The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Lewis Creek Amendment Project (Project). The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to Start Printed Page 60191determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity. East Cheyenne Gas Storage, LLC (East Cheyenne) is seeking authorization to amend the certificate previously issued in FERC Docket No. CP10-34-000 for the East Cheyenne Gas Storage Project in Logan County, Colorado. Specifically East Cheyenne seeks authorization to combine the working gas capacity and cushion gas capacity for the West Peetz and Lewis Creek Storage Fields and utilize the same maximum bottom-hole pressure, thus eliminating separately certified capacities for each field. East Cheyenne requests this amendment because recent (updated) geologic information shows that the West Peetz and Lewis Creek D-sands in the storage field are a single integrated reservoir. As part of this consolidation, East Cheyenne would reconfigure certain natural gas facilities in the Lewis Creek portion of the Project; and expand the buffer zone of 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. 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. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. 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 January 8, 2018.
If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on October 27, 2017, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP18-11-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.
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 proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.
If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.
East Cheyenne provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know? 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. It is also available for viewing on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov).
For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.
(1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's website (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 file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's website (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. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or
(3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP18-11-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
Summary of the Proposed Project
East Cheyenne proposes to amend its current certificated Project by:
1. Reconfiguring the Injection/Withdrawal (I/W) wells in the Lewis Creek portion of the Project by converting one existing non-jurisdictional well to an I/W well (LC-D021) and collocating on the existing, non-jurisdictional well pad five directionally drilled I/W wells (LC-D022, LC-D023, LC-D024, LC-D025, and LC-D026).
2. combining the certificated maximum working gas and cushion gas capacities of the West Peetz and Lewis Creek Storage Fields, eliminating the separate certificated West Peetz and Lewis Creek working and cushion gas capacities and reallocating cushion gas capacity as working gas capacity;
3. decreasing the total cushion gas capacity to 12.1 billion cubic feet and increasing the total working gas capacity to 22.5 billion cubic feet; 
4. eliminating the currently certificated maximum bottom-hole pressure distinction between the West Peetz Storage Field (2,353 pounds per square inch absolute [PSIA]) and the Lewis Creek Storage Field (1,900 PSIA) and applying a maximum bottom-hole pressure of 2,353 PSIA uniformly across the single, integrated storage reservoir;
5. reconfiguring the pipelines originally certificated for the Lewis Creek Storage Field by:
a. Reducing the diameter of the previously authorized 20-inch-diameter Lewis Creek natural gas mainline pipeline to a 16-inch-diameter pipeline; and
b. reconfigure the 16-inch-diameter Lewis Creek natural gas mainline and the 6-inch-diameter water disposal pipeline as the Lewis Creek produced water mainline to connect directly to the reconfigured I/W wells LC-D021 through LC-D026 on the single LC-D021 well pad.
6. reconfiguring the monitoring wells originally certificated for the Lewis Creek Storage Field. Eight monitoring wells are currently certificated in the Lewis Creek Storage Field: Two are existing and in service, (LC-M001 and LC-M002) and six are authorized but unconstructed (LC-M003, LC-M005 through LC-M009). LC-M003 would be relocated and installed as a new well (LC-M003 was previously authorized to be converted from an existing non-jurisdictional well). East Cheyenne would install one new monitoring well, LC-M004. There would be no change to monitoring wells LC-M005 and LC-M006. East Cheyenne would relocate and convert three existing non-jurisdictional wells to monitoring wells, LC-M007, LC-M008, LC-M009, for a total of nine wells to monitor the D-Sands in the Lewis Creek Storage Field; andStart Printed Page 60192
7. Eliminating the currently certificated, but unconstructed produced water disposal well (LC-W002), well pad, and appurtenant facilities certificated for the Project.
The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.
Land Requirements for Construction
The changes along with the pipelines, wells, well pads, and access roads that East Cheyenne no longer requires as a result of the reconfiguration of the Lewis Creek portion of the certificated Project, would result in a reduction in the overall land requirements for the Project on the order of 55 acres associated with construction and 35 acres for operation. Land requirements for the amended Project would include land to be used temporarily for construction and land to be retained during operations as aboveground facility sites in the Lewis Creek storage field (well pads and access roads). The current land requirements for the amended Project is on the order of 53 acres for construction and 14 acres for operation.
The EA 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 issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 
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 EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.
In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:
- Geology and soils;
- water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
- vegetation and wildlife;
- endangered and threatened species;
- cultural resources;
- land use;
- air quality and noise;
- public safety; and
- cumulative impacts.
We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our recommendations to the Commission. 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 2.
With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.
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.
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 applicable State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.
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 right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.
Environmental Mailing List
The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; 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 proposed project.
If we publish and distribute the EA, copies 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 2).
Becoming an Intervenor
In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, 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 website. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp.
Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website at 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 Start Printed Page 60193digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP18-11). 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.
Finally, public sessions or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.
Dated: December 8, 2017.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2017-27223 Filed 12-18-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P