ACE New Orleans District issues permit to Bayou Bridge Pipeline

The US Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans District issued a permit to Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC to construct a 162-mile underground extension of an existing crude oil pipeline from Lake Charles, La., to the St. James marine terminal hub.

The US Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans District issued a permit to Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC to construct a 162-mile underground extension of an existing crude oil pipeline from Lake Charles, La., to the St. James marine terminal hub. The Dec. 14 decision followed completion of an environmental assessment, US Code Section 408 review, and consideration of all comments received during the public notice and comment period, officials said.

The $750-million project is an extension of an existing pipeline from Nederland, Tex., to Lake Charles, its sponsor said. About 88% of it will parallel existing systems including roads, power lines, and other pipelines across the Atchafalaya basin, it said.

When completed, the 24-in. pipeline will have a 480,000 b/d capacity to move crude from various sources to the St. James hub, which is home to several refineries. Bayou Bridge is a joint venture of Energy Transfer Partners LP, which holds 60% stake and is its operator, and Phillips 66 Partners LP. The new segment is scheduled to go into service during 2018’s first quarter.

ACE’s individual permit process required Bayou Bridge’s sponsor to provide a Louisiana-issued coastal use permit and water quality certification as well as proof that all compensatory wetland mitigation requirements have been satisfied before a final permit decision was rendered, the district office said. It required the applicant to avoid and minimize jurisdictional wetland impacts to the greatest extent practicable by reducing the proposed project’s footprint and pipeline right-of-way.

The pipeline will have a temporary impact on 455 acres of jurisdictional wetlands and include conversion of 142 acres of forested wetlands to permanent pipeline ROW, requiring the purchase of 708 acres of mitigation from ACE-approved wetland mitigation banks in the affected watershed. The combination of avoidance, minimization, and mitigation will result in zero net loss of jurisdictional wetlands, the ACE office said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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