Rural Utilities Service September 11, 2008 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for Public Scoping in Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: E8-21178
Type: Notice
Date: 2008-09-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, is extending the public comment period for the public scoping in preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed action by Minnkota Power Cooperative (Minnkota Power), Otter Tail Power Company, and Minnesota Power to construct a 230 kV electric transmission line from Bemidji to Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Rural Development and the State of Minnesota Office of Energy Security (OES) are jointly preparing an EIS to evaluate the potential impacts of the proposed transmission line pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), 36 CFR 800.2(a); section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act 16 U.S.C. 470f and its implementing regulations, ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR Part 800); the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), Minnesota Statute, Chapter 116D.04; the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act (MPPSA); Minnesota Statute, Chapter 216 E.03 and Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4400. The U.S. Forest Service-Chippewa National Forest, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe are participating as Cooperating Agencies in development of the EIS. Two public scoping documents, an Alternatives Evaluation Study (AES) and a Macrocorridor Study (MCS), were prepared to provide public information on the proposed project. Using information from the AES and the MCS and considering input provided by government agencies, private organizations, and the public, Rural Development and OES, in consultation with the Cooperating Agencies, will determine the scope of the EIS. The MCS Study included maps of only three of the four transmission line corridor alternatives. This report has been updated to include the map of four transmission line macrocorridor options that are currently part of the study area. Notices distributed in local areas to notify the public of the proposed project included only one macrocorridor option with two route alternatives the applicants proposed in the State of Minnesota Route Permit Application. To ensure that interested parties located within the any of the four transmission line macrocorridor alternatives are provided adequate opportunity for comment, notices are being reissued and the public comment period is being extended for one month.
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