FERC issues final EIS for proposed Bison gas pipeline project

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 30 -- A proposed 301-mile natural gas pipeline in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota would result in some significant environmental impacts that could be mitigated to acceptable levels, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Dec. 29.

The 30-in. Bison Pipeline Project—which a TransCanada Corp. subsidiary plans to build from the Powder River basin to a connection with the Northern Border Pipeline in Morton County, ND—would be designed to transport as much as 477 MMcfd of gas, FERC’s staff said as it issued a final EIS environmental impact statement on the proposed project.

It said environmental impacts would be significantly reduced if the proposed project, which includes one compressor station, two meter stations, 19 mainline valves, and three pig launching and receiving facilities, is built and operated under applicable laws and regulations, Bison’s stated mitigation plan, and additional measures recommended in the EIS.

The pipeline would be colocated with existing utility rights-of-way for about 53 miles, or 17.6% of its total route, FERC said. “The proposed route has been significantly influenced by agency recommendations to avoid sensitive wildlife habitats and vegetation types,” it indicated. “Bison has been responsive to landowner requests for minor route modifications and has adopted many of these into the proposed route evaluated in this final EIS.”

Bison Pipeline LLC, the TransCanada subsidiary planning to build the project, said its daily capacity could be expanded to 1 bcf, and that future development plans include expansion and extension of the pipeline into Rocky Mountain basins. It plans to begin construction in 2010 after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals, with a proposed Nov. 15 in-service date.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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