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 Sabine Pass Liquefaction Modification Project (Project) involving the modification of facilities for Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and Sabine Pass LNG (Sabine Pass) in Cameron County, Louisiana. The Project facilities, described below, are proposed in support of the Sabine Pass facilities that were previously authorized (CP11-72-000) and are currently under construction. 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 1852scoping period will close on February 4, 2013.
Comments on the Project may be submitted in written form or electronically, as described in the Public Participation section of this notice. This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing for this Project. 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.
Summary of the Proposed Project
The Project would consist of the following facilities:
- Construction and operation of a heavies removal unit (HRU) to be located within the existing Sabine Pass facility;
- condensate storage, metering and send-out facilities;
- four gas pipeline meter stations;
- additional workspaces, laydown and parking areas;
- construction and operation of two additional water supply pipelines to be installed via horizontal directional drill (HDD) and the associated workspace for the HDD entry and exit sites; and
- natural gas liquids (NGL) truck loading facilities.
A Project location map depicting the proposed facilities is attached to this notice as Appendix 1.
Land Requirements for Construction
The HRU, condensate storage, and metering facilities would be located within the existing Sabine Pass LNG Import Terminal (SPLNG Terminal) property. No additional land would be required for these facilities. The additional workspace and parking would affect approximately 153.6 acres of land outside of the boundary of the SPLNG Terminal. Construction and operation of the two additional water supply pipelines would temporarily impact approximately 0.92 acres of additional land in an upland area also located outside the SPLNG Terminal.
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, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.
In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as results 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;
- Reliability; and
- 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.
The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our recommendation to the Commission. To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning on page 4.
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. 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.
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 applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their 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 is further developed. On natural gas 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 EA for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status on consultations under section 106.
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 in your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before February 7, 2013.
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 (CP13-2-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) You may file your comments electronically by using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. An eComment is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, 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 Web site at 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 Start Printed Page 1853submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “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 a paper copy of your comments at 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; interested Indian 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 proposed project.
If the EA is published for distribution, copies 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 2).
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 “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site.
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 at 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., CP13-2). 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 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 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: January 3, 2013.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2013-00263 Filed 1-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P