[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 22 (Wednesday, February 3, 2016)]
[Pages 5735-5737]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01918]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP15-117-000]

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Supplemental Notice 
of Intent for the Proposed Dalton Expansion Project, Request for 
Comments on Environmental Issues Related to New Route Modifications 
Under Consideration

    You are receiving this letter because the staff of the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) is evaluating route 
modifications to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC's 
(Transco) proposed Dalton Expansion Project (Project). The general 
location of the Project is shown in appendix 1.\1\ Since the filing of 
its March 19, 2015 application, Transco provided two supplemental 
filings (July 15, 2015 and September 30, 2015) that identified several 
modifications to its proposed pipeline route. These modifications were 
incorporated based on the results of ongoing field surveys and to 
address comments from agencies and other stakeholders. The majority of 
the landowners potentially affected by these modifications have 
received notification of the Commission's review of the Project. 
However, some of the modifications would affect new landowners; 
therefore, the Commission is issuing this supplemental notice (Notice) 
to provide these new landowners an opportunity to comment on the 
Project. You can access detailed mapping of the modifications to the

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proposed pipeline route on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) 
using eLibrary. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to 
the last page of this notice.

    \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.

    The FERC is the lead federal agency responsible for conducting the 
environmental review of the Project. The Commission's staff is 
preparing an environmental assessment (EA) that discusses the 
environmental impacts of the Project. This EA will be used to inform 
the Commission as it determines whether the Project is in the public 
convenience and necessity.
    This Notice announces the opening of an additional scoping period 
the Commission will use to gather input from the new landowners 
potentially affected by the Project. Comments may be submitted in 
writing as described in the public participation section of this 
notice. Please note that comments on this Notice should be filed with 
the Commission by February 29, 2016.
    The specific modifications being scoped by this Notice are listed 
in the table below.

       Route modification           Milepost range          County
Route Variation AE..............  30.4 to 31.8......  Paulding
Route Variation AG..............  41.5 to 42.8......  Paulding
Route Variation AH..............  43.2 to 43.4......  Paulding
Route Variation BH..............  63.0 to 64.1......  Bartow
Major Route Alternative H.......  43.7 to 56.3......  Paulding and
Route Variation BS..............  91.1 to 91.5......  Gordon

    Information in this notice was prepared to familiarize you with the 
new route modifications, the Project as a whole, the Commission's 
environmental review process, and instruct you on how to submit 
    A pipeline company representative may have already contacted you or 
may contact you soon about surveys and/or to acquire an easement to 
construct, operate, and maintain the pipeline. 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.
    To help potentially affected landowners better understand the 
Commission and its environmental review process, the ``For Citizens'' 
section of the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) provides information about 
getting involved in FERC jurisdictional projects. A citizens' guide 
entitled ``An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I 
Need to Know?'' is also available in this section of the Commission's 
Web site. This guide addresses a number of frequently asked questions, 
including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the 
Commission's proceedings.

Summary of the Proposed Project

    Transco plans to construct and operate about 113 miles of new 16, 
20, 24, and 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and associated 
facilities in Coweta, Carroll, Douglas, Paulding, Bartow, Gordon, and 
Murray Counties, Georgia and a new compressor station in Carroll 
County, Georgia. Additionally, Transco plans to modify existing 
facilities along its mainline transmission system in Maryland, 
Virginia, and North Carolina to accommodate bidirectional flow. Transco 
has indicated that the Project would provide 448,000 dekatherms per day 
of incremental firm transportation service to markets in northwest 

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 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 Project under these general 
     Geology and soils;
     water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
     vegetation and wildlife;
     endangered and threatened species;
     land use;
     cultural resources;
     air quality and noise; and
     public safety.
    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the Project or 
portions of the Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or 
avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
    We began our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process 
on April 25, 2014. The purpose of the pre-filing process was to 
encourage the early involvement of interested stakeholders and to 
identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. On 
October 21, 2014, FERC staff issued an initial Notice of Intent to 
Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Dalton Expansion 
Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of 
Public Scoping Meetings. FERC Staff also issued two supplemental NOIs 
for the Project on November 14, 2014 and February 13, 2015.\3\

    \3\ The November 14, 2014 and February 13, 2015 supplemental 
NOIs can be viewed on the FERC Internet Web site at www.ferc.gov. 
Using the ``eLibrary'' link, select ``Advanced Search'' from the 
eLibrary menu and enter 20141114-3019 and 20150213-3012, 
respectively, in the ``Accession Number'' field.

    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 of this notice.

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

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Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation 
with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office(s), 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 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 
February 29, 2016.
    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 (CP15-117-000) 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 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.\5\ We will continue to 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.

    \5\ Because the modifications involve only a subset of the 
environmental mailing list, this Notice is being provided to only 
the affected landowners.

    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

    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 ``Document-less Intervention Guide'' under the ``e-filing'' link on 
the Commission's Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully 
described 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 (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-
117). 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: January 27, 2016.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-01918 Filed 2-2-16; 8:45 am]