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Comments accepted on proposed Nine Mile Canyon natural gas line

Published: Friday, Dec. 30 2011 5:44 p.m. MST

This file photo taken Oct. 26, 2010, shows the Sand Hill Crane panel in Nine Mile Canyon, Utah.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News archives

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NINE MILE CANYON  — Comments are being accepted until mid-January on a proposed, low-pressure natural gas line in Nine Mile Canyon.

The Peter's Point Loop Line proposed by Bill Barrett Corp. had been under protest by some canyon ranch owners who contended the pipeline would disrupt agricultural activities such as haying and pose potential impacts to valued archaeological resources that include ancient rock art.

The route under consideration, however, has been altered and the seven-mile steel pipeline is not anticipated to be as disruptive as initially proposed.

A right-of-way application is under review by the Bureau of Land Management, which conducted an environmental assessment and came to the preliminary conclusion that the project would not have any significant impacts. The comments solicited now will help the agency reach a final conclusion on granting the right-of-way application.

Part of the mitigation offered in the construction of the 20-inch-diameter pipeline is to start construction in the winter months to reduce the effects of dust on the rock art panels. In addition, the wintertime installation would occur at a time when recreational and research visits to the canyon are less frequent, resulting in fewer impacts to canyon travel.

The BLM released an environmental assessment earlier this month and is giving the public until Jan. 15 to review the document and submit any comments. The pipeline, which would be parallel to an existing pipeline for six miles, is necessary for Bill Barrett Corp's  expanded gas and drilling operations in the West Tavaputs Plateau.

The pipeline would cross BLM land and state-owned trust lands, in addition to some private property. Three miles of the pipeline would be buried. The total surface disturbance area is estimated at 42 acres.

An archaeological inventory was conducted and concluded 45 potential sites or artifacts would be avoided "with no historic properties affected," according to the analysis.

Still, under the project proposed by Bill Barrett Corp., all pipeline construction in the canyon where the pipe would be buried would be monitored by an archaeologist. The company will also use dust inhibitors on any unpaved roads to further minimize the impacts of any dust caused during construction.

Written comments can be submitted to UT_Price_Comments@blm.gov or at Bureau of Land Management Price Field Office, Attn: Patricia Clabaugh, 125 S. 600 West, Price, UT 84501.

Those wishing to comment should reference the Peter's Point Loop EA.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com Twitter: amyjoi16

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