Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Action
Grant of Easement – Orange County
Pipeline – Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area
May 26, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  Air Products LLC, requests an easement from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for the installation of an 18” hydrogen pipeline across the Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area.

II.      Discussion:  Most of the 3,987-acre Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area (WMA) was acquired in 1998 and is managed for wetland credit used by Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) as mitigation for impacts associated with road development projects in southeast Texas.  Air Products, LLC, wishes to install an 18” diameter hydrogen pipeline across the WMA by means of a series of horizontal directional drills with final pipeline alignment adjacent to an existing pipeline right-of-way (ROW).  Impacts will consist of pipeline insertion and extraction points and equipment staging areas.  Most of the impacts to the project area are considered temporary and restorable.

Per the precedent established by granting a similar easement to Denbury Green Pipeline, LLC. in 2008, Air Products LLC is working with the Conservation Fund to identify and acquire lands that could be added to the WMA as partial compensation for damages.

III.     Recommendation:  The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Commission adopts the Resolution attached as Exhibit A.”

Attachments — 4

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution
  2. Exhibit B – Location Map
  3. Exhibit C – Vicinity Map
  4. Exhibit D – Site Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Regarding the Granting of an Easement Covering Approximately Three Acres of Real Property in Orange County for a Hydrogen Transmission Pipeline Crossing the Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area

Whereas, Air Products, LLC (Air Products) has requested an easement covering approximately three acres crossing the Tony Houseman Wildlife Management Area (the WMA) in Orange County Texas (the Easement); and,

Whereas, Air Products plans to construct an 18” diameter pipeline for the transmission of hydrogen gas from a point near Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Port Arthur , Texas; and,

Whereas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) owns and operates the WMA for a variety of conservation and recreation values, including habitat for migratory waterfowl and a broad diversity of other native fish and wildlife resources; and,

Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) finds that as required by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, notices of today’s hearing of this matter were published at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in newspapers of general circulation which are published at least six days a week in the communities nearest to the WMA in which such newspapers are published (Orange Leader in Orange County, the Port Arthur News in Jefferson County, and the Beaumont Enterprise in Jefferson County), with the last day of publication being not less than one week or more than two weeks before the date of today’s hearing and that such notices specified the date and time at which the Commission would hear testimony regarding the Easement; and,

Whereas, staff of TPWD have worked with Air Products to select a route through the WMA, construction methodologies, including directional drilling, and work schedules, that will minimize impacts to both fish and wildlife resources and to public hunting opportunities; and,

Whereas, Air Products has agreed to compensate TPWD for the Easement and to undertake certain activities and certain mitigation measures to minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the WMA; and,

Whereas, Air Products has provided evidence that alternate routes for the construction of the 18” diameter pipeline could result in greater net impacts to fish and wildlife habitat, within the WMA; and,

Whereas, TPWD staff believe that some of the alternative routes for the 18” hydrogen pipeline are likely to result in greater net impacts to the state’s fish and wildlife resources, and therefore granting of an Easement to Air Products is not inconsistent with the mission of TPWD; and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, that (1) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use or taking of such land (Easement); (2) the program or project that requires the use or taking of land (Easement) includes all reasonable planning to minimize harm to the land (Easement); and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Section 13.009 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code that conveyance of the Easement subject to conditions that will minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the WMA is in the best interest of TPWD; and,

Now, therefore, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to negotiate terms and conditions under which an Easement may be granted, and to grant an Easement to Air Products for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approved in this Resolution.


Adopted and approved this 26th day of May 2011.

________________________________
Peter M. Holt, Chairman

________________________________
T. Dan Friedkin, Vice-Chairman

________________________________
Ralph H. Duggins, Member

________________________________
Antonio Falcon M.D., Member

________________________________
Karen J. Hixon, Member

________________________________
Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member

________________________________
Margaret Martin, Member

________________________________
S. Reed Morian, Member

________________________________
Dick Scott, Member


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit B

Location Map for Tony Houseman WMA in Orange County


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map for Tony Houseman WMA North of Orange


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit D

Site Map for the Tony Houseman WMA Proposed Pipeline













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