FERC issues draft EIS for Kern River's Apex expansion

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 29 -- Appropriate mitigation measures could reduce potentially adverse environmental impacts from a proposed expansion of Kern River Gas Transmission Co.’s interstate pipeline in Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada to less-than-significant levels, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Mar. 26.

Its draft environmental impact statement for Kern River’s Apex Expansion Project covers a new 28-mile loop of 36-in. pipeline (the Wasatch Loop) in Utah’s Morgan, Davis, and Salt Lake counties; a new compressor station near Milford, Utah; replacement of a unit at the system’s Fillmore, Utah, compressor station; installation of addition compression at three other stations in Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada; 3 pig-launchers and 2 pig-receivers, and 6 new mainline valves.

The expansion would increase Kern River’s transmission capacity by 266 MMcfd, increasing the system’s daily capacity to more than 2.14 bcf, according to information at the MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.’s web site. It indicated that construction would begin in January 2011, with the additions scheduled to go into service on Nov. 1, 2011, assuming the expansion project gets the necessary government approvals.

In the draft EIS, FERC’s staff said that its conclusions were supported by several factors, including 20 miles of the Wasatch Loop’s proposed route, or about 71%, being colocated along existing utility rights-of-way; Kern River’s plans to implement an upland erosion control, revegetation, and maintenance plan along with other site-specific procedures, and using dry crossing methods across any water bodies encountered during construction.

FERC said that it will accept comments on the draft EIS, which is posted at its web site, through May 17.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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