Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Northern Natural Gas Company Proposed Palmyra to South Sioux City A-Line Abandonment Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 50028-50029 [2019-20624]

Download as PDF 50028 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 185 / Tuesday, September 24, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP19–500–000] khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Northern Natural Gas Company Proposed Palmyra to South Sioux City A-Line Abandonment 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 Palmyra to South Sioux City A-line Abandonment Project involving the abandonment of pipeline facilities in Otoe, Lancaster, Saunders, Dodge, Burt, Thurston, and Dakota Counties, Nebraska and the construction and operation of facilities in Otoe, Dakota, and Dodge Counties, Nebraska by Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern). 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 about issues regarding the project. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from its action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires the Commission to discover 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 issues to address in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please submit your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC, on or before 5:00pm Eastern Time on October 18, 2019. You can make a difference by submitting 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. Commission staff VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Sep 23, 2019 Jkt 247001 will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA. If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on August 15, 2019, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP19–500–000 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 pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable easement agreement. You are not required to enter into an agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if you and the company do not reach an easement agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings in court. In such instances, compensation would be determined by a judge in accordance with state law. Northern 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 website (www.ferc.gov) at https://www.ferc.gov/ resources/guides/gas/gas.pdf. Public Participation The Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which makes it easy to stay informed of all issuances and submittals regarding the dockets/ projects to which you subscribe. These instant email notifications are the fastest way to receive notification and provide a link to the document files which can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings. To sign up go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ esubscription.asp. 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 staff available to assist you at (866) 208–3676 or FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 that your comments are properly recorded. (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission’s website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. Using eComment 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, which is located on the Commission’s website (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.’’ You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making; a comment on a particular project is considered a ‘‘Comment on a Filing’’; 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 (CP19–500– 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 The Palmyra to South Sioux City Aline Abandonment Project consists of the following: • Abandonment of 44.2 miles of 20inch-diameter and 14.8 miles of 16inch-diameter mainline in Otoe, Lancaster, Saunders, and Dodge Counties, Nebraska; • abandonment of 58.7 miles of 16inch-diameter mainline in Dodge, Burt, Thurston, and Dakota Counties, Nebraska; • construction of 1.7 miles of new 24inch-diameter pipeline loop, a pig launcher, and two valve sites in Otoe County, Nebraska; 1 and • construction of 2.5 miles of a new 24-inch-diameter pipeline loop, a pig launcher, and a valve site in Dodge County, Nebraska. According to Northern, its project would improve reliability and provide for the safer long-term operation of its system. The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.2 1 A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to an existing pipeline to increase capacity. A ‘‘pig’’ is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes. 2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 185 / Tuesday, September 24, 2019 / Notices Land Requirements for Construction The A-line disconnection would temporarily disturb 2 acres of land. The construction of pipeline loops and associated aboveground appurtenances would disturb about 121.6 acres of land. Following construction, Northern would maintain 16.9 acres for permanent operation of the proposed project’s facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former use. At the disconnect sites, 100% of the A-line is co-located with other Northern pipelines. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES The EA Process The EA will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings: • Geology and soils; • water resources and wetlands; • vegetation and wildlife; • threatened and endangered species; • cultural resources; • land use; • air quality and noise; • public safety; and • cumulative impacts Commission staff 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 Commission staffs’ independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in electronic format in the public record through eLibrary 3 and the Commission’s website (https:// www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/ eis.asp). If eSubscribed, you will receive instant email notification when the EA is issued. The EA may be issued for an allotted public comment period. Commission staff will consider all comments on the EA before making recommendations to the Commission. To ensure Commission staff have the opportunity to address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2. With this notice, the Commission is asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate in the preparation 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. 3 For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Sep 23, 2019 Jkt 247001 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. Consultation 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, the Commission is using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office, 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 The EA for this project will document 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. Commission staff will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that Commission notices related to this environmental review are sent to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project. If the Commission issues the EA for an allotted public comment period, a Notice of Availability of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list and will provide instructions to access the electronic document on the FERC’s website (www.ferc.gov). If you need to make changes to your name/address, or if you would like to remove your name 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’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. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50029 from the mailing list, please return the attached ‘‘Mailing List Update Form’’ (appendix 2). 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 website at www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on ‘‘General Search’’ and enter the docket number in the ‘‘Docket Number’’ field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP19–500–000). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or (866) 208–3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502–8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. Public sessions 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 18, 2019. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–20624 Filed 9–23–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD06–6–000] Notice of Joint Meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a joint meeting on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The open meeting is expected to begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at approximately 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time. Members of the public may attend the open session. Commissioners from both agencies are expected to participate. The format for the joint meeting will consist of discussions between the two sets of Commissioners following presentations by their respective staffs. In addition, representatives of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) will attend and participate in this meeting. Attached is an agenda of the meeting. E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 185 (Tuesday, September 24, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50028-50029]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-20624]



[[Page 50028]]

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP19-500-000]


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the 
Northern Natural Gas Company Proposed Palmyra to South Sioux City A-
Line Abandonment 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 Palmyra to South Sioux City A-
line Abandonment Project involving the abandonment of pipeline 
facilities in Otoe, Lancaster, Saunders, Dodge, Burt, Thurston, and 
Dakota Counties, Nebraska and the construction and operation of 
facilities in Otoe, Dakota, and Dodge Counties, Nebraska by Northern 
Natural Gas Company (Northern). 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 about issues regarding the project. The National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the 
environmental impacts that could result from its action whenever it 
considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and 
Necessity. NEPA also requires the Commission to discover 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 issues 
to address in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and 
properly recorded, please submit your comments so that the Commission 
receives them in Washington, DC, on or before 5:00pm Eastern Time on 
October 18, 2019.
    You can make a difference by submitting 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. Commission 
staff will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the 
EA.
    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the 
opening of this docket on August 15, 2019, you will need to file those 
comments in Docket No. CP19-500-000 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 pipeline company 
representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to 
construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company 
would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable easement agreement. You 
are not required to enter into an agreement. However, if the Commission 
approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of 
eminent domain. Therefore, if you and the company do not reach an 
easement agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation 
proceedings in court. In such instances, compensation would be 
determined by a judge in accordance with state law.
    Northern 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 website (www.ferc.gov) at https://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/gas/gas.pdf.

Public Participation

    The Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which 
makes it easy to stay informed of all issuances and submittals 
regarding the dockets/projects to which you subscribe. These instant 
email notifications are the fastest way to receive notification and 
provide a link to the document files which can reduce the amount of 
time you spend researching proceedings. To sign up go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.
    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 staff available to assist you at (866) 208-
3676 or [email protected]. Please carefully follow these 
instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.
    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment 
feature, which is located on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) 
under the link to Documents and Filings. Using eComment 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, which is located on the Commission's website (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.'' You will be asked to select the type of filing you 
are making; a comment on a particular project is considered a ``Comment 
on a Filing''; 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 
(CP19-500-000) 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

    The Palmyra to South Sioux City A-line Abandonment Project consists 
of the following:
     Abandonment of 44.2 miles of 20-inch-diameter and 14.8 
miles of 16-inch-diameter mainline in Otoe, Lancaster, Saunders, and 
Dodge Counties, Nebraska;
     abandonment of 58.7 miles of 16-inch-diameter mainline in 
Dodge, Burt, Thurston, and Dakota Counties, Nebraska;
     construction of 1.7 miles of new 24-inch-diameter pipeline 
loop, a pig launcher, and two valve sites in Otoe County, Nebraska; \1\ 
and
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to 
an existing pipeline to increase capacity. A ``pig'' is a tool that 
the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline 
for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other 
purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     construction of 2.5 miles of a new 24-inch-diameter 
pipeline loop, a pig launcher, and a valve site in Dodge County, 
Nebraska.
    According to Northern, its project would improve reliability and 
provide for the safer long-term operation of its system. 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 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.

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

[[Page 50029]]

Land Requirements for Construction

    The A-line disconnection would temporarily disturb 2 acres of land. 
The construction of pipeline loops and associated aboveground 
appurtenances would disturb about 121.6 acres of land. Following 
construction, Northern would maintain 16.9 acres for permanent 
operation of the proposed project's facilities; the remaining acreage 
would be restored and revert to former use. At the disconnect sites, 
100% of the A-line is co-located with other Northern pipelines.

The EA Process

    The EA will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the 
construction and operation of the proposed project under these general 
headings:
     Geology and soils;
     water resources and wetlands;
     vegetation and wildlife;
     threatened and endangered species;
     cultural resources;
     land use;
     air quality and noise;
     public safety; and
     cumulative impacts
    Commission staff 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 Commission staffs' independent analysis of the 
issues. The EA will be available in electronic format in the public 
record through eLibrary \3\ and the Commission's website (https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis.asp). If eSubscribed, you will 
receive instant email notification when the EA is issued. The EA may be 
issued for an allotted public comment period. Commission staff will 
consider all comments on the EA before making recommendations to the 
Commission. To ensure Commission staff have the opportunity to address 
your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public 
Participation section, beginning on page 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the 
last page of this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With this notice, the Commission is asking agencies with 
jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the 
environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Consultation 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, the Commission is using this notice to initiate 
consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office, 
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\ The EA for this project will 
document findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize 
the status of consultations under section 106.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ 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. Commission staff will update the environmental 
mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that Commission notices 
related to this environmental review are sent to all individuals, 
organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially 
affected by the proposed project.
    If the Commission issues the EA for an allotted public comment 
period, a Notice of Availability of the EA will be sent to the 
environmental mailing list and will provide instructions to access the 
electronic document on the FERC's website (www.ferc.gov). If you need 
to make changes to your name/address, or if you would like to remove 
your name from the mailing list, please return the attached ``Mailing 
List Update Form'' (appendix 2).

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 website at www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Click on the 
eLibrary link, click on ``General Search'' and enter the docket number 
in the ``Docket Number'' field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., 
CP19-500-000). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For 
assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
[email protected] or (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 
502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all 
formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and 
rulemakings.
    Public sessions 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 18, 2019.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2019-20624 Filed 9-23-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P