|Energy Corridor Designation FEIS Published|
|Friday, 12 December 2008 18:11|
Four Federal agencies have released a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PEIS) proposing to designate more than 6,000 miles of energy transport corridors on Federal lands in 11 western states.
The proposed energy corridors would facilitate future siting of oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines, as well as electricity transmission and distribution facilities on Federal lands in the West to meet the region’s increasing energy demands while mitigating potential harmful effects to the environment.
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Defense prepared the Final PEIS as part of their work to implement Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
“Up to now, Federal land management agencies have often designated energy corridors and rights-of-way when local projects were proposed,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior C. Stephen Allred.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directs the Secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and the Interior to designate energy transport corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities on Federal lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Energy transport corridors are agency-preferred locations where pipelines and transmission lines may be sited and built in the future. Having a network of corridors that could accommodate transportation systems for multiple energy types potentially minimizes the proliferation of energy utility rights-of-way on the Federal landscape.
The PEIS identifies a number of requirements that will help ensure that energy transport projects within Section 368 energy corridors are planned, implemented, and operated in a manner that protects and enhances environmental resources. Prepared under provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Final PEIS outlines the potential environmental effects of two alternatives developed, in part, by using comments received during a scoping period in Fall 2005, public responses to preliminary maps published in June 2006, and public comments on the draft PEIS during a 90-day comment period earlier this year.
The agencies worked closely with local Federal land managers as well as local government agencies to ensure that the proposed corridors were consistent with local land management responsibilities and resource constraints.
To review the Final PEIS and related documents, including detailed maps, visit the project Web site.