[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 74 (Thursday, April 17, 2014)]
[Pages 21752-21754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08750]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP14-88-000; Docket No. CP14-100-000]

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; National Fuel Gas Supply 
Corporation; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment 
for the Proposed Niagara Expansion Project and Northern Access 2015 
Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will 
discuss the environmental impacts of two related projects proposed by 
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (TGP) and National Fuel Gas 
Supply Corporation (National Fuel). TGP's Niagara Expansion Project 
would involve construction and operation of facilities in Chautaugua 
and Erie Counties, New York and Mercer County, Pennsylvania. National 
Fuel's Northern Access 2015 Project would involve construction and 
operation of facilities

[[Page 21753]]

in Cattaraugus and Erie Counties, New York. The Commission will use 
this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the 
projects are in the public convenience and necessity.
    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the 
Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested 
agencies on the projects. Your input will help the Commission staff 
determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. Please note that 
the scoping period will close on May 12, 2014.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for these projects. State and local government 
representatives are asked to notify their constituents of these planned 
projects 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 projects, 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.
    TGP and National Fuel 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 Web site (www.ferc.gov).

Summary of the Proposed Projects

    TGP proposes to construct and operate 3.1 miles of natural gas 
pipeline loop \1\ and modifications at two existing compressor stations 
and one existing meter station, and other appurtenant facilities. The 
Niagara Expansion Project would provide TGP with 140,000 dekatherms per 
day of leased capacity from National Fuel. According to TGP and 
National Fuel, their projects would increase natural gas delivery 
capacity in the northeast region of the U.S.

    \1\ A pipeline loop is constructed parallel to an existing 
pipeline to increase capacity.

    TGP proposes to construct pipeline facilities and modify existing 
compressor and meter station facilities to lease capacity from National 
Fuel. The Niagara Expansion Project would consist of the following 
     3.1 Miles of 30-inch-diameter natural gas looping pipeline 
in Chautauqua County, New York;
     modifications to piping at Compressor Station 219 in 
Mercer County, Pennsylvania;
     modifications to piping and installation of a new pig 
launcher at existing Compressor Station 224 in Chautauqua County, New 
York; and
     modifications to the existing Hamburg Meter Station in 
Erie County, New York.
    National Fuel proposes to construct compression and metering 
facilities to provide the proposed leased capacity to TGP. The Northern 
Access 2015 Project would consist of the following facilities:
     a new 15,400 horsepower compressor station in Cattaraugus 
County, New York;
     7,700 horsepower of additional compression ancillary 
facilities at the existing Concord Compressor Station in Erie County, 
New York; and
     modifications to allow for bi-directional flow at the 
existing East Eden Station in Erie County, New York.
    The general locations of the projects' facilities are shown in 
appendix 1.\2\

    \2\ The appendices referenced in this notice are not being 
printed in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to 
all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at 
www.ferc.gov using the link called ``eLibrary'' 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 last page of this notice.

Land Requirements for Construction

    TGP's project would disturb approximately 86 acres of land for the 
aboveground facilities and the pipeline. Following construction, about 
18 acres would be maintained for permanent operation of the project's 
facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and allowed to 
revert to former uses. The entire proposed pipeline route parallels 
TGP's existing pipeline right-of-way.
    National Fuel's project would disturb approximately 39 acres of 
land for the aboveground facilities. Following construction, about 18 
acres would be maintained for permanent operation of the project's 
facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and allowed to 
revert to former uses. National Fuel's proposed facilities would be 
constructed adjacent to existing aboveground facilities and/or pipeline 

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 
\3\ 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.

    \3\ ``We'', ``us'', and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of 
the construction and operation of the proposed projects under these 
general headings:
     Geology and soils;
     land use;
     water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
     cultural resources;
     vegetation and wildlife, including migratory birds;
     air quality and noise;
     endangered and threatened species; and
     public safety.
    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
projects or portions of the projects, 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 we make 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 5.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law 
and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues of these 
projects to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.\4\ 
Agencies that

[[Page 21754]]

would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the 
instructions for filing comments provided under the Public 
Participation section of this notice.

    \4\ The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing 
cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal 
Regulations, Part 1501.6.

Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation 

    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 applicable State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO), and to 
solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested 
Indian tribes, and the public on the projects' potential effects on 
historic properties.\5\ We will define the project-specific Area of 
Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPOs as the projects 
develop. 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 these projects will document 
our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the 
status of consultations under section 106.

    \5\ The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations 
are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Historic 
properties are defined in those regulations as any prehistoric or 
historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in 
or eligible for inclusion in the National Register for Historic 

Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific 
comments or concerns about the projects. Your comments should focus on 
the 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 your 
comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so 
that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before May 
12, 2014.
    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to 
submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please 
reference the project docket number (CP14-88-000 and CP14-100-000) with 
your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of 
comments and has expert eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 
502-8258 or [email protected].
    (1) You may file your comments electronically by using the eComment 
feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to 
Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to 
submit brief, text-only comments on a project;
    (2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling 
feature on the Commission's Web site (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 may file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to 
the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 

Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list 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. 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 projects. 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 projects.
    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 
included in the User's Guide under the ``e-filing'' link on the 
Commission's Web site.

Additional Information

    Additional information about the projects is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the 
FERC Web site 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 digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP14-
88 or CP14-100). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. 
For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
[email protected] 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 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 www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.
    Finally, public meetings 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: April 11, 2014.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2014-08750 Filed 4-16-14; 8:45 am]