[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 6 (Monday, January 11, 1999)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1613-1614]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-463]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
[Docket No. CP99-113-000]


Algonquin LNG, Inc., Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental 
Assessment for the Proposed ALNG Plant Modifications Project and 
Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

January 5, 1999.
    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 construction and operation of 
the facilities proposed in the ALNG Plant Modifications Project.\1\ 
This EA will be used by the Commission in its decision-making process 
to determine whether an environmental impact statement (EIS) is 
necessary and whether to approve the project. The application and other 
supplemental filings in this docket are available for viewing on the 
FERC Internet website (www.ferc.fed.us). Click on the ``RIMS'' link, 
select ``Docket #'' from the RIMS Menu, and follow the instructions.
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    \1\ Algonquin LNG, Inc's application was filed with the 
Commission under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act and Parts 157 and 
284 of the Commission's regulations.
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Summary of the Proposed Project

    In a previous application filed on May 13, 1996, in Docket No. 
CP96-517-000, Algonquin LNG, Inc. (ALNG) requested authorization to 
modify its Providence, Rhode Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) 
facility, to add pipeline facilities to connect the ALNG Plant directly 
to Algonquin Gas Transmission Company (AGT), and to add liquefaction 
facilities at the ALNG Plant. Specifically, ALNG proposed the 
construction of a liquefaction facility, LNG pumps and vaporizers, 
boil-off gas compressors, 1.05 miles of 20-inch-diameter pipeline, 0.25 
mile of 10.75-inch-diameter pipeline, metering facilities, and 
miscellaneous facilities including a water/glycol system, feed gas 
compressors, odorant injection, control systems, and fire protection 
system additions. ALNG also proposed to inspect the existing 600,000-
barrel LNG storage tank and to install new instrumentation; to acquire 
two existing 0.45-mile-long, 10.75-inch-diameter pipeline crossings of 
the Providence River; and to abandon three existing vaporizers and 
related facilities.
    The Commission issued an Order Authorizing Certificates on May 6, 
1997, and on May 5, 1998, issued an Order on Rehearing. During the 
processing of Docket No. CP96-517, market conditions changed so 
significantly that ALNG was unable to accept the authorization.
    ALNG now proposes a scaled-back, lower-cost version of that 
project. The facility changes proposed herein would occur completely 
within the existing ALNG Plant site and would require no offsite 
construction as in the previously proposed project.
    ALNG seeks Commission authorization to modernize its existing LNG 
facility in Providence, Rhode Island. The proposed modifications would 
include:
     Abandoning the three existing direct-fired LNG vaporizers, 
and installing three new horizontal indirect-fired 150 million standard 
cubic feet per day (MMscfd) LNG vaporizers;
     Increasing the capacity of the existing LNG pumps from 100 
MMscfd to 150 MMscfd;
     Installing two new 600 horsepower boiloff gas compressors 
consisting of flooded screw type compressors driven by fixed speed 
electric motors;
     Installing additional emergency power generation 
equipment, control systems, and safety systems; and
     Modifying metering facilities for the delivery of 
vaporized LNG and boiloff gas.
    The proposed facilities would allow ALNG to continue to provide LNG 
storage, LNG truck loading and unloading, and LNG vaporization services 
on a firm and interruptible non-discriminatory open access basis.
    A location map of the proposed ALNG Plant Modifications Project is 
shown in appendix 1.\2\
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    \2\ The appendices referenced in this notice are not being 
printed in the Federal Register. Copies are available from the 
Commission's Public Reference and Files Maintenance Branch, 888 
First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 208-1371. 
Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this 
notice in the mail.
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Existing Facilities

    ALNG owns and operates a 600,000-barrel LNG storage facility on the 
west side of the Providence River. The facility has been in operation 
for over 20 years, and is exclusively supplied with LNG delivered by 
truck. Upon demand, LNG is either redelivered in liquid form into 
trucks supplied by its customers, or vaporized into Providence Gas 
Company's (PGC) distribution system.

Land Requirements for Construction

    The proposed ALNG Plant Modifications Project would be contained 
within the existing 16.5-acre ALNG site. No facilities would be 
constructed along the waterfront or within 400 feet of the Providence 
River. The majority of the ground disturbance would be related to 
foundation construction for the proposed facilities.

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. 
We call this ``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 requests public comments on the 
scope of the issues it will address in the EA and whether an EIS is 
necessary. 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.

[[Page 1614]]

    The EA will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the 
construction and operation of the proposed project under these general 
headings:
     Geology and soils.
     Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands.
     Vegetation and wildlife.
     Land use.
     Cultural resources.
     Air quality and noise.
     Endangered and threatened species.
     Public safety.
     Hazardous waste.
    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.
    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 
recommend that the Commission approve or not approve the project.
    To ensure your comments are considered, please carefully follow the 
instructions in the public participation section on page 5 of this 
notice.

Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve 
attention based on a preliminary review of the proposed facilities and 
the environmental information provided by ALNG. This preliminary list 
of issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis.
     Air quality may be affected by the replacement of the 
vaporizers and the addition of a second emergency generator.
     Noise quality may be affected by the replacement of the 
vaporizers and addition of the new emergency generator and boiloff 
compressors.
     Soils (possibly contaminated) may be affected by minor 
ground disturbance from foundation construction. The site owner, PGC, 
is currently conducting soil remediation on this site.
     In order to address public safety, proposed facility 
modifications will be analyzed to ensure compliance with the U.S. 
Department of Transportation's ``Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities: 
Federal Safety Standards'' (40 CFR 193).

Public Participation

    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 
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 two copies of your letter to: David P. Boergers, 
Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE., 
Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
     Label one copy of the comments for the attention of the 
Environmental Review and Compliance Branch, PR-11.1.
     Reference Docket No. CP99-113-000.
     Mail your comments so that they will be received in 
Washington, DC on or before February 4, 1999.

Becoming an Intervenor

    In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want 
to become an official party to the proceeding known as an 
``intervenor''. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process. 
Among other things, intervenors have the right to receive copies of 
case-related Commission documents and filings by other intervenors. 
Likewise, each intervenor must provide 14 copies of its filings to the 
Secretary of the Commission and must send a copy of its filings to all 
other parties on the Commission's service list for this proceeding. If 
you want 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) (see appendix 2). Only intervenors have the 
right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision.
    You do not need intervenor status to have your environmental 
comments considered. Additional information about the proposed project 
is available from Mr. Paul McKee of the Commission's Office of External 
Affairs at (202) 208-1088 or on the FERC website (www.ferc.fed.us) 
using the ``RIMS'' link to information in this docket number. For 
assistance with access to RIMS, the RIMS helpline can be reached at 
(202) 208-2222. Access to the texts of formal documents issued by the 
Commission with regard to this docket, such as orders and notices, is 
also available on the FERC website using the ``CIPS'' link. For 
assistance with access to CIPS, the CIPS helpline can be reached at 
(202) 208-2474.
Linwood A. Watson, Jr.,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 99-463 Filed 1-8-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-M