TransCanada, ExxonMobil Partnership Files Draft Resource Reports for Alaska Pipeline Project
Proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline route.
Map: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
JANUARY 13 - A key milestone was reached today for the proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline to Alberta when the project sponsor filed 11 draft environmental reports with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The roughly 4,500 pages of documents - called draft "resource reports" - detail and discuss the project's potential impact on soils, vegetation, streams, lakes, wetlands, water quality, wildlife, fish and other resources along the pipeline's 803-mile U.S. corridor from the Point Thomson field to Prudhoe Bay to the Canadian border.
The resource reports stem from a multimillion-dollar research effort over the past three years by the project sponsor, a partnership of TransCanada and ExxonMobil called the Alaska Pipeline Project.
FERC and other government agencies with jurisdiction over the proposed $32 billion to $41 billion pipeline project will dissect the reports in coming weeks, looking for gaps in the information that the project sponsor must fill before submitting final resource reports when it formally applies to FERC for a certificate to build and operate the pipeline. That application is expected to be filed this October.
FERC also has scheduled in the next few weeks a series of meetings in communities along the pipeline's proposed corridor to get public input on the project and its potential environmental impacts. The first of the seven scoping meetings is scheduled for Jan. 30 in Fairbanks. An Anchorage meeting originally planned for next week likely will be rescheduled for next month.
FERC requires a pipeline sponsor to file the detailed reports with its application. The agency has the lead role in writing an environmental impact statement for the pipeline project. The resource reports will become the foundation of that impact statement. FERC staff and its contractors, working with other government agencies, plan to verify the information in the final reports and do additional environmental research, as needed.
Posted: January 16, 2012