Williams Northwest Pipeline Maintenance
The National Park Service (NPS) has developed an environmental assessment/assessment of effect (EA/AEF) that analyzes the effects of maintaining the natural gas pipeline in Arches National Park. Currently, Williams Company owns and maintains the 7.2 miles of the Northwest Pipeline that passes through the park. The NPS will issue a Special Use Permit (SUP) to the Williams Company for the purpose of performing this pipeline maintenance within the park. This EA/AEF addresses the planned pipeline maintenance activities during the next five to ten years and the impact of those activities on the natural and cultural resources of the park.
Proposed maintenance activities include surveys of the pipeline by foot, by air, and possibly by vehicle; erosion control; potential recoating or replacing sections of the pipeline; repair of the cathodic protection system on the pipeline and conducting pig runs. Most of these activities can result in minor to moderate adverse impacts on park resources. Moving heavy equipment along the pipeline and digging up sections of pipe for recoating or replacement can create significant adverse impacts to park resources, visitor experience, and park values.
This EA/AEF evaluates two alternatives: a no-action alternative and an action alternative. The no-action alternative describes the continued current management of the pipeline. Currently there is no proactive evaluation of impacts on park resources regarding anticipated pipeline maintenance. Evaluations are only done as a project or activity arises. The action alternative would consider anticipated potential pipeline maintenance needs over the next five to ten years and would evaluate the impacts of this maintenance on park resources to develop mitigation measures.