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Moriah Hydro Corporation; Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping Comments

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Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

a. Type of Application: Original Major License.

b. Project No.: P-12635-002.

c. Date filed: February 13, 2015.

d. Applicant: Moriah Hydro Corporation.

e. Name of Project: Mineville Energy Storage Project.

f. Location: The project would be located in an abandoned subterranean mine complex [1] in the town of Moriah, Essex County, New York. No federal lands are occupied by project works or located within the project boundary.

g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

h. Applicant Contact: James A. Besha, President, Moriah Hydro Corporation, c/o Albany Engineering Corporation, 5 Washington Square, Albany, New York 12205, (518) 456-7712.

i. FERC Contact: Chris Millard (202) 502-8256 or

j. Deadline for filing scoping comments: January 7, 2016.

The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file scoping comments using the Commission's eFiling system at​docs-filing/​efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at​docs-filing/​ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at, (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-12635-002.

The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

k. This application has been accepted for filing, but is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

l. The proposed project consists of: (1) An upper reservoir located within the upper portion of the mine between elevations 495 and 1,095 feet above mean seal level (msl), with a surface area of 4 acres and a storage capacity of 2,448 acre-feet; (2) a lower reservoir in the lower portion of the mine between elevations −1,075 and −1,555 feet msl, with a surface area of 5.1 acres and a storage capacity of 2,448 acre-feet; (3) a 14-foot-diameter and 2,955-foot-long upper reservoir shaft connecting the upper reservoir to the high-pressure penstock located below the powerhouse chamber floor; (4) a 14-foot-diameter and 2,955-foot-long lower reservoir shaft connecting the lower reservoir and the lower reservoir ventilation tunnel; (5) two 6-foot-diameter emergency evacuation shafts located between the powerhouse chamber and the electrical equipment chamber; (6) a 25-foot-diameter main shaft extending 2,955 feet from the surface down to the powerhouse chamber; (7) 15-foot-diameter high- and low-pressure steel penstocks embedded beneath the powerhouse chamber floor; (8) a 320-foot-long by 80-foot-wide powerhouse chamber, containing 100 reversible pump-turbine units, each with a nameplate generating capacity of 2.4 megawatts; (9) a 274-foot-long by 36-foot-wide underground electrical equipment chamber adjacent to the powerhouse chamber; (10) an inclined electrical tunnel connecting the electrical equipment chamber to a new 115-kilovolt (kV) substation constructed adjacent to an existing single circuit 115-kV transmission line located about one horizontal mile from the underground powerhouse chamber; and (11) appurtenant facilities. The project would operate as a closed-loop system to meet energy demands and grid control requirements. The project would have an average annual generation of 421 gigawatt-hours (GWh). The average pumping power used by the project would be 554 GWh.

m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

Register online at​docs-filing/​esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

n. Scoping Process

The Commission intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) on the project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA will consider both site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.Start Printed Page 79469

Scoping Meetings

FERC staff will conduct one agency scoping meeting and one public meeting. The agency scoping meeting will focus on resource agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) concerns, while the public scoping meeting is primarily for public input. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend one or both of the meetings, and to assist the staff in identifying the scope of the environmental issues that should be analyzed in the EA. The times and locations of these meetings are as follows:

Agency Scoping Meeting

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Place: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 5 Sub-Office, Conference Room A

Address: 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, New York 12885

Public Scoping Meeting

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2016

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Place: Moriah Central School Auditorium

Address: Moriah Central School, 39 Viking Lane, Port Henry, New York 12974

Copies of the Scoping Document (SD1) outlining the subject areas to be addressed in the EA were distributed to the parties on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of the SD1 will be available at the scoping meeting or may be viewed on the web at using the “eLibrary” link (see item m above).

Environmental Site Review

The Applicant and FERC staff will conduct a project Environmental Site Review beginning at 2:00 p.m. on December 8, 2016. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend. All participants should meet at the informal parking area of the Moriah Highway Department at 30 Joyce Rd, Mineville, New York. Anyone with questions about the Environmental Site Review should contact Wendy Carey, consultant for Moriah Hydro Corporation at (518) 456-7712.


At the scoping meetings, the staff will: (1) Summarize the environmental issues tentatively identified for analysis in the EA; (2) solicit from the meeting participants all available information, especially quantifiable data, on the resources at issue; (3) encourage statements from experts and the public on issues that should be analyzed in the EA, including viewpoints in opposition to, or in support of, the staff's preliminary views; (4) determine the resource issues to be addressed in the EA; and (5) identify those issues that require a detailed analysis, as well as those issues that do not require a detailed analysis.


The meetings will be recorded by a stenographer and become part of the formal record of the Commission proceeding on the project.

Individuals, organizations, and agencies with environmental expertise and concerns are encouraged to attend the meeting and to assist the staff in defining and clarifying the issues to be addressed in the EA.

Start Signature

Dated: November 4, 2016.

Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,

Deputy Secretary.

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1.  The existing mine complex is composed of the interconnected Old Bed, Bonanza open pit, and Harmony mines.

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[FR Doc. 2016-27253 Filed 11-10-16; 8:45 am]