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Final Environmental Impact Statement

Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Constitution Pipeline and Wright Interconnect Projects (CP13-499-000 and CP13-502-000)
Issued October 24, 2014

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Constitution Pipeline Project and Wright Interconnect Project (or Projects).

The proposed Projects would include approximately 124 miles of new 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania and Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Schoharie Counties, New York and the following associated facilities:

  • addition of 22,000 horsepower of new compression at Iroquois' existing Wright Compressor Station;
  • two meter stations;
  • ten communication towers;
  • one pig launcher and one pig receiver1; and
  • eleven 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. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets as cooperating agencies was considered during the development of our conclusions and recommendations; however, these agencies could develop their own conclusions and recommendations and would adopt the final EIS per 40 CFR 1506.3 (where applicable) if, after an independent review of the document, they conclude that their permitting requirements have been satisfied.

The FERC staff concludes that construction and operation of the Projects would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by Constitution and Iroquois and further developed from data requests; field investigations; scoping; literature research; alternatives analyses; and contacts with the federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other stakeholders. Although many factors were considered in this determination, the principal reasons are:

  • Constitution would minimize impacts on natural and cultural resources during construction and operation of its project by implementing its Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan; Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures; Soil Protection and Subsoil Decompaction Mitigation Plan; HDD Contingency Plan; Special Crop Productivity Monitoring Procedures; Unanticipated Cultural and Paleontological Resources and Human Remains Discovery Plan; Seeding, Fertilizing, and Lime Recommendations for Gas Pipeline Right-of-Way Restoration in Farmlands; Unanticipated Discovery of Contamination Plan; Spill Plan for Oil and Hazardous Materials; Blasting Plan; Invasive Species Management Plan; Winter Construction Plan; Organic Farm Protection Plan; Migratory Bird and Upland Forest Plan; and Karst Mitigation Plan.

  • Iroquois would minimize impacts on natural and cultural resources during construction and operation of its project by implementing its Upland Erosion Control Revegetation and Maintenance Plan; Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures; Spill Prevention, Containment, and Countermeasure Plan; and Unanticipated Cultural Resource Discovery Plan.

  • The FERC staff would complete Endangered Species Act consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prior to allowing any construction to begin.

  • The FERC staff would complete the process of complying with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and implementing the regulations at 36 CFR 800 prior to allowing any construction to begin.

  • Constitution would use specialized crossing methods for several waterbodies and wetlands, would cross other waterbodies using dry crossing methods, and would be required to obtain applicable permits and provide mitigation for unavoidable impacts on waterbodies and wetlands through coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

  • Our recommendation that Constitution finalize its Migratory Bird and Upland Forest Plan.

  • Our recommendation that Constitution submit reports on any project-related issues pertaining to private homeowners' insurance and Constitution's efforts to resolve these issues.

  • An environmental inspection and mitigation monitoring program that would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorizations and other approvals.

In addition, we developed other site-specific mitigation measures that Constitution should implement to further reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from construction of its project.

The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff's recommendations when they make a decision on the Projects.


    1 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.