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Notice

Seattle City Light; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document (Pad), Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Waiving Parts of The Pre-Filing Process; Request for Comments on the Pad and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study Requests

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

b. Project No.: 553-235.

c. Dated Filed: April 27, 2020.

d. Submitted By: Seattle City Light.

e. Name of Project: Skagit River Hydroelectric Project.

f. Location: On the Skagit River, in Whatcom, Snohomish, and Skagit Counties, Washington. The project occupies 19,281.93 acres of United States lands under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

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

h. Potential Applicant Contact: Andrew Bearlin, Seattle City Light, Skagit License Manger, PO Box 34023, Seattle, Washington 98104-4023; phone: 206-684-3496 or email at Andrew.Bearlin@seattle.gov.

i. FERC Contact: Matt Cutlip at (503) 552-2762 or email at matt.cutlip@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 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 Seattle City Light 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. Seattle City Light filed with the Commission a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule), pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

n. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents via the internet through the Commission's Home Page (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. At this time, the Commission has suspended access to the Commission's Public Reference Room, due to the proclamation declaring a National Emergency concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), issued by the President on March 13, 2020. For assistance, contact FERC at FERCONlineSupport@ferc.gov or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

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.

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 October 24, 2020.

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 Scoping Document will satisfy the NEPA scoping requirements, irrespective of whether an EA or EIS is issued by the Commission.

Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review: Due to the proclamation declaring a National Emergency concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), issued by the President on March 13, 2020, we are waiving section 5.8(b)(viii) of the Commission's regulations and do not intend to conduct a public scoping meeting or site visit in this case. Instead, we are soliciting written comments, recommendations, and information, on the SD1. Any individual or entity interested in submitting scoping comments must do so by the date specified in item o. SD1, which outlines the subject areas to be addressed in the environmental document, was mailed to the individuals and entities on the Commission's official mailing list. Copies of SD1 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 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.

We may conduct the site visit, if needed, later in the process, such as in conjunction with the study plan meeting required by section 5.11(e) of the Commission's regulations which is required to occur by January 7, 2021. Further revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

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Dated: June 26, 2020.

Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2020-14276 Filed 7-1-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P