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North Elko Pipeline Project

Elko Pipeline

North Elko Pipeline Project

Location: Elko, Nevada Client: Prospector Pipeline Company Brian Habersack (916) 859-4700 bhabersack@gasbiz.com
Location: Elko, Nevada Client: Prospector Pipeline Company Brian Habersack (916) 859-4700 bhabersack@gasbiz.com
The NEPP is a landmark energy infrastructure project for this region that was the result of the culmination of the collaborative efforts of many individuals, companies and agencies working together to make it a reality. The project was awarded the ENR Southwest Contractor Magazines 2013 Best Energy and Industrial Project. In the spring of 2011, Wood Rodgers was retained by Prospector Pipeline Company to provide environmental planning, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, permitting, engineering, geotechnical, surveying and permitting services for a 24 mile, 12 inch natural gas pipeline project located on public and private lands in Northern Nevada. The project, known as the North Elko Pipeline Project (NEPP) involved connection to the Ruby Pipeline (a 680 mile, 42 inch natural gas pipeline that extends from Wyoming to Oregon) and traversed southward, in remote and topographically challenging terrain, to the Barrick Goldstrike Mine in Eureka County. The purpose of the project was to convey natural gas to the Barrick Goldstrike Mine to replace current propane usage to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and provide substantial operational cost savings for the Goldstrike mining operation. Wood Rodgers worked closely with our client on the selection of preferred pipeline alignment. Several alignments were evaluated with the goal of avoiding impacts to the furthest extent practical to cultural resources and sensitive species, as well as providing safe and cost effective construction in the steep project area terrain. Wood Rodgers provided pre-construction topographic survey, pipeline design, project construction plans and specifications in accordance with industry standards and applicable regulations. In addition, Wood Rodgers was responsible for all aspects of environmental baseline assessment, analysis, under NEPA and the PUCN Utility Environmental Protection Act Permit (UEPA) requirements. Baseline resource assessments included archaeological resources (on approximately 1,157 acres), waters of the United States including wetlands, sensitive plant and wildlife species, noxious weeds and visual resource assessments. The project required close coordination with federal, state and local agencies, as well as team members including the client, attorneys and other consultants. Environmental planning and compliance under NEPA included scoping with the BLM, State Historic Preservation Office and Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), preparation of an Environmental Assessment, Plan of Development, Reclamation Plan, Noxious Weeds Management Plan and Environmental Protection Measures to guide construction and operation of the pipeline. In addition, Wood Rodgers worked with the client, BLM and NDOW to minimize potential impacts to sensitive species including the pygmy rabbit and the Greater sage-grouse. To address specific concerns related to the Greater sage-grouse, Wood Rodgers also assisted in the development of a Cooperative Agreement between the client, BLM and NDOW and served as the technical advisor for a project specific Wildlife Working Group to develop the details for implementation of activities to enhance Greater sage-grouse habitat. Wood Rodgers is currently monitoring project revegetation and habitat enhancement for success in accordance with BLM and NDOW requirements over the next 3 to 5 years. In addition to NEPA compliance, Wood Rodgers was also responsible for obtaining all state and local permits including a Right-of-Way Grant to cross public land administered by the BLM, a Nevada Public Utilities Commission Utility UEPA Permit, Nevada Department of Wildlife AB 307 approval, a Nevada Department of Environmental Protection Temporary Working in Waterways Permit, and a Conditional Use Permit to allow above ground facilities in Elko County. Easements from property owners were also secured where the pipeline crossed private property. NEPA compliance was completed and all permits were obtained in record time. The Environmental Assessment Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record were issued in August, 2012 and the UEPA permit was approved in September, 2012. Construction commenced in the September, 2012 and was largely completed in December 2013 including revegetation of construction disturbance. Wood Rodgers committed the necessary field personnel to a provide construction staking and “as-built” surveying services to assist the contractor, Q&D Construction, in completing the project in record time during harsh winter conditions. Following construction, Wood Rodgers prepared the legal descriptions identifying the final right of way corridor on both public and private properties.