Docket No. CP21-498-000
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Virginia Electrification Project (Project).
The Project would consist of the following facilities all located in Virginia:
- installation of one zero emission electric motor compressor unit at the Boswell Tavern Compressor Station located in Louisa County;
- facility modifications to the Boswells Tavern POR located in Louisa County to increase capacity;
- replacement of all five existing gas-powered compressor units at the Goochland Compressor Station, located in Goochland County, with new units that will run exclusively on electric motors, but will have the ability to run on gas in order to ensure reliability; and
- status change of an existing compressor unit from backup mode to active mode and increase the site-rated station horsepower to 5,500 horsepower at the Petersburg Compressor Station located in Prince George County.
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. 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 Columbia 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:
- Columbia would implement the measures contained in its Annual Standard and Specifications for Erosion & Sediment Control and Stormwater Management for Virginia Projects (AS&S), which incorporates the FERC’s Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures with modifications. The AS&S also includes dust control measures; spill prevention, containment, and Control Plan; Columbia’s Unanticipated Contamination Contingency Plan; and Plan for the Unanticipated Discovery of Cultural Resources.
- Columbia would implement the erosion and sediment control measures and best management practices described in its AS&S throughout the construction process. Temporary erosion control devices would be maintained until the Project area is successfully stabilized/revegetated. At the completion of construction, Columbia would return temporary workspaces to approximate preconstruction contours and drainage patterns. Columbia owns all construction workspace with the exception of existing access roads and would implement restoration and seeding measures as specified in its AS&S.
- Columbia would implement measures to prevent and minimize adverse impacts from potential fuel or chemical spills, including prohibit parking, refueling, or storing of construction equipment, vehicles, hazardous materials, chemicals, fuels, lubricating oils, and petroleum products within 100 feet of any waterbody.
- 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.
- 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.
The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Projects. The comment period ends on October 11, 2022.