Docket No. CP22-26-000
Northern proposes to abandon, construct, and operate certain interstate natural gas facilities in Boone, Dallas and Polk Counties, Iowa. About 29.6 miles of its existing 16-inch-diameter Des Moines A-line would be abandoned. This old pipeline, which was originally built in the 1940s, includes mechanical joints and acetylene welds, so that it cannot be inspected with in-line tools. Northern would install a total of about 9.1 miles of new 20-inch-diameter pipeline, in two separate segments, as an extension of its existing C-line. The C-line extension would allow replacement of a total of about 340 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/day) of natural gas that would have flowed through the A-line to be abandoned.
The EA was prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR], 1502.13), and the FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
Most environmental impacts would be temporary and occur during pipeline construction. With implementation of Northern’s impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures, as well as adherence to Commission staff’s recommendations (found in Section 5.2 of the EA), Commission staff conclude that project effects would be reduced to less than significant levels, except for climate change impacts that are not characterized in this EA as significant or insignificant.
The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Project. The comment period on the EA closes on December 5, 2022.