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Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Rockies Western Phase Project

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Start Preamble November 3, 2006.

Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC, Docket No. CP06-354-000; TransColorado Gas Transmission Company, Docket No. CP06-401-000; Questar Overthrust Pipeline Company, Docket No. CP06-423-000.

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the natural gas pipeline facilities proposed by Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (Rockies Express), TransColorado Gas Transmission Company (TransColorado), and Questar Overthrust Pipeline Company (Overthrust) in the above-referenced dockets. These individual corporate entities have submitted separate and distinct proposals to the Commission; however, the FERC views the proposed facilities as interconnected projects that are necessary components of a larger, combined natural gas transportation system. As such, all three project proposals have been included in this draft EIS, and are collectively referred to as the Rockies Western Phase Project (or the Project). The Project facilities would be located in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and New Mexico.

The draft EIS was prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Federal Land Management and Policy Act. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are federal land management agencies with lands affected by this proposal and are cooperating agencies for the development of the EIS. A cooperating agency has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to potential environmental impacts associated with the proposal, and is involved in the NEPA analysis. The Project would cross federal land under the jurisdiction of the BLM Rawlins, Kemmerer, and Rock Springs Field Offices. Lands administered by the FWS would also be crossed by the Project. Under section 185(f) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the BLM has the authority to issue Right-of-Way Grants for all affected federal lands.

The FERC staff has concluded that if the Rockies Western Phase Project is constructed and operated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, the mitigation proposed by Rockies Express, TransColorado, and Overthrust, and the staffs' additional mitigation recommendations, the Project would have limited adverse environmental impact and would be an environmentally acceptable action.

As currently proposed, the Rockies Western Phase Project would consist of the construction and operation of approximately 796 miles of natural gas pipeline and a total of 237,320 horsepower of new compression. Following completion of the proposed facilities, the Project would transport up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Specifically, the draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the following natural gas pipeline facilities proposed by Rockies Express, TransColorado, and Overthrust:

Rockies Express (REX-West Project)

  • 712.7 miles of 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri;
  • 5.3 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline (Echo Springs Lateral) in Sweetwater and Carbon Counties, Wyoming;
  • five new compressor stations (Cheyenne Compressor Station in Weld County, Colorado; Julesburg Compressor Station in Sedgwick County, Colorado; Start Printed Page 65806Echo Springs Compressor Station in Sweetwater County, Wyoming; the Steele City Compressor Station in Gage County, Nebraska; and Turney Compressor Station in Clinton County, Missouri);
  • four new compressor units at two previously certificated compressor stations (Meeker Compressor Station in Rio Blanco County, Colorado and Wamsutter Compressor Station in Sweetwater County, Wyoming); and
  • 8 new meter stations, 41 mainline valves, and associated facilities.

TransColorado (Blanco to Meeker Project)

  • 392 feet of discharge line and 478 feet of suction line, 1,300 feet of 24-inch-diameter pipeline, and 60 feet of 16-inch-diameter pipeline in San Juan County, New Mexico;
  • two new compressor stations (Blanco Compression Station in San Juan County, New Mexico and the Conn Creek Compressor Station in Garfield County, Colorado);
  • modifications at three existing compressor stations (Mancos Compressor Station in Montezuma County, Colorado; Redvale Compressor Station in Montrose County, Colorado; and Whitewater Compressor Station in Mesa County, Colorado); and
  • one new meter station.

Overthrust (Wamsutter Expansion Project)

  • 77.2 miles of 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Sweetwater County, Wyoming;
  • 0.1 mile of 36-inch-diameter pipeline (Opal Extension) and 0.1 mile of 20-inch-diameter pipeline (TL-90 Tie-in);
  • two new compressor stations in Wyoming (Roberson Compressor Station in Lincoln County and Rock Springs Compressor Station in Sweetwater County); and
  • two new meter stations, three new block valves, and associated facilities.

Comment Procedures and Public Meetings

Any person wishing to comment on the draft EIS may do so. To ensure consideration prior to a Commission decision on the proposal, it is important that the Commission receives your comments before the date specified below. Please carefully follow these instructions to ensure that your comments are received and properly recorded:

  • Send an original and two copies of your comments to:

Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

  • Reference Docket Nos. CP06-354-000, CP06-401-000, and CP06-423-000.
  • Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 1.
  • Mail your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before December 28, 2006.

The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing of any comments, interventions, or protests to this proceeding. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site at 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 “Login to File” and then “New User Account.” You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making. This filing is considered a “Comment on Filing.”

In lieu of sending written comments, you are invited to attend public comment meetings the FERC will conduct in the project area to receive comments on the draft EIS. Date, time, and location of these meetings will be sent under separate cover. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend and present oral comments on the draft EIS. Transcripts of the meetings will be prepared.

After the comments are reviewed, any significant new issues are investigated, and modifications are made to the draft EIS, a final EIS will be published and distributed by the FERC staff. The final EIS will contain the staff's responses to timely comments received on the draft EIS.

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). Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. Anyone may intervene in this proceeding based on this draft EIS. You must file your request to intervene as specified above.[1] You do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

The draft EIS has been placed in the public files of the FERC and is available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street, NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 208-1371.

CD-ROM copies of the draft EIS have been mailed to Federal, State, and local agencies; public interest groups; individuals and affected landowners who requested a copy of the draft EIS or provided comments during scoping; libraries and newspapers in the Project area; and parties to this proceeding. Hard copy versions of the draft EIS were mailed to those specifically requesting them. A limited number of hard copies and CD-ROMs are available from the Public Reference Room identified above.

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 ( 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 or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link on the FERC Internet Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, 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 the eSubscription link on the FERC Internet Web site.

Start Signature

Magalie R. Salas,


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1.  Interventions may also be filed electronically via the Internet in lieu of paper. See the previous discussion on filing comments electronically.

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[FR Doc. E6-18986 Filed 11-8-06; 8:45 am]