[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 76 (Wednesday, April 20, 2016)]
[Pages 23287-23288]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-09091]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket Nos. CP15-115-000; CP15-115-001]

National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation, Empire Pipeline, Inc.; 
Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Northern Access 2016 

    On March 17, 2015, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation (National 
Fuel) and Empire Pipeline, Inc. (Empire) (collectively referred to as 
National Fuel) filed an application in Docket No. CP15-115-000 
requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant 
to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate certain 
natural gas pipeline facilities in Pennsylvania and New York. National 
Fuel amended its application on November 4, 2015. The proposed project 
is known as the Northern Access 2016 Project (Project), and would 
expand the National Fuel pipeline system to provide 497,000 dekatherms 
per day of new firm natural gas transportation capacity and the Empire 
pipeline system to provide 350,000 dekatherms per day of new firm 
natural gas transportation capacity.
    On March 27, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
(Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. 
Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal 
authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and 
to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization 
within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's 
Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice 
identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the 
EA for the Project.

Schedule for Environmental Review

Issuance of EA--July 27, 2016

[[Page 23288]]

90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline--October 25, 2016

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

Project Description

    The Project involves the construction and operation of certain 
facilities to provide natural gas transportation service from a receipt 
point in McKean County, Pennsylvania to an existing Empire pipeline 
system in Niagara County, New York.
    National Fuel's proposed facilities include: Installation of about 
96.9 miles of new 24-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in McKean 
County, Pennsylvania and Cattaraugus and Erie Counties, New York; 
modifications at the existing Porterville Compressor Station in Erie 
County; addition or modification of interconnect/tie-in facilities; 
addition of 13 mainline valve sites; and cathodic protection 
    Empire's proposed facilities in Niagara County include: The new 
Pendleton Compressor Station; 2.1 miles of new 24-inch-diameter 
pipeline for the compressor station; the new Wheatfield Dehydration 
Facility; construction/modification of tie-in facilities; and removal 
of an existing meter and odorizer station.


    On October 22, 2014, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to 
Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Northern Access 
2016 Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and 
Notice of Public Scoping Meetings (NOI). The NOI was issued during the 
pre-filing review of the Project in Docket No. PF14-18-000. On April 
29, 2015, the Commission issued a supplemental NOI for the newly 
identified locations for the Pendleton Compressor Station and 
Wheatfield Dehydration Facility. After National Fuel filed a new site 
for the Pendleton Compressor Station in the amended docket, the 
Commission issued an additional supplemental NOI on November 19, 2015.
    The NOIs were sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and 
local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public 
interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and 
local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission 
received comments from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service; New York State Department of Environmental 
Conservation; New York Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic 
Preservation; and numerous individuals and landowners. The primary 
issues raised by the commentors include potential impacts on wetlands; 
waterbodies; forested areas; groundwater; threatened and endangered 
species; socioeconomic; land use and recreational; air quality; noise; 
safety; and potential cumulative impacts.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York Department of 
Agriculture and Markets are cooperating agencies in the preparation of 
the EA.

Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA 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 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, select 
``General Search'' from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date 
range and ``Docket Number'' excluding the last three digits (i.e., 
CP15-115), 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 makings.

    Dated: April 14, 2016.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2016-09091 Filed 4-19-16; 8:45 am]