The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) on the natural gas pipeline facilities proposed for the Optimized Pipeline Project (OP Project) in Jefferson and Orange Counties, Texas, in the above-referenced docket. The OP Project is an amendment to the Golden Pass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal and Pipeline Project proposed in Docket Nos. CP04-386-000 and CP04-400-000 and approved in an order issued by the Commission on July 6, 2005 (Order). The OP Project amends only certain pipeline facilities approved in Docket No. CP04-400-000. The OP project includes the Optimized Design Variation and the Optimized Route Variation.
The EA was prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The staff concludes that approval of the proposed project with appropriate mitigating measures as recommended, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The EA also evaluates alternatives to the proposal.
The EA addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the following amended natural gas pipeline facilities:
- The Optimized Design Variation would replace the two 36-inch-diameter pipelines (Mainline and Loop) approved in the Order with a single 42-inch-diameter pipeline from the pipeline origin at milepost (MP) 0.0 at the Golden Pass LNG Terminal to the American Electric Power Texoma Pipeline interconnection at MP 42.8; and
- The Optimized Route Variation would incorporate a route change between MP 14.1 and MP 34.9 that would reduce the pipeline length between these two points from 20.8 miles to 11.9 miles; and
- The relocation of the interconnections to Kinder Morgan (KM) Tejas Pipeline, KM Texas Pipeline, and Centana Gas Pipeline due to construction of the amended facilities.
The purpose of the proposed facilities would be the same as that authorized in the Order: to provide an additional source of firm, long-term, and competitively priced natural gas to the Texas intrastate and interstate natural gas markets.
The EA has been placed in the public files of the FERC. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street, NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.
Copies of the EA have been mailed to Federal, State and local agencies, public interest groups, interested individuals, newspapers, and parties to this proceeding.
Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. To ensure consideration prior to a Commission decision on the proposal, it is important that we receive your comments before the date specified below. Please carefully follow these instructions to ensure that your comments are received in time and properly recorded:
- Send an original and two copies of your comments to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426;
- Reference: Docket No. CP04-400-001;
- Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 2, PJ11.2; and
- Mail your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before September 14, 2006.
Please note that we are continuing to experience delays in mail deliveries from the U.S. Postal Service. As a result, we will include all comments that we receive within a reasonable time frame in our environmental analysis of this project. However, the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing of any comments or interventions or protests to this proceeding. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the “e-Filing” link and the link to the User's Guide. Before you can file comments you will need to create a free account which can be created by clicking on “Sign-up.”
Comments will be considered by the Commission but will not serve to make the commentor a party to the proceeding. Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).1 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision.
Affected landowners and parties with environmental concerns may be granted intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which would not be adequately represented by any other parties. You do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.
Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 1-866-208-FERC or on the FERC Internet Web site (http://www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field. Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Start Printed Page 48920Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.
In addition, the Commission now offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries and direct links to the documents. Go to http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.Start Signature
Magalie R. Salas,
1. Interventions may also be filed electronically via the Internet in lieu of paper. See the previous discussion on filing comments electronically.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E6-13822 Filed 8-21-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P