The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) prepared a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) to assess the environmental impacts associated with ANR Pipeline Company’s (ANR) Wisconsin Access Project (Project). ANR proposes to increase the firm capacity of its natural gas pipeline by approximately 50,707 dekatherms per day into Wisconsin. ANR would accomplish this by modifying the original design assumptions and software within ANR’s engineering models. ANR would also modify its existing Coleman, Lena, Meeme, Mosinee, Rhinelander, Suring, and Two Rivers meter stations to provide increased delivery point capabilities.
The DEIS was prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations implementing procedural provisions of NEPA in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 1500-1508 (40 CFR 1500-1508), and the FERC’s regulations implementing NEPA in 18 CFR 380.
Construction and operation of the Project would result in limited adverse environmental impacts. Most adverse environmental impacts would be temporary or short-term during construction, but some long-term and permanent environmental impacts would occur based on air quality. This determination is based on our review of the information provided by ANR and further developed from environmental information requests; scoping; literature research; a consideration of potential alternatives; and contacts with federal, state, and local agencies, and other stakeholders. With the exception of climate change impacts, we conclude that impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels through implementation of our recommendations and ANR’s proposed avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures. FERC staff is unable to determine significance with regards to climate change impacts.
The DEIS comment period closes on January 24, 2022. The Commission will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Project.