Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Cameron Access Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 59485-59486 [2014-23491]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 191 / Thursday, October 2, 2014 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF14–16–000] tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Cameron Access Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues 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 Cameron Access Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gulf) in Jefferson Davis, Calcasieu, and Cameron Parishes, Louisiana. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the planned 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 planned 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 27, 2014. You may submit comments in written form. Further details on how to submit written comments are in the Public Participation section of this notice. This notice is being sent to the Commission’s current environmental mailing list for this planned 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 planned 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Oct 01, 2014 Jkt 235001 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 Columbia Gulf has announced their plans to expand and operate the existing Columbia Gulf West Lateral to increase the capacity of the Columbia Gulf system. The planned Cameron Access Project would provide improvements to the existing Columbia Gulf West Lateral pipeline and compression facilities to provide for additional market access to the existing Cameron LNG Terminal. Columbia Gulf plans to begin Project construction in September 2016 if all required permits, certificates, and authorizations are obtained. The Cameron Access Project would include the following facilities: • 7.9 miles of 30-inch diameter natural gas pipeline loop 1 and associated ancillary facilities, designated West Lateral (WL) 400 Loop (400L), in Jefferson Davis Parish; • 27.2 miles of 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and associated ancillary facilities, designated WL 400, in Jefferson Davis, Cameron, and Calcasieu parishes (WL 400); • one new point of delivery meter station, designated MS–4246, in Cameron Parish; and • one new 10,200 horsepower compressor station, designated the Lake Arthur Compressor Station, in Jefferson Davis Parish. Maps depicting the general location of the planned Project facilities are included in appendix 1.2 Land Requirements for Construction Columbia Gulf is still in the planning phase for the planned Project and construction workspace requirements have not been finalized. However, construction would typically require a right-of-way width of 125 feet in uplands and 75 feet in wetlands. Columbia Gulf has estimated that 586 acres would be required for construction 1 Looping is when one pipeline is laid parallel to another and is often used as a way to increase capacity along a right-of-way beyond what is possible on one line, or an expansion of an existing pipeline. 2 The appendices referenced in this notice are not being printed in the Federal Register. Copies of 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 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59485 and 262 acres for operation of the Project. 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 Project under these general headings: • geology and soils; • water resources and wetlands; • fish, wildlife, and vegetation; • threatened and endangered species; • land use, recreation, and visual resources; • air quality and noise; • cultural resources; • socioeconomics; • reliability and public safety; and • cumulative environmental impacts. We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the planned Project or portions of the planned Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas. Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission’s pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA. The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our 3 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. E:\FR\FM\02OCN1.SGM 02OCN1 59486 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 191 / Thursday, October 2, 2014 / Notices recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section on page 5. With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/ or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this Project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the 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. 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 applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the Project’s potential effects on historic properties.5 We will define the Project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include 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. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD 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 the Commission receives them in 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’s 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 of Historic Places. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Oct 01, 2014 Jkt 235001 Washington, DC on or before October 27, 2014. 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 number (PF14–16–000) 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 on the Commission’s Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project; (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature 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; Indian 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. If we publish and distribute the EA, 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 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 2). Becoming an Intervenor Once Columbia Gulf 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 ‘‘eFiling’’ 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 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., PF14–16). 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 texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. In addition, the Commission now 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/ docs-filing/esubscription.asp. 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: September 26, 2014. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2014–23491 Filed 10–1–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P E:\FR\FM\02OCN1.SGM 02OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 191 (Thursday, October 2, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59485-59486]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-23491]



[[Page 59485]]

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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF14-16-000]


Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Assessment for the Planned Cameron Access Project and 
Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    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 Cameron Access Project 
(Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by 
Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gulf) in Jefferson Davis, 
Calcasieu, and Cameron Parishes, Louisiana. The Commission will use 
this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the planned 
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 planned 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 27, 2014.
    You may submit comments in written form. Further details on how to 
submit written comments are in the Public Participation section of this 
notice.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this planned 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 planned 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

    Columbia Gulf has announced their plans to expand and operate the 
existing Columbia Gulf West Lateral to increase the capacity of the 
Columbia Gulf system. The planned Cameron Access Project would provide 
improvements to the existing Columbia Gulf West Lateral pipeline and 
compression facilities to provide for additional market access to the 
existing Cameron LNG Terminal. Columbia Gulf plans to begin Project 
construction in September 2016 if all required permits, certificates, 
and authorizations are obtained. The Cameron Access Project would 
include the following facilities:
     7.9 miles of 30-inch diameter natural gas pipeline loop 
\1\ and associated ancillary facilities, designated West Lateral (WL) 
400 Loop (400L), in Jefferson Davis Parish;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Looping is when one pipeline is laid parallel to another and 
is often used as a way to increase capacity along a right-of-way 
beyond what is possible on one line, or an expansion of an existing 
pipeline.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     27.2 miles of 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and 
associated ancillary facilities, designated WL 400, in Jefferson Davis, 
Cameron, and Calcasieu parishes (WL 400);
     one new point of delivery meter station, designated MS-
4246, in Cameron Parish; and
     one new 10,200 horsepower compressor station, designated 
the Lake Arthur Compressor Station, in Jefferson Davis Parish.
    Maps depicting the general location of the planned Project 
facilities are included in appendix 1.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The appendices referenced in this notice are not being 
printed in the Federal Register. Copies of 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Land Requirements for Construction

    Columbia Gulf is still in the planning phase for the planned 
Project and construction workspace requirements have not been 
finalized. However, construction would typically require a right-of-way 
width of 125 feet in uplands and 75 feet in wetlands. Columbia Gulf has 
estimated that 586 acres would be required for construction and 262 
acres for operation of the Project.

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 Project under these general 
headings:
     geology and soils;
     water resources and wetlands;
     fish, wildlife, and vegetation;
     threatened and endangered species;
     land use, recreation, and visual resources;
     air quality and noise;
     cultural resources;
     socioeconomics;
     reliability and public safety; and
     cumulative environmental impacts.
    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the planned 
Project or portions of the planned Project, and make recommendations on 
how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already 
initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. 
The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement 
of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before 
the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we 
have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their 
involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.
    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA 
will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on 
the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish 
and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We 
will consider all comments on the EA before making our

[[Page 59486]]

recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to 
consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the 
instructions in the Public Participation section on page 5.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law 
and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues 
related to this Project to formally cooperate with us in the 
preparation of the 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \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 applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to 
solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested 
Indian tribes, and the public on the Project's potential effects on 
historic properties.\5\ We will define the Project-specific Area of 
Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Project 
develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum 
encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include 
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's 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 of Historic 
Places.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 27, 2014.
    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 number (PF14-16-000) 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 on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to 
Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to 
submit brief, text-only comments on a project;
    (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling 
feature 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; Indian 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.
    If we publish and distribute the EA, 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 2).

Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Columbia Gulf 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 ``eFiling'' 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 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., PF14-
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 
texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, 
notices, and rulemakings.
    In addition, the Commission now 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/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.
    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: September 26, 2014.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2014-23491 Filed 10-1-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P