s Administrator. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Dec 02, 2011 Jkt 226001 Modification of the Groton Generation Station Interconnection Agreement Final EIS (DOE/EIS–0435). This Record of Decision was prepared pursuant to the requirements of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508) and DOE’s Procedures for Implementing NEPA (10 CFR part 1021). Dated: November 18, 2011. Timothy J. Meeks, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2011–31124 Filed 12–2–11; 8:45 am] Closed Session * • Office of Examination Supervisory and Oversight Activities. Dated: November 30, 2011. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board. [FR Doc. 2011–31319 Filed 12–1–11; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6705–01–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION BILLING CODE 6450–01–P Information Collection Being Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION AGENCY: Farm Credit Administration Board; Sunshine Act; Regular Meeting AGENCY: Farm Credit Administration. Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(e)(3)), of the regular meeting of the Farm Credit Administration Board (Board). SUMMARY: The regular meeting of the Board will be held at the offices of the Farm Credit Administration in McLean, Virginia, on December 8, 2011, from 9 a.m. until such time as the Board concludes its business. DATE AND TIME: Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit Administration Board, (703) 883– 4009, TTY (703) 883–4056. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102–5090. ADDRESSES: Parts of this meeting of the Board will be open to the public (limited space available), and parts will be closed to the public. In order to increase the accessibility to Board meetings, persons requiring assistance should make arrangements in advance. The matters to be considered at the meeting are: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Open Session A. Approval of Minutes • November 9, 2011. B. New Business • Senior Officer Compensation Disclosures and Related Topics— Proposed Rule. C. Reports • Semi-Annual Report on Office of Examination Operations. • Quarterly Report on Farm Credit System Condition. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501— 3520), the Federal Communications Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection(s). Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission’s burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB control number. DATES: Written Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments should be submitted on or January 4, 2012. If you anticipate that you will be submitting PRA comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the SUMMARY: * Session Closed—Exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(8) and (9). E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 233 (Monday, December 5, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75876-75878]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31124]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Record of Decision for the Modification of the Groton Generation 
Station Interconnection Agreement (DOE/EIS-0435)

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Record of Decision.

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

SUMMARY: In 2009, Western Area Power Administration (Western) received 
a request from Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric) to 
modify its Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) with Basin 
Electric for the Groton Generation Station to eliminate current 
operating limits on the generating station. The LGIA currently limits 
the output of the Groton Generating Station to 50 average megawatts 
(MW). The Groton Generation Station is located about 5

[[Page 75877]]

miles south of Groton, in Brown County, South Dakota. On September 21, 
2009, a notice was issued of the LGIA modification request and of 
intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (74 FR 
48067). On June 3, 2011, the Notice of Availability of the Final EIS 
for the Modification of the Groton Generation Station Interconnection 
Agreement was published in the Federal Register (76 FR 32198). Western 
considered the environmental impacts and has decided to modify its LGIA 
with Basin Electric for the Groton Generation Station eliminating the 
50-MW annual average operating limit. Basin Electric could then produce 
additional power up to the limits established in the current Title V 
air quality operating permit for the generating station.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, please 
contact Ms. Erika Walters, NEPA Document Manager, Groton EIS, Western 
Area Power Administration, A7400, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228, 
telephone (720) 962-7279, fax (720) 962-7269, or email Groton@wapa.gov. 
For general information on DOE's NEPA review process, please contact 
Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC-
20, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 
586-4600 or (800) 472-2756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal agency under the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) that markets and transmits wholesale 
electric power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-voltage 
transmission system across 15 western states. Western's Open Access 
Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff) provides open access to its 
transmission system. Western provides these services through granting 
an interconnection request if there is available capacity on the 
transmission system, while protecting the transmission system 
reliability, and subject to review under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA). Western and Basin Electric have entered into a LGIA 
per Western's Tariff. Basin Electric currently operates the generating 
station with a condition in the LGIA with Western that limits the 
output of the generating station to 50-MW on an average annual basis.

Proposed Federal Action

    Western's need for action is triggered by Basin Electric's request 
to eliminate the 50-MW annual average operating limit. Western's 
proposed Federal action would result in a modification only to the LGIA 
for the Groton Generation Station, and would not require any 
modifications to the Groton Generation Station or Western's Groton 
Substation, or any new permits or authorizations from local, State, or 
Federal agencies. The elimination of the 50-MW annual average operating 
limit would meet Basin Electric's purpose and need by providing greater 
operational flexibility in meeting its objectives, and allowing Basin 
Electric to produce an estimated additional 305,760 megawatt-hours 
(MWh) per year, up to the limits imposed by the current Title V air 
quality control operating permit, which is based on emission limits of 
238 tons for both nitrogen oxides (NOX) and carbon monoxide 
(CO) per year. No other changes to Western's LGIA or the 
interconnection configuration with the Groton Generation Station would 
be required. Western's proposed Federal action is its preferred 
alternative.

No Action Alternative

    Under the No Action Alternative, Western would not approve 
modification to the LGIA to eliminate the operating limit. The Groton 
Generation Station would continue to operate with the 50-MW annual 
average operating limit. Western has determined that the No Action 
Alternative is the environmentally preferred alternative. However, the 
No Action Alternative would not meet Basin Electric's purpose and need.

Alternatives Considered

    In addition to the proposed Federal action and the no action 
alternative as described above, Western considered and dismissed 
several other alternatives including generation output above levels 
currently authorized by the Title V air permit, greenhouse gas capture 
and sequestration, and demand-side management. Western does not, 
however have authority to participate in or regulate generation 
projects. In addition, it is speculative that Basin Electric would 
apply for a revised Title V permit or implement greenhouse gas emission 
reductions. Also, while Western did not fully evaluate an alternative 
addressing demand-side management due to lack of regulatory authority 
over Basin Electric, Western did provide information on Basin 
Electric's demand-side management program.

Mitigation Measures

    Western's proposed action would result in a modification only to 
the LGIA for the Groton Generation Station. The elimination of the 50-
MW annual average operating limit would not require any modifications 
to the Groton Generation Station or Western's Groton Substation, or any 
new permits or authorizations from local, State, or Federal agencies. 
Because eliminating Western's operating limit would not result in any 
significant environmental impacts, no mitigation measures have been 
adopted.

Comments on the Final EIS

    Western received comments from the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) in a letter dated July 5, 2011. EPA's comment letter 
recommended additional disclosure and clarification of the impacts of 
the proposed actions, as well as the purpose of and need for the 
action. Based on a review of EPA's comments, and a subsequent meeting 
with EPA staff on August 25, 2011, Western has determined that the 
comments do not present any significant new circumstances or 
information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on its 
proposed action or its impacts. Therefore, a Supplemental EIS is not 
required. The basis for this determination is summarized below.
    EPA indicated that Western did not address its comment on the Draft 
EIS regarding the need to do additional analysis for the 1-hour 
NO2 standard. Western did not request Basin Electric to 
conduct additional analysis for the 1-hour NO2 standard 
because the Groton Generating Station's air quality permit would not be 
affected by Western's proposed action. In addition, Western recognizes 
any future station upgrade or modification would require a permit 
review, including analysis for the NO2 standard, to be taken 
into account before a new or amended permit is issued. As explained in 
the Final EIS, it is speculative for Western to determine if Basin 
Electric would apply for a new permit.
    EPA's comment letter indicated that EPA did not agree with 
Western's determinations for eliminating alternatives from full 
evaluation in the Final EIS, and encouraged Western to consider other 
mechanisms for emission reductions and increased energy efficiency. In 
the meeting with EPA staff on August 25, 2011, Western provided 
additional information on its roles and responsibilities under 
Western's Tariff, including clarifications why Western was not involved 
in the operation of the Groton Generation Station. Based on the Final 
EIS and this discussion with EPA, Western determined that there was no 
additional need to address alternatives outside of Western's authority.
    EPA's comment letter recommended additional clarification on 
Western's need for agency action and Basin Electric's need for peaking 
generation.

[[Page 75878]]

Western's need for agency action in response to Basin Electric's 
request to eliminate the average 50-MW operating limit is distinct from 
Basin Electric's need to provide additional peaking energy. Language 
added in the Final EIS in Section 1.2 noting that the station does not 
gain any additional peaking generation capability is correct. While 
there is a need for additional peaking resource to serve projected 
additional member load growth, the capability of the Groton Generation 
Station would remain at 200 MW with Western's proposed action.
    EPA's comment letter encouraged the disclosure and consideration of 
potential indirect effects from increased or decreased natural gas 
production for the Groton Generation Station. While Western 
acknowledges the potential for indirect effects from continued natural 
gas production and use, Western explained in the Final EIS that natural 
gas production would not be increased to serve additional output of the 
Groton Generation Station because the capacity of the natural gas 
production system meets the needs of the Groton Generation Station at 
full output. In addition, any gas not currently used by the station 
under the 50-MW average limit is provided to the market.
    Lastly, EPA recommended disclosure of the temperature impairments 
at Lake Sharpe, along with acknowledgement that additional withdrawals, 
although small, may cumulatively contribute to this impairment unless 
demonstrated otherwise. In the Final EIS, Western indicated that the 
additional 15-acre-feet consumed by the Groton Generation Station under 
Western's proposed Federal action would be minuscule compared to the 
water level of Lake Oahe, corresponding to a lack of subsequent 
temperature effect of Lake Sharpe. However, Western does acknowledge 
EPA's comment.

Decision

    Western's decision is to modify its LGIA with Basin Electric to 
eliminate the 50-MW annual average operating limit,\1\ allowing 
operation up to the limits imposed by the current Title V air quality 
control operating permit. Western's decision to modify its LGIA with 
Basin Electric is based on providing open access under its Tariff and 
satisfying Basin Electric's objectives while recognizing there will be 
minimal harm to the environment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Western's authority to issue a record of decision is 
pursuant to authority delegated on October 4, 1999, from the 
Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health to Western's 
Administrator.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This decision is based on the information contained in the 
Modification of the Groton Generation Station Interconnection Agreement 
Final EIS (DOE/EIS-0435). This Record of Decision was prepared pursuant 
to the requirements of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations 
for Implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and DOE's Procedures for 
Implementing NEPA (10 CFR part 1021).

    Dated: November 18, 2011.
Timothy J. Meeks,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-31124 Filed 12-2-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P