Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Action
Request for Pipeline Easement—Orange County
Crude Oil Transmission Line on the
Lower Neches Wildlife Management
November 7, 2013

I.       Executive Summary:  Shell Pipeline Company LP requests an easement to cross the Adams Bayou Unit of the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area (WMA) with a 36” diameter crude oil transmission pipeline.

II.     Discussion:  Shell Pipeline Company LP (Shell) plans to construct a 36” diameter pipeline, known as the “Westward Ho” Pipeline, for the transportation of crude oil 204 miles from St. James, Louisiana to Port Neches, Texas.  Approximately 18.6 miles of the pipeline will be located in Texas, of which 2,732 feet (166 rods) is proposed to cross the Adams Bayou Unit of the Lower Neches WMA.  The construction method within the WMA is to be part conventional trench installation and part directional drill, with a single exit/entry bore pit location and associated access, pipe stringing and related temporary workspaces on the WMA.

Shell has submitted to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) an alternatives analysis and draft work plan for the pipeline in Texas, suggesting that alternative routes are unsafe or would cause greater environmental damage.  TPWD staff is in the process of reviewing the analysis and construction methodologies to assure that impacts to the WMA are avoided or minimized.  Staff will likewise be evaluating alternatives for mitigation of environmental impacts from the pipeline in Texas to avoid and minimize any loss of fish and wildlife resources.

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. 8
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 Orange County for a Crude Oil Transmission Pipeline Crossing the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area

Resolution

Whereas, Shell Pipeline Company LP (Shell) has requested an easement covering approximately four acres crossing the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area (the WMA) in Orange County Texas (the Easement); and,

Whereas, Shell plans to construct a 36” diameter pipeline 204 miles long for the transmission of crude oil from St. James, Louisiana to Port Neches, 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, 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; and,

Whereas, staff of TPWD have worked with Shell to select a route and construction methodologies that will minimize impacts to both fish and wildlife resources; and,

Whereas, the construction of a pipeline within the easement is not expected to disrupt public hunting or other public recreation; and,

Whereas, Shell has provided evidence that alternate routes for the construction of the 36” diameter pipeline are not reasonable and prudent; and,

Whereas, Shell 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 to offset or enhance fish and wildlife values in southeast Texas; 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 Shell Pipeline Company LP, for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approved in this Resolution.

Adopted and approved this 7th day of November, 2013.

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T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman

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Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman

___________________________________
Roberto De Hoyos, Member

___________________________________
Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member

___________________________________
Bill Jones Member

___________________________________
James Lee, Member

___________________________________
Margaret Martin, Member

___________________________________
S. Reed Morian, Member

___________________________________
Dick Scott, Member


Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit B

Location Map for Lower Neches WMA in Orange County

Location Map for Lower Neches WMA in Orange County


Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map for Adams Unit Lower Neches WMA in Orange County

Vicinity Map for Adams Unit Lower Neches WMA in Orange County


Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit D

Site Map Showing Proposed Pipeline Easement

Site Map Showing Proposed Pipeline Easement


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