The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Buckeye XPress Project, proposed by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) in the above-referenced docket. Columbia requests authorization to construct and operate facilities in Vinton, Jackson, Gallia, and Lawrence Counties, Ohio and Wayne County, West Virginia. The Buckeye XPress Project would increase the firm natural gas transportation capacity on Columbia's system by 275 million cubic feet per day.
The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Buckeye XPress 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 Start Printed Page 24125mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service 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 U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will adopt the EA to fulfill their agency's NEPA obligations. The USFS will use the EA, as well as other supporting documentation, to consider the issuance of a special use permit authorization for the portion of the project on National Forest System lands. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use the EA and supporting documentation to consider the issuance of Clean Water Act Section 404 and Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10 permits. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the EA, the agencies will present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective Records of Decision for the project.
The proposed Buckeye XPress Project includes the following facilities:
- 66.1 miles of new, 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and various associated facilities, including four new tie-ins, four new mainline valves, various other appurtenant facilities, and installation of over-pressure protection at three locations (together resulting in a new R-801 system);
- 0.2 mile of new 4-inch-diameter pipeline for the Wellston Lateral;
- a new regulation run at the existing Ceredo Compressor Station;
- abandonment of 58.7 miles of existing 20-inch-diameter pipeline and associated facilities on Columbia's R-501 system;
- abandonment of 1.1 miles of 2- to 3-inch-diameter distribution pipeline on Columbia's R-530 system; and
- abandonment of 2.1 miles of existing 20- and 24-inch-diameter pipeline and associated facilities on Columbia's R-500 system.
The Commission mailed a copy of the Notice of Availability 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. The EA is only available in electronic format. It may be viewed and downloaded from the FERC's website (www.ferc.gov), on the Environmental Documents page (https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis.asp). In addition, the EA may be accessed by using the eLibrary link on the FERC's website. Click on the eLibrary link (https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp), click on General Search, and enter the docket number in the “Docket Number” field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP18-137-000). 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.
Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on the EA's disclosure and discussion of 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 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 19, 2019.
For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff available to assist you at (866) 208-3676 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 also file your comments electronically 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.” 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. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP18-137-000) with your submission: 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 (Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 385.214). Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing or judicial review of the Commission's decision. The Commission may grant 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 website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.
In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that 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.
Dated: May 20, 2019.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
[FR Doc. 2019-10877 Filed 5-23-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P