Notice of Availability of a Special Environmental Analysis; Potomac River Generating Station
DOE has prepared a Special Environmental Analysis (SEA) for Actions Taken under U.S. Department of Energy Emergency Orders Regarding Operation of the Potomac River Generating Station in Alexandria, Virginia, and is announcing its availability. In the SEA, DOE examines environmental impacts from the Secretary of Energy's December 20, 2005 Emergency Order, and the Secretary's September 28, 2006 extension of that Emergency Order; the SEA covers a period of about 24 months beginning in December 2005. The SEA also considers alternatives that include mitigation measures that DOE may take until the Potomac Electric Power Company's (PEPCO) installation of two additional 230 kV electric transmission lines to the Central Washington, DC area (expected in June 2007) that would appear to eliminate the emergency that lead to the issuance of the December 20, 2005 Emergency Order. DOE prepared the SEA after consulting with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for alternative arrangements under 40 CFR 1506.11, which applies where emergency circumstances make it necessary to take action without preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency worked with DOE on this SEA. Simultaneously with issuance of the SEA, the Secretary is issuing another temporary extension of the Emergency Order until February 1, 2007. DOE is providing the public an opportunity to comment before the Secretary considers whether to allow the Order to expire, extend the Order, or extend the Order with mitigation measures.
Amended Record of Decision: Idaho High-Level Waste and Facilities Disposition Final Environmental Impact Statement
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is amending its Record of Decision (ROD) published December 19, 2005 (70 Federal Register [FR] 75165), pursuant to the Idaho High-Level Waste and Facilities Disposition Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) (DOE/EIS- 0287, September 2002). The Final EIS analyzed two sets of alternatives for accomplishing DOE's proposed actions regarding the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC): (1) Waste processing alternatives and (2) facility disposition alternatives. As described in this Amended ROD, DOE has decided to conduct performance-based closure of the INTEC Tank Farm Facility (TFF). This decision to conduct performance-based closure of the TFF does not affect decisions made in the initial ROD concerning: performance-based closure of other existing facilities directly related to the HLW Program; planned clean closure of newly constructed waste processing facilities needed to implement the initial ROD; steam reforming treatment of sodium-bearing waste (SBW) to allow disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico (DOE's preferred disposal path) or at a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and HLW; management of newly generated liquid waste (NGLW); and DOE's strategy to retrieve HLW calcine for disposal outside the State of Idaho. Nor does this Amended ROD affect future decisions concerning the retrieval strategy for HLW calcine stored at INTEC, potential calcine treatment if necessary, and closure of the bin sets in which the calcine is stored.
Determination Under Section 3116 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 for the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center Tank Farm Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory
Section 3116 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (NDAA) provides that certain waste from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel is not considered high-level radioactive waste (HLW) if the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), determines that the waste meets the statutory criteria set forth in Section 3116(a). The Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of the Secretary's Section 3116 Determination for the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) Tank Farm Facility (TFF), which addresses the stabilized residuals in the TFF and TFF system on the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) near Arco, Idaho, and the document that sets forth the basis for the Section 3116 Determination (Basis Document). The Section 3116 Determination sets forth the Secretarial finding that the stabilized residuals in the TFF and TFF system: (1) Do not require permanent isolation in a deep geologic repository, (2) have or will have had highly radioactive radionuclides removed to the maximum extent practical, (3) will be disposed of in accordance with NRC performance objectives for the disposal of low-level waste, (4) will be disposed of pursuant to DOE's disposal plan developed in consultation with the NRC, and (5) will be disposed of pursuant to closure plans approved by the State of Idaho. The Basis Document sets forth the facts and analyses supporting the Secretary's Section 3116 Determination. DOE's Amended Record of Decision to close the TFF pursuant to the Idaho High-Level Waste and Facilities Disposition Final Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0287, September 2002) is being provided separately and concurrently with this Notice.
Technical Amendments: Transfer of Office Functions and Removal of Obsolete Regulations
DOE has created a new Office of Health, Safety and Security to strengthen and improve formulation and implementation of health, safety and security policy. Incident to creation of the new office, DOE has transferred certain health, safety and security functions to the new office that previously were carried out by the Office of Environment, Safety and Health and the Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance. Certain functions related to DOE's responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act have been transferred to the Office of the General Counsel. Other functions outside of the core mission of health, safety and security have been transferred to other DOE offices performing similar or related functions. This notice of final rulemaking makes technical amendments to DOE's regulations to substitute the officials to whom or offices to which functions have been transferred pursuant to the reorganization of offices and functions. DOE also is removing Office of Environment, Safety and Health regulations in 10 CFR part 852 because Congress has transferred that authority to the Department of Labor. Today's regulatory amendments do not alter substantive rights or obligations under current law.
Long-Term Firm Transmission Rights in Organized Electricity Markets
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is issuing an order on rehearing and clarification of Long-Term Firm Transmission Rights in Organized Electricity Markets, Order No. 681, 71 FR 43564 (Aug. 1, 2006). The order on rehearing denies rehearing and upholds Order No. 681 in all respects, and grants certain limited clarifications.
Preventing Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service
On May 19, 2006, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) in this proceeding. Preventing Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service, 71 FR 32636 (June 6, 2006). In the NOPR, the Commission proposed, inter alia, to modify the redispatch obligations associated with long-term firm point-to-point service and, in addition, sought comments on whether the creation of a conditional firm product would represent a superior approach to address circumstances under which firm transmission service can be provided in most, but not all, of the hours of the request. Based on the comments received in response to the NOPR, the Commission is seeking further comment on the following two topics: the proposal of the Transparent Dispatch Advocates for transmission providers to post redispatch cost information and provide real-time redispatch; and specific questions related to the provision of conditional firm service.
Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Publication of the Extension of Interim Waiver of Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc., from the U.S. Department of Energy Residential and Commercial Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Test Procedures
On March 24, 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a Petition for Waiver and notice granting an Application for Interim Waiver to Mitsubishi Electric and Electronics USA, Inc., (MEUS) from energy efficiency test procedure requirements that are applicable to residential and commercial air conditioners and heat pumps. (71 FR 14858) The date of issuance of the Interim Waiver was March 15, 2006, and it terminated 180 days after issuance on September 11, 2006. In today's action, DOE is extending the Interim Waiver for 180 days, or until March 10, 2007.