The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Bison Pipeline project planned by TransCanada’s subsidiary Bison Pipeline LLC. Proposed facilities include 302.5 miles of 30-inch-natural gas transmission pipeline extending northeast from a point near Dead Horse, WY through southeastern Montana and southwestern North Dakota, to an interconnect with Northern Border Pipeline’s pipeline system near Compressor Station #6 in Morton County, ND. Bison proposes one new compressor station totaling 4,700 horsepower of compression located in Hettinger County, ND. The project has a design transport capacity of 477 MMcf/d of natural gas and an estimated construction cost of $610 million.
The FERC staff concluded that if the project is approved, constructed and operated in accordance with Bison’s proposed minimization and mitigation measures and FERC-recommended mitigation measures, the facilities would result in some adverse environmental impacts. However, these impacts would be reduced to less than significant levels with the implementation of Bison’s proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the EIS.
State officials have indicated that horizontal directional drilling will be required to cross two rivers along the planned pipeline route. The timeline calls for construction to begin in 2010 and service to begin Nov. 15, 2010.