El Paso Natural Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Sasabe Lateral Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 47052-47058 [2012-19265]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 47052 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices and 309 of the Federal Power Act, The Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson (Complainant) filed a formal complaint against the National Grid Generation LLC (Respondent) requesting a Commission investigation and hearing regarding certain conduct of the Respondent. As more fully explained in the Complaint, Complainant alleges that the Respondent is currently perpetrating fraudulent practices and illegally exercising market power. The Complainant certifies that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for the Respondent as listed on the Commission’s list of Corporate Officials. Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent’s answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent’s answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants. The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 14 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link and is 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: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 20, 2012. Dated: July 31, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–19280 Filed 8–6–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF12–11–000] El Paso Natural Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Sasabe Lateral Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Sasabe Lateral Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by El Paso Natural Gas Company (El Paso) in Pima County, Arizona. The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity. This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the Project. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EIS. You may submit comments in written form or verbally. Further details on how to submit written comments are in the Public Participation section of this notice. In addition, the Commission intends to host public scoping meetings in the Project area. The times and locations of scoping meetings will be announced in a future Notice of Scoping Meetings. Scoping will close 7 days after the last scoping meeting. This notice is being sent to the Commission’s current environmental mailing list for the Sasabe Lateral Project, and the forthcoming Notice of Scoping Meetings will also be sent out to this list. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern. If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the Project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 determined in accordance with state law. A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ‘‘An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?’’ is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses a number of typically-asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission’s proceedings. Summary of the Planned Project The Project would consist of the following facilities in Pima County, Arizona: • Installation of about 60 miles of 36inch-diameter natural gas pipeline; • Construction of a new meter station near the U.S.-Mexico border; and • Construction of other appurtenant facilities. The Project would link El Paso’s existing South Mainline System near Tucson to the U.S.-Mexico border near the town of Sasabe, Arizona. El Paso is currently considering two routes for the pipeline: the West Route and the East Route. The West Route would be located on private and state lands. The East Route would be located on private, state, and federal lands. The East Route would primarily follow an existing highway right-of-way and traverse the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. The general location of the Project facilities is shown in Appendix 1.1 According to El Paso, the planned Project would provide additional natural gas export capability of between 160 and 210 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to an interconnect with the Puerto Libertad Pipeline at the international border. The Mexico ´ Comision Federal de Electricidad has specified this point as their desired receipt point in order to supply gas for power generation. Land Requirements for Construction Construction of the planned facilities would disturb about 815 acres of land for the pipeline and aboveground facilities. Following construction, El Paso would maintain about 362 acres for permanent operation of the Project’s facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. About 70 percent of the East Route parallels existing utility or road rights1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called ‘‘eLibrary’’ or from the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502–8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice. E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices of-way, while about 30 percent of the West Route parallels existing utility or road rights-of-way. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The EIS Process The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 2 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as ‘‘scoping.’’ The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS. In the EIS we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned Project under these general headings: • Geology and soils; • Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands; • Vegetation, wildlife, and endangered and threatened species; • Land use and cumulative impacts; • Socioeconomics; • Cultural resources; • Air quality and noise; and • Public safety. We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned Project or portions of the Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas. Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission’s pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EIS. The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and 2 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning on page 5. With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/ or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this Project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS.3 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Office and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department have expressed their intention to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS to satisfy their NEPA responsibilities related to this Project. Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the Project’s potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the Project-specific Area of Potential Effects in consultation with the SHPO as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the Area of Potential Effects at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, meter stations, and access roads). Our EIS for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106. Currently Identified Environmental Issues We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities and the 3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6. 4 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register for Historic Places. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47053 environmental information provided by El Paso. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis: • Impacts on riparian areas at approximately 220 dry wash crossings; • Land use impacts, such as disruption of on-going conservation efforts to restore native grassland; • Visual impacts in consideration of Native American sacred sites; • The creation of a new corridor that could exacerbate the current illegal immigration and drug trafficking activities; • Socioeconomic issues, such as job creation and future development; • Unauthorized all terrain vehicle use of the right-of-way after construction; • Impacts on threatened and endangered species (including the masked bobwhite quail, Pima pineapple cactus, and Chiricahua leopard frog) and other sensitive species (including the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl); and • Alternatives, including routing that may impact the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Public Participation You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before the end of the scoping period, which will close 7 days after the last scoping meeting, to be announced in a future Notice of Scoping Meetings. This is not your only public input opportunity; please refer to the Environmental Review Process flow chart in Appendix 2. For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the Project docket number (PF12–11–000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502–8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature located on the Commission’s Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project; E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 47054 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature located on the Commission’s Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on ‘‘eRegister.’’ You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select ‘‘Comment on a Filing’’; or (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Environmental Mailing List mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission’s regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the Project. We will update the environmental mailing list as VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned Project. Copies of the completed draft EIS will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 3). Becoming an Intervenor Once El Paso files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an ‘‘intervenor,’’ which is an official party to the Commission’s proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission’s final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the User’s Guide under the ‘‘e-filing’’ link on the Commission’s Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the Project. Additional Information Additional information about the Project is available from the PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Commission’s Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208–FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on ‘‘General Search’’ and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF12– 11). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208–3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502–8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/ esubscribenow.htm. Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission’s calendar located at www.ferc.gov/ EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information. Dated: August 1, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. BILLING CODE 6717–01–P E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 47055 EN07AU12.001</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 EN07AU12.002</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 47056 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 47057 EN07AU12.003</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices 47058 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [P–2079–069—CA] mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Middle Fork American River Hydroelectric Project Placer County Water Agency; Notice of Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Public Meetings a. Date and Time of Meetings: Tuesday, August 28, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). b. Location: The Holiday Inn Auburn, 120 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn, California 95603, Telephone: (530) 887– 8787. c. FERC Contact: Carolyn Templeton, (202) 502–8785, carolyn.templeton@ferc.gov. d. Purpose of the Meeting: Commission staff will hold two public meetings for the purpose of receiving verbal and/or written comments on the draft environmental impact statement for the Middle Fork American River Project No. 2079. The daytime meeting will focus on resource agency, Indian VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 tribes, and non-governmental organization comments, while the evening meeting is primarily for receiving input from the public. All interested individuals and entities are invited to attend one or both of the public meetings. The meetings will be recorded by a court reporter, and all statements will become part of the Commission’s public record for the project. This meeting is posted on the Commission’s calendar located at http:// www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/ EventsList.aspx along with other related information. e. All local, state, and federal agencies, tribes, and interested parties, are hereby invited to participate in the meeting. Dated: July 31, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–19278 Filed 8–6–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP12–30–000] Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Northeast Supply Link Project The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Northeast Supply Link Project (Project) proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (Transco) in the abovereferenced docket. Transco requests authorization to construct and operate certain pipeline and compressor facilities in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in order to expand the natural gas delivery capacity to the northeast region of the United States by up to 250,000 dekatherms per year. The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 EN07AU12.004</GPH> [FR Doc. 2012–19265 Filed 8–6–12; 8:45 am]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 152 (Tuesday, August 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47052-47058]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19265]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF12-11-000]


El Paso Natural Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Sasabe Lateral Project 
and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that 
will discuss the environmental impacts of the Sasabe Lateral Project 
(Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by El Paso 
Natural Gas Company (El Paso) in Pima County, Arizona. The Commission 
will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether 
the Project is in the public convenience and necessity.
    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the 
Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested 
agencies on the Project. Your input will help the Commission staff 
determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EIS.
    You may submit comments in written form or verbally. Further 
details on how to submit written comments are in the Public 
Participation section of this notice. In addition, the Commission 
intends to host public scoping meetings in the Project area. The times 
and locations of scoping meetings will be announced in a future Notice 
of Scoping Meetings. Scoping will close 7 days after the last scoping 
meeting.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for the Sasabe Lateral Project, and the forthcoming Notice 
of Scoping Meetings will also be sent out to this list. State and local 
government representatives should notify their constituents of this 
planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of 
concern.
    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company 
representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to 
construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company 
would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if 
the Commission approves the Project, that approval conveys with it the 
right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to 
produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation 
proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with 
state law.
    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ``An Interstate Natural 
Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?'' is available for 
viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses 
a number of typically-asked questions, including the use of eminent 
domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

Summary of the Planned Project

    The Project would consist of the following facilities in Pima 
County, Arizona:
     Installation of about 60 miles of 36-inch-diameter natural 
gas pipeline;
     Construction of a new meter station near the U.S.-Mexico 
border; and
     Construction of other appurtenant facilities.
    The Project would link El Paso's existing South Mainline System 
near Tucson to the U.S.-Mexico border near the town of Sasabe, Arizona. 
El Paso is currently considering two routes for the pipeline: the West 
Route and the East Route. The West Route would be located on private 
and state lands. The East Route would be located on private, state, and 
federal lands. The East Route would primarily follow an existing 
highway right-of-way and traverse the Buenos Aires National Wildlife 
Refuge. The general location of the Project facilities is shown in 
Appendix 1.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in 
the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all 
those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at 
www.ferc.gov using the link called ``eLibrary'' or from the 
Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., 
Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on 
connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to El Paso, the planned Project would provide additional 
natural gas export capability of between 160 and 210 million cubic feet 
of natural gas per day to an interconnect with the Puerto Libertad 
Pipeline at the international border. The Mexico Comisi[oacute]n 
Federal de Electricidad has specified this point as their desired 
receipt point in order to supply gas for power generation.

Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the planned facilities would disturb about 815 
acres of land for the pipeline and aboveground facilities. Following 
construction, El Paso would maintain about 362 acres for permanent 
operation of the Project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be 
restored and revert to former uses. About 70 percent of the East Route 
parallels existing utility or road rights-

[[Page 47053]]

of-way, while about 30 percent of the West Route parallels existing 
utility or road rights-of-way.

The EIS Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the 
Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could 
result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a 
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 
\2\ to discover and address concerns the public may have about 
proposals. This process is referred to as ``scoping.'' The main goal of 
the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the 
important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests 
public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We 
will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ ``We,'' ``us,'' and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the EIS we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of 
the construction and operation of the planned Project under these 
general headings:
     Geology and soils;
     Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
     Vegetation, wildlife, and endangered and threatened 
species;
     Land use and cumulative impacts;
     Socioeconomics;
     Cultural resources;
     Air quality and noise; and
     Public safety.
    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned Project 
or portions of the Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen 
or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already 
initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. 
The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement 
of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before 
the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we 
have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their 
involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EIS.
    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We 
will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the 
comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the 
document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have 
the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully 
follow the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning 
on page 5.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law 
and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues 
related to this Project to formally cooperate with us in the 
preparation of the EIS.\3\ Agencies that would like to request 
cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing 
comments provided under the Public Participation section of this 
notice. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona 
Ecological Services Office and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife 
Refuge, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department have expressed their 
intention to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of 
the EIS to satisfy their NEPA responsibilities related to this Project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing 
cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal 
Regulations, Part 1501.6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation 
Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's 
implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation 
with the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to 
solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested 
Indian tribes, and the public on the Project's potential effects on 
historic properties.\4\ We will define the Project-specific Area of 
Potential Effects in consultation with the SHPO as the Project 
develops. On natural gas facility projects, the Area of Potential 
Effects at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground 
disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/
pipe storage yards, meter stations, and access roads). Our EIS for this 
Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic 
properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations 
are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those 
regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or 
historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in 
or eligible for inclusion in the National Register for Historic 
Places.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve 
attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities and 
the environmental information provided by El Paso. This preliminary 
list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis:
     Impacts on riparian areas at approximately 220 dry wash 
crossings;
     Land use impacts, such as disruption of on-going 
conservation efforts to restore native grassland;
     Visual impacts in consideration of Native American sacred 
sites;
     The creation of a new corridor that could exacerbate the 
current illegal immigration and drug trafficking activities;
     Socioeconomic issues, such as job creation and future 
development;
     Unauthorized all terrain vehicle use of the right-of-way 
after construction;
     Impacts on threatened and endangered species (including 
the masked bobwhite quail, Pima pineapple cactus, and Chiricahua 
leopard frog) and other sensitive species (including the cactus 
ferruginous pygmy owl); and
     Alternatives, including routing that may impact the Buenos 
Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific 
comments or concerns about the Project. Your comments should focus on 
the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and 
measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific 
your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your 
comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so 
that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before the 
end of the scoping period, which will close 7 days after the last 
scoping meeting, to be announced in a future Notice of Scoping 
Meetings. This is not your only public input opportunity; please refer 
to the Environmental Review Process flow chart in Appendix 2.
    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit 
your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the 
Project docket number (PF12-11-000) with your submission. The 
Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert 
staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov.
    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment 
feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the 
link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested 
persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;

[[Page 47054]]

    (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling 
feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the 
link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments 
in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your 
submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking 
on ``eRegister.'' You must select the type of filing you are making. If 
you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select 
``Comment on a Filing''; or
    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to 
the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 
20426.

Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local 
government representatives and agencies; elected officials; 
environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other 
interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also 
includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's 
regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property 
may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within 
certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits 
comments on the Project. We will update the environmental mailing list 
as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related 
to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and 
government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the 
planned Project.
    Copies of the completed draft EIS will be sent to the environmental 
mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to 
receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would 
like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the 
attached Information Request (Appendix 3).

Becoming an Intervenor

    Once El Paso files its application with the Commission, you may 
want to become an ``intervenor,'' which is an official party to the 
Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the 
process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard 
by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. 
An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a 
request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in 
the User's Guide under the ``e-filing'' link on the Commission's Web 
site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for 
intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission 
receives a formal application for the Project.

Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the 
FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the 
eLibrary link, click on ``General Search'' and enter the docket number, 
excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF12-
11). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For 
assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, 
contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the 
texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, 
notices, and rulemakings.
    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called 
eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances 
and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time 
you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with 
notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to 
the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the 
Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: August 1, 2012.
Kimberly D. Bose,
 Secretary.
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[FR Doc. 2012-19265 Filed 8-6-12; 8:45 am]
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