Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Gulf Connector Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 66959-66960 [2016-23516]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 189 / Thursday, September 29, 2016 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16–494–000] mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Gulf Connector Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Gulf Connector Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in Wharton, San Patricio, Hardin, and Victoria Counties, Texas. 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 that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before October 24, 2016. If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on August 16, 2016, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP16–494–000 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 proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern. If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a Transco representative may contact you about the acquisition of land to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:51 Sep 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, Transco could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law. Transco provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ‘‘An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?’’ 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. It is also available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Public Participation For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. 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 (CP16–494– 000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Summary of the Proposed Project Transco proposes to construct and operate new compressor stations and modify existing compressor stations in Texas. According to Transco, the Gulf Connector Expansion Project would provide about 475 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day to liquefied natural gas terminals in Freeport Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, Texas. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66959 The Gulf Connector Expansion Project would consist of the following facilities: • A new compressor station to be known as Compressor Station 32 located in San Patricio County, Texas; • piping and valve modifications at an existing compressor station known as Compressor Station 40 located in Hardin County, Texas; • a new compressor station to be known as Compressor Station 17 located in San Patricio County, Texas; • a new compressor station to be known as Compressor Station 23 located in Victoria County, Texas; • piping and valve modifications at an existing compressor station known as Compressor Station 30 located in Wharton County, Texas; • a new interconnection with Corpus Christi LNG located in San Patricio County, Texas; and • use of a decommissioned compressor station known as Compressor Station 20 to be used as a construction storage yard. The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.1 Land Requirements for Construction Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 197 acres of land. Following construction, Transco would maintain about 46 acres for permanent operation of the project’s facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. 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 2 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 1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called ‘‘eLibrary’’ or from the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502–8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice. 2 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. E:\FR\FM\29SEN1.SGM 29SEN1 66960 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 189 / Thursday, September 29, 2016 / Notices construction and operation of the proposed 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 reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas. The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making 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 of this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.3 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 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project’s potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the 3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6. 4 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:51 Sep 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 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. 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 proposed project. If we publish and distribute the EA, copies EA 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 In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an ‘‘intervenor’’ which is an official party to the Commission’s proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission’s final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the ‘‘Document-less Intervention Guide’’ under the ‘‘e-filing’’ link on the Commission’s Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 described at http://www.ferc.gov/ resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Additional Information Additional information about the project is available from the Commission’s Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208–FERC, or on the FERC Web site at www.ferc.gov using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on ‘‘General Search’’ and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP16–494). 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/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: September 22, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–23516 Filed 9–28–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16–117–000] Vote Solar Initiative, Montana Environmental Information Center v. Montana Public Service Commission; Notice of Complaint Take notice that on September 19, 2016, pursuant to Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Vote Solar Initiative and Montana Environmental Information Center (collectively, Vote Solar) filed a formal complaint against Montana Public Service Commission (Respondent) alleging that Respondent violated E:\FR\FM\29SEN1.SGM 29SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 189 (Thursday, September 29, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66959-66960]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23516]



[[Page 66959]]

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP16-494-000]


Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To 
Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Gulf Connector 
Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will 
discuss the environmental impacts of the Gulf Connector Expansion 
Project involving construction and operation of facilities by 
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in Wharton, San 
Patricio, Hardin, and Victoria Counties, Texas. 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 that the Commission 
receives them in Washington, DC on or before October 24, 2016.
    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the 
opening of this docket on August 16, 2016, you will need to file those 
comments in Docket No. CP16-494-000 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 proposed 
project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.
    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a Transco 
representative may contact you about the acquisition of land to 
construct, operate, and maintain the proposed 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, Transco could initiate condemnation proceedings 
where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.
    Transco provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC 
entitled ``An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I 
Need To Know?'' 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. It is also available for viewing on 
the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov).

Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit 
your comments to the Commission. 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 
(CP16-494-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, 
Washington, DC 20426.

Summary of the Proposed Project

    Transco proposes to construct and operate new compressor stations 
and modify existing compressor stations in Texas. According to Transco, 
the Gulf Connector Expansion Project would provide about 475 million 
standard cubic feet of natural gas per day to liquefied natural gas 
terminals in Freeport Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, Texas.
    The Gulf Connector Expansion Project would consist of the following 
facilities:
     A new compressor station to be known as Compressor Station 
32 located in San Patricio County, Texas;
     piping and valve modifications at an existing compressor 
station known as Compressor Station 40 located in Hardin County, Texas;
     a new compressor station to be known as Compressor Station 
17 located in San Patricio County, Texas;
     a new compressor station to be known as Compressor Station 
23 located in Victoria County, Texas;
     piping and valve modifications at an existing compressor 
station known as Compressor Station 30 located in Wharton County, 
Texas;
     a new interconnection with Corpus Christi LNG located in 
San Patricio County, Texas; and
     use of a decommissioned compressor station known as 
Compressor Station 20 to be used as a construction storage yard.
    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 
1.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in 
the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those 
receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov 
using the link called ``eLibrary'' or from the Commission's Public 
Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call 
(202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to 
the last page of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 197 
acres of land. Following construction, Transco would maintain about 46 
acres for permanent operation of the project's facilities; the 
remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses.

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 
\2\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ ``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

[[Page 66960]]

construction and operation of the proposed 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 reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to 
lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA 
will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on 
the comments received during the scoping process, we may publish and 
distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will 
consider all comments on the EA before making 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 of 
this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the 
EA.\3\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing 
cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal 
Regulations, Part 1501.6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation 
Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's 
implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation 
with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to 
solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested 
Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on 
historic properties.\4\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations 
are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those 
regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or 
historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in 
or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic 
Places.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 
proposed project.
    If we publish and distribute the EA, copies EA 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

    In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want 
to become an ``intervenor'' which is an official party to the 
Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the 
process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard 
by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. 
An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a 
request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in 
the ``Document-less Intervention Guide'' under the ``e-filing'' link on 
the Commission's Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully 
described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp.

Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the 
FERC Web site at www.ferc.gov using the ``eLibrary'' link. Click on the 
eLibrary link, click on ``General Search'' and enter the docket number, 
excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP16-
494). 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: September 22, 2016.
Kimberly D. Bose,
 Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-23516 Filed 9-28-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P