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 Southern Pines Energy Center Expansion Project II involving construction and operation of facilities by SG Resources Mississippi, L.L.C. (SGRM) in Greene County, Mississippi.
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 Start Printed Page 38445input will help the Commission staff determine which issues need to be evaluated in the EA. Please note that the scoping period will close on July 31, 2008.
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 SGRM 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
SGRM is proposing to expand its currently certificated Southern Pines Energy Center Gas storage field. SGRM is proposing to provide a total of 40 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of working gas capacity, supported by 11.4 Bcf of cushion gas capacity, for a total storage field capacity of 51.4 Bcf. The expanded facilities would be capable of injecting and withdrawing gas at a maximum rate of 1.8 Bcf per day and delivering gas at a maximum rate of 0.9 Bcf per day. SGRM seeks authority to undertake the following construction-related activities in Greene County, Mississippi:
- Enlarge the working gas capacity of each of the three currently certificated gas storage caverns from 8 Bcf to 10 Bcf, and cushion gas capacity from 2.1 Bcf to 2.8 Bcf.
- Develop a fourth 10 Bcf working gas capacity gas storage cavern with a cushion gas capacity of 2.8 Bcf.
- Drill two additional brine disposal wells.
- Construct the 3.13-mile-long, 24-inch-diameter Destin Lateral Loop pipeline.
- Construct a 200-foot-long, 24-inch diameter interconnecting pipeline that would connect the proposed Destin Lateral Loop pipeline to meter stations owned by Destin Pipeline Company, LLC and Southeast Supply Header, LLC.
- Install two additional 8,000 horsepower engine driven compressors.
The location of the project facilities is shown in Appendix 1.
There are no nonjurisdictional facilities associated with this project.
Land Requirements for Construction
Construction of the proposed facilities would require about 45.2 acres of land which includes 37.9 acres for a 100-foot-wide pipeline construction right-of-way (ROW), of which a 50-foot-wide strip consists of a previously certificated permanent ROW. Following construction, about 1.1 acres would be maintained as new aboveground facility sites and permanent rights-of-way. The remaining 44.1 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  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
- Public safety
We will also evaluate reasonable 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 SGRM. This preliminary list of issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis.
- The federally listed threatened gopher tortoise may be affected by the project.
- The project may have increased air emissions and noise impacts.
You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Southern Pines Energy Center Expansion Project II. Your comments Start Printed Page 38446should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure timely and proper recording, please send in your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC, on or before July 31, 2008.
For your convenience, there are three methods in which you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please reference the project docket number CP02-229-004 with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has dedicated eFiling expert staff available to assist you at 202-502-8258 or email@example.com.
(1) You may file your comments electronically by using the Quick Comment feature, which is located on the Commission's Internet Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. A Quick Comment is an easy method for interested persons to submit text-only comments on a project;
(2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission's Internet Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. eFiling involves preparing your submission in the same manner as you would if filing on paper, and then saving the file on your computer's hard drive. You will attach that file as your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “Sign up” or “eRegister.” You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making. A comment on a particular project is considered a “Comment on a Filing;” or
(3) You may file your comments via mail to the Commission by sending 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 3, PJ11.3.
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.
Becoming an Intervenor
In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an official party to the proceeding known as an “intervenor.” Intervenors play a more formal role in the process. Among other things, intervenors have the right to receive copies of case-related Commission documents and filings by other intervenors. Likewise, each intervenor must send one electronic copy (using the Commission's eFiling system) or 14 paper copies of its filings to the Secretary of the Commission and must send a copy of its filings to all other parties on the Commission's service list for this proceeding.
If you want 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). Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision.
The Notice of Application for this proposed project issued on June 6, 2008, identified the date for the filing of interventions as June 27, 2008. However, affected landowners and parties with environmental concerns may be granted late 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.
Availability of 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
Kimberly D. Bose,
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.Back to Citation
2. “We”, “us”, and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Office of Energy Projects (OEP).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E8-15219 Filed 7-3-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P