Interconnection of the Proposed Rail Tie Wind Project, Wyoming (DOE/EIS-0543), 71921-71923 [2019-28222]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 249 / Monday, December 30, 2019 / Notices The Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. k. Description of Request: The applicant requests a temporary variance to operate the reservoir elevation below its normal maximum elevation of 813.3 feet U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) datum, to prevent damage to a power canal embankment. The applicant would maintain a minimum elevation of 808.6 feet USGS datum from June 16 through the last day of February, and maintain a minimum elevation of 809.1 feet USGS datum from March 1 through June 15. The project would return to normal operation by the end of September 2020. l. Locations of the Applications: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission’s Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502–8371. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission’s website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1–866–208–3676 or email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, for TTY, call (202) 502–8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above. m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission’s mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission. n. Comments, Motions to Intervene, or Protests: Anyone may submit comments, a motion to intervene, or a protest in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission’s Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, motions to intervene, or protests must be received on or before the specified VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Dec 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 comment date for the particular application. o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title COMMENTS, MOTION TO INTERVENE, or PROTEST as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number(s) of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person intervening or protesting; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2010. Dated: December 20, 2019. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–28121 Filed 12–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Interconnection of the Proposed Rail Tie Wind Project, Wyoming (DOE/EIS– 0543) Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and to conduct scoping meetings; notice of floodplain and wetlands involvement. AGENCY: ConnectGen Albany County LLC applied to interconnect their proposed Rail Tie Wind Project (Project) with the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) existing AultCraig 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Albany County, Wyoming. WAPA will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposal to interconnect the Project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) NEPA Implementing Procedures, and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA. Portions of the proposed Project may affect floodplains and wetlands, so this Notice of Intent (NOI) also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action in accordance with DOE floodplain and wetland environmental review requirements. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71921 The public scoping period starts with the publication of this notice and ends on January 29, 2020. To initiate the public involvement process, informational/public scoping meetings will be held in Laramie, Wyoming, near the Project site. Public notice of the date, time, and place of the meetings will be posted on the Project website at https://www.wapa.gov/transmission/ EnvironmentalReviewNEPA/Pages/railtie-wind-project.aspx. All known interested parties, agencies, tribes, and the public will be notified of the meetings directly via the Project mailing list, and via paid advertising, news releases, or other appropriate means. WAPA will consider all comments on the scope of the EIS received or postmarked by the end of the scoping period. The public is invited to submit comments on the proposed Project for WAPA’s consideration at any time during the EIS process. ADDRESSES: Oral or written comments may be provided at the public scoping meetings or mailed or emailed to Mark Wieringa, NEPA Document Manager, Headquarters, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228–8213, email RailTieWind@wapa.gov, telephone (720) 962–7448. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information on the scoping meeting, proposed Project, the EIS process, or to receive a copy of the Draft EIS when it is published, contact Mark Wieringa using the information above. For general information on DOE’s NEPA review process, contact Brian Costner, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC–54, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0119, email AskNEPA@ hq.doe.gov, telephone (202) 586–4600 or (800) 472–2756, facsimile (202) 586– 7031. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: WAPA is a Federal power marketing administration within the DOE that markets and delivers Federal wholesale electric power (principally hydroelectric power) to municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, public utilities, irrigation districts, Federal and State agencies, and Native American tribes in 15 western and central States. The proposed Project would be located within WAPA’s Rocky Mountain Region, which operates in Arizona, Colorado, most of Wyoming, and portions of Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Utah. ConnectGen applied to interconnect up to 504 megawatts (MW), via two 252–MW applications, with WAPA’s existing Ault-Craig 345kV transmission line in Albany County, DATES: E:\FR\FM\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1 71922 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 249 / Monday, December 30, 2019 / Notices Wyoming. The Ault-Craig transmission line passes through the proposed Project area, which is located south of Laramie and north of the Colorado state line, on either side of U.S. Highway 287. The proposed Project would be located on private and State lands; no federallymanaged land would be affected. There are no designated cooperating agencies at this time, but cooperating agencies could be identified at a later date. WAPA will prepare an EIS on the interconnection of the proposed Project in accordance with NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021), and the CEQ regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Purpose and Need for Agency Action WAPA needs to consider ConnectGen’s interconnection request under its Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff), which provides for open access to its transmission system through an interconnection if there is available capacity in the transmission system. This EIS will address WAPA’s Federal action of interconnecting the proposed Project to WAPA’s transmission system, constructing an interconnection switchyard on the existing Ault-Craig transmission line, and making any necessary system modifications to accommodate the interconnection of ConnectGen’s proposed Project. Preliminary studies indicate that the power system can accommodate the proposed interconnection without negatively affecting system reliability or power deliveries to existing customers. The transmission system may require network and/or transmission system upgrades as determined in the final studies. WAPA’s Proposed Action Subject to compliance with the provisions of the Tariff and after consideration of the impacts identified in the Final EIS, WAPA will consider approving ConnectGen’s interconnection request and constructing a 345-kV interconnection switchyard on the Ault-Craig transmission line. By taking this action, power generated by the proposed Project would use WAPA’s transmission system to reach the market. If WAPA’s decision is to approve the interconnection request, WAPA would construct, own, operate, and maintain a 345-kV interconnection switchyard located adjacent to the Ault-Craig transmission line. The interconnection switchyard would consist of a line interconnection, switching equipment and breakers, a control house, VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Dec 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 communications gear, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) capability, and related equipment. The switchyard would be eight to ten acres in size, surfaced with gravel or crushed rock and enclosed by security fencing. Alternatives WAPA will evaluate location options for its interconnection switchyard within the proposed Project area along the existing Ault-Craig transmission line. Under the No Action Alternative, WAPA would not approve the interconnection request or construct the interconnection facility. Applicant’s Proposed Project ConnectGen’s proposed Project would consist of up to 84 to 151 wind turbine generators with a generating capability of 3 to 6 MW each, for a combined total generating capacity of up to 504 MW. The wind turbines would be located within an approximately 26,000-acre site in southeast Albany County, Wyoming, roughly centered on the town of Tie Siding and bisected by U.S. Highway 287. The turbines would be located in a varying number of generally north-south oriented strings of varying lengths, with the strings being approximately one-half mile apart. Separation between turbines, between turbine strings, and the number of turbine strings would vary with different turbine sizes. Each turbine would have a maximum height of up to 675 feet to the blade tip, and a permanent footprint including base, transformer, and associated pads of about one-tenth of an acre. In addition to the turbines, temporary access roads and permanent all-weather access roads to each turbine location would be required. To the extent possible, existing roads and trails would be incorporated into the access road system and upgraded as necessary. It is estimated that approximately 60 miles of new permanent all-weather access roads would be needed for the proposed Project. Two 345-kV Project substations, one on either side of U.S. Highway 287 would be constructed. The substation sites would be about five acres in size, and each would contain one or two main power transformers, breakers and switches, control buildings, SCADA and metering equipment, a permanent meteorological tower, and other related equipment. The substations would be gravel- or crushed rock-surfaced, and enclosed by security fencing. Approximately four miles of 345-kV single circuit transmission line would connect the two Project substations with WAPA’s interconnection switchyard. PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Up to 105 miles of 34.5-kV collection lines would connect the transformers at each turbine to the Project substations. The collection lines would typically be 34.5 kV, and would likely be a combination of buried electrical cables and overhead lines on poles 30 to 50 feet tall. To the extent practicable, the collection lines would parallel Project access roads to limit environmental disturbance and facilitate maintenance. The proposed Project would also include eight 105-meter-tall permanent meteorological towers, four on either side of the highway, each located so as to best capture wind and other weather data. The towers would likely be of the self-supported, lattice-mast type, to eliminate the bird collision risk posed by guy wires. An approximately 7,000-square-foot operations and maintenance (O&M) building would be constructed to support the proposed Project. The O&M building would include water, sanitary, and electrical services, and would house equipment for monitoring turbine operation and performance and a shop area for repair and maintenance. The O&M building would be located within an approximately five-acre securityfenced area, which would provide a secure yard for vehicle parking and spare components. Several temporary laydown yards of approximately 15 acres each would be sited after biological and cultural resources surveys were completed to avoid sensitive areas. The sites would be temporarily gravel-surfaced and would serve as vehicle parking and staging areas for construction equipment and turbine and collection line components and materials. These sites would be reclaimed after completion of construction. Although mobile concrete mixing batch plants are not proposed at this time, it is possible they could be employed. As with the laydown yards, any batch plant sites would be surveyed before use, and reclaimed after construction was completed. Although WAPA’s Federal action is to consider the interconnection request and the physical interconnection to WAPA’s existing transmission system, the EIS will also identify and analyze the environmental impacts of ConnectGen’s entire proposed Project. ConnectGen would complete necessary coordination with State and local agencies to permit their proposed Project, while WAPA would be responsible for its interconnection switchyard. Floodplain or Wetland Involvement Since the proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or E:\FR\FM\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 249 / Monday, December 30, 2019 / Notices wetlands, this NOI also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action. The EIS will include a floodplain/wetland assessment and floodplain/wetland statement of findings following DOE regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review (10 CFR part 1022). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Environmental Issues The location of the proposed Project is in a sparsely populated portion of southeastern Wyoming. Available overview information indicates this area has a relatively low probability of substantial natural resources conflicts. This information includes the 2012 Draft EIS for the Hermosa West Wind Energy Project (DOE/EIS–0438), which analyzed an area largely included in the proposed Project west of U.S. Highway 287. ConnectGen’s siting process for the wind turbine strings and associated facilities will consider sensitive resources, and the proposed Project would be designed to avoid these areas. The EIS will evaluate the level of impact WAPA’s proposed action and ConnectGen’s proposed Project alternatives would have on environmental resources within the approximately 26,000-acre site, which may lead to modifications in the proposed Project to further avoid or minimize resource impacts. Although no substantive resource conflicts have been identified thus far, the EIS will analyze the potential impacts on potentially affected environmental resources. Wind turbine power generation projects are generally known to have visual and noise effects, and may affect birds and bats. Public Participation Interested parties are invited to participate in the scoping process to help define the important resources and issues to be analyzed in depth, and to eliminate from detailed study issues that are not pertinent. The scoping process will involve all interested agencies (Federal, State, county, and local), Native American tribes, public interest groups, businesses, affected landowners, and individual members of the public. WAPA will consult with potentially affected tribes to jointly evaluate and address the potential Project effects on cultural resources, traditional cultural properties, or other resources important to the tribes. These consultations will be conducted in accordance with Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Dec 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 Governments (65 FR 67249), the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994, Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments (59 FR 22951), DOEspecific guidance on tribal interactions, and applicable natural and cultural resources laws and regulations. Public informational/scoping meetings will be held as described under DATES and ADDRESSES sections at the beginning of this notice. The meetings will be informal, and attendees will be able to speak directly with WAPA and ConnectGen representatives about the proposed Project. The public is encouraged to provide information and comments on issues it believes WAPA should address in the EIS. Comments may be broad in nature or restricted to specific areas of concern, but should be directly relevant to Project issues, the NEPA process, or expected resource impacts. After gathering comments on the scope of the EIS during the 30-day scoping period, WAPA will address the issues raised in the EIS. Comments on WAPA’s proposed action and ConnectGen’s proposed Project will be accepted and considered at any time during the EIS process, and may be directed to WAPA as described under the ADDRESSES section. WAPA’s EIS process will include the public scoping meetings; consultation and coordination with appropriate Federal, State, county, and local agencies and tribal governments; involvement with affected landowners; distribution of and public review and comment on the Draft EIS; a public hearing or hearings on the Draft EIS; distribution of a published Final EIS; and publication of WAPA’s Record of Decision in the Federal Register. Dated: December 17, 2019. Mark A. Gabriel, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–28222 Filed 12–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL–10003–84–Region 6] Underground Injection Control Program; Hazardous Waste Injection Restrictions; Petition for Exemption Reissuance—Class I Hazardous Waste Injection; Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (GLCC) El Dorado, Arkansas Facility Notice of a final decision on a UIC no migration petition reissuance. ACTION: Notice is hereby given that a reissuance of an exemption to the Land Disposal Restrictions, under the 1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, has been granted to GLCC for two Class I hazardous waste injection wells located at their El Dorado, Arkansas facility. The company has adequately demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the petition reissuance application and supporting documentation that, to a reasonable degree of certainty, there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the injection zone for as long as the waste remains hazardous. This final decision allows the underground injection by GLCC of the specific restricted hazardous wastes identified in this exemption reissuance request, into Class I hazardous waste injection wells WDW–5 and WDW–6 until December 31, 2026, unless the EPA moves to terminate this exemption. Additional conditions included in this final decision may be reviewed by contacting the EPA Region 6 Ground Water/UIC Section. A public notice was issued October 7, 2019, and the public comment period closed on November 22, 2019, and no comments were received. This decision constitutes final Agency action and there is no Administrative appeal. SUMMARY: This action is effective as of December 12, 2019. DATES: Copies of the petition reissuance and all pertinent information relating thereto are on file at the following location: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, Water Division, Safe Drinking Water Branch (6WDD), 1201 Elm Street, Suite 500, Dallas, Texas 75270–2102. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Philip Dellinger, Chief, Ground Water/ UIC Section, EPA—Region 6, telephone (214) 665–8324. Dated: December 12, 2019. James R. Brown, Associate Director, Safe Drinking Water Branch. [FR Doc. 2019–28209 Filed 12–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71923 E:\FR\FM\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 249 (Monday, December 30, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71921-71923]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-28222]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Interconnection of the Proposed Rail Tie Wind Project, Wyoming 
(DOE/EIS-0543)

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
and to conduct scoping meetings; notice of floodplain and wetlands 
involvement.

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

SUMMARY: ConnectGen Albany County LLC applied to interconnect their 
proposed Rail Tie Wind Project (Project) with the Western Area Power 
Administration's (WAPA) existing Ault-Craig 345-kilovolt (kV) 
transmission line in Albany County, Wyoming. WAPA will prepare an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposal to interconnect 
the Project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) NEPA Implementing 
Procedures, and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations 
for implementing NEPA. Portions of the proposed Project may affect 
floodplains and wetlands, so this Notice of Intent (NOI) also serves as 
a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action in accordance with 
DOE floodplain and wetland environmental review requirements.

DATES: The public scoping period starts with the publication of this 
notice and ends on January 29, 2020. To initiate the public involvement 
process, informational/public scoping meetings will be held in Laramie, 
Wyoming, near the Project site. Public notice of the date, time, and 
place of the meetings will be posted on the Project website at https://www.wapa.gov/transmission/EnvironmentalReviewNEPA/Pages/rail-tie-wind-project.aspx. All known interested parties, agencies, tribes, and the 
public will be notified of the meetings directly via the Project 
mailing list, and via paid advertising, news releases, or other 
appropriate means. WAPA will consider all comments on the scope of the 
EIS received or postmarked by the end of the scoping period. The public 
is invited to submit comments on the proposed Project for WAPA's 
consideration at any time during the EIS process.

ADDRESSES: Oral or written comments may be provided at the public 
scoping meetings or mailed or emailed to Mark Wieringa, NEPA Document 
Manager, Headquarters, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 
281213, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213, email [email protected], telephone 
(720) 962-7448.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information on the 
scoping meeting, proposed Project, the EIS process, or to receive a 
copy of the Draft EIS when it is published, contact Mark Wieringa using 
the information above. For general information on DOE's NEPA review 
process, contact Brian Costner, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, 
GC-54, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, 
Washington, DC 20585-0119, email [email protected], telephone (202) 
586-4600 or (800) 472-2756, facsimile (202) 586-7031.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: WAPA is a Federal power marketing 
administration within the DOE that markets and delivers Federal 
wholesale electric power (principally hydroelectric power) to 
municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, public utilities, 
irrigation districts, Federal and State agencies, and Native American 
tribes in 15 western and central States. The proposed Project would be 
located within WAPA's Rocky Mountain Region, which operates in Arizona, 
Colorado, most of Wyoming, and portions of Kansas, Nebraska, New 
Mexico, and Utah. ConnectGen applied to interconnect up to 504 
megawatts (MW), via two 252-MW applications, with WAPA's existing Ault-
Craig 345-kV transmission line in Albany County,

[[Page 71922]]

Wyoming. The Ault-Craig transmission line passes through the proposed 
Project area, which is located south of Laramie and north of the 
Colorado state line, on either side of U.S. Highway 287. The proposed 
Project would be located on private and State lands; no federally-
managed land would be affected. There are no designated cooperating 
agencies at this time, but cooperating agencies could be identified at 
a later date.
    WAPA will prepare an EIS on the interconnection of the proposed 
Project in accordance with NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); DOE NEPA 
Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021), and the CEQ regulations for 
implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508).

Purpose and Need for Agency Action

    WAPA needs to consider ConnectGen's interconnection request under 
its Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff), which provides 
for open access to its transmission system through an interconnection 
if there is available capacity in the transmission system. This EIS 
will address WAPA's Federal action of interconnecting the proposed 
Project to WAPA's transmission system, constructing an interconnection 
switchyard on the existing Ault-Craig transmission line, and making any 
necessary system modifications to accommodate the interconnection of 
ConnectGen's proposed Project. Preliminary studies indicate that the 
power system can accommodate the proposed interconnection without 
negatively affecting system reliability or power deliveries to existing 
customers. The transmission system may require network and/or 
transmission system upgrades as determined in the final studies.

WAPA's Proposed Action

    Subject to compliance with the provisions of the Tariff and after 
consideration of the impacts identified in the Final EIS, WAPA will 
consider approving ConnectGen's interconnection request and 
constructing a 345-kV interconnection switchyard on the Ault-Craig 
transmission line. By taking this action, power generated by the 
proposed Project would use WAPA's transmission system to reach the 
market. If WAPA's decision is to approve the interconnection request, 
WAPA would construct, own, operate, and maintain a 345-kV 
interconnection switchyard located adjacent to the Ault-Craig 
transmission line. The interconnection switchyard would consist of a 
line interconnection, switching equipment and breakers, a control 
house, communications gear, supervisory control and data acquisition 
(SCADA) capability, and related equipment. The switchyard would be 
eight to ten acres in size, surfaced with gravel or crushed rock and 
enclosed by security fencing.

Alternatives

    WAPA will evaluate location options for its interconnection 
switchyard within the proposed Project area along the existing Ault-
Craig transmission line. Under the No Action Alternative, WAPA would 
not approve the interconnection request or construct the 
interconnection facility.

Applicant's Proposed Project

    ConnectGen's proposed Project would consist of up to 84 to 151 wind 
turbine generators with a generating capability of 3 to 6 MW each, for 
a combined total generating capacity of up to 504 MW. The wind turbines 
would be located within an approximately 26,000-acre site in southeast 
Albany County, Wyoming, roughly centered on the town of Tie Siding and 
bisected by U.S. Highway 287. The turbines would be located in a 
varying number of generally north-south oriented strings of varying 
lengths, with the strings being approximately one-half mile apart. 
Separation between turbines, between turbine strings, and the number of 
turbine strings would vary with different turbine sizes. Each turbine 
would have a maximum height of up to 675 feet to the blade tip, and a 
permanent footprint including base, transformer, and associated pads of 
about one-tenth of an acre.
    In addition to the turbines, temporary access roads and permanent 
all-weather access roads to each turbine location would be required. To 
the extent possible, existing roads and trails would be incorporated 
into the access road system and upgraded as necessary. It is estimated 
that approximately 60 miles of new permanent all-weather access roads 
would be needed for the proposed Project.
    Two 345-kV Project substations, one on either side of U.S. Highway 
287 would be constructed. The substation sites would be about five 
acres in size, and each would contain one or two main power 
transformers, breakers and switches, control buildings, SCADA and 
metering equipment, a permanent meteorological tower, and other related 
equipment. The substations would be gravel- or crushed rock-surfaced, 
and enclosed by security fencing. Approximately four miles of 345-kV 
single circuit transmission line would connect the two Project 
substations with WAPA's interconnection switchyard. Up to 105 miles of 
34.5-kV collection lines would connect the transformers at each turbine 
to the Project substations. The collection lines would typically be 
34.5 kV, and would likely be a combination of buried electrical cables 
and overhead lines on poles 30 to 50 feet tall. To the extent 
practicable, the collection lines would parallel Project access roads 
to limit environmental disturbance and facilitate maintenance.
    The proposed Project would also include eight 105-meter-tall 
permanent meteorological towers, four on either side of the highway, 
each located so as to best capture wind and other weather data. The 
towers would likely be of the self-supported, lattice-mast type, to 
eliminate the bird collision risk posed by guy wires.
    An approximately 7,000-square-foot operations and maintenance (O&M) 
building would be constructed to support the proposed Project. The O&M 
building would include water, sanitary, and electrical services, and 
would house equipment for monitoring turbine operation and performance 
and a shop area for repair and maintenance. The O&M building would be 
located within an approximately five-acre security-fenced area, which 
would provide a secure yard for vehicle parking and spare components.
    Several temporary laydown yards of approximately 15 acres each 
would be sited after biological and cultural resources surveys were 
completed to avoid sensitive areas. The sites would be temporarily 
gravel-surfaced and would serve as vehicle parking and staging areas 
for construction equipment and turbine and collection line components 
and materials. These sites would be reclaimed after completion of 
construction. Although mobile concrete mixing batch plants are not 
proposed at this time, it is possible they could be employed. As with 
the laydown yards, any batch plant sites would be surveyed before use, 
and reclaimed after construction was completed.
    Although WAPA's Federal action is to consider the interconnection 
request and the physical interconnection to WAPA's existing 
transmission system, the EIS will also identify and analyze the 
environmental impacts of ConnectGen's entire proposed Project. 
ConnectGen would complete necessary coordination with State and local 
agencies to permit their proposed Project, while WAPA would be 
responsible for its interconnection switchyard.

Floodplain or Wetland Involvement

    Since the proposed Project may involve action in floodplains or

[[Page 71923]]

wetlands, this NOI also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or 
wetland action. The EIS will include a floodplain/wetland assessment 
and floodplain/wetland statement of findings following DOE regulations 
for compliance with floodplain and wetlands environmental review (10 
CFR part 1022).

Environmental Issues

    The location of the proposed Project is in a sparsely populated 
portion of southeastern Wyoming. Available overview information 
indicates this area has a relatively low probability of substantial 
natural resources conflicts. This information includes the 2012 Draft 
EIS for the Hermosa West Wind Energy Project (DOE/EIS-0438), which 
analyzed an area largely included in the proposed Project west of U.S. 
Highway 287. ConnectGen's siting process for the wind turbine strings 
and associated facilities will consider sensitive resources, and the 
proposed Project would be designed to avoid these areas. The EIS will 
evaluate the level of impact WAPA's proposed action and ConnectGen's 
proposed Project alternatives would have on environmental resources 
within the approximately 26,000-acre site, which may lead to 
modifications in the proposed Project to further avoid or minimize 
resource impacts. Although no substantive resource conflicts have been 
identified thus far, the EIS will analyze the potential impacts on 
potentially affected environmental resources. Wind turbine power 
generation projects are generally known to have visual and noise 
effects, and may affect birds and bats.

Public Participation

    Interested parties are invited to participate in the scoping 
process to help define the important resources and issues to be 
analyzed in depth, and to eliminate from detailed study issues that are 
not pertinent. The scoping process will involve all interested agencies 
(Federal, State, county, and local), Native American tribes, public 
interest groups, businesses, affected landowners, and individual 
members of the public.
    WAPA will consult with potentially affected tribes to jointly 
evaluate and address the potential Project effects on cultural 
resources, traditional cultural properties, or other resources 
important to the tribes. These consultations will be conducted in 
accordance with Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination 
with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249), the President's 
memorandum of April 29, 1994, Government-to-Government Relations with 
Native American Tribal Governments (59 FR 22951), DOE-specific guidance 
on tribal interactions, and applicable natural and cultural resources 
laws and regulations.
    Public informational/scoping meetings will be held as described 
under DATES and ADDRESSES sections at the beginning of this notice. The 
meetings will be informal, and attendees will be able to speak directly 
with WAPA and ConnectGen representatives about the proposed Project. 
The public is encouraged to provide information and comments on issues 
it believes WAPA should address in the EIS. Comments may be broad in 
nature or restricted to specific areas of concern, but should be 
directly relevant to Project issues, the NEPA process, or expected 
resource impacts. After gathering comments on the scope of the EIS 
during the 30-day scoping period, WAPA will address the issues raised 
in the EIS. Comments on WAPA's proposed action and ConnectGen's 
proposed Project will be accepted and considered at any time during the 
EIS process, and may be directed to WAPA as described under the 
ADDRESSES section.
    WAPA's EIS process will include the public scoping meetings; 
consultation and coordination with appropriate Federal, State, county, 
and local agencies and tribal governments; involvement with affected 
landowners; distribution of and public review and comment on the Draft 
EIS; a public hearing or hearings on the Draft EIS; distribution of a 
published Final EIS; and publication of WAPA's Record of Decision in 
the Federal Register.

    Dated: December 17, 2019.
Mark A. Gabriel,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-28222 Filed 12-27-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P