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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Forest Service Wants Comments on
Special Use Permit Renewal

The Bradford Ranger District of the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is reviewing a proposal by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc., for a Special Use Permit (SUP) Renewal of Rights of Way (ROW) for 2 existing natural gas pipelines located within Warren County, Pennsylvania: 1) Located within Sheffield Township, Lot 318, this pipeline is 288 ft. in length and 30 ft. wide and 2) Located within Mead Township, USA Tract 202, pipeline D-4227 is 6,687 ft. in length and is presently 16 ft. wide. The request includes replacing the existing D-4227 pipeline and widening of the existing ROW by 14 ft. The purpose of the SUP renewal is for the transportation and supply of natural gas. In addition to the SUP renewal, there is a need is to upgrade the existing Mead Township gas line D-4227 due to its age and leakages of natural gas.

The proposal falls within Category of Exclusion, 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 220.6(e) (3). It allows for the “Approval, modification, or continuation of minor special uses of National Forest System lands that require less than 5 contiguous acres of land.” It falls within the categories of actions for which a Project Record and a Decision Memo are required. In accordance with the recent court ruling (Sequoia Forest Keeper v. Tidwell, 11-vc-00679-LJO-DLB (E.D. Cal.)), the Forest Service provides public notice (scoping), comment, and an opportunity for administrative appeal of the proposal and decision. Individuals or organizations wishing to be eligible to appeal must meet the information requirements of 36 CFR 215.6.

Submit written comments to Macario J. Herrera, District Ranger, Bradford Ranger District, 29 Forest Service Dr., Bradford, PA 16701 or by facsimile (814) 362-2761. Submit hand-delivered comments to the Bradford Ranger Station, business hours are between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Submit oral comments to the Bradford Ranger Station during normal business hours via telephone (814) 363-6086. Submit electronic comments to comments-eastern-allegheny-bradford@fs.fed.us using one of the following formats: e-mail message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Word (.doc), or any software supported by Microsoft applications. Comments, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered. Comments should be submitted or postmarked no later than February 22, 2013.

The proposed decision and associated maps contain the project details. Both are provided on the ANF website at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=40090
. For additional information, contact Ava Turnquist, Natural Resource Specialist, at (814) 363-6086.

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