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Notice

Algonquin Northern Maine Generating Company; Notice of Intent to File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document (Pad), Intent To Waive Certain Procedural Matters, Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the Pad and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study Requests

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Start Preamble

a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application for a New License and Commencing Pre-filing Process.

b. Project No.: 2368-056.

c. Dated Filed: May 1, 2017.

d. Submitted By: Algonquin Northern Maine Generating Company (Algonquin).

e. Name of Project: Squa Pan Hydroelectric Project.

f. Location: On Scopan Stream near the town of Masardis in Aroostook Start Printed Page 28647County, Maine. The project does not occupy federal land.

g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR part 5 of the Commission's Regulations.

h. Potential Applicant Contact: Alain Basakay, Project Manager, Algonquin Northern Maine Generating Company, 84 Water Street, Caribou, Maine 04736, Alain.Basakay@algonquinpower.com or 905-465-7059

i. FERC Contact: John Baummer at (202) 502-6837 or email at john.baummer@ferc.gov.

j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item o below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with: (a) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA Fisheries under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, part 402 and (b) the State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

l. With this notice, we are designating Algonquin as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation, pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

m. The current license for the Squa Pan Project was issued with an effective date of December 4, 1991, for a term of 30 years and expires on December 3, 2021. Section 5.5(d) of the Commission's regulations provides that an existing licensee must file its Notice of Intent (NOI) no later than five years before the expiration of the license; therefore the date for Algonquin to file its NOI was December 3, 2016. Algonquin filed a Notice of Intent to File License Application (NOI) on December 8, 2016, along with a request for an extension until August 2017 to file a Pre-Application Document (PAD). No other entity filed an NOI or PAD.

On January 5, 2017 the Commission issued a Notice of Existing Licensee's Failure to File Notice of Intent to File a New License Application. The notice set a deadline of 120 days from the issuance date for Algonquin and competing applicants to file NOIs, PADs and requests to use an alternative licensing process. The notice also denied Algonquin's request for an extension until August 2017 to file a PAD because it would unreasonably shorten the time available for preparation of a license application and/or conducting necessary studies.

On May 1, 2017, Algonquin filed an updated NOI and PAD, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations. No other entity filed an NOI, PAD or request to use an alternative licensing process.

Because the licensee states its unequivocal intent to submit an application for a new license for Project No. 2368, and no other entity has filed an NOI, PAD, or request for an alternative licensing process, the Commission intends to waive section 16.24(a) of the Commission's regulations, and allow Algonquin to file an application for a new license for the project. The Commission's process plan and schedule for relicensing Project No. 2368 can be found in Appendix B of Scoping Document 1, issued concurrently with this notice.

n. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov), 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 at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

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

o. With this notice we are soliciting comments on the PAD and Commission's staff Scoping Document 1 (SD1), as well as study requests. All comments on the PAD and SD1, and study requests should be sent to the address above in paragraph h. In addition, all comments on the PAD and SD1, study requests, requests for cooperating agency status, and all communications to and from Commission staff related to the merits of the potential application must be filed with the Commission.

The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file all documents using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/​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 FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. 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-2368-056.

All filings with the Commission must bear the appropriate heading: Comments on Pre-Application Document, Study Requests, Comments on Scoping Document 1,”Request for Cooperating Agency Status, or Communications to and from Commission Staff. Any individual or entity interested in submitting study requests, commenting on the PAD or SD1, and any agency requesting cooperating status must do so by August 29, 2017.

p. Although our current intent is to prepare an environmental assessment (EA), there is the possibility that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be required. Nevertheless, this meeting will satisfy the NEPA scoping requirements, irrespective of whether an EA or EIS is issued by the Commission.

Scoping Meetings

Commission staff will hold two scoping meetings in the vicinity of the project at the time and place noted below. The daytime meeting will focus on resource agency, Indian tribes, and non-governmental organization concerns, while the evening meeting is primarily for receiving input from the public. We invite all interested individuals, organizations, and agencies to attend one or both of the meetings, and to assist staff in identifying particular study needs, as well as the scope of environmental issues to be addressed in the environmental document. The times and locations of these meetings are as follows:

Daytime Scoping Meeting

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017.

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Location: Hampton Inn, 768 Main Street, Presque Isle, ME 04736.

Phone: (207) 760-9292.

Evening Scoping Meeting

Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Hampton Inn, 768 Main Street, Presque Isle, ME 04736.Start Printed Page 28648

Phone: (207) 760-9292.

Scoping Document 1 (SD1), which outlines the subject areas to be addressed in the environmental document, was mailed to the individuals and entities on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of SD1 will be available at the scoping meetings, or may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link. Follow the directions for accessing information in paragraph n. Based on all oral and written comments, a Scoping Document 2 (SD2) may be issued. SD2 may include a revised process plan and schedule, as well as a list of issues, identified through the scoping process.

Environmental Site Review

The potential applicant and Commission staff will conduct an Environmental Site Review of the project on Thursday, July 27, 2017, starting at 9:00 a.m. All participants should meet at the Squa Pan Dam, located at Squapan Hydro Road, Masardis, Maine 04732. All participants are responsible for their own transportation. Anyone with questions about the site visit should contact Mr. James Veil of Algonquin at (207-551-9881) on or before July 13, 2017.

Meeting Objectives

At the scoping meetings, staff will: (1) Initiate scoping of the issues; (2) review and discuss existing conditions and resource management objectives; (3) review and discuss existing information and identify preliminary information and study needs; (4) review and discuss the process plan and schedule for pre-filing activity that incorporates the time frames provided for in Part 5 of the Commission's regulations and, to the extent possible, maximizes coordination of federal, state, and tribal permitting and certification processes; and (5) discuss the appropriateness of any federal or state agency or Indian tribe acting as a cooperating agency for development of an environmental document.

Meeting participants should come prepared to discuss their issues and/or concerns. Please review the PAD in preparation for the scoping meetings. Directions on how to obtain a copy of the PAD and SD1 are included in item n. of this document.

Meeting Procedures

The meetings will be recorded by a stenographer and will be placed in the public records of the project.

Start Signature

Dated: June 16, 2017.

Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2017-13092 Filed 6-22-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P