Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Pomelo Connector Pipeline and South Texas Expansion Project; Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 17654-17656 [2017-07353]

Download as PDF 17654 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 12, 2017 / Notices Issue Scoping Document 2 ..................................................................................................................................................... Issue notice of ready for environmental analysis .................................................................................................................... Commission issues EA or draft EA ......................................................................................................................................... Comments on EA or draft EA .................................................................................................................................................. Commission issues final EA .................................................................................................................................................... Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of application ready for environmental analysis. Dated: April 6, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–07356 Filed 4–11–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Pomelo Connector Pipeline and South Texas Expansion Project; Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Docket No. mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Pomelo Connector, LLC .... Texas Eastern Transmission, LP. CP17–26–000 CP15–499–000 CP15–499–001 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 Pomelo Connector Pipeline Project (Pomelo Pipeline) and the South Texas Expansion Project (STEP), collectively referred to as the Projects. These separate, but connected, interstate natural gas transmission projects involve the construction and operation of facilities by Pomelo Connector, LLC (Pomelo) and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern) in Nueces, Matagorda, Chambers, Orange and Brazoria Counties, Texas. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the Projects are 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 Projects. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Projects. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:45 Apr 11, 2017 Jkt 241001 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 May 8, 2017. This notice is being sent to the Commission’s current environmental mailing list for these Projects. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of these proposed projects 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 proposed facilities. A company representative would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the Projects, 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. The ‘‘For Citizens’’ section of the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) provides more information about the FERC and the environmental review process. This section also includes information about getting involved in FERC jurisdictional projects, and a citizens’ guide entitled ‘‘An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need to Know?’’ This guide addresses a number of frequently 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 (3) methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502–8258 or FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded. 1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 January 2018. February 2018. August 2018. September 2018. December 2018. 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 appropriate Project docket number (CP17–26–000 and/or CP15–499–000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Summary of the Proposed Projects The Pomelo Pipeline is designed to provide up to 400,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of firm transportation service from an interconnection with Texas Eastern at the proposed Pomelo Petronila Compressor Station to an intrastate header system, the Nueces Header. The Nueces Header is designed to connect with various pipelines and gathering facilities in Nueces County, Texas. Pomelo proposes to construct and operate the following facilities: • Approximately 13.6 miles of new 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline; • approximately 0.2 mile of new 30inch-diameter pipeline; • a new 5,000 horsepower (hp) compressor station (Pomelo Compressor Station); and • associated aboveground facilities. Through the new interconnection with the Pomelo Pipeline, Texas Eastern plans to provide approximately 396,000 Dth/d of firm natural gas transportation service to an interconnection with the Nueces Header. Texas Eastern proposes to install, construct, and operate the following facilities, all within existing Texas Eastern compressor stations: • a new 8,400 hp compressor unit, appurtenant facilities, a new interconnection with Pomelo Connector Pipeline, and construction of a gas E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 12, 2017 / Notices measurement enclosure at Texas Eastern’s existing Petronila Compressor Station in Nueces County; • A new 8,400 hp compressor unit, a new control building, new gas coolers and station piping modifications to reverse compression at the existing Blessing Compressor Station in Matagorda County; • upgrades to existing compression facilities to reduce emissions, new gas measurement enclosure, and piping modifications to the existing launcher/ receiver on Line 16 at the existing Mont Belvieu Compressor Station in Chambers County; • piping modifications to the existing launcher/receiver on Line 16, and a new gas measurement enclosure within the existing Vidor Compressor Station in Orange County; and • piping modifications to the existing launcher/receiver on Line 16 at the existing Angleton Station property in Brazoria County. The general locations of the Project facilities are shown in Appendix 1.1 Land Requirements for Construction Constructing the proposed facilities would require the use of approximately 313.1 acres of land. This includes disturbance of approximately 190.9 acres of land for the aboveground facilities and the pipeline for Pomelo Pipeline; and approximately 122.2 acres of disturbance for STEP. Following construction, Pomelo and Texas Eastern would maintain about 136.8 acres for permanent operation of the Projects’ facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and allowed to revert to former uses. mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Related Facilities The proposed Valley Crossing System is a new intrastate pipeline system consisting of approximately 165 miles of 42- and 48-inch-diameter pipeline, two compressor stations, multiple meter stations, and ancillary facilities extending from the Nueces Header, to a point in the Gulf of Mexico in Texas state waters at the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. These intrastate facilities would be subject to the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas and would be non-jurisdictional to the FERC. Although the Commission has no authority to approve or deny the Valley 1 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 the last page of this notice. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:45 Apr 11, 2017 Jkt 241001 Crossing System, and no ability to require any avoidance or minimization of related impacts, we intend to disclose available resource impact information for the Valley Crossing System in the EA to inform stakeholders and decision makers. 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 construction and operation of the proposed Projects under these general headings: • Geology and soils; • land use; • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands; • cultural resources; • socioeconomics • 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 Projects or portions of the Projects, 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 the Commission’s eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our 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. With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/ 2 ‘‘We,’’ ‘‘us,’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to the environmental staff of the Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17655 or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of the Projects 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. Currently, no agencies have expressed their intention to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EA to satisfy their NEPA responsibilities related to the Projects. 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 Projects’ potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the Project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Projects develop. 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 these Projects 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, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on 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 in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1 17656 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 12, 2017 / Notices Projects. 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 Projects. If we publish and distribute the EA, copies of the 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). mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES 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 Projects are 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 appropriate docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP17–26 and CP–15–499). 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 teletype/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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:45 Apr 11, 2017 Jkt 241001 documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docsfiling/esubscription.asp. Finally, site visits or other staff activities will be posted on the Commission’s calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/ EventsList.aspx along with other related information. Dated: April 6, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–07353 Filed 4–11–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17–1381–000] AEM Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of AEM Wind, LLC‘s application for marketbased rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability. Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant. Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant’s request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is April 26, 2017. The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http:// www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission’s eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. or call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Dated: April 6, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–07355 Filed 4–11–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1 Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings: Docket Numbers: ER17–569–001. Applicants: National Choice Energy LLC. Description: Tariff Amendment: Baseline Amendment to be effective 12/ 30/2016. Filed Date: 4/6/17. Accession Number: 20170406–5242. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/27/17. Docket Numbers: ER17–883–001. Applicants: Duke Energy Florida, LLC. Description: Compliance filing: Errata filing to ER17–883 to be effective 4/1/ 2017. Filed Date: 4/6/17. Accession Number: 20170406–5297. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/27/17. Docket Numbers: ER17–949–001. Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation. Description: Compliance filing: 2017– 04–06 Metering Rules Enhancement Compliance to be effective 4/10/2017. Filed Date: 4/6/17. Accession Number: 20170406–5306. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/27/17. Docket Numbers: ER17–1385–000. Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Description: Tariff Cancellation: Cancellation of First Revised Service E:\FR\FM\12APN1.SGM 12APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 69 (Wednesday, April 12, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17654-17656]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-07353]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the 
Proposed Pomelo Connector Pipeline and South Texas Expansion Project; 
Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Docket No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pomelo Connector, LLC..................  CP17-26-000
Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.........  CP15-499-000
                                         CP15-499-001
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 Pomelo Connector Pipeline 
Project (Pomelo Pipeline) and the South Texas Expansion Project (STEP), 
collectively referred to as the Projects. These separate, but 
connected, interstate natural gas transmission projects involve the 
construction and operation of facilities by Pomelo Connector, LLC 
(Pomelo) and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern) in Nueces, 
Matagorda, Chambers, Orange and Brazoria Counties, Texas. The 
Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine 
whether the Projects are 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 Projects. You can make a difference by providing us 
with your specific comments or concerns about the Projects. 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 May 8, 2017.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for these Projects. State and local government 
representatives should notify their constituents of these proposed 
projects 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 proposed facilities. A company 
representative would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. 
However, if the Commission approves the Projects, 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.
    The ``For Citizens'' section of the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) 
provides more information about the FERC and the environmental review 
process. This section also includes information about getting involved 
in FERC jurisdictional projects, and a citizens' guide entitled ``An 
Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need to Know?'' 
This guide addresses a number of frequently 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 (3) methods you can use to 
submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide 
equal consideration to all comments received. The Commission encourages 
electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist 
you at (202) 502-8258 or FercOnlineSupport@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 appropriate Project 
docket number (CP17-26-000 and/or CP15-499-000) with your submission: 
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 
First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

Summary of the Proposed Projects

    The Pomelo Pipeline is designed to provide up to 400,000 dekatherms 
per day (Dth/d) of firm transportation service from an interconnection 
with Texas Eastern at the proposed Pomelo Petronila Compressor Station 
to an intrastate header system, the Nueces Header. The Nueces Header is 
designed to connect with various pipelines and gathering facilities in 
Nueces County, Texas. Pomelo proposes to construct and operate the 
following facilities:
     Approximately 13.6 miles of new 30-inch-diameter natural 
gas pipeline;
     approximately 0.2 mile of new 30-inch-diameter pipeline;
     a new 5,000 horsepower (hp) compressor station (Pomelo 
Compressor Station); and
     associated aboveground facilities.
    Through the new interconnection with the Pomelo Pipeline, Texas 
Eastern plans to provide approximately 396,000 Dth/d of firm natural 
gas transportation service to an interconnection with the Nueces 
Header. Texas Eastern proposes to install, construct, and operate the 
following facilities, all within existing Texas Eastern compressor 
stations:
     a new 8,400 hp compressor unit, appurtenant facilities, a 
new interconnection with Pomelo Connector Pipeline, and construction of 
a gas

[[Page 17655]]

measurement enclosure at Texas Eastern's existing Petronila Compressor 
Station in Nueces County;
     A new 8,400 hp compressor unit, a new control building, 
new gas coolers and station piping modifications to reverse compression 
at the existing Blessing Compressor Station in Matagorda County;
     upgrades to existing compression facilities to reduce 
emissions, new gas measurement enclosure, and piping modifications to 
the existing launcher/receiver on Line 16 at the existing Mont Belvieu 
Compressor Station in Chambers County;
     piping modifications to the existing launcher/receiver on 
Line 16, and a new gas measurement enclosure within the existing Vidor 
Compressor Station in Orange County; and
     piping modifications to the existing launcher/receiver on 
Line 16 at the existing Angleton Station property in Brazoria County.
    The general locations of the Project facilities are shown in 
Appendix 1.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 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 the last page of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Land Requirements for Construction

    Constructing the proposed facilities would require the use of 
approximately 313.1 acres of land. This includes disturbance of 
approximately 190.9 acres of land for the aboveground facilities and 
the pipeline for Pomelo Pipeline; and approximately 122.2 acres of 
disturbance for STEP. Following construction, Pomelo and Texas Eastern 
would maintain about 136.8 acres for permanent operation of the 
Projects' facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and 
allowed to revert to former uses.

Related Facilities

    The proposed Valley Crossing System is a new intrastate pipeline 
system consisting of approximately 165 miles of 42- and 48-inch-
diameter pipeline, two compressor stations, multiple meter stations, 
and ancillary facilities extending from the Nueces Header, to a point 
in the Gulf of Mexico in Texas state waters at the international 
boundary between the United States and Mexico. These intrastate 
facilities would be subject to the jurisdiction of the Railroad 
Commission of Texas and would be non-jurisdictional to the FERC. 
Although the Commission has no authority to approve or deny the Valley 
Crossing System, and no ability to require any avoidance or 
minimization of related impacts, we intend to disclose available 
resource impact information for the Valley Crossing System in the EA to 
inform stakeholders and decision makers.

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 construction and operation of the proposed Projects under these 
general headings:
     Geology and soils;
     land use;
     water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
     cultural resources;
     socioeconomics
     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 
Projects or portions of the Projects, 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 the Commission's 
eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping 
process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an 
allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before 
making our 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.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law 
and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of 
the Projects 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. Currently, no agencies 
have expressed their intention to participate as a cooperating agency 
in the preparation of the EA to satisfy their NEPA responsibilities 
related to the Projects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \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 Projects' potential effects on 
historic properties.\4\ We will define the Project-specific Area of 
Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Projects 
develop. 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 these Projects 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, or who own homes within certain distances of 
aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the

[[Page 17656]]

Projects. 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 
Projects.
    If we publish and distribute the EA, copies of the 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 Projects are 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 appropriate 
docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number 
field (i.e., CP17-26 and CP-15-499). 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 teletype/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, site visits or other staff activities will be posted on 
the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: April 6, 2017.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2017-07353 Filed 4-11-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6717-01-P