Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and To Conduct Scoping Meetings; and Notice of Floodplain and Wetlands Involvement; Colusa-Sutter 500-Kilovolt Transmission Line Project, Colusa and Sutter Counties, California (DOE/EIS-0514), 79037-79039 [2015-31902]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 243 / Friday, December 18, 2015 / Notices functions and duties of the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Education. Date: December 11, 2015. Thomas P. Skelly, Delegated to perform the functions and duties of the Chief Financial Officer. [FR Doc. 2015–31900 Filed 12–17–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED–2015–ICCD–0142] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program Application Documents Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before February 16, 2016. ADDRESSES: To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED– 2015–ICCD–0142. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202–4537. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Jon Utz, 202– 377–4040. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:20 Dec 17, 2015 Jkt 238001 collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program Application Documents. OMB Control Number: 1845–0053. Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households, Private Sector. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 3,454,476. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 817,429. Abstract: This is collection of information includes the following documents: (1) Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note (Application and Promissory Note); (2) Instructions for Completing the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note (Instructions); (3) Additional Loan Listing Sheet; (4) Request to Add Loans; and (5) Loan Verification Certificate (LVC). The Application and Promissory Note serves as the means by which a borrower applies for a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan and promises to repay the loan. The Instructions explain to the borrower how to complete the Application and Promissory Note. The Additional Loan Listing Sheet provides additional space for a borrower to list loans that he or she wishes to consolidate, if there is insufficient space on the Application and Promissory Note. The Request to Add Loans serves as the means by which a borrower may add other loans to an existing Federal Direct Consolidation Loan within a specified time period. The LVC serves as the means by which the U.S. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 79037 Department of Education obtains the information needed to pay off the holders of the loans that the borrower wants to consolidate. This revision updates the forms to reflect regulatory changes, and revises language for greater clarity. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management. [FR Doc. 2015–31773 Filed 12–17–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and To Conduct Scoping Meetings; and Notice of Floodplain and Wetlands Involvement; Colusa-Sutter 500Kilovolt Transmission Line Project, Colusa and Sutter Counties, California (DOE/EIS–0514) Western Area Power Administration, Department of Energy (DOE). ACTION: Notice of Intent. AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration (Western) and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) are jointly proposing the new 500-kilovolt (kV) Colusa-Sutter (CoSu) Transmission Line Project (Project) to be located within Colusa and Sutter Counties, California. The Project would interconnect the California-Oregon Transmission Project (COTP) transmission system, near either Arbuckle or Maxwell, California, to the Central Valley Project (CVP) transmission system near Yuba City, California. This notice announces Western’s decision to jointly prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in conjunction with SMUD’s preparation of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental impact report (EIR). The joint EIS/EIR will examine the potential environmental effects of the CoSu Project. The joint EIS/EIR will address Western’s proposed action of constructing the CoSu Project as well as making any necessary modifications to Western facilities to accommodate the new line; and SMUD’s proposed action of whether or not to fund the proposed Project. This notice starts a 60-day public scoping period that will assist in the preparation of a Draft EIS/EIR. During SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 79038 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 243 / Friday, December 18, 2015 / Notices the public scoping period, Western and SMUD are seeking public comments including issues, concerns, and opportunities that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed Project. DATES: The scoping period begins with the publication of this notice and closes on February 16, 2016. To provide the public an opportunity to review, discuss, and comment on the proposed Project, Western and SMUD will hold four public meetings during January 12–14, 2016. See Public Participation in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for public scoping meeting dates and locations. ADDRESSES: Written comments on the proposed scope of the Draft EIS/EIR for the CoSu Project may be mailed or ˜ emailed to: Mr. Andrew M. Montano, Western Area Power Administration, Headquarters, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228–8213, email: montano@wapa.gov. Comments on issues, potential impacts, or suggestions for additional alternatives may be provided at the public scoping meeting or submitted in writing to the address listed. To be considered in the Draft EIS/EIR, comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping period. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have your name added to our mailing list, please ˜ contact Andrew M. Montano, at (720) 962–7253 or at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section. For the most recent information and for announcements, please visit the Project Web site at: www.CoSuLine.com. For general information on DOE’s NEPA review procedures or status of a NEPA review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC–54, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; telephone (202) 586–4600 or (800) 472–2756; or email: askNEPA@hq.doe.gov. For general information on the SMUD CEQA review procedures or status of the CEQA review, please contact Ms. Emily Bacchini, Environmental Management Specialist, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, 6201 S. Street, Mailstop H201, Sacramento, CA 95852–1830; telephone (916) 732–6334; email: emily.bacchini@smud.org. 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-plus circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system across 15 central and western states. Western, the lead Federal agency for the EIS, will coordinate with VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:20 Dec 17, 2015 Jkt 238001 appropriate Federal, State and local agencies and potentially affected Native American tribes during the preparation of the EIS/EIR. Western will coordinate with SMUD in the preparation of the joint EIS/EIR. Agencies with legal jurisdiction or special expertise are invited to participate as cooperating agencies, as defined in 40 CFR 1501.6, in preparation of the EIS. Such agencies may make a request to Western to be a cooperating agency. Designated cooperating agencies have certain responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified in 40 CFR 1501.6(b). SMUD is the primary distributor of electric power within an area of approximately 900 square miles in Sacramento County and a portion of Placer County, and serves over 624,000 electric customers. SMUD owns and operates an integrated electric system that includes transmission, distribution and generation facilities. SMUD is a member of the Transmission Agency of Northern California, which holds significant entitlements to obtain energy through the COTP. To use these rights, SMUD has long-term transmission service agreements with Western. SMUD’s transmission system also contributes to and is affected by voltage stability, transmission system reliability, and security of the greater Sacramentoarea transmission system. These imports allow higher demand levels to be reliably served at lower internal generation requirements, reducing carbon emissions from SMUD’s natural gas generation facilities. Project Description and Alternatives SMUD submitted a transmission service request to Western under Western’s Open Access Transmission Tariff for service between the COTP and SMUD’s transmission system. Western did not have available transmission capacity to meet the service request on its existing facilities in the area; so SMUD proposed the construction of the CoSu Project. Western would build the Project as allowed by law pursuant to the Acts of Congress approved June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388); August 26, 1937 (50 Stat. 844, 850); August 4, 1939 (53 Stat. 1187); and August 4, 1977 (91 Stat. 565); as supplemented and amended. The CoSu Project would provide SMUD access to existing renewable resources in the Pacific Northwest and other markets, provide regional voltage support, and assist SMUD in planning for anticipated load growth. In addition, the CoSu Project would improve the network transmission infrastructure and import capability into the Sacramento area and ensures the continued safe and PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 reliable operation of the regional transmission system. The proposed corridors to be studied and evaluated are within Colusa and Sutter Counties, California. The proposed Project would consist of the following primary components: 1. Northern Corridor Alternative: constructing a new transmission line (approximately 44 miles in length) adjacent to Western’s existing 230-kV Olinda-O’Banion and Keswick-O’Banion double circuit transmission lines. The Northern Corridor Alternative would interconnect the existing COTP transmission line system near the existing COTP’s Maxwell Series Compensation Substation to Western’s CVP transmission system near the existing Western’s O’Banion Substation. The new transmission line would require the construction of an additional substation adjacent to the existing Maxwell Series Compensation Substation and an additional substation adjacent to the existing O’Banion Substation. 2. Southern Corridor Alternative: constructing a new transmission line (approximately 27 miles in length) so that it interconnects along the existing COTP transmission line system approximately 8 miles northwest of the community of Arbuckle, California, and proceeds eastwardly towards the existing O’Banion Substation. The Southern Corridor Alternative would also require the construction of an additional substation adjacent to the existing COTP transmission line northwest of Arbuckle and an additional substation adjacent to the existing O’Banion Substation. 3. Additionally, a Segment 1 Alternative also has been identified (approximately 9 miles in length) just west of the existing O’Banion Substation to provide an alternate north-to-south route for the Northern Corridor Alternative. Instead of following Western’s existing 230-kV OlindaO’Banion and Keswick-O’Banion double circuit transmission lines to the O’Banion substation, this segment would extend south, at a location approximately 30 miles from the Maxwell Substation, and then continue due east to connect to the O’Banion substation. Under this segment alternative, the new line would be located further away from the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge. Western will consider a No Action Alternative in the EIS/EIR. Under the No Action Alternative, for the purpose of establishing a baseline for impact analysis and comparison in the EIS/EIR, Western would not construct the proposed Project and the environmental E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 243 / Friday, December 18, 2015 / Notices impacts associated with construction and operation would not occur. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Agency Responsibilities Western has determined that an EIS is appropriate under DOE NEPA implementing procedures, 10 CFR part 1021.1 Western would be the lead Federal agency for preparing the EIS, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5. The proposed Project would include construction of a new single-circuit 500-kV transmission line and associated substations on mostly private land. Western will invite other Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to environmental issues to be cooperating agencies on the EIS, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.6. Such agencies also may make a request to Western to be a cooperating agency by contacting Mr. ˜ Montano at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section. Because the proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or wetlands, this NOI also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action, in accordance with DOE regulations for Compliance with Floodplain and Wetlands Environmental Review Requirements at 10 CFR part 1022. The EIS will include a floodplain/wetland assessment and, if required, a floodplain/wetland statement of findings will be issued with the Final EIS or the Western Record of Decision (ROD). Environmental Issues This notice is to inform agencies and the public of Western’s and SMUD’s intent to prepare a joint EIS/EIR and solicit comments and suggestions for consideration in the EIS/EIS. To help the public frame its comments, the following list contains potential environmental issues preliminarily identified for analysis in the EIS/EIR: • Impacts on protected, threatened, endangered, or sensitive species of animals or plants; • Impacts on migratory birds; • Introduction of noxious weeds, invasive and non-native species; • Impacts on recreation and transportation; • Impacts on land use, wilderness, farmlands, and environmentallysensitive areas; • Impacts on cultural or historic resources and tribal values; 1 On November 16, 2011, DOE’s Acting General Counsel restated the delegation to Western Area Power Administration’s Administrator of all the authorities of the General Counsel with respect to environmental impact statements. See ‘‘Restatement of Delegations of Environmental Impact Statement Authorities,’’ November 16, 2011. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:20 Dec 17, 2015 Jkt 238001 • Impacts on human health and safety; • Impacts on air, soil, and water resources (including air quality and surface water impacts); • Visual impacts; and • Socioeconomic impacts and disproportionately high and adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations (i.e., environmental justice). This list is not intended to be allinclusive or to imply any predetermination of impacts. Western invites interested parties to suggest specific issues within these general categories, or other issues not included above, to be considered in the EIS/EIR. Public Participation The EIS/EIR process includes a public scoping period; public scoping meetings; publication and public review of the Draft EIS/EIR; publication of a Final EIS/EIR; and publication of a ROD. Western and SMUD will hold four public scoping meetings at the following times and locations: (1) Tuesday, January 12, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Colusa Casino Community Room, 3770 California 45, Colusa, CA 95932; (2) Wednesday, January 13, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Colusa Casino Community Room, 3770 California 45, Colusa, CA 95932; (3) Wednesday, January 13, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sutter Youth Organization Center, 7740 Butte House Road, Sutter, CA 95982; (4) Thursday, January 14, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Sutter Youth Organization Center, 7740 Butte House Road, Sutter, CA 95982. The meetings will be informal, and attendees will be able to speak directly with Western and SMUD representatives about the proposed Project. Attendees also may provide comments at these meetings. For the most recent information and for announcements, please visit the Project Web site at: www.CoSuLine.com. At the conclusion of the NEPA process, Western will prepare a ROD. Persons interested in receiving future notices, proposed Project information, copies of the EIS/EIR, and other information on the NEPA review ˜ process should contact Mr. Montano at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section. The purpose of the scoping meetings is to provide information about the proposed Project, review Project maps, answer questions, and take oral and written comments from interested parties. All meeting locations will be handicapped-accessible. Anyone PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 79039 needing special accommodations should ˜ contact Mr. Montano to make arrangements. The public will have the opportunity to provide written comments at the public scoping meetings. Written comments may also be sent to Mr. ˜ Montano by email or U.S. Postal Service mail. To help define the scope of the EIS/EIR, comments should be received by Western no later than February 16, 2016. Dated: November 25, 2015. Mark A. Gabriel, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2015–31902 Filed 12–17–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–R08–OW–2015–0346; FRL–9940–34– Region 8] Issuance of NPDES General Permits for Wastewater Lagoon Systems Located in Indian Country in Region 8 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of issuance of NPDES general permits under the authority of Section 402 of the Clean Water Act. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 is hereby giving notice of its issuance of six National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) lagoon general permits for wastewater lagoon systems located in Indian country in Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, & WY). These general permits are similar to the existing permits and will authorize the discharge of wastewater from lagoons located in Region 8 Indian country in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. DATES: The general permits become effective on January 1, 2016 and will expire five years from that date. For purposes of seeking review of this permit pursuant to 40 CFR 124.19(o) and 33 U.S.C. 1369(b)(1), the 120 day time period for appeal to the federal court will begin on January 1, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Additional information concerning the final permits may be obtained from VelRey Lozano, EPA Region 8, Wastewater Unit (8P–W–WW), 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202– 1129, telephone 303–312–6128 or email at lozano.velrey@epa.gov. The administrative record is available by appointment for review and copying, fee for copies may be required, at the EPA Region 8 offices during the hours SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 243 (Friday, December 18, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79037-79039]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-31902]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and 
To Conduct Scoping Meetings; and Notice of Floodplain and Wetlands 
Involvement; Colusa-Sutter 500-Kilovolt Transmission Line Project, 
Colusa and Sutter Counties, California (DOE/EIS-0514)

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Notice of Intent.

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

SUMMARY: Western Area Power Administration (Western) and the Sacramento 
Municipal Utility District (SMUD) are jointly proposing the new 500-
kilovolt (kV) Colusa-Sutter (CoSu) Transmission Line Project (Project) 
to be located within Colusa and Sutter Counties, California. The 
Project would interconnect the California-Oregon Transmission Project 
(COTP) transmission system, near either Arbuckle or Maxwell, 
California, to the Central Valley Project (CVP) transmission system 
near Yuba City, California. This notice announces Western's decision to 
jointly prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in conjunction with SMUD's 
preparation of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) 
environmental impact report (EIR). The joint EIS/EIR will examine the 
potential environmental effects of the CoSu Project.
    The joint EIS/EIR will address Western's proposed action of 
constructing the CoSu Project as well as making any necessary 
modifications to Western facilities to accommodate the new line; and 
SMUD's proposed action of whether or not to fund the proposed Project.
    This notice starts a 60-day public scoping period that will assist 
in the preparation of a Draft EIS/EIR. During

[[Page 79038]]

the public scoping period, Western and SMUD are seeking public comments 
including issues, concerns, and opportunities that should be considered 
in the analysis of the proposed Project.

DATES: The scoping period begins with the publication of this notice 
and closes on February 16, 2016.
    To provide the public an opportunity to review, discuss, and 
comment on the proposed Project, Western and SMUD will hold four public 
meetings during January 12-14, 2016. See Public Participation in 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for public scoping meeting dates and 
locations.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the proposed scope of the Draft EIS/EIR 
for the CoSu Project may be mailed or emailed to: Mr. Andrew M. 
Monta[ntilde]o, Western Area Power Administration, Headquarters, P.O. 
Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213, email: montano@wapa.gov. Comments 
on issues, potential impacts, or suggestions for additional 
alternatives may be provided at the public scoping meeting or submitted 
in writing to the address listed. To be considered in the Draft EIS/
EIR, comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping 
period.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have 
your name added to our mailing list, please contact Andrew M. 
Monta[ntilde]o, at (720) 962-7253 or at the address listed in the 
ADDRESSES section. For the most recent information and for 
announcements, please visit the Project Web site at: www.CoSuLine.com.
    For general information on DOE's NEPA review procedures or status 
of a NEPA review, contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director of NEPA 
Policy and Compliance, GC-54, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; telephone (202) 586-4600 
or (800) 472-2756; or email: askNEPA@hq.doe.gov.
    For general information on the SMUD CEQA review procedures or 
status of the CEQA review, please contact Ms. Emily Bacchini, 
Environmental Management Specialist, Sacramento Municipal Utility 
District, 6201 S. Street, Mailstop H201, Sacramento, CA 95852-1830; 
telephone (916) 732-6334; email: emily.bacchini@smud.org.

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-plus circuit mile, high-
voltage transmission system across 15 central and western states.
    Western, the lead Federal agency for the EIS, will coordinate with 
appropriate Federal, State and local agencies and potentially affected 
Native American tribes during the preparation of the EIS/EIR. Western 
will coordinate with SMUD in the preparation of the joint EIS/EIR. 
Agencies with legal jurisdiction or special expertise are invited to 
participate as cooperating agencies, as defined in 40 CFR 1501.6, in 
preparation of the EIS. Such agencies may make a request to Western to 
be a cooperating agency. Designated cooperating agencies have certain 
responsibilities to support the NEPA process, as specified in 40 CFR 
1501.6(b).
    SMUD is the primary distributor of electric power within an area of 
approximately 900 square miles in Sacramento County and a portion of 
Placer County, and serves over 624,000 electric customers. SMUD owns 
and operates an integrated electric system that includes transmission, 
distribution and generation facilities. SMUD is a member of the 
Transmission Agency of Northern California, which holds significant 
entitlements to obtain energy through the COTP. To use these rights, 
SMUD has long-term transmission service agreements with Western. SMUD's 
transmission system also contributes to and is affected by voltage 
stability, transmission system reliability, and security of the greater 
Sacramento-area transmission system. These imports allow higher demand 
levels to be reliably served at lower internal generation requirements, 
reducing carbon emissions from SMUD's natural gas generation 
facilities.

Project Description and Alternatives

    SMUD submitted a transmission service request to Western under 
Western's Open Access Transmission Tariff for service between the COTP 
and SMUD's transmission system. Western did not have available 
transmission capacity to meet the service request on its existing 
facilities in the area; so SMUD proposed the construction of the CoSu 
Project. Western would build the Project as allowed by law pursuant to 
the Acts of Congress approved June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388); August 26, 
1937 (50 Stat. 844, 850); August 4, 1939 (53 Stat. 1187); and August 4, 
1977 (91 Stat. 565); as supplemented and amended. The CoSu Project 
would provide SMUD access to existing renewable resources in the 
Pacific Northwest and other markets, provide regional voltage support, 
and assist SMUD in planning for anticipated load growth. In addition, 
the CoSu Project would improve the network transmission infrastructure 
and import capability into the Sacramento area and ensures the 
continued safe and reliable operation of the regional transmission 
system.
    The proposed corridors to be studied and evaluated are within 
Colusa and Sutter Counties, California. The proposed Project would 
consist of the following primary components:
    1. Northern Corridor Alternative: constructing a new transmission 
line (approximately 44 miles in length) adjacent to Western's existing 
230-kV Olinda-O'Banion and Keswick-O'Banion double circuit transmission 
lines. The Northern Corridor Alternative would interconnect the 
existing COTP transmission line system near the existing COTP's Maxwell 
Series Compensation Substation to Western's CVP transmission system 
near the existing Western's O'Banion Substation. The new transmission 
line would require the construction of an additional substation 
adjacent to the existing Maxwell Series Compensation Substation and an 
additional substation adjacent to the existing O'Banion Substation.
    2. Southern Corridor Alternative: constructing a new transmission 
line (approximately 27 miles in length) so that it interconnects along 
the existing COTP transmission line system approximately 8 miles 
northwest of the community of Arbuckle, California, and proceeds 
eastwardly towards the existing O'Banion Substation. The Southern 
Corridor Alternative would also require the construction of an 
additional substation adjacent to the existing COTP transmission line 
northwest of Arbuckle and an additional substation adjacent to the 
existing O'Banion Substation.
    3. Additionally, a Segment 1 Alternative also has been identified 
(approximately 9 miles in length) just west of the existing O'Banion 
Substation to provide an alternate north-to-south route for the 
Northern Corridor Alternative. Instead of following Western's existing 
230-kV Olinda-O'Banion and Keswick-O'Banion double circuit transmission 
lines to the O'Banion substation, this segment would extend south, at a 
location approximately 30 miles from the Maxwell Substation, and then 
continue due east to connect to the O'Banion substation. Under this 
segment alternative, the new line would be located further away from 
the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge.
    Western will consider a No Action Alternative in the EIS/EIR. Under 
the No Action Alternative, for the purpose of establishing a baseline 
for impact analysis and comparison in the EIS/EIR, Western would not 
construct the proposed Project and the environmental

[[Page 79039]]

impacts associated with construction and operation would not occur.

Agency Responsibilities

    Western has determined that an EIS is appropriate under DOE NEPA 
implementing procedures, 10 CFR part 1021.\1\ Western would be the lead 
Federal agency for preparing the EIS, as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5. The 
proposed Project would include construction of a new single-circuit 
500-kV transmission line and associated substations on mostly private 
land. Western will invite other Federal, State, local, and tribal 
agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to 
environmental issues to be cooperating agencies on the EIS, as defined 
at 40 CFR 1501.6. Such agencies also may make a request to Western to 
be a cooperating agency by contacting Mr. Monta[ntilde]o at the address 
listed in the ADDRESSES section. Because the proposed Project may 
involve action in floodplains or wetlands, this NOI also serves as a 
notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action, in accordance with DOE 
regulations for Compliance with Floodplain and Wetlands Environmental 
Review Requirements at 10 CFR part 1022. The EIS will include a 
floodplain/wetland assessment and, if required, a floodplain/wetland 
statement of findings will be issued with the Final EIS or the Western 
Record of Decision (ROD).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ On November 16, 2011, DOE's Acting General Counsel restated 
the delegation to Western Area Power Administration's Administrator 
of all the authorities of the General Counsel with respect to 
environmental impact statements. See ``Restatement of Delegations of 
Environmental Impact Statement Authorities,'' November 16, 2011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Environmental Issues

    This notice is to inform agencies and the public of Western's and 
SMUD's intent to prepare a joint EIS/EIR and solicit comments and 
suggestions for consideration in the EIS/EIS. To help the public frame 
its comments, the following list contains potential environmental 
issues preliminarily identified for analysis in the EIS/EIR:
     Impacts on protected, threatened, endangered, or sensitive 
species of animals or plants;
     Impacts on migratory birds;
     Introduction of noxious weeds, invasive and non-native 
species;
     Impacts on recreation and transportation;
     Impacts on land use, wilderness, farmlands, and 
environmentally-sensitive areas;
     Impacts on cultural or historic resources and tribal 
values;
     Impacts on human health and safety;
     Impacts on air, soil, and water resources (including air 
quality and surface water impacts);
     Visual impacts; and
     Socioeconomic impacts and disproportionately high and 
adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations (i.e., 
environmental justice).
    This list is not intended to be all-inclusive or to imply any 
predetermination of impacts. Western invites interested parties to 
suggest specific issues within these general categories, or other 
issues not included above, to be considered in the EIS/EIR.

Public Participation

    The EIS/EIR process includes a public scoping period; public 
scoping meetings; publication and public review of the Draft EIS/EIR; 
publication of a Final EIS/EIR; and publication of a ROD.
    Western and SMUD will hold four public scoping meetings at the 
following times and locations:
    (1) Tuesday, January 12, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the 
Colusa Casino Community Room, 3770 California 45, Colusa, CA 95932;
    (2) Wednesday, January 13, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at 
the Colusa Casino Community Room, 3770 California 45, Colusa, CA 95932;
    (3) Wednesday, January 13, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the 
Sutter Youth Organization Center, 7740 Butte House Road, Sutter, CA 
95982;
    (4) Thursday, January 14, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the 
Sutter Youth Organization Center, 7740 Butte House Road, Sutter, CA 
95982.
    The meetings will be informal, and attendees will be able to speak 
directly with Western and SMUD representatives about the proposed 
Project. Attendees also may provide comments at these meetings. For the 
most recent information and for announcements, please visit the Project 
Web site at: www.CoSuLine.com.
    At the conclusion of the NEPA process, Western will prepare a ROD. 
Persons interested in receiving future notices, proposed Project 
information, copies of the EIS/EIR, and other information on the NEPA 
review process should contact Mr. Monta[ntilde]o at the address listed 
in the ADDRESSES section.
    The purpose of the scoping meetings is to provide information about 
the proposed Project, review Project maps, answer questions, and take 
oral and written comments from interested parties. All meeting 
locations will be handicapped-accessible. Anyone needing special 
accommodations should contact Mr. Monta[ntilde]o to make arrangements.
    The public will have the opportunity to provide written comments at 
the public scoping meetings. Written comments may also be sent to Mr. 
Monta[ntilde]o by email or U.S. Postal Service mail. To help define the 
scope of the EIS/EIR, comments should be received by Western no later 
than February 16, 2016.

    Dated: November 25, 2015.
Mark A. Gabriel,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-31902 Filed 12-17-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P