[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 145 (Tuesday, July 29, 2014)]
[Pages 44023-44026]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17756]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF14-8-000]

Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To 
Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Atlantic 
Sunrise Expansion Project Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 
and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that 
will address the environmental impacts of the Atlantic Sunrise 
Expansion Project (Project). This planned Project would involve 
construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas 
Pipeline Company, LLC (Transco), a subsidiary of Williams Partners L.P. 
(Williams), in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and 
South Carolina. The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making 
process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience 
and necessity.
    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process that the 
Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested 
agencies on the Project. Your input will help the Commission staff 
determine what issues need to be evaluated in the EIS. Please note that 
the scoping period will close on August 18, 2014.
    You may submit comments in written form or verbally. Further 
details on how to submit written comments are in the Public 
Participation section of this notice. In lieu of or in addition to 
sending written comments, the Commission invites you to attend the 
public scoping meetings scheduled as follows:

           Date and time                          Location
August 4, 2014, 7 to 10 PM........  Millersville University, Student
                                     Memorial Center, 21 South George
                                     Street, Millersville, PA 17551.
August 5, 2014, 7 to 10 PM........  Lebanon Valley College, Arnold
                                     Sports Center, 101 North College
                                     Ave., Anneville, PA 17003.
August 6, 2014, 7 to 10 PM........  Bloomsburg University, Haas Center
                                     for the Arts, 400 East Second
                                     Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
August 7, 2014, 7 to 10 PM........  Lake Lehmon High School, 1128 Old
                                     Route 115, Dallas, PA 18612.

    Williams staff will be available for an open house from 6:00 to 
7:00 p.m., prior to the public scoping meetings at the listed 
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this Project. State and local government 
representatives are asked to notify their constituents of this planned 
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 planned 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

[[Page 44024]]

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.
    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ``An Interstate Natural 
Gas Facility on My Land? What Do I Need To Know?'' is available for 
viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). 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.

Summary of the Planned Project

    Transco plans to construct and operate certain facilities in 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina 
which would provide about 1,700,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas 
transportation service from various receipt points in Pennsylvania to 
various delivery points along Transco's existing interstate pipeline 
    The planned Project would consist of the following components:

 Construction of approximately 177.3 miles of new 30- and 42-
inch-diameter pipelines in Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, 
Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, and Wyoming Counties, 
 construction of approximately 12 miles of new 36- and 42-inch-
diameter pipeline loops \1\ in Clinton and Lycoming Counties, 

    \1\ A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to 
an existing pipeline to increase capacity.

 replacement of 2.5 miles of 30-inch-diameter pipeline in 
Prince William County, Virginia;
 construction of two new compressor stations:
    [ssquf] Compressor Station 605--installation of two electric-driven 
Solar Mars 100S 15,000-horsepower compressors in Susquehanna, 
Pennsylvania; and
    [ssquf] Compressor Station 610--installation of one electric-driven 
Solar Titan 250S 30,000-horsepower compressor and one electric-driven 
Solar Titan 130S 20,500-horsepower compressor in Columbia County, 
 installation of additional compression at three existing 
compressor stations:
    [ssquf] Compressor Station 520--installation of one 16,000-
horsepower Solar Mars 100S gas turbine in Lycoming County, 
    [ssquf] Compressor Station 517--installation of one 16,000-
horsepower Solar Mars 100S gas turbine in Columbia County, 
Pennsylvania; and
    [ssquf] Compressor Station 190--installation of one 25,000-
horsepower electric-driven compressor in Howard County, Maryland;
 modifications at six existing compressor stations in Virginia 
and North Carolina to allow bi-directional flow and/or installation of 
supplemental odorization, odor detection, and odor masking/
deodorization equipment;
 construction of two meter stations and three regulator 
    [ssquf] Zick Meter Station--a new receipt meter station and pig \2\ 
launcher in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania;

    \2\ A pig is a tool that can be used to clean and dry a pipeline 
and/or to inspect it for damage or corrosion.

    [ssquf] Oswego Meter Station--a new receipt meter station in 
Susquehanna, Pennsylvania;
    [ssquf] Regulator Station--a new regulator station at milepost (MP) 
L92.7 along the Transco Leidy Line system;
    [ssquf] Regulator Station--a new regulator station and pig 
launcher/receiver at MP L113.8 along the Transco Leidy Line system; and
    [ssquf] Regulator Station--a new regulator station and pig receiver 
at MP 1682.7 along the Transco Mainline system;
     installation of mainline valve assemblies at multiple 
locations along the planned pipeline segments; and
     installation of supplemental odorization, odor detection, 
and odor masking/deodorization equipment at various meter stations and 
valve sites in North Carolina and South Carolina.
    The general location of the planned project facilities is shown in 
Appendix 1.\3\

    \3\ 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

    Transco is still in the planning phase of the Project and workspace 
requirements have not been finalized. However, Transco is planning on 
using a 100-foot-wide construction right-of-way for the 42-inch-
diameter pipeline segments and a 90-foot-wide construction right-of-way 
for the 30- and 36-inch-diameter pipeline segments. Following 
construction, Transco would retain a 50-foot-wide easement for 
operation of the pipelines. Transco would also require land for 
additional workspaces at road, railroad, waterbody, and wetland 
crossings; topsoil storage; access roads; storage or pipeyards; and 
other purposes during construction.

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 important 
environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public 
comments on the scope of issues to address in the EIS. We will consider 
all filed comments 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:
 water resources and wetlands;
 vegetation and wildlife;
 fisheries and aquatic resources;
 threatened, endangered, and other special-status species;
 land use, recreation, special interest areas, and visual 
 cultural resources;
 air quality;
 reliability and safety; and
 cumulative environmental impacts.
    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 
the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we

[[Page 44025]]

participated in public Open House meetings sponsored by Transco in the 
project area in May and June 2014 to explain the environmental review 
process to interested stakeholders. We have also begun to contact 
federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping 
process and the preparation of the EIS.
    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We 
will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the 
comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the 
document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have 
the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please follow 
the instructions in the Public Participation section beginning on page 
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction and/or 
special expertise with respect to environmental issues related to this 
Project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS 
\5\. 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. Currently, the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers has expressed its intention to participate as a 
cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS to satisfy its NEPA 
responsibilities related to this Project.

    \5\ 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 the applicable State Historic Preservation Offices 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.\6\ We will define the project-specific Area of Potential 
Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPOs as the project develops. 
On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all 
areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include the construction 
right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and 
access roads). Our EIS for this Project will document our findings on 
the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of 
consultations under section 106.

    \6\ 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 of Historic 

Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve 
attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities, 
comments filed with the FERC, comments made to us at Transco's open 
houses, preliminary consultations with other agencies, and the 
environmental information provided by Transco. This preliminary list of 
issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis:
 Impacts on forested areas including fragmentation;
 impacts on agricultural areas including impacts to soils;
 impacts on residential areas;
 impacts on property values;
 impacts on recreational areas including parks and nature 
 impacts on the Appalachian Trail;
 impacts on surface water including the Chesapeake Bay;
 impacts on groundwater including wells and springs;
 impacts on wildlife and vegetation;
 impacts on federal and state-listed threatened, endangered, 
and sensitive species;
 impacts on quarries or mining;
 geologic hazards including karst and seismic areas;
 impacts on air quality due to construction and operation;
 impacts related to noise during construction and operation;
 assessment of alternatives including the no action alternative 
and system alternatives consisting of various combinations of looping 
Transco's existing system and/or replacing existing pipeline with 
larger diameter pipeline and adding compression;
 assessment of alternative pipeline routes and compressor 
station locations;
 visual and other impacts from forest clearing;
 eminent domain; and
 cumulative impacts.

Public Participation

    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. 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 August 
18, 2014.
    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit 
your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the 
project docket number (PF14-8-000) with your submission. The Commission 
encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available 
to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected].
    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment 
feature located 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 can file your comments electronically using the eFiling 
feature located 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 can 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 by 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

[[Page 44026]]

interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned Project.
    Copies of the completed draft EIS 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 a CD version or would 
like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the 
attached Information Request (appendix 2).

Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Transco files its application with the Commission, 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 User's Guide under the ``e-filing'' link on the Commission's Web 
site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for 
intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission 
receives a formal application for the project.

Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the 
FERC Web site (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., PF14-
8). 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 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.
    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.
    Finally, Transco has established a toll-free phone number (1-844-
785-0455) and an email support address ([email protected]) 
so that parties can contact it directly with questions about the 

    Dated: July 18, 2014.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2014-17756 Filed 7-28-14; 8:45 am]