Underground Construction - June 2020 - 10

NEWSLINE LATEST INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
CEO Michael Hennigan said during a quarterly
conference call with analysts that MPLX is working
with others to optimize existing capacity while
continuing to meet producers' needs for flow
assurance and future growth.
MPLX reiterated that construction is continuing
on two other significant projects in which it has an
ownership interest. The Wink-to-Webster Permian
crude oil project and the Whistler natural gas
pipeline project are both advancing.
The Whistler Pipeline is designed to transport
about 2 Bcfd of natural gas from Waha, Texas, in
the Permian Basin to the Agua Dulce market in
south Texas. It is scheduled for completion in the
second half of 2021.

U.S. Delays Pipeline Approvals
After Environmental Ruling
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended
a nationwide program used to approve oil and
gas pipelines, power lines and other utility work,
spurred by a court ruling that industry representatives warn could slow or halt numerous infrastructure projects over environmental concerns.

The directive from Army Corps headquarters,
detailed in emails obtained by The Associated
Press, comes after a federal court threw out a
blanket permit that companies and public utilities
have used for decades to build projects across
streams and wetlands.
The Trump administration was expected to
challenge the ruling. Meanwhile, officials have put
on hold about 360 pending notifications to entities
approving their use of the permit, Army Corps
spokesman Doug Garman.
Pipeline and electric utility industry representatives said the effects could be widespread if the
suspension lasts, affecting both construction and
maintenance on potentially thousands of projects.
That includes major pipelines like TC Energy's
Keystone XL crude oil line from Canada to the U.S.
Midwest, the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline
in Virginia and power lines from wind turbines and
generating stations in many parts of the U.S.
"The economic consequences to individual
projects are hard to overstate," said Ben Cowan, a
Houston-based attorney with Locke Lord LLP who

EPA Proposes First Ever Rule to Improve Transparency
of Guidance
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is
announcing its first-ever proposed rule to establish
consistent requirements and procedures for the
issuance of guidance documents.
"EPA is proposing a rule that codifies procedures to
ensure the public can engage in the development and
review of agency guidance," said EPA Administrator
Andrew Wheeler. "Historically, EPA has issued many
more guidance documents than most federal agencies. Today's action is a major step toward increasing transparency in EPA processes and ensuring that EPA is not creating new regulatory obligations
through guidance."
This new rule will significantly increase the transparency of EPA's practices around guidance and
will improve the agency's process for managing guidance documents. When final, the rule will:
*	 Establish the first formal petition process for the public to request that EPA modify or withdraw a
guidance document
*	 Ensure that the agency's guidance documents are developed with appropriate review and are
accessible and transparent to the public
*	 Provide for public participation in the development of significant guidance documents.
On Oct. 9, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13891, Promoting the Rule of Law
Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents, to promote transparency by ensuring that all active
guidance documents are made available to the public.
On Feb. 28, 2020, EPA launched a new guidance portal that provides public access to agency
guidance documents.
The proposed rule will be open for public comment 30 days after it publishes in the Federal Register. To access the guidance portal: https://www.epa.gov/guidance

10

represents pipeline and wind energy companies.
"It could be fatal to a number of projects under
construction if they are forced to stop work for an
extended period in order to obtain individual permits."
The Army Corps has broad jurisdiction over U.S.
waterways. It uses the blanket permit to approve
qualifying pipelines and other utility projects after
only minimal environmental review. That is a longstanding sore point for environmentalists who say it
amounts to a loophole in water protection laws and
ignores the cumulative harm caused by thousands
of stream and wetlands crossings
Since the blanket permit in question, known as
Nationwide Permit 12, was last renewed in March
2017, it has been used more than 37,000 times,
Army Corps spokesman Garman said. To qualify,
projects must not cause the loss of more than a
half-acre of water or wetlands.

Eight Texas Cities Partner
for New Water Line
The city of Houston is partnering with seven cities
and water authorities to build a new southeast
transmission line that will transmit up to 75 million
gallons a day (MGD) of surface water from the
Southeast Water Purification Plant.
The new 54-inch water line, which will be completed in 2025, will serve the city of Houston and
its partners, including League City/Gulf Coast Water
Authority, Clear Lake City Water Authority, City of
Webster, City of Friendswood, Baybrook Municipal
Utility District (MUD) No. 1, Harris County MUD No.
55 and City of Pasadena.
Approximately, 10 MGD of water will be distributed to the City of Houston's customers and its
partners will receive 65 MGD of water.
The new water line will replace an aging 42-inch
water line that currently runs from the Southeast
Water Purification Plant to League City's booster
pump station along Highway 3 in Webster. The existing nine-mile water line, constructed in the early
1970s, is nearing the end of its expected design life.
The waterline will be built in four construction
packages. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc.
(LAN), a planning, engineering and program
management firm, will serve as technical advisor,
providing design and easement acquisition
support services.
Houston has selected four firms - Gunda
Corporation, Binkley & Barfield, Inc., Nathelyne A
Kennedy & Associates, Texas American Engineering,
LLC - who will serve as the design engineers on the
four construction packages. *

JUNE 2020 | UConOnline.com

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Underground Construction - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Construction - June 2020

Contents
Underground Construction - June 2020 - FC
Underground Construction - June 2020 - IFC
Underground Construction - June 2020 - Contents
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 4
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 5
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 6
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 7
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 8
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 9
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 10
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 11
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 12
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 13
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 14
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 15
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 16
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 17
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 18
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 19
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 20
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 21
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Underground Construction - June 2020 - IBC
Underground Construction - June 2020 - BC
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