[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56687-56690]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22317]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP13-485-000]


Texas Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Texas Gas Abandonment Project 
and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    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 Texas Gas Abandonment Project 
involving abandonment of facilities by Texas Gas Transmission, LLC 
(Texas Gas) located in numerous counties in Kentucky, Tennessee, 
Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The Commission will use this EA 
in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in 
the public convenience and necessity.
    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the 
Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested 
agencies on the project. Your input will help the Commission staff 
determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. Please note that 
the scoping period will close on October 9, 2013.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this project. State and local government 
representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed 
project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.
    Texas Gas provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the 
FERC entitled ``An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do 
I Need To Know?''. 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 also available for 
viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov).

Summary of the Proposed Project

    Texas Gas proposes to abandon in-place and ultimately transfer to a 
corporate affiliate, Bluegrass Pipeline Company, LLC (Bluegrass), 
portions of its existing looped \1\ Mainline System (MLS) 26-2 and MLS 
26-1 pipelines and its Bastrop-Eunice System (BAE) 26-1 pipeline, 
including auxiliary and associated facilities in numerous counties in 
Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Texas Gas 
clarified that the pipeline proposed for abandonment consists mostly of 
a contiguous pipeline designated as either MLS 26-2, MLS 26-1, or BAE 
26-1, depending on what additional Texas Gas pipelines are located in 
the same right-of-way, and that certain segments along the pipeline 
were selected for abandonment based upon the suitability for future 
transportation of natural gas liquids. Texas Gas states it has 
experienced a decline in its customer base and throughput volumes over 
the last few years as a direct result of the emergence of gas supplies 
nearer its market areas and the construction of new pipeline 
infrastructure in the Midwest. Consequently, Texas Gas states, it has 
attempted to solicit interest in customers acquiring new or additional 
capacity on its system. However, Texas Gas received no requests for 
long-term firm service. Due to this lack of market demand for firm 
services, Texas Gas concluded that the facilities proposed for 
abandonment are no longer needed.
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    \1\ A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to 
an existing pipeline to increase capacity.
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    The Texas Gas Abandonment Project would abandon by transfer about 
567.8 miles of 26-inch-diameter pipeline consisting of:
     246.5 miles of the MLS 26-2 Pipeline from the Hardinsburg 
Compressor Station at milepost (MP) 530.4 in Breckenridge County, 
Kentucky

[[Page 56688]]

to MP 283.9 in Tipton County, Tennessee;
     2.6 miles of the MLS 26-1 Pipeline from MP 242.0 in DeSoto 
County, Mississippi to the Southaven Header at MP 239.4;
     124.1 miles of the MLS 26-2 Pipeline from MP 228.4 in 
DeSoto County, Mississippi to the east header of the Mississippi River 
crossing at MP 104.3 in Washington County, Mississippi;
     2.9 miles of the MLS 26-1 Pipeline from the east header of 
the Mississippi River crossing at MP 104.3 in Washington County, 
Mississippi to the west header of the crossing at MP 101.5 in Chicot 
County, Arkansas;
     45.8 miles of the MLS 26-2 Pipeline from the west header 
of the Mississippi River crossing at MP 101.5 in Chicot County, 
Arkansas to the discharge end of the Bastrop Compressor Station at MP 
55.7 in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana;
     45.8 miles of the BAE 26-1 Pipeline from the suction end 
of the Bastrop Compressor Station at MP 0.0 in Morehouse Parish, 
Louisiana to a block valve at the end of the 36-inch-diameter pipeline 
loop at MP 45.8 in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana;
     48.5 miles of the BAE 26-1 Pipeline from a block valve at 
the end of the 36-inch-diameter pipeline loop at MP 78.1 in La Salle 
Parish, Louisiana to the north header of the Red River crossing at MP 
126.6 in Rapides Parish, Louisiana; and
     54.1 miles of the BAE 26-1 Pipeline from the south header 
of the Red River crossing at MP 129.1 in Rapides Parish, Louisiana to 
the discharge header of the Eunice Compressor Station at MP 183.2 in 
Acadia Parish, Louisiana.
    Texas Gas would also abandon by transfer all ancillary and 
associated facilities such as valves, catholic protection, pig 
launchers/receivers, and control equipment; and abandon minor 
facilities at 140 sites across the systems, all of which would require 
ground disturbing activities.
    Texas Gas states that following abandonment authority it would 
continue to provide natural gas transportation service on its remaining 
30- and 26-inch-diameter loop line facilities and that Bluegrass would 
convert the abandoned facilities to natural gas liquids (NGL) 
transportation service.
    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 
1.\2\
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    \2\ The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in 
the Federal Register. Copies of 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. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to 
the last page of this notice.
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Land Requirements for Construction

    Texas Gas' abandonment activities would require ground disturbance 
of approximately 20.8 acres at 140 sites and would involve the 
following: Disconnection of the 26-inch-diameter pipeline from the 
suction and discharge piping at 10 compressor stations; reconfiguration 
of the compressor stations' piping to maintain station function and 
reconnection of the 26-inch-diameter pipeline; isolation of mainline 
valves, mainline valves with cross-over pipeline segments, and headers 
by removing short segments of 26-inch-diameter pipeline containing 
these facilities and reconnecting the 26-inch-diameter pipeline; 
replacement of 74 customer and interconnecting taps by their removal 
from the 26-inch-diameter pipeline and installing new taps at adjacent 
existing Texas Gas-owned pipelines; and abandonment by removal of 9 
other unused taps. The area of ground disturbance at each of the 140 
sites would average about 0.148 acre. Upon conclusion of the 
abandonment activities, the disturbed acreage would be restored.

Facilities To Be Constructed Following Abandonment

    Texas Gas indicates that following transfer of the facilities, 
Bluegrass would perform activities that are not under the jurisdiction 
of the FERC. Although FERC doesn't have the regulatory authority to 
modify or deny the construction of these facilities, we will disclose 
available information regarding the construction impacts in our EA. 
These activities would include:
    Northeast Connector Project--Bluegrass would construct facilities 
to undertake the transportation of NGL between producing areas in West 
Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and Texas Gas' existing Hardinsburg 
Compressor Station in Breckenridge County, Kentucky. The facilities 
would include:
     About 217 miles of 20-inch-diameter pipeline in 
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio;
     one new pump station in Highland County, Ohio; and
     about 394 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline in Ohio and 
Kentucky.
    Conversion Project--Bluegrass would construct facilities related to 
the conversion of the facilities abandoned by Texas Gas including:
     About 2 miles of 26-inch-diameter pipeline near Texas Gas' 
existing Greenville Compressor Station in Washington County, 
Mississippi;
     about 32 miles of 26-inch-diameter pipeline adjacent to 
Texas Gas' existing facilities in Ouachita, Caldwell, and LaSalle 
Parishes, Louisiana;
     about 2.5 miles of 26-inch-diameter pipeline adjacent to 
Texas Gas' existing facilities in Rapides Parish, Louisiana;
     about 91 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline in Tipton 
County, Tennessee; Mississippi and Crittenden Counties, Arkansas; and 
DeSoto County, Mississippi;
     three NGL pump stations near Texas Gas' existing 
Slaughters, Covington, and Columbia compressor stations in Webster 
County, Kentucky; Tipton County, Tennessee; and Caldwell Parish, 
Louisiana, respectively; and
     pipeline replacements at numerous sites along the pipeline 
segments proposed for abandonment by Texas Gas.
    Louisiana Extension Project--Bluegrass would construct a pipeline 
for the transportation of NGL in Louisiana, consisting of 59 miles of 
24-inch-diameter pipeline between Texas Gas' Eunice Compressor Station 
in Acadia Parish and existing fractionation and underground storage 
facilities in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
    Louisiana Fractionation and Storage Facilities--A separate, as yet 
unidentified, joint venture entity is also contemplating increasing 
both fractionation and underground storage capability in Calcasieu 
Parish, Louisiana.

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, 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.
    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of 
the abandonment of the proposed project under these general headings:
     Geology and soils;
     Land use;
     Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

[[Page 56689]]

     Cultural resources;
     Vegetation and wildlife;
     Air quality and noise;
     Endangered and threatened species;
     Public safety; and
     Cumulative impacts.
    We will also evaluate reasonable 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.
    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA 
will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on 
the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish 
and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We 
will consider all comments on the EA before making 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 below.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law 
and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of 
this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA 
\3\. Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status 
should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the 
Public Participation section of this notice.
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    \3\ The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing 
cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal 
Regulations, Part 1501.6.
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Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation 
Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's 
implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation 
with applicable State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO), 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 SHPOs 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.
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    \4\ The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's 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 
Places.
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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 
October 9, 2013.
    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to 
submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please 
reference the project docket number CP13-485-000 with your submission. 
The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert 
staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov.
    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment 
feature 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 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 
20426.

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; and 
local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected 
landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are 
existing 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. 
We will 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 proposed project.
    If we publish and distribute the EA, copies 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 User's Guide under the ``e-filing'' link on the Commission's Web 
site.

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 at 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., CP13-
485-000). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For 
assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov 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 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

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proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these 
filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to 
www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
    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: September 6, 2013.
Kimberly D. Bose,
 Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-22317 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P