Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, Nebraska (DOE/EIS-0485), 23538-23540 [2015-09938]

Download as PDF 23538 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 81 / Tuesday, April 28, 2015 / Notices 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/docsfiling/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: April 17, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2015–09748 Filed 4–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP15–169–000] asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Application Take notice that on April 13, 2015, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company LLC (Transco), 2800 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77056, filed in the above referenced docket an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), to amend the certificate of public convenience and necessity granted by the Commission by order issued on March 19, 2015 in the reference proceeding, which order authorized Transco’s Rock Spring Expansion Project (Project). The amendment seeks authorization to amend the Project’s certificate to incorporate a minor route modification of approximately 0.69 miles in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission’s Web site web at http:// www.ferc.gov using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or call toll-free, (886) 208–3676 or TYY, (202) 502–8659. Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Bill Hammons, P.O. Box 1396, Houston, Texas 77251, by telephone at (713) 215– 2130. Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission’s rules (18 CFR 157.9), VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Apr 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 within 90 days of this Notice, the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission’s public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff’s issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission’s public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff’s FEIS or EA. There are two ways to become involved in the Commission’s review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit five copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding. However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission’s rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest. Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission’s environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission’s environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission’s final order. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http:// www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Comment Date: April 24, 2015. Dated: April 14, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2015–09838 Filed 4–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, Nebraska (DOE/EIS–0485) Western Area Power Administration, Department of Energy. ACTION: Record of Decision. AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration (Western) received a request from Grande Prairie Wind, LLC (Grande Prairie Wind), a subsidiary of Geronimo Wind Energy, LLC d.b.a. Geronimo Energy, LLC to interconnect their proposed Grande Prairie Wind Farm (Project) to Western’s power transmission system. The proposed interconnection point would be on Western’s existing Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, approximately seven miles east of the town of O’Neill in Holt County, Nebraska. The Project would be built on private and State cropland and pasture. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28APN1.SGM 28APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 81 / Tuesday, April 28, 2015 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES On January 16, 2015, the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, Nebraska (DOE/EIS–0485) was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 2414). After considering the environmental impacts, Western has decided to execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, please contact Mr. Rod O’Sullivan, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228–8213, telephone (720) 962–7260, fax (720) 962–7263, or email: osullivan@wapa.gov. For general information on DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, please contact Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC–54, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586–4600 or (800) 472–2756, or email: askNEPA@ hq.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal agency under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that markets and transmits wholesale electrical power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system across 15 central and western states. Western’s Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff) provides open access to its electric transmission system. Considering the requester’s objectives, Western provides transmission services if there is sufficient available capacity and the reliability of the transmission system is maintained. Proposed Federal Action Western’s Proposed Federal Action is to execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection. Grande Prairie Wind’s Proposed Project Grande Prairie Wind proposes to construct and operate a 400-megawatt (MW) wind energy generation facility in Holt County in northern Nebraska. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Apr 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 proposed Project would interconnect to Western’s 345-kV Fort Thompson to Grand Island transmission line at a new switchyard constructed, owned and operated by Western. The Project area would occupy approximately 54,250 acres in portions of Willowdale, Antelope, Grattan, Iowa, Scott, and Steel Creek Townships. Grande Prairie Wind proposes to build up to 266 wind turbines, up to 85 miles of access roads, an underground electrical power collection system, collector substations, a step-up substation, a 14-mile overhead transmission line, meteorological towers, maintenance buildings, and other associated ancillary facilities. Grande Prairie Wind proposes to begin construction as early as spring 2015. The life of the Project is anticipated to be a minimum of 20 years. Description of Alternatives Under its Proposed Action Alternative, Western would execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect their proposed Project to Western’s transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection. Grande Prairie Wind would construct and operate the 400–MW Project northeast of O’Neill in Holt County, Nebraska. Under the No Action Alternative, Western would not enter into an interconnection agreement and would not construct a switchyard for the proposed Project interconnection. Although Grande Prairie Wind could still construct and operate their Project, the wind farm would need to rely on different means of power transmission. For purposes of the NEPA analysis, the No Action Alternative assumed the proposed Project would not be built. Western has identified the No Action alternative as its environmentally preferred alternative as there would likely be no new impacts. Grande Prairie Wind’s objectives relating to renewable energy development would not be met. Public Involvement The public and interested parties were notified of the proposed Project and public comment opportunity through a Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22569). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a NOA of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register on June 20, 2014 (79 FR 35346). The public comment period closed on August, 4, 2014. On January 16, 2015, PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 23539 the EPA published a NOA of the Final EIS for the Project in the Federal Register (80 FR 2414).1 Each official notification published in the Federal Register was accompanied concurrently by direct mailings of notices to State and Federal agencies, Tribal governments, landholders and interested parties, and widely distributed local notices and advertisements. Mitigation The design features, best management practices (BMPs), and avoidance and minimization measures are considered an integral part of the proposed Project to be implemented by Grande Prairie Wind as requirements of their agreements with their construction contractors. These design features, BMPs, and avoidance and minimization measures described in detail in the Final EIS reflect all practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from Grande Prairie Wind’s Project and Western’s proposed action. Each resource section in the Final EIS provides specific mitigation measures to address potential impacts of the proposed Project on that resource and can be reviewed in detail in chapter 4 of the Final EIS. Western’s decision to execute an interconnection agreement considers Grande Prairie Wind’s commitments to implement these design features, BMPs, and avoidance and minimization measures, along with the attendant reduction in environmental impacts that would result from their implementation. A Mitigation Action Plan is not required for Western’s proposed action. Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 United States Code [U.S.C.] 1531 et seq.) requires Federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on their Federal actions and how they may affect federally listed threatened or endangered species. Western requested concurrence with their Biological Assessment, Formal Conferencing on the Project’s effects on Northern Long Eared Bat, and Formal Consultation on the Project’s effects on the American Burying Beetle by letter on October 1, 2014. Subsequently, the USFWS issued its Biological Opinion on March 24, 2015, and a separate Conferencing Opinion on March 30, 2015. 1 The Final EIS can be found on Western’s Web site at: http://www.wapa.gov/ugp/Environment/ documents/FEIS_GrandePrairie_2014-12-29.pdf. E:\FR\FM\28APN1.SGM 28APN1 23540 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 81 / Tuesday, April 28, 2015 / Notices National Historic Preservation Act Final cultural resource reports and effects determination were sent to the Nebraska State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and were subsequently approved. A Memorandum of Agreement addressing effects to properties on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for the preservation of eligible properties was signed by Grand Prairie Wind, the SHPO, and Western on March 25, 2015, in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. Comments on the Final EIS One comment was received by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In their February 17, 2015, letter, EPA recommended additional alternatives be considered in Western’s future NEPA documents. Decision asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Western’s decision is to execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect their proposed Project to Western’s transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that interconnection.2 Western’s decision to grant this interconnection request satisfies the agency’s statutory mission and Grande Prairie Wind’s objectives while minimizing harm to the environment. Full implementation of this decision is contingent upon Grande Prairie Wind’s obtaining all other applicable permits and approvals as well as executing an interconnection agreement in accordance with Western’s Tariff. This decision is based on the information contained in the Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm Final EIS. This ROD was prepared pursuant to the requirements of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508) and DOE’s NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021). Dated: April 20, 2015. Mark A. Gabriel, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2015–09938 Filed 4–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P 2 On November 16, 2011, DOE’s Acting General Counsel restated the delegations to Western’s Administrator of all the authorities of the General Counsel respecting Environmental Impact Statements. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:18 Apr 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OPPT–2013–0811; FRL 9926–56– OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements (Renewal) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: EPA has submitted the following information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA): ‘‘Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements (Renewal),’’ identified by EPA ICR No. 1710.07 and OMB Control No. 2070–0151. The ICR, which is available in the docket along with other related materials, provides a detailed explanation of the collection activities and the burden estimate that is briefly summarized in this document. EPA did not receive any comments in response to the previously provided public review opportunity issued in the Federal Register on July 24, 2014 (79 FR 71603). With this submission, EPA is providing an additional 30 days for public review. DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 28, 2015. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA–HQ–OPPT–2013–0811, to both EPA and OMB as follows: • To EPA online using http://www. regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. • To OMB via email to oira_ submission@omb.eop.gov. Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the docket without change, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colby Lintner, Environmental Assistance Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Mail code: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7408–M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202–554–1404; fax number: 202–564–8251; email address: TSCAHotline@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Docket: Supporting documents, including the ICR that explains in detail the information collection activities and the related burden and cost estimates that are summarized in this document, are available in the docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is (202) 566–1744. For additional information about EPA’s public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/ dockets. ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on April 30, 2015. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. Under PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers for certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9. Abstract: Section 1018 of the Residential Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (42 U.S.C. 4852d) requires that sellers and lessors of most residential housing built before 1978 disclose known information on the presence of lead based paint and lead based paint hazards, and provide an EPA approved pamphlet to purchasers and renters before selling or leasing the housing. Sellers of pre-1978 housing are also required to provide prospective purchasers with ten days to conduct an inspection or risk assessment for lead based paint hazards before obligating purchasers under contracts to purchase the property. The rule does not apply to rental housing that has been found to be free of lead-based paint, zero-bedroom dwellings, housing for the elderly, housing for the handicapped, or short term leases. Responses to the collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR part 745, subpart F, and 24 CFR part 35, subpart H). Respondents may claim all E:\FR\FM\28APN1.SGM 28APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 81 (Tuesday, April 28, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23538-23540]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-09938]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, 
Nebraska (DOE/EIS-0485)

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Record of Decision.

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SUMMARY: Western Area Power Administration (Western) received a request 
from Grande Prairie Wind, LLC (Grande Prairie Wind), a subsidiary of 
Geronimo Wind Energy, LLC d.b.a. Geronimo Energy, LLC to interconnect 
their proposed Grande Prairie Wind Farm (Project) to Western's power 
transmission system. The proposed interconnection point would be on 
Western's existing Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kilovolt (kV) 
transmission line, approximately seven miles east of the town of 
O'Neill in Holt County, Nebraska. The Project would be built on private 
and State cropland and pasture.

[[Page 23539]]

    On January 16, 2015, the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Interconnection of the 
Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, Nebraska (DOE/EIS-0485) was 
published in the Federal Register (80 FR 2414). After considering the 
environmental impacts, Western has decided to execute an 
interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect the 
proposed Project to Western's transmission system and to construct, 
own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to 
Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that 
interconnection.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, please 
contact Mr. Rod O'Sullivan, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 
281213, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213, telephone (720) 962-7260, fax (720) 
962-7263, or email: osullivan@wapa.gov. For general information on 
DOE's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, please 
contact Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and 
Compliance, GC-54, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585, 
telephone (202) 586-4600 or (800) 472-2756, or email: 
askNEPA@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal agency under the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) that markets and transmits wholesale 
electrical power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-
voltage transmission system across 15 central and western states. 
Western's Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff) provides 
open access to its electric transmission system. Considering the 
requester's objectives, Western provides transmission services if there 
is sufficient available capacity and the reliability of the 
transmission system is maintained.

Proposed Federal Action

    Western's Proposed Federal Action is to execute an interconnection 
agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect the proposed Project 
to Western's transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a 
new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV 
transmission line to accommodate that interconnection.

Grande Prairie Wind's Proposed Project

    Grande Prairie Wind proposes to construct and operate a 400-
megawatt (MW) wind energy generation facility in Holt County in 
northern Nebraska. The proposed Project would interconnect to Western's 
345-kV Fort Thompson to Grand Island transmission line at a new 
switchyard constructed, owned and operated by Western. The Project area 
would occupy approximately 54,250 acres in portions of Willowdale, 
Antelope, Grattan, Iowa, Scott, and Steel Creek Townships. Grande 
Prairie Wind proposes to build up to 266 wind turbines, up to 85 miles 
of access roads, an underground electrical power collection system, 
collector substations, a step-up substation, a 14-mile overhead 
transmission line, meteorological towers, maintenance buildings, and 
other associated ancillary facilities. Grande Prairie Wind proposes to 
begin construction as early as spring 2015. The life of the Project is 
anticipated to be a minimum of 20 years.

Description of Alternatives

    Under its Proposed Action Alternative, Western would execute an 
interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect 
their proposed Project to Western's transmission system and to 
construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort 
Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line to accommodate that 
interconnection. Grande Prairie Wind would construct and operate the 
400-MW Project northeast of O'Neill in Holt County, Nebraska.
    Under the No Action Alternative, Western would not enter into an 
interconnection agreement and would not construct a switchyard for the 
proposed Project interconnection. Although Grande Prairie Wind could 
still construct and operate their Project, the wind farm would need to 
rely on different means of power transmission. For purposes of the NEPA 
analysis, the No Action Alternative assumed the proposed Project would 
not be built. Western has identified the No Action alternative as its 
environmentally preferred alternative as there would likely be no new 
impacts. Grande Prairie Wind's objectives relating to renewable energy 
development would not be met.

Public Involvement

    The public and interested parties were notified of the proposed 
Project and public comment opportunity through a Notice of Intent 
published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22569). The 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a NOA of the Draft 
EIS in the Federal Register on June 20, 2014 (79 FR 35346). The public 
comment period closed on August, 4, 2014. On January 16, 2015, the EPA 
published a NOA of the Final EIS for the Project in the Federal 
Register (80 FR 2414).\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Final EIS can be found on Western's Web site at: http://www.wapa.gov/ugp/Environment/documents/FEIS_GrandePrairie_2014-12-29.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Each official notification published in the Federal Register was 
accompanied concurrently by direct mailings of notices to State and 
Federal agencies, Tribal governments, landholders and interested 
parties, and widely distributed local notices and advertisements.

Mitigation

    The design features, best management practices (BMPs), and 
avoidance and minimization measures are considered an integral part of 
the proposed Project to be implemented by Grande Prairie Wind as 
requirements of their agreements with their construction contractors. 
These design features, BMPs, and avoidance and minimization measures 
described in detail in the Final EIS reflect all practicable means to 
avoid or minimize environmental harm from Grande Prairie Wind's Project 
and Western's proposed action.
    Each resource section in the Final EIS provides specific mitigation 
measures to address potential impacts of the proposed Project on that 
resource and can be reviewed in detail in chapter 4 of the Final EIS. 
Western's decision to execute an interconnection agreement considers 
Grande Prairie Wind's commitments to implement these design features, 
BMPs, and avoidance and minimization measures, along with the attendant 
reduction in environmental impacts that would result from their 
implementation. A Mitigation Action Plan is not required for Western's 
proposed action.

Endangered Species Act

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(16 United States Code [U.S.C.] 1531 et seq.) requires Federal agencies 
to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on their 
Federal actions and how they may affect federally listed threatened or 
endangered species. Western requested concurrence with their Biological 
Assessment, Formal Conferencing on the Project's effects on Northern 
Long Eared Bat, and Formal Consultation on the Project's effects on the 
American Burying Beetle by letter on October 1, 2014. Subsequently, the 
USFWS issued its Biological Opinion on March 24, 2015, and a separate 
Conferencing Opinion on March 30, 2015.

[[Page 23540]]

National Historic Preservation Act

    Final cultural resource reports and effects determination were sent 
to the Nebraska State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and were 
subsequently approved. A Memorandum of Agreement addressing effects to 
properties on or eligible for listing on the National Register of 
Historic Places for the preservation of eligible properties was signed 
by Grand Prairie Wind, the SHPO, and Western on March 25, 2015, in 
compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.

Comments on the Final EIS

    One comment was received by the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA). In their February 17, 2015, letter, EPA recommended 
additional alternatives be considered in Western's future NEPA 
documents.

Decision

    Western's decision is to execute an interconnection agreement with 
Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect their proposed Project to Western's 
transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard 
adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line 
to accommodate that interconnection.\2\ Western's decision to grant 
this interconnection request satisfies the agency's statutory mission 
and Grande Prairie Wind's objectives while minimizing harm to the 
environment. Full implementation of this decision is contingent upon 
Grande Prairie Wind's obtaining all other applicable permits and 
approvals as well as executing an interconnection agreement in 
accordance with Western's Tariff. This decision is based on the 
information contained in the Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind 
Farm Final EIS. This ROD was prepared pursuant to the requirements of 
the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the 
Procedural Provisions of the NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and DOE's 
NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ On November 16, 2011, DOE's Acting General Counsel restated 
the delegations to Western's Administrator of all the authorities of 
the General Counsel respecting Environmental Impact Statements.

    Dated: April 20, 2015.
Mark A. Gabriel,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-09938 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P