FERC has released the final environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project. FERC staff determined that construction and operation of the project would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco’s proposed and FERC staff’s recommended mitigation measures.
Although many factors were considered in this determination, the principal reasons are:
• About 53.6 miles (27 percent) of the 199.4 miles of project pipeline facilities would be within or adjacent to existing rights-of-way, consisting of existing pipelines and/or electric transmission line rights-of-way.
• Transco would minimize impacts on natural and cultural resources during construction and operation of the project by implementing its Environmental Construction Plan; Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan; Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures;
and other project-specific plans (Fugitive Dust Control Plan, Horizontal Directional Drilling Contingency Plan, Unanticipated Discovery Plans for Cultural and Human Remains and Paleontological Resources, Agricultural Construction and Monitoring Plan, Karst Investigation and Mitigation Plan, Unanticipated Discovery of Contamination Plan, Spill Plan for Oil and Hazardous Materials, Blasting Plan, Noxious and Invasive Plant Management Plan, Winter Construction Plan, Traffic and Transportation Management Plan, Abandoned Mine Investigation and Mitigation Plan, and Landslide Hazard Investigation and Mitigation Plan).
• The FERC staff would complete the process of complying with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act prior to construction.
• The FERC staff would complete consultation under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and implementing regulations at 36 CFR 800.
• Transco would comply with all applicable air and noise regulatory requirements during construction and operation of the project.
• An environmental inspection program would be implemented to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorization.
In addition, FERC staff developed project-specific mitigation measures that Transco should implement to further reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from construction and operation.