Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 22590-22592 [2016-08862]

Download as PDF 22590 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2016 / Notices Lincoln County, Wisconsin. The project does not affect federal lands. g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)–825(r). h. Applicant Contact: Todd P. Jastremski, Asset Manager Hydro Operations, WE Energies, 800 Industrial Park Drive, Iron Mountain, MI 49801; or at (906) 779–4099. i. FERC Contact: Lee Emery at (202) 502–8379 or by email at lee.emery@ ferc.gov. j. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time. k. The existing Tomahawk Hydroelectric Project consists of: (1) A 27-foot-high, 3,400-foot-long reinforced concrete and embankment dam that includes a 2,450-foot-long left embankment section, a 300-foot-long right embankment section, 9-foot-long sluice gate section, 267-foot-long radial gate section, 160-foot-long slab and buttress section, and a 60-foot-long abutment section with a crest elevation of 1,441.0 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD); (2) a 2,773-acre reservoir (Lake Mohawksin) at a fullpool elevation of 1,435.5 feet NGVD; (3) a 67-foot-long by 41-foot-wide powerhouse containing two 1.3megawatt (MW) generators providing a combined installed capacity of 2.6 MW; (4) powerhouse intake trash racks with a 2.7-inch clear bar spacing; (5) two 2.4kilovolt (kV) generator leads and an associated 3.75-megavolt-ampere, 2.4/ 24.9-kV three phase transformer; (6) an interconnected substation located adjacent to the powerhouse; and (7) appurtenant facilities. The project is operated in a limited peaking mode, with maximum allowed daily reservoir fluctuations of approximately 0.8 feet (1,435.5 feet NGVD to 1,434.7 feet NGVD). During normal peaking operations, the reservoir is drawn down from the maximum pond elevation during the day and refilled at night providing one peaking cycle per day. The amount of fluctuation is determined primarily by the volume of water which can normally be restored to the Tomahawk reservoir during off-peak hours. During low flow periods, the project is required to maintain a minimum flow of 162 cubic feet per second (cfs) or inflow, whichever is less. The operation of the Tomahawk Project is coordinated with the downstream WPS Projects (Grandfather Falls and Alexander Projects) and with the Grandmother Falls Project to make the most effective use of the available water resource. The normal tailwater elevation of the project is 1,419.5 feet NGVD. The impoundment provides about 14.5 feet of gross head for power generation purposes. The hydraulic capacity of the project is 2,634 cfs and water flowing through the turbines is discharged via the draft tubes into the tailrace immediately below the dam. Electricity generated from the project is transmitted from the powerhouse via two 2.5-kV generator leads and a 3.75 MVA 2.4/ 24.9-kV three-phase transformer to the adjacent substation and into Wisconsin Public Service Corporation’s distribution system. Wisconsin Public Service Corporation is proposing to continue current operations at the Project for the term of the new license. l. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission’s Web site 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 FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, (866) 208–3676 (toll free) or (202) 502–8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above. m. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. n. Procedural schedule: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate. Milestone Target date Notice of Acceptance/Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis ........................................................................................... Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions, and fishway prescriptions ........................................................ Issue Environmental Assessment (EA) ....................................................................................................................................... Comments due on EA ................................................................................................................................................................. Modified terms and conditions .................................................................................................................................................... o. Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis. Dated: April 6, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–08861 Filed 4–15–16; 8:45 am] mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF15–33–000] Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project, 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 Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern) in VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Apr 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 June 2016. August 2016. December 2016. January 2017. March 2017. Dakota County, Minnesota. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity. This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. 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. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so E:\FR\FM\18APN1.SGM 18APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before May 11, 2016. If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on September 28, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF15–33–000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding. This notice is being sent to the Commission’s current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern. If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law. A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ‘‘An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?’’ is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission’s proceedings. Public Participation For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502–8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded. (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 submitting brief, text-only comments on a project; (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission’s Web site VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Apr 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 (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.’’ If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select ‘‘Comment on a Filing’’ as the filing type; or (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (PF15–33– 000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Summary of the Planned Project Northern plans to construct and operate approximately 4.8 miles of branch line loop 1 extensions in Sherburne and Isanti counties, Minnesota, and to install an additional 15,900-horsepower compressor unit to an existing compressor station site in Rice County, Minnesota. The Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project would allow Northern to transport an incremental load of 76 million cubic feet on Northern’s existing system. According to Northern, its project would meet the firm transportation service elected during an October 2015 open season by Xcel Energy Inc., CenterPoint Energy, Al-Corn Clean Fuel, and Midwest Natural Gas, Inc. The Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project would consist of the following facilities: • 2.0 miles extending the existing 8inch-diameter Princeton branch line loop and a new associated valve; • 2.8 miles extending the existing 12inch-diameter St. Cloud branch line loop and a new associated valve; • a 15,900-horsepower Solar Mars turbine compressor unit at the Faribault Compressor Station; and • cathodic protection test stations. The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.2 Land Requirements for Construction Construction of the planned facilities would disturb about 112.4 acres of land for the aboveground facilities and the pipeline. In addition to its existing 1 A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to an existing pipeline to increase capacity. 2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called ‘‘eLibrary’’ or from the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502–8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to page 7 of this notice. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22591 facilities, Northern would maintain about 2.1 acres for permanent operation of the project’s facilities following construction; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. Most of the facilities would be located within Northern’s existing easements, offset 20 to 25 feet from Northern’s existing pipelines, and thus not require any new permanent easements. The EA Process The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 3 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA. In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings: Geology and soils; land use; water resources, fisheries, and wetlands; cultural resources; vegetation and wildlife; air quality and noise; endangered and threatened species; public safety; and cumulative impacts. We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas. Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission’s pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact 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 3 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. E:\FR\FM\18APN1.SGM 18APN1 22592 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2016 / Notices may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make our 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, beginning on page 2. 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 Minnesota 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. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Environmental Mailing List The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes 4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6. 5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Apr 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 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). such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/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 11, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–08862 Filed 4–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P Becoming an Intervenor Once Northern 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. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http:// www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/ intervene.asp. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the ‘‘Document-less Intervention Guide’’ under the ‘‘e-filing’’ link on the Commission’s Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project. Additional Information Additional information about the project is available from the Commission’s Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208–FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on ‘‘General Search’’ and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF15– 33). 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, PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060–0743] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501– 3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission’s burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18APN1.SGM 18APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 74 (Monday, April 18, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22590-22592]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-08862]


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

 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF15-33-000]


Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Assessment for the Planned Northern Lights 2017 Expansion 
Project, 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 Northern Lights 2017 Expansion 
Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Northern 
Natural Gas Company (Northern) in Dakota County, Minnesota. The 
Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine 
whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.
    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the 
Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested 
agencies on the project. 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. 
Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they 
need to evaluate in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and 
properly recorded, please send your comments so

[[Page 22591]]

that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before May 
11, 2016.
    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the 
opening of this docket on September 28, 2015, you will need to file 
those comments in Docket No. PF15-33-000 to ensure they are considered 
as part of this proceeding.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this project. State and local government 
representatives should notify their constituents of this planned 
project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.
    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company 
representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to 
construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company 
would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if 
the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the 
right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to 
produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation 
proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with 
state law.
    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ``An Interstate Natural 
Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?'' is available for 
viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses 
a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent 
domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit 
your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal 
consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form 
or provided verbally. The Commission encourages electronic filing of 
comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 
or efiling@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so that 
your comments are properly recorded.
    (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 submitting brief, 
text-only comments on a project;
    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling 
feature on the Commission's Web site (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.'' If you are filing a comment on a particular project, 
please select ``Comment on a Filing'' as the filing type; or
    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to 
the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number 
(PF15-33-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, 
Washington, DC 20426.

Summary of the Planned Project

    Northern plans to construct and operate approximately 4.8 miles of 
branch line loop \1\ extensions in Sherburne and Isanti counties, 
Minnesota, and to install an additional 15,900-horsepower compressor 
unit to an existing compressor station site in Rice County, Minnesota. 
The Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project would allow Northern to 
transport an incremental load of 76 million cubic feet on Northern's 
existing system. According to Northern, its project would meet the firm 
transportation service elected during an October 2015 open season by 
Xcel Energy Inc., CenterPoint Energy, Al-Corn Clean Fuel, and Midwest 
Natural Gas, Inc.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to 
an existing pipeline to increase capacity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project would consist of the 
following facilities:
     2.0 miles extending the existing 8-inch-diameter Princeton 
branch line loop and a new associated valve;
     2.8 miles extending the existing 12-inch-diameter St. 
Cloud branch line loop and a new associated valve;
     a 15,900-horsepower Solar Mars turbine compressor unit at 
the Faribault Compressor Station; and
     cathodic protection test stations.
    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 
1.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in 
the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all 
those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at 
www.ferc.gov using the link called ``eLibrary'' or from the 
Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., 
Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on 
connecting to eLibrary, refer to page 7 of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the planned facilities would disturb about 112.4 
acres of land for the aboveground facilities and the pipeline. In 
addition to its existing facilities, Northern would maintain about 2.1 
acres for permanent operation of the project's facilities following 
construction; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to 
former uses. Most of the facilities would be located within Northern's 
existing easements, offset 20 to 25 feet from Northern's existing 
pipelines, and thus not require any new permanent easements.

The EA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the 
Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could 
result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a 
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 
\3\ to discover and address concerns the public may have about 
proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the 
scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important 
environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public 
comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will 
consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of 
the construction and operation of the planned project under these 
general headings: Geology and soils; land use; water resources, 
fisheries, and wetlands; cultural resources; vegetation and wildlife; 
air quality and noise; endangered and threatened species; public 
safety; and cumulative impacts.
    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project 
or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen 
or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already 
initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. 
The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement 
of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before 
the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we 
have begun to contact 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

[[Page 22592]]

may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted 
comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make 
our 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, beginning 
on page 2.
    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 Minnesota 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 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local 
government representatives and agencies; elected officials; 
environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other 
interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also 
includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's 
regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property 
may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within 
certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits 
comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list 
as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related 
to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and 
government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the 
planned project.
    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 Northern 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. Motions to intervene are more fully described at 
http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Instructions 
for becoming an intervenor are in the ``Document-less Intervention 
Guide'' under the ``e-filing'' link on the Commission's Web site. 
Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor 
status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a 
formal application for the project.

Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the 
FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the 
eLibrary link, click on ``General Search'' and enter the docket number, 
excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF15-
33). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For 
assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, 
contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the 
texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, 
notices, and rulemakings.
    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called 
eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances 
and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time 
you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with 
notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to 
the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/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: April 11, 2016.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-08862 Filed 4-15-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6717-01-P