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National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation, Empire Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Northern Access 2016 Project

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The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Northern Access 2016 Project, proposed by National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc. (National Fuel) in the above-referenced dockets. National Fuel requests authorization to construct, operate, and maintain about 99 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline and related facilities in McKean County, Pennsylvania and Allegany, Cattaraugus, Erie, and Niagara Counties, New York. The Project would provide 350,000 dekatherms per day of capacity to markets in the northeastern United States and Canada.

The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Northern Access 2016 Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EA. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the NEPA analysis.

The proposed Northern Access 2016 Project includes the following facilities:

  • 96.9 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline in McKean County, Pennsylvania and Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Erie Counties, New York;
  • 0.9 mile of 16-inch-diameter pipeline and 1.2 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline in Niagara County, New York;
  • a new 22,000 horsepower (hp) compressor station in Niagara County;
  • an additional 5,000 hp of compression at an existing compressor station in Erie County;
  • a metering, regulation, and delivery station in Erie County;
  • a dehydration facility in Niagara County;
  • tie-ins in McKean, Cattaraugus, and Erie Counties;
  • modification of tie-in facilities in Niagara County;
  • mainline block valves in McKean, Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Erie Counties; and
  • access roads and contractor/staging yards in McKean, Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Erie Counties.

The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local officials; agency representatives; conservation organizations; local libraries and newspapers; Native American groups; property owners affected by the Project facilities; and parties to this proceeding. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site ( using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426 (202) 502-8371.

Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. 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 the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before August 26, 2016.

For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments with the Commission. In all instances please reference the project docket number (CP15-115-000 or CP15-115-001) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at 202-502-8258 or

(1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature located on the Commission's Web site ( under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

(2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site ( 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.

Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).[1] Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

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 ( 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., CP15-115). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 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​docs-filing/​esubscription.asp.

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Dated: July 27, 2016.

Kimberly D. Bose,


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1.  See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

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[FR Doc. 2016-18572 Filed 8-4-16; 8:45 am]