Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Virginia Southside Expansion Project; Request for Comments on Environmental Issues and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting, 55208-55210 [2012-22044]

Download as PDF 55208 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 174 / Friday, September 7, 2012 / Notices regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. Comment Date: 5 p.m. Eastern Time on September 20, 2012. Dated: August 30, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–22045 Filed 9–6–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF12–15–000] Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Virginia Southside Expansion Project; Request for Comments on Environmental Issues and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Virginia Southside Expansion Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in Pittsylvania, Halifax, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and Brunswick Counties, Virginia. The Commission will use this EA 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 EA. Please note that the scoping period will close on October 1, 2012. 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 lieu of or in addition to sending written comments, the Commission invites you to attend the FERC public scoping meetings scheduled for the Project as follows: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Brian’s Restaurant (upstairs room), 625 East Atlantic Ave., South Hill, VA 23970 Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Fairfield Inn & Suites Conference Suite, 1120 Bill VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:04 Sep 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 Tuck Highway, South Boston, VA 24592 Thursday, September 20, 2012 Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Olde Dominion Agricultural Conference Center, 19783 US Hwy 29 S, Suite G, Chatham, VA 24531 The public meetings are designed to provide you with more detailed information and another opportunity to offer your comments on the planned project. Transco representatives will be present one hour before each meeting to describe their proposal, present maps, and answer questions. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend the meetings and to present comments on the issues they believe should be addressed in the EA. A transcript of each meeting will be made so that your comments will be accurately recorded. This notice is being sent to the Commission’s current environmental mailing list for this Project. 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. Transco’s pooling point 1 in Mercer County, New Jersey to its interconnection with East Tennessee Natural Gas Pipeline in Rockingham County, North Carolina. It would also transport natural gas to the Virginia Electric and Power Company’s proposed 1,300-megawatt power station in Brunswick County, Virginia. The Project would include construction and operation of the following facilities: • Approximately 91.4 miles of new 24-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline collocated with the existing South Virginia Lateral in Pittsylvania, Halifax, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and Brunswick Counties, Virginia; • Approximately 7.2 miles of new 24inch-diameter greenfield natural gas pipeline located in Brunswick County, Virginia; • One new compressor station in Pittsylvania County, Virginia; • Line heaters at the terminus of the Brunswick Lateral; • Modifications to valves and meter stations at 12 facilities along the existing South Virginia Lateral; • Modifications to existing Compressor Station 205 to allow bidirectional flow on Transco’s mainline in Mercer County, New Jersey; and • Other appurtenant and ancillary facilities. The general location of the Project facilities is shown in Appendix 1.2 Transco plans to initiate construction of the Project in the third quarter of 2014 and complete construction during the third quarter of 2015. The construction schedule would be driven by the need to complete construction of the Project by the planned time for initial operation of the Virginia Electric and Power Company proposed 1,300megawatt power station, which is not under the jurisdiction of the FERC. Summary of the Planned Project Land Requirements for Construction Construction of the planned facilities would disturb about 2,040 acres of land for the pipeline and aboveground facilities. Following construction, Transco would maintain about 140 acres for permanent operation of the Project’s facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. Transco plans to expand its existing South Virginia Lateral by constructing 98.6 miles of new 24-inch-diameter pipeline to provide additional natural gas transportation to markets in southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. The planned Project would provide an additional 250,000 dekatherms per day (dt/day) of natural gas transportation capability from 1 Aggregation of gas from several natural gas supply points to a single point where gas can be sent to market. 2 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. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 174 / Friday, September 7, 2012 / Notices Over 90 percent of the proposed new pipeline would be collocated with the existing South Virginia Lateral, maximizing the use of previously disturbed right-of-way to the extent practicable. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The EA 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 3 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 EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA. In the EA 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; • Wetlands and vegetation; • Fish and wildlife; • Threatened and endangered species; • Land use, recreation, and visual resources; • Air quality and noise; • Cultural resources; • Socioeconomics; • Reliability and safety; and • Cumulative environmental impacts. 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 federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA. Our independent analysis of the issues will be presented in the EA. The 3 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:04 Sep 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 EA will be placed in the public record and, depending on the comments received during the scoping process, may be published and distributed to the public. A comment period will be allotted if the EA is published for review. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning on page 6. 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 EA.4 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. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk and Wilmington Districts have expressed their intention to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EA 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 Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 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.5 We will define the Project-specific Area of Potential Effect in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the Area of Potential Effect at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include the construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic 4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6. 5 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 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55209 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 environmental information provided by Transco. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis: • Potential impacts on perennial and intermittent waterbodies, including waterbodies with federal and/or state designations/protections; • Evaluation of temporary and permanent impacts on wetlands and the development of appropriate mitigation; • Potential impacts to fish and wildlife habitat, including potential impacts to federally and state-listed threatened and endangered species; • Potential effects on prime farmland and erodible soils; • Potential visual effects of the aboveground facilities on surrounding areas; • Potential impacts and potential benefits of construction workforce on local housing, infrastructure, public services, and economy; and • Impacts on air quality and noise associated with construction and operation of the Project. 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 October 1, 2012. 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 (PF12–15–000) 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 E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1 55210 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 174 / Friday, September 7, 2012 / Notices to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project; (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. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 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 EA 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). 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– 15). 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 30, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–22044 Filed 9–6–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P Becoming an Intervenor Once Transco 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. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:04 Sep 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2457–038] Public Service Company of New Hampshire; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of PreApplication Document (PAD), Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the PAD And Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study Requests a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application for a New License and Commencing Pre-filing Process. b. Project No.: 2457–038. c. Dated Filed: July 2, 2012. d. Submitted By: Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH). e. Name of Project: Eastman Falls Hydroelectric Project. f. Location: On the Pemigewasset River in the city of Franklin and the towns of Hill, Sanbornton, Bristol, and New Hampton, within Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire. The project does not affect federal lands. g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR part 5 of the Commission’s Regulations. h. Potential Applicant Contact: Mr. Curtis R. Mooney; Project Manager, PSNH; 780 North Commercial Street, Manchester, NH 03105–0330; (603) 669– 4000. i. FERC Contact: Samantha Davidson at (202) 502–6839 or email at samantha.davidson@ferc.gov. j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item o below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission’s policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001). k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with: (a) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA Fisheries under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402; and (b) the State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historical Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2. E:\FR\FM\07SEN1.SGM 07SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 174 (Friday, September 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55208-55210]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22044]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF12-15-000]


Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To 
Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Virginia Southside 
Expansion Project; Request for Comments on Environmental Issues and 
Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will 
discuss the environmental impacts of the Virginia Southside Expansion 
Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by 
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in Pittsylvania, 
Halifax, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and Brunswick Counties, Virginia. The 
Commission will use this EA 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 EA. Please note that 
the scoping period will close on October 1, 2012.
    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 lieu of or in addition to 
sending written comments, the Commission invites you to attend the FERC 
public scoping meetings scheduled for the Project as follows:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Brian's Restaurant (upstairs room), 625 East 
Atlantic Ave., South Hill, VA 23970

 Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Fairfield Inn & Suites Conference Suite, 1120 
Bill Tuck Highway, South Boston, VA 24592

 Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Olde Dominion Agricultural Conference Center, 
19783 US Hwy 29 S, Suite G, Chatham, VA 24531

    The public meetings are designed to provide you with more detailed 
information and another opportunity to offer your comments on the 
planned project. Transco representatives will be present one hour 
before each meeting to describe their proposal, present maps, and 
answer questions. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to 
attend the meetings and to present comments on the issues they believe 
should be addressed in the EA. A transcript of each meeting will be 
made so that your comments will be accurately recorded.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this Project. 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

    Transco plans to expand its existing South Virginia Lateral by 
constructing 98.6 miles of new 24-inch-diameter pipeline to provide 
additional natural gas transportation to markets in southern Virginia 
and northern North Carolina. The planned Project would provide an 
additional 250,000 dekatherms per day (dt/day) of natural gas 
transportation capability from Transco's pooling point \1\ in Mercer 
County, New Jersey to its interconnection with East Tennessee Natural 
Gas Pipeline in Rockingham County, North Carolina. It would also 
transport natural gas to the Virginia Electric and Power Company's 
proposed 1,300-megawatt power station in Brunswick County, Virginia.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Aggregation of gas from several natural gas supply points to 
a single point where gas can be sent to market.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Project would include construction and operation of the 
following facilities:
     Approximately 91.4 miles of new 24-inch-diameter natural 
gas pipeline collocated with the existing South Virginia Lateral in 
Pittsylvania, Halifax, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and Brunswick Counties, 
Virginia;
     Approximately 7.2 miles of new 24-inch-diameter greenfield 
natural gas pipeline located in Brunswick County, Virginia;
     One new compressor station in Pittsylvania County, 
Virginia;
     Line heaters at the terminus of the Brunswick Lateral;
     Modifications to valves and meter stations at 12 
facilities along the existing South Virginia Lateral;
     Modifications to existing Compressor Station 205 to allow 
bi-directional flow on Transco's mainline in Mercer County, New Jersey; 
and
     Other appurtenant and ancillary facilities.
    The general location of the Project facilities is shown in Appendix 
1.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Transco plans to initiate construction of the Project in the third 
quarter of 2014 and complete construction during the third quarter of 
2015. The construction schedule would be driven by the need to complete 
construction of the Project by the planned time for initial operation 
of the Virginia Electric and Power Company proposed 1,300-megawatt 
power station, which is not under the jurisdiction of the FERC.

Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the planned facilities would disturb about 2,040 
acres of land for the pipeline and aboveground facilities. Following 
construction, Transco would maintain about 140 acres for permanent 
operation of the Project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be 
restored and revert to former uses.

[[Page 55209]]

Over 90 percent of the proposed new pipeline would be collocated with 
the existing South Virginia Lateral, maximizing the use of previously 
disturbed right-of-way to the extent practicable.

The EA 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 
\3\ 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 EA on the important 
environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public 
comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will 
consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ ``We,'' ``us,'' and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the EA 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;
     Wetlands and vegetation;
     Fish and wildlife;
     Threatened and endangered species;
     Land use, recreation, and visual resources;
     Air quality and noise;
     Cultural resources;
     Socioeconomics;
     Reliability and safety; and
     Cumulative environmental impacts.
    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 federal and state agencies to discuss their 
involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.
    Our independent analysis of the issues will be presented in the EA. 
The EA will be placed in the public record and, depending on the 
comments received during the scoping process, may be published and 
distributed to the public. A comment period will be allotted if the EA 
is published for review. We will consider all comments on the EA before 
we make our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure your comments 
are considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public 
Participation section beginning on page 6.
    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 EA.\4\ 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. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk and 
Wilmington Districts have expressed their intention to participate as a 
cooperating agency in the preparation of the EA to satisfy their NEPA 
responsibilities related to this Project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ 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 Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 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.\5\ We will define the Project-specific Area of Potential 
Effect in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer 
(SHPO) as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the 
Area of Potential Effect at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to 
ground disturbance (examples include the construction right-of-way, 
contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). 
Our EA for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on 
historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under 
section 106.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ 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 Transco. This preliminary 
list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis:
     Potential impacts on perennial and intermittent 
waterbodies, including waterbodies with federal and/or state 
designations/protections;
     Evaluation of temporary and permanent impacts on wetlands 
and the development of appropriate mitigation;
     Potential impacts to fish and wildlife habitat, including 
potential impacts to federally and state-listed threatened and 
endangered species;
     Potential effects on prime farmland and erodible soils;
     Potential visual effects of the aboveground facilities on 
surrounding areas;
     Potential impacts and potential benefits of construction 
workforce on local housing, infrastructure, public services, and 
economy; and
     Impacts on air quality and noise associated with 
construction and operation of the Project.

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 
October 1, 2012. 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 (PF12-15-000) 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

[[Page 55210]]

to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons 
to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;
    (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 EA 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 Transco 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-
15). 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 30, 2012.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-22044 Filed 9-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P