Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Oregon LNG Export Project and Washington Expansion Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings, 59603-59607 [2012-23935]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 189 / Friday, September 28, 2012 / Notices 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. Currently Identified Environmental Issues We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities, the environmental information provided by Dominion, and comments received by the public. This preliminary list of issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis: • Construction and operational impacts on nearby residences in proximity to the existing LNG terminal and compressor stations; • Impacts on forested land; • Impacts on air quality and noise; • Impacts on threatened and endangered species; and • Public safety. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 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 they will be received in Washington, DC on or before October 24, 2012. For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the Project docket number (PF12–16–000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 502–8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. 1. You can file your comments electronically by using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission’s Web site at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, textonly comments on a project; 2. You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission’s Web site at 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Sep 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 ‘‘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’’; 3. You can attend and provide either oral or written comments at a public scoping meeting. A transcript of each meeting will be made so that your comments will be accurately recorded and included in the public record; or 4. 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. When an EA is published for distribution, copies 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). 59603 must wait until a formal application for the Project is filed with the Commission. 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– 16). 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 text 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. 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. Finally, Dominion has established a Web site for this Project at https:// www.dom.com/business/gastransmission/cove-point/ liquefaction.jsp. The Web site includes a Project overview, environmental information, and information for affected stakeholders. Dated: September 24, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. Becoming an Intervenor [FR Doc. 2012–23933 Filed 9–27–12; 8:45 am] Once Dominion 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 included 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 BILLING CODE 6717–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF12–18–000; Docket No. PF12–20–000] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Oregon LNG Export Project and Washington Expansion Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 59604 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 189 / Friday, September 28, 2012 / Notices srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES LNG Development Company, LLC and Oregon Pipeline Company .................................................................. Northwest Pipeline GP ......................................................................................................................................... The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) is in the process of evaluating the construction and operation of facilities proposed by LNG Development Company, LLC and Oregon Pipeline Company (collectively referred to as Oregon LNG). The new proposal is referred to as the Oregon LNG Export Project (Export Project) and has been assigned Docket No. PF12–18–000. Oregon LNG plans to amend its pending application in Docket Nos. CP09–6–000 and CP09–7–000 (Oregon LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project) into a bidirectional liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and pipeline after completion of the FERC’s pre-filing review process for the Export Project. The Oregon LNG Export Project would be comprised of: (1) Liquefaction facilities to be located at the proposed import terminal site in Warrenton, Oregon, and (2) about 39 miles of new 36-inch-diameter pipeline. The new pipeline would traverse Columbia County, Oregon and end in Cowlitz County, Washington to interconnect with the interstate gas transmission system of Northwest Pipeline GP (Northwest). Northwest proposes to expand the capacity of its pipeline between Sumas and Woodland, Washington to provide natural gas to the proposed Oregon LNG terminal and to growing markets in the state of Washington. Northwest’s Washington Expansion Project (WEP) also is in the FERC’s pre-filing review process (Docket No. PF12–20–000). Oregon LNG’s Export Project and Northwest’s WEP would be connected actions, and the FERC intends on evaluating both project proposals in the same environmental impact statement (EIS). The EIS will also address the unchanged components of the Oregon LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project, as originally proposed, for which scoping has already been carried out. As described below, the FERC will hold public meetings to allow the public to provide input to the assessment of the Oregon LNG Export Project and the WEP. The FERC will be the lead federal agency in the preparation of the EIS that will satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are cooperating agencies on the pending Oregon LNG Project under Docket Nos. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Sep 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 CP09–6–000 and CP09–7–000. The Commission will use the EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether or not to authorize the projects. This Notice of Intent (NOI) explains the scoping process we 1 will use to gather information on the project from the public and interested agencies. Your input will help identify the issues that need to be evaluated in the EIS. Comments on the projects may be submitted in written form or verbally. Further details on how to submit written comments are provided in the Public Participation section of this NOI. In lieu of sending written comments, we invite you to attend one of the public scoping meetings scheduled as follows: Oregon LNG Export Project Monday, October 15, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Warrenton Community Center, 170 SW 3rd Street, Warrenton, OR, 503– 861–2233. Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Woodland High School/Middle School Commons, 755 Park Street, Woodland, WA, 360–841–2700. Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Vernonia Schools, Commons, 1000 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia, OR, 503– 429–1333. Washington Expansion Project Monday, October 15, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Sedro-Woolley High School Auditorium, 1235 3rd Street, SedroWoolley, WA, 360–855–3903. Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Riverview Elementary, 7322 64th St. SE, Snohomish, WA, 360–563–7332. Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 6:00 p.m. V.R. Lee Community Building, 221 SW 13th Street, Chehalis, WA, 360– 748–0271; and Auburn Parks and Recreation Admin. Bldg., 910 Ninth Street SE., Auburn, WA, 253–931–3043. Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:00 p.m. R.A. Long High School Auditorium, 2903 Nichols Blvd., Longview, WA, 360–575–7156. This NOI is being sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Indian tribes and regional 1 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the FERC’s Office of Energy Projects. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Docket No. PF12–18–000 Docket No. PF12–20–000 Native American organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. We encourage government representatives to 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 Proposed Projects Oregon LNG Export Project: The Oregon LNG Export Project would consist of components new to and modified from the originally proposed import-only LNG terminal and pipeline (Docket Numbers CP09–6–000 and CP09–7–000) to allow Oregon LNG to export LNG. The Export Project (PF12– 18–000) would be capable of liquefying approximately 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of pretreated natural gas for the export of approximately 9 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG via LNG carriers. Specifically, the Export Project would be comprised of: (1) Liquefaction and export facilities to be located at the proposed import terminal site in Warrenton, Oregon, and (2) about 39 miles of new pipeline commencing at milepost 47.5 of the pending proposed Oregon Pipeline. Liquefaction facilities would include: • A natural gas pretreatment facility to remove sulfur compounds, water, mercury, and other impurities; E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 189 / Friday, September 28, 2012 / Notices • Two liquefaction process trains, each capable of a liquefaction capacity of approximately 4.5 MTPA; • Refrigerant storage; • New flare system; and • New water intake on the Columbia River and water delivery pipeline from the intake to a new water treatment system. In addition, the proposed Export Project would include expansion of system, equipment, and structures associated with the original import terminal design. No additional marine facilities would be required for the Export Project. Pipeline facilities would include: • A new pipeline segment: and • A new compressor station at MP 80.8. The new pipeline segment would extend northeast to east from the southwest corner of Columbia County, Oregon to Woodland, Washington to interconnect with the interstate natural gas transmission system of Northwest Pipeline. Washington Expansion Project: Northwest states that the purpose of its Project is to expand the capacity of its pipeline between Sumas and Woodland, Washington, by 750,000 dekatherms per day to provide natural gas to the proposed Oregon LNG import/export terminal in Warrenton, Oregon, and to growing markets in the state of Washington. Pipeline facilities for the WEP would include: • About 140 miles of 36-inchdiameter pipeline loop along Northwest’s existing Northwest Pipeline in 10 segments; and • An additional 96,000 horsepower (hp) of compression at five existing compressor stations. Upon completion, the Northwest Pipeline would be capable of delivering about 1.25 billion cubic feet per day of gas at the interconnect with the proposed Oregon LNG pipeline in Woodland. The 10 segments of new pipeline loop would be noncontiguous and traverse through Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, and Cowlitz Counties. These segments would vary in length from 5 miles to 45 miles. The loops would be placed within Northwest’s existing right-of-way to the extent practicable and the existing compressor station footprints would not change. Location maps (figures 1 and 2) depicting the proposed facilities are attached to this NOI as 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:17 Sep 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 The EIS Process NEPA requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action when it considers whether or not an LNG terminal or an interstate natural gas pipeline should be approved. The FERC will use the EIS to consider the environmental impacts that could result if it issues project authorizations to Northwest under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act and Oregon LNG under sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act. NEPA also requires us 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. See flow chart for our EIS Pre-Filing Environmental Review Process in Appendix 2. With this NOI, the Commission staff is requesting public comments on the scope of the issues to be addressed in the EIS relative to the Export Project and the WEP. All comments received (written or oral) will be considered during preparation of the EIS. In the EIS we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed projects under these general topics: • Geology and soils • Water resources • Aquatic and marine resources • Vegetation and wildlife • Threatened and endangered species • Land use, recreation, and visual resources • Cultural resources • Socioeconomics • Air quality and noise • Reliability and safety • Cumulative impacts In the EIS, we will also evaluate possible alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on affected resources. Our independent analysis of the issues will be included in a draft EIS. The draft EIS will be mailed to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and public interest groups; Indian tribes and regional Native American organizations; commentors; other interested parties; local libraries and newspapers; and the 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 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59605 FERC’s official service list for this proceeding. A 45-day comment period will be allotted for review of the draft EIS. We will consider all comments on the draft EIS and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. The Commission will consider the findings in the final EIS when it makes its decision about whether to approve or disapprove the project. To ensure that your comments are considered, please follow the instructions in the Public Participation section of this NOI. Although no formal applications have been filed for the Export Project and WEP, the FERC staff has already initiated its NEPA review under its prefiling process. The purpose of the prefiling process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before an application is filed with the FERC. With this NOI, we are asking federal, state, and local agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues, in addition to those agencies that have already agreed to serve as cooperating agencies, to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS. These agencies may choose to participate once they have evaluated the proposal relative to their responsibilities. Additional agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this NOI. Currently Identified Environmental Issues We have already identified issues that we think deserve attention based on our previous experience with similar projects in the region. This preliminary list of issues, which is presented below, may be revised based on your comments and our continuing analyses specific to the Export Project and WEP. • Safety of residents during construction and operation of the project • Noise and air quality • Marine and aquatic environment • Geological hazards, including seismic activity and landslides • Pipeline impacts on waterbodies and wetlands, including issues of erosion control • Vegetation, including the clearing of forested areas • Pipeline construction in dense residential areas • Threatened and endangered species and wildlife habitat • Recreation and recreational areas • Cultural resources • Property values and socioeconomic concerns E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 59606 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 189 / Friday, September 28, 2012 / Notices We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Public Participation You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about Export Project and WEP. By becoming a commentor, your concerns will be addressed in the EIS and considered by the Commission. Your comments to the FERC will be most useful if they focus on the potential environmental effects of the proposal, reasonable alternatives to the proposal, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impact. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. Comments that you submit to the FERC during the pre-filing process will be part of the public record and will not have to be resubmitted after Oregon LNG and Northwest file their application with the FERC. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send them so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before November 8, 2012. For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please reference the project docket numbers (PF12–18–000 for the Export Project or PF12–20–000 for the WEP) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 502–8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission’s Web site at 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; (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission’s Web site at 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Sep 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. The public scoping meetings (dates, times, and locations listed above) are designed to provide another opportunity to offer comments on the proposed project. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend the meetings and to present comments on the environmental issues that they believe should be addressed in the EIS. A transcript of the meetings will be generated so that your comments will be accurately recorded. If you are currently an intervenor in the pending Oregon LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project proposal, you do not need to file for intervention status once Oregon LNG files its updated application with the Commission. Your intervention status will remain with the amended proposal. Once Oregon LNG and Northwest formally file their applications with the Commission, you may want to become an ‘‘intervenor,’’ which is an official party to the 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 a Commission 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 you may not request intervenor status at this time. You must wait until formal applications are filed with the Commission. 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 or mineral rights may be used permanently or temporarily for project purposes, 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 proposed project. On April 12, 2012 Oregon LNG notified the property owners who are no longer affected by the new Oregon LNG proposal. If you are no longer affected PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 by the new proposal, and would like to be removed from our mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 3) indicating this. If you would like to remain on the environmental mailing list, you do not need to reply. Copies of the 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). Additional Information Additional information about the projects is available from the Commission’s Office of External Affairs at (866) 208–FERC, or on the FERC Web site at 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., PF12–18 for the Export Project or PF12–20 for the WEP). 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. Any public meetings or additional site visits will be posted on the Commission’s calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/ EventsList.aspx along with other related information. Oregon LNG has established a Web site for its project at http://www. oregonlng.com. The Web site includes a project overview, status, potential impacts and mitigation, and answers to frequently asked questions. You can also request additional information by calling Oregon LNG directly at 503– 298–4969, or by sending an email to info@OregonLNG.com. Finally, Northwest has established a Web site for its project at http://co. williams.com/williams/operations/gas- E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 189 / Friday, September 28, 2012 / Notices pipeline/expansion-projects/northwestpipeline-expansion-projects/ washington-expansion/. Northwest can be contacted on its toll-free hotline: 888–892–8905 or by sending an email to WashingtonExpansion@williams.com. Dated: September 24, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–23935 Filed 9–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14110–001] Black Canyon Hydro, LLC; Notice of Environmental Site Review On Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 3 p.m., Commission staff will be participating in an environmental site review for the proposed Black Canyon Hydroelectric Project. All interested participants should meet at 44937 Southeast 70th Street, Snoqualmie, Washington 98065. For additional information, please contact Brandon Cherry at 202–502–8328. Dated: September 24, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–23936 Filed 9–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER12–2676–000] Piedmont Green Power, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding, of Piedmont Green Power, LLC’s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability. Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant. Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant’s request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is October 15, 2012. 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 Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filings in the above-referenced proceeding(s) 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 59607 (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Dated: September 24, 2012. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–23942 Filed 9–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF12–11–000] El Paso Natural Gas Company; Notice of Public Scoping Meetings for the Planned SASABE Lateral Project On October 18 and 20, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) Office of Energy Project’s staff will hold public scoping meetings for El Paso Natural Gas Company’s (El Paso) Sasabe Lateral Project (Project). The Project is a planned 60-mile-long natural gas pipeline that would link El Paso’s existing South Mainline System near Tucson, Arizona, to a point at the U.S.Mexico border near the town of Sasabe, Arizona. FERC staff will conduct public scoping meetings as part of their preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Project. The scoping meetings are designed to provide the public with an opportunity to offer verbal comments on the Project and on the issues they believe should be addressed in the EIS. More information about this Project and the Commission’s EIS process is available in the Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Sasabe Lateral Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI), issued on August 1, 2012. The NOI also provides details on how to submit written comments in lieu of or in addition to verbal comments on the Project. The public scoping meetings are scheduled as follows: Date and time Location Thursday, October 18, 2012 6:00 p.m. local time ................................... Robles Elementary School, Cafeteria, 9875 South Sasabe Road, Tucson, AZ 85735. San Fernando Elementary School, 1 Schoolhouse Drive, Sasabe, AZ 85633. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:00 a.m. local time 1 ................................ 1A Spanish-English translator will be provided at this meeting. All public meetings will be posted on the Commission’s calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/ VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:28 Sep 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 EventsList.aspx along with other related information. Please note that the scoping period for the Project will close PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 on October 27, 2012, 7 days after the last scoping meeting, as mentioned in the NOI. E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 189 (Friday, September 28, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59603-59607]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23935]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF12-18-000; Docket No. PF12-20-000]


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Proposed Oregon LNG Export Project and Washington Expansion 
Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of 
Public Scoping Meetings

[[Page 59604]]



LNG Development Company, LLC   Docket No. PF12-18-000
 and Oregon Pipeline Company.
Northwest Pipeline GP........  Docket No. PF12-20-000
 

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) is in 
the process of evaluating the construction and operation of facilities 
proposed by LNG Development Company, LLC and Oregon Pipeline Company 
(collectively referred to as Oregon LNG). The new proposal is referred 
to as the Oregon LNG Export Project (Export Project) and has been 
assigned Docket No. PF12-18-000. Oregon LNG plans to amend its pending 
application in Docket Nos. CP09-6-000 and CP09-7-000 (Oregon LNG 
Terminal and Pipeline Project) into a bidirectional liquefied natural 
gas (LNG) terminal and pipeline after completion of the FERC's pre-
filing review process for the Export Project.
    The Oregon LNG Export Project would be comprised of: (1) 
Liquefaction facilities to be located at the proposed import terminal 
site in Warrenton, Oregon, and (2) about 39 miles of new 36-inch-
diameter pipeline. The new pipeline would traverse Columbia County, 
Oregon and end in Cowlitz County, Washington to interconnect with the 
interstate gas transmission system of Northwest Pipeline GP 
(Northwest). Northwest proposes to expand the capacity of its pipeline 
between Sumas and Woodland, Washington to provide natural gas to the 
proposed Oregon LNG terminal and to growing markets in the state of 
Washington. Northwest's Washington Expansion Project (WEP) also is in 
the FERC's pre-filing review process (Docket No. PF12-20-000).
    Oregon LNG's Export Project and Northwest's WEP would be connected 
actions, and the FERC intends on evaluating both project proposals in 
the same environmental impact statement (EIS). The EIS will also 
address the unchanged components of the Oregon LNG Terminal and 
Pipeline Project, as originally proposed, for which scoping has already 
been carried out. As described below, the FERC will hold public 
meetings to allow the public to provide input to the assessment of the 
Oregon LNG Export Project and the WEP.
    The FERC will be the lead federal agency in the preparation of the 
EIS that will satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA). The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service 
are cooperating agencies on the pending Oregon LNG Project under Docket 
Nos. CP09-6-000 and CP09-7-000. The Commission will use the EIS in its 
decision-making process to determine whether or not to authorize the 
projects. This Notice of Intent (NOI) explains the scoping process we 
\1\ will use to gather information on the project from the public and 
interested agencies. Your input will help identify the issues that need 
to be evaluated in the EIS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ ``We,'' ``us,'' and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the FERC's Office of Energy Projects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comments on the projects may be submitted in written form or 
verbally. Further details on how to submit written comments are 
provided in the Public Participation section of this NOI. In lieu of 
sending written comments, we invite you to attend one of the public 
scoping meetings scheduled as follows:

Oregon LNG Export Project

Monday, October 15, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

    Warrenton Community Center, 170 SW 3rd Street, Warrenton, OR, 503-
861-2233.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

    Woodland High School/Middle School Commons, 755 Park Street, 
Woodland, WA, 360-841-2700.

Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

    Vernonia Schools, Commons, 1000 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia, OR, 503-
429-1333.

Washington Expansion Project

Monday, October 15, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

    Sedro-Woolley High School Auditorium, 1235 3rd Street, Sedro-
Woolley, WA, 360-855-3903.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

    Riverview Elementary, 7322 64th St. SE, Snohomish, WA, 360-563-
7332.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

    V.R. Lee Community Building, 221 SW 13th Street, Chehalis, WA, 360-
748-0271; and Auburn Parks and Recreation Admin. Bldg., 910 Ninth 
Street SE., Auburn, WA, 253-931-3043.

Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

    R.A. Long High School Auditorium, 2903 Nichols Blvd., Longview, WA, 
360-575-7156.

    This NOI is being sent to federal, state, and local government 
agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and 
public interest groups; Indian tribes and regional Native American 
organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local 
libraries and newspapers. We encourage government representatives to 
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 Proposed Projects

    Oregon LNG Export Project: The Oregon LNG Export Project would 
consist of components new to and modified from the originally proposed 
import-only LNG terminal and pipeline (Docket Numbers CP09-6-000 and 
CP09-7-000) to allow Oregon LNG to export LNG. The Export Project 
(PF12-18-000) would be capable of liquefying approximately 1.3 billion 
cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of pretreated natural gas for the export of 
approximately 9 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG via LNG 
carriers.
    Specifically, the Export Project would be comprised of: (1) 
Liquefaction and export facilities to be located at the proposed import 
terminal site in Warrenton, Oregon, and (2) about 39 miles of new 
pipeline commencing at milepost 47.5 of the pending proposed Oregon 
Pipeline.
    Liquefaction facilities would include:
     A natural gas pretreatment facility to remove sulfur 
compounds, water, mercury, and other impurities;

[[Page 59605]]

     Two liquefaction process trains, each capable of a 
liquefaction capacity of approximately 4.5 MTPA;
     Refrigerant storage;
     New flare system; and
     New water intake on the Columbia River and water delivery 
pipeline from the intake to a new water treatment system.
    In addition, the proposed Export Project would include expansion of 
system, equipment, and structures associated with the original import 
terminal design. No additional marine facilities would be required for 
the Export Project.
    Pipeline facilities would include:
     A new pipeline segment: and
     A new compressor station at MP 80.8.
    The new pipeline segment would extend northeast to east from the 
southwest corner of Columbia County, Oregon to Woodland, Washington to 
interconnect with the interstate natural gas transmission system of 
Northwest Pipeline.
    Washington Expansion Project: Northwest states that the purpose of 
its Project is to expand the capacity of its pipeline between Sumas and 
Woodland, Washington, by 750,000 dekatherms per day to provide natural 
gas to the proposed Oregon LNG import/export terminal in Warrenton, 
Oregon, and to growing markets in the state of Washington.
    Pipeline facilities for the WEP would include:
     About 140 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline loop along 
Northwest's existing Northwest Pipeline in 10 segments; and
     An additional 96,000 horsepower (hp) of compression at 
five existing compressor stations.
    Upon completion, the Northwest Pipeline would be capable of 
delivering about 1.25 billion cubic feet per day of gas at the 
interconnect with the proposed Oregon LNG pipeline in Woodland. The 10 
segments of new pipeline loop would be noncontiguous and traverse 
through Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, and 
Cowlitz Counties. These segments would vary in length from 5 miles to 
45 miles. The loops would be placed within Northwest's existing right-
of-way to the extent practicable and the existing compressor station 
footprints would not change.
    Location maps (figures 1 and 2) depicting the proposed facilities 
are attached to this NOI as Appendix 1.\2\
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    \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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The EIS Process

    NEPA requires the Commission to take into account the environmental 
impacts that could result from an action when it considers whether or 
not an LNG terminal or an interstate natural gas pipeline should be 
approved. The FERC will use the EIS to consider the environmental 
impacts that could result if it issues project authorizations to 
Northwest under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act and Oregon LNG under 
sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act. NEPA also requires us 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. See flow chart for our EIS Pre-Filing 
Environmental Review Process in Appendix 2. With this NOI, the 
Commission staff is requesting public comments on the scope of the 
issues to be addressed in the EIS relative to the Export Project and 
the WEP. All comments received (written or oral) will be considered 
during preparation of the EIS.
    In the EIS we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of 
the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed projects 
under these general topics:

 Geology and soils
 Water resources
 Aquatic and marine resources
 Vegetation and wildlife
 Threatened and endangered species
 Land use, recreation, and visual resources
 Cultural resources
 Socioeconomics
 Air quality and noise
 Reliability and safety
 Cumulative impacts

    In the EIS, we will also evaluate possible alternatives to the 
proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations 
on how to lessen or avoid impacts on affected resources.
    Our independent analysis of the issues will be included in a draft 
EIS. The draft EIS will be mailed to federal, state, and local 
government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; 
environmental and public interest groups; Indian tribes and regional 
Native American organizations; commentors; other interested parties; 
local libraries and newspapers; and the FERC's official service list 
for this proceeding. A 45-day comment period will be allotted for 
review of the draft EIS. We will consider all comments on the draft EIS 
and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. The 
Commission will consider the findings in the final EIS when it makes 
its decision about whether to approve or disapprove the project. To 
ensure that your comments are considered, please follow the 
instructions in the Public Participation section of this NOI.
    Although no formal applications have been filed for the Export 
Project and WEP, the FERC staff has already initiated its NEPA review 
under its 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 an application is filed with the 
FERC.
    With this NOI, we are asking federal, state, and local agencies 
with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to 
environmental issues, in addition to those agencies that have already 
agreed to serve as cooperating agencies, to formally cooperate with us 
in the preparation of the EIS. These agencies may choose to participate 
once they have evaluated the proposal relative to their 
responsibilities. Additional agencies that would like to request 
cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing 
comments provided under the Public Participation section of this NOI.

Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified issues that we think deserve attention 
based on our previous experience with similar projects in the region. 
This preliminary list of issues, which is presented below, may be 
revised based on your comments and our continuing analyses specific to 
the Export Project and WEP.

 Safety of residents during construction and operation of the 
project
 Noise and air quality
 Marine and aquatic environment
 Geological hazards, including seismic activity and landslides
 Pipeline impacts on waterbodies and wetlands, including issues 
of erosion control
 Vegetation, including the clearing of forested areas
 Pipeline construction in dense residential areas
 Threatened and endangered species and wildlife habitat
 Recreation and recreational areas
 Cultural resources
 Property values and socioeconomic concerns


[[Page 59606]]


    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to 
lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific 
comments or concerns about Export Project and WEP. By becoming a 
commentor, your concerns will be addressed in the EIS and considered by 
the Commission. Your comments to the FERC will be most useful if they 
focus on the potential environmental effects of the proposal, 
reasonable alternatives to the proposal, and measures to avoid or 
lessen environmental impact. The more specific your comments, the more 
useful they will be. Comments that you submit to the FERC during the 
pre-filing process will be part of the public record and will not have 
to be resubmitted after Oregon LNG and Northwest file their application 
with the FERC. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly 
recorded, please send them so that the Commission receives them in 
Washington, DC on or before November 8, 2012.
    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to 
submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please 
reference the project docket numbers (PF12-18-000 for the Export 
Project or PF12-20-000 for the WEP) with your submission. The 
Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert 
eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or 
efiling@ferc.gov.
    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment 
feature on the Commission's Web site at 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;
    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling 
feature on the Commission's Web site at 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.
    The public scoping meetings (dates, times, and locations listed 
above) are designed to provide another opportunity to offer comments on 
the proposed project. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged 
to attend the meetings and to present comments on the environmental 
issues that they believe should be addressed in the EIS. A transcript 
of the meetings will be generated so that your comments will be 
accurately recorded.
    If you are currently an intervenor in the pending Oregon LNG 
Terminal and Pipeline Project proposal, you do not need to file for 
intervention status once Oregon LNG files its updated application with 
the Commission. Your intervention status will remain with the amended 
proposal.
    Once Oregon LNG and Northwest formally file their applications with 
the Commission, you may want to become an ``intervenor,'' which is an 
official party to the 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 a Commission 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 you may not request intervenor 
status at this time. You must wait until formal applications are filed 
with the Commission.

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 or 
mineral rights may be used permanently or temporarily for project 
purposes, 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 proposed project.
    On April 12, 2012 Oregon LNG notified the property owners who are 
no longer affected by the new Oregon LNG proposal. If you are no longer 
affected by the new proposal, and would like to be removed from our 
mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 
3) indicating this. If you would like to remain on the environmental 
mailing list, you do not need to reply.
    Copies of the 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).

Additional Information

    Additional information about the projects is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC, or on the 
FERC Web site at 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-
18 for the Export Project or PF12-20 for the WEP). 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.
    Any public meetings or additional site visits will be posted on the 
Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.
    Oregon LNG has established a Web site for its project at http://www.oregonlng.com. The Web site includes a project overview, status, 
potential impacts and mitigation, and answers to frequently asked 
questions. You can also request additional information by calling 
Oregon LNG directly at 503-298-4969, or by sending an email to 
info@OregonLNG.com.
    Finally, Northwest has established a Web site for its project at 
http://co.williams.com/williams/operations/gas-

[[Page 59607]]

pipeline/expansion-projects/northwest-pipeline-expansion-projects/
washington-expansion/. Northwest can be contacted on its toll-free 
hotline: 888-892-8905 or by sending an email to 
WashingtonExpansion@williams.com.

    Dated: September 24, 2012.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-23935 Filed 9-27-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P