[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 152 (Friday, August 7, 2015)]
[Pages 47487-47489]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-19420]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP15-503-000]

Comanche Trail Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Assessment for the Proposed San Elizario Crossing 
Project; 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 San Elizario Crossing Project 
involving construction and operation of specific border crossing 
facilities for the export of natural gas by Comanche Trail Pipeline, 
LLC (Comanche Trail) in El Paso County, Texas. The Commission will use 
this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project 
is in the public interest.
    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 September 2, 2015.
    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the 
opening of this docket on May 29, 2015, you will need to file those 
comments in Docket No. CP15-503-000 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 proposed 
project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.
    Comanche Trail 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).

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 
(CP15-503-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, 
Washington, DC 20426.

Summary of the Proposed Project

    Comanche Trail proposes to construct and operate a new border 
crossing at the international boundary between the United States and 
Mexico in El Paso County, Texas. The San Elizario Crossing Project 
would consist of the construction of approximately 1,086 feet of FERC-
jurisdictional 42-inch-diameter pipeline, installed using a horizontal 
directional drill (HDD) beneath the Rio Grande River near the City of 
San Elizario in El Paso, Texas. The new pipeline would have a maximum 
design export capacity of approximately 1.1 billion cubic feet per day, 
in order to transport natural gas to a new delivery interconnect in the 
vicinity of the City of San Isidro, in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico.
    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 

Non-Jurisdictional Facilities

    The San Elizario Crossing Project has associated facilities that 
would be constructed in support of the project, but do not fall under 
the jurisdiction of the FERC. The proposed Comanche Trail intrastate 
pipeline facilities, consist of 196 miles of new 42-inch-diameter 
pipeline, multiple receipt and delivery metering stations, and other 
auxiliary facilities extending from Pecos County, Texas and terminating 
at the proposed FERC-jurisdictional project facilities in El Paso 
County. The intrastate facilities would be subject to the jurisdiction 
of the Texas Railroad Commission and would be non-jurisdictional to the 
FERC. In the EA, we will provide available descriptions of the non-
jurisdictional facilities and include available environmental impact 
information under our analysis of cumulative impacts.

Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the San Elizario Crossing Project pipeline would 
affect a total of 4.2 acres of land in the United States, which 
includes temporary workspace for HDD construction, hydrostatic testing 
of the pipeline, and project access. Following construction, Comanche 
Trail would retain 1.3 acres as a 50-foot-wide permanent easement for 
operation of the FERC-jurisdictional pipeline, and the remaining 
acreage would be restored and revert to former uses.

[[Page 47488]]

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 an 
Authorization. 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. 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 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 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 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.

    \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 Office (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 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.

    \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 

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.
    When 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 
available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp.

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., CP15-
503). 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.

[[Page 47489]]

    Dated: August 3, 2015.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-19420 Filed 8-6-15; 8:45 am]