Friday's Federal Register contains notice of another major proposed Presidential Pipeline permit action, along with a draft Environmental Impact Statement. Enbridge is proposing to increase the transport capacity of its formerly named "Alberta Clipper" pipeline extending from Hardesty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.
Once the Presidential Permit is granted and construction modifications completed on this existing pipeline installed in 2010, crude handling capacity of what is now called "Line 67" will significantly increase.
According to the FR notice, that line is presently delivering 450,000 to 500,000 barrels per day. Most of this will be synthetic heavy sour crude from Alberta tar sands production.
The proposed Presidential Permit would authorize modifications to the facility allowing an eventual transport rate of 880,000 barrels per day ---- larger than the 830,000 barrels per day for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
While Enbridge has pipelines extending from Superior, WI to other points in
the Midwest and southern Ontario, recent news articles indicate industry plans to increase shipping of petroleum products on the Great Lakes, along with a proposal
for a marine petroleum loading terminal in Superior, WI. See:
I think it is fair to say that the proposed Enbridge Presidential Permit will be
necessary to provide sufficient crude for any such marine loading terminal. Once loaded into barges and tankers, such crude oil could be delivered to several refinery locations through the Great Lakes basin in both U.S. and Canada.
The Federal Register notice appears below the fold in its entirety.
[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 51 (Friday, March 15, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06039]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 8237]
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact
Statement (SEIS) and To Conduct Scoping and To Initiate Consultation
consistent With the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for the
Proposed Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, Line 67 Capacity
SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the
Department of State (the Department) will be preparing a Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Enbridge Energy,
Limited Partnership, Line 67 Capacity Expansion Project. Under E.O.
13337, the Secretary of State is authorized to issue Presidential
Permits for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance at
the borders of the United States, of facilities for the exportation or
importation of liquid petroleum, petroleum products, or other non-
gaseous fuels to or from a foreign country.
Enbridge Energy (Enbridge) has applied to the Department for an
amendment to their current Presidential Permit authorizing it to
operate at a higher capacity the existing crude oil pipeline (known as
``Line 67''). To approve the amendment, the Department of State must
find that issuance would serve the national interest. In the course of
processing such applications, the Department consults extensively with
concerned Federal and State agencies, and invites public comment in
arriving at its determination.
The Department issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)
on June 5, 2009, as part of its review of the initial Presidential
Permit application for Line 67. On August 3, 2009, the Department
issued a Presidential Permit authorizing the construction, operation
and maintenance of facilities at the U.S.-Canada border for Line 67
(known at the time of permit issuance as the ``Alberta Clipper''
pipeline). Enbridge completed construction of Line 67 in 2010
pursuant to the original Presidential Permit issued by the Department.
Line 67 is currently fully operational, transporting 450,000 to 500,000
barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil across the border from the Western
Canadian Sedimentary Basin to Enbridge's terminal located in Superior,
Wisconsin. From there, the material is shipped to various markets in
the United States and Canada.
Enbridge is now proposing to expand the volume transported across
the border in the Line 67 Pipeline in order to help address current and
future demand by U.S. and Canada refineries for supplies of heavy crude
oil from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) (``the Enbridge
Energy, Line 67 Expansion Project'').
The Department has determined that before determining whether to
authorize the proposed higher capacity operation of Line 67 at the U.S.
border, it will conduct an environmental review of the Project
consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (``NEPA''). The
Department will evaluate the impacts associated with operating Line 67
at its full design capacity of 880,000 bpd.
The purpose of this Notice of Intent (NOI) is to inform the public
about the proposed action, announce plans for scoping opportunities,
invite public participation in the scoping process, and solicit public
comments for consideration in establishing the scope and content of the
The proposed Project is an international project designed to
increase transport of crude oil from Enbridge's facilities in Hardisty,
Alberta to an Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. In the United
States, Line 67 extends 326.9 miles from the U.S.-Canada border near
Neche, North Dakota through North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin to
the Superior Terminal. From there, the crude is transported by pipeline
to primarily Midwestern markets and mid-central and Gulf Coast markets,
as well as points in the Eastern United States and Canada.
Specifically, Enbridge proposes to expand capacity of the Line 67
Pipeline to 570,000 bpd, and seeks authority to operate the U.S. border
facilities at the full design capacity of 880,000 bpd in the event of
further expansion in the future.
Enbridge proposes to increase the capacity up to 570,000 bpd by
adding horsepower to existing pumping units inside of the current
footprint of Enbridge's Viking, Clearbrook, and Deer River pump
stations in Minnesota. Enbridge applied to the Minnesota Public
Utilities Commission (MPUC) on October 8, 2012 to add additional
horsepower to these pumping stations. Enbridge further seeks authority
to increase the capacity from 570,000 bpd to the full design capacity
of 880,000 bpd at a point in the future by constructing additional
pumping units at Enbridge's pump stations in Minnesota. The footprint
of Enbridge's pump stations will be modified as a result of such
construction. Prior to constructing these additional pump units at some
point in the future, Enbridge will file an additional application with
Enbridge is also planning to construct two new storage tanks inside
of the footprint of Enbridge's Superior terminal in Wisconsin. Enbridge
will apply to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (``Corps'') for a permit
to construct the tanks as there may be wetland impacts associated with
the construction and operation of the new tanks. Enbridge must also
seek approval from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to
construct the additional two tanks.
The SEIS Process
The Department, consistent with NEPA, will take into account the
environmental impacts that could result from the approval of a
Presidential Permit authorizing construction, operation, and
maintenance of pipeline facilities for the transport of crude oil
located at the international border of the United States and Canada.
The Department will use the SEIS to assess the environmental impacts
that could result if Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership is granted a
Presidential permit to operate the U.S. border facilities at the higher
capacities anticipated with the proposed Line 67 Capacity Expansion
Project. The SEIS will supplement the FEIS of June 5, 2009, by
including information and analysis about potential impacts associated
with the proposed increased volume of crude oil, as well as any other
subjects that may need to be updated because there exist significant
new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns
bearing on the proposed action or its impacts. The Department has
selected ICF International as a Third-Party Contractor to help prepare
the SEIS. The SEIS will be prepared under the direction of the
Department and will be reviewed by the cooperating agencies.
In the SEIS, the Department will discuss impacts that could occur
as a result of the construction and operation of the revised proposed
project under these general headings:
Geology and soils;
Fish, wildlife, and vegetation;
Threatened and endangered species;
Land use, recreation and special interest areas;
Air quality and noise;
Environmental Justice; and,
Reliability and safety.
In the SEIS, the Department will also evaluate reasonable
alternatives, including a ``no action alternative,'' to the proposed
project or portions of the project and make recommendations on how to
lessen or avoid impacts on affected resources.
The Department's independent analysis of the issues will be
included in a draft SEIS. The draft SEIS will be published and mailed
to relevant Federal, State, and local government agencies, elected
officials, environmental and public interest groups, Indian tribes,
affected landowners, commenters, local libraries, newspapers, and other
interested parties. You are encouraged to become involved in this
process and provide your specific comments or concerns about the
proposed project. By becoming a commenter, your concerns will be
considered by the Department and addressed appropriately in the SEIS.
The Department will consider all timely comments on the draft SEIS
and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final SEIS.
Issued in Washington, DC on March 11, 2013:
DATES: The Department invites interested agencies, organizations, and
members of the public to submit comments or suggestions to assist in
identifying significant environmental issues, measures that might be
adopted to reduce environmental impacts, and in determining the
appropriate scope of the SEIS. The public scoping period starts with
the publication of this Notice in the Federal Register on March 14,
2013 and will continue until April 29, 2013. Written, electronic, and
oral comments will be given equal weight and State will consider all
comments received or postmarked by, April 29, 2013 in defining the
scope of the SEIS. Comments received or postmarked after that date may
be considered to the extent practicable.
Public scoping opportunities are designed to provide opportunities
offer comments on the proposed project. Interested individuals and
groups are encouraged to present comments on the environmental issues
they believe should be addressed in the SEIS consistent with NEPA and
its implementing regulations.
During this public scoping period, the Department also plans to use
the scoping process to help identify consulting parties and historic
preservation issues for consideration consistent with Section 106 of
the NHPA and its implementing regulations (36 CFR Part 800).
ADDRESSES: Written comments or suggestions on the scope of the SEIS
should be addressed to: Genevieve Walker, OES/EQT Room 2726, U.S.
Department of State, Washington, DC 20520. Comments may be submitted
electronically to EnbridgeLine67permit@state.gov. Public comments may
be posted on the Web site identified below.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed
project or to receive a copy of the draft SEIS when it is issued,
contact Genevieve Walker at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section
of this notice by electronic or regular mail as listed above, or by
telephone (202) 647-9798 or by fax at (202) 647-5947.
Project details and environmental information on the Enbridge
Energy, Limited Partnership application for a Presidential Permit, as
well as the Presidential Permit process, are downloadable from the
following Web site: http://www.state.gov/....
Dated: March 11, 2013.
George N. Sibley,
Director, Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues,
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2013-06039 Filed 3-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-09-P
1:11 PM PT: Note that the same "national interest" criteria that apply to the Keystone XL pipeline decision will also apply in this case as well. I think it is not likely, however, that the Department of State would be looking at the issue of the connection between this decision and a Superior WI marine shipping terminal decision.....so that will be important for comments filed on this matter.