Sunday, May 30, 2010

Approval of pipeline across N. Utah delayed

Construction of a $3 billion gas pipeline from Wyoming through northern Utah and Nevada to Oregon has been pushed back amid work to protect cultural sites and endangered species.
Houston-based El Paso Corp. initially hoped to begin work on the 42-inch Ruby Pipeline this spring. The federal Bureau of Land Management said it hopes to approve the project in early July, after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission works out agreements with each state along the route to protect historic and cultural sites.

The pipeline will run 675 miles from Opal in western Wyoming to Malin, Ore., crossing parts of Rich, Box Elder and Cache counties as well as Nevada.

FERC has drafted agreements with the state historic preservation offices in Utah and Wyoming and should have agreements for the other two states soon, said Mark Mackiewicz, manager of the project for the BLM in Utah.

Some environmental groups oppose the pipeline. The route crosses too many undeveloped lands when the pipeline could be built along highways and other developed corridors, said Katie Fite, with Hailey, Idaho-based Western Wastern Watersheds Project. The Salt Lake Tribune