Bountiful residents believe federal regulators have ignored their feelings in a environmental impact statement released this week that says the government still favors building a high-pressure natural gas pipeline near their homes.
"They (federal officials) are concerned about high-powered environmentalists. There are so many other ways to go other than route through a metropolitan area," said Renee Coon, spokeswoman for a group of residents.The supplemental impact statement was prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and California State Lands Commission as part of the process to select a natural gas system that would produce steam in California oil fields. The steam would be injected into oil wells to increase output.
The impact statement says that the originally proposed Wasatch Variation of the WyCal pipeline route, from western Wyoming to oil fields in southern California, is preferred. The statement was issued after comparing alternate routes through Centerville, Farmington or along Bountiful Boulevard to the original proposal.
The alternatives were suggested by South Davis officials after initial opposition was expressed to the plan at a public hearing in April. Officials and residents were concerned that the pipeline could ruin watershed, scar the mountainside and would pass uncomfortably close to residential areas in Bountiful, North Salt Lake and West Valley City.
"I think it is all show," Coon said of the hearing process and environmental statement. "We're not through fighting."
The original Wasatch Variation was proposed because of land stability problems in routing the pipeline through Summit, Wasatch and Utah counties. The U.S. Forest Service rejected the proposal because of the environmental impact in the Uinta National Forest.
If the plan were implemented, a 30-inch line would run from South Davis County in the valley near the North Salt Lake Refinery area and veer south on a utility corridor about 56th West. The Federal Energy Commission is studying three other proposals, including two to pipe natural gas from Arizona to California.
A public hearing on the draft supplemental statement will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 in Las Vegas another meeting will follow Aug. 23 at the State Office Building.
Officials are particularly interested in comments from officials and residents of Salt Lake Valley cities about the three alternate routes to the Wasatch Variation. They are:
* Bountiful Boulevard Alternative. The pipeline would parallel Mountain Fuel lines down Ward Canyon and then be buried under Bountiful Boulevard and go west into North Salt Lake. It then would follow existing power lines. The pipeline could threaten present and future residential development in the area.
* Pages/Porter Lane Alternative. This pipeline would parallel Mountain Fuel lines down Ward Canyon and either be buried under Pages or Porter lanes before crossing I-15. It would follow existing power lines into West Valley City. Officials say 125 homes, a school and a commercial center exist within 100 feet of the proposed route.
* Bountiful Peak Alternative. At the Morgan-Davis County line the pipeline would head northwest to the south side of Bountiful Peak along a jeep trail. From Bountiful Peak the pipeline could proceed to the west along the ridgeline between Davis Creek and Ford Canyon. It would cross I-15 near south Farmington and would follow power lines.
Federal officials say it could cause future problems for Farmington and promote landslides.