Industries Environmental Documents
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Midcontinent Express Pipeline Project (Docket No. CP08-6-000)
Issued: February 8, 2008
FERC staff prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Midcontinent Express Pipeline, LLC's (MEP) Midcontinent Express Project (Project). The proposed Project would consist of approximately 504.3 miles of new 30-, 36-, and 42-inch-diameter interstate natural gas pipeline extending from Bryan County, Oklahoma to a terminus in Choctaw County, Alabama; a 4.1-mile-long, 16-inch-diameter lateral pipeline in Richland and Madison Parishes, Louisiana; a total of approximately 111,720 horsepower (hp) of compression at one booster and four new mainline compressor stations; and associated ancillary facilities.
The Draft EIS was prepared in coordination with our cooperating agencies for the Project, which included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
FERC staff have determined that if the proposed Project is approved and is constructed and operated in accordance with MEP's proposed minimization and mitigation measures, our recommended mitigation measures, and applicable laws and regulations; the proposed facilities would result in limited adverse environmental impacts. The primary reasons that the FERC staff concludes the proposed Project would be an environmentally acceptable action are:
- The proposed Project's mainline would be collocated with existing utility rights-of-way for approximately 257.2 miles, or about 51 percent of the proposed route;
- MEP would implement the Project Plan and Procedures and other plans, which would minimize and mitigate impacts to natural resources during construction and operation of the proposed Project;
- We recommended the limitation of MEP's federal eminent domain authority to acquire permanent rights-of-way to 50-feet-wide; and to reduce its proposed nominal construction right-of-way width to 100 feet along most of the proposed mainline route;
- We recommended that MEP use HDD methods to cross several streams containing threatened and endangered species and to consult further with the FWS regarding streams containing significant recreational fisheries;
- We recommended that MEP develop impact avoidance or minimization measures for extensive forested wetland crossings and crossings of high-quality cypress-tupelo forested wetlands;
- MEP would compensate for all unavoidable wetland impacts; and
- MEP would implement an environmental inspection and monitoring program that would ensure compliance with all proposed and recommended mitigation measures.
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FERC Commissioners will take into consideration the staff's recommendations and the Final EIS when they make a decision on the Project. The deadline for filing comments is on or before March 31, 2008.