Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Implementation of the FutureGen Project
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and the DOE NEPA implementing procedures (10 CFR part 1021), to assess the potential environmental impacts for the proposed action of providing Federal funding (up to $700 million) for the FutureGen Project. The FutureGen Project would comprise the planning, design, construction and operation by a private-sector organization of a coal-fueled electric power and hydrogen gas (H2) production plant integrated with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and geologic sequestration of the captured gas. Following an evaluation of 12 site proposals from seven states, DOE identified four sites as reasonable alternatives: (1) Mattoon, Illinois; (2) Tuscola, Illinois; (3) Jewett, Texas; and (4) Odessa, Texas. DOE has prepared this Notice of Intent (NOI) to inform interested parties of the pending EIS and to invite public comments on the proposed action, including: (1) The proposed plans for implementing the FutureGen Project, (2) the range of environmental issues and alternatives to be analyzed, and (3) the nature of the impact analyses to be considered in the EIS. A general overview of the proposed action was published on February 16, 2006, in an Advance Notice of Intent (71 FR 8283). DOE has signed a Cooperative Agreement that provides financial assistance to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, Inc. (Alliance) for implementing the FutureGen Project. The Alliance is a non-profit industrial consortium led by the coal-fueled electric power industry and the coal production industry. Along with planning, designing, constructing and operating the FutureGen power plant and the sequestration facility, the Alliance would also monitor, measure, and verify geologic sequestration of CO2. The FutureGen Project aims to establish the technical and economic feasibility of co-producing electricity and H2 from coal while capturing and sequestering the CO2 generated in the process. FutureGen would employ integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant technology that for the first time would be integrated with CO2 capture and geologic sequestration. DOE is providing technical and programmatic guidance to the Alliance, retains certain review and approval rights as defined in the Cooperative Agreement, and oversees Alliance activities for compliance with the terms of the Cooperative Agreement. DOE is responsible for NEPA compliance activities. Both DOE and the Alliance encourage state and local agencies, local communities, the environmental community, international stakeholders, and research organizations to participate in the FutureGen Project through the NEPA process. Potential environmental impacts of each of the four alternatives will be analyzed in detail in the EIS. Reasonable power plant technologies and component configurations proposed by the Alliance will be used in the evaluation. In addition, DOE will consider potential mitigation opportunities in the EIS.
Repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 and Enactment of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005
By this order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) grants clarification and rehearing in part of Order No. 667-A. Order No. 667-A granted rehearing in part and denied rehearing in part of Order No. 667, which amended the Commission's regulations to implement repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 and enactment of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005.