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Corps seeks public comment on draft environmental assessment for Missouri River pipeline replacement project

Published June 26, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment for the proposed replacement of a section of liquid natural gas pipeline located beneath the Missouri River in Cass County, Nebraska, and a federal levee near Thurman, Iowa. This pipeline system is critical to supplying propane to Midwest markets during the winter, as well as to motor fuel production in the upper Midwest.

The proposed project would include replacing approximately 1.4 miles of 8-inch diameter liquid natural gas pipeline, owned and operated by ONEOK North System, L.L.C., to address a safety condition that resulted after a portion of the pipeline became unsupported during Missouri River flooding. No release has occurred, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration has been notified of the condition.

In order to replace the pipeline, horizontal direction drilling would occur beyond the federal levee and the Missouri River onto private lands. USACE has reviewed the potential effects of HDD and all activities associated with drill sites, construction workspaces, access roads and pipe stringing area. Based upon geotechnical investigations, engineering design, and operational and maintenance practices employed by ONEOK, the risk for a release or leak is considered low. ONEOK and USACE acknowledge that a release could have high consequences; therefore, ONEOK has developed a spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan, inadvertent release plan and emergency response plan that are included with the draft EA and would be implemented during the construction of the proposed project and operation of the pipeline.

Publication of the draft EA commences a 30-day public comment period, and the public is encouraged to provide comments. The draft EA is available for viewing at www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Planning/Project-Reports/. Comments can be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PMA-C; ATTN: ONEOK 102 Pipeline Draft EA; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments can also be emailed to: cenwo-planning@usace.army.mil. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than July 26, 2020. 

This draft EA has been prepared consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality’s  regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), USACE’s regulations for implementing NEPA (33 CFR 325 and Engineering Regulation 200-2-2) and other applicable environmental laws and regulations. The draft EA has been completed in accordance with the CEQ regulations in Section 1506.5(a) and 1506.5(b), which allow an applicant to prepare an EA for a federal action. USACE has independently evaluated and verified the information and analysis in this draft EA and takes full responsibility for the scope and content contained herein.


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Release no. 20-072