The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the potential environmental impacts of the Kleen Energy Lateral Project involving the construction of approximately 1.13 miles of 20-inch-diameter natural gas transmission pipeline by Algonquin Gas Transmission, L.L.C. (AGT) in Middletown, Connecticut. The EA will be used by the Commission in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.
This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. Your input will help determine which issues need to be evaluated in the EA. Please note that the scoping period will close on October 23, 2008. Details on how to submit comments are provided in the “Public Participation” section of this notice.
This notice is being sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. State and local government representatives are asked to notify their constituents of this proposed project and to 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. AGT would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable Start Printed Page 56814agreement. 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, AGT 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?” 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
AGT proposes to construct its 1.13-mile-long, 20-inch-diameter Kleen Energy Lateral in the area of Middlesex County, Connecticut. AGT would also construct one metering station and related ancillary facilities. The project would provide up to 131,000 dekatherms per day of firm natural gas transportation service to the Kleen Energy Power Plant, a proposed 620-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant to be constructed by Kleen Energy in the City of Middletown, Connecticut. The lateral pipeline would begin at an interconnect with AGT's existing W-System pipeline at the NRG Power Plant Facility and terminate at the proposed meter station in the vicinity of the proposed power plant.
Construction and operation of the proposed project would affect about 18.6 acres, including the pipeline (4.3 acres), meter station (0.9 acre), temporary workspaces (11.6 acres), and access roads (1.8 acres). The proposed project is primarily located within an existing paved roadway. The meter station would be located immediately adjacent to the proposed Kleen Energy Power Plant. AGT would require one new access road to access the proposed meter station. Another existing road (located at the Middletown Power Plant) would be used for site access during construction and operation.
The general location of the proposed facilities is shown in appendix 1.
The EA Process
We  are preparing this EA to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impact that could result if it authorizes AGT's proposal. By this notice, we are also asking federal, state, and local agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA. Agencies that would like to request cooperating status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided below.
NEPA also requires the FERC 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, we are requesting public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. All comments received will be considered during the preparation of the EA.
The EA 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 and visual quality
- Cultural resources
- Vegetation and wildlife (including threatened and endangered species)
- Air quality and noise
- Reliability and safety
We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, where necessary, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
Our independent analysis of the issues will be presented 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, local libraries and newspapers, 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 received and considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the “Public Participation” section below.
You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Kleen Energy Lateral Project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects of the proposal, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen the environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send in your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before October 23, 2008.
For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please reference the project docket number with your submission. The docket number can be found on the front of this notice. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has dedicated eFiling expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or eFiling@ferc.gov.
(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.”
(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 Street, NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 1, PJ11.1.
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.” Start Printed Page 56815Intervenors 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) (see appendix 2). 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 environmental comments considered.
Environmental Mailing List
As described above, we may publish and distribute the EA for comment. If you are interested in receiving an EA for review and/or comment, please return the Environmental Mailing List Form (appendix 3). If you do not return the Environmental Mailing List Form, you will be taken off the mailing list. All individuals who provide written comments will remain on our environmental mailing list for this project.
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, then 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 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, any public meetings or site visits scheduled for this project will be posted on the Commission's calendar at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information. You can also request additional information by calling AGT at (713) 627-5053.Start Signature
Kimberly D. Bose,
1. The appendices referenced in this notice are not being printed in the Federal Register. Copies of all appendices 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 “Additional Information” section of this notice. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail. Requests for detailed maps of the proposed facilities should be made directly to AGT.Back to Citation
2. “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the FERC's Office of Energy Projects.Back to Citation
3. 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. E8-22868 Filed 9-29-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P