The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Lake Charles Liquefaction Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Trunkline LNG Company, LLC/Trunkline LNG Export, LLC, and Trunkline Gas Company, LLC (Trunkline) in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The Commission will use this EIS 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 they need to evaluate in the EIS. Please note that the scoping period will close on October 15, 2012.
You may submit comments in written form or verbally. Further details on how to submit written comments are in the Public Participation section of this notice. In lieu of or in addition to sending written comments, the Commission invites you to attend the public scoping meeting scheduled as follows: FERC Public Scoping Meeting, Lake Charles Liquefaction Project, October 3, 2012, 6:00 p.m. local time, Holiday Inn, 330 Arena Road, Sulphur, Louisiana 70665, (337) 527-0858.
This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned 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?” is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). 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.
Summary of the Planned Project
Trunkline plans to expand its existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana to liquefy natural gas and export the LNG. The planned facility would be capable of processing about 2.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, which would be supplied by the existing pipeline currently used to send out regasified LNG from the existing LNG terminal, and be capable of exporting approximately 15 million metric tons of LNG per year.
The Lake Charles Liquefaction Project would consist of the following facilities:
- Up to three liquefaction trains (each train contains metering and gas treatment facilities, liquefaction and refrigerant units, safety and control systems, and associated infrastructure);
- Approximately 0.27 mile of 36-inch-diameter feed gas line to supply natural gas to the liquefaction facility from existing gas transmission pipelines;
- Approximately 0.51 mile of LNG transfer and vapor lines between the existing LNG terminal and the planned liquefaction facility; and
- Modifications and upgrades at the existing LNG terminal.
Trunkline plans to initiate construction of the planned project in March 2014 in order to commence operation in March 2018. The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.
Land Requirements for Construction
The planned liquefaction facilities would be constructed on an approximately 240-acre undeveloped site located immediately north of the existing LNG terminal. Trunkline would disturb approximately 230 acres during construction and maintain about 125 acres for permanent operation of the liquefaction facilities. Construction of the planned feed gas pipeline, LNG line, and vapor lines would be included in the 240-acre construction site and additional property within the perimeter of the existing LNG terminal. Modifications to take place at the existing LNG terminal would occur within the existing terminal boundaries.
The EIS 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 EIS on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS.
In the EIS we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings:
- Geology and soils;
- Land use;
- Water resources and wetlands;
- Cultural resources;
- Vegetation, fisheries, and wildlife;
- Air quality and noise;
- Endangered and threatened species; and
- Public safety.
We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EIS. In addition, representatives from the FERC participated in the public open house sponsored by Trunkline in Lake Charles, Louisiana on July 19, 2012, to explain the environmental review process to interested stakeholders.
The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning on page 5.
With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS. 
Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice. Currently, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have expressed their intention to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS to satisfy their NEPA responsibilities related to this project.
Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit its views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.
We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EIS for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.
Currently Identified Environmental Issues
We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities and the environmental information provided by Trunkline. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis. Issued identified include:
- Potential impacts and potential benefits of construction workforce on local housing, infrastructure, public services, and economy;
- Potential impacts on recreational fishing and aquatic resources in the Calcasieu Ship Channel;
- Potential impacts on wetlands on the 240-acre site;
- Potential visual effects on surrounding areas; and
- Public safety and hazards associated with the transport of natural gas and LNG.
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 the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before October 15, 2012. This is not your only public input opportunity; please refer to the Environmental Review Process flowchart in appendix 2.
For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (PF12-8-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or email@example.com.
(1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;
(2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or
(3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
Environmental Mailing List
The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned project.
Copies of the completed draft EIS will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 3).
Becoming an Intervenor
Once Trunkline files its application with the Commission, 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 in the User's Guide under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project.
Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (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 (i.e., PF12-8). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (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 www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.
Dated: September 14, 2012.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2012-23231 Filed 9-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P