[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 4 (Monday, January 7, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 929-931]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00015]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Project Nos. P-1892-026, P-1855-045 and P-1904-073; Project Nos. P-
1889-081 and P-2485-063]


TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc.; FirstLight Hydro Generating 
Company; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-
Application Document (PAD), Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and 
Scoping; Request for Comments on the PAD and Scoping Document, and 
Identification of Issues and Associated Study Requests

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application for 
a New License and Commencing Pre-filing Process.
    b. Project Nos.: P-1892-026, P-1855-045, P-1904-073, P-1889-081, 
and P-2485-063.
    c. Dated Filed: October 31, 2012.
    d. Submitted By: TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc. (P-1892-026, P-
1855-045, and P-1904-073); FirstLight Hydro Generating Company (P-1889-
081, and P-2485-063).
    e. Names of Projects: Wilder Project (P-1892-026), Bellows Falls 
Project (P-1855-045), Vernon Project (P-1904-073), Turners Falls 
Project (P-1889-081), Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project (P-
2485-063).
    f. Location: The Wilder Project is located on the Connecticut River 
in Orange and Windsor Counties, Vermont (VT) and Grafton County, New 
Hampshire (NH).
    The Bellows Falls Project is located on the Connecticut River in 
Windham County, VT and Cheshire County, NH.
    The Vernon Project is located on the Connecticut River in Windsor 
and Windham Counties, VT and Sullivan and Cheshire Counties, NH.
    The Turners Falls Project and Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage

[[Page 930]]

Project are located on the Connecticut River in Franklin County, 
Massachusetts (MA), Windham County, VT and Cheshire County, NH. The 
Turners Falls impoundment on the Connecticut River is also the lower 
reservoir for the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project.
    The Turners Falls Project is the only project that includes federal 
lands. Approximately 20 acres of federally-owned lands are associated 
with the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 
Conte Laboratory, located within the Turners Falls project boundary.
    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR part 5 of the Commission's 
Regulations.
    h. Applicant Contacts: Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon Projects--
John Ragonese, Relicensing Project Manager, TransCanada Hydro Northeast 
Inc., 4 Park Street, Suite 402, Concord, NH 03301, (603) 498-2851, or 
email John_Ragonese@transcanada.com.
    Turners Falls and Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Projects--John 
S. Howard, Director--FERC Hydro Compliance, FirstLight Hydro Generating 
Company, Northfield Mountain Station, 99 Millers Falls Road, 
Northfield, MA 01360, (413) 659-4489 or email 
John.Howard@gdfsuezna.com.
    i. FERC Contact: Ken Hogan at (202) 502-8434 or email at 
Kenneth.Hogan@ferc.gov.
    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies 
with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to 
environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the 
environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such 
requests described in item o below. Cooperating agencies should note 
the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation 
of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See 94 FERC ] 
61,076 (2001).
    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with: 
(a) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA Fisheries under 
section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency 
regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402, and (b) the State Historic 
Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historical 
Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory 
Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.
    l. With this notice, we are designating TransCanada Hydro Northeast 
Inc., and FirstLight Hydro Generating Company as the Commission's non-
federal representatives for carrying out informal consultation, 
pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 106 of 
the National Historic Preservation Act for their respective projects.
    m. Both TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc., and FirstLight Hydro 
Generating Company filed with the Commission a Pre-Application 
Documents (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule), 
pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.
    n. Copies of the PADs are available for review at the Commission in 
the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site 
(http://www.ferc.gov), using the ``eLibrary'' link. Enter the project 
specific docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket 
number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC 
Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1-866-208-
3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for 
inspection and reproduction at the addresses in paragraph h.
    Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances 
related to these or other pending projects. For assistance, contact 
FERC Online Support.
    o. With this notice, we are soliciting comments on the PADs and the 
Commission's staff Scoping Document 1 (SD1), as well as study requests. 
All comments on the PAD and SD1, and study requests should be sent to 
the addresses above in paragraph h. In addition, all comments on the 
PAD and SD1, study requests, requests for cooperating agency status, 
and all communications to and from Commission staff related to the 
merits of the potential application must be filed with the Commission. 
Documents may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 
Sec.  385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web 
site http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit 
brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, 
using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the 
end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online 
Support. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, 
documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and 
seven copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.
    All filings with the Commission must clearly identify the following 
on the first page as appropriate: Wilder Project No. 1892-026, Bellows 
Falls Project No. 1855-045, Vernon Project No. 1904-073, Turners Falls 
Project No. 1889-081), and/or Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage 
Project No. 2485-063, and bear the appropriate heading: ``Comments on 
Pre-Application Document,'' ``Study Requests,'' ``Comments on Scoping 
Document 1,'' ``Request for Cooperating Agency Status,'' or 
``Communications to and from Commission Staff.'' Any individual or 
entity interested in submitting study requests, commenting on the PAD 
or SD1, and any agency requesting cooperating status must do so by 
March 1, 2013.
    p. Scoping Process: The Commission intends to prepare a multi-
project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the projects' 
licensing in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA). The EIS will consider both site-specific and cumulative 
environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to the proposed 
actions.

Scoping Meetings

    Commission staff will hold six project specific scoping meetings in 
the vicinity of each project at the times and places noted below. The 
daytime meetings will focus on resource agency, Indian tribes, and non-
governmental organization concerns, while the evening meetings are 
primarily for receiving input from the public. We invite all interested 
individuals, organizations, and agencies to attend one or both of the 
meeting types, and to assist staff in identifying particular study 
needs, as well as the scope of environmental issues to be addressed in 
the environmental document. The times and locations of these meetings 
are as follows:

Wilder Project--Evening Scoping Meeting

    Date & Time: Monday January 28, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
    Location: Kilton Public Library, 80 Main Street, West Lebanon, NH 
03784, 603-298-8544.
    For directions please visit: http://www.leblibrary.com/getting-here.

Wilder & Bellows Falls Projects--Joint Daytime Scoping Meeting

    Date & Time: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
    Location: Kilton Public Library, 80 Main Street, West Lebanon, NH 
03784, 603-298-8544.
    For directions please visit: http://www.leblibrary.com/getting-here.

[[Page 931]]

Bellows Falls--Evening Scoping Meeting

    Date & Time: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
    Location: Bellows Falls Middle School, 15 School St., Bellows 
Falls, VT 05101.
    For directions please call Bev Baldasaro at (802) 463-4366.

Vernon, Northfield Mountain, and Turners Falls Projects--Joint Daytime 
Scoping Meeting

    Date & Time: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
    Location: Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A., Turners Falls, 
MA 01376, (413) 863-3221.
    For directions please visit: http://www.greatfallsma.org/.

Vernon Project--Evening Scoping Meeting

    Date & Time: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
    Location: Marlboro College Graduate School, 28 Vernon Street, 
Brattleboro, VT 05301, Grad School Common Area, 1st Floor, (802) 258-
9200.
    For directions please visit: http://gradschool.marlboro.edu/contact/.

Northfield Mountain and Turners Falls Projects--Joint Scoping Evening 
Meeting

    Date & Time: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
    Location: Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A., Turners Falls, 
MA 01376, (413) 863-3221.
    For directions please visit: http://www.greatfallsma.org/.
    In addition to the six project specific scoping meetings identified 
above, we will hold a public scoping meeting specifically to identify 
cumulatively effected resources and to help identify the incremental 
effect of licensing these five Connecticut River projects with other 
past, present and reasonably foreseeable future actions within the 
Connecticut River Basin. We invite all interested agencies, Indian 
tribes, NGOs, and individuals to attend the Cumulative Effects scoping 
meeting to assist us in identifying cumulatively effected resources and 
the associated geographic scope that should be analyzed in the EIS. The 
time and location of that meeting is:

Connecticut River Projects' Cumulative Effects--Daytime Scoping Meeting

    Date & Time: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
    Location: Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A., Turners Falls, 
MA 01376, (413) 863-3221.
    For directions please visit: http://www.greatfallsma.org/.
    Scoping Document 1 (SD1), which outlines the subject areas to be 
addressed in the environmental document, was mailed to the individuals 
and entities on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of SD1 will be 
available at the scoping meetings, or may be viewed on the Web at 
http://www.ferc.gov, using the ``eLibrary'' link. Follow the directions 
for accessing information in paragraph n. Based on all oral and written 
comments, a Scoping Document 2 (SD2) may be issued. SD2 may include a 
revised process plan and schedule, as well as a list of issues, 
identified through the scoping process.

Meeting Objectives

    At the scoping meetings, staff will: (1) Initiate scoping of the 
issues; (2) review and discuss existing conditions and resource 
management objectives; (3) review and discuss existing information and 
identify preliminary information and study needs; (4) review and 
discuss the process plan and schedule for pre-filing activity that 
incorporates the time frames provided for in Part 5 of the Commission's 
regulations and, to the extent possible, maximizes coordination of 
federal, state, and tribal permitting and certification processes; and 
(5) discuss the appropriateness of any federal or state agency or 
Indian tribe acting as a cooperating agency for development of an 
environmental document.
    Meeting participants should come prepared to discuss their issues 
and/or concerns. Please review the PAD in preparation for the scoping 
meetings. Directions on how to obtain a copy of the PAD and SD1 are 
included in item n. of this document.

Meeting Procedures

    The meetings will be recorded by a stenographer and will be placed 
in the public records of the project.

Environmental Site Review

    An environmental site review is typically held in conjunction with 
the Commission's NEPA scoping meetings. However, Commission staff 
anticipated that access to some project facilities would be limited by 
winter weather conditions during the early part of 2013 when scoping 
for these projects was scheduled. For this reason, and to provide all 
interested stakeholders an opportunity to view the projects' 
facilities, the Commission hosted the environmental site reviews in 
October 2012, before the onset of winter. Public notice of the 
environmental site reviews was issued on August 3, 2012, and published 
in eight newspapers from the Connecticut River projects' region. The 
site visits were widely attended by individuals representing, local, 
state, and federal government agencies, NGOs, and members of the 
public. At this time, the Commission does not intend to host any future 
environmental site reviews for these five Connecticut River projects.

    Dated: December 21, 2012.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-00015 Filed 1-4-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P