[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 133 (Monday, July 13, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40058-40060]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16998]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. PF15-23-000]


Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Assessment for the Planned Valley Lateral 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 the Valley Lateral Project 
involving construction and operation of facilities by Millennium 
Pipeline Company, LLC (Millennium) in Orange County, New York. The 
Commission will use this 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. 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. 
Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they 
need to evaluate in the EA. 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 5, 2015.
    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the 
opening of this docket on April 30, 2015, you will need to file those 
comments in Docket No. PF15-23-000 to ensure they are considered as 
part of this proceeding.
    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 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 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.

Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit 
your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic 
filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at 
(202) 502-8258 or [email protected]. Please carefully follow these 
instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.
    (1) You can file your comments electronically 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 submitting brief, 
text-only comments on a project;
    (2) You can 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.'' If you are filing a comment on a particular project, 
please select ``Comment on a Filing'' as the filing type; or
    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to 
the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number 
(PF15-23-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, 
Washington, DC 20426.

Summary of the Planned Project

    Millennium plans to construct and operate approximately 7.8 miles 
of new pipeline lateral in Orange County, New York. The planned 
pipeline lateral would provide about 130 million cubic feet per day of 
natural gas per day to the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley 
Energy Center in the Town of Wawayanda, New York from Millennium's 
existing mainline pipeline. According to Millennium, the Valley Lateral 
Project would supply

[[Page 40059]]

natural gas for generation of up to 650 megawatts of power at the CPV 
Valley Energy Center (in development).
    The planned Valley Lateral Project would consist of the following 
facilities:
     7.8 miles of pipeline lateral originating at Millennium's 
existing mainline that would deliver gas to the CPV Valley Energy 
Center;
     a pig \1\ launcher at the pipeline origin located wholly 
within the permanent pipeline right-of-way; and
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    \1\ A ``pig'' is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into 
and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, 
conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.
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     a pig receiver and metering facilities at the pipeline 
terminus and located entirely within the area to be developed for the 
CPV Valley Energy Center.
    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 
1.\2\
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    \2\ 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.
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Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the planned pipeline lateral facilities would occur 
within a 75- to 135-foot right-of-way. Following construction, 
Millennium would maintain a 50-foot right-of-way for permanent 
operation of the project's facilities; the remaining acreage would be 
restored and revert to former uses. About 24 percent of the planned 
pipeline route parallels existing pipeline, utility, or road rights-of-
way.

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.
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    \3\ ``We,'' ``us,'' and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.
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    In the EA 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;
     public safety; and
     cumulative 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 
have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their 
involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.
    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA 
will be available in the public record through eLibrary. We will 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 2.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law 
and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues 
related to this project to formally cooperate with us in the 
preparation of the EA.\4\ 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.
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    \4\ The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing 
cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal 
Regulations, Part 1501.6.
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Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation 
Act

    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 Office, 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.\5\ We will define the project-specific Area of Potential 
Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO 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.
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    \5\ The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation 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 
Places.
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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 
planned project.
    Copies of the EA 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

    Once Millennium 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

[[Page 40060]]

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., PF15-
23). 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: July 6, 2015.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-16998 Filed 7-10-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6717-01-P