[Federal Register: March 18, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 52)]
[Page 13436-13437]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Construction of a Natural Gas Pipeline and Production Facilities in the 
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

AGENCY: U.S. and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) intends to gather information necessary for the 
preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) in response to a 
right-of-way application for construction of a natural gas pipeline and 
production facilities in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. 
The proposed project would be located in the northwest section of the 
Kenai Peninsula, generally between Beaver Lake and the Swanson River 
Road (T7N, R10W and T7N, R9W, Seward Meridian, Alaska). A series of 
public meetings will be held during the preparation of the EIS. Notices 
of the dates, times, and locations of these public meetings will be 
advertised in local publications prior to the event. This notice is 
being furnished as required by the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) Regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) to obtain suggestions and 
information from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues 
to be addressed in the EIS.

DATES: The public meeting dates are:
    1. March 30, 1999, 7:00 p.m., Soldotna, Alaska.
    2. April 1, 1999, 7:00 p.m., Anchorage, Alaska.
    Written comments should be received by April 15, 1999.

ADDRESSES: The public meetings locations are:
    1. Soldotna--Soldotna Senior Center, 197 W. Park Avenue, Soldotna, 
Alaska 99669.
    2. Anchorage--Spenard Community Recreation Center, 2020 W. 48th 
Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99517.
    Comments should be addressed to: Regional Director, Region 7, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Rd., Anchorage, Alaska 99503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian L. Anderson (907) 786-3379.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Marathon Oil Company has applied for a 
right-of-way grant to construct a natural gas pipeline and production 
facilities upon lands of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a 
Conservation System Unit established by the Alaska National Interest 
Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (Sec. 303, Pub. L. 96-487, 16 U.S.C. 
668dd). The right-of-way application will be evaluated under 
regulations (43 CFR 36) implementing Title XI of ANILCA, Transportation 
and Utility Systems in and Across, and Access into, Conservation System 
Units in Alaska.
    The surface estate within the project area is owned by the United 
States and is managed by the USFWS. The subsurface oil, gas and coal 
mineral estate is owned by Cook Inlet Region Incorporated (CIRI), an 
Alaska Corporation established under the provisions of the Alaska 
Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) (Sec. 7, Pub. L. 92-203, 43 U.S.C. 
1601 et seq.). Under Title XI, CIRI is entitled to adequate and 
feasible access to their valid inholding for economic and other 
purposes, subject to reasonable regulations necessary to protect the 
natural and other values of the refuge.
    As an operator under lease to CIRI, Marathon Oil Company proposes 
to develop natural gas production from two or more well sites including 

[[Page 13437]]

existing Wolf Lake #2 well site, and Galena well site. Development 
would include construction of a gas gathering pipeline connecting the 
well sites to existing production facilities at Marathon's Beaver Creek 
gas field. The applicant's proposed pipeline right-of-way is 
approximately 5.5 miles long, and would include a primary and secondary 
products pipelines, a water disposal pipeline, and communications and 
electric power lines, all of which would be buried. Pipeline 
construction would take place during the 2000/2001 winter season and is 
anticipated to take 30 to 40 days. No maintained roads would be 
constructed within the pipeline right-of-way, which would be allowed to 
revegetate following construction. Existing roads would be used for 
access to the well sites. Several small gas conditioning units and a 
telecommunications building would be located at each well site.
    The USFWS has determined that an EIS will be prepared to evaluate 
the potential direct, secondary, and cumulative impacts of constructing 
the proposed project, and to identify alternatives that would protect 
the resources of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The environmental 
review will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of NEPA 
(42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) as implemented by the Council on Environmental 
Quality regulations at 40 CFR 1500-1508, and the pertinent regulations 
of the USFWS. The EIS will also discuss the possible impacts attendant 
to potential development of future gas wells in the vicinity that would 
utilize the proposed pipeline. Upon Completion of the Draft EIS, a 
Notice of Availability will be published in the Federal Register.
David B. Allen,
Regional Director, Region 7, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 99-6620 Filed 3-17-99; 8:45 am]