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Notice

Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Jacksonville Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

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The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) examining the potential environmental effects of the Jacksonville Project Start Printed Page 11190(Project) involving the construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, storage, and export facility at a site on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether to authorize the Project.

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 March 26, 2015.

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. If you sent comments on this Project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on November 26, 2014, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF15-7-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding. 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, Jacksonville Project, March 12, 2015; 7:00 p.m. EST, Jacksonville Public Library, 303 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

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.

The purpose of this scoping meeting is to provide the public an opportunity to learn more about the Commission's environmental review process, and to verbally comment on the Project. The scoping meeting will start at 7 p.m. and representatives from Eagle LNG will be present one hour prior to the start of the meeting to answer questions about the Project. Additionally, Eagle LNG has established an Internet Web site at http://www.eaglelng.com/​jacksonville-project/​ that will be updated as the environmental review of its Project proceeds. Please note that free parking will be available at the Duval Street Parking Garage, located at 33 W. Duval Street. Metered street parking will also be available, and is free after 6 p.m.

Affected landowners and interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend the scoping meetings and present comments on the issues they believe should be addressed in the EIS. A transcript of the meeting will be added to the Commission's administrative record to ensure that your comments are accurately recorded.

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

Eagle LNG proposes to construct, own and operate the Jacksonville LNG facility located within the City of Jacksonville, Florida, on industrially zoned land adjacent to the St. Johns River.

The facility would receive domestically produced natural gas, transported through existing and expanded local utility pipelines, and utilize super-cooling to create LNG for temporary onsite storage. The Project would include three liquefaction trains, one (possibly two) LNG storage tanks, and a marine load-out facility and dock on the St. Johns River that could accommodate small to mid-size LNG vessels and bunkering barges. LNG would be periodically loaded for transport onto trucks, containers, or ocean-going vessels, and marketed for use in U.S. vehicular and high-horsepower engines, domestic ship fueling (marine bunkering), and international export.

As currently planned, the Jacksonville Project would consist of the following facilities:

  • Three liquefaction trains, each with a capacity of 0.18 million tons per annum;
  • inlet natural gas boost compression;
  • interconnect piping (including potential non-jurisdictional expansion of existing public utility lines);
  • one 30,283 cubic meter (m3) single containment LNG storage tank;
  • an LNG vessel docking and loading terminal;
  • an LNG truck loading area;
  • flare stack; and
  • power, water, and communications facilities (including off-site non-jurisdictional facilities leading to the Project site).

The general location of the Project site is shown in Appendix 1.[1]

Land Requirements for Construction

The planned Jacksonville Project would encompass a 193 acre site along the St. Johns River that is currently zoned for industrial development by the City of Jacksonville, and located in an area that hosts other bulk fuel terminals. The Project site includes a submerged land lease covering lands extending approximately 600 feet from the shoreline into the St. Johns River. Based on the Project's initial design, the facility construction footprint would occupy approximately 40 of the 193 acres; laydown area requirements during construction are included within the 40-acres. Eagle LNG is still in the planning phase for the Jacksonville Project and the required property title assignments have not been finalized.

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 authorization of LNG facilities under Section 3a of the Natural Gas Act. 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 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;
  • socioeconomics;
  • air quality and noise;
  • endangered and threatened species;
  • public safety and reliability; and
  • cumulative impacts.

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 Start Printed Page 11191pre-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 Eagle LNG in Jacksonville, Florida in January 2015 to explain the environmental review process and answer questions 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 6 of this notice.

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.[3] 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. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) have expressed their intention to participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

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 Florida State Division of Historical Resources (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.[4] 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 area, contractor storage yards, 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 Eagle LNG. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our continued analysis. Issued identified include:

  • Potential impacts on recreational fishing and aquatic resources in the vicinity of Bartram Island and along the St Johns River Shipping Channel;
  • potential water quality impact from dredging and disposal;
  • visual effects on surrounding areas;
  • public safety and hazards associated with the transport of natural gas and LNG; and
  • potential impacts and potential benefits of construction workforce on local housing, infrastructure, public services, and economy.

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 the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before March 26, 2015. 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 (PF15-7-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov.

(1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment (http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​ecomment.asp) feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings (http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​docs-filing.asp). 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 (http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​efiling.asp) 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.” (http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​eregistration.asp). 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).Start Printed Page 11192

Becoming an Intervenor

Once Eagle LNG 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 “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/​help/​how-to/​intervene.asp. 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

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., PF15-7). 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 http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​esubscription.asp.

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.

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Dated: February 24, 2015.

Kimberly D. Bose,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using 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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3.  The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

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4.  The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register for Historic Places.

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[FR Doc. 2015-04206 Filed 2-27-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P