FERC staff prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the natural gas pipeline facilities proposed by Bison Pipeline, L.L.C. (Bison). The Bison Pipeline Project facilities would be located in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota and would be designed to transport approximately 477 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.
Bison proposes to construct, operate, and maintain 301.2 miles of new 30-inch-diameter interstate natural gas transmission pipeline, one compressor station, two meter stations, 19 mainline valves, and three pig launcher/pig receiver facilities. The proposed Bison Pipeline Project would extend northeast from a point near Dead Horse, Wyoming, through southeastern Montana and southwestern North Dakota. It would connect with the Northern Border pipeline system near Northern Border’s Compressor Station #6 in Morton County, North Dakota.
FERC's environmental staff concludes that the construction and operation of the Bison Pipeline Project would result in some adverse environmental impacts. However, the environmental impacts would be reduced to less than significant levels if the proposed Project is constructed and operated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, Bison’s proposed mitigation, and additional measures recommended in the EIS. The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cooperated in the preparation of the EIS.
Staff concludes the Project would be an environmentally acceptable action (with appropriate mitigation) because:
- The proposed Project would be collocated with existing utility rights-of-way for approximately 53 miles, or about 17.6 percent of the route;
- The proposed route has been significantly influenced by agency recommendations to avoid sensitive wildlife habitats and vegetation types;
- Bison has been responsive to landowner requests for minor route modifications and has adopted many of these into the proposed route evaluated in this final EIS;
- Bison would implement its Plan and Procedures, as well as additional Project-specific plans, each of which would reduce and mitigate impacts on natural resources during construction and operation of the proposed Project;
- All waterbodies would be crossed by dry crossing methods if water were present and flowing at the time of crossing;
- Bison would complete all necessary surveys for sensitive species and cultural resources, and the Commission would complete the appropriate consultations with FWS, Native American tribes, State Historic Preservation Offices, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation if required, before construction begins;
- and Bison would implement an environmental inspection and compliance monitoring program that would ensure compliance with all proposed mitigation measures and those required by the FERC Certificate and the BLM Right-of-Way Grant and Temporary Use Permit, should they be granted.