[Federal Register: June 6, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 110)]
[Page 32353]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 32353]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-ES-2008-N0112; 60132-1261-60RC-P4]

Keystone Oil Pipeline Project, Right-of-Way Permit Application To 
Cross Six Wetland Management Districts in North Dakota and South Dakota

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; right-of-way permit application.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is soliciting 
public comment on a right-of-way (ROW) permit application submitted by 
TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP (Keystone). If issued, the ROW permit 
would authorize the construction, operation, maintenance, and 
decommissioning of the pipeline through easements held by the Service 
in North Dakota and South Dakota. The Service is a cooperating agency 
with the Department of State on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
on the Keystone Oil Pipeline Project and has adopted the Final EIS. 
After reviewing any comments received on the ROW application, the 
Service will issue its own Record of Decision (ROD) on the EIS prior to 
granting the ROW permit.

DATES: Preparation of the ROD will begin no sooner than July 7, 2008. 
We will consider public comments received or postmarked by that date.

ADDRESSES: Comment submission: Submit comments on the ROW application 
to Rick Coleman, Assistant Regional Director, National Wildlife Refuge 
System, Region 6, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, 
Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225, or electronically to 
Rick_Coleman@fws.gov (e-mail).
    Document availability: Copies of the ROW permit application, 
digital maps, and legal descriptions of Service wetland easements that 
the ROW would cross, are available for viewing and download at the 
Service's Region 6 Web site: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/
keystonepipeline or at the field office locations listed in 
supplementary information. Copies of the Final EIS, Record of Decision, 
National Interest Determination, Presidential Permit, and other project 
information are available for viewing and download at the Keystone 
project Web site: http://www.keystonepipeline.state.gov.


A. Background

    Keystone proposes to construct and operate a pipeline and related 
facilities to transport crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to the 
midwestern United States. The proposed route of the pipeline would 
cross lands where the Service holds an easement interest.
    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the 
Department of State, with the Service as a cooperating agency, prepared 
a Final EIS assessing the impacts of constructing and operating the 
proposed Keystone Pipeline. The Environmental Protection Agency 
published a Notice of Availability of the EIS in the Federal Register 
on January 11, 2008 (73 FR 2027) and a notice of the agency's comments 
on the EIS on March 21, 2008 (73 FR 15153). Subsequently, Keystone 
applied for a ROW easement per regulations at 50 CFR 29.21 for the 
Keystone Pipeline to cross through individual wetlands where the 
Service holds an easement for waterfowl management rights. The current 
route of the pipeline will cross 62 easement wetlands on 33 tracts.
    The purpose of the ROW permit, if approved, and any preliminary 
permit is to describe the location of the pipeline through individual 
easement wetlands and the measures that will be taken by Keystone to 
ensure that construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning 
of the pipeline will only temporarily drain or fill easement wetlands. 
It also will describe measures that Keystone will take to restore 
easement wetlands if the Service determines that pipeline construction, 
operation, maintenance, and decommissioning drains or partially drains 
them. If wetland hydrology cannot be adequately restored and an 
easement wetland is drained by this project, permit conditions will 
require Keystone to acquire replacement wetland habitat that will be 
protected by a Service easement.
    Based on the analysis described in the State Department's Final 
EIS, Record of Decision (ROD), and National Interest Determination, the 
Service has adopted the State Department's EIS and will consider 
issuance of a ROW permit. As required by 50 CFR 29.21-9(f), the Service 
is seeking public comment on the ROW application. After reviewing and 
considering any comments received, the Service will issue a ROD, 
Environmental Action Memorandum, and Environmental Action Statement 
before issuing a ROW permit allowing the pipeline to cross the 
described easement wetlands. The Service ROD will describe the 
rationale for the decision and the alternatives considered in reaching 
this decision. It will also identify those measures (permit conditions) 
that have been, and will be, taken to minimize environmental harm from 
the decision to issue a ROW permit.

B. Document Availability

    Copies of the ROW application and other material from the Service's 
Web site can be obtained during office hours at the following Service 
field offices:
     Tewaukon Wetland Management District, 9756 143\1/2\ Ave, 
SE., Cayuga, North Dakota 58013, telephone 701-724-3598
     Devils Lake Wetland Management District, 221 Second Street 
Northwest, Devils Lake, North Dakota 58301, telephone 701-662-8611
     Valley City Wetland Management District, 11515 River Road, 
Valley City, North Dakota 58072, telephone 701-845-3466
     Waubay Wetland Management District, 44401 134 A Street, 
Waubay, South Dakota 57273, telephone 605-947-4521
     Huron Wetland Management District, 200 4th Street, SE., 
Room 309, Federal Building, Huron, South Dakota 57350, telephone 605-
     Lake Andes Wetland Management District, 38672 291st 
Street, Lake Andes, South Dakota 57356, telephone 605-487-7603
     Madison Wetland Management District, P.O. Box 48, Madison, 
South Dakota 57042, telephone 605-256-2974
    The information also will be available at various public offices 
and locations throughout North Dakota and South Dakota. To obtain these 
locations, call the nearest Service office listed above.

    Dated: May 28, 2008.
James J. Slack,
Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E8-12473 Filed 6-5-08; 8:45 am]