The Maurepas Pipeline takes its very name from the historic wetlands included in its proposed route. The Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas.
SemGroup is committed to minimizing its environmental impact along the proposed route for the Maurepas Pipeline and will purchase and donate more than 4,700 acres of land to increase the footprint of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area.
Following the pipeline’s construction, the wetlands will be enhanced through plantings and natural re-emergence. As designed, the construction project is anticipated to impact a little less than 500 acres of wetlands in and around the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Approximately 300 of those acres are considered to be temporary impacts and will be re-vegitated and restored after construction. The remaining 200 acres are considered to be a conversion from one type of wetland to another.
In addition, the project involves the purchasing of more 4,700 acres of land adjacent to the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area for a permittee responsible wetlands development project. The project will be planned, maintained and monitored by local wetlands experts in Louisiana to meet long-term success criteria under United States Army Corps of Engineers and Wildlife Management Area agency oversight. Following the wetlands development project, all 4,700 acres of land will be donated to the State of Louisiana to grow the footprint of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area.
In all cases, great care and planning will be taken to reduce and avoid impacts to the environment, including rare or endangered species, historical resources and water crossings. The project, as designed, follows existing pipeline corridors and infrastructure as much as possible in order to minimize impacts to undisturbed land in the area. Recognizing the importance of the natural environment, the project team will execute established techniques designed for the highest quality restoration and enhancement process.
It’s important to note that the Maurepas Pipeline will not impact levees associated with the Mississippi River. These levees will be crossed via Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD), and the pipeline will be approximately 130 feet below the levees. As designed the Mississippi River, Blind River, and various canal crossings will be completed using HDD to avoid impacts to the waterways in the area. The project will also have no impact on the proposed West Shore Lake Pontchartrain flood protection levee.
Pipelines are considered the safest and most efficient method of moving fossil fuels and SemGroup is committed to upholding this standard. The Maurepas Pipeline will replace less reliable modes of crude transportation including trucking, barging and railing that is happening today. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are currently more than 2.6 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines in the United States that deliver 99.9998 percent of their products safely and reliably every day.
SemGroup is dedicated to building pipelines that operate safely and efficiently. We operate and maintain our pipelines in accordance with the requirements of the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA.) Our pipelines include safety features such as, corrosion prevention coating, remote-controlled shutoff valves, continuous, real-time monitoring and regular integrity inspections using state of the art instruments to check for damage.
Our Maurepas Pipeline system will be monitored around the clock at our pipeline control center that is staffed by highly-trained pipeline operators. Information from data points along the pipelines will be sent by satellite to the control center, providing real-time updates on operating conditions. Any sign of a problem on the pipeline will be quickly detected. Our control room will be able to shut down and isolate any section of our pipeline within minutes by remotely stopping the pumps and closing any of the valves along the system. Our local field personnel are also available 24/7 to respond quickly should there be a need.
In the very unlikely event of a spill from our pipelines, SemGroup has relationships with local emergency response contractors with experience in responding to incidents in this environment. SemGroup is fully committed to providing the necessary people and resources to respond quickly, ensure public safety and minimize impact on the environment.
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Compliance is key and SemGroup works to meet or exceed all regulatory requirements established by numerous local and governmental agencies such as: