Industries Environmental Documents
Staff of FERC issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Cypress Pipeline Project (Docket No. CP05-388-000) and Phase VII Expansion Project (Docket No. CP06-1-000)
Issued: December 30, 2005
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on the natural gas pipeline facilities proposed by Southern Natural Gas Company (Southern) and Florida Gas Transmission Company (FGT) in the above-referenced dockets. Southern's Cypress Pipeline Project would be located in various counties in southern Georgia and northern Florida. FGT's Phase VII Expansion Project (FGT Expansion Project) would be located in various counties in northern and central Florida.
The draft EIS was prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC staff concludes that the proposed projects, with the appropriate mitigation measures as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) is participating as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS because the projects would require permits pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 United States Code (USC) 1344) and section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 403). The COE would adopt the EIS per Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1506.3 if, after an independent review of the document, it concludes that its comments and suggestions have been satisfied.
Staff concludes the project would be environmentally acceptable action (with appropriate mitigation) because:
- About 95 percent of Southern's pipeline facilities and 99 percent of FGT's pipeline facilities would be located within or directly adjacent to existing pipeline and powerline corridors, both of which have been historically disturbed, are actively maintained, and have visual impacts consistent with the proposed projects;
- Southern and FGT would implement FERC's Plan and Procedures to protect natural resources during construction and operation of the projects;
- Sensitive waterbodies, such as Ogeechee River, Altamaha River, Satilla River, and St. Mary's River, would be crossed using horizontal directional drill methodology;
- The appropriate consultations with the Fish and Wildlife Service and State Historic Preservation Offices, and any appropriate compliance actions resulting from these consultations, would be completed before Southern and FGT would be allowed to begin construction in any given area; and
- An environmental inspection and mitigation monitoring program would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures that become conditions of the certificate.