Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Southline Transmission Line Project in New Mexico and Arizona (DOE/EIS-0474) and Possible Land Use Plan Amendments, 20411-20413 [2012-8094]

Download as PDF emcdonald on DSK29S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 65 / Wednesday, April 4, 2012 / Notices state, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested or affected by the BLM’s decision on this project are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM to participate as a cooperating agency. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. The minutes and list of attendees for each scoping meeting will be available to the public and open for 30 days after the meeting to any participant who wishes to clarify the views he or she expressed. The BLM will evaluate identified issues to be addressed in the plan, and will place them into one of three categories: 1. Issues to be resolved in the plan amendment; 2. Issues to be resolved through policy or administrative action; or 3. Issues beyond the scope of this plan amendment. The BLM will provide an explanation in the Draft RMP/Draft EIS as to why an issue was placed in category two or three. The public is also encouraged to help identify any management questions and concerns that should be addressed in the plan. The BLM will work collaboratively with interested parties to identify the management decisions that are best suited to local, regional, and national needs and concerns. The BLM will use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the plan amendment in order to consider the variety of resource issues and concerns identified. Specialists with expertise in the following disciplines will be involved in the planning process: rangeland management, minerals and geology, outdoor recreation, paleontology, archaeology, wildlife, lands and realty, hydrology, soils, sociology and economics. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7 and 43 CFR 1610.2. Thomas Pogacnik, Deputy State Director. [FR Doc. 2012–8101 Filed 4–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:28 Apr 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration [LLNM930000 L51010000.ER0000 LVRWG11G0790 NMNM124104] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Southline Transmission Line Project in New Mexico and Arizona (DOE/EIS–0474) and Possible Land Use Plan Amendments Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior; Western Area Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of intent. AGENCY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Cruces District Office, Las Cruces, New Mexico, intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the impacts of the proposed Southline Transmission Line Project (Project), a 345-kilovolt (kV) and 230-kV transmission line, and addressing associated potential land use plan amendments. This notice announces the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues. Western Area Power Administration (Western) is a joint lead agency with BLM for preparing the EIS. Western is a power-marketing agency within the Department of Energy (DOE) and is proposing to participate in the Project with the applicant, Southline Transmission, LLC (Southline). DATES: This notice initiates a 60-day public scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues, opportunities, and concerns that should be considered in the preparation of a Draft EIS. During the scoping process, the BLM will also evaluate the need for any land use plan amendments to any of the affected Resource Management Plans (RMPs). The scoping period will end on June 4, 2012, or 15 days after the date of the last public scoping meeting, whichever is later. In order to ensure consideration in the Draft EIS, all comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping period. The BLM and Western will provide additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of the Draft EIS. The public will be notified in advance of SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20411 future opportunities for participation as the EIS is prepared. To provide the public with an opportunity to review the proposal and project information, the BLM and Western expect to hold six public meetings at various locations in New Mexico and Arizona during the public scoping period. The BLM will announce public scoping meetings through local news media, newsletters, and posting on the BLM Web site at http:// www.blm.gov/nm/southline at least 15 days prior to each meeting. ADDRESSES: Comments related to the proposed Project may be submitted by any of the following methods: Web site: http://www.blm.gov/nm/ southline. Fax: (575) 525–4412. Mail: BLM, Las Cruces District Office, Southline Transmission Project, Attention: Frances Martinez, Realty Specialist, 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88005. Email: fmartine@blm.gov. Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Las Cruces District Office or on the above Web site. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Hurshman, BLM National Project Manager; telephone (970) 240–5345; email: thurshma@blm.gov. For information about Western’s involvement, contact Mark Wieringa, Western NEPA Document Manager; telephone (800) 336–7288 or (720) 962– 7448; email: wieringa@wapa.gov. For general information on DOE NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321–4347) review procedures or on the status of a NEPA review, contact Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC–54, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585–0119, telephone (202) 586–4600 or toll free at (800) 472–2756, fax (202) 586–7031. People who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877–8339 during normal business hours to contact the BLM Project Manager listed above. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question for the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Southline has filed a right-of-way (ROW) application with the BLM pursuant to Title V of FLPMA proposing to construct, operate, maintain, and eventually decommission a highvoltage, alternating current electric transmission line. The proposed Project would consist of two segments. The first segment would be the construction of a E:\FR\FM\04APN1.SGM 04APN1 emcdonald on DSK29S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 20412 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 65 / Wednesday, April 4, 2012 / Notices new double-circuit 345-kV transmission line linking existing substations at Afton (located south of Las Cruces, New Mexico) and Apache (located south of Willcox, Arizona). This segment is approximately 225 miles long and would enable up to 1,500 megawatts (MW) of transmission capacity. The second segment is an upgrade and rebuild of approximately 130 miles of existing transmission line, providing up to 1,000 MW of increased transmission capacity between the Apache Substation and the Saguaro Substation (located northwest of Tucson, Arizona). New permanent and temporary ROW would be required for this segment. Existing transmission lines that have been identified as feasible for upgrades in this area include a Western 115-kV line and a Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc. 115-kV line. Approximately 40 percent of the proposed transmission line would be on public land, 30 percent would be on State land, and the remaining 30 percent would be on private land. A 0.5-milelong portion of the rebuild segment crosses land administered by the U.S. Forest Service and 2 miles of the rebuild segment cross tribal lands of the Tohono O’odham Nation. The transmission lines may be supported by lattice steel structures or tubular steel pole structures. Any final decision on a specific type of structure will be based on topography, structural requirements, economics, the environment, and other applicable considerations. The structures are anticipated to be constructed of galvanized steel with a height ranging from 110 to 170 feet, with an average height of 130 to 140 feet. The width of the span at the top will be approximately 40 to 60 feet. The distance between each structure would depend on site-specific characteristics but is expected to be approximately 800 to 1,500 feet, with an average of 1,000 feet for lattice steel structures and 1,200 feet for tubular steel structures. Each structure would be set on concrete foundations set into the ground. The expected permanent disturbed area per structure would be approximately 200 square feet. The proposed Project would involve additional facilities, including the construction of one new substation in the vicinity of Columbus, New Mexico, to facilitate anticipated renewable energy generation in the area. Access roads, including improvements to existing roads, new overland access, and new unpaved roads, would be developed during construction of the line and then used for inspection and maintenance during operation. A fiber- VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:28 Apr 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 optic telecommunication system would be included in the transmission design. Additional temporary work sites, including wire splicing and pulling sites as well as construction yards, will also be analyzed. The requested ROW width on public lands is 250 feet. As part of its agency mission, Western routinely studies power system requirements, plans for transmission line upgrades and additions, facilitates and finances transmission projects, and constructs, owns, operates, and maintains transmission infrastructure. Such projects may be solely Western projects, or may be projects undertaken with the participation of others. Southline is proposing to upgrade approximately 130 miles of Western’s existing transmission line between Saguaro and Apache substations as part of its proposed Project. Western is evaluating to what extent it will participate in the proposed Project. Actions that result in a change in the scope of resource uses, terms and conditions, and decisions of Federal agency land use plans may require an amendment to those plans. Approval of this proposal may result in the amendment(s) of three BLM RMPs. As required by 43 CFR 1610.2(c), the BLM notifies the public of potential amendments to the following RMPs: Phoenix RMP, 1988, Safford District RMP, 1991, and Mimbres RMP, 1993. Any authorizations and actions proposed for approval in the EIS will be evaluated to determine if they conform to the decisions in the referenced land use plans. If amendments are needed, the BLM would integrate the land-use planning process as described in 43 CFR 1610 into the EIS as they proceed with NEPA review of the proposed Project. If the BLM determines that plan amendments are necessary, compliance with NEPA for any land use plan amendments would occur simultaneously with the consideration of the proposed Project. In accordance with NEPA, DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021), and Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508),1 the BLM and Western will prepare an EIS on their Federal actions and the proposed project. The BLM and Western are joint lead agencies for this EIS as defined in 40 CFR 1501.5. Agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise will be invited to participate as cooperating agencies in preparation of the EIS. Federal, State, and local 1 On November 16, 2011, DOE’s Acting General Counsel delegated to Western’s Administrator all EIS authorities. PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 agencies, and Indian tribes, along with other stakeholders that may be interested or affected by the BLM’s and Western’s decisions on this Project, are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM and Western to participate as a cooperating agency. During the public scoping period, the BLM and Western will solicit public comments on behalf of all cooperating agencies regarding issues, concerns, and opportunities that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action. Comments on issues and potential impacts, or suggestions for additional or different alternatives may be submitted to the addresses listed in the ADDRESSES section. Public scoping will help determine relevant issues that can influence the scope of the environmental analysis, alternatives, and the process for developing the EIS. The BLM and Western, along with other agencies, cooperators, and individuals, have preliminarily identified the following issues that will be addressed in the EIS: • Social and economic effects of the Project on local communities and infrastructure; • Potential public health and safety impacts resulting from constructionrelated traffic and electromagnetic fields; • Potential interference with the Fort Huachuca Electronic Proving Ground; • Loss of habitat and direct disturbance to plant and animal species (including special and sensitive status species); • Impacts to cultural resources, lands that contain places of traditional cultural or religious importance, and historic sites; • New visual intrusions on the landscape that would degrade the scenic and visual quality of the area; • Proximity of the Project to lands with wilderness characteristics; • Impacts to National Scenic or Historic Trails, and; • Potential impacts to military flight paths and areas used for military maneuvers. This list is not intended to be allinclusive or imply any predetermination of impacts. Public meetings will be held during the scoping period. BLM, Western, and Southline staff will be available at the public meetings to explain the details of the proposed Project and to gather information from interested individuals or groups. The BLM, Western, and cooperating agencies will also provide additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of the Draft EIS. E:\FR\FM\04APN1.SGM 04APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 65 / Wednesday, April 4, 2012 / Notices The BLM and Western will use and coordinate the Draft EIS public review and comment period to assist the agencies in satisfying the public involvement requirements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470(f)), as provided for in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). Information about historic and cultural resources within the area potentially affected by the proposed project will assist the BLM and Western in identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources in the context of both NEPA and Section 106 of the NHPA. Consultation with American Indian tribes will be conducted in accordance with applicable policies; tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets, will be given due consideration. Before including addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or other personal identifying information in comments, commenters should be aware that entire comments—including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Requests may be made that personal identifying information be withheld from public review; however, the BLM and Western cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7; 43 CFR 1610.2. William W. Merhege, Deputy State Director, Resources, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico. Timothy J. Meeks, Administrator, Western Area Power Administration. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management, Julie L. Weaver, Chief, Fluid Minerals Adjudication, at (307) 775–6176. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The lessee has agreed to the amended lease terms for rentals and royalties at rates of $10 per acre or fraction thereof, per year and 162⁄3 percent, respectively. The lessee has paid the required $500 administrative fee and $159 to reimburse the Department for the cost of this Federal Register notice. The lessee has met all the requirements for reinstatement of the lease as set out in Sections 31(d) and (e) of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 188), and the BLM is proposing to reinstate lease WYW164675 effective December 1, 2009, under the original terms and conditions of the lease and the increased rental and royalty rates cited above. The BLM has not issued a valid lease to any other interest affecting the lands. Julie L. Weaver, Chief, Branch of Fluid Minerals Adjudication. [FR Doc. 2012–8102 Filed 4–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P [FR Doc. 2012–8094 Filed 4–3–12; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BILLING CODE 4310–FB–P Bureau of Land Management DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [LLNVS00560 L58530000 EU0000 241A; N– 90450; 12–08807; MO# 4500032437; TAS: 14X5232] Bureau of Land Management [WY–923–1310–FI; WYW164675] Notice of Proposed Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease WYW164675, Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Under the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received a petition for reinstatement from Equus Energy Corporation for competitive oil and gas lease WYW164675 for land in Converse County, Wyoming. The petition was filed on time and was accompanied by all the rentals due since the date the lease terminated under the law. emcdonald on DSK29S0YB1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:28 Apr 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 Notice of Realty Action: Modified Competitive, Sealed-Bid Sale of Public Land in Clark County, NV AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. Notice of Realty Action. ACTION: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to offer by modified competitive, sealed-bid sale, one parcel of public land totaling approximately 480 acres in the Las Vegas Valley at not less than the appraised fair market value (FMV) of $10,560,000. The parcel will be offered in a sale pursuant to the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998 (SNPLMA), Public Law 105–263, 112 Stat. 2343, as amended. The sale SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20413 will be subject to the applicable provisions of Sections 203 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), 43 U.S.C 1713, and BLM land sale regulations at 43 CFR 2710. DATES: Interested parties may submit written comments regarding the proposed sale and the environmental assessment (EA) until May 21, 2012. Sealed bids may be mailed or delivered to the BLM Las Vegas Field Office, at the address below, beginning May 21, 2012. Sealed bids must be received by the BLM Las Vegas Field Office no later than 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time, June 4, 2012 in accordance with the sale procedures. The BLM will open the sealed bids on June 4, 2012 at the BLM Las Vegas Field Office at 10 a.m., Pacific Time. ADDRESSES: Mail written comments to, refer questions about, or submit sealed bids to the BLM, Las Vegas Field Office Assistant Field Manager, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Manuela Johnson at email: manuela_johnson@blm.gov or telephone: 702–515–5224. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The parcel proposed for sale is located in the southwestern area of the City of Henderson, Nevada. It is currently encumbered by an authorized road, water pipeline, flood control facilities, and relinquished Nevada Department of Transportation mineral material site right-of-way. The subject public land is described as: Mount Diablo Meridian T. 23 S., R. 61 E., Sec. 21, N1⁄2; Sec. 22, NW1⁄4. The area described contains 480 acres, more or less, in Clark County. The map delineating the proposed sale parcel is available for public review at the BLM Las Vegas Field Office at the address above. The general area of which encompasses this parcel was analyzed for future sale in the Las Vegas Valley Disposal Boundary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), approved by Record of Decision on December 23, 2004. The proposed sale parcel N– E:\FR\FM\04APN1.SGM 04APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 65 (Wednesday, April 4, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20411-20413]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-8094]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration

[LLNM930000 L51010000.ER0000 LVRWG11G0790 NMNM124104]


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Proposed Southline Transmission Line Project in New Mexico and 
Arizona (DOE/EIS-0474) and Possible Land Use Plan Amendments

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior; 
Western Area Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las 
Cruces District Office, Las Cruces, New Mexico, intends to prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the impacts of the 
proposed Southline Transmission Line Project (Project), a 345-kilovolt 
(kV) and 230-kV transmission line, and addressing associated potential 
land use plan amendments. This notice announces the beginning of the 
scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues. Western 
Area Power Administration (Western) is a joint lead agency with BLM for 
preparing the EIS. Western is a power-marketing agency within the 
Department of Energy (DOE) and is proposing to participate in the 
Project with the applicant, Southline Transmission, LLC (Southline).

DATES: This notice initiates a 60-day public scoping process to solicit 
public comments and identify issues, opportunities, and concerns that 
should be considered in the preparation of a Draft EIS. During the 
scoping process, the BLM will also evaluate the need for any land use 
plan amendments to any of the affected Resource Management Plans 
(RMPs). The scoping period will end on June 4, 2012, or 15 days after 
the date of the last public scoping meeting, whichever is later. In 
order to ensure consideration in the Draft EIS, all comments must be 
received prior to the close of the scoping period. The BLM and Western 
will provide additional opportunities for public participation upon 
publication of the Draft EIS. The public will be notified in advance of 
future opportunities for participation as the EIS is prepared.
    To provide the public with an opportunity to review the proposal 
and project information, the BLM and Western expect to hold six public 
meetings at various locations in New Mexico and Arizona during the 
public scoping period. The BLM will announce public scoping meetings 
through local news media, newsletters, and posting on the BLM Web site 
at http://www.blm.gov/nm/southline at least 15 days prior to each 
meeting.

ADDRESSES: Comments related to the proposed Project may be submitted by 
any of the following methods:
    Web site: http://www.blm.gov/nm/southline.
    Fax: (575) 525-4412.
    Mail: BLM, Las Cruces District Office, Southline Transmission 
Project, Attention: Frances Martinez, Realty Specialist, 1800 Marquess 
Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88005.
    Email: fmartine@blm.gov.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Las 
Cruces District Office or on the above Web site.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Hurshman, BLM National Project 
Manager; telephone (970) 240-5345; email: thurshma@blm.gov.
    For information about Western's involvement, contact Mark Wieringa, 
Western NEPA Document Manager; telephone (800) 336-7288 or (720) 962-
7448; email: wieringa@wapa.gov. For general information on DOE NEPA (42 
U.S.C. 4321-4347) review procedures or on the status of a NEPA review, 
contact Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC-
54, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585-0119, telephone (202) 586-4600 or toll free at 
(800) 472-2756, fax (202) 586-7031.
    People who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339 
during normal business hours to contact the BLM Project Manager listed 
above. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a 
message or question for the above individual. You will receive a reply 
during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Southline has filed a right-of-way (ROW) 
application with the BLM pursuant to Title V of FLPMA proposing to 
construct, operate, maintain, and eventually decommission a high-
voltage, alternating current electric transmission line. The proposed 
Project would consist of two segments. The first segment would be the 
construction of a

[[Page 20412]]

new double-circuit 345-kV transmission line linking existing 
substations at Afton (located south of Las Cruces, New Mexico) and 
Apache (located south of Willcox, Arizona). This segment is 
approximately 225 miles long and would enable up to 1,500 megawatts 
(MW) of transmission capacity. The second segment is an upgrade and 
rebuild of approximately 130 miles of existing transmission line, 
providing up to 1,000 MW of increased transmission capacity between the 
Apache Substation and the Saguaro Substation (located northwest of 
Tucson, Arizona). New permanent and temporary ROW would be required for 
this segment. Existing transmission lines that have been identified as 
feasible for upgrades in this area include a Western 115-kV line and a 
Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc. 115-kV line. Approximately 40 
percent of the proposed transmission line would be on public land, 30 
percent would be on State land, and the remaining 30 percent would be 
on private land. A 0.5-mile-long portion of the rebuild segment crosses 
land administered by the U.S. Forest Service and 2 miles of the rebuild 
segment cross tribal lands of the Tohono O'odham Nation.
    The transmission lines may be supported by lattice steel structures 
or tubular steel pole structures. Any final decision on a specific type 
of structure will be based on topography, structural requirements, 
economics, the environment, and other applicable considerations. The 
structures are anticipated to be constructed of galvanized steel with a 
height ranging from 110 to 170 feet, with an average height of 130 to 
140 feet. The width of the span at the top will be approximately 40 to 
60 feet. The distance between each structure would depend on site-
specific characteristics but is expected to be approximately 800 to 
1,500 feet, with an average of 1,000 feet for lattice steel structures 
and 1,200 feet for tubular steel structures. Each structure would be 
set on concrete foundations set into the ground. The expected permanent 
disturbed area per structure would be approximately 200 square feet.
    The proposed Project would involve additional facilities, including 
the construction of one new substation in the vicinity of Columbus, New 
Mexico, to facilitate anticipated renewable energy generation in the 
area. Access roads, including improvements to existing roads, new 
overland access, and new unpaved roads, would be developed during 
construction of the line and then used for inspection and maintenance 
during operation. A fiber-optic telecommunication system would be 
included in the transmission design. Additional temporary work sites, 
including wire splicing and pulling sites as well as construction 
yards, will also be analyzed. The requested ROW width on public lands 
is 250 feet.
    As part of its agency mission, Western routinely studies power 
system requirements, plans for transmission line upgrades and 
additions, facilitates and finances transmission projects, and 
constructs, owns, operates, and maintains transmission infrastructure. 
Such projects may be solely Western projects, or may be projects 
undertaken with the participation of others. Southline is proposing to 
upgrade approximately 130 miles of Western's existing transmission line 
between Saguaro and Apache substations as part of its proposed Project. 
Western is evaluating to what extent it will participate in the 
proposed Project.
    Actions that result in a change in the scope of resource uses, 
terms and conditions, and decisions of Federal agency land use plans 
may require an amendment to those plans. Approval of this proposal may 
result in the amendment(s) of three BLM RMPs. As required by 43 CFR 
1610.2(c), the BLM notifies the public of potential amendments to the 
following RMPs: Phoenix RMP, 1988, Safford District RMP, 1991, and 
Mimbres RMP, 1993. Any authorizations and actions proposed for approval 
in the EIS will be evaluated to determine if they conform to the 
decisions in the referenced land use plans. If amendments are needed, 
the BLM would integrate the land-use planning process as described in 
43 CFR 1610 into the EIS as they proceed with NEPA review of the 
proposed Project. If the BLM determines that plan amendments are 
necessary, compliance with NEPA for any land use plan amendments would 
occur simultaneously with the consideration of the proposed Project.
    In accordance with NEPA, DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR 
part 1021), and Council on Environmental Quality regulations for 
implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508),\1\ the BLM and Western will 
prepare an EIS on their Federal actions and the proposed project. The 
BLM and Western are joint lead agencies for this EIS as defined in 40 
CFR 1501.5. Agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise will 
be invited to participate as cooperating agencies in preparation of the 
EIS. Federal, State, and local agencies, and Indian tribes, along with 
other stakeholders that may be interested or affected by the BLM's and 
Western's decisions on this Project, are invited to participate in the 
scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the 
BLM and Western to participate as a cooperating agency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ On November 16, 2011, DOE's Acting General Counsel delegated 
to Western's Administrator all EIS authorities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    During the public scoping period, the BLM and Western will solicit 
public comments on behalf of all cooperating agencies regarding issues, 
concerns, and opportunities that should be considered in the analysis 
of the proposed action. Comments on issues and potential impacts, or 
suggestions for additional or different alternatives may be submitted 
to the addresses listed in the ADDRESSES section.
    Public scoping will help determine relevant issues that can 
influence the scope of the environmental analysis, alternatives, and 
the process for developing the EIS. The BLM and Western, along with 
other agencies, cooperators, and individuals, have preliminarily 
identified the following issues that will be addressed in the EIS:
     Social and economic effects of the Project on local 
communities and infrastructure;
     Potential public health and safety impacts resulting from 
construction-related traffic and electromagnetic fields;
     Potential interference with the Fort Huachuca Electronic 
Proving Ground;
     Loss of habitat and direct disturbance to plant and animal 
species (including special and sensitive status species);
     Impacts to cultural resources, lands that contain places 
of traditional cultural or religious importance, and historic sites;
     New visual intrusions on the landscape that would degrade 
the scenic and visual quality of the area;
     Proximity of the Project to lands with wilderness 
characteristics;
     Impacts to National Scenic or Historic Trails, and;
     Potential impacts to military flight paths and areas used 
for military maneuvers.
    This list is not intended to be all-inclusive or imply any 
predetermination of impacts.
    Public meetings will be held during the scoping period. BLM, 
Western, and Southline staff will be available at the public meetings 
to explain the details of the proposed Project and to gather 
information from interested individuals or groups. The BLM, Western, 
and cooperating agencies will also provide additional opportunities for 
public participation upon publication of the Draft EIS.

[[Page 20413]]

    The BLM and Western will use and coordinate the Draft EIS public 
review and comment period to assist the agencies in satisfying the 
public involvement requirements under Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470(f)), as provided for in 
36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). Information about historic and cultural resources 
within the area potentially affected by the proposed project will 
assist the BLM and Western in identifying and evaluating impacts to 
such resources in the context of both NEPA and Section 106 of the NHPA. 
Consultation with American Indian tribes will be conducted in 
accordance with applicable policies; tribal concerns, including impacts 
on Indian trust assets, will be given due consideration.
    Before including addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or 
other personal identifying information in comments, commenters should 
be aware that entire comments--including personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. Requests may 
be made that personal identifying information be withheld from public 
review; however, the BLM and Western cannot guarantee that they will be 
able to do so.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1501.7; 43 CFR 1610.2.

William W. Merhege,
Deputy State Director, Resources, Bureau of Land Management, New 
Mexico.
Timothy J. Meeks,
Administrator, Western Area Power Administration.
[FR Doc. 2012-8094 Filed 4-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-FB-P