Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On August 1, 2012, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) filed its intent to modify the Line MB Loop Extension Project (project) in Baltimore and Harford Counties, Maryland, by incorporating the Alternative Route 16.55A into it's proposed route and dropping the BGE Route Alternative from further consideration. On April 16, 2012, a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (original NOI) was issued for the project as originally planned. This Supplemental Notice of Intent (supplemental NOI) addresses these changes. The original NOI is attached to this document, so certain information included in it will not be repeated in the supplemental NOI including the original project description, information about becoming an intervenor, and how to find additional information about the project.
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 project involving construction and operation of the facilities planned by Columbia, including the supplemental facilities. 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.
If you are receiving this supplemental NOI, you may be affected by Alternate Route 16.55A. This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on these supplemental facilities for 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 September 10, 2012.
This supplemental NOI is being sent to the affected landowners along the Alternative Route 16.55A facilities proposed by Columbia for the project on August 1, 2012. State and local government representatives are asked to notify their constituents of this modification to the planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern. We invite you to file comments; but, we request that you file comments only pertinent to Alternative Route 16.55A.
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 planned 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 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 (
Columbia plans to construct about 21.4 miles of 26-inch-diameter pipeline in Baltimore and Harford Counties, Maryland. The new pipeline would primarily in installed within or adjacent to it's existing rights-of-way.
The planned supplemental facilities would include the Alternative Route 16.55A which would be about 4.1 miles of 26-inch-diameter pipeline departing from the existing Line MA near milepost (MP) 16.55 and ending at MP 21. It would begin where the existing Line MA corridor crosses Dunstan Lane and would parallel Stansbury Mill Road eastward to Allison Road. From this point it would parallel Allison Road
The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.
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
In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project 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; and
* Public safety.
We will also continue to evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.
Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before an application is filed with the FERC. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.
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.
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 applicable State Historic Preservation Office, and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.
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 September 10, 2012.
For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (PF10-15-000) 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 can file your comments electronically by using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at
(2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling featured on the Commission's Web site at
(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.
You have been added to the current environmental mailing list which includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local newspapers. This list also includes all the affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) for the project as originally planned who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of above ground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing
If the EA is published for distribution, copies 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 2).