[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 164 (Wednesday, August 25, 1999)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46363-46364]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-22007]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed JEA 
Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustor Project at Jacksonville, Florida

AGENCY: Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability for 
public review and comment of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) for the JEA Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustor Project (DOE/EIS-
0289), at Jacksonville, Florida. The Draft EIS was prepared pursuant to 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), Council on Environmental Quality NEPA regulations 
(40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and the DOE NEPA regulations (10 CFR part 
1021). The Draft EIS analyzes the environmental impacts that could 
result from a proposal under DOE's Clean Coal Technology Program to 
construct and operate a nearly 300 megawatt-electric, coal-and 
petroleum coke-fired, circulating fluidized bed combustor and boiler to 
repower an existing steam turbine at JEA's Northside Generating 
Station. DOE's proposed action is to provide cost-shared funding of 
approximately $73.1 million (about 24 percent of the estimated total 
cost of $309 million) for construction of the combustor and boiler and 
for a 24-month period of demonstration testing of the technology.
    The proposed project would demonstrate technology that is capable 
of cost-effectively reducing nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and 
particulate emissions, while producing power more efficiently and at 
less cost than conventional coal combustion technologies. Information 
and experience developed from this project could provide the basis for 
demonstrating the potential of utility scale, circulating fluidized bed 
technology as a practical alternative to conventional coal-fired power 
plant technologies.

DATES: DOE invites the public to comment on the Draft JEA EIS. Comments 
should be submitted by October 15, 1999 (see ADDRESSES section for more 
details) to ensure

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consideration. DOE will consider comments submitted after October 15, 
1999, to the extent practicable. A public hearing on the Draft JEA EIS 
will be held as follows: Florida Community College at Jacksonville, 
North Campus, Thursday, September 16, 1999, Times: 12 pm to 3 pm 
(Information Session) and 6 pm to 9 pm (Public Hearing).
    The hearing will provide an opportunity for information exchange 
and discussion among DOE and the public, as well as opportunities for 
the public to present oral or written comments.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by mail, fax, telephone, or 
electronically to: Ms. Lisa Hollingsworth, NEPA Document Manager, U.S. 
Department of Energy, Federal Energy Technology Center, P.O. Box 880, 
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880, Telephone: 304-285-4992; Fax 304-285-4403, 
leave a message at 1-800-276-9851, [email protected].
    Requests for copies of the Draft JEA EIS or other information 
regarding this environmental analysis should be addressed to Ms. 
Hollingsworth at the address above. The Draft EIS will be available 
under the DOE NEPA Analysis link from the DOE NEPA Web Site at http://
tis.eh.doe.gov/nepa/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on the 
proposed project or the environmental impact statement, please contact 
Ms. Hollingsworth as directed above. For general information on the 
Department's NEPA process, please contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, 
Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Assistance, EH-42, U.S. Department 
of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585. Ms. 
Borgstrom may be contacted by calling 202-586-4600 or by leaving a 
message at 1-800-472-2756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On November 13, 1997, the Department published a Notice of Intent 
(62 FR 60889) to prepare an environmental impact statement for the 
proposed JEA Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustor Project, in Duval 
County, Jacksonville, Florida. The purpose of the Notice of Intent was 
to inform the public of the proposed scope of the EIS, to solicit 
public input, and to announce a public scoping meeting that was held on 
December 3, 1997, in Jacksonville, FL. The Notice invited comments and 
suggestions on the proposed scope of the environmental impact 
statement, including environmental issues and alternatives, and invited 
public participation in the NEPA process. Comments and feedback 
received during the public scoping process were used in preparing the 
Draft EIS. The scoping period closed on December 31, 1997.

Alternatives Considered

    The Draft EIS evaluates a proposed action and a no-action 
alternative. DOE's proposed action is to provide JEA with cost-shared 
funding of approximately $73.1 million (24 percent of the estimated 
total cost of $309 million) for the construction and operation of a 
combustor and boiler to repower a steam turbine and generator that have 
been out of service since 1983 at JEA's Northside Generating Station. 
In analyzing the proposed action (the preferred alternative), the Draft 
EIS also evaluates JEA's plans to repower a second, currently 
operating, steam turbine without cost-shared funding from DOE.
    In addition to analyzing the environmental impacts of the proposed 
action, the Draft EIS analyzes the potential impacts of a No-Action 
Alternative. Under the No-Action Alternative, the Draft EIS analyzes 
three scenarios that JEA could pursue in the absence of DOE funding. 
The scenarios considered are: (1) JEA would construct the proposed 
project without DOE funding; (2) JEA would construct a new gas-fired 
combined cycle facility at Northside Generating Station or another 
location; and (3) JEA would purchase electricity from other utilities 
to meet JEA's projected demand. The Draft EIS compares the 
environmental impacts that could be expected to occur from repowering 
the two steam turbines with new circulating fluidized bed combustors 
under the proposed action with the impacts that would be likely from 
each of the three scenarios under the No-Action Alternative.
    The Draft EIS focuses on impacts from construction and operation of 
the proposed project on: Human health, air quality, surface water, 
groundwater, ecological resources, socioeconomic resources, 
environmental justice, noise, and traffic. In addition, impacts on land 
use, floodplains, wetlands, waste management, and cultural resources 
are considered.

Availability of the Draft EIS

    DOE has distributed copies of the Draft EIS to appropriate Members 
of Congress, State and local government officials in Florida, Federal 
agencies, and other interested parties. Copies of the document may be 
obtained by contacting DOE as provided in the section of this notice 
entitled, ADDRESSES. Copies of the Draft EIS are also available for 
inspection at the locations identified below:

(1) U.S. Department of Energy, Freedom of Information Reading Room, 1E-
190, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 
20585.
(2) U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Technology Center, 3610 
Collins Ferry Road, Morgantown, WV 26507-0880.
(3) U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Technology Center, 626 
Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940.
(4) Highlands Branch Library, 1826 Dunn Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32218.

    After the public comment period ends on October 15, 1999, DOE will 
consider all comments received, revise the Draft EIS as appropriate, 
and issue a Final EIS. DOE will consider the Final EIS, along with 
other information, such as economic and technical factors, in deciding 
whether or not to provide funding for the construction and operation of 
the proposed coal-fired, circulating fluidized bed combustor and 
boiler.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 19th day of August 1999.
Robert S. Kripowicz,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.
[FR Doc. 99-22007 Filed 8-24-99; 8:45 am]
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