ICF served as FERC’s third-party contractor to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the REX East project, which includes 640 miles of 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio—one of the largest natural gas pipelines ever constructed in North America.
ICF completed the EIS on time, scheduling concurrent public meetings and site visits in three states, and managing responses to more than 200 comment letters. The project encountered significant challenges necessitating swift and substantive attention from ICF and FERC staff. Within two days of notification that we had been selected for this project, ICF fielded teams to accompany FERC and the applicant, Rockies Express Pipeline LLC, to 18 open houses scheduled along the proposed pipeline route. ICF’s process management and communication skills kept all resource areas moving ahead at a quick pace simultaneously.
ICF participated in technical conferences with agencies and pipeline companies to help FERC resolve technical issues. The in-depth alternatives section carefully analyzed the concerns of individual landowners and state and local agencies to develop recommendations for route alternatives. The detailed alternatives analysis helped to ease public opposition to the project.
ICF also assisted FERC in reviewing Rockies Express’ draft Biological Assessment with the intention of adopting it as its own Biological Assessment. The project involved preparation of a Biological Assessment for the Indiana bat and addressed agency concerns regarding forest fragmentation, migratory birds, historic properties, wild and scenic rivers, Mississippi River levee crossing, and agricultural mitigation measures. ICF worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve outstanding issues. The Final EIS for this project was published in April 2008 under an accelerated schedule of 22 months.
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