Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
This notice announces the opening of the scoping process we will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. Your input will help the Commission staff determine which issues need to be evaluated in the EA. Please note that the scoping period will close on March 13, 2009.
This notice is being sent to affected landowners; 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. 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 MEP representative about survey permission and/or 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 natural gas company could initiate condemnation proceedings 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?" is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (
MEP proposes an expansion and equipment modifications at the previously certificated Atlanta Compressor Station in Cass County, Texas, and relocation of the previously certificated Vicksburg Compressor Station to Hinds County, Mississippi. MEP is proposing to:
* Substitute two G16 compressor units for the two previously certificated G12 compressor units at Atlanta Compressor Station;
* Increase the land parcel size at the Atlanta Compressor Station from 30.0 acres to 36.7 acres to encompass an adjacent block valve that was certificated under Docket CP08-06-000 for the MEP pipeline; and
* Relocate the previously certificated Vicksburg Compressor Station approximately 3.5 miles to the east from Warren County, Mississippi to Hinds County, Mississippi. The relocation would involve acquiring a new 74.8 acre land parcel. No equipment changes are proposed at the Vicksburg Compressor Station.
The specific location of the project facilities is shown in Appendix 1.
If approved, MEP proposes to commence construction of the proposed facilities in September 2009.
The area that would be temporarily affected by construction of the Atlanta Compressor Station would increase over the previously certificated Project by 10.0 acres to a total of approximately 22.0 acres. The area that would be permanently affected by operation of the Atlanta Compressor Station would increase by 1.4 acres to a total of approximately 13.1 acres.
Construction of the Vicksburg Compressor Station would temporarily impact approximately 31.8 acres. Permanent land requirements for operation of the Vicksburg Compressor Station would impact about approximately 20.7 acres.
MEP is proposing to locate the compressor stations adjacent to existing roadways. MEP is proposing to construct access roads between the existing roadways and each area where the compressor station construction activity would occur. MEP would retain a permanent access road for each site after construction is complete.
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. 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 of Intent, the Commission staff requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. 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.
In the EA we
* Geology and soils
* Land use
* Water resources, fisheries, and wetlands
* Cultural resources
* Vegetation and wildlife
* Air quality and noise
* Endangered and threatened species
* Public safety9
We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the proposed 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 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 NOI, we are asking federal, state, and local 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. Additional agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this NOI.
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 MEP. This preliminary list of issues may be changed based on your comments and our analysis.
* Disturbance caused by project construction may contribute to water and wind erosion of soils.
* Disturbance caused by the project may cause temporary and permanent alteration of wildlife habitat.
* Potential impacts on air quality and potential noise emissions may occur.
You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the MEP Amendment 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 in your comments so that they will be received in Washington, DC on or before March 13, 2009.
For your convenience, there are three methods in which you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please reference the project docket number (CP08-06-002) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has dedicated eFiling expert staff available to assist you at 202-502-8258 or
(1) You may file your comments electronically by using the Quick Comment feature, which is located on the Commission's internet Web site at
(2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission's internet Web site at
(3) You may file your comments via mail to the Commission by sending an original and two copies of your letter to:
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 3, PJ11.3.
An effort is being made to send this notice to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project. This includes all landowners who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within distances defined in the Commission's regulations of certain aboveground facilities.
If you do not want to send comments at this time but still want to remain on our mailing list, please return the Information Request (Appendix 2). If you do not return the Information Request, you will be taken off the mailing list.
In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an "intervenor," which is an official party to the 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 a Commission 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 about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 1-866-208-FERC or on the FERC Internet Web site (
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
Finally, public meetings or site visits, if applicable, will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at