[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 9, 2011)]
[Pages 12955-12957]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5316]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP11-78-000]

CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission Company, LLC; Notice of 
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Line AM-
46 Replacement Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, 
and Notice of Onsite Environmental Review

    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 Line AM-46 Replacement Project 
involving construction, operation, and abandonment of facilities by 
CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission Company, LLC (CEGT) in Howard, 
Hempstead, Sevier, and Little River Counties, Arkansas. This EA will be 
used by the Commission 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 need to be evaluated in the EA. Please note that 
the scoping period will close on April 1, 2011.
    The Office of Energy Projects staff will conduct on onsite 
environmental review of the project area on March 29, 2011 to gather 
data for its environmental assessment. Staff will examine the proposed 
pipeline route, facilities, and alternative routes filed by CEGT. 
Viewing of this area is anticipated to be from public access points. 
All interested parties are invited to attend but must provide their own 
transportation. Those attending should meet at the following location 
and time: Line AM-46 Replacement Project, FERC Environmental Site 
Review, March 29, 2011 at 9 a.m. Central Time, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers Millwood Lake Project Office, 1528 Hwy 32 East Ashdown, AR.
    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental 
mailing list for this project. State and local government 
representatives are asked to notify their constituents of this planned 
project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.
    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, you may be contacted 
by a pipeline company representative about the acquisition of an 
easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. 
The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. 
However, if the project is approved by the Commission, that approval 
conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement 
negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could 
initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be 
determined in accordance with state law.
    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ``An Interstate Natural 
Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?'' was attached to the 
project notice CEGT provided to landowners. 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 (http://www.ferc.gov).

Summary of the Proposed Project

    The Line AM-46 Replacement Project would involve abandonment and 
replacement of natural gas facilities to ensure continued supply of 
about 50 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day to the 
Ashdown, Arkansas area. CEGT proposes to abandon in place related 
pipeline segments in Howard, Sevier, and Little River County, Arkansas. 
These segments cross Millwood Lake or associated waterbodies and were 
constructed between 1929 and 1965. Frequent repairs on these lines 
necessitate their replacement. CEGT proposes to replace these segments 
with a new pipeline which would bypass Millwood Lake and be located in 
Howard, Hempstead, and Little River Counties, Arkansas.
    The Line AM-46 Replacement Project would consist of the following 
     Construction of 16.7 miles of 10-inch-diameter pipeline,
     Construction of a pig launcher and receiver,\1\ and

    \1\ A ``pig'' is a tool that is inserted into and moves through 
the pipeline, and is used for cleaning the pipeline, internal 
inspections, or other purposes.

     Abandonment of a total of 16.2 miles of 8- and 10-inch-
diameter pipeline.
    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 

    \2\ The appendices referenced in this notice are not being 
printed in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to 
all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at 
http://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.

Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 196 
acres of land for the aboveground facilities and the pipeline. 
Following construction, about 81 acres would be maintained for 
permanent operation of the project's facilities; the remaining acreage 
would be restored and allowed to revert to former uses. About 83 
percent of the proposed pipeline route parallels existing pipeline, 
utility, or road rights-of-way.

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 
\3\ 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

[[Page 12956]]

address in the EA. All comments received will be considered during the 
preparation of the EA.

    \3\ ``We,'' ``us,'' and ``our'' refer to the environmental staff 
of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we 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;
     Endangered and threatened species;
     Land use;
     Cultural resources;
     Air quality and noise; and
     Public safety.
    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.
    Our independent analysis of the issues will be presented in the EA. 
The EA will be placed in the public record and, depending on the 
comments received during the scoping process, may be published and 
distributed to the public. A comment period will be allotted if the EA 
is published for review. We will consider all comments on the EA before 
we make our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure your comments 
are considered, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public 
Participation section below.
    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction and/or 
special expertise with respect to environmental issues to formally 
cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA. These agencies may 
choose to participate once they have evaluated the proposal relative to 
their responsibilities. 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.

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 CEGT. This preliminary list 
of issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis.
     Crossing of wetlands enlisted under the Wetland Reserve 
Program for the protection, restoration and enhancement of wetlands.
     Potential impacts on federally listed threatened and 
endangered species occurring within the project area.

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 they will be received in Washington, DC on or before April 1, 
    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 (CP11-78-000) with your submission. 
The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert 
eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or 
    (1) You may file your comments electronically by using the eComment 
feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. An eComment is an 
easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments 
on a project;
    (2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling 
feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at 
http: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 will be asked to 
select the type of filing you are making. A comment on a particular 
project is considered a ``Comment on a Filing;'' or
    (3) You may file a paper copy of your comments at 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; other 
interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also 
includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's 
regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property 
may be used temporarily for project purposes, 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 the EA is published for distribution, copies will 
be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and 

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 
included 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 http://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., CP11-78). 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 proceedings by automatically providing you with 
notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to 
the documents. Go to http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.
    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the 
Commission's calendar located at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

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    Dated: March 2, 2011.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2011-5316 Filed 3-8-11; 8:45 am]