Docket No. CP21-113-000
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for Alliance Pipeline LP’s (Alliance) Three Rivers Interconnection Project (Project).
Alliance proposes to construct and operate about 2.9 miles of 20-inch-diameter natural gas transmission pipeline and associated facilities in Grundy County, Illinois. This pipeline would connect Alliance’s existing interstate natural gas transmission system to the Competitive Power Venture’s Three Rivers Energy Center (Energy Center). The Energy Center is a 1,250-megawatt, natural gas-fueled combined-cycle power generation facility currently under construction in Grundy County that when complete would supply power to approximately 1.25 million homes. As proposed, the Project would transport as much as 210 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas to the Energy Center. According to Alliance, the Project is necessary to provide the Energy Center with access to an additional natural gas supply source. Alliance further contends that this access would provide supply flexibility and reliability that would ultimately strengthen and optimize power generation and improve the efficiency of Illinois’ electrical grid.
The EIS 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are cooperating agencies providing FERC environmental staff with recommendations to inform the EIS because they have special expertise with respect to environmental resources and impacts associated with the Project. The conclusions and recommendations presented in the EIS are those of the FERC environmental staff.
The FERC staff concludes that constructing and operating the Project would result in some adverse impacts on the environment. However, based on the scope of the Project and Alliance’s proposed construction procedures and impact minimization measures, staff also concludes that most of these impacts would be minor, temporary, and localized. To ensure impacts on the environment are avoided, reduced, and minimized to the extent practical, staff recommends that Alliance implement additional mitigation measures. These recommendations are identified in sections 4 and 5 of the EIS. Staff also recommends that these mitigation measures be attached as conditions to any authorization issued by the Commission. Therefore, with the exception of climate change impacts that are not characterized in this EIS as significant or insignificant, staff concludes that Project impacts on the environment would not be significant.
The Commission will take into consideration staff’s recommendations in the EIS when they make a decision on the Project.