Environmental Protection  

 

Environmental Compliance 

Gulf South is complying with all environmental requirements including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and FERC's Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation and Maintenance  Plan (Plan) and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures (Procedures).

 

NEPA required the FERC to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from the Project.  NEPA also required FERC to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals.  This process is referred to as “scoping”.  The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the environmental analysis on the important environmental issues.  The FERC requested public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the environmental assessment of the Project.  The FERC also evaluated possible alternatives to the planned Project or portions of the Project, and made recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resources.

 

Environmental Assessment 

On November 9, 2015, the FERC issued a Notice of Schedule stating that it would be issuing the Environmental Assessment (EA). On January 29, 2016, the FERC issued the EA for the project. The EA is a comprehensive environmental evaluation of the project.  The FERC provided a comment period for any person wishing to comment on the EA allowing individuals to comment on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Comments were due to the FERC on or before February 29, 2016.  A copy of the EA can be obtained through the FERC’s website, https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp, using the “eLibrary” link and the project’s docket number. Once at eLibrary, select “General Search” and enter the docket number assigned to the project which is CP15-517. Please note there is a date range field that needs to be updated to the date the EA was issued which is 01/29/2016. If you need assistance accessing eLibrary, call the FERC’s helpline toll-free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659 or click on FERConlineSupport@ferc.gov. 

 

Notifications, Permitting and Clearances 

Government agencies with environmental jurisdiction related to the project were notified as to the scope of this project, and where required, permits and/or clearances were obtained.  A representative list of these agencies and the facet of environmental protection each of these agencies has jurisdiction over are indicated as follows:

 

  • Railroad Commission of Texas – Hydrostatic Discharge Permit
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – Air Permitting
  • Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife – State Threatened and Endangered Species
  • Texas Coastal Zone Management through the State General Land Office
  • State Historic Preservation through the Texas Historical Commission –                                National Historic Preservation Act
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Water Discharge and Air Permitting 
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Endangered Species Act and Migratory Birds
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service -                        Wetland Reserve Program 
 

Channels for Environmental Input from Interested Parties 

Gulf South conducted open houses in late January/February 2015 hosted by company subject matter experts, including one in environmental protection, to listen to any environmental concerns expressed by attendees and respond accordingly.  In addition, Legal Notice ads were placed in local newspapers in early January 2015 informing the public of the date and locations of these open houses.

 

Elements of Environmental Protection 

Throughout the review process for the Coastal Bend Header Project, the environmental impacts of the Project were evaluated and documented and appropriate protection measures were taken for all elements of the environment, such as:

  

  • Ground water
  • Surface water
  • Endangered Species
  • Historical and Archaeological sites
  • Socioeconomics
  • Soils and Geology
  • Land Use
  • Air Quality

  

Permits Obtained

Gulf South has obtained the following permits that are required prior to commencing construction:

 

Federal and State Permits and Approvals  

Agency or Organization    

Permit/Approval  

Date of Authorization / Anticipated Receipt 

Federal 

Federal Energy Regulatory

Commission

Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

June 20, 2016

 

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office

 

EndangeredSpecies Act, Section 7

March 24, 2016

  July 21, 2016

October 27, 2016    

Migratory Bird Treaty

Act Consultation

  September 26, 2016  

 

U.S. Army Corps of

Engineers, Galveston District  

 

Section 10/404

 (Nationwide Permit [NWP] 12)

October 14, 2015

 November 2, 2016  

  December 15, 2016  

U.S. Environmental Protection

Agency

NPDES Permit for

Hydrostatic Test

Discharge

3rd Quarter 2017

State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Commission on

Environmental Quality

Section 401 Water Quality Certification

 (automatic with NWP 12)

October 14, 2015

November 2, 2016

  December 15, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air and Greenhouse Gas

Permits

General Operating Permit

Wilson Compressor Station: September 24, 2015

Permit by Rule Registration

Wilson Compressor Station: August 11, 2015

Permit by Rule Registration

Brazos Compressor Station: August 6, 2015

Permit by Rule Registration

North Houston Compressor

Station: August 14, 2015

Permit by Rule Registration

Magasco Compressor

Station: August 21, 2015

Hydrostatic Test Water

Appropriations Permit

  2nd Quarter 2017  

Railroad Commission of Texas

 

October 14, 2015

 

Coastal Zone Management Act (automatic with NWP 12)

  November 2, 2016

 

  December 15, 2016

Hydrostatic Test Water

Discharge permit

2nd Quarter 2017    

Minor Permit: Off Lease Landfarming of Water Base Drilling Fluids

  2nd Quarter 2017  

 

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Department

Threatened and Endangered Species Clearance

July 6, 2015

  July 27, 2016

 

Texas State Historic

Preservation Office

 

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act Clearance

July 7, 2015   

  August 3, 2016

 October 4, 2016

October 25, 2016

 

 

 

 

Tribal Consultation for the Coastal Bend Header Project

Tribe

Consultation

Date Submitted

Date Response Received

Comments / Notes

Alabama Coushatta

Project Notification Letter

December 9, 2014

January 23, 2015

Requests agency to agency consultation.  ACT stated that proposed expansion or alteration of the existing Goodrich Compressor Station could affect current and future use of fee simple lands under the ownership of the ACT.

Telephone Conversation with THPO

August 28, 2015

N/A

 THPO indicated no further concerns about the Project, but requested that FERC fulfill their consultation obligations to consult with the ACT on a government to government basis prior to ground disturbing activities.  

Email Correspondence with THPO

September 4, 2015

September 25, 2015

THPO confirmed that impacts to cultural assets of the ACT are not anticipated in conjunction with the proposed Project since all activities would be located within the existing Goodrich Compressor Station. 
No further consultation required.

 

On October 5, 2015, Gulf South filed with the Commission documentation of the correspondence between Gulf South and the ACT including a map showing the location of the ACT fee-owned lands in relationship to the proposed workspace at the Goodrich Compressor Station.

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

Project Notification Letter

December 9, 2014

No response received to date

 

Comanche Nation of Oklahoma

Project Notification Letter

December 9, 2014

January 6, 2015

No properties of significance identified within vicinity of Project, no further consultation required.

Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana

Project Notification Letter

December 9, 2014

No response received to date

 

Jena Band of Choctaw Indians

Project Notification Letter

December 9, 2014

January 7, 2015

THPO requested copy of Phase I report

Submittal of Phase I draft report

August 26, 2015

No response received to date

Hard copy of Phase I report mailed to THPO on August 26, 2015.

 

On September 15, 2015, Gulf South filed a copy of the submittal as part of the response to the FERC’s data request dated August 26, 2015.

 

No response from THPO received following submittal of Phase I report. 

Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma

Project Notification Letter

December 9, 2014

No response received to date

 

Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana

Project Notification Letter

December 9, 2014

No response received to date

 

Notes: 

 

  • FERC sent copies of the NOI for the Project to each of the tribes on March 4, 2015.
  • FERC also sent a letter and an email to the ACT on July 6, 2015 and July 8, 2015 to acknowledge their concerns and provide additional information regarding the NOI, Supplemental NOI, and opportunities for consultation. 
  • On July 6, 2015, FERC sent letters inviting the tribes to review the Project and to provide assistance in identifying properties of traditional, religious, or cultural importance that may be affected by the Project.  FERC did not receive any responses.
 

 

 

Environmental Protection During Construction

Before construction begins, all construction personnel will receive environmental training focusing on their duties on the project. Construction activities will fully comply with the requirements and provisions of environmental permits issued and, as mentioned earlier, the requirements of FERC's Plans and Procedures. Gulf South will employ environmental inspectors separate from the construction staff and contractors, who will oversee and enforce adherence to environmental requirements. These environmental inspectors will have the authority to shut down construction if necessary to ensure environmental compliance.