[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 206 (Friday, October 24, 2014)]
[Pages 63615-63617]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-25324]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP14-529-000]

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Intent To 
Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Connecticut 
Expansion Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, Notice 
of Public Scoping Meetings, and Notice of Environmental Site Reviews

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will 
discuss the environmental impacts of the Connecticut Expansion Project 
(Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by 
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (Tennessee) in Albany County, 
New York; Berkshire and Hampden Counties, Massachusetts; and Hartford 
County, Connecticut. The Commission will use the EA 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 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 they need to evaluate in the EA. Please note that 
the scoping period will close on November 10, 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 one of 
the FERC public scoping meetings scheduled for the Project as follows:

                      FERC Public Scoping Meetings
                               Wednesday, October     Thursday, October
  Tuesday, October 28, 2014         29, 2014              30, 2014
     7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.       7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.   7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
East Granby Community         Sandisfield Art       Town Hall
 Center, 20 Center Street,     Center, 5             Auditorium, 445
 East Granby, CT 06026.        Hammertown Road,      Delaware Avenue,
                               Sandisfield, MA       Delmar, NY 12054.

    The public scoping meetings are designed to provide you with more 
detailed information and another opportunity to offer your comments on 
the proposed Project. Tennessee representatives will be present one 
hour before each meeting with Project maps and will be available to 
answer questions. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to 
attend the meetings and to present comments on the issues they believe 
should be addressed in the EA. A transcript of each meeting will be 
made so that your comments will be accurately recorded.
    On October 28, 29, and 30, 2014, the Commission staff will also 
conduct an onsite environmental review of the proposed locations for 
Tennessee's Project. The onsite review will commence at the meeting 
locations identified below and will proceed by vehicle and on foot to 
view the proposed pipeline routes from public access points and 
Tennessee's existing pipeline right-of-way. Each site review will 
require about three hours to complete. Any interested parties planning 
to attend must provide their own transportation and should meet at 
8:30am at the following locations:

                    FERC Onsite Environmental Reviews
                               Wednesday, October     Thursday, October
  Tuesday, October 28, 2014         29, 2014              30, 2014
    8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.      8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.  8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
East Granby Community         Old Town Hall, 3      Town Hall Annex, 445
 Center, 20 Center Street,     Silverbrook Road,     Delaware Avenue,
 East Granby, CT 06026.        Sandisfield, MA       Delmar, NY 12054.

    For additional information regarding the onsite environmental 
reviews, please contact FERC's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this Project. State and local government 
representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed 
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 proposed 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 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.
    Tennessee 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

[[Page 63616]]

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 Project

    Tennessee proposes to construct, install, and operate new natural 
gas pipeline loops to provide an additional 72,100 dekatherms per day 
of firm transportation capacity to Tennessee's existing 200 Line and 
300 Line pipeline system. Pipeline loops are segments of pipe 
constructed parallel to an existing pipeline to increase capacity.
    The Project would include construction and operation of the 
following facilities:
     About 1.35 miles of new 36-inch-diameter natural gas 
pipeline in Albany County, New York;
     about 3.81 miles of new 36-inch-diameter natural gas 
pipeline in Berkshire County, Massachusetts;
     about 8.10 miles of new 24-inch-diameter natural gas 
pipeline in Hampden County, Massachusetts and Hartford County, 
     modifications to the existing Agawarm Compressor Station 
in Hampden County, Massachusetts; and
     other appurtenant and ancillary facilities.
    The general location of the Project facilities is shown in appendix 

    \1\ The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in 
the Federal Register. Copies of the 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

    Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 106 
acres of land for the pipeline and aboveground facilities. Following 
construction, Tennessee would maintain about 35 acres for permanent 
operation of the Project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be 
restored and revert to former uses. Tennessee would locate the pipeline 
loops within or adjacent to its existing system rights-of-way where 
practicable and feasible.

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 
\2\ 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 note that 
many comments were filed prior to this notice. We want to assure those 
commentors that their concerns will be considered in the scope of our 
environmental review; you do not need to resubmit comments. We will 
consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    \2\ ``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 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;
     public safety; and
     cumulative impacts.
    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
Project or portions of the Project, 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 making 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 below.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law 
and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of 
this Project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the 
EA.\3\ 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 New York 
State Department of Agriculture and Markets has expressed their 
intention to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of 
the EA to satisfy their NEPA responsibilities related to this Project.

    \3\ 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 (SHPO), 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.\4\ 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 
construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor 
stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our 
findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status 
of consultations under section 106.

    \4\ The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations 
are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those 
regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or 
historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in 
or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic 

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 
November 10, 2014.
    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to 
submit written comments to the Commission. In all instances please 
reference the project docket number (CP14-529-000) 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

[[Page 63617]]

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 can file your comments electronically 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 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 20426.

    Alternatively, you may attend one of the public scoping meetings 
identified on page 1 of this notice and provide your comments verbally. 
Verbal comments will be transcribed and made part of the public record 
for this proceeding. Please note that we give equal consideration to 
all comments whether submitted in written format or provided verbally 
at one of the scoping meetings.

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 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 interested in and/or potentially affected by the 
proposed project.
    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 in 
the User's Guide under the ``e-filing'' link on the Commission's Web 

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 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-
529). 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.
    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: October 10, 2014.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2014-25324 Filed 10-23-14; 8:45 am]