Questar Southern System Expansion Project II
Questar Pipeline Company transports natural gas in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, and its system interconnects with other pipeline systems to provide natural gas throughout the western United States. Growing demand for natural gas prompted Questar to increase capacity along the southern portion of its extensive pipeline system. While any pipeline project requires environmental approval prior to construction, this project presented significant challenges because the proposed route cut directly through the historical and environmentally significant areas such as Nine Mile Canyon.
Questar turned to us for help with required environmental surveys and studies to gain FERC approval as well as a comprehensive public outreach program. The overall project encompassed management of a multitude of field studies, ranging from palentological to biological to cultural resources and visual impact surveys to complete the FERC environmental report and a draft environmental assessment. The steep, rocky slopes of the canyon presented challenges and led us to use innovative ways to gather data, from using helicopters to search for active raptor nests areas to hiking deep into the canyon looking for evidence of the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl to trekking to 9,000-feet in search of the tiny but endangered Uinta Basin Hookless Cactus.