Industries Environmental Documents
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Midcontinent Express Pipeline Project (Docket No. CP08-6-000)
Issued: May 30, 2008
FERC staff prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement for Midcontinent Express Pipeline, LLC's (MEP) Midcontinent Express Project (Project). The proposed Project would consist of approximately 506.1 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 4.2-mile-long, 16- and 24-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 Final EIS was prepared in coordination with our cooperating agencies for the Project, which included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service (NPS), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).
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 263 miles, or about 53 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 in accordance with our recommendation in the Draft EIS, MEP has reduced the Project's proposed nominal construction right-of-way width to 100 feet along most of the proposed mainline route;
- We recommend that MEP develop site-specific impact minimization and avoidance plans in consultation with FWS for the crossing of several streams containing threatened and endangered species and significant recreational fisheries;
- We recommend that MEP develop site-specific plans for impact avoidance or minimization measures in consultation with FWS, LDWF, and MDWFP for extensive forested wetland crossings and crossings of high-quality cypress-tupelo forested wetlands;
- We recommend that MEP consult with the FWS regarding a conservation plan for migratory birds;
- 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.