Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth
Request for Easement–Harris County
Hydrocarbon Pipelines at San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
May 24, 2012
I. Executive Summary: Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (Chevron) requests amendment of an existing pipeline easement that crosses the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site (San Jacinto) for the purpose of adding two (2) transmission pipelines.
II. Discussion: San Jacinto, located 20 miles east of downtown Houston, consists of just over 1,000 acres, centered on the campsites and primary field of battle where a volunteer Texan army defeated a numerically superior Mexican army to wrest independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836.
Today San Jacinto is located in the heart of the petrochemical refining complexes of Baytown, Deer Park, Pasadena and La Porte. As a result, numerous pipelines, located in several corridors, have crossed the site for many decades. Staff has worked diligently over the years to confine these corridors to small areas and minimize impacts to resources, operations and aesthetics.
New supplies of oil and gas flowing from south Texas to refineries in this area have necessitated evaluation and augmentation of existing infrastructure. In response, Chevron plans to abandon a pipeline in the existing Battleground Road corridor, and add by directional drilling two (2) pipelines, a ten inch (10”) diameter line for natural gas liquids, and a twelve inch (12”) pipeline for ethylene. Chevron and their consultants have worked closely with TPWD staff for months to locate the existing corridor and San Jacinto boundaries, and to minimize the impacts of these pipelines on San Jacinto and on other natural and cultural resources along the pipeline route.
III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:
“The Commission adopts the Resolution attached as Exhibit A.”
A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission regarding the
Granting of an Easement Covering Approximately Four Acres of Real Property in
Harris County for Two Hydrocarbon Transmission Pipelines
Crossing the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
Whereas, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (Chevron) holds easements for an existing pipeline right-of-way corridor that crosses San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site (San Jacinto) in Harris County; and,
Whereas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) owns and operates San Jacinto for a variety of conservation and recreation values, including preservation of the battleground where General Sam Houston defeated General Santa Anna on April 21, 1836 to establish the independence of Texas; and,
Whereas, Chevron has requested an expansion of that existing easement to cover approximately four acres crossing San Jacinto in Harris County Texas (the Easement); and,
Whereas, Chevron plans to construct a 12” diameter pipeline for the transmission of ethylene and a 10” diameter pipeline for the transmission of natural gas liquids a distance of 20.3 miles from industrial facilities on Battleground Road just south of San Jacinto, to the Mont Belvieu storage complex in Chambers County, Texas; 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 San Jacinto in which such newspapers are published (Baytown Sun in Harris County, and the Houston Chronicle in Harris 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,
Whereas, staff of TPWD have worked with Chevron to select a route, construction methodologies including directional drilling, cultural resource testing and monitoring, and work schedules, that will minimize impacts to both fish and wildlife resources and to the operations of San Jacinto; and,
Whereas, Chevron 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 San Jacinto; and,
Whereas, Chevron has provided evidence that an alternate route for the construction of the two pipelines could result in greater net impacts to fish and wildlife habitat; and,
Whereas, TPWD staff believe the alternative route for the two pipelines is likely to result in greater net impact to the state’s fish and wildlife resources, and therefore granting an Easement to Chevron 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 San Jacinto 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 Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approving this Resolution.
Adopted and approved this 24th day of May 2012.
In official recognition of the adoption of this resolution in a lawfully called public meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, we hereby affix our signatures this 24th day of May 2012.
T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman
Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman
Antonio Falcon, M.D., Member
Karen J. Hixon, Member
Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member
Bill Jones, Member
Margaret Martin, Member
S. Reed Morian, Member
Dick Scott, Member
Location Map Showing the Location of San Jacinto Battleground in Harris County
Vicinity Map Showing San Jacinto Battleground, 20 Miles East of Houston
Site Map Showing Route and Location of Requested Pipeline Easement