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Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

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Rural Utilities Service, USDA.


Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact.


Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to a request from Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI) for assistance to finance the construction, operation, and maintenance of a new 540-MW gas-fired combustion combined-cycle generation unit, a new 161/345-kV substation, a new 161-kV transmission line, and a new 345-kV transmission line in Mayes County, Oklahoma.


The FONSI is available for public review at the USDA Rural Utilities Service's Web site—​rus/​water/​ees/​ea.htm or at 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 2244, Stop 1571, Washington, DC 20250-1571; and at AECI's headquarters office located at 211 South Golden, Springfield, Missouri 65801-4775 or the Pryor Public Library at 505 E. Graham, Pryor, OK 74361. To obtain copies of the FONSI or for further information, contact Stephanie Strength, Environmental Protection Specialist, USDA, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 1571, Washington, DC 20250-1571, Telephone: (202) 720-0468 or e-mail: or AECI's headquarters office located at 211 South Golden, Springfield, Missouri 65801-4775.

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AECI proposes to construct a 540-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle, gas-fired generation unit at the Mid America Industrial Park Chouteau Power Plant in Mayes County, Oklahoma. A new substation will also be constructed, to be located approximately two miles east of the existing plant, to be connected by a single circuit 161-kV line. A single circuit 345-kV line will further connect the substation to the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) Coal-Fired Power Plant, located in Mayes County, Oklahoma. Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, prepared an Environmental Report for RUS. RUS conducted an independent evaluation of the Environmental Report and agreed that it accurately assessed the impacts of the proposal. RUS accepted the document as its Environmental Assessment and published the document for a 30-day public comment period. The applicant is responsible for obtaining all permits required to construct the proposal.

Pursuant to 36 CFR 800.4(d)(1) of the regulations (36 CFR part 800) implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 16 U.S.C. 470f, RUS made a finding that this project will not affect historic properties. RUS received no objection to this finding of effect from the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office or other consulting parties. RUS has determined this finding of no historic properties affected made pursuant to Section 106 of NHPA to be consistent with its FONSI.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended Start Printed Page 38167(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508), and RUS' Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Part 1794), RUS has determined that the environmental impacts of the proposal have been adequately addressed and that no significant impacts to the quality of the human environment would result from the construction and operation of the proposal. Any final action by RUS related to the proposal will be subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant federal and state environmental laws and regulations. Since RUS' action will not result in significant impacts to the quality of the human environment, the preparation of an environmental impact statement related to the proposed project is not necessary.

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Dated: July 23, 2009.

James R. Newby,

Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. E9-18249 Filed 7-30-09; 8:45 am]