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Pacific Pipeline Project

Aspen managed the preparation of two major environmental documents for the Pacific Pipeline Project.  A proposed 20-inch pipeline was proposed to transport 130,000 barrels per day of crude oil produced offshore Santa Barbara to the Los Angeles area (171 miles in total length). The original EIR prepared by Aspen evaluated an oil pipeline proposed by Pacific Pipeline System, Inc., to carry crude oil from coastal Santa Barbara County (Gaviota), via coastal Ventura County and the Santa Clara River Valley, to refineries in the Wilmington and El Segundo areas of the Los Angeles Basin. 

The revised Pacific Pipeline project, evaluated in an EIS and SEIR, originated in the south­ern San Joaquin Valley and followed the approximate route of Interstate 5 over Tejon Pass and joined the originally proposed route at Castaic Junction in Los Angeles County. Aspen managed eight subcontractors, and coordinated with three counties, more than 20 cities, and many regional, state, and federal agencies, including the Forest Service and US Army Corps of Engineers. The documents evaluated 13 alternatives. Aspen also monitored construction of the project for conformance with adopted mitigation measures.

The documents evaluated 13 alternatives to the proposed project, after considering 28 alternatives in an initial screening process. The alternatives included several pipeline systems; variations on the proposed route; and a No Project Alternative consisting of existing oil transportation systems. Completion of the Pacific Pipeline Project EIR and EIS/SEIR included several comprehensive research and survey efforts in biology, cultural resources, land use, and other issue areas. 

The original EIR consisted of approximately 2,000 pages and included technical appendices covering biological resources, land use, air quality and a detailed set of annotated base maps covering the proposed pipeline route and alternative route alignments. These appendices included a Biological Assessment that was reviewed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game. Over 1,500 separate comments were submitted during the public review period of the Draft EIR; Aspen’s Final EIR included a response to each comment in a section of nearly 800 pages. The Final EIR was delivered within an extremely tight schedule, on time for the scheduled certification date.

Both documents required major public participation programs, in which significant input was received from numerous local and State agencies and many public interest groups. Aspen conducted over 20 public hearings and workshops, managed a community outreach program consisting of news releases in several languages, distributed a separately bound Executive Summary in a Spanish language edition, and prepared an 800-page section containing over 1,500 comments and responses. Aspen developed an informational brochure (background report in two languages), newspaper announcements, and a one-page “Summary of Components of the Project and Alternatives.”

Practice areas: Energy

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