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January 18, 2008

   Cindy Wertz

FR Notice of Availability 

Public Invited to Comment on Draft Proposal
for Energy Corridors on Federal Lands

The Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service will host a public hearing on Jan. 29, 2008 to gather comments on the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) proposing to designate energy corridors on federal lands in the West.

The hearing in Cheyenne, Wyo. will be held at the Best Western Hitching Post, 1700 W. Lincolnway, and will include two sessions, one from 2 to 5 p.m. and another from 6 to 8 p.m. Representatives from the three agencies will be present at each session to hear comments from those attending. In most cases, comments being made at the hearings will be available in real-time Webcasts and for later on-demand replay. Information on Webcasts is available on the project web site http://corridoreis.anl.gov.

The Draft PEIS is available for review at libraries and BLM and Forest Service field offices in the 11 western states, at the agencies’ Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and in electronic form (PDF) online at the project web site http://corridoreis.anl.gov. You may register in advance to provide oral comments at one of the hearings on the Web site or you may register onsite the day of the hearing.

As directed by Congress in Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy and the Interior are proposing to designate corridors on Federal land for locating future oil, natural gas and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in the West. These corridors would be the agency-preferred locations where pipelines and transmission lines may be sited and built in the future.

Designating such corridors would improve inter-agency coordination in reviewing and approving energy transport projects proposed for Federal lands, and reduce environmental effects and conflicts with other uses of Federal lands. Individual projects proposed for these corridors would undergo further, project-specific environmental analysis before being granted permits or rights-of-way.

The public may also submit comments in written form to this mailing address: Westwide Corridor DEIS; Argonne National Laboratory; 9700 S. Cass Ave., Bldg. 900, Mail Stop 4; Argonne, IL 60439. Written comments also may be faxed (toll free) to 1-866-542-5904 or submitted electronically using the email form on the project web site http://corridoreis.anl.gov. All comments must be received by February 14, 2008 to receive full consideration.

Written comments and those submitted orally at public hearings will be given equal weight when revising the Draft PEIS into a final document. The Records of Decision on the Final PEIS will amend relevant land use plans for lands managed by the BLM and the Forest Service.

Hearing facilities are wheelchair accessible. Please call (202) 586-1056 if you need other accommodations in order to attend the hearing.