FERC has released the final environmental impact statement for the NEXUS Gas Transmission Project and Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease Project. FERC staff determined that construction and operation of the projects would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of NEXUS’ and Texas Eastern’s proposed mitigation measures and the FERC staff’s recommendations. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by NEXUS and Texas Eastern and further developed from data requests; field investigations; scoping; literature research; alternatives analysis; and contacts with federal, state, and local agencies as well as Indian tribes and individual members of the public. Although many factors were considered in this determination, the principal reasons are:
- About 119.2 miles (46 percent) of the 261.4 miles of NEXUS’s right-of-way would be co-located with (i.e., overlap or abut) existing utility rights-of-way such as overhead electric transmission lines, pipelines, and railroads. All of Texas Eastern’s proposed pipeline facilities would be co-located within or adjacent to existing utility rights-of-way.
- NEXUS and Texas Eastern would minimize impacts on natural and cultural resources during construction and operation of the Project by implementing their Erosion and Sediment Control Plans; Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans, Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan; Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures; and other project-specific plans (Blasting Plans, Drain Tile Mitigation Plan (NEXUS), Fugitive Dust Control Plans, Winter Construction Plans, Invasive Species Management Plans, HDD Monitoring and Inadvertent Return Contingency Plan (NEXUS), Unanticipated Discovery Plans, Residential Construction Plan (NEXUS), Landowner Complaint Resolution Procedures and Public Awareness Program, Organic Farm Protection Plan, Hazardous Waste Management Plan, and Migratory Bird Conservation Plans).
- The FERC staff would complete the process of complying with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act prior to construction.
- The FERC staff would complete consultation under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and implementing regulations at 36 CFR 800, prior to construction.
- NEXUS and Texas Eastern would comply with all applicable air and noise regulatory requirements during construction and operation.
- An environmental compliance inspection program would be implemented to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorization.
In addition, FERC staff developed project-specific mitigation measures that NEXUS and Texas Eastern should implement to further reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from construction and operation.