[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 32 (Thursday, February 18, 2016)]
[Pages 8196-8197]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-03324]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Leach Xpress 
and Rayne Xpress Expansion Projects

                                                    Docket No.
Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC.........  CP15-514-000
Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC........  CP15-539-000

    On June 8, 2015, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gas) 
filed an application in Docket No. CP15-514-000 requesting a 
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 
7(c) and 7(b) of the Natural Gas Act to construct, operate, abandon in-
place, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The 
proposed Leach XPress Project, located in West Virginia, Ohio, and 
Pennsylvania, would provide about 1.5 million dekatherms of natural gas 
per day of firm transportation service to natural gas consumers served 
by the Columbia Gas pipeline systems.
    Additionally, on July 29, 2015, Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC 
(Columbia Gulf) filed an application in Docket No. CP15-539-000 
requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant 
to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct, own, and operate 
the proposed Rayne XPress Expansion Project. The Rayne Express 
Expansion Project, located in Kentucky, would add new compression and 
provide about 621,000 dekatherms per day of firm transportation on 
Columbia Gulf's system. Together, these proposals are referred to in 
this notice as ``the Projects.''
    On June 22 and August 11, 2015, respectively, the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued its Notice of 
Application for the Leach XPress Project and Rayne XPress Expansion 
Project. Among other things, these notices alerted other agencies 
issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all 
necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a 
federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the 
Commission staff's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 
Projects. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned 
schedule for completion of the final EIS for the Projects.

                    Schedule for Environmental Review
Issuance of Notice of Availability    September 1, 2016.
 of the final EIS.
90-day Federal Authorization          November 30, 2016.
 Decision Deadline.

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, an additional notice will 
be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the 
Project's progress.

Project Description

    Columbia Gas plans to construct approximately 160 miles of new 
natural gas pipeline in West Virginia (Marshall County), Ohio 
(Fairfield, Hocking, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry and Vinton 
Counties) and Pennsylvania (Greene County), two new compressor stations 
in Ohio (Noble and Jackson Counties), one new compressor station in 
West Virginia (Marshall County), and modify two existing compressor 
stations in West Virginia and Ohio.
    Columbia Gulf plans to construct and operate 51,800 horsepower of 
new compression in two new compressor stations located in Carter, 
Menifee and Montgomery Counties, Kentucky, and modify the existing 
Means Measurement and Regulation Station in Means and Montgomery 
County, Kentucky.


    On October 9, 2014, the Commission staff granted Columbia Gas's 
request to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process and 
assigned the Leach XPress Project Docket No. PF14-23-000. On January 
13, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Leach XPress Project, 
Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public 
Scoping Meetings (NOI). Additionally, on September 4, 2015, the 
Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Rayne XPress Expansion Project and Request for 
Comments on Environmental Issues.
    Both NOIs were sent to federal, state, and local government 
agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; environmental and 
public interest groups; Native American tribes and regional 
organizations; commentors and other interested parties; and local 
libraries and newspapers. The primary issues raised by the commentors 
included federally listed bats, forested plant and animal habitat, 
freshwater mussel habitat, salamander habitat, potential future 
subsidence of mining land, and effects on public health and safety.
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ohio Environmental 
Protection Agency, the West Virginia Department of Environmental 
Protection, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, and the 
Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection are cooperating 
agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to 
keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, 
the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. 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 
    Additional information about the Projects 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, select 
``General Search'' from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date 
range and ``Docket Number'' for the project you wish to access 
excluding the last three digits

[[Page 8197]]

(i.e., CP15-514, CP15-539), and follow the instructions. For assistance 
with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, 
TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected]. The eLibrary link 
on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal 
documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule 

    Dated: February 10, 2016.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-03324 Filed 2-17-16; 8:45 am]