Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
You may submit comments either in written form or orally or both. You may submit your comments orally or in writing at public scoping meetings announced in the FERC's Notice of Intent published on August 13, 2012 (77 FR 48138), or at three additional public scoping meetings scheduled by the FERC as lead agency, in cooperation with the BLM and the Forest Service at the following times and locations:
Any comments submitted directly to the BLM and the Forest Service will be forwarded to the FERC for inclusion in the public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that the entire text of your comments--including your personal identifying information--would be publicly available through the FERC elibrary system.
Section 313 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act requires the Forest Service and the BLM to cooperate with the Commission when considering aspects of an application for Federal authorization of natural gas pipelines. Section 372 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act directed the Secretary of Energy in consultation with the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Defense to coordinate all applicable Federal authorizations and environmental reviews relating to a proposed or existing utility facility, including an agreement to prepare a single environmental review document to be used as the basis for all Federal authorization decisions.
On Monday, August 13, 2012, the FERC published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the planned Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline projects in the
The BLM and the Forest Service will consider the FERC EIS in their evaluation of proposed land management plan amendments. The BLM will also consider adoption of the FERC EIS in its evaluation of, and response to, the application for a right-of-way grant by Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP.
The BLM and the Forest Service have identified possible land management plan amendments that may be necessary to make provision for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. The BLM and the Forest Service have jurisdiction by law for amendment of their land management plans. Unless otherwise noted in the description of the Proposed Action, these amendments would only apply to the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, and they would be implemented only if FERC authorizes the construction of the Project. The BLM has jurisdiction by law for response to the application by the proponents of the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline for a right-of-way grant to occupy Federal lands if the Commission authorizes the Project.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act and National Forest Management Act require that actions on these Federal lands be consistent with the land management plans for the administrative units where the action would occur. In order for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to proceed, the BLM must issue a right-of-way grant for occupancy of Federal lands by the
Additional information about the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 866-208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (
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
Finally, public meetings or site visits hosted by the Commission will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at
The purpose of and need for the proposed action by the BLM is to respond to a right-of way grant application originally submitted by Pacific Connector on April 17, 2006, to construct, operate, maintain, and eventually decommission a natural gas pipeline that crosses lands and facilities administered by the BLM, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Forest Service. In addition, there is a need for the BLM and the Forest Service to consider amending affected district and forest land management plans to make provision for the Pacific Connector right-of-way.
The proposed action of the BLM and the Forest Service has two components. First, the BLM would amend its Resource Management Plans (RMP) for the Coos Bay, Roseburg, and Medford Districts, and Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District, while the Forest Service would amend its Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMP) for the Umpqua, Rogue River, and Winema National Forests to make provisions for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Second, in accordance with 43 CFR 2884.26, the BLM would issue a right-of-way grant in response to Pacific Connector's application for the Project to occupy Federal lands, with the written concurrence of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. Each agency may submit specific stipulations, including mitigations, for inclusion in the right-of-way grant related to lands, facilities, and easements within their respective jurisdictions.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the lead agency for preparation of an EIS for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.
The Secretary of the Interior has delegated authority to the BLM to potentially grant a right-of-way in response to Pacific Connector's application for natural gas transmission on Federal lands under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. The Responsible Official for the proposed amendments of the BLM RMPs and potential issuance of the right-of-way grant is the BLM Oregon/Washington State Director. The Responsible Official for the proposed amendment of Forest Service LRMPs is the Forest Supervisor of the Umpqua National Forest. In accordance with 36 CFR 219.17(b)(2), the Deciding Official for the Forest Service has elected to use the 1982 planning rule procedures to amend Forest Service LRMPs as provided in the transition procedures of the 2000 planning rule.
If the BLM adopts the new FERC EIS for the Pacific Connector pipeline project (in Docket No. PF12-17-000), the BLM Oregon/Washington State Director will make the following decisions and determinations:
• Determine whether to amend the RMPs for the BLM Coos Bay, Roseburg, and Medford Districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District as proposed or as described in an alternative to the Proposed Action; and
• Respond to the Pacific Connector application with concurrence of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Forest Service by issuing a right-of-way grant, granting the right-of-way with conditions, or denying the application.
If the Forest Service adopts the new FERC EIS for the Pacific Connector pipeline project (in Docket No. PF12-17-000), the Forest Supervisor of the Umpqua National Forest will make the following decisions and determinations:
• Decide whether to amend the LRMPs of the Umpqua, Rogue River, and Winema National Forests as proposed or as described in an alternative; and
• Determine the significance of the proposed amendments or alternatives in accordance with national forest planning regulation 36 CFR 219.10(f) (1982 procedures) using criteria in Forest Service Manual 1926.5.
It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. Your comments should focus on the potential changes in the goods and services that are provided by affected BLM districts and National Forests, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen any adverse changes in the goods and services produced. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be.
The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the plan amendment process. Preliminary issues for the plan amendments have been identified by BLM and Forest Service personnel, Federal, State, and local agencies, and other stakeholders. The issues include:
• Effects of proposed amendments on Survey and Manage species and their habitat;
• Effects of proposed amendments on contiguous existing or recruitment habitat for marbled murrelets within 0.5 mile of occupied marbled murrelet sites;
• Effects of proposed amendments on habitat in Known Owl Activity Centers, and
• Effects of the proposed amendments on Late Successional Reserves.
Preliminary BLM and Forest Service planning criteria include:
• Evaluation of significance of proposed amendments to Forest Service LRMPs in the context of LRMP goals and objectives. Whether a plan amendment is significant is guided by several factors, including the timing and duration of the proposed change, the location and size of the project, and how the proposed change could alter multiple-use goals and objectives for long-term land and resource management.
• Likelihood of persistence of affected Survey and Manage species within the range of the northern spotted owl.
• Amount and quality of marbled murrelet habitat affected by construction and operation of the Pacific Connector pipeline project.
• Amount and quality of habitat in Known Owl Activity Centers affected by construction and operation of the Pacific Connector pipeline project.
• Functionality of LSRs.
• Impacts on Connectivity and Diversity Blocks on BLM lands.
Decisions by the BLM and the Forest Service to amend land management plans are subject to administrative review. In accordance with 36 CFR 219.59, the Forest Service has elected to use the administrative review procedures (otherwise known as protest procedures) of the BLM. Administrative objections to Forest Service land management plan amendment decisions and protests of BLM land management plan amendment decisions may be filed under the provisions of 43 CFR 1610.5-2. The BLM's decision on the application for a right-of-way grant may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals in accordance with 43 CFR part 4.
The submission of timely and specific comments can affect a reviewer's ability to participate in subsequent administrative appeal or judicial review. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the respondent with standing to object to the subsequent decision.