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Notice

Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Louisiana Line Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble November 8, 2006.

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the operation of facilities for the Louisiana Line Expansion Project involving operation of facilities by Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (Natural) in Cameron Parish, Louisiana and Liberty and Montgomery Counties, Texas (Project).[1] This EA will be used by the Commission in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” addresses a number of typically asked questions, including how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is available for viewing on the FERC Internet Web site (http://www.ferc.gov).

Summary of the Proposed Project

Natural seeks authorization to construct and operate:

(a) A 36 inch diameter, 4.43 mile pipeline extension of the existing Louisiana Line 2 in northeast Cameron Parish, LA (the extension would include the 36 inch diameter pipeline, cross-over pipeline to connect the end of the proposed extension to the existing parallel Natural Louisiana Line 1, associated block valves, blowdowns and a pigging receiver attachment);

(b) One 10,000 HP electric motor-driven compressor, 200 MMSCFD natural gas cooling unit and additional capacity in the electrical sub-station to accommodate the increased electrical load from the motor-driven compressor at Station 302 in Montgomery County, Texas;

(c) One 11,000 HP electric motor-driven compressor with variable speed drive, one 600 MMSCFD natural gas cooling unit, and additional capacity in the electrical sub-station to accommodate the increased electrical load from the motor-driven compressor at Station 343 in Liberty County, Texas;

(d) One Solar Taurus 60 combustion gas turbine-driven compressor operating at approximately 7,800 HP site-rated capacity; the re-wheeling of one existing 4,200 HP Allison/Ingersoll-Rand combustion gas turbine-driven compressor and additional platform space at Station 342 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana;

(e) One Solar Centaur 50 combustion gas turbine driven compressor operating at approximately 6,200 HP site-rated capacity, the re-wheeling of all existing compressor units, a 200 MMSCFD Gemini outlet filter separator and a 325 MMSCFD inlet filter separator at Station 346 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana;

(f) Turbine meters to replace three of the existing orifice meter tubes at the existing Henry Hub meter facility site in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana; and

(g) Piping to provide bi-directional compression at Compressor Station 304 in Harrison County, Texas.

Natural also proposes to abandon one 16W-330 Cooper-Bessemer reciprocating engine and three Solar Saturn combustion gas turbines having a combined rating of approximately 10,300 HP at the Station 343 in Liberty County, Texas.

The general location of the project facilities is shown in Appendix 1.[2]

Land Requirements for Construction

The Project would require a total of approximately 89.28 acres for construction. Approximately 30.33 acres would be permanently utilized for operation of the facilities.

The EA Process

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as “scoping”. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this Notice of Intent, the Commission staff Start Printed Page 66771requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. All comments received are considered during the preparation of the EA. State and local government representatives are encouraged to notify their constituents of this proposed action and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

In the EA we [3] will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the project under these general headings:

  • Air quality and noise
  • Cultural resources
  • Fisheries
  • Geology and soils
  • Land use
  • Public safety
  • Water resources
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife

Our independent analysis of the issues will be in the EA. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, the EA may be published and mailed to Federal, State, and local agencies, public interest groups, interested individuals, affected landowners, newspapers, libraries, and the Commission's official service list for this proceeding. A comment period will be allotted for review if the EA is published. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make our recommendations to the Commission.

To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the public participation section below.

Currently Identified Environmental Issues

We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the proposed facilities and the environmental information provided by Natural.

  • Air quality and noise
  • Cultural resources
  • Land use
  • Public safety
  • Water resources

Public Participation

You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. By becoming a commentor, your concerns will be addressed in the EA and considered by the Commission. You should focus on the potential environmental effects of the proposal, alternatives to the proposal, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impact. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. 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 letter to: Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
  • Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 3.
  • Reference Docket No. CP07-3-000.
  • Mail your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before December 11, 2006.

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 on-line.

If you do not want to send comments at this time but still want to remain on our mailing list, please return the Information Request (Appendix 3). If you do not return the Information Request, you will be taken off the mailing list.

Becoming an Intervenor

In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an official party to the proceeding, or “intervenor”. To become an intervenor you must file a motion to intervene according to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214). Intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. Motions to Intervene should be electronically submitted using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons without Internet access should send an original and 14 copies of their motion to the Secretary of the Commission at the address indicated previously. Persons filing Motions to Intervene on or before the comment deadline indicated above must send a copy of the motion to the Applicant. All filings, including late interventions, submitted after the comment deadline must be served on the Applicant and all other intervenors identified on the Commission's service list for this proceeding. Persons on the service list with email addresses may be served electronically; others must be served a hard copy of the filing.

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 environmental comments considered.

Environmental Mailing List

An effort is being made to send this notice to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed Project. This includes all landowners who are potential right-of-way grantors or who own homes within distances defined in the Commission's regulations of certain aboveground facilities.

Additional Information

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 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 http://www.ferc.gov/​esubscribenow.htm.

Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at http://www.ferc.gov/​EventCalendar/​EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

Start Signature

Magalie R. Salas,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  Natural's application was filed with the Commission under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations.

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2.  The appendices referenced in this notice are not being printed in the Federal Register. Copies of all appendices, other than Appendix 1 (maps), are available on the Commission's website at the “eLibrary” link or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary refer to the last page of this notice. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail.

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3.  “We”, “us”, and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Office of Energy Projects (OEP).

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[FR Doc. E6-19323 Filed 11-15-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P