WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 15 -- A proposed 243-mile natural gas pipeline from East Texas to Mississippi would be in the public interest and have a minimal environmental impact if proposed mitigation measures are followed, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a draft environmental impact statement.
Gulf South Pipeline Co. LP's East Texas-to-Mississippi expansion project would transport 1.7 bcfd of gas from East Texas fields to the US Gulf Coast, Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast, according to the Feb. 9 draft EIS.
In addition to the 42-in. pipeline, FERC said the proposed project would modify and expand three compressor stations and construct two more, along with meter and regulation facilities, main line valves, pigging facilities, and other ancillary operations.
FERC concluded that the project would have a minimal environmental impact in part because:
-- The proposed project would use existing rights-of-way for about 185 miles, or 76% of the proposed route.
-- Gulf South would develop site-specific wetland crossing plans for significant areas containing mature cypress and tupelo trees, if recommended by federal and state resources agencies, and would compensate for all unavoidable wetland impacts through the purchase of wetland mitigation bank credits in the proposed project's area.
-- Gulf South would implement a plan and procedures to minimize and mitigate natural resources impacts during the project's construction and operation.
-- Gulf South would implement an environmental inspection and monitoring program that would ensure compliance with all proposed and recommended mitigation measures.
FERC said commissioners will consider the staff's recommendations and the final EIS when they reach a decision on the proposed project.
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