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Notice

Gulfstream Natural Gas System, L.L.C.; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Phase V Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

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Start Preamble November 6, 2009.

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 Phase V Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Gulfstream Natural Gas System, L.L.C. (Gulfstream) in Manatee County, Florida. 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.

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 the Commission staff determine what issues need to be evaluated in the EA. Please note that the Start Printed Page 58623scoping period will close on December 7, 2009.

This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for the project, which includes affected landowners; Federal, State, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; parties to this proceeding; and local libraries and newspapers. State and local government representatives are asked to notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

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 Gulfstream 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 also available for viewing on the FERC Internet Web site (htpp://www.ferc.gov).

Summary of the Proposed Project

Gulfstream proposes to construct and operate a new turbine-driven compressor unit at its existing Station 420 Compressor Station in Manatee County, Florida. The new 20,500-horsepower Solar Titan 130 compressor would be located within the existing station boundaries. Gulfstream also proposes to replace the impellers of the two existing turbines at Station 420 to match the flow conditions present after the installation of the new compressor.

The proposed project would provide an additional 35,000 dekatherms per day of firm natural gas service to the Hines Electric Generation Station in Polk County, Florida. The location of Station 420 and the proposed unit is shown in appendix 1.[1]

Land Requirements for Construction

All construction, including the laydown yard north of the station fenceline, would take place on land owned by Gulfstream. Gulfstream would extend its existing compressor building to accommodate the new unit. The laydown yard would be revegetated and allowed to revert to its pre-construction condition after construction is completed. No new access roads would be constructed; however, existing station driveways would be improved.

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 [2] 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, the Commission requests 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.

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;
  • Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
  • Cultural resources;
  • Vegetation and wildlife;
  • Threatened and endangered species;
  • Land use, recreational, and visual resources;
  • Air quality and noise; and
  • Public safety.

We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the proposed project site 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 those on our mailing list (see discussion of how to remain on our mailing list on page 4). 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 discussion below.

With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA. These agencies may choose to participate once they have evaluated the proposal relative to their responsibilities. Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation discussion.

Public Participation

You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should 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 that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before December 7, 2009.

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 (CP10-4-000) 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 efiling@ferc.gov.

(1) You may file your comments electronically by using the Quick Comment feature, which is located on the FERC Internet Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the “Documents and Filings” link. 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 under the “Documents and Filings” link. 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 with the Commission via mail 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, PJ-11.1.

Environmental Mailing List

An effort is being made to send this notice to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in Start Printed Page 58624and/or potentially affected by the proposed project. This includes all landowners who own homes within a certain distance (as defined in the Commission's regulations) of the compressor station site.

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 form (appendix 2). 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 “intervenor”, which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are included in the User's Guide under the “eFiling” link on the Commission's Web site.

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 Internet at 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 (i.e., CP10-4), 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, 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,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  The appendices referenced in this notice are not being published in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice by mail and are available at http://www.ferc.gov at the link called “eLibrary” 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.

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2.  “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

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[FR Doc. E9-27296 Filed 11-12-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P