In August 2005, Kleinfelder began the complex National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to evaluate potential environmental impacts from Bill Barrett Corporation’s proposed full-field natural gas development of the 137,930-acre West Tavaputs Plateau (WTP) natural gas field in Carbon and Duchesne Counties, Utah. The Environmental Impact Statement for this high-profile, full-field development project evaluated the proposed development of up to 807 natural gas wells and associated roads, pipeline, and other well infrastructure.
The WTP project area’s proximity many sensitive sites including—the culturally renowned Nine Mile Canyon, a Wilderness Study Area, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, habitat for several threatened and endangered species, a national historic landmark, a scenic byway, a designated Wild and Scenic River, and other sensitive resources—garnered intense public and agency interest. This necessitated consulting effort far beyond the typical oil and gas NEPA document and heightened public and agency involvement.
As the third-party contractor, Kleinfelder worked in concert with local, state, and Washington DC BLM offices, 12 formal and informal cooperating agencies, the proponent, and the public to develop alternatives that met the purpose and need for the project, while responding to concerns identified during scoping. As part of the impact analysis process, Kleinfelder developed an engineered directional drilling evaluation, a geographic information system (GIS)-based habitat fragmentation model, visual simulations, a transportation plan, and in-depth air quality modeling. Additionally, Kleinfelder addressed 58,000 letters received during the public comment period.
Through dedicated collaboration with our client and the agencies, Kleinfelder helped secure a Record of Decision for this large-scale, highly scrutinized, programmatic natural gas project in less than five years—more than two years ahead of the anticipated timeline.