[Federal Register: October 9, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 195)]
[Page 51452]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Extension To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Swanson River Satellites Natural Gas Project, Kenai 
National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) is extending the period to prepare a draft 
environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Swanson River Satellites 
Natural Gas project beyond the nine months prescribed in Title XI of 
the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). 
Preparation of the DEIS will be extended for an additional nine months 
to allow for the USFWS, cooperating agencies, and the right-of-way 
applicant to collectively identify and refine the project alternatives 
that will be evaluated in the DEIS.

DATES: A Notice of Availability of the DEIS is scheduled to be 
published July 19, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding this notice should be directed to: 
Regional Director, Region 7, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. 
Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99503.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 29, 2001, Union Oil Company of 
California d.b.a. Unocal filed an application with the USFWS for a 
right-of-way permit to construct the Swanson River Satellites Natural 
Gas project within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR). The 
application was also filed with the Bureau of Land Management, and the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, both of which are cooperating agencies 
for the environmental review. A notice of intent to prepare an 
environmental impact statement for the project was published in the 
Federal Register on February 27, 2001 (66 FR 12541). Regulations 
implementing Title XI of ANILCA require that, when necessary, a DEIS be 
prepared within nine months of the date the application was filed [43 
CFR 36.6 (1)]. These regulations also provide for an extension of the 
nine-month period for a reasonable specific time, if the lead agency 
determines, for good cause, that the period is insufficient [43 CFR 
36.6 (2)].
    As lead agency, the USFWS has determined, in consultation with the 
applicant, that the nine-month period is not sufficient to develop 
reasonable project alternatives for this large and complex project. An 
additional nine months will be necessary for the applicant and the 
cooperating federal agencies to conduct the engineering and 
environmental studies needed to identify project alternatives that 
would constitute adequate and feasible access for development of the 
project while protecting, to the greatest extent practicable, the 
resources of the KNWR.
    This environmental review is being 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 USFWS. Upon completion of the Draft EIS, a 
Notice of Availability will be published in the Federal Register.

Gary Edwards,
Acting Regional Director, Region 7, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-25162 Filed 10-5-01; 8:45 am]