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Notice

Colorado Interstate Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Totem Storage Field 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 April 30, 2007.

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 Totem Storage Field Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Colorado Interstate Gas Company (CIG) in Adams County, Colorado.

This notice announces the opening of the scoping process we will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. Your input will help the Commission staff determine which issues need to be evaluated in the EA. Please note that the scoping period will close on May 30, 2007.

This notice is being sent to affected landowners; Federal, State, and local government representatives and agencies; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties in this proceeding; and local libraries and newspapers. We encourage government representatives to notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

If you are a landowner receiving this notice, you may be contacted by a pipeline company representative about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The pipeline company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the project is approved by the Commission, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings in accordance with state law.

A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” was attached to the project notice CIG provided to landowners. This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and 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

CIG proposes to convert a depleted natural gas production field in eastern Adams County, Colorado located 34 miles northeast of the City of Denver into the proposed Totem Storage Field Project. The storage field design would have a total gas inventory of approximately 10.7 Bcf, comprised of 7.0 Bcf of working gas and 3.7 Bcf of base gas. CIG seeks authority to:

  • Construct and operate a 9,400 horsepower compressor station in Adams County, Colorado;
  • Reenter 16 abandoned wells and replug 10 of the 16 wells and convert the remaining six wells to observation wells;
  • Plug and abandon three of seven currently operational oil and gas wells and convert the remaining four operational oil and gas wells to observation wells;
  • Drill eight horizontal injection withdrawal wells from three separate well pad locations. Horizontal wells (Nos. 1, 2. and 3) would be drilled at Site Pad No. 1 near the north end of the field in the vicinity of an existing well pad (Well No. 8-10); horizontal well (Nos. 4, 7, and 8) would be grouped at Site Pad No. 2 located in the center of the field; and horizontal wells (Nos. 5 and 6) would be drilled at Site Pad No. 3 in the south central portion of the field in the vicinity of an existing well pad location (Well No. 48-2);
  • Drill one salt water disposal well; and
  • Construct about 3 miles of 6-inch-diameter gathering pipeline and 1.5 miles of 4-inch-diameter saltwater pipeline.

The gathering lines would be high-pressure, steel line. The brine disposal line would be high-pressure, fiberglass line. Fiberglass pipe will also be used to collect brine and other fluids from the individual well head separators and dehydrators and will conduct these fluids to the dew point control plant located at the compressor station site. These pipes will occupy the same trench as the main gathering lines, fuel gas lines, electrical and communication lines.

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

Land Requirements for Construction

Construction of the proposed facilities would require about 442.5 acres of land. Following construction, about 29.9 acres would be maintained as permanent pipeline right-of-way, well sites, or new aboveground facility sites. The remaining 412.6 acres of land would be restored and allowed to revert to its former use.

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 requests 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 [2] will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

  • Geology and soils.
  • Land use.
  • Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands.
  • Cultural resources.
  • Vegetation and wildlife.
  • Air quality and noise.
  • Endangered and threatened species.
  • Hazardous waste. Start Printed Page 25291
  • Public safety.

We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

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 CIG. This preliminary list of issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis.

  • Federally listed endangered or threatened species may occur in the proposed project area.
  • Cultural resources may be affected by the project.

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/EIS and considered by the Commission. You should focus on the potential environmental effects of the proposal, alternatives to the proposal (including alternative locations/routes), 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:

Kimberly D. Bose, 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 2.
  • Reference Docket No. PF07-6-000.
  • Mail your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before May 30, 2007.

Please note that the Commission encourages electronic filing of comments. See 18 Code of Federal Regulations 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Internet Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the “eFiling” link and the link to the User's Guide. Prepare your submission in the same manner as you would if filing on paper and save it to a file on your hard drive. Before you can file comments you will need to create an account 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.”

When CIG submits its application for authorization to construct and operate the Totem Storage Field Project, the Commission will publish a Notice of Application in the Federal Register and will establish a deadline for interested persons to intervene in the proceeding. Because the Commission's Pre-Filing Process occurs before an application to begin a proceeding is officially filed, petitions to intervene during this process are premature and will not be accepted by the Commission.

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, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within distances defined in the Commission's regulations of certain aboveground facilities. By this notice we are also asking governmental agencies, especially those in Appendix 2, to express their interest in becoming cooperating agencies for the preparation of the EA.

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.

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

Philis J. Posey,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  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 Web site 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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2.  “We”, “us” “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Office of Energy Projects (OEP).

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[FR Doc. E7-8538 Filed 5-3-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P