Government unveils pipeline study

Regulatory commission expects no significant adverse effects on environment

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A proposed pipeline won't have significant adverse effects on the environment, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

FERC released its draft environmental impact statement of the pipeline project, proposed by Entrega Gas Pipeline Inc., late last month. The draft's purpose is to inform the public of potential adverse and beneficial effects associated with the project.

The statement examined effects the project would have on geology, soils, water resources, vegetation, and fish and wildlife.

About 44 percent of the land affected by pipeline is public land, and 56 percent of the land is private. It will affect 5,064 acres.

According to FERC's statement, Entrega would restore the productivity of and drainage of the 15 miles of hay meadows affected by the pipeline. The company would preserve topsoil by stripping the surface before beginning work.

The pipeline could contribute to wildlife fragmentation by expanding existing pipeline corridors. The route will cross 29 miles of critical elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope winter habitat in Colorado. Entrega would avoid construction within big-game wintering areas during seasonal closures and install ditch plugs with ramps to allow animals to cross open ditches and escape from the ditched if they fall in.

Entrega will bore under the Yampa and White rivers to avoid affecting federally protected endangered fish. The company will cut through the Little Snake River.

Copies of the statement are available at Bureau of Land Management offices in Meeker, Craig, Rawlins, Wyo., and at most libraries along the pipeline's route with the exception of the Maybell Library. The pipeline is proposed to run north from the Piceance Basin near Meeker and across Moffat County to Wamsutter, Wyo., where it will veer east to Cheyenne, Wyo., before ending in Weld County.

The public can comment on the impact statement until April 18. An original and two copies of the comments should be sent to Magalie Salas, secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC, 20426.

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