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BLM Initiates Scoping on Natural Gas Pipeline Project Environmental Assessment
Release Date: 10/19/12
Contacts: Lorraine Salas , 575-525-4388  

BLM Initiates Scoping on Natural Gas Pipeline Project Environmental Assessment (10/19/12)

Farmington, NM – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is initiating a public scoping process in order to solicit public comments and identify issues for an environmental assessment (EA) that will be prepared for the Western Expansion Pipeline III (WEP III) Project proposal.

This proposed plan of development, prepared by Enterprise Mid-America Pipeline (MAPL), and submitted to the BLM, proposes to construct, operate, and maintain about 246 miles of natural gas liquids pipeline which would tie into and be installed adjacent to their existing system that runs through New Mexico. This project crosses Federal lands managed by the BLM Farmington, Rio Puerco, and Roswell Field Offices, as well as lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).  The project would also cross Tribal, State, and private lands.

The proposed project would consist of about 246 miles of 16-inch diameter pipeline, comprised of 7 loop pipeline segments (portions of segments 1 and 3 would be 20-inch diameter), in San Juan, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, McKinley, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Torrance, Guadalupe, Lincoln, De Baca, Chaves, and Lea counties, New Mexico.  The proposed pipeline loop segments would transport increased natural gas liquids production to Hobbs, New Mexico and ultimately to markets in Mont Belvieu, Texas. 

Of the 246 miles proposed, about 68 miles would be installed on BLM-administered lands, 26 miles on BIA-administered lands, 27 miles on State lands, and 125 miles on private lands.  Construction is proposed for 2013 and would be completed within 9 months. 

Enterprise MAPL has requested a 50-foot permanent right-of-way and an additional 75 feet of temporary construction width for the length of the 7 loop pipeline segments.  Additional temporary work areas have also been requested in various locations (road crossings, stream crossings, steep slopes, etc.).

The BLM will prepare an EA to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act requirements for this proposal. The EA will consider a reasonable range of alternatives, including a No Action alternative, and will disclose the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of the proposal.  As a starting point in the assessment, the BLM is soliciting input on issues that will be considered in the preparation of the EA.  At this time, the public is encouraged to provide any comments, concerns, or issues they may have with regard to the proposal.

To best facilitate the development of the EA, scoping comments must be received by November 20, 2012.  Written comments and questions should be directed to Lorraine Salas, BLM National Project Manager stationed at the Las Cruces District Office, 1800 Marquess St., Las Cruces, NM 88005.  Electronic comments may be submitted to or faxed to 575-525-4412.

Enterprise MAPL’s proposed plan of development, which provides additional information, is available for review at  Digital and hard copies of the maps referred to in the plan of development are available at the following BLM field offices:

Farmington Field Office
1235 La Plata Highway, Ste. A
Farmington, NM 87401

Rio Puerco Field Office    
435 Montano Road Northeast    
Albuquerque, NM 87107    

Roswell Field Office
2909 W. Second Street
Roswell, NM 88201-2019

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 01-08-2013