FERC Friday issued a favorable final environmental review of Kern River Gas Transmission's proposal to expand its pipeline system from southwestern Wyoming to Nevada by 266 MMcf/d to meet growing demand for natural gas from power generators.

The construction and operation of the proposed Apex project facilities "would have some adverse environmental impact; however, these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Kern River's proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the final EIS," the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in its final environmental impact statement on the Apex Expansion Project [CP10-14].

The Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation were cooperating agencies.

The Apex project, which got a favorable draft environmental nod from FERC in March, calls for the construction of approximately 28 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline in an unlooped portion of Kern River's existing mainline across the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah; the installation of a new, single-unit 30,000 hp compressor station (Milford Compressor Station) in Beaver County, UT; modifications to four existing compressor stations in Uinta County, WY; Utah County, UT; Millard County, UT; and Clark County, NV; and mainline valves, pig launches and pig receivers (see Daily GPI, March 29).

Kern River, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., said it hopes to get a certificate from FERC by December and place the facilities in service by Nov. 1, 2011. The proposed addition would close one of two unlooped sections of Kern River's mainline and add 78,000 hp to Kern River's system, giving it the ability to transport more than 2.14 Bcf/d.

Kern River said it has executed a precedent agreement and a long-term, firm transportation service agreement with Nevada Power Co., which began doing business as NV Energy in 2008, for the entire capacity to be created by the expansion.

The Kern River system, which is mostly 36-inch diameter pipeline, extends 1,680 miles from Wyoming to California. Its current capacity is 1.9 Bcf/d.

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