[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 105 (Wednesday, June 3, 2009)]
[Pages 26677-26679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-12869]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF08-24-000]

Calais LNG Project Company, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent to 
Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Calais LNG Project 
and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to the 
Potential Expansion of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline System

May 27, 2009.
    As previously noticed on November 20, 2008, and supplemented 
herein, the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that 
will discuss environmental impacts that could result from construction 
and operation of the Calais Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project planned 
by the Calais LNG Project Company, LLC (Calais LNG). The EIS will be 
used by the Commission in its decision making process to determine 
whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.
    The planned Calais LNG Project would consist of an onshore LNG 
import and storage terminal located just north of Ford Point on the St. 
Croix River, about 6 miles southeast of the Town of Calais in 
Washington County, Maine; and about 20 miles of natural gas sendout 
pipeline between the LNG terminal and an interconnection with the 
existing Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline L.L.C.'s (M&NE) pipeline system 
near the Town of Baileyville, Maine. The M&NE system currently does not 
have sufficient capacity to transport the natural gas that would be 
supplied by the LNG terminal. Therefore, if the Calais LNG Project is 
authorized and placed into service, the M&NE system would require 
expansion in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
    This Supplemental Notice of Intent (NOI) discloses the potential 
facilities that are anticipated to expand M&NE's system, based on 
information provided to Calais LNG by M&NE. Although M&NE is not 
proposing to construct these facilities and does not have an 
application before the FERC, these expanded M&NE facilities are likely 
a necessary part of the project. An analysis of the impacts of these 
facilities will be included in the EIS being prepared for the Calais 
LNG facility. This Supplemental NOI is being issued to notify the 
public about the anticipated M&NE system expansion and to request 
comments regarding the possible environmental impact of those 
facilities. Your input will help determine what issues need to be 
evaluated in the EIS regarding the M&NE system expansion. Please note 
that the scoping period for this supplemental NOI will close on June 
29, 2009.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this project, which includes federal, state, and local 
government representatives and agencies; elected officials; 
environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other 
interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. State and local 
government representatives are asked to notify their constituents of 
this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of 

Summary of the Anticipated M&NE Expansion

    The following facilities have been identified by M&NE as necessary 
to accommodate the gas volumes to be delivered by Calais LNG. A summary 
of the Calais LNG Project was included in the NOI issued on November 
20, 2008, and the scoping period closed on December 22, 2008. This NOI 
may also be accessed via the FERC eLibrary. Instructions about using 
eLibrary are included in the Additional Information section on page 7.

Pipeline Looping

    Approximately 233.4 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline looping \1\ 
is anticipated in or adjacent to the existing M&NE right-of-way (ROW) 
or other nearby utility or road ROWs, as follows:

    \1\ A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe that is installed 
adjacent to or in the vicinity of an existing pipeline and connected 
to the existing pipeline at both ends. A loop increases the volume 
of gas that can be transported through that portion of the system.

     Eliot Loop--21.1 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
adjacent to the existing 30-inch-diameter Joint Mainline (milepost [MP] 
31.1 in Rockingham County, New Hampshire to MP 51.2 in York County, 
     Westbrook Loop--41.1 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
adjacent to the existing 30-inch-diameter Joint Mainline (MP 60.3 to MP 
101.4 in Cumberland County, Maine);
     Richmond Loop--35.4 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
adjacent to the existing 24-inch-diameter Phase II Mainline (MP 107.9 
in Cumberland County, Maine to MP 143.4 in Sagadahoc County, Maine);
     Searsmont Loop--35.5 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
adjacent to the existing 24-inch-diameter Phase II Mainline (MP 152.0 
in Kennebec County, Maine to MP 185.5 in Waldo County, Maine);
     Brewer Loop--34.2 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
adjacent to the existing 24-inch-diameter Phase II Mainline (MP 191.6 
in Waldo County, Maine to MP 225.8 in Penobscot County, Maine);
     WC Ridge Loop--35.2 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
adjacent to the existing 24-inch-diameter Phase II Mainline (MP 230.8 
in Penobscot County, Maine to MP 266.0 in Hancock County, Maine); and
     Baileyville Loop--30.9 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
adjacent to the existing 24-inch-diameter Phase II Mainline (MP 271.3 
in Washington County, Maine to MP 302.2 in Washington County, Maine).
    Nearly all 233.4 miles of the required looping are in or adjacent 
to the existing Joint Mainline or Phase II Mainline ROW or other 
utility or road ROWs. M&NE's primary goal would be to align, as much as 
possible, the new looping parallel to the existing Phase II Mainline 
and Joint Mainline with a 25-foot offset. The side that the loops would 
be located on would vary due to residential impacts, screening, land 
use, environmental or construction issues where known to exist.

Compressor Station Facilities \2\

    \2\ Construction of the Westbrook, Searsmont, Brewer and 
Woodchopping Ridge Compressor Stations was recently completed as 
part of Maritimes' Phase IV Project, as described in Docket No. 
CP06-335-000. These compressor stations were placed into service in 
January 2009.

    A new meter station would be required at the tie-in of the Calais 
LNG sendout pipeline with the M&NE's system in Baileyville, Maine. 
Modifications to the existing meter station in Dracut, Massachusetts 
would be necessary, as well as uprating the maximum allowable operating 
pressure of the existing Joint Pipeline Facilities from Westbrook, 
Maine to Dracut, Massachusetts from 1,440 to 1,600 pounds per square 
inch gauge. Compression requirements for the pipeline expansion would 
likely include adding a total of 63,000 horsepower of compression to 
six existing compressor stations. These compressor stations include the 
Eliot Compressor Station (MP 51.2), Westbrook Compressor Station (MP 
101.4), Richmond Compressor Station (MP 147.3), Searsmont Compressor

[[Page 26678]]

Station (MP 185.5), Brewer Compressor Station (MP 225.8), and WC Ridge 
Compressor Station (MP 266.1). M&NE would install one new Taurus 70 
natural gas-driven turbine compressor at each of these stations. 
Restaging and repiping the existing compressor unit and installation of 
gas cooling would also be required at each station.
    A map depicting the expansion of the M&NE facilities downstream of 
the interconnection with Calais LNG is included in appendix 1.\3\

    \3\ The appendices referenced in this notice are not being 
printed in the Federal Register, but were sent to all those 
receiving this notice in the mail. Copies of all appendices are 
available on the Commission's Web site at the ``eLibrary'' link or 
from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street, NE., 
Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on 
connecting to eLibrary, refer to the end of this notice.

The EIS 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 
\4\ 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 EIS on the 
important environmental issues. By this Supplemental NOI, the 
Commission staff requests public comments on the scope of the issues to 
address in the EIS. All comments received will be considered during the 
preparation of the EIS.

    \4\ ``We'', ``us'', and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EIS, we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of 
the construction and operation of the planned project under these 
general headings:
     Geology and soils;
     Land use;
     Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
     Cultural resources;
     Vegetation and wildlife;
     Air quality and noise;
     Endangered and threatened species;
     Hazardous waste; and
     Public safety.
    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project 
or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen 
or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already 
initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's Pre-filing Process. 
The purpose of the Pre-filing Process is to encourage early involvement 
of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before an 
application is filed with the FERC. As part of our Pre-filing review, 
we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss 
their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the 
    Our independent analysis of the issues will be in the EIS. The 
draft EIS will be mailed to those on our environmental mailing list 
(see discussion of how to remain on our mailing list on page 6). A 45-
day comment period will be allotted for review of the draft EIS. We 
will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as 
necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure your comments are 
considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public 
Participation section below.
    With this Supplemental NOI, we are asking agencies with 
jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental 
issues to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS. 
These agencies may choose to participate once they have evaluated the 
proposal relative to their responsibilities. Agencies that would like 
to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for 
filing comments provided under the Public Participation section below. 
Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; 
Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Commerce; National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and the State of Maine 
Department of Environmental Protection have expressed their intention 
to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS to 
satisfy their NEPA responsibilities related to this project.

Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific 
comments or concerns about the M&NE pipeline expansion for the Calais 
LNG Project. By becoming a commentor, your concerns will be addressed 
in the EIS and considered by the Commission. Your comments should focus 
on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives 
(including alternative facility sites and pipeline routes), and 
measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific 
your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your 
comments are timely and properly recorded, please send in your comments 
so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before June 29, 
    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to 
submit your written comments to the Commission. In all instances please 
reference the project docket number PF08-24-000 with your submission. 
The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has 
dedicated eFiling expert staff available to assist you at 202-502-8258 
[email protected].
    (1) You may file your comments electronically by using the Quick 
Comment feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at 
http://www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. A Quick 
Comment is an easy method for interested persons to submit text-only 
comments on a project.
    (2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling 
feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. eFiling involves 
preparing your submission in the same manner as you would if filing on 
paper, and then saving the file on your computer's hard drive. You will 
attach that file as your submission. New eFiling users must first 
create an account by clicking on ``Sign up'' or``eRegister.'' You will 
be asked to select the type of filing you are making. A comment on a 
particular project is considered a ``Comment on a Filing.''
    (3) You may file your comments via mail to the Commission by 
sending an original and two copies of your letter to:
    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 
888 First Street, NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
    Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 1, 
PJ-11.1. Reference Docket No. PF08-24-000 on the original and both 

Environmental Mailing List

    An effort is being made to send this notice to all individuals, 
organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially 
affected by the planned project. This includes all landowners who are 
potential ROW grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for 
project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of 
aboveground facilities (as defined in the Commission's regulations).
    If you do not want to send comments at this time but still want to 
remain on our mailing list, please return the Information Request 
(appendix 2). If you do not return the Information Request, you will be 
taken off the mailing list.

[[Page 26679]]

Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Calais LNG files an application with the Commission, you may 
want to become an ``intervenor'', which is an official party to the 
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 a Commission proceeding by filing a request to 
intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are included in the 
User's Guide under the ``eFiling'' link on the Commission's Web site. 
Please note that you may not request intervenor status at this time. 
You must wait until a formal application for the project is filed with 
the Commission.

Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 1-866-208-FERC (3372) or on 
the FERC Web site (http://www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click 
on the eLibrary link, select ``General Search'' and enter the docket 
number excluding the last three digits (i.e., PF08-24) in the ``Docket 
Number'' field. Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. 
For assistance with eLibrary, the eLibrary helpline can be reached at 
1-866-208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or by e-mail at 
[email protected]. The eLibrary link also provides access to 
the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, 
notices, and rule makings.
    In addition, the Commission now 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 http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
    Public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's 
calendar located at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx 
along with other related information.
    Finally, Calais LNG has established a Web site for this project at 
http://www.calaislng.com. The Web site includes a project overview, 
status, potential impacts and mitigation, and answers to frequently 
asked questions. You can also request additional information by calling 
Calais LNG directly at 207-214-7074 or visiting the Calais LNG office 
at 421 Main Street, Calais, Maine.

 Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. E9-12869 Filed 6-2-09; 8:45 am]