Estes to Flatiron Substation Transmission Lines Rebuild Project, Larimer County, CO, 22774-22776 [2012-9179]

Download as PDF 22774 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 17, 2012 / Notices The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http:// www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 14 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St. NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filings in the above proceedings are accessible in the Commission’s eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. or call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Comment Date: 5 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. Dated: April 10, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–9121 Filed 4–16–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration [DOE/EIS–0483] Estes to Flatiron Substation Transmission Lines Rebuild Project, Larimer County, CO Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and To Conduct Scoping Meetings; Notice of Floodplain and Wetlands Involvement. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration currently owns and operates two 115-kilovolt transmission lines on two separate rights-of-way (ROW) located between Flatiron Reservoir (near Loveland, Colorado) and the town of Estes Park, Colorado. Each transmission line is approximately 16 miles long. Western is proposing to SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:27 Apr 16, 2012 Jkt 226001 remove one transmission line and abandon the ROW. The remaining transmission line would be rebuilt along the existing ROW with taller steel monopoles and would be doublecircuited (i.e., six conductors per pole). Western determined that an environmental impact statement (EIS) is the appropriate level of NEPA review. Therefore, Western will prepare an EIS on its proposal to upgrade and co-locate two existing separate transmission lines on a double-circuit transmission line on one ROW in accordance with NEPA, the DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures, and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA. Portions of Western’s proposal may affect floodplains and wetlands, so this Notice of Intent (NOI) also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action in accordance with DOE floodplain and wetland environmental review requirements. DATES: This notice initiates a 90-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. The scoping period will end on July 16, 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. 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, Western expects to hold two public meetings: One meeting in Estes Park, Colorado and one meeting in Loveland, Colorado during the public scoping period. Western will announce the dates and locations of the public scoping meetings through local news media, newsletters, and posting on the Western Web site at http:// ww2.wapa.gov/sites/western/ transmission/infrastruct/Pages/EstesFlatiron.aspx, at least 15 days prior to each meeting. Western will consider all comments on the scope of the EIS received or postmarked by the end of scoping. The public is invited to submit comments on the proposal at any time during the EIS process. ADDRESSES: Comments related to the proposed Project may be submitted by mail to Tim Snowden, Western Area Power Administration, 5555 E. Crossroads Blvd., P.O. Box 3700, PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Loveland, CO 80539–3003, fax (970) 461–7213, or email, RMR_estesflatironeis@wapa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information on the proposed project, the EIS process, or to receive a copy of the Draft EIS when it is published, contact Tim Snowden by the methods noted above. For general information on the DOE’s NEPA review process, 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 (800) 472– 2756, fax (202) 586–7031. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal power marketing agency within the DOE that markets and delivers Federal wholesale electric power (principally hydroelectric power) to municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, public utilities, irrigation districts, Federal and State agencies, and Native American tribes in 15 western and central states. Western initially began preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) for the Project. Western’s proposal was under a class of actions in the DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) that normally requires the preparation of an EA. Subsequent to the EA determination, Western held public meetings and received many written and oral comments from the public and agencies on the proposal during the scoping period. The public expressed several concerns regarding the impacts of the proposal and some of the stakeholders requested evaluation of additional alternatives. Based on these factors, Western determined that an EIS is the more appropriate level of NEPA review.1 Therefore, Western will prepare an EIS on its proposal to upgrade and co-locate two existing separate transmission lines on a doublecircuit transmission line on one ROW. Western will coordinate with appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies and potentially affected Native American tribes during the preparation of the EIS. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest (Forest Service) will be a cooperating agency on the EIS since it requires NEPA review to support its decision on whether or not to grant a Special Use Permit for parts of the transmission line located on National Forest Service System lands. Western will invite other Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies with 1 On November 16, 2011, DOE’s Acting General Counsel delegated to Western’s Administrator all EIS authorities. E:\FR\FM\17APN1.SGM 17APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 17, 2012 / Notices jurisdiction by law or special expertise, with respect to environmental issues, to be cooperating agencies on the EIS, as defined in 40 CFR 1501.6. Such agencies also may make a request to Western to be a cooperating agency. Designated cooperating agencies have certain responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified in 40 CFR 1501.6(b). Purpose and Need for Agency Action Alternatives Western’s purpose and need for agency action is to ensure its facilities are up to current safety and reliability standards, accessible for maintenance and emergencies, protected from wildfire, and cost effective for its customers. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Proposed Action Presently there are two transmission lines on two separate ROWs located between Flatiron Reservoir (near Loveland) and the town of Estes Park. The Estes-Lyons line segment is approximately 16 miles long and was built in 1938. The Estes-Pole Hill and Flatiron-Pole Hill line segments combined are approximately 16 miles long and were built in 1952 as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The vast majority of wood pole structures on both transmission lines are the original poles and are 60 to 72 years old. Western’s proposed Federal action (proposal) is to combine portions of both transmission lines onto a single ROW between Flatiron Reservoir and Estes Park, Colorado. Portions of both transmission lines would be removed and those portions of the ROWs abandoned. In the remaining ROW, the transmission line would be rebuilt with steel monopole structures replacing the existing wood H-frame structures, in a double-circuit configuration (i.e., six conductors per structure). In some areas, the ROW would be slightly wider than it is at present to accommodate the double circuit transmission line. There would be two short segments of new ROW, located on private land, to connect portions of the existing transmission line segments into a single ROW. There are no new substations or proposed changes to existing substations. Presently, vehicle access is required along the entire 32 miles of existing ROW for maintenance and wood pole replacement. Most of the existing wood pole structures would need replacement in the near future and some are in need of replacement at this time. With Western’s proposal, approximately 16 miles of the existing ROW would be VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:27 Apr 16, 2012 Jkt 226001 eliminated along with the associated access roads. Currently, the two transmission lines cross Roosevelt National Forest System lands. Approximately 1.65 miles of transmission line and ROW would be removed and 2.16 miles of transmission line would be rebuilt on National Forest System lands, under Western’s proposal. Under the No-Action (i.e., baseline) alternative, the two transmission lines would continue to operate on the existing and separate ROWs. Records indicate that 70 to 80 percent of the 32 miles of transmission lines would require replacement within the near future. This would require replacing transmission line structures along both existing ROWs. Access to the transmission lines is limited and replacement of structures would require additional or improved access on both ROWs. The No-Action alternative would require that the existing 30-foot ROW on the Estes-Lyons section be widened to meet current safety standards. Other alternatives may be identified through the EIS scoping process. Comments received during the EA scoping process and comments provided in response to this NOI and the EIS scoping meetings will be considered in defining the scope of the EIS. Floodplain or Wetland Involvement Floodplains and wetlands are in the project area. Since the proposal may involve action in floodplains or wetlands, this NOI also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action. The EIS will include an assessment of impacts to floodplains and wetlands, and, if required, a floodplain statement of findings following DOE regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review (10 CFR part 1022). Environmental Issues Western’s proposed Project area is located between Flatiron Reservoir and Estes Park, Colorado in a fairly mountainous territory and crosses open and developed areas. The area is characterized by rugged terrain with scattered developments set against the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park. The EIS will review relevant environmental information and will analyze the potential impacts on the full range of potentially affected environmental resources. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22775 Public Participation Interested parties are invited to participate in the scoping process to help define the scope of the EIS, significant resources, and issues to be analyzed in depth, and to eliminate from detailed study issues that are not pertinent. The EIS scoping process will involve all interested agencies (Federal, State, county, and local), Native American tribes, public interest groups, businesses, affected landowners, and individual members of the public. Western has previously consulted with potentially affected or interested tribes to jointly evaluate and address the potential effects on cultural resources, traditional cultural properties, or other resources important to the tribes in the proposed Project area. Western will contact previously identified interested tribes and inform them that an EIS is planned. Any government-togovernment consultations will be conducted in accordance with Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249), the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994, Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments (59 FR 22951), DOEspecific guidance on tribal interactions, and applicable natural and cultural resources laws and regulations. Western will announce public EIS scoping meetings through local news media, newsletters, and posting on the Western Web site at http://ww2.wapa. gov/sites/western/transmission/ infrastruct/Pages/Estes-Flatiron.aspx, at least 15 days prior to each meeting. Attendees will be able to speak directly with Western and the Forest Service at the EIS scoping meetings about Western’s proposal. The public is encouraged to provide information and comments on issues it believes Western should address in the EIS. Comments may be broad in nature or restricted to specific areas of concern. After gathering comments on the scope of the EIS, Western will address those issues raised in the EIS. In addition, Western will use the results of the EA scoping process to help define the scope of the EIS. Comments on Western’s proposal will be accepted at any time during the EIS process, and may be directed to Western as described under ADDRESSES above. Comments received outside of the designated comment periods may be addressed in the Draft EIS, otherwise they will be addressed later in the process, such as in the Final EIS, if practicable. The EIS process will include this NOI, local EIS scoping meeting notifications, E:\FR\FM\17APN1.SGM 17APN1 22776 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 17, 2012 / Notices public scoping meetings; consultation and coordination with appropriate Federal, State, county, and local agencies and tribal governments; involvement with affected landowners; distribution of and public review and comment on the Draft EIS; a formal public hearing or hearings on the Draft EIS; distribution of a published Final EIS; and publication of separate Records of Decision in the Federal Register by Western and the Forest Service. Dated: April 6, 2012. Timothy J. Meeks, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2012–9179 Filed 4–16–12; 8:45 am] CFR part 63 subparts A and JJJ; OMB filed comment on 03/02/2012. EPA ICR Number 1811.08; NESHAP for Polyether Polyol Production; in 40 CFR part 63, subparts A and PPP; OMB filed comment on 03/06/2012. Withdrawn and Continue EPA ICR Number 2258.02; PM2.5 NAAQS Implementation Rule (Renewal); Withdrawn from OMB on 03/22/2012. EPA ICR Number 2313.02; Ambient Ozone Monitoring Regulations: Revisions to Network Design Requirements (Final Rule); Withdrawn from OMB on 03/20/2012. BILLING CODE 6450–01–P John Moses, Director, Collections Strategies Division. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FR Doc. 2012–9107 Filed 4–16–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P [FRL–9514–9] ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Agency Information Collection Activities OMB Responses [EPA–HQ–OECA–2011–0250; FRL–9515–8] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This document announces the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) responses to Agency Clearance requests, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR chapter 15. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rick Westlund (202) 566–1682, or email at westlund.rick@epa.gov and please refer to the appropriate EPA Information Collection Request (ICR) Number. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: OMB Responses to Agency Clearance Requests wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES OMB Approvals EPA ICR Number 1686.09; NESHAP for the Secondary Lead Smelter Industry; 40 CFR part 63, subparts A and X; was approved on 03/02/2012; OMB Number 2060–0296; expires on 03/31/2015; Approved without change. Comment Filed EPA ICR Number 2452.01; NESHAP for Pulp and Paper Production; in 40 CFR part 63 subparts A and S; OMB filed comment on 03/02/2012. EPA ICR Number 2457.01; NESHAP for Group IV Polymers and Resins; in 40 VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:27 Apr 16, 2012 Jkt 226001 Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Wet-Formed Fiberglass Mat Production (Renewal) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that an Information Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. The ICR which is abstracted below describes the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. DATES: Additional comments may be submitted on or before May 17, 2012. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number EPA–HQ– OECA–2011–0250, to: (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to: docket.oeca@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement and Compliance Docket and Information Center, mail code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB at: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Learia Williams, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2223A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564–4113; fax number: (202) 564–0050; email address: williams.learia@epa.gov. EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On May 9, 2011 (76 FR 26900), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments. Any additional comments on this ICR should be submitted to both EPA and OMB within 30 days of this notice. EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under docket ID number EPA–HQ–OECA–2011–0250, which is available for public viewing online at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Enforcement and Compliance Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center 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 Enforcement and Compliance Docket is (202) 566–1752. Use EPA’s electronic docket and comment system at http:// www.regulations.gov to either submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the docket, and to access those documents in the docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select ‘‘docket search,’’ then key in the docket ID number identified above. Please note that EPA’s policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing at http://www.regulations.gov as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose public disclosure is restricted by statute. For further information about the electronic docket, go to www.regulations.gov. Title: NESHAP for Wet-formed Fiberglass Mat Production (Renewal). ICR Numbers: EPA ICR Number 1964.05, OMB Control Number 2060– 0496. ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012. Under OMB SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\17APN1.SGM 17APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 74 (Tuesday, April 17, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22774-22776]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-9179]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration

[DOE/EIS-0483]


Estes to Flatiron Substation Transmission Lines Rebuild Project, 
Larimer County, CO

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
and To Conduct Scoping Meetings; Notice of Floodplain and Wetlands 
Involvement.

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

SUMMARY: Western Area Power Administration currently owns and operates 
two 115-kilovolt transmission lines on two separate rights-of-way (ROW) 
located between Flatiron Reservoir (near Loveland, Colorado) and the 
town of Estes Park, Colorado. Each transmission line is approximately 
16 miles long. Western is proposing to remove one transmission line and 
abandon the ROW. The remaining transmission line would be rebuilt along 
the existing ROW with taller steel monopoles and would be double-
circuited (i.e., six conductors per pole).
    Western determined that an environmental impact statement (EIS) is 
the appropriate level of NEPA review. Therefore, Western will prepare 
an EIS on its proposal to upgrade and co-locate two existing separate 
transmission lines on a double-circuit transmission line on one ROW in 
accordance with NEPA, the DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures, and the 
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing 
NEPA. Portions of Western's proposal may affect floodplains and 
wetlands, so this Notice of Intent (NOI) also serves as a notice of 
proposed floodplain or wetland action in accordance with DOE floodplain 
and wetland environmental review requirements.

DATES: This notice initiates a 90-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. The scoping 
period will end on July 16, 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. 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, Western expects to hold two public meetings: 
One meeting in Estes Park, Colorado and one meeting in Loveland, 
Colorado during the public scoping period. Western will announce the 
dates and locations of the public scoping meetings through local news 
media, newsletters, and posting on the Western Web site at http://ww2.wapa.gov/sites/western/transmission/infrastruct/Pages/Estes-Flatiron.aspx, at least 15 days prior to each meeting. Western will 
consider all comments on the scope of the EIS received or postmarked by 
the end of scoping. The public is invited to submit comments on the 
proposal at any time during the EIS process.

ADDRESSES: Comments related to the proposed Project may be submitted by 
mail to Tim Snowden, Western Area Power Administration, 5555 E. 
Crossroads Blvd., P.O. Box 3700, Loveland, CO 80539-3003, fax (970) 
461-7213, or email, RMR_estesflatironeis@wapa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information on the 
proposed project, the EIS process, or to receive a copy of the Draft 
EIS when it is published, contact Tim Snowden by the methods noted 
above. For general information on the DOE's NEPA review process, 
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 (800) 472-2756, 
fax (202) 586-7031.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal power marketing agency 
within the DOE that markets and delivers Federal wholesale electric 
power (principally hydroelectric power) to municipalities, rural 
electric cooperatives, public utilities, irrigation districts, Federal 
and State agencies, and Native American tribes in 15 western and 
central states.
    Western initially began preparation of an environmental assessment 
(EA) for the Project. Western's proposal was under a class of actions 
in the DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) that 
normally requires the preparation of an EA. Subsequent to the EA 
determination, Western held public meetings and received many written 
and oral comments from the public and agencies on the proposal during 
the scoping period. The public expressed several concerns regarding the 
impacts of the proposal and some of the stakeholders requested 
evaluation of additional alternatives. Based on these factors, Western 
determined that an EIS is the more appropriate level of NEPA review.\1\ 
Therefore, Western will prepare an EIS on its proposal to upgrade and 
co-locate two existing separate transmission lines on a double-circuit 
transmission line on one ROW.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    Western will coordinate with appropriate Federal, State, and local 
agencies and potentially affected Native American tribes during the 
preparation of the EIS. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest 
Service, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest (Forest Service) will be 
a cooperating agency on the EIS since it requires NEPA review to 
support its decision on whether or not to grant a Special Use Permit 
for parts of the transmission line located on National Forest Service 
System lands. Western will invite other Federal, State, local, and 
tribal agencies with

[[Page 22775]]

jurisdiction by law or special expertise, with respect to environmental 
issues, to be cooperating agencies on the EIS, as defined in 40 CFR 
1501.6. Such agencies also may make a request to Western to be a 
cooperating agency. Designated cooperating agencies have certain 
responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified in 40 CFR 
1501.6(b).

Purpose and Need for Agency Action

    Western's purpose and need for agency action is to ensure its 
facilities are up to current safety and reliability standards, 
accessible for maintenance and emergencies, protected from wildfire, 
and cost effective for its customers.

Proposed Action

    Presently there are two transmission lines on two separate ROWs 
located between Flatiron Reservoir (near Loveland) and the town of 
Estes Park. The Estes-Lyons line segment is approximately 16 miles long 
and was built in 1938. The Estes-Pole Hill and Flatiron-Pole Hill line 
segments combined are approximately 16 miles long and were built in 
1952 as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The vast majority of 
wood pole structures on both transmission lines are the original poles 
and are 60 to 72 years old.
    Western's proposed Federal action (proposal) is to combine portions 
of both transmission lines onto a single ROW between Flatiron Reservoir 
and Estes Park, Colorado. Portions of both transmission lines would be 
removed and those portions of the ROWs abandoned. In the remaining ROW, 
the transmission line would be rebuilt with steel monopole structures 
replacing the existing wood H-frame structures, in a double-circuit 
configuration (i.e., six conductors per structure). In some areas, the 
ROW would be slightly wider than it is at present to accommodate the 
double circuit transmission line. There would be two short segments of 
new ROW, located on private land, to connect portions of the existing 
transmission line segments into a single ROW. There are no new 
substations or proposed changes to existing substations.
    Presently, vehicle access is required along the entire 32 miles of 
existing ROW for maintenance and wood pole replacement. Most of the 
existing wood pole structures would need replacement in the near future 
and some are in need of replacement at this time. With Western's 
proposal, approximately 16 miles of the existing ROW would be 
eliminated along with the associated access roads.
    Currently, the two transmission lines cross Roosevelt National 
Forest System lands. Approximately 1.65 miles of transmission line and 
ROW would be removed and 2.16 miles of transmission line would be 
rebuilt on National Forest System lands, under Western's proposal.

Alternatives

    Under the No-Action (i.e., baseline) alternative, the two 
transmission lines would continue to operate on the existing and 
separate ROWs. Records indicate that 70 to 80 percent of the 32 miles 
of transmission lines would require replacement within the near future. 
This would require replacing transmission line structures along both 
existing ROWs. Access to the transmission lines is limited and 
replacement of structures would require additional or improved access 
on both ROWs. The No-Action alternative would require that the existing 
30-foot ROW on the Estes-Lyons section be widened to meet current 
safety standards. Other alternatives may be identified through the EIS 
scoping process. Comments received during the EA scoping process and 
comments provided in response to this NOI and the EIS scoping meetings 
will be considered in defining the scope of the EIS.

Floodplain or Wetland Involvement

    Floodplains and wetlands are in the project area. Since the 
proposal may involve action in floodplains or wetlands, this NOI also 
serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action. The EIS 
will include an assessment of impacts to floodplains and wetlands, and, 
if required, a floodplain statement of findings following DOE 
regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental 
review (10 CFR part 1022).

Environmental Issues

    Western's proposed Project area is located between Flatiron 
Reservoir and Estes Park, Colorado in a fairly mountainous territory 
and crosses open and developed areas. The area is characterized by 
rugged terrain with scattered developments set against the backdrop of 
Rocky Mountain National Park. The EIS will review relevant 
environmental information and will analyze the potential impacts on the 
full range of potentially affected environmental resources.

Public Participation

    Interested parties are invited to participate in the scoping 
process to help define the scope of the EIS, significant resources, and 
issues to be analyzed in depth, and to eliminate from detailed study 
issues that are not pertinent. The EIS scoping process will involve all 
interested agencies (Federal, State, county, and local), Native 
American tribes, public interest groups, businesses, affected 
landowners, and individual members of the public.
    Western has previously consulted with potentially affected or 
interested tribes to jointly evaluate and address the potential effects 
on cultural resources, traditional cultural properties, or other 
resources important to the tribes in the proposed Project area. Western 
will contact previously identified interested tribes and inform them 
that an EIS is planned. Any government-to-government consultations will 
be conducted in accordance with Executive Order 13175, Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249), the 
President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, Government-to-Government 
Relations with Native American Tribal Governments (59 FR 22951), DOE-
specific guidance on tribal interactions, and applicable natural and 
cultural resources laws and regulations.
    Western will announce public EIS scoping meetings through local 
news media, newsletters, and posting on the Western Web site at http://ww2.wapa.gov/sites/western/transmission/infrastruct/Pages/Estes-Flatiron.aspx, at least 15 days prior to each meeting. Attendees will 
be able to speak directly with Western and the Forest Service at the 
EIS scoping meetings about Western's proposal. The public is encouraged 
to provide information and comments on issues it believes Western 
should address in the EIS. Comments may be broad in nature or 
restricted to specific areas of concern. After gathering comments on 
the scope of the EIS, Western will address those issues raised in the 
EIS. In addition, Western will use the results of the EA scoping 
process to help define the scope of the EIS. Comments on Western's 
proposal will be accepted at any time during the EIS process, and may 
be directed to Western as described under ADDRESSES above. Comments 
received outside of the designated comment periods may be addressed in 
the Draft EIS, otherwise they will be addressed later in the process, 
such as in the Final EIS, if practicable.
    The EIS process will include this NOI, local EIS scoping meeting 
notifications,

[[Page 22776]]

public scoping meetings; consultation and coordination with appropriate 
Federal, State, county, and local agencies and tribal governments; 
involvement with affected landowners; distribution of and public review 
and comment on the Draft EIS; a formal public hearing or hearings on 
the Draft EIS; distribution of a published Final EIS; and publication 
of separate Records of Decision in the Federal Register by Western and 
the Forest Service.

    Dated: April 6, 2012.
Timothy J. Meeks,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-9179 Filed 4-16-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P