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Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

Final Environmental Impact Statement on Apex Expansion Project (Docket No. CP10-14-000)
Issued: July 23, 2010

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Apex Expansion Project (or Project).

The proposed Project facilities include 27.6 miles of new 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline loop1 in Morgan, Davis, and Salt Lake Counties, Utah (the Wasatch Loop) and the following major associated facilities and upgrades:

  • A new compressor station in Beaver County, Utah (Milford Compressor Station);
  • Replacement of an existing compressor unit at the Fillmore Compressor Station in Millard County, Utah;
  • Installation of additional compression at the Coyote Creek Compressor Station in Uinta County, Wyoming; the Elberta Compressor Station in Utah County, Utah; and the Dry Lake Compressor Station in Clark County, Nevada;
  • Three pig2 launchers and two pig receivers; and
  • Six new mainline valves.

The EIS has been prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500-1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).

The conclusions and recommendations presented in the EIS are those of the FERC environmental staff. Input from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation as cooperating agencies, was considered during the development of our conclusions and recommendations; however, they would present their own conclusions and recommendations in their Record of Decision, and would adopt the final EIS per 40 CFR 1506.3 if, after an independent review of the document, they conclude that their permitting requirements have been satisfied.

FERC Staff concludes that, if the proposed Project is approved and is constructed and operated in accordance with Kern River's proposed minimization and mitigation measures and staff's recommended mitigation measures, the proposed facilities would result in some adverse environmental impacts. However, these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Kern River's proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the final EIS. Our conclusions are supported by the following:

  • The proposed Project would be collocated with existing utility rights-of-way for approximately 20 miles, or about 71.5 percent of the route;
  • Kern River would obtain all necessary federal, state, and local permits, approvals, and authorizations prior to commencement of construction;
  • Kern River would implement its Plan and Procedures, as well as additional Project-specific construction and restoration plans, each of which would reduce and mitigate impacts on natural resources during construction and operation of the proposed Project;
  • all waterbodies would be crossed via dry crossing methods if water is present at the time of construction;
  • Kern River would complete all necessary surveys for sensitive species and cultural resources, and the appropriate consultations with the FWS and the State Historic Preservation Officer would be completed before initiating construction; and
  • Kern River would finalize its visual assessment report to include the mitigation measures that would be implemented in consultation with the USFS prior to commencement of construction.

FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff's recommendations and the final EIS when they make a decision on the project.

[1] A loop is a segment of pipe that is usually installed adjacent to an existing pipeline and connected to it at both ends. The loop allows more gas to be moved through the system.

[2] A pig is an internal tool that can be used to clean and dry a pipeline and/or to inspect it for damage or corrosion.


Updated: July 23, 2010