Seeking Comments on Environmental Assessment for the Maintenance of the Williams Northwest Pipeline
Contact: Sabrina Henry, 435-719-2135
The National Park Service (NPS) is soliciting public comment on an environmental assessment/assessment of effect (EA/AEF) that analyzes the effects of maintaining the natural gas pipeline in Arches National Park. Currently, Williams Company owns and maintains the 7.2 miles of the Northwest Pipeline that passes through the park. The NPS will issue a Special Use Permit (SUP) to the Williams Company for the purpose of performing this pipeline maintenance within the park. This EA/AEF addresses the planned pipeline maintenance activities during the next five to ten years and the impact of those activities on the natural and cultural resources of the park.
Proposed maintenance activities include surveys of the pipeline by foot, by air, and possibly by vehicle; erosion control; potential recoating or replacing sections of the pipeline; repair of the cathodic protection system on the pipeline and conducting pig runs. The EA evaluates two alternatives: a no-action alternative and an action alternative. The no-action alternative describes the continued current management of the pipeline. Currently there is proactive evaluation of impacts on park resources regarding anticipated pipeline maintenance. Evaluations are only done as a project arises. The action alternative would consider anticipated potential pipeline maintenance needs over the next five to ten years and would evaluate the impacts of this maintenance on park resources to develop mitigation measures. The AEF addresses the issues of conducting pipeline maintenance on cultural resources and is included with the developed EA.
The EA/AEF is available on-line on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website under "Williams Northwest Pipeline Maintenance". Hardcopies will be available for review at Arches National Park Visitor Center, the Southeast Utah Group Headquarters in Moab, and the Grand County Public Library. The public review period is open for 30 days and comments are due by May 17, 2010. Comments may be made online in PEPC or by letter to Southeast Utah Group, Planning and Compliance Coordinator, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd., Moab, UT 84532.
Did You Know?
Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger at Arches in the late 1950s. His 1968 memoir of this experience, "Desert Solitaire," has become a classic of desert literature.