FERC staff prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC's (FGT) Phase VIII Expansion Project (Project). The Project is proposed in various counties in Alabama and Florida and would increase FGT's certificated capacity of natural gas by 820 million cubic feet per day. FGT would construct about 482.8 miles of multi-diameter pipeline (357.3 miles of looping and 125.5 miles of Greenfield); acquire 22.7 miles of lateral pipeline; add a total of 198,000 horsepower (hp) of compression to 8 existing compressor stations; construct a new 15,600 hp compressor station; construct 3 new meter and regulator (M&R) stations, upgrade two existing M&R stations, and construct a new regulator station; and other appurtenant facilities.
FERC's environmental staff concludes that the Phase VIII Expansion Project with appropriate mitigating measures, as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact and would be an environmentally acceptable action.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service cooperated in the preparation of the EIS.
Staff concludes the Project would be an environmentally acceptable action (with appropriate mitigation) because:
- FGT's collocation of the pipeline: more than 99 percent would follow existing rights-of-way.
- The Project would be consistent with or in conformance with federal resource management plans.
- FGT would implement resource- or activity-specific plans, procedures, and agreements to protect natural resources, avoid or limit environmental impacts, and promote restoration of all disturbed areas during construction and operation of the Project.
- The use of the horizontal directional drill (HDD) method would avoid disturbances to all major and most sensitive waterbodies along the route.
- FGT would complete the appropriate consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, State Historic Preservation Offices, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and other affected land management agencies, and any appropriate compliance actions resulting from these consultations, before it begins construction in any given area.
- FGT would implement an environmental inspection and monitoring program to ensure compliance with all mitigation measures, Certificate conditions, and other stipulations that may be included in permits from other authorizing federal, state, and local agencies.