2018-09858. Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Cheyenne Connector Pipeline and Cheyenne Hub Enhancement Projects and Request for Comments On Environmental Issues: Cheyenne Connector, LLC; Rockies Express ...  

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    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 facilities by Cheyenne Connector, LLC and Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (“applicants”) in Weld County, Colorado. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the applicants' projects are in the public convenience and necessity. According to the applicants, the proposed projects are being developed to work in tandem to deliver natural gas produced in Weld County to the Cheyenne Hub; therefore, the Commission is evaluating these two projects within a single EA.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the projects. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the projects. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. 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 June 4, 2018.

    If you sent comments on either of these projects to the Commission before the opening of this docket on March 5, 2018, you will need to file those comments in the appropriate docket number (i.e., CP18-102-000 and/or CP18-103-000) to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for the projects. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of these proposed projects and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you 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 Commission approves these projects, 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.

    The applicants 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 website (www.ferc.gov).

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's website (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.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the appropriate docket number of concern (either CP18-102-000 or CP18-103-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Please note this is not your only public input opportunity; refer to the review process flow chart in appendix 1.[1]

    Summary of the Proposed Projects

    The applicants propose to construct and operate new natural gas pipeline, metering, and compression facilities in Weld County, Colorado. The Cheyenne Connector Pipeline Project (Docket No. CP18-102-000) would transport northward about 600,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas from natural gas processing plants to a delivery interconnect with Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (Rockies Express) at the Cheyenne Hub. The Cheyenne Hub Enhancement Project (Docket No. CP18-Start Printed Page 21292103-000) would include additional natural gas compression facilities at the existing Cheyenne Hub to enable deliveries between Rockies Express and other interconnected pipelines at the Cheyenne Hub. According to the applicants, their Cheyenne Connector Pipeline and Cheyenne Hub Enhancement Projects are needed to transport and move growing natural gas production originating in Weld County to national markets.

    The Cheyenne Connector Pipeline Project would consist of the following facilities:

    • Approximately 70 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline, including three associated mainline valves and other ancillary facilities; and
    • Five meter and regulating stations.

    The Cheyenne Hub Enhancement Project would consist of the following facilities:

    • One new approximately 32,100 horsepower “Cheyenne Hub Booster Compressor Station”; and
    • Enhancements to modify the existing Cheyenne Hub interconnect facilities, including installation of pipe, valves, fittings, filters, and ancillary equipment.

    The general locations of the projects' facilities are shown in appendix 2.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the proposed aboveground and pipeline facilities would disturb about 1,720.3 acres of land. Following construction, the applicants would maintain about 470.5 acres for permanent operation of the projects' facilities; the remaining acreage would be restored and revert to former uses. About 46 percent of the proposed pipeline route parallels existing pipeline 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 [2] 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 be addressed 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 construction and operation of the proposed projects under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;
    • land use;
    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;
    • cultural resources;
    • vegetation and wildlife;
    • air quality and noise;
    • endangered and threatened species;
    • socioeconomics;
    • public safety; and
    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed projects or portions of the projects, 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. We will 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, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of these projects 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.

    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 the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the projects' potential effects on historic properties.[4] We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the projects develop. 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 these projects will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    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, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on a 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 projects.

    Copies of the EA 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 3).

    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 “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's website. Start Printed Page 21293Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/​resources/​guides/​how-to/​intervene.asp.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the projects is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website 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., CP18-102 or CP18-103). 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 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 www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public sessions or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/​EventCalendar/​EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

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    Dated: May 3, 2018.

    Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,

    Deputy Secretary.

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    1.  The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the 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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    2.  “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

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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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    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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    [FR Doc. 2018-09858 Filed 5-8-18; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 6717-01-P

Document Information

Energy Department
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Document Number:
21291-21293 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket Nos. CP18-102-000 & CP18-103-000
PDF File: