[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 147 (Monday, August 3, 2009)]
[Pages 38391-38392]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-18413]

                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.


Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 147 / Monday, August 3, 2009 / 

[[Page 38391]]


Rural Utilities Service

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., Notice 
of Intent To Hold Public Scoping Meetings and Prepare an Environmental 

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Hold Public Scoping Meetings and Prepare an 
Environmental Assessment.


SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to hold public 
scoping meetings and prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet 
its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
and 7 CFR part 1794 in connection with potential impacts related to a 
proposed project in Colorado by Tri-State Generation and Transmission 
Association, Inc. (Tri-State) and Public Service Company of Colorado 
(Public Service), an Xcel Energy Operating Company. The proposed San 
Luis Valley-Calumet-Comanche Transmission Project (proposed action) 
consists of the following: a proposed 230/345-kilovolt (kV) Calumet 
Substation to be located approximately 6 miles north of the existing 
Walsenburg Substation in Huerfano County; a proposed double-circuit 
230-kV transmission line between the existing San Luis Valley 
Substation in Alamosa County and the Calumet Substation; a proposed 
single-circuit 230-kV transmission line between the Calumet Substation 
and the Walsenburg Substation; and a proposed double-circuit 345-kV 
transmission line connecting the Calumet Substation to the existing 
Comanche Substation in Pueblo County. Tri-State is requesting that RUS 
provide financial assistance for the proposed action.

DATES: RUS will conduct public scoping meetings in an open house format 
to provide information and solicit comments for the preparation of the 
EA. The scoping meetings will be held on the following dates: Monday, 
August 17, 2009, from 4-7 p.m. at the Blanca/Fort Garland Community 
Center, 17591 Highway 160, Blanca, Colorado 81123; Tuesday, August 18, 
2009, from 4-7 p.m. at the Alamosa Recreation Center, 2222 Old Sanford 
Road, Alamosa, Colorado 81101; Wednesday, August 19, 2009, from 9 a.m.-
11 a.m. at the Gardner Community Center, 28 County Road 632, Gardner, 
Colorado 81040; Wednesday, August 19, 2009, from 4-7 p.m. at the 
Walsenburg Community Center, 928 Russell Avenue, Walsenburg, Colorado 
81089-2155; Thursday, August 20, 2009, from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at the 
Hollydot Golf Course, 55 North Parkway Drive, Colorado City, Colorado 
81019; and Thursday, August 20, 2009, from 4-7 p.m. at the Sangre de 
Cristo Arts and Conference Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Avenue, Pueblo, 
Colorado 81003. All written questions and comments must be received by 
RUS by September 21, 2009.

ADDRESSES: To send comments or for further information, contact: Dennis 
Rankin, Environmental Protection Specialist, USDA Rural Utilities 
Service, at 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 1571, Washington, DC 
20250-1571, or e-mail: [email protected]. A combined 
Alternative Evaluation Study (AES) and Macro Corridor Study (MCS) has 
been prepared for the San Luis Valley to Walsenburg portion of the 
proposed project, and an AES and MCS have been prepared for the Calumet 
to Comanche portion of the proposed project. All documents are 
available for public review prior to and at the public scoping 
meetings. The reports are available at the RUS address provided in this 
notice and on the agency's Web site: http://www.usda.gov/rus/water/ees/eis.htm. The documents are also available for review at the offices of 
Tri-State and its member cooperatives San Luis Valley Rural Electric 
Cooperative and San Isabel Electric Cooperative. In addition, the 
following repositories will have the AES and MCS available for public 

Tri-State Generation & Transmission, 1100 West 116th Avenue, 
Westminster, CO 80234-2814,
San Isabel Electric Association, 893 East Enterprise Drive, Pueblo 
West, CO 81007-1476
La Veta Public Library District, 310 Main Street, La Veta, CO 81055-
Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, 100 East Abriendo Avenue, , 
Pueblo, CO 81004-4232
Costilla County Public Library, 418 Gasper Street, San Luis, CO 81152-
San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, 3625 U.S. Highway 160 W, 
Monte Vista, CO 81144-9300
Southern Peaks Public Library, 423 Fourth Street , Alamosa, CO 81101-
Carnegie Public Library, 120 Jefferson Street, Monte Vista, CO 81144-
Lamb Branch Library, 2525 South Pueblo Boulevard, Pueblo, CO 81005-2700
Spanish Peaks Library District, 323 Main Street, Walsenburg, CO 81089-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The primary purpose for the proposed action 
is to improve the electric service and increase reliability for Tri-
State and Public Service customers in the San Luis Valley and Front 
Range areas. The proposed action would also provide a transmission 
outlet for renewable energy generation in the San Luis Valley. This 
proposed action will assist Tri-State and Public Service in meeting 
their respective transmission needs in the region by using one common 
transmission corridor instead of two separate corridors. This joint 
approach will minimize potential impacts to property owners and the 
    Tri-State is seeking financing from RUS for its percent ownership 
in the proposed project. Prior to making a financial decision about 
whether to provide financial assistance for a proposed project, RUS is 
required to conduct an environmental review under the NEPA in 
accordance with the RUS policies and procedures codified in 7 CFR Part 
1794. Government agencies, private organizations, and the public are 
invited to participate in the planning and analysis of the proposed 
action. Representatives from the RUS, Tri-State, and Public Service 
will be available at the scoping meetings to discuss the environmental 
review process, describe the proposed action, discuss the scope of 
environmental issues to be considered, answer questions, and

[[Page 38392]]

accept comments. RUS will use comments and input provided by government 
agencies, private organizations, and the public in the preparation of 
the Draft EA. If RUS finds, based on the EA, that the proposed action 
will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human 
environment, RUS will prepare a Finding of No Significant Impact 
(FONSI). Public notification of a Finding of No Significant Impact 
would be published in the Federal Register and in newspapers with 
circulation in the project area. RUS may take its final action on 
proposed actions requiring an EA (Sec.  1794.23) any time after 
publication of applicant notices that a FONSI has been made and any 
required review period has expired. When substantive comments are 
received on the EA, RUS may provide an additional period (15 days) for 
public review following the publication of its FONSI determination. 
Final action will not be taken until this review period has expired. 
Where appropriate to carry out the purposes of NEPA, RUS may impose, on 
a case-by-case basis, additional requirements associated with the 
preparation of an EA. If at any point in the preparation of an EA, RUS 
determines that the proposed action will have a significant effect on 
the quality of the human environment, the preparation of an 
Environmental Impact Statement will be required.
    Any final action by RUS related to the proposed action will be 
subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal, 
State, and local environmental laws and regulations and completion of 
the environmental review requirements as prescribed in the RUS 
Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794).

    Dated: July 28, 2009.
Mark S. Plank,
Director, Engineering and Environmental Staff, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. E9-18413 Filed 7-31-09; 8:45 am]