Environmental statements; notice of intent: Northern Natural Gas Co.,
[Federal Register: August 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 162)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
[Docket No. CP07-107-000]
Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Cunningham Storage Boundary Extension Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues
August 15, 2007.
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 Cunningham Storage Boundary Extension Project involving Northern Natural Gas Company's (Northern) extension of the certificated boundary of the Cunningham Gas Storage Field in Pratt and Kingman Counties, Kansas.\1\ This EA will be used by the Commission in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.
\1\ Northern's application was filed with the Commission under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act.
If you are a landowner receiving this notice, you may be contacted by a gas storage company representative about the acquisition of natural gas storage rights beneath your property. The gas storage company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement for the rights to operate a natural gas storage field beneath your property. It should be noted that the current proposal does not involve the construction of any facilities at this time. Any future proposal to construct jurisdictional facilities at the Cunningham Storage Field would be subject to an appropriate environmental review by the Commission.
A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ``An Interstate Natural Gas Facility on My Land? What Do I Need To Know?'' was attached to the project notice that Northern provided to landowners. 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 available for viewing on the FERC Internet Web site (http://www.ferc.gov ).
Summary of the Proposed Project
Northern is proposing to extend its existing Cunningham Gas Storage Field by 4,800 acres in order to protect the integrity of the storage field. Northern believes that third party operators outside of the storage field boundaries are producing storage gas. The location of the proposed storage field extension is shown in Appendix 1.\2\
\2\ The appendices referenced in this notice are not being printed in the Federal Register. Copies of all appendices, other than Appendix 1 (map), are available on the Commission's Web site at the ``eLibrary'' link 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. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail.
No facilities would be constructed. Northern's proposal is for extension of the certificated Cunningham Storage Field boundary by an additional 4,800 acres. This area is located due north and adjacent to the northern boundary of the storage field.
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 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 of Intent, the Commission staff requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. All comments received are considered during the preparation of the EA. State and local government representatives are encouraged to notify their constituents of this proposed action and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.
In the EA we \3\ will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the storage field extension. We will also evaluate possible 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.
\3\ ``We'', ``us'', and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff of the Office of Energy Projects (OEP).
Our independent analysis of the issues will be in the EA. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, the EA may be published and mailed to federal, state, and local agencies, public interest groups, interested individuals, affected landowners, newspapers, libraries, and the Commission's official service list for this proceeding. A comment period will be allotted for review if the EA is published. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make our recommendations to the Commission.
To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the public participation section below.
You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. By becoming a commentor, your concerns will be addressed in the EA and considered by the Commission. You should focus on the potential environmental effects of the proposal, alternatives to the proposal, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impact. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. Please carefully follow these instructions to ensure that your comments are received in time and properly recorded:
Send an original and two copies of your letter to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 3.
Reference Docket No. CP07-107-000.
Mail your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before September 17, 2007.
The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing of any comments or interventions or protests to this proceeding. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions
on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the ``e-
Filing'' link and the link to the User's Guide. Before you can file comments you will need to create a free account which can be created on-line.
We may mail the EA for comment. If you are interested in receiving it, please return the Information Request (Appendix 2). If you do not return the Information Request, you will be taken off the mailing list.
Becoming an Intervenor
In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an official party to the proceeding, or ``intervenor''. To become an intervenor you must file a motion to intervene according to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214). Intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. Motions to Intervene should be electronically submitted using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov.
Persons without Internet access should send an original and 14 copies of their motion to the Secretary of the Commission at the address indicated previously. Persons filing Motions to Intervene on or before the comment deadline indicated above must send a copy of the motion to the Applicant. All filings, including late interventions, submitted after the comment deadline must be served on the Applicant and all other intervenors identified on the Commission's service list for this proceeding. Persons on the service list with e-mail addresses may be served electronically; others must be served a hard copy of the filing.
Affected landowners and parties with environmental concerns may be granted intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which would not be adequately represented by any other parties. You do not need intervenor status to have your environmental comments considered.
Environmental Mailing List
An effort is being made to send this notice to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project. This includes all landowners who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within distances defined in the Commission's regulations of certain aboveground facilities.
Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 1-866-208-FERC or on the FERC Internet Web site (http://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. Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, 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 http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
[FR Doc. E7-16523 Filed 8-21-07; 8:45 am]
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