The deadline is nearing for Morehouse Parish residents to submit public comments on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Texas Gas Abandonment project. The environmental assessment report was prepared by the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and is accessible online at www.ferc.gov.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Texas Gas Abandonment project consists of the abandonment via transfer of an existing looped pipeline system with three different designations: Mainline System 26-2, Mainline System 26-1 and Bastrop-Eunice System 26-1.
Portions of the abandonment via transfer in Northeast Louisiana include 45.8 miles of pipeline running from Chicot County, Ark. to the discharge end of the Bastrop Compressor Station in Morehouse Parish and 45.8 miles from the suction end of the Bastrop Compressor Station to a block valve in Ouachita Parish.
According to the EA, Texas Gas Transmission, LLC wants to abandon these pipeline systems as a method of adjusting to lack of market demand, including a decline in its customer base and throughput volumes, based on the development of gas supplies closer to previously serviced market areas.
An overview of the project states that Texas Gas would still provide natural gas transportation service on its remaining loop-line facilities, and the abandoned segments of pipeline would be repurposed to transport natural gas liquids, or NGLs, for Bluegrass Pipeline, LLC, a joint venture between the parent company of Texas Gas, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP, and Williams, an energy infrastructure company.
While the EA report examines the impact of granting abandonment, the FERC's reach does not extend to what will happen to the pipeline after this occurs.
The EA states, "If the Commission grants the abandonment, the pipeline would no longer be under the Commission's jurisdiction. Any subsequent construction by Bluegrass or any other entity, related to future use of the abandoned pipeline for NGL transportation, would also not be under the Commission's jurisdiction."
In Northeast Louisiana, the Bluegrass Conversion Project would necessitate the construction of approximately 32.8 miles of pipeline adjacent to existing Texas Gas facilities in Ouachita, Caldwell and LaSalle parishes. The EA states that impacts related to the conversion project work are expected to be minor and short-term, and that the majority of work would be completed within existing rights-of-way. Prior to commencing construction, any necessary permits and clearances would be obtained.
In addition to the EA being published on www.ferc.gov, copies of the report were also mailed to potentially affected landowners, libraries in the project area and federal, state and local government representatives and agencies.
Any citizen who wants to comment on the EA may do so online at www.ferc.gov by using either the eComment or eFiling feature under the Documents and Filings heading. Further instructions are presented in the environmental assessment. Comments should be received no later than May 16.