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Notice

Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Cedar Station Upgrade Project

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Cedar Station Upgrade Project, proposed by Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern) in the above-referenced docket. Northern requests authorization to construct approximately 7.86 miles of natural gas pipeline in Dakota County, Minnesota in order to fulfill its contractual obligation with Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota Corporation (NSP-MN) to increase the delivery pressure to NSP-MN's existing Black Dog Generating Station from 400 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) to 650 psig. As part of NSP-MN's process Start Printed Page 91160of reducing its carbon footprint, it has increased its use of natural gas-fired generation.

The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Cedar Station Upgrade 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 Cedar Station Upgrade Project includes the following facilities:

  • Approximately 7.86 miles of new 20-inch-diameter pipeline loop; [1]
  • a new pig [2] launcher and takeoff valve setting at Northern's existing Rosemount Junction facility; and
  • a new pig receiver, tie-in valve setting, and modification of existing regulators and piping at Northern's existing Cedar Meter Station facility.

The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries in the project area. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) 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 January 9, 2017.

For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (CP16-487-000) 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 feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) 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 (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.

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).[3] 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 (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., CP16-487). 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/​docs-filing/​esubscription.asp.

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Dated: December 9, 2016.

Kimberly D. Bose,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  A pipeline “loop” is a segment of pipe installed adjacent to an existing pipeline and connected to the existing pipeline at both ends.

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2.  A “pig” is an internal pipeline tool used to clean a pipeline and/or to inspect for damage or corrosion.

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

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[FR Doc. 2016-30207 Filed 12-15-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P