FEIS Volume 4 - 4.7 Cumulative Effects
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4.7 Cumulative Effects 4.7.1 Introduction 220.127.116.11 Approach Cumulative Effects Cumulative effects result from the These effects constitute the impact on the incremental impact of the proposed action and environment that results from the alternatives when added to other past, present, incremental impact of the action under and reasonably foreseeable future actions, consideration when added to other past, regardless of what government agency or private present, and reasonably foreseeable future entity undertakes such actions. Cumulative actions, regardless of what agency (federal effects can result from individually minor impacts or nonfederal) or person undertakes such other actions (40 CFR 1508.7). that when viewed collectively over space and time can produce significant impacts. For clarity in presenting the issues related to action and cumulative impacts, including the TAPS operation under renewal, the proposed alternatives. action has been carefully defined. This was done to focus attention on the conditions under which For this EIS, the relationship between the the TAPS might continue to operate. proposed action (30-year renewal) and the less- Nevertheless, there are a number of other than-30-year renewal alternative is primarily one actions, significant in geographic extent and of time dependency. Because the other actions economic scope, that directly or indirectly evaluated for cumulative impacts with the depend on or take advantage of the operations proposed action could also all occur within the of the TAPS. These actions include, but are not next 10 to 15 years, they were included in limited to, petroleum development and assessing cumulative impacts with the less- production, petroleum refining, and petroleum than-30-year alternative. The less-than-30-year transportation beyond the boundaries of the alternative differs somewhat from the proposed TAPS. For this EIS, such actions are assessed action in that, for a short renewal period, and included in this section on cumulative uncertainities associated with future renewals impacts, together with other actions that may might result in some reductions in investments in have similar impacts to continued TAPS future North Slope oil exploration and operations. This approach was used to allow the development. For the cumulative analysis, this decision maker to view the overall environmental time-dependent effect is considered highly impacts of all actions in the cases where TAPS speculative and could vary widely under different operations continued and in the case of the no- economic conditions, including projected future action alternative. demand for petroleum products. The cumulative impact analysis assumes that, for the life of The approach used in this cumulative impact TAPS renewal, North Slope activities would assessment is to first evaluate the cumulative remain within the upper and lower bounds impacts of all actions, including the proposed necessary to sustatin the range of TAPS oil action and other reasonably foreseeable future transport assessed elsewhere in this EIS for the actions. Then the degree to which the proposed proposed action. For the cumulative analysis it action contributes to those impacts is presented. was also assumed that at the end of a less-than- Finally, the cumulative impacts of the 30-year renewal period, either an additional alternatives (less-than-30-year renewal and no renewal period would be granted or the TAPS action), together with other reasonably operation would be terminated and pipeline foreseeable actions, are discussed. facilities removed. Comparisons are then made between cumulative impacts including the proposed 4.7-1 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-2 For this EIS, the relationship of the proposed cumulative impact analysis is defined by the action to the no action alternative is reversed specific resource or receptor of concern and the from the usual situation found in NEPA analyses spatial extent of the interacting (cumulative) of proposed actions for new facilities or new impact generators. The temporal extent of the plans. For this EIS, the proposed action is cumulative analysis extends from the past reauthorization, and the potential impacts would history of impacts to each receptor through the be largely related to forecasts of future anticipated life of the project, including additional continuing operations of an existing system. At time necessary for decommissioning and the time of grant expiration, this system will have restoration, if appropriate. In many cases, the been in operation for 30 years following 3 years past history of impacts of human activities are of construction, and its impacts have received reflected in the description of the existing continuous study. For this EIS, the no-action environment in Chapter 3. alternative (the alternative in which the responsible agency takes no action on the Cumulative impact analysis, by definition, proposal to reauthorize continued operations) incorporates an extensive range of potential could trigger a new action, which is to cease stressors and thus provides a decision maker operating and remove the existing system. The and the public with an overview of the condition no-action alternative has not received detailed (past, present, future) of a receptor or resource engineering and environmental study, and its within a regional or landscape context. A broader description is less well developed than the overview of the set of potential impacts to a proposed action description. Nevertheless, the resource allows the decision maker to place the major steps triggered by the no-action direct and indirect impacts of the proposed alternative are known and can be analyzed action within the context of other potential sufficiently to provide a comparison with the stressors. proposed action. The no-action alternative involves many major activities, including The Council on Environmental Quality construction-like activities; removal of facilities discussed the assessment of cumulative effects would require a large workforce and generate in detail in its report entitled Considering large amounts of wastes. In addition, other Cumulative Effects under the National actions, including industries that depend upon Environmental Policy Act (CEQ 1997). Although the TAPS operation, would be affected. The it is not formal guidance, the handbook provides assessment of the no-action alternative in assistance in developing an analysis. The Section 4.6 concludes that in most cases, the handbook identifies 10 steps for assessing environmental impacts of the no-action cumulative impacts prior to implementation of a alternative would result in a greater change in proposal. These steps are listed here and in impacts to the existing environment than the Figure 4.7-1. impacts of the proposed action. Where this 1. Identify the significant cumulative cumulative impact assessment (Section 4.7) effects issues associated with the differs from the earlier impact sections, is that proposed action and define the the resultant effect of no action on other assessment goals. reasonably foreseeable future actions is also considered in the impact assessment. The 2. Establish the geographic scope for operation of the TAPS supports and is a the analysis. requirement for other ongoing activities, and is an integral part of the Alaskan economy. 3. Establish the time frame for the analysis. 18.104.22.168 Method 4. Identify other actions affecting the resources, ecosystems, and human The analysis of cumulative impacts focuses communities of concern. on specific human resources or environmental receptors that can be affected by the incremental 5. Characterize the resources, eco- impacts. Generally, the geographic area for a systems, and human communities 4.7-3 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Define Goals: CEQ Step 1 (Sections 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199) Establish Region of Interest and Time Frame: CEQ Steps 2 and 3 (Sections 4.7.2 and 4.7.3) Identify Other Actions: CEQ Step 4 (Section 4.7.4) Characterize Resources and Baseline Conditions: CEQ Steps 5 and 7 (Chapter 3 and Section 4.1) Identify Stresses, Cause, and Effect: CEQ Steps 6 and 8 (Sections 4.7.5, 3, and 4.1 – 4.6) Impacts of Proposed Action Impacts of and Alternatives Other Actions (Sections 4.3 – 4.6) Determine Cumulative Effects; Need to Modify, Avoid, and Mitigate: CEQ Steps 9 and 10 (Sections 4.7.6 – 4.7.8) JKA50204 FIGURE 4.7-1 Cumulative Assessment Approach for This EIS identified during scoping in terms of 8. Identify the important cause-and- their response to change and effect relationships between human capacity to withstand stresses. activities and resources, ecosystems, and human 6. Characterize the stresses affecting communities. these resources, ecosystems, and human communities and their 9. Determine the magnitude and relation to regulatory thresholds. significance of cumulative effects. 7. Define baseline conditions for the 10. Modify or add alternatives to avoid, resources, ecosystems, and human minimize, or mitigate significant communities. cumulative effects. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-4 The approach used for the cumulative defined. This region should not be limited to just impact assessment discussed in this EIS the location of the proposed action but should includes the 10 steps identified in the CEQ also take into account the distance that effects approach (Figure 4.7-1). Cumulative effect may travel and the regional characteristics of the issues were initially identified during scoping affected resources. and in consultations with Alaska Native groups (Step 1), as discussed in Chapters 1 and 2. The cumulative impact analysis in this EIS Additional issues and actions were added later considers past, present, and future actions that as they were identified. Next in the analysis, the previously occurred, occur now, or are expected region of interest (Step 2) and the time frame to occur near the TAPS or within the areas (Step 3) were established. Then other actions affected by the TAPS. Table 4.7-1 summarizes that previously had, now have, or would have the regions of interest examined for cumulative similar impacts to those of the proposed action effects for different subjects. For the purposes of were identified (Step 4). The affected the physical and ecological environment environment described in Chapter 3 was used to analyses in this EIS, these areas include the characterize the resources, ecosystems, and (1) Beaufort Sea, (2) North Slope, (3) Interior human communities of concern (Step 5); Alaska, and (4) Prince William Sound, and characterize the past and present stresses (5) the Gulf of Alaska and Pacific Ocean tanker affecting these elements (Step 6); and establish routes to west coast and Asian ports (Volume 7, baseline conditions (Step 7). Both the proposed Map 4.7-1). action and other actions would generate similar factors that could cause impacts to the physical, Actions and impacts in the Beaufort Sea and ecological, human, and/or economic North Slope are described for an area extending environment. These individual contributions from Barrow in the west to the U.S./Canadian were evaluated (Step 8) and aggregated, and it border (east of the Arctic National Wildlife is this aggregate (the total contributions from all Refuge [ANWR]) in the east and from the actions to the impacting factor) that was used to Beaufort Sea in the north to the crest of the assess the cumulative effect (Step 9). Brooks Range in the south. This area includes the ranges of migratory mammal species that Cumulative impacts can be additive, less could be impacted by the TAPS and by North than additive, or more than additive (synergistic). Slope petroleum development activities, and it In cases where the contributions of individual also includes communities that would be actions to an impacting factor were uncertain or affected by impacts to these important not well known, a qualitative evaluation of subsistence resources and by employment cumulative impacts was necessary. A qualitative impacts (Map 4.7-2). evaluation of cumulative effects covered the locations of actions, times they would occur, Interior Alaska includes areas adjacent to degrees to which the impacted resource is at the TAPS, from the crest of the Brooks Range in risk, and potential for long-term and/or the north to Thompson Pass near Valdez in the synergistic effects. Recommendations for future south. It also includes nearby portions of the modifications to the alternatives and the means Yukon River drainage west of the TAPS and the for future monitoring or mitigation of effects were Copper River drainage east of the TAPS identified if needed (Step 10). A further because they might be affected by a petroleum discussion of the approach used for cumulative spill (Map 4.7-3). effects analysis is found in Appendix A, With regard to Prince William Sound and Section A.16. Copper River delta and adjacent lands, this area is affected by activities at the end of the TAPS, including activities associated with the Valdez 4.7.2 Regions of Interest Marine Terminal and tanker transport of oil In order to determine which actions should through the sound. Tanker routes through the be included in a cumulative effects analysis in Gulf of Alaska to the U.S. West Coast and to the this EIS, the region of interest must first be Eastern Pacific are included for the purpose of addressing the potential impacts of oil 4.7-5 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-1 Regions of Interest for the Cumulative Assessment Beaufort Sea/ Alaska North Interior/ Prince William Gulf of Alaska/ State of Slope TAPS ROW Sound/Valdez Pacific Ocean Alaska Soils and permafrost X X Sand, gravel, and quarry resources X X Paleontology X X X Surface water resources X X X Groundwater resources X X X Physical marine environment X X Air quality X X X Noise X X X Transportation X X Wastes X X X Human health and safety X X X Terrestrial vegetation and wetlands X X X Fish X X X Birds and mammals X X X X Threatened and endangered species X X X X Subsistence X X X X Sociocultural systems X X X Economics X Cultural resources X X X Land use and coastal zone management X X X Recreation, wilderness, and aesthetics X X X Environmental justice X X X X transportation on marine and coastal resources 4.7.3 Time Frames of Actions (Map 4.7-4). For the purposes of the economic analysis 188.8.131.52 Reasonably in this EIS, the region of interest for cumulative Foreseeable Future impact analysis is considered to be the entire State of Alaska. This is because the economic Actions implications of the TAPS and North Slope A cumulative impact analysis should petroleum development are statewide. In incorporate the sum of the effects of past, addition, a natural gas transportation pipeline present, and future actions, because the past would also have impacts on the state’s economy influences the future, and impacts may through employment, expenditures, and fees. accumulate or develop over time. The future ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-6 actions specifically and generally described in United States. The proposal for a natural gas this cumulative analysis are those that are pipeline from the North Slope oil fields into the “reasonably foreseeable.” As a general rule, time Mackenzie Delta would not be permitted under frames for these actions fall within a planning existing Alaska regulations dealing with rights- horizon of less than the proposed action. These of-way through state lands. Neither of these actions have either already occurred, are proposals is considered in this cumulative ongoing, are currently being implemented, are effects analysis. funded for future implementation, or are included in firm near-term plans. They are discussed One proposal, which would otherwise have further in Section 4.7.4. Types of proposals with been included in this cumulative effect analysis firm near-term plans include these: because environmental analysis has been completed, is also considered uncertain and 1. Proposals for which NEPA speculative at this time. This is the Liberty documents are in preparation or Project, designed to develop offshore oil finalized; reserves in the Beaufort Sea. It no longer has the support of its proponent. 2. Proposals in a detailed design phase; Another speculative proposal by the State of Alaska for a permanent road west of Prudhoe 3. Proposals listed in formal Notices of Bay to the Village of Nuisqut on the Coville River Intent published in the Federal has been talked about, but does not now have Register or state publications; legislative or administrative approval or funding. This action is also considered uncertain and 4. Proposals that are funded; speculative and it is not included in the cumulative analysis. 5. Proposals for which enabling legislation has been passed; and 6. Proposals that have been submitted 4.7.4 Types of Actions to federal and state regulators to Table 4.7-2 lists the potential cumulative begin the permitting process. actions considered in this TAPS EIS. These actions include those of various federal and state 184.108.40.206 Proposals Considered agencies, communities, and individuals. The actions listed in the table include past, present, but Excluded and future actions in the region of interest. Both Proposals that are in early stages of actions related to the TAPS and actions development and potential projects described in unrelated to TAPS are described. Uncertain or long-range planning documents are considered speculative actions are not required to be uncertain and speculative. These include the included. Cumulative effects are not limited to high-visibility and controversial proposal the actions of one agency, one type of currently being discussed in Alaska and organization, or individuals. Because several throughout North America for oil and gas agencies or individuals can create a similar type production in the ANWR. The proposal to of environmental effect, all agencies and develop oil and gas production in ANWR, while it individuals having the same effect are included. has strong proponents, is currently not feasible The actions listed in Table 4.7-2 are listed by under existing regulations and laws. This region. Because actions in the Beaufort Sea, on proposal has not reached a state of development the coast, or in upland North Slope areas might where legislative approval, regulatory review, affect more than one of these areas, they are funding, or permitting has begun. Another such listed together. Actions related to petroleum proposal is for the construction and operation of transportation through the Gulf of Alaska and on a natural gas pipeline along a northern route to destination ports are also listed together. through the Beaufort Sea into the Mackenzie However, when appropriate, certain cumulative Delta and from there to southern Canada and the impact analyses may consider impacts in the TABLE 4.7-2 Potential Contributions to Cumulative Effects in the Beaufort Sea, North Slope, Interior Alaska, and Prince William Sound Prince William Sound; Pacific Region Type of Action Beaufort Sea/North Slope Interior Transportation Routes Oil and gas exploration, • Locations (producing • Locations (undeveloped) • None development, and and undeveloped) - Copper River production - Alpine - Hemi Springs - Sagavanirktok River - Mid-Tanana - Badami - Kavik - Sandpiper - Burger - Kalubik - Schrader Bluff - Cascade - Kuvlum - Sikulik - Colville Delta-North - Kuparuk River - Simpson (Nanuq) - Lisburne - South Barrow - Colville Delta- - Meade - Sourdough South (fiord) - Mikkelson - Square Lake - East Barrow - Midnight Sun - Stinson - East Kurupa - Milne Point - Tabasco 4.7-7 - East Umiat - Niakuk - Tarn - Eider - North Prudhoe Bay - Thetis Island - Endicott - Northstar - Ugnu - Fish Creek - Prudhoe Bay - Umiat ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES - Flaxman - Pt. McIntyre - Walakpa - Gubik - Pt. Thomson - West Beach - Gwydyr Bay - Sag Delta - West Sak - Hammerhead - Sag Delta North - Wolf Creek • Facilities and infrastructure - Central production facilities (CPFs) - Gas processing plants - Seawater treatment plants - Carrier pipelines - Power plants - Service industries at Deadhorse - Gravel sources - Roads - Landing strips - Waste treatment ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-2 (Cont.) Prince William Sound; Pacific Region Type of Action Beaufort Sea/North Slope Interior Transportation Routes Oil refining • Prudhoe Bay • Williams Alaska Petroleum • Petro Star (Valdez) • Kuparuk (North Pole) • Petro Star (North Pole) Oil and refined product • TAPS pump stations • Williams Terminal • Valdez Marine storage • Prudhoe Bay (Fairbanks International Terminal • Kuparuk Airport) • Communities • Communities • TAPS Pump Stations • Communities Oil and gas • TAPS • TAPS • TAPS transportation • Natural gas pipeline • Natural gas pipeline • Interconnection of • Carrier pipelines • Interconnections of the the TAPS to Petro • Fuel transfer from barges and other vessels TAPS to Williams and Star Refinery 4.7-8 Petro Star Refineries • Valdez Marine Methane hydrates (North Pole) Terminal • Prudhoe Bay research • Oil tanker • Kuparuk operations • Natural gas pipeline Human habitation and • Towns and villages • Cities, towns, villages • Cities, towns, development - Anaktuvuk Pass - Arctic Village villages - Atqasuk - Beaver - Chenega Bay - Barrow - Chalkyitsik - Cordova - Deadhorse Chicken - Eyak - Kaktovik - Chistochina - Tatitlek - Nuiqsut - Chitina - Tonsina - Coldfoot and Wiseman - Valdez • North Slope Borough - Copper Center - Whittier - Delta Junction - Eagle • Kenai Peninsula - Evansville/Bettles - Borough - Fort Yukon - Gakona TABLE 4.7-2 (Cont.) Prince William Sound; Pacific Region Type of Action Beaufort Sea/North Slope Interior Transportation Routes Human habitation and - Glennallen development (Cont.) - Gulkana - Livengood - Manley Hot Springs - McCarthy - Paxson - Rampart - Slana - Stevens Village - Tanana - Venetie • Fairbanks-North Star 4.7-9 Borough Transportation • Air fields and strips • Air fields and strips • Air fields and strips • Dalton Highway • Railroads • Railroads ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES • Private and commercial watercraft • Alaska Highway • Roads • Dalton Highway • Marine Terminals • Richardson Highway • Alaska Marine • Other roads Highway • Private and commercial • Personal and watercraft commercial - Watercraft - Fishing vessels - Tour boats - Container and bulk carriers ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-2 (Cont.) Prince William Sound; Pacific Region Type of Action Beaufort Sea/North Slope Interior Transportation Routes Legislative actions • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act • Alaska Native Claims • Alaska Native related to land use • Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act Settlement Act Claims Settlement • Federal Coastal Zone Management Act • Alaska National Interest Act • Alaska Coastal Zone Management Act Lands Conservation Act • Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act • Federal Coastal Zone Management Act • Alaska Coastal Zone Management Act • Prince William Sound Regional Advisory Board 4.7-10 Land management • U.S. Department of the Interior • U.S. Department of the • U.S. Department of • North Slope Borough (Coastal Zone Management Program and Interior the Interior Comprehensive Plan) • U.S. Department of • U.S. Department of • Native corporations Agriculture Agriculture • Alaska Department of • Alaska Department Natural Resources of Natural • Dalton Highway Advisory Resources Board • Military • Military • City of Valdez - Ft. Greely (Delta • Native corporations Junction) - Ft. Wainwright (Fairbanks) - Eielson Air Force Base (near Fairbanks) • North Star Borough • Native corporations TABLE 4.7-2 (Cont.) Prince William Sound; Pacific Region Type of Action Beaufort Sea/North Slope Interior Transportation Routes Natural resource use • Subsistence • Subsistence • Subsistence • Recreational development • Recreational • Recreational - Tourism development development - Hunting and fishing - Tourism - Tourism • Mining (gravel) - Hunting, fishing - Hunting, fishing - Pipeline viewing areas - Pipeline viewing - Campgrounds areas - Boat launches - Campgrounds - Visitor centers - Boat launches, • Commercial development harbors • Commercial fishing - Visitor centers • Mining (minerals, gravel) • Commercial development 4.7-11 • Logging • Commercial fishing • Mining (minerals) • Logging ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Petroleum spills • Production and exploration • Transportation • Transportation • Transportation ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-12 Beaufort Sea and the North Slope separately, plants, carrier pipelines, power plants, gravel depending on the distribution of the affected sources, roads, landing strips, and service resources. Similar actions have been grouped industries. Oil development and production sites together and listed by type in Table 4.7-2. on the North Slope and in the Beaufort Sea use Included are various actions associated with the different technologies as a function of the time petroleum industry, human habitation (these they were constructed and their remoteness from actions include various human and industrial existing logistics sites. However, a generalized activities), transportation, legislation affecting diagram is presented in Figure 4.7-2. Over the land control and use, land management 35-year interval since the first wells were drilled activities and plans, natural resource use, and at Prudhoe Bay, the technology and operating petroleum spills. practices have changed considerably, resulting in a reduction in the size of the sites (details can be found in the web site presentation, “Arctic 220.127.116.11 Oil and Gas Explora- Energy”) (BP 2002a). Facilities enabled in tion, Development, and remote locations, such as offshore, vary in Production configuration from those closer to principal infrastructure centers. 18.104.22.168.1 Resources. Oil and gas Future producing sites would be connected exploration, development, and production have via a pipeline to the oil transfer network linked been ongoing for a number of years on the North with the TAPS. The fields in the Prudhoe Bay Slope (see Map 4.7-5). The state of Alaska area are serviced via the road network in that currently estimates that the North Slope oil area. Nearshore operations, such as Endicott, reserves contain 12.8 billion bbl (ADNR 2000a). are connected to the road network via The federal government estimates that an causeways. Offshore operations, such as North additional 22.5 billion bbl of oil and Star, and potential new fields in the Beaufort Sea 22.5 trillion ft3 of natural gas are contained in the are or would be connected to shore only by air Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. An estimated and marine transport. The newer onshore fields 2.1 billion bbl of oil and 8.5 trillion ft3 of gas are outside the existing road network, such as contained in NPR-A, and between 5.7 and Alpine, are not connected to other oil fields by a 16 billion bbl of oil are contained in structures permanent gravel road; instead, winter ice roads under the coastal plain of ANWR. While are used to move heavy equipment and development within ANWR cannot be assumed, materials. Aircraft and marine transport, where it is likely that oil and gas exploration, practical, are used to transport changing crews development, and production will continue on the and lighter cargo items. North Slope, including NPR-A and offshore. Well pads are gravel pads containing the Current and projected oil and gas wellheads and the equipment and personnel exploration, development and production are required to get oil out of the ground into summarized in Table 4.7-3 (National Energy gathering lines, to processing facilities, then into Policy Development Group 2001). In addition to carrier pipelines. Drill sites (or production the areas listed in the table, the Mid-Tanana and stations) are both individually smaller and fewer Copper River Basins in the Interior Alaska are in number to produce a given deposit. Well being studied to determine their oil and gas spacing is tighter, both because drilling potential, and lease sales are planned. Research technology has improved and because earlier is also ongoing on the North Slope to concerns about potential well damage caused by characterize methane hydrate deposits. permafrost melting have been resolved. A wider subsurface area can now be reached from a smaller, single surface location through 22.214.171.124.2 Facilities and directional drilling, and multilateral and Infrastructure. Petroleum production horizontal drilling techniques expand the oil involves a number of ancillary facilities and reservoir that can be reached by a single well. supporting infrastructures, including well pads, Theoretically, a single drill site of 8 acres which gas processing plants, seawater treatment TABLE 4.7-3 Oil Fields Located in Alaska and the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf Projected Began End of Field Unit Product Status Operator Production Production Alpine Colville River Oil Producing Phillips Alaska, Inc. 2000 Badami Badami Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. 1998 2008 gas Burger Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Undeveloped Shell gas Cascade Milne Point Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. 1996 Colville Delta Colville Oil Undeveloped Phillips Alaska, Inc. East Barrow Gas Producing North Slope Borough 1981 East Kurupa Gas Undeveloped East Umiat Gas Shut UMC Petroleum Eider Duck Island Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. 1998 Endicott Duck Island Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. 1987 4.7-13 Fiord Colville River Oil Undeveloped Phillips Alaska, Inc. Fish Creek NPR-A Oil Undeveloped Flaxman Point Thomson Oil Undeveloped ExxonMobil Gubik Gas Undeveloped Gwydyr Bay Oil Undeveloped BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Hammerhead Outer Continental Shelf Oil Undeveloped Chevron Hemi Springs Oil Undeveloped Kalubik Oil Undeveloped Phillips Alaska, Inc. Kavik Gas Undeveloped Phillips Alaska, Inc. Kuparuk River Kuparuk River (Greater Oil and Producing Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1981 Kurak Area) Kura gas Kuukpik Kuukpik Oil and Exploration Phillips Alaska, Inc. gas Kuvlum Outer Continental Shelf Oil Undeveloped Chevron Liberty Outer Continental Shelf Oil Undeveloped BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. Lisburne Prudhoe Bay Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.; Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1986 gas Meade NPR-A Gas Undeveloped Midnight Sun Prudhoe Bay Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.; Phillips Alaska, Inc. Mikkelson Oil Undeveloped ExxonMobil; Phillips Alaska, Inc. TABLE 4.7-3 (Cont.) ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Projected Began End of Field Unit Product Status Operator Production Production Milne Point Milne Point Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc; 1985 gas Niakuk Prudhoe Bay Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.; Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1994 North Prudhoe Prudhoe Bay Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.; Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1993 2006 Bay gas Northstar Northstar Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc; 2001 2015 gas Point McIntyre Prudhoe Bay Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.; Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1993 gas Point Thomson Oil and Undeveloped ExxonMobil gas Prudhoe Bay Prudhoe Bay Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.; Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1977 Sag Delta Duck Island Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. 1989 North 4.7-14 Sagavanirktok Milne Point Oil Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. 1994 River Sandpiper Outer Continental Shelf Oil Undeveloped Murphy Schrader Bluff Milne Point Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. 1991 gas Sikulik Gas Undeveloped North Slope Borough Simpson NPR-A Oil Undeveloped Sourdough Point Thomson Oil Undeveloped BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. South Barrow Gas Producing North Slope Borough Square Lake NPR-A Gas Undeveloped Stinson Oil Undeveloped Phillips Alaska, Inc. Tabasco Kaparuk River (Greater Oil and Producing Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1999 Kurak Area) Kura gas Tarn Kaparuk River (Greater Oil and Producing Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1999 Kurak Area) Kura gas Thetis Island Oil Undeveloped Anardarko Ugnu Kaparuk River (Greater Oil Undeveloped Phillips Alaska, Inc. Kurak Area) Kura TABLE 4.7-3 (Cont.) Projected Began End of Field Unit Product Status Operator Production Production Umiat Oil Producing U.S. Department of the Interior Walakpa Oil Producing North Slope Borough 1992 West Beach Prudhoe Bay Oil and Producing BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.; Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1994 2016 gas West Sak Kuparuk River (Greater Oil Producing Phillips Alaska, Inc. 1998 Kurak Area) Kura Wolf Creek NPR-A Gas Undeveloped Source: ADNR (2000a). 4.7-15 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Prudhoe Bay Central Seawater Seawater Gas Facility Central Treatment Plant Injection Plant Compressor Plant Valdez Miscible Gas for Injection Gas Injection Wells Gas Return Gas Seawater NGL Pump Station (one of nine) Produced Water Beaufort Sea Trans-Alaska Pipeline Flow Station Drillsite Manifold Building Pump Station No.1 Approx. 1800' Permafrost How we get the oil from the Produced Water (EOR) Miscible Gas (EOR) & Water 4.7-16 E O R) ground to the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Seawater ( Crude oil at Prudhoe Bay is located in the Sadlerochit Gas, Oil zone, a sandstone formation at approximately 9,000 feet below the earth's surface. Pressure from the formation, pushes the crude up a well to the surface where a wellhead controls the flow of crude. Wellheads are located on gravel drillsites and are covered by a well Gas Cap house for worker and equipment protection against the harsh arctic environment. From here the crude flows through the manifold building, also located on the drill Oil deposits Approx. site, where oil/gas/water ratio is determined. Crude then Oil 9,000' below surface travels to a processing center and is separated into oil, gas and water. Natural gas is sent to the gas handling facilities for reinjection back into the field. Produced Water Water water is sent back to the drillsites and reinjected into the formation to help in the oil recovery. Oil continues its journey to Alyeska's Pump Station 1 to begin its 800 mile trip to Valdez. JKA50205 FIGURE 4.7-2 Generalized Schematic of Prudhoe Bay Oil Production (Source: BP 2002b) 4.7-17 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES is large even by Prudhoe Bay standards could separated from the oil. Each oil-gas-water cover a subsurface area that is 8 mi in diameter separation facility is equipped with gas (more than 32,000 acres) (BP 2002a). detection, fire, and trouble alarm systems; several fire suppression systems; and fire water Site-specific conditions and available storage tanks. Each facility can also flare natural technology dictate the facilities’ requirements gas when the need arises to rapidly shut down a and the size of the site footprint. Small fields with facility (BLM 1998). a single production pad and airstrip could have a footprint of approximately 50 acres. Larger fields The maintenance of existing oil fields and with multiple pads and service roads could have the development of new fields require continued footprints of up 200 acres. The newer production support activities, including the extraction of sites have well spacings of 10 to 20 ft on a pad gravel from borrow areas and the use of local (well spacings for older sites were 120 to 160 ft). water supplies, except where salt water can be Some of these wells are needed for reinjecting used. To maintain existing facilities, these gas, water, or other fluids into the oil reservoir to resources would likely be used at the current improve oil recovery or for disposal of produced rate. The pace of new development would water into other authorized formations. The determine if additional personnel and logistics number of wellheads per production pad is support beyond the current levels would be determined by the economics and geology needed on the North Slope. However, new associated with developing the oil reservoir. development would require the transport of additional equipment and materials to, and The number of pads needed depends on the within, the North Slope and Beaufort Sea areas. methods of drilling and the depth to the oil reservoir. Conventional, vertically drilled wells It is possible that sources of gravel for the have a horizontal distance (reach)-to-depth ratio development of new fields in the NPR-A may be of 1:1. Thus, for a reservoir at a depth of 8,000 ft, limited to existing sources, although gravel the reach for each pad would be 8,000 ft, so the requirements for NPR-A development have not production pads would be separated by roughly been established. Gravel might have to be 16,000 ft. Currently, the greatest reach-to-depth transported from borrow pits used by the existing ratio on the North Slope is 2:1. It occurs at a well oil fields, roadways, and the TAPS. However, the in the Niakuk field (ratio of 18,098-ft reach to an gravel need within the NPR-A has not been oil reservoir depth of 9,445 ft) (BLM 1998). quantified, and the possibility exists that locally generated crushed rock and other materials A central production center (CPF) (also could substitute for gravel (BLM 1998). In the known as a flow station [Prudhoe Bay] or vicinity of Prudhoe Bay and along the TAPS, fathering center [western operating area]) numerous material sites provide gravel. Gravel manages well production and produces sales- sources include state-permitted deposits near quality crude oil by separating oil, water, and the rivers and stream that parallel the TAPS gas. In addition to oil production equipment, the (e.g., Sagavanirktok River, Atigun River, and CPF or nearby areas commonly include living Kuparuk River. quarters, eating and recreational areas, administrative areas, maintenance shops, The reservoirs tapped by the North Slope vehicle parking, fuel and water storage tanks, wells are under pressure. To increase the oil power generators, wastewater management recovered, other wells are drilled to inject water facilities, and a communications center. The or gas into the field to maintain the pressure types of services provided at a CPF, its crew within the reservoirs. Gas is produced from the size, and the size of its facilities depend on the well with the oil and is reinjected into the size of the operations and the CPF’s proximity to reservoir. Water is obtained from the water existing logistical support. Buildings are extracted with the oil and from water wells and supported on pilings to mitigate ground settling surface sources. Seawater may be used as a or frost heaving. Production equipment includes water source for sites where it is practical to oil, gas, and water separators and other construct a seawater intake, treatment plant, and equipment that condition and transport the oil insulated pipeline delivery system. A Prudhoe and that manage the water and gas that have Bay pressure maintenance program that ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-18 included seawater injection into the reservoir Carrier pipelines from offshore production was initiated in 1984. The scope of the $2 billion facilities are on the sea floor. Elevated pipelines program includes a distribution system, are relatively easy to maintain and are visually seawater treatment plant, and pumping systems. inspected for leaks. Because they can restrict Today, produced water has increased in volume the movements of caribou and other wildlife, and has largely replaced seawater as a both TAPS and North Slope producers have secondary recovery fluid. implemented resources to allow for safe passage of caribou and other large mammals. The need for water for new development and Buried pipelines are feasible in the Arctic production would be met from local freshwater provided that the integrity of the frozen soils is supplies or seawater. The water supplies maintained. Such pipeline configurations have currently used by the existing oil fields and been used in the Milne Point area. Buried pipe is TAPS would not be affected. However, more difficult to monitor and maintain and must wastewater would likely be placed in existing be insulated and operated so that the oil EPA-approved injection wells that are used by temperature will ensure that thaw settlement will the existing oil fields and TAPS facilities. be within tolerable limits. According to State of Alaska regulations, pipelines must be located to Similarly, solid waste management facilities enable the containment and cleanup of spills, used by existing oil fields and TAPS would likely avoid significant changes in the migration be used in new development and production patterns of herd animals, and allow fish passage (BLM 1998). Waste generation rates would likely (ADNR 1999). be similar to the rates of existing facilities. Today, for existing fields as well as new Power is supplied to the oil fields by natural- development, grinding and subsurface injection gas-fueled turbines. Natural gas is obtained from are used to dispose of drilling muds and cuttings the oil production wells. Diesel fuel is also used after sand and gravel have been reclaimed for for some purposes and is supplied either by reuse (BLM 1998). This practice reduces the small refineries at the oil fields or by truck from amount of oil field waste. The total quantities of Fairbanks. wastes generated from new oil fields cannot currently be predicted because the extent of the Exploration is now generally limited to winter new development and production cannot be in order to minimize the impact of moving predicted. equipment over exposed tundra to avoid interference with animals, and avoid the need to BP operates a Central Compression Plant build permanent roads. Ice roads and drilling and Central Gas Facility on the North Slope. pads spread the weight of the equipment over This facility is devoted primarily to processing the ground surface and minimize the contact of and handling the enormous quantities of natural the equipment with the soil surface. Their gas produced by oil wells in Prudhoe Bay. This locations are almost undetectable when they gas is then reinjected into the reservoir. In melt. Production areas remote from permanent addition, this facility provides compressed roads may be built and maintained by using only natural gas (CNG) for fueling trucks and other ice roads in the winter and access by air strip or vehicles. The facility is designed to fuel water during the summer. 20 vehicles per hour. A total of 70 CNG vehicles have already been added to BP’s Prudhoe Bay Major aviation facilities are located at fleet, and plans are to convert the entire Barrow, Deadhorse, and Kuparuk. In addition, 450-vehicle fleet from diesel fuel to CNG over there is a gravel airstrip at Nuiqsut. Smaller the next 3 years (BP 2000b). airstrips link remote oil sites with the larger aviation facilities. These airstrips are typically Carrier pipelines are used to transfer oil from made of gravel, measure 150 to 200 ft wide and the production stations at the oil fields to the 5,000 to 6,000 ft long, and are built to serve the TAPS. Elevated pipelines are typically used in needs of the site and not the local area. the North Slope oil fields to prevent heat transfer from the hot oil in the pipeline to frozen soils, Deadhorse was established to support oil since heat would degrade the permafrost. development at Prudhoe Bay and is not a 4.7-19 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES community in the traditional sense. It is not These refineries obtain oil acquired by spur controlled or managed by the North Slope pipelines from the TAPS. Each extracts the producers. The private support companies are lighter fractions from the crude oil to produce an located on state-leased land. Services include array of refined products. The heavier fractions three hotels that offer meals, a general store that are returned to the TAPS via pipeline. doubles as a post office, and two gas stations. Tire and vehicle repair facilities are also available, as are an auto parts store and 126.96.36.199 Oil Storage hardware store. The North Slope Borough operates a solid waste facility at Deadhorse. Williams Energy operates a 20,000-bbl jet- fuel terminal at Fairbanks International Airport Public access is restricted beyond (Williams Energy 2002). Commercial fuel sales Deadhorse. Areas to the north, including the in Alaska increased from 1,507 million gal in Arctic Ocean, can only be accessed via 1995 to 1,788 million gal in 1999. Most of this commercial tours, which operate from the hotels increase was due to the increase in sales of jet (Morris Communications Corporation 2001). fuel, which account for more than half of the total fuel sales in the state (900 million gal in 1999) (ADNR 2000a). Other storage facilities exist at 188.8.131.52 Oil Refining the TAPS pump stations at Kuparuk and Prudhoe Bay and in communities throughout the Alaska has four merchant refineries and two region of interest. smaller crude oil tapping plants in North Slope fields dedicated to producing oil for field use. Three of the merchant refineries are in the 184.108.40.206 Oil and Natural Gas region of interest: two are at North Pole (near Transportation Fairbanks), and one is at Valdez. Most of the petroleum products produced by these refineries In addition to the major systems described are used within Alaska. Williams Alaska below, refined products are shipped by truck Petroleum, Inc., owns and operates one of the from the three refineries to various end points. petroleum refineries at North Pole. The refinery produces approximately 62,000 bbl/d of various petroleum products, including motor gasoline, 220.127.116.11.1 Trans-Alaska Pipeline naphtha, jet fuel, heating fuels, diesel fuels, gas, System. The TAPS has been described in oil, and asphalt for both local supply and export. detail in the earlier sections of this DEIS. It is Approximately 60% of the refinery’s product is listed here for completeness. The TAPS system jet fuel, which is supplied to various domestic assessed here includes the pipeline, pump and international airlines as well as to the stations, access roads, and the Valdez Marine U.S. military (Williams Energy 2002). Terminal. Petro Star operates the other refinery at North Pole. It produces 3,750 bbl/d of product, 18.104.22.168.2 Alaska North Slope including kerosene, diesel fuel, and jet fuel for Natural Gas Commercialization. This use in interior and northern Alaska (Petro Star DEIS assumes that it is reasonably foreseeable 2002a). Petro Star also operates a refinery at that sometime in the next 30 years natural gas Valdez that produces 10,000 bbl/d of refined will be transported from the North Slope to product (ADNR 2000a). The refinery produces market in Canada and the United States. At this jet fuel, marine diesel and heating fuel for use in time, it is premature to guess which proposal south-central and south coastal Alaska. The would ultimately be selected and implemented. majority of the products are shipped out of the There is a large quantity of natural gas within the Valdez Petroleum Terminal, located Prudhoe Bay reservoir. In addition, there are approximately 6 mi from the refinery. The undeveloped discoveries of natural gas in the products are shipped to Anchorage, Kodiak, area with projections for the discovery of Dutch Harbor, and coastal Alaska by a leased substantially more gas if it were marketable. barge (Petro Star 2002b). Since the discovery of the Prudhoe Bay field in ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-20 1968, planning for the commercialization of stations along the route, and (4) a possible these gas deposits has been under way. A natural gas liquid (NGL) recovery plant. number of projects to market the gas have been proposed or conceptualized. These include The gas treatment facility would remove acid several pipeline routes from the North Slope to gases (CO2, H2S) and compress and chill the the lower 48 states through Canada, a liquefied gas to make it ready for transport. The pipeline natural gas (LNG) project at Valdez, and a gas- would be 48 in. in diameter and constructed of to-liquids project on the North Slope. Although high-strength steel. Compressor stations, valve each of these projects has been studied, some stations, and intermediate pigging facilities extensively, none has been financed or built, would maintain gas pressure (about 2,500 psi), principally because long-term natural gas prices allow maintenance and pigging of the line, and in the target markets have not justified the cost provide safety features. Because the gas would and risk of the project. While it is not entirely contain ethane, propane, and other gas liquids, a clear that this gas will be commercialized, two NGL recovery plant might be needed to remove possible gas commercialization projects are the heavier hydrocarbons (C2+) for sale. described in some detail below for purposes of this analysis to be the surrogate for whatever Construction of a natural gas pipeline could project might eventually be built. involve about 600 mi of buried pipeline in Alaska. The total project cost could be A “southern” pipeline has been proposed to approximately $10 billion, of which $1 billion carry natural gas into Canada. One possible could be for the gas treatment facility and proposed route would parallel the TAPS until it $2.5 billion could be for actual pipeline reaches the Delta vicinity southeast of construction. Construction of the gas treatment Fairbanks, then it would run roughly parallel to facility could require about 3,000 person-years of the Alaska Highway through the Yukon Territory labor, while construction of the pipeline could and British Columbia into Alberta (Map 4.7-6). require about 7,500 person-years of labor. It is This proposal has been the subject of detailed anticipated that the main construction effort study by the TAPS Owners, and legislation has could occur over a period of 3 to 5 years. The been proposed for development of this proposal. facilities could be labor-efficient and capital- Another proposal is for a northern route from efficient to operate, and could create direct Prudhoe Bay through the Beaufort Sea to the employment of 300 to 400 permanent jobs MacKenzie Delta then south through Canada. As (Goldsmith 2001; McGraw 2002). already discussed, this proposal was not considered reasonably foreseeable. A third Alternatively, conditioned natural gas could proposal is for a pipeline parallel to the TAPS be transported by pipeline from the North Slope into Valdez, where the natural gas would be to Valdez, where the gas would be liquefied by a liquefied for shipment. Although it is not clear cryogenic process. The LNG would then be which proposal might eventually be developed, it transported to various countries in specially was considered reasonably foreseeable that designed cryogenic LNG tankers. Likely markets sometime in the next 30 years a natural gas would include Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and pipeline might be constructed. For the sake of possibly Mainland China (TAPS Owners 2001a). analysis a hypothetical description of such a This proposal could involve the construction system follows. of an 800-mi-long, 36- to 42-in. diameter, chilled A natural gas pipeline could consist of a pipeline, which could be buried adjacent to the large-diameter, 735-mi-long buried pipeline. It TAPS. A 300-acre gas-conditioning facility could would run parallel to the TAPS from Prudhoe be built on the North Slope, and 10 main line Bay to the vicinity of Fairbanks near Delta compressor stations could be constructed along Junction, and from there, it would turn east, and the pipeline route to maintain required operating of the TAPS region of interest. Key elements of pressures. The gas could be liquefied for such a project would be (1) a large CO2 shipment at an LNG plant that could be treatment plant on the North Slope, (2) the constructed at Anderson Bay, 3.5 mi west of the pipeline itself, (3) valve stations and compressor Valdez Marine Terminal. Additional construction at Anderson Bay could include storage tanks for 4.7-21 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES the LNG and a marine terminal with two berths Tankers approach the Valdez Marine and loading facilities to accommodate LNG Terminal from the Gulf of Alaska via tankers with a capacity of 165,000 m3. Hinchinbrook Entrance, and they follow dedicated traffic lanes to Valdez Arm and Valdez It is projected that the gas volume would be Narrows. The Prince William Sound Vessel about 2 billion ft3/d for both the LNG and the Traffic System (VTS) controls the movement of pipeline export project. The capacity of the tanker traffic into and out of the area. VTS closes liquefaction facilities could be compatible, at Valdez to tanker traffic if conditions are 14 million tons/yr (29.3 m3/yr). Fifteen tankers, hazardous. each with a capacity of 125,000 m3, would make about 275 loaded voyages per year to the Pacific Currently, the fleet serving the Valdez Rim. Marine Terminal consists of 26 tankers, including three with double hulls and 13 with It is estimated that construction of this double sides. However, the composition of the system would cost $4 billion for the pipeline and fleet will change to comply with the Oil Pollution $8−10 billion for the other elements, including Act of 1990, which requires that all tankers the tanker fleet. The estimated construction calling on U.S. ports have double hulls (double period would be 10 years. Public revenue, bottoms and sides) by the year 2015. According including property taxes, severance taxes, and to the planned phaseout schedule for Prince royalties, would amount to about $377 million William Sound tankers, the fleet will consist annually, depending on future energy prices. exclusively of double-hulled tankers beginning in The economic life of the project is estimated to 2014. The number of tankers will be reduced to be 30 years. 8 to 10 by 2020 (TAPS Owners 2001a). APSC’s SERVS is responsible for the safe 22.214.171.124.3 Valdez Container transit of oil tankers from the Valdez Marine Terminal Dock. The Valdez Container Terminal to international waters. Nine SERVS Terminal Dock is a 700-ft concrete floating dock, vessels have escort, docking, and response extending to 1,200 ft. The container dock is tied duties. At least two escort vessels are required to a 21-acre marshalling yard by two 200-ft for each laden tanker exiting Prince William ramps. The dock is designed as a multipurpose Sound, and an additional escort may be added in berth to handle containerized, roll-on/roll-off and inclement weather (TAPS Owners 2001a). lift-on/lift-off operations. The marshalling yard contains a total area of 21 acres of land. A grain Map 4.7-7 shows the probable route that terminal consisting of nine concrete silos that are tankers bound from Valdez to the Far East would 112 ft tall and 33 ft in diameter and have a total travel. They could carry up to 1.8 million bbl capacity of 522,000 bushels is also located on each; however, such estimates are highly the container terminal grounds (Valdez 2002). speculative, because they depend on opportunities for short-term contracts (MMS 2002). The routing shown in Map 4.7-7 126.96.36.199.4 Oil Tanker Operations. Oil would bring the tankers more than 200 mi tankers with cargo capacities ranging from offshore of the Aleutian Islands. At a distance of 660,000 to 2,000,000 bbl are loaded with North 200 mi, oil spills are unlikely to significantly Slope crude oil at the Valdez Marine Terminal affect the Aleutian Islands. which is controlled by the U.S. Coast Guard. North Slope crude oil is transported primarily to Potential crude oil (and possibly liquefied the west coast of the United States, with other natural gas tankerage from Valdez to the Far shipments to Kenai, Alaska; the Hawaiian East will join existing liquefied natural gas tanker Islands; and the Asia Pacific market (TAPS traffic from the liquefied natural gas plant in Owners 2001a). In 1999, an average of Nikiski, Alaska. Every 10 days, the Nikiski plant 37 tankers per month were loaded at the Valdez loads a tanker with 80,000 m3 of liquefied Marine Terminal. natural gas for a round trip to Tokyo, which it has been doing since 1968 without significant spillage. Because liquefied gas would boil off ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-22 and disperse quickly when exposed to normal air southeast of Fairbanks. The city developed temperatures and winds in the North Pacific, it is along the east bank of the Delta River, south of not a major environmental threat along the its junction with the Tanana River. Big Delta is tanker route (MMS 2002). located on the Richardson Highway at the junction of the Delta and Tanana Rivers. Delta Junction and Big Delta businesses provide 188.8.131.52 Habitation and services to traffic along the Richardson Highway. Development Fort Greely is located nearby. The surrounding area supports agriculture. The populations of Delta Junction and Big Delta in 2000 were 880 184.108.40.206.1 Beaufort Sea and North and 749, respectively. Slope. The North Slope Borough is the largest borough in Alaska, making up more than 15% of Fairbanks North Star Borough. The the state’s total land area. It consists primarily of Fairbanks North Star Borough is located in the north and northeastern coast of Alaska, central Alaska and includes the cities of including the Brooks Range, north of the Arctic Fairbanks and North Pole. According to the Circle. Communities or areas of development 2000 census, the Borough’s population was located within the Borough within the region of 82,840. The main campus of the University of interest include Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, Alaska is located at College in Fairbanks. Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay, Kaktovik, and Nuiqsut Currently the Fort Knox and True North Gold (Map 4.7-2). With the exception of Deadhorse/ Mines are expanding operations. The Prudhoe Bay, these communities are composed International Air Cargo landings at the Fairbanks of primarily Alaska Natives or part Natives, and International Airport have also expanded. The most inhabitants maintain lifestyles that rely Fairbanks area serves as a regional service and heavily on subsistence activities. The oil and gas supply center. The Alaska Railroad provides industry is also an important source of service to Fairbanks from Anchorage and employment. The populations within these Seward in the south and Eielson AFB in the east. communities range from 200 to 500 people. The The Borough is developing a plan for future Borough population is about 4,600. growth and for an increase in population to 98,000 by 2018. Eielson AFB and Fort Deadhorse at Prudhoe Bay is a town Wainwright are located nearby. dedicated to supporting the oil industry. Although it has only six permanent residents, more than Glennallen/Copper Center. The 5,000 oil petroleum industry workers pass communities of Glennallen and Copper Center through Deadhorse on rotating work shifts. are along the Richardson Highway, 189 mi (by Development in Deadhorse is almost entirely road) east of Anchorage. The visitor’s center and related to the petroleum industry. park headquarters for Wrangell-St. Elias NPP is See Section 220.127.116.11.2 for more information on located in Copper Center. Glennallen is the Deadhorse. business hub of the Copper River region. Local businesses serve area communities and highway traffic, providing gasoline, supplies and 18.104.22.168.2 Interior. Interior Alaska has a services, schools, and medical care. State number of communities that could contribute to highway maintenance and federal offices are in cumulative impacts (Map 4.7-3). However, with Glennallen. The Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor the exception of Delta Junction/Big Delta, Center and National Park Headquarters were Fairbanks, and Glennallen/Copper Center, these recently completed (ADCED 2001). communities are small, with populations of fewer than 200 people and no major industrial or commercial activities. 22.214.171.124.3 Prince William Sound. Most of the communities bordering Prince Delta Junction and Big Delta William Sound are small (fewer than (no organized borough). Delta Junction is 200 people), with limited commercial and located at the convergence of the Richardson industrial activities (Map 4.7-4). In general, and Alaska Highways, approximately 95 mi people in these communities have lifestyles that 4.7-23 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES rely on subsistence or commercial fishing. 126.96.36.199.2 Railroads. The state-owned Cordova, Kenai Pennisula Borough, and Valdez Alaska Railroad and ferry system transports are larger areas of human habitation and thus passengers and freight between Anchorage, have the potential to make a greater contribution Seward, and Whittier and Interior Alaska. Future to cumulative impacts. expansion will be made to link the existing lines to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Cordova is located on the southeastern end Airport. The Alaska Railroad is also constructing of Prince William Sound and is readily a new depot and passenger facilities in accessible to other communities only by air and Fairbanks and Whittier; realigning its track in the water routes. Cordova serves as a fishing port Fairbanks and North Pole area to minimize the and a tourist and recreational sports center. The number of railroad crossings; repairing bridges population of Cordova in 2001 was about 2,500, in the Kenai Peninsula; and repairing including Eyak, a federally recognized Native maintenance facilities in Seward and Whittier. village within the City of Cordova. The railroad operations employ nearly 700 people (Alaska Railroad 2002). The Kenai Peninsula Borough lies directly south of Anchorage and is bordered by the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound on the south 188.8.131.52.3 Marine Terminals. Marine and east. Cook Inlet divides the borough into shipments to the North Slope are limited to the two land masses. Cities within the Kenai ice-free period between late July and early Peninsula Borough include Homer, Kachemak, September. Dock facilities for unloading barges Kenai, Seldovia, Seward, and Soldotna. All are located at Prudhoe Bay and Oliktok Point. communities are expanding in population and One dock head, which is no longer used, is at development. The population in 2000 was about East Dock of Prudhoe Bay. Two others are 41,000. located at West Dock, with drafts ranging from 4 to 10 ft. The dock at Oliktok Point extends Valdez is located on the north shore of 750 ft from shore, with a depth of about 10 ft at Prince William Sound. In addition to being the the dock face. Because of the lack of deep-water southern terminus of the TAPS and Valdez ports, cargo is usually off-loaded to shallow- or Marine Terminal, the city is host to commercial medium-draft ships for transport to shore or for fishing and shipping operations and is a port for transport upriver to communities such as commercial shipping, cruise ships, tour boat Nuiqsut. operations, and fishing. Valdez serves as a tourist and recreational sports center. No port facilities exist in Barrow. Cargo is Richardson Highway connects Valdez to transported to the area by barges and cargo Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Canada. The ships and off-loaded to smaller vessels for population in 2002 was estimated to be about transport to the shore north of Barrow. 4,500 (Valdez 2002). On Prince William Sound, oil is shipped from the Valdez Marine Terminal at Port Valdez. 184.108.40.206 Transportation Deep-water cargo ports are located at Valdez, Seward, and Whittier. Rail links exist at Seward and Whittier. 220.127.116.11.1 Highways and Public Airstrips. In the areas traversed by the TAPS, the Richardson Highway connects Valdez with 18.104.22.168.4 Alaska Marine Highway. Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway connects The state-owned Alaska Railroad and ferry Fairbanks with the North Slope. The Dalton system is constructing two docks in Whittier to Highway was formerly known as the “Haul Road” accommodate the unloading of barges. Seward and was originally built and maintained by the and Valdez serve as cargo and cruise ship ports. TAPS Owners; it was closed to the public. It is The Alaska Railroad is also constructing a new now a state highway, is open to the public, and is freight dock and overhauling an existing dock to maintained by Alaska’s Department of serve passengers in Seward (Alaska Railroad Transportation and Public Facilities. 2002). The Alaska Marine Highway System ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-24 connects the communities of Chenega Cordova, eligibility for federal programs serving Native Tatitlek Valdez, and Whittier along the Prince Americans. William Sound with ferry services. 22.214.171.124.2 Alaska National Interest 126.96.36.199.5 Personal and Lands Conservation Act. The Alaska Commercial Watercraft (fishing National Interest Lands Conservation Act vessels, tour boats). Commercial fishing (ANILCA) (PL 96-487; 16 USC 3101) was vessels use ports at Valdez and Cordova. passed in 1980 to provide for the designation Private and charter vessels also use the ports for and conservation of certain public lands in the recreational boating, which includes wildlife and State of Alaska. ANILCA establishes more than sightseeing cruises and sport fishing excursions. 100 million acres of federal land in Alaska as Alaska state ferries stop at Valdez, Cordova, conservation system units (CSUs) in order to Seward, and Whittier. Cruise ships use ports at preserve these lands and their resources for the Valdez and Seward (Morris Communications national interest. The CSUs include National Corporation 2001). Section 188.8.131.52.2 on tourism Parks, Preserves, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges, and Section 184.108.40.206.4 on commercial fishing Wilderness Areas, and Wild and Scenic Rivers have more details. and are managed by federal agencies. Thirty- four CSUs are within a few miles of the TAPS ROW. Title VIII of ANILCA established the rural 220.127.116.11 Legislative Actions subsistence priority and in Section 810 required Related to Land Use an analysis of impacts on subsistence due to federal land use decisions. 18.104.22.168.1 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Shortly after its purchase of 22.214.171.124.3 Federal and Alaska the territory of Alaska, the U.S. Congress Coastal Zone Management Acts. The abandoned its policy of establishing treaties with Federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Native Americans (Alaska Commission on Rural was enacted in 1972 and last amended in 2001. Governance and Empowerment 1999). The The Alaska Coastal Management Act (ACMA) Organic Act of 1884 and the Alaska Statehood was enacted in 1977 as Alaska’s version of Act of 1958 acknowledged, but postponed to coastal zone management as envisioned in the future action by Congress, any settlement of national CZMA, and it was last amended in Alaska Native aboriginal title to land. As a result, 1994. Both statutes guide land use in coastal Alaska Native land claims were never resolved zones to provide a balance between until the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act development and protection of coastal resources (ANCSA) (PL 92-203; 43 USC 1601) was passed (BLM 1998; State of Alaska 2001). in 1971. The act extinguished all prior aboriginal land claims and conveyed 44 million acres and ACMP, approved in 1979, was developed to nearly $1 billion in compensation funds to the implement the ACMA. The ACMP encourages 12 regional corporations established under the coastal districts to develop and adopt district act. coastal management programs (CMPs) that become part of the ACMP once they are fully The passage of ANCSA cleared land titles approved. CMPs include enforceable policies, and facilitated granting of the TAPS ROW. It also and all activities that occur within a coastal zone established, through the for-profit regional or that may affect coastal resources must be corporations, the contemporary structure for consistent with an approved CMP. The Alaska Alaska Native economic and political affairs Department of Governmental Coordination and (Alaska Commission on Rural Governance and State of Alaska resource agencies conduct Empowerment 1999). ANCSA did not affect consistency reviews on proposed and existing Alaska Native governments nor terminate projects within coastal zones (BLM 1998; State of Alaska 2001). 4.7-25 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 126.96.36.199.4 Prince William Sound Visitors are allowed in the refuge. Arctic Village Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council. an Alaska Native community is located on The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ the south side of the refuge (Alaska Internet Advisory Council is an independent, nonprofit Travel Guide 2000a; Patterson 2001). corporation dedicated to the environmentally safe operation of the Valdez Marine Terminal Chugach National Forest. The and oil tankers within Prince William Sound. The 5.5-million-acre Chugach NF occurs as council reviews and comments on APSC’s two noncontiguous components. A portion of the operations, oil spill response and prevention forest is located south/southwest of the Valdez plans and capabilities, and the design of Marine Terminal and comes within 1/4 mi of the mitigation measures. The advisory council helps Valdez Marine Terminal at its closest point. monitor and assess the environmental impacts Another portion is located on the Kenai of terminal and tanker operations of oil-related Peninsula. The area near the Valdez Marine accidents (Prince William Sound Regional Terminal is used primarily for recreation and for Citizens’ Advisory Council 2002). subsistence hunting, fishing, and logging. Some commercial logging occurs on the Kenai. The The council also works to increase the Chugach NF is the northernmost national forest public’s awareness of the actual and potential in the United States and is administered by the environmental impacts from terminal and tanker USDA Forest Service (Behrends 2002; USFS operations and of the APSC’s environmental 2002). protection capabilities, which include oil spill prevention and response. Citizens organized the Gates of the Arctic National Park council after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 to and Preserve. Gates of the Arctic NPP is increase public involvement in decision making located in the Brooks Range west of the TAPS in the Prince William Sound, Gulf of Alaska, and and comes within 2 to 3 mi of the pipeline at the Lower Cook Inlet regions of Alaska. The Oil closest point. It is composed primarily of federal Pollution Act of 1990 later required citizen lands and encompasses a 7.2-million-acre oversight councils for Prince William Sound and federally designated Wilderness Area the Cook Inlet. Although APSC funds the advisory third largest in the United States. The park is council, it has no control over its operation accessible by air and is open year round. There (Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ are no roads to or within the park, and it contains Advisory Council 2002). no established trails or facilities. Gates of the Arctic NPP receives about 4,000 visitors per year. A park ranger station is located in Coldfoot. 188.8.131.52 Land Management No major construction is planned in the park (Uhler 2001; Ulvi 2001). 184.108.40.206.1 National Parks, Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge. Preserves, Monuments, The 1.6-million-acre Kanuti NWR is located and Other Land Units about 150 mi northwest of Fairbanks. It is about 8 mi west of the TAPS at its closest point, but Arctic National Wildlife Refuge most of the refuge is more than 24 mi away. The (ANWR). This refuge ranges from south of the refuge is undeveloped but contains no federally Brooks Range to the Beaufort Sea. A small designated or proposed wilderness. Kanuti portion of the refuge comes within 1/4 mi of the receives few visitors, and most visits are made TAPS, but the vast majority lies 60 mi or more by subsistence hunters and fisherman. Some east of TAPS. The ANWR encompasses more river floating and hiking are done in the park than 19 million acres and is the northernmost (Alaska Internet Travel Guide 2000b; Schultz refuge in the United States. It contains the 2001). 8-million-acre federally designated Mollie Beattie Wilderness, which is the second largest White Mountains National Wilderness Area in the United States. The Recreation Area (NRA). This NRA is refuge contains part of the migration routes and administered by the BLM and is located about calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herds. 30 mi north of Fairbanks between Elliott and ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-26 Steese Highways. It encompasses about Fairbanks is a quarter of a million acres in size 1 million acres and is the largest NRA in the and draws more than 150,000 visitors a year. United States. The recreation area offers an The park has limited facilities, and most of the abundance of year-round recreation area is closed to vehicles. The Chena River opportunities (Great Outdoor Recreation Pages State Recreation Site is within the city of 2002). Fairbanks on the banks of the Chena River and is a popular recreation spot (ADNR 2001b). Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The headquarters of Wrangell- Prince William Sound. There are St. Elias National Park and Preserve is situated several state marine parks in the Prince William near Copper Center, Alaska. Wrangell-St. Elias Sound and Resurrection Bay area. Most of these National Park is the largest park in the national parks can be accessed only by floatplane or park system, and Wrangell-St. Elias National boat, except for Shoup Bay, which can be Preserve is the second largest preserve in the entered by a foot trail. Seven parks are near system. The 9.6-million-acre Wrangell-St. Elias Whittier, six are near Seward, three are near Wilderness represents nearly 10% of the entire Valdez, and three are near Cordova. These National Wilderness Preservation System. The parks are undeveloped but contain no state- park and preserve complex is within a mile of the designated wilderness (ADNR 2001c). TAPS at its closest point. Ahina Corporation (Regional Native Corporation) owns about 1 million acres of land within the authorized 220.127.116.11.3 Military boundary. The park and preserve complex is open year-round, and visitation averages about Fort Greely. Fort Greely, near Delta 30,000 people a year. A majority of visits are in Junction, is currently being closed and the summer season (Uhler 2002; Ulvi 2001). No transferred to other uses by the Department of major construction is planned for Wrangell- the Army under Base Realignment and Closure St. Elias National Park and Preserve. (BRAC). However, Fort Greely is the preferred alternative for the deployment of the ground- Yukon Flats National Wildlife based interceptors and for deployment of the Refuge. This 8.6-million-acre NWR is located battle management, command, and control east of the Dalton Highway and about 100 mi system of the National Defense Missile System. north of Fairbanks and is bisected by the Yukon The former are guided missiles designed to River. The refuge is about 2 mi east of the TAPS intercept and destroy intercontinental ballistic at its closest point, but most of it is more than missiles. The latter is the control and control 6 mi away. Yukon Flats is undeveloped but system for the interceptors (U.S. Army Space contains no federally designated wilderness. A and Missile Defense Command 2000). portion of the refuge has been proposed as a federal wilderness area. The refuge is visited Fort Wainwright. Fort Wainwright, primarily by subsistence hunters and fishermen. located near Fairbanks, has nearly Summer use is mainly confined to the major 4,600 soldiers and 6,100 family members. Its waterways (Alaska Internet Travel Guide 2000c; mission is to provide the services, facilities, and Huer 2001). infrastructure needed to support the rapid deployment of the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade and elements of the Arctic Support 18.104.22.168.2 Alaska Department of Brigade. These include field training exercises in Natural Resources Alaska, which involve the use of aviation, all- terrain, and winter vehicles and thus require Alaska Interior. Several small parks and facilities for refueling operations. recreation areas are in the Delta Junction and Fairbanks area. These parks provide access to Eielson Air Force Base. This Air Force lakes, rivers, and streams; camping; and limited installation is located south of Fairbanks. The facilities. No state-designated wilderness exists base mission includes support of combat within 100 mi of the TAPS (ADNR 2001a). The aircraft, mid-air refueling, logistics support, and Chena River State Recreation Area east of arctic survival training (Eielson AFB 2002). 4.7-27 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Army Proposed Projects in the is one of the most important subsistence uses of Region of Interest. Projects currently under wild resources. Other subsistence uses include construction at Fort Wainwright include central clothing, fuel, transportation (food for dogs), vehicle wash facilities, barracks renewals, construction, home goods, sharing, customary central heat and power plant repairs, an trade, ceremony, and arts and crafts. In rural ammunition surveillance facility, and a collective Alaska, about 75−98% of sampled rural training facility for military operations in urban households harvest fish and 48−70% harvest terrain. Other Army projects that were recently wildlife; actual use is probably higher, since built at Fort Wainwright include barracks harvested resources are often shared. Items upgrades, several phases of housing projects, a harvested by weight included fish (60%), land new ski chalet, a coal car preheat facility, and a mammals (20%), marine mammals (14%), birds missile test facility. A munitions storage facility (2%), shellfish (2%), and plants (2%). Although was recently built at Fort Greely. The Alaska wild food harvests are high (up to 613 lb per District Corps of Engineers solicited requests for person in the rural interior in the region of proposals in October 2001 for a new hospital to interest), subsistence harvest represents only replace the existing Bassett Army Community 2% of the fish and game harvested annually in Hospital at Fort Wainwright. The proposed Alaska. Commercial fisheries harvest about project is a 259,000-ft2, 32-bed facility. 97%, while the sport harvest is only about 1%. In the region of interest, wild food harvests in the Air Force Proposed Projects in the late 1980s through the 1990s were estimated at Region of Interest. Eielson AFB (354th about 16 lb per person in the Fairbanks-Delta Wing) projects include a repair runway, a Area, 153 lb per person in the rural south central, parking ramp, a weapons and release systems 516 lb per person in the Arctic, and 613 lb per facility, consolidated munitions, and an person in the rural Interior Alaska (ADF&G A-10 squad/ops facility. Projects in design for 2002c). fiscal year 2000 at Eielson AFB included a hazardous materials storage facility, dormitory, joint mobility complex, and utility upgrade 22.214.171.124.2 Tourism. Tourism is Alaska’s Phase I and II (USACE 2001). second largest industry in terms of employment. The basis for much of Alaska’s tourism industry is its natural resources. In 1999, more than 126.96.36.199 Natural Resource Use 1.4 million people traveled to Alaska, and they spent about $1 billion in the state. Natural- resource-based tourism includes visits to 188.8.131.52.1 Subsistence. Subsistence national and state parks, viewing wildlife and means the customary and traditional uses by scenery, back country travel, rafting and boating, rural Alaskans of wild, renewable resources for skiing and winter sports, ship cruises, personal or family consumption. A person living photography, fishing, and hunting. In addition, in a rural area (as defined by the Federal Alaska’s cultural diversity and history help make Subsistence Board) is eligible for a priority for it a major tourist attraction. In 1999, 53% of subsistence hunting and fishing on federal lands visitors to Alaska came by air, 31% came by under federal law. In 1999, about 123,000 (20%) cruise ship, and the balance came by highway, of Alaskans lived in rural areas. Since 1989 Alaska Marine Highway or international air under the Alaska Constitution, all Alaskan (Alaska Travel Industry Association undated). residents are legally entitled to share in fish and game on state and private lands, providing all the right to pursue subsistence. Therefore, under 184.108.40.206.3 Hunting, Fishing, and state law there is no rural priority. To help avoid Trapping. Hunting occurs for both subsistence confusion, this document has consistently and sport, while fishing and trapping occur for employed the federal definition of subsistence. subsistence, sport, and commerce. In 2001, Although both Alaska Natives and non-Natives more than 565,000 sport fishing (178,251 may subsistence hunt and fish, only Alaska resident; 274,968 nonresident), hunting Natives may hunt marine mammals, such as (86,115 resident; 13,343 nonresident), and seals, whales, polar bears, and sea otters. Food trapping (26,257 resident; 28 nonresident) ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-28 licenses were sold. Of these, 51% were issued controls are placed on the days and hours to nonresidents (ADF&G 2002c). Hunting, fished, fishing locations, and methods. fishing, and trapping occur throughout the region of interest. Hunting seasons vary according to the region, species, sex of the animal, and 220.127.116.11.5 Mining. Mining for gold and classification of the hunter as resident or other minerals has been an important industry in nonresident. In some cases, the issuance of a Alaska, and this activity would continue permit to hunt is based on a lottery. The situation throughout the period of TAPS operation. for trapping is similar. The season and limits are Mineral exploration, development, and adjusted by the ADF&G. In general, sport fishing production occur in a number of mining districts is allowed year round in the Prince William throughout the area traversed by the TAPS. In Sound area and on the Tanana River, Yukon 1998, mining (except for oil and gas) was valued River drainage, and North Slope. Catch limits at about $900 million, with an annual are placed on most species and typically do not employment of 3,452 (Szumigala and exceed 10 per day. The season and limits are Swainbank 1999). The major new exploration adjusted by the ADF&G. These regulations also activity was in the interior near Goodpasture and apply on federal lands. However, the federal the Pogo Prospect, and exploration continued in government controls fishing and hunting on the Fairbanks mining district. Exploration federal lands. activities also concentrated on the north flank of the Alaska Range. During 1998, up to 12,000 Since 1990, the Federal Subsistence Board new claims totaling 480,000 acres were staked has managed subsistence harvests by rural on state land, while 5,800 claims were Alaskans on federal lands. Seasons and harvest abandoned. The number of active claims on limits are regulated to ensure a rural subsistence state land in 1998 was 41,157 on priority. In most cases, hunting and fishing by 1.65 million acres. Coal, copper, gemstones, Alaskans, under state regulations, is also gold, lead, sand and gravel, silver, stone, zinc, permitted on federal lands. However, federal and other minerals were mined. The State of lands can be closed to such uses, if necessary, Alaska and several federal agencies regulate the to ensure the rural subsistence priority. mineral industry with regard to safety and environmental protection. 18.104.22.168.4 Commercial Fishing. In the On the North Slope, mining of sand and Prince William Sound area, commercial fishing gravel from river floodplains and stone from the is mainly composed of sole operators. In Prince Brooks Range support road construction and William Sound and the Copper River District, the maintenance, river training, pipeline salmon season runs from mid-May to mid- maintenance, and oil exploration and October, and during this time, specific dates are development. The Red Dog Mine (zinc, lead, set for each species and method of fishing. and silver) in the Kotzebue area is several Herring season is in January for seine nets and hundred miles from the TAPS and outside the from April into May for other methods. Shellfish region of interest for this cumulative season runs from April through December, with assessment. the specific dates set for each species and method of fishing. Groundfish, pollock, and cod In Interior Alaska, coal is mined, and lode fisheries operate year round. Six hatcheries and placer are mined for gold and other metals operate in the area (ADF&G 2002d). and coal. In the Brooks Range, the Middle Fork Commercial fishing operations for salmon Koyukuk River near Wiseman and Coldfoot was involve the use of purse seines, drift gillnets, and an important gold mining area, and mining still set gillnets. During the 1999 season, 523 drift occurs there today. Numerous placer gold gillnet permit holders, 21 set gillnet permit mining operations (i.e., the removal of gold from holders, and 139 seine permit holders stream-bed gravel deposits) occur throughout participated in the fishery. However, three of the the region around Fairbanks, and exploration is four seasons for herring and the fall season for ongoing. The Fort Knox Mine, an open pit mine food/bait fish were cancelled. Commercial about 25 mi northeast of Fairbanks, is the largest fishing is a highly regulated industry; strict operating gold mine in the state. The mine 4.7-29 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES employs 260 people and produces 1,000 oz of Alaskan forests. In the vicinity of the TAPS, most gold per day. Probable reserves are estimated at commercial logging occurs on state lands; 3,686,000 oz. In addition, gold-bearing sand and minimal logging occurs on federal lands. gravel are taken from the True North Mine, which Logging on state lands is regulated by the is about 8 mi from the Fort Knox Mine and being Alaska Division of Forestry, and logging on developed. At the projected rate of production, federal lands is regulated by the agency this mine will be in operation for at least nine administering the land where the timber sale more years. The Teck-Sumitomo Pogo gold occurs. Both state and federal land management mine site is being developed northeast of Delta agencies develop forest/land management plans Junction. Once in production, it is estimated that that (1) identify areas suitable for harvesting, the mine will operate for 12 years. Three (2) determine appropriate harvest levels, and medium-sized placer mines and about (3) ensure that commercial operations comply 50 smaller operations operate in the 10 interior with harvest management practices that protect mining districts. Small placer gold operations resources, such as soils and surface water. occur between Fairbanks and the North Slope and between Fairbanks and Valdez. These Commercial logging occurs throughout state operations are widely scattered, and sites tend lands near the TAPS. However, most logging to shift depending on the potential for new occurs in Tanana Valley State Forest, which lies discoveries of gold and the price of gold north, northeast, and southeast of Delta Junction (Szumigala and Swainbank 1999). in several separate parcels. Logging on federal lands occurs in the Chugach National Forest and In addition to gold mines, several small in BLM lands in the Copper River Basin. mining pits produce peat for local use in the Fairbanks and Palmer-Anchorage area. Several Harvesting for personal use occurs sand and gravel pits are located in the Fairbanks throughout forests on public lands in the vicinity area, to the east of Delta Junction, in the Palmer of the TAPS. Wood is harvested for both fuel and area, and in the Kenai area. These materials are housing. primarily used for roadwork. About 100 mi south of Fairbanks, the Usibella Coal Mine in Healy produces about 1.5 million tons of coal per year. 22.214.171.124 Petroleum and Coal mining operations are also expected to Hazardous Materials begin at a location just north of the existing mine Spills site. A portion of the coal removed at the mine is exported out of Alaska. A portion was also used For the purposes of this EIS, petroleum in the Healy Clean Coal Project; it was enough spills are identified as an “action,” although they to potentially generate 50 MW of baseload do not occur independently of other actions. electric power (Szumigala et al. 2000). Petroleum spills can occur during any action involving petroleum and its products, including In the early 1900s, copper was mined near exploration and development, transportation, McCarthy and transported by railroad along the and refining. These actions can be the Chitina and Copper Rivers to ships at Cordova. responsibility of any industry, agency, or During that period, gold was also extracted from individual that is carrying them out. Petroleum the area. Today, mining still occurs on private spills may be large, such as those resulting from lands within the region. a pipeline or tanker accident, or they may be very small, such as a diesel fuel or oil spill Mineral exploration and mining occurred during refueling or equipment maintenance. historically in the Prince William Sound area. Because of the nature of the proposed action Mineral resources in the Prince William Sound addressed in this EIS, this cumulative impact area include placer and lode gold deposits, analysis emphasizes petroleum spills resulting chromium, copper, oil, and coal. from the exploration, development, and transportation of North Slope oil resources. The following text emphasizes spills on the North 126.96.36.199.6 Logging. Both commercial Slope and in Prince William Sound. Petroleum logging and harvesting for personal use occur in ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-30 spills related to TAP operations are described 188.8.131.52.2 Catastrophic Events elsewhere in this EIS, as part of the assessment Considered in the North Slope Spill of the proposed action and no-action alternative. Analysis. Two spill scenarios (a spill of crude oil due to a well blowout; a rupture of a pipeline over open water) have the potential to release 184.108.40.206.1 North Slope Petroleum catastrophic amounts of hazardous materials on Spill Scenarios. Twelve crude oil, diesel fuel, the North Slope. and saltwater spill scenarios were developed for the North Slope (Table 4.7-4). The first seven The first catastrophic scenario (Scenario 11; spills would be similar to spills that have crude oil from a well blowout) was previously occurred historically over the 25 years of TAPS assessed as a “reasonable worst-case” spill at operations, as logged in the TAPS ROW Alpine Pad 1 (Alpine 1997). It is assumed that Renewal Oil Spill Database (TAPS Owners the plume fallout and oil would spread from the 2001a). More than 1,500 North Slope crude oil wellhead and drill pad, flow over snow and ice spills, about 2,300 diesel fuel spills, and more surfaces that are breaking up, and deposit on than 70 saltwater spills are cataloged in the them. Oil flowing from the drill pad would initially database. The “moderate” spill of saltwater spread downslope following the terrain, then flow (Scenario 6) occurred on March 17, 1997, at into adjacent lakes, the Sakoonang Channel, Arco’s Drill Site 4 in East Prudhoe Bay. The and eventually Harrison Bay. The frequency of cause of the spill is unknown. Between 750,000 this postulated spill scenario was estimated by and 1,000,000 gal of seawater were released using information from BLM (1998), which from six to nine wellheads, each at 10 to indicates that one well blowout occurred in the 20 bbl/min (ADEC 1997). Information on 9-year period from 1987 to 1996, a time when saltwater spills on the North Slope is limited. 2,933 wells were drilled. Ice breakup generally Information is available from ADEC for the occurs on 10 to 21 days per year. period from July 1995 to June 2001 (6 years). The largest recorded saltwater spill volume (on The last event in Table 4.7-4 (Scenario 12) the order of 1 million gal) is used as a surrogate is a crude oil pipeline rupture over Kuparuk River for the maximum spill that could be encountered to open water. The rupture occurs where the during 30 years of TAPS operations in the North Kuparuk 24-in. pipeline crosses the Kuparuk Slope. River. It instantaneously releases more than 10,000 bbl of crude oil into open water. The The next three spills (Scenarios 8, 9, and 10) spilled oil moves downstream under the were taken from environmental assessments influence of the current and impacts the associated with the Alpine crude oil pipeline and shoreline. the Northstar well field. The Alpine crude oil field is located in the western Colville River Delta, about 34 mi west of the Kuparuk River oil field. 220.127.116.11.3 Transportation Spill The Alpine field is connected to the Kuparuk Scenarios. Cumulative impacts associated River delta via three 34-mi crude oil, diesel, and with transportation accidents involving spills of water transport pipelines. At the Colville River hazardous material were evaluated for truck crossing, the depth of the pipeline is about shipments from the North Pole Refinery to the 100 ft. The Alpine pipeline spill (Scenario 8) is North Slope (Deadhorse) and for rail shipments an “extreme worst-case” scenario involving a from the North Pole Refinery to Stevens rupture of the pipeline transporting crude oil. A International Airport. Three scenarios were fracture of the 14-in. Alpine pipeline is assumed assessed; frequencies and spill volumes are to occur approximately 300 ft from the Colville summarized in Table 4.7-5. The frequencies of River, causing crude oil to spill on the ground all three scenarios would be considered likely, and then migrate into the river. The next two except for Scenario 2b (a fire variant of 2a), spills in the Northstar Field (Scenarios 9 and 10) which would be considered unlikely. All would result from a leak on the drilling well scenarios, including the variant, involve the platform and in the pipeline that transports crude shipment of refined petroleum products, except oil from the Beaufort Sea to shore terminal. for Scenario 3, which involves of a shipment of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Acid stimulation is one TABLE 4.7-4 Spill Scenarios for the North Slope Frequency Range Very Does Likely Unlikely Unlikely Spill Spill Spill Frequency Anticipated (0.03 to (10-3 to (10-6 to Volume Release Release Reach No. Description/Locationa Material (1/yr) (> 0.5/yr) 0.5/yr) 0.03/yr) 10-3/yr) Range (bbl) Duration Point Water? -1 1 Small spill in the North Slope Crude oil 5.0 × 10 X ∼0 to 500 Short Land No (NLS) -1 2 Small spill in the North Slope Diesel 5.0 × 10 X ∼0 to 170 Short Land No (NLS) -1 3 Small spill in the North Slope Saltwate 5.0 × 10 X ∼0 to 500 Short Land No (NLS)b r (65−80% of crude 4.7-31 oil spills on pad) -2 4 Moderate spill in the North Crude oil 3.0 × 10 X 501 to 925 Short Land No Slope (NLS) (65−80% ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES of crude oil spills on pad) -2 5 Moderate spill in the North Diesel 3.0 × 10 X 171 to 450 Short Land No Slope (NLS) -2 6 Moderate spill in the North Saltwate 3.0 × 10 X 501 to Short Land No Slope (NLS)b r 23,810 -1 7 Rupture of aboveground water- Saltwate 2.0 × 10 X 2,400 to Prolonged Land No flood pipeline (saltwater r 82,000 spill)b ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-4 (Cont.) Frequency Range Very Does Likely Unlikely Unlikely Spill Spill Spill Frequency Anticipated (0.03 to (10-3 to (10-6 to Volume Release Release Reach No. Description/Locationa Material (1/yr) (> 0.5/yr) 0.5/yr) 0.03/yr) 10-3/yr) Range (bbl) Duration Point Water? -3 8 Rupture of alpine pipeline near Crude oil 1.4 × 10 X 50 to 2,800 Prolonged Land, Yes the Colville River water -2 9 Platform spill in the Beaufort Crude oil 2.3−2.7 × 10 X 1,500 Instantaneous Water Yes Sea (proposed Northstar field as a surrogate) -2 10 Pipeline spill in the Beaufort Crude oil 2.3−2.7 × 10 X 4,600 Instantaneous Water Yes Sea (proposed Northstar field 4.7-32 as a surrogate) -3 11 Well blowout at Phillips Crude oil 1.8−3.8 × 10 X 3,000 to Prolonged Land, Yes Alaska’s Alpine Pad 1 during 34,000 water breakup -3 12 Rupture of Kuparuk pipeline Crude oil 1.0 × 10 X 10,516 Instantaneous Land, Yes over Kuparuk River to open water water a NLS = scenario is not location-specific. b Because ADEC information covers only the period from July 1, 1995, to June 29, 2001 (6 years), extrapolation to a 30-year return period was necessary. The largest recorded saltwater spill volume (on the order of 1 million gal) is used as a surrogate for the maximum spill that would be encountered during 30 years of operations in the North Slope. TABLE 4.7-5 Transportation Spill Scenariosa Frequency Range Spill Volume Very (bbl) Likely Unlikely Unlikely Anticipated (0.03 to (10-3 to (10-6 to Release No. Description/Location Spill Material Frequency (1/yr) (> 0.5/yr) 0.5/yr) 0.03/yr) 10-3/yr) Low High Duration 1 Rollover of tanker truck on the HCl (37%) 1.7 × 10-1 X 17 17 Short Dalton Highway 2a Overturn of fuel truck between Arctic grade 2.2 to 3.9 × 10-2 X 119 190 Instantaneous North Pole Refinery and diesel Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay) 2b Overturn of fuel truck with Arctic grade 2.4 to 4.3 × 10-3 X 119 190 Instantaneous subsequent fire between North diesel Pole Refinery and Deadhorse 4.7-33 (Prudhoe Bay) 3 Derailment of freight train between Aviation jet 1.3 to 1.6 × 10-1 X 195 488 Short (hours) North Pole Refinery and Stevens fuel A International Airport ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES a All release points are aboveground, on land. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-34 of the primary methods for improving productivity (based on frequencies taken from USFS and of oil, gas, injection, and disposal wells in the WEFSEC ). The spill magnitude was North Slope. The HCl acid is pumped down the estimated on the basis of 30,000-gal railcar spill well and into the producing fields to increase oil size scenario (AIChE 1989), adjusted for flow. frequency data based on railcar tanker capacities of 20,000 to 25,000 gal and Alaska Scenario 1. In this event, a tanker truck railroad accident statistics that indicate that two that is transporting an HCl solution (37% hazardous material (HAZMAT) railcars are concentration of HCl) overturns on the Dalton damaged for each train derailment over a 5-year Highway while en-route to Prudhoe Bay period (ADEC 2001b). (Deadhorse). The tanker’s liquid cargo tank (MC 312/412)1 contains approximately 4,500 gal of HCl. The incident occurs near MP 280 on the 18.104.22.168.4 Prince William Sound Dalton Highway. The TAPS pipeline is located and North Slope Spill less than 1/2 mi from the accident site. It is Scenarios. estimated that the accident would result in a spill of approximately 700 gal of HCl, released over a Prince William Sound Spill period of about 30 min. Scenarios. A total of 33 crude oil and diesel fuel spill scenarios were developed for the This event is considered likely, with an Prince William Sound (Table 4.7-6). They rely occurrence frequency of once in every 6 years primarily on data from previous risk (0.17/yr). The accident frequency is based on a assessments prepared in support of crude oil single event that occurred near Fairbanks on spill emergency response planning in the sound December 6, 1995, when 90 gal of 35%-HCl (Det Norske Veritas et al. 1996; Merrick et al. solution (muriatic acid) spilled when a drum fell 2000). It is expected that most pollution incidents off a truck and split because of the cold in Prince William Sound would be minor, temperature (ADEC 2001a). involving spills of diesel oil, lubricating oil, crude oil, and waste bilge oil. The probability of a Scenarios 2a and 2b. A fuel truck hazardous substance discharge is low. carrying arctic-grade diesel from the Williams North Pole Refinery to Deadhorse leaves the The first four spill scenarios listed in highway and overturns on Dalton Highway. A Table 4.7-6 represent small to moderate spills large spill of diesel fuel (between 5,000 and that are anticipated or likely to occur in Prince 8,000 gal) (USFS and WEFSEC 1998) without a William Sound during the TAPS renewal period. fire would be considered a likely event, occurring The scenarios cover spills of North-Slope- at a frequency of about 2.2 to 3.9 × 10-2/yr. A produced crude oil and diesel fuel as a crude oil variant of this scenario would involve a fire in refined petroleum product. The scenarios were addition to the spill and would have a probability developed by considering more than of occurring about 2.4 to 4.3 × 10-3/yr, based on 180 documented crude oil spills into the Prince adjustments to national HAZMAT transportation William Sound during the first 25 years of statistics (Brown et al. 2000). operation of the pipeline (TAPS Owners 2001b). In addition, 70 diesel fuel spills are also Scenario 3. A freight train towing an documented in the database for Prince William average of 50 loaded petroleum tank cars filled Sound for a similar period. Spill initiators or with aviation jet fuel A (turbine jet fuel) partially causes ranged from small fuel line ruptures to derails. Up to two railcars are damaged and leak very large storage tank failures. The spill aviation jet fuel at a rate of 2 to 3 gal/min. A large volumes for these scenarios ranged from less railcar spill ranging from about 200 to 500 bbl of than 1 gal to 60 bbl of crude oil and 12 bbl of jet fuel would be considered a likely event, with a diesel fuel. All of these spills were of short frequency of occurrence of once in 6 to 8 years duration (a few hours to about a day). ____________________________ 1 MC (motor carrier) 312 or 412 cargo tanks are cylindrical tanks designed to carry high-density corrosive liquids and are typically constructed of stainless steel or aluminum and lined with material to resist degradation or reaction with its contents. TABLE 4.7-6 Spill Scenarios for Tanker Accidents in the Prince William Sounda Frequency Range Very Frequency (1/yr) Likely Unlikely Unlikely Spill Volume (bbl) Material Anticipated (0.03 to (10-3 to (10-6 to Release No. Spill Scenario Spilled Location Low High (> 0.5/yr) 0.5/yr) 0.03/yr) 10-6/yr) Low High Duration 1 Small spill Crude oil NLSb 5 × 10-1 X ~0 10 Short 2 Moderate spill Crude oil NLS 3 × 10-2 X 11 60 Short 3 Small spill Diesel NLS 5 × 10-1 X ~0 1 Short 4 Moderate spill Diesel NLS 3 × 10-2 X 2 12 Short 5 Collision Crude oil Arm 4 × 10-4 8 × 10-3 X 110,000 170,000 Prolonged 6 Drift grounding Crude oil Arm 2 × 10-5 1 × 10-3 X 50,000 190,000 Prolonged 7 Fire and explosion Crude oil Arm 2 × 10-5 1 × 10-4 X 270,000 320,000 Prolonged 8 Powered grounding Crude oil Arm 1 × 10-4 9 × 10-4 X 80,000 200,000 Prolonged 3 × 10-5 2 × 10-4 4.7-35 9 Structural and foundering Crude oil Arm X 100,000 260,000 Prolonged 10 Collision Crude oil Central Sound 4 × 10-4 3 × 10-3 X 110,000 180,000 Prolonged 11 Drift grounding Crude oil Central Sound 6 × 10-6 6 × 10-4 X 0 190,000 Prolonged 12 Fire and explosion Crude oil Central Sound 4 × 10-5 2 × 10-4 X 250,000 300,000 Prolonged 13 Powered grounding Crude oil Central Sound 1 × 10-8 7 × 10-4 X 0 190,000 Prolonged ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 14 Structural and foundering Crude oil Central Sound 5 × 10-5 4 × 10-4 X 130,000 210,000 Prolonged 15 Collision Crude oil Gulf 6 × 10-5 5 × 10-4 X 170,000 190,000 Prolonged 16 Drift grounding Crude oil Gulf 2 × 10-5 6 × 10-4 X 150,000 320,000 Prolonged 17 Fire and explosion Crude oil Gulf 2 × 10-5 1 × 10-4 X 230,000 280,000 Prolonged 18 Structural and foundering Crude oil Gulf 4 × 10-5 2 × 10-4 X 100,000 210,000 Prolonged 19 Collision Crude oil Hinchinbrook 1 × 10-4 1 × 10-3 X 100,000 270,000 Prolonged 20 Drift grounding Crude oil Hinchinbrook 3 × 10-4 3 × 10-3 X 150,000 180,000 Prolonged 21 Fire and explosion Crude oil Hinchinbrook 2 × 10-5 1 × 10-4 X 280,000 330,000 Prolonged 22 Powered grounding Crude oil Hinchinbrook 1 × 10-4 1 × 10-3 X 190,000 160,000 Prolonged 23 Structural and foundering Crude oil Hinchinbrook 3 × 10-5 2 × 10-4 X 130,000 200,000 Prolonged 24 Collision Crude oil Narrows 3 × 10-4 8 × 10-3 X 120,000 80,000 Prolonged 25 Drift grounding Crude oil Narrows 1 × 10-8 2 × 10-6 0 0 Prolonged 26 Fire and explosion Crude oil Narrows 1 × 10-5 6 × 10-5 X 290,000 340,000 Prolonged 27 Powered grounding Crude oil Narrows 2 × 10-4 2 × 10-3 X 70,000 180,000 Prolonged ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-6 (Cont.) Frequency Range Very Frequency (1/yr) Likely Unlikely Unlikely Spill Volume (bbl) Material Anticipated (0.03 to (10-3 to (10-6 to Release No. Spill Scenario Spilled Location Low High (> 0.5/yr) 0.5/yr) 0.03/yr) 10-6/yr) Low High Duration 28 Structural and foundering Crude oil Narrows 1 × 10-5 8 × 10-5 X 110,000 280,000 Prolonged 29 Collision Crude oil Port 6 × 10-4 9 × 10-3 X 110,000 90,000 Prolonged 30 Drift grounding Crude oil Port 9 × 10-5 7 × 10-4 X 70,000 180,000 Prolonged 31 Fire and explosion Crude oil Port 1 × 10-5 7 × 10-5 X 250,000 300,000 Prolonged 32 Powered grounding Crude oil Port 1 × 10-8 7 × 10-4 X 0 190,000 Prolonged 33 Structural and foundering Crude oil Port 2 × 10-5 2 × 10-4 X 100,000 240,000 Prolonged a All release points are on the water, and all spills reach the water. 4.7-36 b NLS = scenario is not location specific; it could occur anywhere in Prince William Sound. 4.7-37 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT The tanker Exxon Valdez went aground on Information from Table 4.7-7 was used in the Bligh Reef, Prince William Sound, on March 24, Liberty FEIS to estimate the size and location (in 1999, spilling 257,143 barrels of North Slope port or at sea) of the potential future spills crude oil. Numerous improvements have been associated with movement of TAPS tankers. made since that spill (on the basis of lessons learned as a result of the spill, new legislation, The Liberty FEIS assumed very new regulations, and numerous technology conservatively that nine tanker spills greater advances) that will reduce the likelihood of a than or equal to 1,000 bbl could potentially occur major marine transportation accident and/or the during the 15- to 20-year life of the Liberty expected outflow given such an accident. The project. This approach does not take into report Prince William Sound, Alaska Risk account various measures such as the creation Assessment Study by Det Norske Veritas et al. of SERVS and the increasing use of double- (1996), which did not consider future benefits of hulled tankers that are intended to decrease both double-hulled tankers, estimated that the risks of the frequency and the magnitude of large tanker a large oil spill were reduced by 75% with the spills. It also does not take into account the creation of SERVS and related measures. These decreasing production of North Slope crude oil measures have been reflected in the frequency with time, which would decrease the number of and spill volumes of the postulated spill tanker calls at the Valdez Marine Terminal and scenarios in Table 4.7-6. thus the frequency of a potential large tanker spill. Table 4.7-8 lists the estimated sizes of the Controlling Tankers in nine spills that were postulated to occur during Prince William Sound Liberty production. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as well as Alaska regulations, have established The Liberty FEIS estimated six spills four numerous controls on tanker traffic as part in port and two at sea with an average size of of Prince William Sound spill contingency 4,000 bbl; two spills at sea with an average size planning. These include a Coast Guard of 13,000 bbl; and one spill at sea with a size escort for ladened tankers, maneuvering support by SERVS, established tanker ranging from 200,000 to 260,000 bbl. For lanes, minimal weather limitations, and purposes of analysis, a value of 250,000 bbl was maximum tanker speed. assumed for the size category of greater than 200,000 bbl. The maximum spill volume of 250,000 bbl assumed in the Liberty FEIS is consistent with that assumed in the TAPS Gulf of Alaska/Pacific Ocean Spill Renewal EIS. Scenarios. The cumulative analysis in the Liberty FEIS (MMS 2002) considered future Information on the estimated frequency of a potential spills along the TAPS tanker route. For large tanker spill was not explicitly provided in purposes of quantitative analysis of oil spills, the the Liberty FEIS. A value of 3% was quoted for document focused on the past, present, and the probability of one or more spills occurring reasonably foreseeable activities, such as crude and contacting land along the U.S. coast oil production. This information is current adjacent to the TAPS tanker route, based on through 2001. previous studies. However, it can be reasonably assumed from Table 4.7-8 that the Liberty FEIS Table 4.7-7 lists the actual tanker spills estimated one catastrophic tanker spill per greater than or equal to 1,000 bbl that have 15- to 20-year life of the Liberty project, for a occurred along the TAPS tanker route; a total of frequency of 0.05 to 0.067 per year. This 11 such spills occurred from 1977 to 1998. The frequency is orders of magnitude greater than most significant (in terms of spill volume) was that estimated in the TAPS Renewal EIS for the Exxon Valdez oil spill (240,500 bbl). This tanker transport in the Prince William Sound. information is current through 2001. This apparent discrepancy may be attributed to the fact that the TAPS Renewal EIS takes into account factors such as the increasing use of ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-38 TABLE 4.7-7 Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Tanker Spills Greater than or Equal to 1,000 Barrels: 1977 through 1998 Spill Amount Date Vessel Location Destination (bbl) Perth Amboy, New 8/29/1978 Overseas Joyce Balboa Channel Jersey 1,816 6/7/1980 Texaco Connecticut Panama Canal Zone Port Neches, Texas 4,047 12/12/1981 Stuyvesant Gulf of Tehuantepec Panama 3,600 12/21/1985 ARCO Anchorage Puget Sound Cherry Point, Washington 5,690 1/9/1987 Stuyvesant Gulf of Alaska, British Columbia Puerto Armuelles, 15,000 Panama 7/2/1987 Glacier Bay Cook Inlet, Alaska Nikiski, Alaska 4,900 10/4/1987 Stuyvesant Gulf of Alaska, British Columbia Puerto Armuelles, 14,286 Panama 1/3/1989 Thompson Pass Port of Valdez Panama 1,700 3/24/1989 Exxon Valdez Prince William Sound, Alaska Long Beach, California 240,500 2/7/1990 American Trader Huntington Beach, California Long Beach, California 9,929 2/22/1991 Exxon San Francisco Fidalgo Bay, Washington Anacortes, Washington 5,000 TABLE 4.7-8 Sizes of Tanker Spills Assumed in the Cumulative Analysis for the Liberty FEIS Size Category (bbl) Number Average Size (bbl) Total Volume (bbl) ≤6,000 6 4,000 24,000 >6,001-≤15,000 2 13,000 26,000 >200,000 1 250,000 250,000 Total 9 − 294,000 Source: MMS (2002). double-hulled tankers, decreasing North Slope accident types or initiators. The Prince William crude oil production, development of the Sound subareas, identified in a risk assessment SERVS, and other measures that would study by Merrick et al. (2000), are as follows:2 decrease the frequency of a catastrophic tanker spill within the Prince William Sound. • Port of Valdez, • Valdez Narrows, 22.214.171.124.5 Catastrophic Events Considered in the Prince William • Valdez Arm, Sound Spill Analysis. The source of a • Central Sound, medium or major oil spill would most likely be a tank vessel laden with crude oil. An incident • Anchorage, involving a tank vessel has the most potential to be catastrophic (ARRT 1999). The last • Hinchinbrook Entrance, and 29 scenarios (5 through 33) represent unlikely or very unlikely spill events. The analysis considers • Gulf of Alaska. possible occurrences in seven different locations ____________________________ in Prince William Sound (or designated 2 This Prince William Sound risk assessment study had three primary objectives: to (1) identify and evaluate the subareas) caused by five different tanker vessel risks of oil transportation in Prince William Sound; (2) identify, evaluate, and rank proposed risk reduction measures; and (3) develop a risk management plan and tools that could be used to support a risk management program. 4.7-39 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT The five types of tanker accidents were classified as diminished ability; hazardous considered are: (1) collision, (2) drift grounding, shipboard environment; lack of knowledge, skills (3) fire and explosion, (4) powered grounding, or experience; poor management practices; or and (5) structural and foundering. The potential faulty perceptions or understanding. for a catastrophic release of crude oil is identified with regard to the spill scenario The volume of crude oil spilled for a given initiators as follows (Det Norske Veritas et al. scenario identified in Table 4.7-6 was estimated 1996): on the basis of the methodology in Det Norske Veritas et al. (1996) and by taking into account • Collision occurs when an underway tanker the decreasing number of crude oil tanker and another underway vessel collide into shipments due to depletion of North Slope crude each other or strike each other as a result of oil and the mandatory phase-out of single hull human error or mechanical failure and lack tankers on or before 2015 (FR 1998). of vigilance (intervessel collision) or when a floating object is struck by an underway tanker (e.g., ice collision). 4.7.5 Impacting Factors of Reasonably Foreseeable • Drift grounding occurs when a drifting tanker contacts the shore or bottom because it is Actions not under control as the result of a Section 4.7.4 describes past, present, and propulsion or steering failure. reasonably foreseeable actions for each of the regions of interest (Beaufort Sea and the North • Fire and explosion occurs either when there Slope, Interior Alaska, Prince William Sound and is a fire in the machinery, hotel, navigational, Pacific transportation routes) that are the focus or cargo space of a tanker or when there is of the cumulative analysis (see Table 4.7-2). an explosion in the machinery or cargo Table 4.7-9 translates these major actions in spaces. each region of interest into sets of activities • Powered grounding occurs when an relevant to each environmental attribute underway tanker contacts the shore or considered in the cumulative impact analysis. bottom because of navigational error or For example, surface water resources (an steering failure and lack of vigilance. environmental attribute) could be affected by oil development (an action) through permitted • Structural failure and foundering occurs discharges, construction, land disturbance, when a structural failure due to the hull or water use, or spills (the activities). The frame cracking or erosion is serious enough activities, in turn, can be further translated into to affect the structural integrity of the tanker. impacting factors (e.g., chemical pollutants, It is then assumed that the tanker will sedimentation, reduced flow) that can be used to founder or sink as a result of water ingress evaluate the impacts of the action on the or loss of stability. environmental attribute. The sum of these effects, then, represents the cumulative impacts As Garrick (1984) notes, an accident is not a on the specific environmental attribute in the single event, but the culmination of a series of region. Thus, impacting factors constitute the events. A triggering incident is defined to be the mechanism by which cumulative effects are immediate precursor of an accident. In the analyzed and presented. While each activity in Prince William Sound Risk Assessment (Det Table 4.7-9 has one or more corresponding Norske Veritas et al. 1996), triggering incidents impacting factors, each impacting factor can also were separated into mechanical failures and be a component of more than one activity. For human errors. The mechanical failures that were example, sedimentation can be an impacting considered to be triggering incidents were factor for surface water resources for both propulsion failures, steering failures, electrical construction and land disturbance. power failures, and hull failures. Human errors ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-9 Activities and Impacting Factors Associated with the Reasonably Foreseeable Actions That Would Contribute to a Cumulative Effect Key to actions: A = Oil and gas exploration, development, and production; B = Oil refining; C = Oil and refined product storage; D = Oil and gas transportation; E = Human habitation and development; F = Transportation (other than oil and gas); G = Legislative actions; H = Land management; I= Natural resource use; and J = Petroleum spills. Major Contributing Actions, by Regiona Gulf of Alaska/ Pacific Environmental Attribute Beaufort Sea Prince William Transportation and Associated Activities Impacting Factor and North Slope Interior Alaska Sound Routes PHYSICAL Soils and Permafrost Construction Disturbance A, D A, D, E, F, I E, F, I Spill/site cleanup Disturbance J J J 4.7-40 Vehicular traffic Dusts A, D A, D, E, F, I -- Sand, Gravel, and Stone Construction Resource use A, D, E A, D, E, F -- Paleontology Excavation Disturbance -- -- -- Collecting Removal E E E Surface Water Resources Permitted discharges Pollutants A A, B, E B, D, E Construction Sedimentation A, D, E, F A, D, E, F D, E, F Land disturbance Sedimentation -- E, I E, I Bank/shore modification Sedimentation; channel/flow changes A, D, F D, E, F, I D, E, I Water use Reduced flow A A, E, I A, E, I Site remediation Sedimentation; elimination or J I, J I, J reduction of pollution source Petroleum spills Pollutants A, D, F A, B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I, J D TABLE 4.7-9 (Cont.) Major Contributing Actions, by Regiona Gulf of Alaska/ Pacific Environmental Attribute Beaufort Sea Prince William Transportation and Associated Activities Impacting Factor and North Slope Interior Alaska Sound Routes Groundwater Resources Permitted discharges Pollutants A -- -- Site remediation Elimination or reduction of J I, J I, J source pollution Petroleum spills Pollutants A, D, F A, B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I, J Marine Environment Noise -- -- E, F, I, J Oil/fuel spills -- -- E, F, I, J D 4.7-41 Air Quality Facility and equipment operations Emissions from fuel combustion A, D, E A, B, D, E, I B, C, D, E Fugitive emissions A, C, F A, C, F C, F Construction Exhaust emissions A, D, E A, D, E, I D, E, I Fugitive dust A, D, E A, D, E, I D, E, I ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Vehicles Exhaust emissions D, F D, F D, F Fugitive dust D, F D, F D, F Accidental spills Evaporative emissions from J J J crude oil, petroleum products, hazardous chemicals Noise Construction activities Equipment, blasting A, D, E, F A, D, E, F, I D, E, F, I Operations Equipment, blasting A, D, E, F A, D, E, F, I D, E, F, I Transportation Marine railway Materials, equipment, supplies A, D A, D, E, I E, I Dalton/Alaska highways Materials, equipment, supplies A, D A, B, D, E, H, I B, D, E, I Workers -- A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, H, I Residents -- E E Tourists E, H, I E, H, I E, H, I ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-9 (Cont.) Major Contributing Actions, by Regiona Gulf of Alaska/ Pacific Environmental Attribute Beaufort Sea Prince William Transportation and Associated Activities Impacting Factor and North Slope Interior Alaska Sound Routes Airports/airstrips Workers, supplies A, H E, H, I E, H, I Residents E E E Tourists E, H, I E, H, I E, H, I Permanent/seasonal roads Materials, equipment, supplies, A A, D, E, H, I E, H, I workers Ice/winter roads Materials, equipment, supplies A A, D, E, H, I -- Human Health and Safety Exploration Occupational hazards A A -- Construction Occupational hazards A, D, E, I, D, E, I E 4.7-42 Operations Occupational hazards A, D, H, J B, C, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, H, I Toxic releases A, D B, C, D, E, I B, C, D, E, I Transportation Vehicle emissions F F F Accidents F F F Persistent environmental Persistent organic pollutants A, D, E, F, H, I, B, C, D, E, F H, I, B, C, D, E, F H, I, contaminants (POPs) global sources global sources global sources Heavy metals A, E, F, J, E, F, I, natural E, F, I, natural natural sources sources sources Radionuclides A, natural B, E, I, natural B, E, I, natural sources sources sources BIOLOGICAL Vegetation and Wetlands Construction Disturbance A, D, E D, E, F, I E, I Dusts A, D, F D, E, F, I E, I Erosion A, D, E D, E, F, I E, I Transportation Dusts A, D, F B, C, D, E, F, I C, E, F, H, I Restoration Disturbance A, D B, C, D, I B, C, D, I Nonnative species A, D B, C, D, I B, C, D, I Petroleum spills Spills A, D, F B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I D Permafrost changes Habitat loss/alteration F F -.- TABLE 4.7-9 (Cont.) Major Contributing Actions, by Regiona Gulf of Alaska/ Pacific Environmental Attribute Beaufort Sea Prince William Transportation and Associated Activities Impacting Factor and North Slope Interior Alaska Sound Routes Fish Construction Habitat loss/alternation A, D, E D, E, F, I E, I Obstruction A, D, F D, F I Transportation Harvest A, D, F D, E, F, H, I D, E, F, H, I Petroleum spills Habitat loss/alteration A, D, E B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, I D Birds and Mammals Construction Habitat loss/alteration A, D, E D, E, F, I E, I Displacement A, D, E D, E, F, I E, I Operations Obstruction A, D D, E, F, I I 4.7-43 Disturbance A, D, E D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, I Petroleum spills Habitat loss/alteration A, D, E B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I Mortality A, D, E B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I D Transportation Mortality A, D, F B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, I ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES HUMAN Subsistence Construction/operation Employment A, D, E, H B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I Permanent Fund Dividend A, D D D Effects on resources A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I D Nonsubsistence use H, I E, H, I E, H, I Petroleum spills Effects on resources A, D, F J J Sociocultural Systems Taxes and revenues Public services and education All actions All actions All actions Roads, airports, infrastructure All actions All actions All actions Employment Cash economy A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I Acculturation A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I Fragmentation A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-9 (Cont.) Major Contributing Actions, by Regiona Gulf of Alaska/ Pacific Environmental Attribute Beaufort Sea Transportation and Associated Activities Impacting Factor and North Slope Interior Alaska Prince William Sound Routes Economics Construction/operations Expenditures A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I Employment A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I Taxes/revenues A, D, E, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I B, C, D, E, F, H, I Petroleum spills Expenditures A, D, F B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I D Employment A, D, F B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I D Land Use Construction/operations Use conflicts A, D, G, H D, G, H G, H Petroleum spills Fire A, D B, C, D B, C, D D 4.7-44 Coastal Zone Management Construction/operations Visual changes A, D -- B, C, D Use conflicts A, D, G, H -- B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I Subsistence impacts A, D, G, H -- B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I Petroleum spills D D D Recreation Construction/operations Increased demand -- D, E, I -- Conflict with use -- E, I -- Petroleum spills D D D Aesthetics Construction/operations Visible effects A, D B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I Noise A, D B, C, D, E, F, I B, C, D, E, F, I Petroleum spills Fire A, D B, C, D B, C, D D a See Table 4.7-2 for further details. b A hyphen indicates not applicable. 4.7-45 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7.6 Physical Environment cumulative impacts on soil disturbance from oil exploration and development on the North Slope would decline as these activities declined, 126.96.36.199 Soils and Permafrost pending development of an alternative means of oil transportation. However, the combined effects Activities associated with oil and gas of shutting down TAPS operations, removing exploration, development, and production and facilities, and construction of a natural gas the construction of a natural gas pipeline could pipeline would have cumulative effects greater disturb vegetative cover and affect soils and than those for the proposed action. This is permafrost in the North Slope and Beaufort Sea because the activities involve extensive areas and Interior Alaska. These activities could excavation and movement of heavy equipment. include constructing roads, drilling pads, and In summary, the cumulative impact on soil and pipeline; delivering heavy equipment; logging; permafrost caused by physical disturbance on and building support facilities. As the vegetative the ground surface would be smaller under the cover would be disturbed, the permafrost below proposed action than under the no-action the ground surface could be degraded, causing alternative. changes in the local hydrology, slope stability problems, and surface subsidence (see Permafrost is affected by road dust Section 4.3.2 on soils and permafrost). The generated by traffic on unpaved roads; snow current warming trend in Alaska would contribute melt due to dust deposition can lead to flooding, to continued thawing in the vicinity of all actions ponding, and hydrological changes in soil in permafrost areas. (see Section 188.8.131.52 on permafrost degradation and aggradation). Where roads on the North The impacts would vary by location, since Slope and in Interior Alaska are not paved, all they would depend on the local geology, activities that generate vehicle traffic on hydrology, and permafrost conditions. The roadways generate dust. (The Dalton Highway is impacts on the soil and permafrost would currently being improved to reduce generation of primarily occur in the local areas where the dust.) Thus, continuing oil and gas exploration, activities occurred. Therefore, since other development, and production; construction of a activities in the Beaufort Sea and North Slope natural gas pipeline; the operation of the TAPS; areas would affect local areas, there would be a and other activities requiring road travel would negligible cumulative impact with any similar add cumulatively to the volume of road dust localized impacts of TAPS operations. generated. The quantitative increase in the settled dust layer, as well as increases in the Construction of a gas pipeline from the North frequency of dusting may increase effects on Slope either to Delta Junction in Interior Alaska vegetation and snow cover, thus ultimately or on to Valdez would require excavation in the affecting soils and permafrost. vicinity of the TAPS ROW. Activities associated with TAPS and natural gas pipeline construction The road dust generated from TAPS and operation would therefore act cumulatively activities alone in the long term would be about to disturb vegetative cover and affect soils and the same or larger under the proposed action permafrost. The disturbance caused by than under the no-action alternative because construction of the natural gas pipeline would be expected traffic volumes would be less under no substantially larger than that caused by action (Section 184.108.40.206). Under the no-action maintaining the TAPS; the contribution of the cumulative case, the amount of traffic due to oil TAPS to cumulative impacts of soil disturbance exploration, development, and production would in the region is expected to be small. also decline after the initial phase of TAPS renewal. Depending on the balance of the other Under the less-than-30 year renewal transportation changes, the cumulative impact of alternative, cumulative impacts would be as road dust on soil and permafrost could be stated above for the proposed action, but of smaller, the same, or larger in the proposed shorter duration for the TAPS renewal period. action case than in the no-action case, while the TAPS contributions to cumulative effects would contribution of the gas line construction to the be small. For the no-action alternative, the ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-46 total impact caused by the road dust in both and with other industrial and community alternatives would be the same. development, additional quantities of sands, gravels, and quarry stones would be needed. If oil and gas exploration, development, and Other actions in Interior Alaska, such as mineral production in the North Slope and Beaufort Sea development, logging, and urban development, areas were expanded, or a gas pipeline parallel would require roads and other facilities, which, in to the TAPS is constructed, the amount of road turn, would require sand and gravel. The sand traffic caused by these activities would increase and gravel requirements for the natural gas greatly over the traffic caused by regular pipeline on the North Slope and in the Interior maintenance operations for the TAPS. The Alaska are not known, but these resources might cumulative impact of road dust on soil and be required along the ROWs and access points. permafrost would be smaller in the proposed Rip rap might be needed at river crossings. The action case than in the no-action case. Similarly, majority of these materials would be mined and the cumulative impact on soil and permafrost impact areas would be outside the areas where caused by physical disturbance on the ground the TAPS is located. However, some of the surface would be smaller under the proposed materials could be extracted in areas near the action than under the no-action alternative. In TAPS or from the same quarries or gravel pits as the years following completion of dismantlement those used by the TAPS. The latter actions of the pipeline, impacts from all activities could would contribute to a cumulative impact. be less than, the same, or greater than the However, taken as a whole, sand, gravel, and annual impacts under the proposed action, stone resources are abundant, and all depending on the level of activity in any area. No requirements are unlikely to deplete these synergistic impacts were found. resources. In summary, if oil and gas exploration, The requirement designed to protect the development, and production in the North Slope tundra environment to use ice roads in winter and Beaufort Sea areas continued and if the and ice pads in exploratory drilling pads natural gas pipeline were constructed, the reduces the quantity of gravel that would amount of road traffic caused by these activities otherwise be used for roads to reach remote could be greater than the traffic caused by areas. However, ice roads or ice pads might not regular maintenance operations for the TAPS. It be used in places where continued access is likely that the TAPS contribution to the total during summer (for maintenance) or operational dust load would be smaller than that from the access is required. Sands and gravels would be other activities in the North Slope area. required at remote locations for pad construction, production facilities, and associated infrastructure. On the North Slope, 220.127.116.11 Sand, Gravel, and the source for rock for rip rap and river framing is Quarry Resources limited to quarries in the Brooks Range. The contribution of the TAPS to the total impact Sand, gravel, and quarry stones are needed would likely be much smaller than that of the to build the access roads, air strips, workpads, other continuing and new activities in the North drilling pads, and gravel islands needed for oil Slope area. No synergistic impacts were found. and gas exploration, development, and production. These materials are mined in Under the less-than-30-year renewal quarries in the Brooks Range and in floodplains alternative, cumulative impacts would be as throughout the region. stated above for the proposed action but of shorter duration. If at the end of this period a To reduce construction costs, most of the further request for renewal was granted, mining sites, to the maximum extent possible, cumulative impacts would continue as stated for would be located near areas where the materials the proposed action. If a further request for would be needed. With continuing oil and gas renewal was not granted, cumulative impacts exploration, development and production in the would continue as stated for no action, below. Beaufort Sea, North Slope, and Interior Alaska, and with development of the natural gas pipeline 4.7-47 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Under the no-action alternative, sand, 18.104.22.168 Surface Water gravel, and quarry stone requirements might Resources increase while TAPS facilities were dismantled and removed. However, sand, gravel, and quarry A number of foreseeable actions have been stones would no longer be needed for the TAPS identified (Section 4.7.3) that could produce after early phases of the termination activities impacts to surface water resources in three were completed, and requirements for oil regions associated with the TAPS ROW: the exploration, development, and production would North Slope, Interior Alaska (along the TAPS decline. However, the natural gas pipeline would ROW), and Prince William Sound. These actions require sand, gravel, and quarry stone could interact cumulatively with impacts from the resources. The cumulative impact of all activities proposed action and the no-action alternative. on these resources would be smaller under the Impacting factors related to these foreseeable no-action alternative than under either the activities include permitted discharges; erosion; 30-year proposed action or the less-than-30-year sedimentation; bank, channel, and shore renewal alternatives. modifications; water use; site remediation; and spills. Potential impacts of these factors on surface water resources include reduced 22.214.171.124 Paleontology quantities of water and degraded water quality. Any action that involves ground disturbance, Oil and gas exploration, development, and either from routine operations or from cleanup production require the use of large quantities of after accidents, creates a potential for impacts to water. Maximum bounding estimates for one paleontological resources existing in the affected project are that construction of 1 mi of ice road area. Synergistic effects are unlikely. requires about 1 million gal of water; an ice pad Paleontological resources may also be impacted that is square and 600 ft on a side requires about by collecting and disturbance by the presence of 21 million gal of water; and construction of an ice people associated with these actions. However, airstrip requires about 8 million gal of water given the variability of the scientific importance (BP Exploration 2000). For the same project, drill of paleontological resources, there is the rig use would require about 9 million gal of water potential for significant adverse cumulative annually, rig-camp use for 120 people would be impacts when all other actions are considered about 2 million gal of water annually; mobile together. Mitigating this cumulative impact would camp water use for 60 people would be about require addressing protection of paleontological 0.5 million gal of water per year; and ice pad, resources for these other actions on a case-by- road, and airstrip maintenance would use case basis. Impacts to paleontological resources another 9 million gal of water per year. For the from continuing operations of the TAPS will be North Slope as a whole, the typical annual water avoided according to provisions in the Federal use for oil exploration is about 27 billion gal Grant that address paleontological materials, (ADNR 2001e). This value represents about and continued operation of TAPS would not add 0.27% of the total water available on the North to any significant impact on paleontological Slope in any given year. resources. Water requirements on the North Slope in Under the no-action alternative and the less- summer would be met by using water from lakes, than-30-year renewal alternative, the cumulative river pools, and flooded gravel mine sites. Water impacts would be similar to cumulative impacts from taliks (unfrozen layers of ground located on under the proposed action. Construction of a top, underneath, or within masses of permafrost, natural gas pipeline would be a major ground often occurring beneath deep pools below the disturbing activity of a few years’ duration. These surface of rivers and lakes) would be used in impacts would be offset by declining oil and gas winter when the surface water was frozen (BLM development activities on the North Slope. In 1983c). Water withdrawals from taliks could be summary, any ground disturbing activity involves limited by permit to no more than 15% of the the potential for impacts to paleontological available water (ADNR 2001e). For the town of resources requiring mitigation on a case-by-case Barrow, the Barrow Utilidor System, which is basis. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-48 owned and operated by the North Slope the foreseeable actions could be small in Borough, provides about 200,000 gal/d of water magnitude and local. Impacts from continued from the Isatkoak Reservoir (AWWA 2001). operation of the TAPS would be similarly small in magnitude and local on the North Slope. Impacts to the quantity of surface water from However, the effects on water quality if a large foreseeable activities would be cumulative if the spill was released directly to surface water could water withdrawals occurred in the same be large and extensive, and the magnitude of the watershed. These impacts potentially could act effects would depend on the speed of cleanup synergistically on aquatic life due to the action of response teams and the local conditions biological processes if the withdrawals used a affecting oil dispersion. The probability of this large portion of the available water. However, type of spill occurring is very small. Impacts from because the total water use for the North Slope anticipated or likely small spills would produce is about 0.27% of the available water, and small and local impacts on surface water quality. because withdrawal from any one source is By following guidelines established for limited, impacts from the foreseeable actions appropriate Alaska discharge permits, limits on could be small in magnitude and local, and the volume of water that can be withdrawn under synergistic effects are not expected. Impacts ice cover, meeting restrictions on the storage of from continued operation of the TAPS would be toxic construction and operations materials, and cumulative with other activities on the North meeting requirements for cleanup of all toxic Slope only if the same source area was used. materials as part of construction and normal Some major water users, such as oil and gas operations, cumulative impacts on water quality development, are not located along the TAPS could be minimized. ROW. However, water for construction of a natural gas pipeline may affect surface waters in In Interior Alaska (i.e., along the TAPS the TAPS ROW, however, these effects would ROW), quantity and quality of surface water be small in magnitude and local. By following the could be cumulatively affected by oil and gas guidelines on the permissible levels of water exploration, development, and production; oil withdrawal specified in Alaska water-use and gas transportation; oil refining; and human permits, impacts of surface water use on the habitation and development. Surface water quantity of surface water could be minimized. would be used for activities such as drilling, oil refining, construction (including a natural gas The quality of surface water resources pipeline), dust control, and human consumption. (dissolved constituents and sediment) could also Water requirements would be met by using water be affected by water withdrawals and oil and gas from lakes, river pools, taliks (during the winter; exploration, development, and production; oil BLM 1983c), and groundwater wells (see and gas transportation; and human habitation Section 126.96.36.199). Large construction projects, and development in the North Slope and such as the natural gas pipeline, would probably Beaufort Sea area. Since water would be obtain water from nearby rivers and streams. withdrawn from taliks during winter, oxygen Impacts of these activities on surface water demand by sediments and water could reduce would be cumulative with those from the the concentration of oxygen in the water needed proposed action, if the water withdrawals by overwintering fish. However, only 15% of occurred in the same watershed. As discussed water under the ice sheet may be withdrawn in Section 4.3.6, impacts of the proposed action (ADNR 2001e), which would reduce the potential on surface water would be negligible in for oxygen reduction or loss and the release of magnitude, local, and temporary because most harmful substances from the sediments. The water needs are met by using groundwater wells quality of surface water in other areas could be along the TAPS ROW. It is anticipated that the affected by discharges during drilling, cumulative impacts of the foreseeable actions sedimentation and runoff from road construction, would be minimized as much as possible by discharges from homes and developments, and using good engineering practices. spills. Impacts of these activities would be Implementation of the foreseeable actions would cumulative if the surface discharges or spills require compliance with all applicable permit occurred in the same watershed. Impacts from restrictions, laws, and regulations. 4.7-49 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES The quality of surface water resources in water in the Valdez area is supplied by four Interior Alaska could also be affected by oil and primary groundwater wells (Vacation Alaska gas exploration, development, and production; 1999). If the foreseeable project water needs oil refining; and human habitation and were met by using groundwater from these wells development. Surface water quality is affected or other new wells, there would be no impact to by both dissolved constituents and sediment. surface water quantities. Impacts from Similar to withdrawal from taliks on the North anticipated or likely small spills would produce Slope, water withdrawal from taliks in Interior small and local impacts because of the small Alaska could affect overwintering fish if a large volumes of oil released. (Cumulative impacts to proportion of liquid water were withdrawn. groundwater are discussed in Section 188.8.131.52). However, this potential effect is limited by water Impacts from continued operation of the TAPS withdrawal permit conditions. Similarly, the for the proposed action would, then, be the only quality of surface water could be affected by component of the cumulative impact to surface discharges during drilling, sedimentation and water quantities in the Prince William Sound runoff from road construction (particularly during area. These impacts, as previously discussed, construction of a natural gas pipeline), refinery would be small in magnitude, local, and construction and operation, human habitation regulated by applicable permits for water use at and development, and spills. Impacts of these the Valdez Marine Terminal. activities would be cumulative with those from the proposed action if the surface discharges or The quality of surface water resources in the spills occurred in the same watershed. area of Prince William Sound could also be Depending on the quantities of pollutants affected by oil refining; oil and gas released, impacts from the foreseeable actions transportation; and human habitation and could be large in magnitude and local. Impacts development. Surface water quality is affected from continued operation of the TAPS would, in by both dissolved constituents and sediment. general, be small and local because of existing The quality of surface water could be affected by permit conditions. However, impacts from a runoff from road construction, refinery large spill could be major in magnitude and construction and operation, human habitation extensive, depending on the speed of cleanup and development, and spills. Impacts of these response and the conditions affecting dispersal. activities would be cumulative with those from (For example, a guillotine break caused by a the proposed action if the surface discharges or helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft crash could spill spills occurred in the same watershed. Impacts oil directly into a river or stream at an elevated from the foreseeable actions could be large in crossing.) In the case of smaller spills, cleanup magnitude and local. Impacts from continued response would limit the extent of contamination operation of the TAPS would, in general, be and effect on water quality. By following small in magnitude and local, except for impacts guidelines established for appropriate Alaska from spills, which could be major and extensive discharge permits, meeting restrictions on the (e.g., a catastrophic failure of an oil storage tank storage of toxic construction and operations at the Valdez Marine Terminal). For anticipated materials, and meeting requirements for cleanup or likely small spills, impacts to surface water of all toxic materials as part of construction and quality would be small and local because of the normal operations, cumulative impacts on water small volumes of oil released. The recipients of quality would be minimized and synergistic most of these impacts would be marine waters effects are not expected. (see Section 184.108.40.206) rather than freshwater rivers or streams, which are limited in number In the area of Prince William Sound, oil and size in the vicinity of the Valdez Marine refining; oil and gas transportation; and human Terminal. By following guidelines established for habitation and development could affect both the appropriate Alaska discharge permits, meeting quantity and quality of available surface water. restrictions on the storage of toxic construction The quantity of surface water available could be and operations materials, and meeting reduced by activities such as road construction requirements for cleanup of all toxic materials as and dust control, building construction, and part of construction and normal operations, human habitation and development, however, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-50 cumulative impacts on water quality would be In the Prince Williams Sound area, impacts minimized. to surface water quantity and quality would be initially high as TAPS facilities were removed; For the less-than-30-year renewal however, these impacts would be temporary. alternative, cumulative impacts would be as Once removal activities were completed, stated above for the proposed action but of a impacts would be produced by other non-TAPS shorter duration. Impacts from routine TAPS related projects. Because surface water would operations would be small in magnitude and not be used for these other activities, impacts to local. However, for a large spill into a major the quantity of surface water available would be system, impacts on surface waters could be negligible. Impacts to water quality would be large in magnitude and extensive, depending on minimized, to the extent possible, by following the speed of cleanup and the conditions good engineering practices and provisions in affecting dispersal. If at the end of this period a appropriate Alaska discharge permits. further request for renewal was granted, cumulative impacts would continue as stated for In summary, the cumulative impacts of all the proposed action. If a further request for activities would have small, local, and additive renewal was not granted, cumulative impacts impacts on surface water quantity and quality. would continue as stated for no action, below. Permit requirements related to water withdrawals and discharges to surface waters, Under the no-action alternative, the Federal as well as cleanup of small petroleum spills, Grant of ROW would not be renewed, and oil would protect surface water resources. The would no longer flow through the pipeline to the impacts of TAPS operations on surface water Valdez Marine Terminal. Oil production on the resources would be small in comparison to other North Slope would cease, and there would be no actions such as oil exploration and development, exploratory drilling for oil. However, it is water requirements for construction of a natural assumed gas production on the North Slope gas transportation system, and the requirements would continue, as would exploratory drilling for of other industrial and municipal systems. gas. Because oil production and exploratory drilling for oil would cease, water use on the North Slope would be greatly reduced, and 220.127.116.11 Groundwater impacts to surface water quality from activities Resources (e.g., ice road construction, other construction, and camp use), discharges from homes and A number of foreseeable actions have been developments, and spills would also be greatly identified that could produce impacts to reduced. groundwater resources in three regions associated with the TAPS ROW: the North In Interior Alaska, cumulative impacts along Slope, Interior Alaska (along the TAPS ROW), the TAPS ROW would be temporarily increased and Prince William Sound. These actions could during removal of the oil pipeline and associated interact cumulatively with impacts from the structures. These impacts would include water proposed action. Specific impacting factors for use and modification of the existing water these foreseeable activities include water use, quality. Impacts from TAPS removal would be permitted discharges, site remediation, and cumulative with those from construction of a new spills. Impacts to groundwater resources include gas pipeline. Although construction and removal reduced quantities of water available and impacts would only occur for a short time, the degraded water quality. cumulative impacts along the TAPS ROW would be large in magnitude and extensive (occurring In the North Slope area, oil and gas along a substantial portion of the 800-mi length exploration, development, and production; oil of the pipeline). Once the pipeline was removed, and gas transportation; and human habitation impacts from any TAPS-related spills would no and development could affect the quantity and longer be possible, and impacts to surface water quality of groundwater directly or indirectly. quality would be limited to other non-TAPS- While groundwater resources could be used for related projects. such activities as drilling, road construction (particularly ice roads), construction, dust 4.7-51 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES control, and human consumption, water needs and operations materials, and meeting on the North Slope are typically met by using requirements for cleanup of all toxic materials as surface water resources (BLM 1983c) (see part of construction and normal operations, Section 18.104.22.168) because of the presence of a cumulative impacts on water quality would be thick layer (thousands of feet) of permafrost. minimized. Therefore, cumulative impacts to the available groundwater from the foreseeable actions, In Interior Alaska (i.e., along the TAPS together with the proposed action would be none ROW), groundwater quantity and quality could to negligible. be cumulatively impacted by oil and gas exploration, development, and production; oil The quality of groundwater resources could and gas transportation; oil refining; and human also be affected by oil and gas exploration, habitation and development. The quantity of development, and production; oil and gas groundwater available may be locally reduced transportation; and human habitation and because water would be used for industrial development in the North Slope. Both direct and activities such as drilling, oil refining, indirect impacts could occur. Direct impacts on construction; dust control, and human water quality would result from direct discharges consumption. Within Interior Alaska, water to the groundwater from drilling operations needs are usually met by using groundwater (e.g., disposal of production water in deep wells. For example, the City of Fairbanks formations beneath the permafrost layer) and acquires all of its water from wells. In 1996, the septic systems that discharge to very shallow monthly mean water withdrawal was about water above the permafrost (suprapermafrost). 6 million gal/d (USGS 2002b). However, disposal of production water in deep formations would not impact water available for For the foreseeable actions in Interior human consumption. Indirect impacts on water Alaska, water requirements would be met by quality would result from the infiltration of using groundwater wells, although surface water contaminated surface water derived from resources could be used to meet natural gas petroleum spills. Impacts from these sources pipeline construction needs. Impacts of these would be cumulative with the proposed action activities on groundwater resources would be only if contaminants reached the same aquifers. cumulative with those from the proposed action, However, these impacts would be controlled and if the water withdrawals were from the same minimized by prompt cleanup actions. Impacts aquifer. Impacts produced by the foreseeable on water quality from the foreseeable actions actions could be large in magnitude and local if would be small in magnitude and local because withdrawals were a substantial proportion of the of the presence of the permafrost in this region. available resource. As discussed in Synergistic effects are not expected. Impacts Section 4.3.6, impacts of the proposed action on from spills from all actions could be large and groundwater quantities would be negligible and extensive if contamination from unlikely or very would be a small component of the cumulative unlikely large spill events were allowed to reach impact. The cumulative impacts of the the groundwater. Impacts to water quality from foreseeable actions would be minimized as continued operation of the TAPS would be small much as possible by using good engineering in magnitude and local on the North Slope (no practices. Implementation of the foreseeable cumulative impacts along the TAPS ROW would actions would require compliance with all be derived from North Slope actions), except for applicable permit restrictions, laws, and spills, which could produce large and extensive regulations. impacts if allowed to reach the groundwater. The cumulative impact of foreseeable actions and the The quality of groundwater resources in proposed action would be small in magnitude Interior Alaska could also be affected by oil and and local. Impacts from anticipated spills would gas exploration, development, and production; be small and local because of the small volumes oil refining; and human habitation and released. By following guidelines established for development. Both direct and indirect impacts appropriate Alaska discharge permits, meeting could occur. Direct impacts could result from restrictions on the storage of toxic construction direct discharges to the groundwater from industrial activities and septic fields. Indirect ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-52 impacts could result from the infiltration of could be large, and the water table would be contaminated surface water from industrial and lowered. Water for operation of the Valdez municipal sources and from spills which were Marine Terminal is obtained from surface water not cleaned up. Impacts of these activities would resources. Impacts from continued operation of be cumulative with those from the proposed the TAPS under the proposed action would thus action, if the direct discharges were to the same be a negligible component of the cumulative aquifer or if contaminated surface water impact to groundwater quantities in the Prince infiltrated the same aquifer. Impacts from the William Sound area. foreseeable actions could be large in magnitude and local if any wastewaters were disposed of by The quality of groundwater resources in the deep well injection. Impacts from continued area of Prince William Sound could also be operation of the TAPS would, in general, be affected by oil refining; oil and gas small and local, except for impacts from unlikely transportation; and human habitation and or very unlikely large spills, which could be large development. Both direct and indirect impacts and extensive (e.g., a very unlikely underground could occur. Direct impacts would result from guillotine break caused by seismic activity or a direct discharges to the groundwater from septic landslide). The cumulative impact of foreseeable fields. Indirect impacts would result from the actions and the proposed action would be large infiltration of contaminated surface water. in magnitude and local, with the contribution Impacts from continued operation of the TAPS from continued TAPS operation being negligible would, in general, be small in magnitude and to small in magnitude, except for the impacts local, except for impacts from spills, which could from spills. In the case of spills, the cumulative be larger and more extensive (e.g., a very impacts could be very large in magnitude and unlikely catastrophic failure of an oil storage tank extensive, particularly if a large unlikely spill was at the Valdez Marine Terminal). The cumulative released directly to groundwater. For anticipated impact of foreseeable actions and the proposed spills, impacts would be small and local because action would be large in magnitude and local, of the small volumes of contaminants released with the contribution from continued TAPS and because they would be promptly cleaned up. operation being small in magnitude, except for By following guidelines established for the impacts from spills. In the case of spills, the appropriate Alaska discharge permits, meeting cumulative impacts could be very large and restrictions on the storage of toxic construction extensive for unlikely to very unlikely spill and operations materials, and meeting scenarios. For anticipated spills, impacts could requirements for cleanup of all toxic materials as be small and local because of the small volumes part of construction and normal operations, of contaminants released. By following cumulative impacts on water quality could be guidelines established for appropriate Alaska minimized. discharge permits, meeting restrictions on the storage of toxic construction and operations In the area of Prince William Sound, oil and materials, and meeting requirements for cleanup gas transportation, and human habitation and of all toxic materials as part of construction and development could affect both the quantity and normal operations, cumulative impacts on quality of groundwater. The quantity of groundwater quality would be minimized. groundwater could be reduced because water would be used for activities such as industrial Under the less-than-30-year renewal requirements, road construction and dust alternative, cumulative impacts would be the control, building construction, and human same as the cumulative impacts under the consumption and development. Water in the proposed action but of shorter duration. Valdez area is supplied by four primary Cumulative impacts on groundwater could be groundwater wells (Vacation Alaska 1999). large and local; however, the contribution of Water is stored in two 750,000-gal reservoirs routine TAPS operations to these impacts would before it is piped throughout Valdez. If be small in magnitude. Impacts to groundwater foreseeable project water needs were met by could be large in the case of a large, but very using groundwater from these wells or other new unlikely oil spill. If at the end of this period a wells, the impacts on the groundwater system further request for renewal was granted, 4.7-53 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES cumulative impacts would continue as stated for Once removal activities were completed, the proposed action. If a further request for impacts would be produced by other non-TAPS- renewal was not granted, cumulative impacts related projects. Because groundwater is the would continue as stated for no action, below. primary source of water in the area, impacts to the resource could be large. Impacts to Under the no-action alternative, the Federal groundwater resources could be minimized, to Grant of ROW would not be renewed, and oil the extent possible, by following good would no longer flow through the pipeline to the engineering practices and provisions in Valdez Marine Terminal. Oil production on the appropriate Alaska discharge permits. North Slope would cease, and there would be no exploratory drilling for oil. However, it is In summary, cumulative impacts on assumed gas production on the North Slope groundwater would be small and local. These would continue, as would exploratory drilling for impacts would be related to oil and gas gas. Because oil production and exploratory exploration, development, and production, and drilling for oil would cease, water use on the by other industry and community withdrawals. In North Slope would be greatly reduced. Because the event of an unlikely or very unlikely large this water is normally supplied from surface spill, groundwater could also be affected if water resources, there would be no effect on the contamination was allowed to reach the groundwater resources. However, groundwater groundwater. Continued operation of the TAPS quality could still be impacted by such activities would be a small contributor to the cumulative as exploratory drilling for gas (e.g., brine impacts on groundwater resources. No disposal), discharges from septic fields, and synergistic effects were found. spills. With the curtailment of oil field drilling, impacts from normal operations to groundwater quality would be greatly reduced. Although the 22.214.171.124 Physical Marine impacts of spills could still be high, the Environment occurrence of spills would be reduced with the curtailment of oil production and exploratory Potential cumulative impacts to the physical drilling for oil. marine environment associated with the TAPS would include those from tankers traveling from In Interior Alaska, cumulative impacts along the Valdez Marine Terminal through Prince the TAPS ROW would be increased during William Sound to the Hinchinbrook Entrance and removal of the oil pipeline and associated on to the Gulf of Alaska, Pacific Ocean, and structures and construction of a natural gas receiving ports. These transits would create pipeline. These impacts include water use and noise and involve the risks of petroleum spills or modification of the existing water quality. other accidents. Other actions that would be Impacts from TAPS removal would be less than cumulative with the impacts from tanker traffic those from construction of a new natural gas are commercial fishing, recreational pipeline. Because construction and removal fishing/sightseeing, commercial impacts would only occur for a short time, the sightseeing/tours, and other commercial cargo cumulative impacts along the TAPS ROW would operations in Port Valdez, Prince William Sound, be extensive in area (occurring along a and other ports. With the exception of the risks substantial portion of the 800-mi length of the from larger oil spills, these cumulative impacts pipeline) and temporary. Once the TAPS on the physical marine environment would be pipeline was removed, impacts from any TAPS- small and short-lived. Small spills from all related spills would no longer be possible, and vessels are rapidly responded to and cleaned up impacts to groundwater quality would be limited by the spill response infrastructure supporting to those produced by other non-TAPS-related the oil transportation industry. However, a vessel projects. could sink in deep water and release oil over a longer time period. In the Prince William Sound area, impacts to groundwater quantity and quality would be Section 126.96.36.199.5 discusses potential spills initially high as TAPS facilities were removed; and accidents that could impact Port Valdez and these impacts would be temporary, however. Prince William Sound, Gulf of Alaska, and ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-54 Pacific Ocean coastal areas, including Oregon model, response times could be longer, and the and California. The GNOME computer program released oil could travel more rapidly, so a much (NOAA 2000) was used to estimate the spread larger area would be impacted by the potential of oil from the various release points identified in oil spills than the area estimated here. Table 4.7-4 GNOME uses location files to specify local conditions; this analysis used the Prevailing winds in Port Valdez and Prince Prince William Sound location file compiled by William Sound are generally from the northeast, NOAA (2002). The Prince William Sound with speeds up to 15 knots. The other prevalent location file includes the effects of five current wind direction in Port Valdez is from the patterns to simulate the circulation and tides in southwest at about 12 knots (TAPS Owners Prince William Sound and Port Valdez. NOAA 2001a). Both of these prevailing winds were (2002) states: used in the model runs to estimate the impacts of the various spill scenarios. Because specific “The tides at Hinchinbrook Strait, locations for these spills were not known, a Port Wells, Montague Strait, and Valdez number of locations from Port Valdez to the Arm are each simulated with separate Hinchinbrook Entrance were evaluated. In current patterns. The tidal circulation of addition to the effects of wind variability, the Latouche Passage, Elrington Passage differences in currents at different times of the and Prince of Wales Passage are all day were also incorporated into the calculations. simulated with two current patterns: (1) a modified portion of the Montague Strait For all the release scenarios modeled, the current pattern and (2) a background oil slick moved out from the release point and current pattern. The background current expanded radially, except the expansion was pattern models the net surface currents larger in the direction of the prevailing winds and through each of these passages: currents. The general direction of the oil Latouche Passage (−0.3 knots); movement depended on the wind direction. Elrington Passage (0.3 knots); and Prince of Wales Passage (−0.9 knots). The best estimate of the shape of the area in The tidal current pattern for Montague which 99% of the oil would be in the water within Strait was extended to each of these 6 hours after the release is that it would be an passages with relative amplitudes that almost-circular ellipse, if the spill could not reach approximate the residual tides. Since the shoreline. This area would extend about the phase differences between these 4-1/2 mi in diameter from the release point. The areas were on the order of an hour, this general shape of this estimated area would be approximation was considered different for different release points, since it acceptable.” would be influenced by winds and currents in the spill location. The spill scenarios assume that a volume of North Slope crude oil ranging from 50,000 to The GNOME program also has the 290,000 bbl would be released instantaneously capability to evaluate the relative uncertainties of at various locations in Port Valdez, the Valdez various parameters used in the model Narrows, and Prince William Sound, and that it projections. These calculations are implemented would spread for 6 hours before response and by using a “minimum regret” approach (see containment. This is the range of oil spill Section 188.8.131.52.2). The estimated areas that volumes that would be expected to be released would contain the oil spill plume after 6 hours from a tanker accident (see Table 4.7-4). The would be ellipses about 10 mi in diameter, actual response time might be significantly approximately centered on the release point, in different (either higher or lower) from the an almost circular shape. assumed 6-hour value, depending on weather Spills starting at locations near the center of conditions, the location of the spill, and other Prince William Sound would not reach the factors. If the spills occurred under extreme shoreline within the assumed 6-hour response weather conditions in which the winds and time; spills starting at locations within 5 mi of the currents were different from those used in the shore could potentially reach the shoreline within 4.7-55 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES the 6-hour assumed time limit. Potential oil spill Sound away from the release point or oiled locations within Port Valdez and the Valdez shoreline; these impacts on seawater hydro- Narrows would release oil over large portions of carbon concentrations would also be small and the shoreline, up to 10 mi (5 mi on each side of localized. As noted in Section 3.11.3, significant Port Valdez or the narrows) in the assumed hydrocarbon background concentrations already 6-hour response window. Potential oil spill exist in Port Valdez waters. Low concentrations locations near the Hinchinbrook Entrance would resulting from long-term releases from an oiled also release oil over large amounts of shoreline, shoreline would not be distinguishable from up to 6 mi or more, depending on prevailing wind background concentrations at any locations directions at the time of the spill. except the areas very near the source location. All spills within the range of spill volumes Mitigation for spills occurring during tanker evaluated would behave in a similar manner, transit from Port Valdez and in Prince William and the oil would be transported over Sound would include (1) minimizing the time for comparable distances. The only difference response and the time required to contain a would be in the concentration of oil within the release, (2) deploying containment systems plume. quickly, and (3) starting removal actions before weather or other adverse conditions could make It is assumed that at the 6-hour point, the containment difficult. spill would be contained, and further spreading of the oil would stop. However, it is possible that Oil spilled in the Gulf of Alaska, Pacific some oil would escape the initial containment Ocean, or mainland coastal areas would be and could impact other areas in Port Valdez and transported away from the spill site by prevailing Prince William Sound. The impacts outside the winds and currents. The drifting oil would form a containment area would be small and localized. water-in-oil emulsion (mousse) that breaks into Within the containment area, the impacts would bands and stringers and could reach areas be significant. hundreds of miles away from the spill site. Where shore is reached, impacts would be It is assumed that once the oil was similar to those for the proposed action. For oil contained, removal actions would begin. As remaining in the water column, the concentration noted in Section 184.108.40.206.4, North Slope crude oil of hydrocarbons in the water column would be does not significantly dissolve into the water high, hundreds of parts per million, during the column during the first 24 hours after a spill; first several days following the spill. Over some however, some dissolution does take place. period of time, perhaps as long as several Dissolved constituents resulting from the spill months in heavily oiled areas, the concentration could have minor local impacts, but dilution of hydrocarbons in the water would decrease to effects would limit the impacts away from the background levels. This decrease would result spill areas. As noted in Section 3.9.3 on affected from a number of processes, including marine environment, the waters of Port Valdez evaporation of the volatile components, and Prince William Sound are well-mixed and dispersion through horizontal and vertical would dilute dissolved constituents from the spill. mixing, weathering, biodegradation, deposition along shorelines and in seafloor sediments, and Releases near the shore would heavily oil photolysis (MMS 2002). the shoreline, and the waters immediately around the area would also be affected. The Under the less-than-30-year renewal oiled shoreline could also continue to affect the alternative, the consequences from oil spills waters of Port Valdez and Prince William Sound would be the same as those discussed for oil in the immediate area of the spill for a long time spills under the proposed action. However, the after the initial release. However, because of overall probability of a spill (which is the product dilution and the existing hydrocarbon of the spill frequency multiplied by the number of background concentrations, changes in years) will be lower with the less-than-30-year seawater hydrocarbon concentrations would be renewal period. minimal and localized. Impacts could also occur in other areas of Port Valdez and Prince William ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-56 Under the no-action alternative, oil addition, available ambient air quality monitoring shipments from the TAPS would cease, and data in the vicinity of the TAPS ROW indicate there would be no risk of an oil spill from a that cumulative air quality impacts from the TAPS-related tanker. However, risks from an oil TAPS and other existing industrial facilities as spill from other marine traffic would remain. If the well as from other human activities would not spill emergency response infrastructure was not result in ambient air quality exceeding applicable maintained, the environmental effects of fuel or ambient air quality standards (Table 3.13-10). oil spilled by non-TAPS-related vessels could be Potential impacts on air quality (and AQRVs) larger than those under the proposed action. from termination activities under the no-action alternative are estimated to be less than those under the proposed action (Section 220.127.116.11). 18.104.22.168 Air Quality Twelve TAPS facilities are located along the Reasonably foreseeable actions that might 800 mi of the TAPS ROW. They include impact air quality and air quality-related valves 11 pump stations (4 are currently in ramp-down (AQRVs), such as visibility and acid deposition, mode) and the Valdez Marine Terminal. include exploration, development, production, Therefore, it is likely that many locations of storage, refining, and transportation of oil and reasonably foreseeable actions would be gas; human habitation and development; land spatially separated from the TAPS facilities by management activities; and natural resource considerable distances. In these cases, there uses. Specific factors inherent to these actions would be little long-term cumulative impacts due impacting air quality and AQRVs include to the potential long-term emissions from emissions from (1) the operation of facilities and reasonably foreseeable actions in combination equipment (exhaust emissions from fuel-burning with the proposed action. In cases where equipment and fugitive emissions of dust and reasonably foreseeable actions would be located VOCs); (2) construction activities (exhaust close to TAPS facilities, there could be emissions from heavy equipment and vehicles observable cumulative impacts. However, all and fugitive emissions of dust from land new or modified industrial facilities that would disturbance); (3) accidental spills of crude oil, have a significant amount of new emissions or petroleum products, and hazardous chemicals emission increases (major new source or (evaporative emissions); and (4) transportation modification) would have to comply with the activities (exhaust and road dust emissions from Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air vehicles). Quality regulations (18 AAC 50.020), which limit the maximum allowable incremental increases in Emissions associated with the operation of ambient concentrations above established industrial facilities and equipment are usually baseline levels (Table 3.13-8). Therefore, any continuous and long-term, while those potential long-term cumulative air quality associated with construction activities or spills impacts due to reasonably foreseeable actions are usually intermittent and short-term. in combination with various activities under the Emissions from transportation activities can be proposed action would be limited and would not either short-term or long-term, depending on result in deterioration that would exceed whether they are associated with facility applicable ambient air quality standards. construction or operational activities. Potential impacts on air quality (and AQRVs) from It is also likely that many locations of operational, construction, and transportation construction activities or spills associated with activities and those from accidental spills under the reasonably foreseeable actions would be the proposed action are described in separated spatially from the TAPS facilities or Sections 4.3.9 and 22.214.171.124, respectively. Results temporally from the TAPS-related construction of air quality impact modeling of emissions from activities or spills under the proposed action, or TAPS facilities, including pump stations and the from termination activities under the no-action Valdez Marine Terminal, show that ambient air alternative. In these cases, there would be little quality in the vicinity of the TAPS ROW would or no short-term cumulative impacts due to the remain in compliance with applicable ambient air potential emissions from construction activities quality standards under the proposed action. In 4.7-57 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES or spills associated with the reasonably transit, and during unloading at the destination foreseeable actions in combination with the ports. These emissions would consist primarily proposed action or the no-action alternative. In of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate cases where construction activities or spills matter. Emissions of volatile organic compounds associated with the reasonably foreseeable would also occur during tanker loading and actions would be located close to TAPS facilities unloading operations. Emissions of nitrogen or occur simultaneously and in close proximity to oxides and volatile organic compounds would be TAPS-related construction or termination of concern in ports located within ozone activities, there could be observable cumulative nonattainment areas because of their potential to impacts. However, the potential air quality contribute to tropospheric ozone levels. In these impacts of emissions from these construction areas, local regulations commonly require the activities or spills would be short-term and use of vapor balance systems to reduce volatile localized to the immediate vicinity of organic compound emissions substantially. For construction or spill sites. Mitigation measures, any particular port, the emissions would be such as watering to control fugitive dust at intermittent, and nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, construction sites and containment and recovery and particulate matter concentrations would be of spilled materials by spill response teams, within ambient air quality standards. Impacts would minimize the potential impacts on ambient from emissions during transit would be very air quality. Thus, any potential short-term small because emissions would be dispersed cumulative air quality impacts due to over a large area. construction activities or spills associated with the reasonably foreseeable actions in In summary, little or no potential long-term combination with the proposed action or the and short-term impacts on air quality (and no-action alternative would be limited and would AQRVs), including synergistic effects, are not result in deterioration that would cause estimated to result from reasonably foreseeable ambient air quality to exceed applicable actions in combination with the proposed action standards. or the no-action alternative. Such impacts would not result in deterioration of air quality that would Transportation of personnel, equipment, cause ambient air quality to exceed applicable materials, and supplies for construction activities standards. associated with reasonably foreseeable actions, such as the natural gas pipeline, would result in increased traffic volumes on the roadways near 126.96.36.199 Noise the TAPS. Potential increases in traffic volume along Dalton Highway due to the natural gas The construction and operation of industrial pipeline construction and operation would be facilities and equipment, transportation, and expected to be small (see Section 188.8.131.52). mining can produce annoying or harmful levels Existing traffic volumes on these highways are of noise. Potential noise impacts due to also low.3 Thus, it is estimated that potential operational and construction activities under the cumulative air quality impacts due to the proposed action are described in Section 4.3.10. emissions from small increases in traffic It is estimated that there would be no adverse volumes in combination with the proposed noise impacts beyond TAPS facility site action, less-than-30-year alternative, or the boundaries from the noise emitted during TAPS no-action alternative would be limited and would facility operations. Potential noise impacts due to not result in deterioration of ambient air quality any construction activities under the proposed along these highways that would cause ambient action or termination activities under the air quality to exceed applicable standards. no-action alternative would also be limited to within the TAPS facility site boundaries or the The transportation of crude oil to market by immediate vicinity of construction sites. tankers would result in air emissions from the Therefore, any cumulative noise impacts due to tankers’ engines during loading operations, noise emitted from the reasonably foreseeable ____________________________ 3 Annual average daily traffic volumes along Dalton Highway range from about 200 to 300 vehicles per day, and those along the Alaska Highway range from about 400 to 3,000 vehicles per day. These values can be compared with tends of thousands to more than 100,000 vehicles per day for a busy urban highway. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-58 actions, in combination with noise emitted from material, goods, and services for the natural gas TAPS operational or construction activities under pipeline construction might temporarily increase the proposed action or termination activities use on the roadways.) It is expected that any under the no-action alternative, would be limited natural gas pipeline would follow existing to within the facility site boundaries or the roadways to facilitate construction and immediate vicinity of construction sites. maintenance. The most noticeable impacts would occur in the immediate vicinity of the current focus of construction along the affected 184.108.40.206 Transportation highways as a result of the entry and exit of workers and construction equipment. However, The transportation network currently plays a proper staging of equipment and gas pipeline key role in North Slope oil and gas exploration, components along the affected highways would development, and production. One major route minimize delays along the routes associated by which equipment, materials, and supplies with deliveries to the current construction site. enter Alaska is via the rail marine service between Seattle and Whittier. From Whittier, the In general, any impacts to travel along the cargo is shipped by rail to Fairbanks. The cargo affected highways would be expected to be is then shipped by truck from Fairbanks via small and additive because daily traffic volumes Dalton Highway to the North Slope for use. The are relatively low. Annual average daily traffic Deadhorse Airport also plays an important role volumes along Dalton Highway range from about in North Slope operations as a terminus for 200 to 300 vehicles per day. Traffic volumes personnel and some cargo. along the major highways south of Fairbanks vary significantly and fall into the range of Aside from the existing road network, some approximately 300 to 2,000 vehicles per day roads and workpads need to be constructed on away from the larger communities such as the North Slope for oil and gas exploration. Ice Anchorage, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, roads and pads are employed when possible to Glennallen, and Valdez (ADTPF 2001; Richards reduce impacts to water, soil, and vegetation. Oil 2002). Commercial truck traffic constitutes and gas exploration and development on the approximately 10% to 40% of these volumes. North Slope is an ongoing process in which a Traffic in mid-summer is close to double the relatively constant number of contractors move annual averages in some locations. Because of from area to area to locate more producing well these relatively low traffic volumes, additional fields. Over time, the number of production wells traffic from natural gas pipeline construction does not change significantly because older well would not be expected to cause significant fields eventually become uneconomical. The impacts, such as traffic delays. older wells are taken off-line, while new producing wells are brought on-line as a result of Under the less-than-30-year renewal the exploration and development. Thus, North alternative, the impacts discussed above for the Slope activities would not be expected to change proposed action also would apply. However, significantly in the foreseeable future, and the should the TAPS ROW renewal not be granted, associated demands on the area’s transportation a number of changes might occur. Without the infrastructure from oil and gas exploration, pipeline, an alternative means of transporting oil development, and production could be readily from the North Slope to the refineries and Prince accommodated. William Sound would need to be identified. Should further transportation of oil from the The construction of a natural gas pipeline North Slope prove to be infeasible, railroad might impact the transportation corridor that is transport of petroleum products from the North also used by the TAPS. The existing Pole refinery to Anchorage would cease, transportation network is expected to be capable resulting in approximately a one-third cut in the of transporting personnel, equipment, materials, railroad’s annual revenue. A decrease or and supplies for natural gas pipeline cessation of oil exploration and production on construction. This infrastructure has been the North Slope would also decrease the need incrementally upgraded over the years since the for rail shipments of materials and supplies to construction of the TAPS. (Transportation of 4.7-59 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Fairbanks and subsequent shipment by truck up discussion of these actions and their impacts, the Dalton Highway. In addition, personnel and see Appendix C. supply transport into the Deadhorse Airport would also decrease. 220.127.116.11.1 Waste Impacts Associated with Oil Exploration, 18.104.22.168 Wastes Development, and Production. Impacts associated with oil exploration, development, Waste impacts would result from many of and production on the North Slope result from the past, present, and reasonably foreseeable the management and disposal of production activities that contribute to the cumulative waters, domestic and sanitary wastewaters, impact. In most instances, the majority of waste other wastes from North Slope operations impacts from those activities would result from (e.g., wastes containing naturally occurring human habitation or presence (i.e., the radioactive materials, commonly called NORM generation of domestic solid wastes and wastes) and solid wastes. domestic and sanitary wastewaters). With the exception of North Slope activities, human Production water recovered from each habitation related to these cumulative actions wellhead is either reinjected into the production (i.e., the workforce engaged in those actions) well from which it was removed or injected into would likely occur at or near population centers any of the underground injection wells located or established communities. It is therefore throughout the North Slope. More than 20 such assumed that solid wastes and domestic and Class II underground injection wells are in sanitary wastewaters attributable to that operation on the North Slope. Thus, water is workforce would be managed in existing returned to the geologic formation from which it municipal treatment or disposal facilities. It is originated or into a formation of similar depth further assumed that the (1) relative sizes of the and characteristics. Other industrial workforces engaged in most cumulative actions wastewaters, such as drilling muds, well would be small relative to the sizes of the development solutions, snow meltwater removed communities in which they would reside or work from impoundment structures, and and (2) cumulative actions would thus have only nonhazardous industrial wastewaters associated small incremental and additive impacts on with activities at the central processing facility, existing waste management systems. are also routinely disposed of through deep well Consequently, those waste impacts were not injection. TAPS operations do not have any analyzed further, and no discussion is included impacts on any of the formations that receive here. Such assumptions are only partially correct production water or well development wastes for the North Slope, however, thus waste that are disposed of through deep well injection. impacts from the presence of a workforce in the North Slope are discussed in this analysis. Some wastes associated with oil exploration Among the potential cumulative actions and production on the North Slope exhibit identified in Table 4.7-2, three ongoing actions hazardous waste characteristics. These wastes have substantial waste impacts: North Slope oil are transported to out-of-state permitted exploration, development, and production treatment storage and disposal facilities (including maintaining the North Slope (TSDFs). Hazardous wastes associated with workforce); oil refining at three of the four TAPS operations are also delivered to out-of- operating refineries in Alaska; and tanker state TSDFs. Thus, there might be some loading activities at the Valdez Marine Terminal. cumulative impacts at those out-of-state TSDFs One proposed action, the construction of a that receive hazardous waste from both TAPS natural gas pipeline, could also have substantial and North Slope operators. However, these waste impacts. impacts are governed by the permit limitations under which such facilities operate. The potential cumulative actions for each of the ongoing actions identified above are Domestic and sanitary wastewaters discussed briefly below. For a more detailed associated with North Slope operations are managed by (1) biological treatment followed by ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-60 discharge of treated effluents to area lakes or the Combustible solid wastes delivered to the Beaufort Sea or (2) injection into Class II Oxbow landfill are incinerated there before land underground injection wells located on the North disposal. Similarly, solid wastes from TAPS Slope. Domestic and sanitary wastewaters from operations at PS 1 are also delivered to the PS 1 are managed by stack injection. However, Oxbow Landfill. TAPS solid waste that is currently the TAPS PS 1 workforce lives in North combustible is incinerated at PS 1, and the ash Slope dormitories maintained by the North Slope is delivered to the Oxbow Landfill. Thus, impacts companies; therefore, the domestic and sanitary to the environment from the operation of the wastewater resulting from TAPS workforce Oxbow Landfill are cumulative, resulting from the residents is combined with similar wastewater management of wastes from both North Slope from the North Slope workforce. Thus, TAPS and operations and TAPS operations. However, North Slope operations have a cumulative TAPS solid waste volumes are estimated to be impact on the area lakes and the Beaufort Sea only a minor portion of all the wastes delivered to and on underground formations as a result of the Oxbow. discharge of treated sanitary wastewater. These impacts are, however, limited by the conditions Under the no-action alternative, oil of the NPDES and Class II injection well permits, exploration, development, and production would respectively, under which discharges to surface cease, pending development of another water or underground injection occur. transportation means. Consequently, there would be a dramatic decrease in the North Slope Other waste associated with North Slope oil company workforce and a proportional operations includes retired well production and decrease in wastes associated with the support oil handling equipment that is contaminated with of that workforce (e.g., domestic solid waste, scale that may contain NORM precipitates that domestic and sanitary wastewaters). Maintaining were present in production waters. This NORM oil production facilities until an alternative oil waste is generated by all North Slope drillers to transportation option is established would result varying degrees that depend on the in small amounts of maintenance-related characteristics of the formations from which oil wastes; a small fraction of which might be and water are being recovered. However, all hazardous waste. However, no production water, such waste is centrally managed at the Mukluk industrial wastewaters, or other wastes Storage Yard and then transported to associated with oil exploration and production commercial firms in Louisiana for treatment. (e.g., retired well production and oil handling Surveys conducted by those responsible for the equipment) would be generated. Mukluk Yard have demonstrated that NORM contamination of surrounding soils has not occurred during storage. Thus, impacts 22.214.171.124.2 Waste Impacts associated with NORM generation and Associated with Oil Refining management do not occur at the North Slope. Operations. Petroleum refining is the Because acceptance criteria for oil delivered to physical, thermal, and chemical separation of PS 1 limit the amount of water allowed and thus crude oil into its major distillation fractions, the accumulation of contaminated scales, TAPS which are then processed through a series of operations do not contribute to the generation of separation and conversion steps into finished NORM wastes. petroleum products. Currently, four petroleum refineries operate in Alaska: Petro Star Refinery Finally, solid wastes are generated in on the Kenai peninsula, Petro Star Valdez association with North Slope activities. While Refinery, Petro Star North Pole Refinery, and some nonhazardous solid industrial waste is Williams Alaska Petroleum Co. North Pole generated, the majority of solid waste is Refinery (formerly the MAPCO Refinery). Only nonhazardous solid domestic waste from the last three receive crude oil from the TAPS. activities that support the workforce. All Consequently, for the purposes of this EIS, only nonhazardous solid domestic and industrial activities at the three refineries in North Pole and wastes from North Slope operations are Valdez are considered to be within the area of delivered to the Oxbow Landfill for disposal. interest and to result in cumulative impacts. 4.7-61 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES The nature and volumes of wastes Hazardous wastes, including oily wastes generated at refineries are functions of the that may contain hazardous constituents quality and throughput of the raw materials (e.g., benzene), are generated during refinery (crude oil) as well as the products being operations. In addition, certain EPA-listed generated. The petroleum refining industry uses wastes are associated with oil refinery relatively large volumes of water. Four types of processes, including slop oil emulsion solids wastewater are produced: surface water runoff (EPA Hazardous Waste No. K049), dissolved air (precipitation draining from industrialized land flotation floats (EPA Hazardous Waste No. areas), cooling water, process water, and K048), and heat exchanger bundle sludge (EPA domestic/sanitary wastewaters. Federal Hazardous Waste No. K050). As discussed regulations governing the discharge of storm above, all hazardous wastes generated in water from industrial areas require the capture Alaska are transported to out-of-state TSDFs for and treatment of storm water at all petroleum ultimate treatment and disposal. For example, refineries, including the removal of a large Williams North Pole Refinery is a large-quantity fraction of both conventional pollutants generator of RCRA hazardous wastes. In 1997, (e.g., suspended solids and constituents that Williams North Pole Refinery generated contribute to the water’s biological oxygen 17.6 tons of hazardous waste, all of which was demand) and toxic pollutants (e.g., certain shipped off site to out-of-state TSDFs metals and organic compounds). (EPA 2002b). There could be some cumulative impacts at out-of-state TSDFs that receive Most cooling water is recycled. Any hazardous wastes from both TAPS operations discharge of cooling water, even though it does and from oil refining operations. However, permit not come into direct contact with the oil, is conditions would limit the extent of those treated to remove any oil residues that might impacts to acceptable levels. have resulted from leaks and to remove any chemicals that were added to the cooling water Solid, nonhazardous wastes are also (e.g., descalers). Process waters require primary generated during refinery operations. (They and secondary wastewater treatment. Primary include packing materials and nonhazardous wastewater treatment is the separation of oil, sludge). These can be disposed of in on-site water, and solids. After primary treatment, landfills; disposed of in off-site, local solid waste wastewater can be discharged to a publicly landfills; or shipped out of state to appropriately owned treatment works (POTW) or undergo permitted landfills. If local disposal is selected, secondary treatment before being discharged there may be a cumulative impact to the area directly to surface waters under an appropriate sanitary landfills also being used by the TAPS. NPDES permit. For example, Williams North However, these landfills also serve their Pole Refinery holds an NPDES permit, issued by respective communities and the percentages of EPA Region 10, for the discharge of treated input to the landfills from either the TAPS or any wastewater into a former gravel pit located on of the refineries are expected to be small. Some the Williams property. In addition, treated outputs, such as sulfur, acetic acid, phosphoric process wastewater is discharged to the City of acid, and recovered metals, are sold as North Pole’s municipal sewage treatment plant by-products and transported off site. (EPA 2002b). Domestic/sanitary wastewaters and industrial wastewaters (including process Under the no-action alternative, although waters and cooling waters) from the oil refining there are other sources of Alaska crude oil that operations are not discharged to the same could be processed at these oil refineries, watercourses or publicly owned treatment transportation via other transportation modes facilities as TAPS wastewaters. Surface water (e.g., truck) would be costly, and it is assumed runoff discharged from the North Pole Refinery oil refinery production would dramatically decline may impact the same watercourses as storm at the three refineries that rely on TAPS oil as waters discharged from the TAPS North Pole their primary feedstocks. There would be a metering station and from segments of the ROW comparative decline in oil refining wastes in the immediate vicinity. (including waste related to workforce support). ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-62 126.96.36.199.3 Waste Impacts domestic and sanitary wastewaters generated by Associated with Tanker Operations at the tankers. These wastewaters are treated the Valdez Marine Terminal. Wastes under existing US Coast Guard and ADEC associated with oil tanker visits to the Valdez regulations and discharged to the ocean. None Marine Terminal include tanker ballast and bilge of the tankers commingle domestic or sanitary water and domestic solid wastes generated on wastewaters with ballast waters or other TAPS board (which could include some medical wastewater (Edwards 2002). Finally, wastes wastes) during the ship’s voyage to the Valdez generated during the vessel’s trip to Prince Marine Terminal. Oil tankers berthing at the William Sound as a result of maintenance or Valdez Marine Terminal discharge their ballast repair of on-board mechanical systems are not and bilge waters to the Ballast Water Treatment off-loaded at Valdez (Edwards 2002). Facility (BWTF) at the Valdez Marine Terminal for treatment before discharge to Prince William Sound (e.g., removal of oil). Appendix C 188.8.131.52.4 Waste Impacts provides a detailed description of wastes Associated with Natural Gas Pipelines. associated with TAPS operations. Section C.5 The construction and operation of the proposed provides details regarding the operation of the natural gas pipeline would generate wastes. In BWTF. addition to the pipeline, the system would include construction of a natural gas separation Conversion of the Valdez Marine Terminal and treatment facility on the North Slope and tanker fleet to comply with double-hull compressor stations along the pipeline route. If requirements will dramatically reduce but not natural gas was transported to Valdez, a gas completely eliminate the volume of ballast water liquefication facility and marine terminal might be treated in the BWTF. It can be reliably assumed located at Anderson Bay in Prince William that the maximum reduction in ballast water Sound. Waste impacts would be both short term volumes will be realized by January 2015. (associated with initial construction) and long However, a schedule for reductions in the interim term (associated with subsequent operation). period is difficult to predict, since many vessel During construction, substantial amounts of owners are reconfiguring their fleet or domestic solid waste and domestic and sanitary purchasing new vessels on more aggressive wastewaters would be generated in support of schedules than those required by the statute. the construction workforce. Regardless of their hull design, tankers visiting the Valdez Marine Terminal will still have bilge Wastes associated with operation of the water that will require treatment before natural gas pipeline would include wastes discharge. Under the no-action alternative, oil resulting from the support of a workforce and tanker visits to the Valdez Marine Terminal wastes associated with pipeline maintenance. would decline to zero, and no bilge water or Although less complex in its design than the ballast water would be treated at the BWTF. TAPS, the natural gas pipeline would still require maintenance, and related activities would also Domestic solid wastes generated on board generate wastes, many of which would be are managed as “international wastes” or similar to those resulting from maintenance of “regulated wastes” and are treated as potentially the TAPS. Because the natural gas pipeline biohazardous. As a service to the berthing project is only at a preliminary conceptual tankers, upon request, the Valdez Marine development stage, no additional details can be Terminal accepts domestic solid wastes, provided regarding the amounts or types of separately bags those wastes, and delivers them operation wastes that would result or their to a commercial firm for sterilization and ultimate ultimate disposal. disposal in a municipal landfill. Under the no-action alternative, oil tanker visits would The LNG plant would generate industrial decline to zero and the solid waste generated wastewater related to plant operations as well as from the tankers also would cease. domestic and sanitary wastewater from support of the workforce. In addition, LNG tankers Valdez Marine Terminal personnel report visiting the LNG plant could generate that the Valdez Marine Terminal does not treat bilge/ballast wastewaters that would have to be 4.7-63 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES treated and discharged under the auspices of 184.108.40.206.1 Occupational Hazards. appropriate NPDES permits. Prince William Sound would then receive treated wastewaters Physical Hazards. Unintentional from both the Valdez Marine Terminal and any (including accidental) injuries are the fifth new LNG plant. leading cause of death in the United States, primarily from motor vehicle crashes, falls, In addition, the LNG plant would generate poisonings, and drownings (NSC 2001). While solid waste that could be disposed of in the City unintentional injuries, as a whole, are the third of Valdez municipal landfill. This would be leading cause of death in Alaska (43.4 per cumulative to any solid waste generated at the 100,000 population), in 1998, Alaska had the Valdez Marine Terminal and disposed of at the second greatest decrease (−19%) in municipal landfill. Under the no-action unintentional injury death rates to the general alternative, solid wastes from the LNG plant public (NSC 2001). A National Institute for could continue to be disposed of at the municipal Occupational Safety and Health study of death landfill, even though Valdez Marine Terminal certificate surveillance data collected for the operations would have ceased. However, under period 1980−1995 showed that Alaska was the the no-action alternative, solid wastes generated state with the highest overall occupational injury during pipeline and Valdez Marine Terminal fatality rate of 24.3 per 100,000 workers (Marsh closure and dismantlement could also be and Layne 2001). While Alaska still has the disposed of at the municipal landfill. highest worker death rate in the nation, occupation-related fatalities have been Finally, the construction and operation of the decreasing in recent years (20.5 to 13.4 during LNG plant might cause increases in the 1996−2000) (ADHSS 2002). Nationwide, the populations of Valdez and other nearby highest average annual fatality rates during the communities, together with increases in same period 1980−1995 were for workers in the domestic solid wastes and domestic and mining industry (30.4) and for farmers/ sanitary wastewaters, the management of which foresters/fishers (21.9) (Marsh and Layne 2001). would represent cumulative impacts to those However, the rates of traumatic occupational already resulting from other activities, including fatalities from 1980−1995 were much higher in those associated with the Valdez Marine Alaska, with the highest rates in agriculture/ Terminal operational workforces. Under the forestry/fishing (295.4 per 100,000 workers) no-action alternative, these cumulative impacts and in associated farming/forestry/fishing would be less, since employment related to the occupations (383.2 per 100,000 workers). Other Valdez Marine Terminal would decline. hazardous industries in Alaska include manufacturing and mining, which had 64.0 and 18.7 fatalities per 100,000 workers, respectively, 220.127.116.11 Human Health and in 1983−1995 (Marsh and Layne 2001). Safety The two industry divisions of transportation/ Actions considered, which, together with the communications/public utilities and construction, proposed action, could have cumulative impacts which were found to have occupational fatality on human health and safety include oil and gas rates of 39.0 and 31.5 per 100,000 workers, exploration, development, and production on the respectively, over the same period, are probably North Slope; construction and operation of the most inclusive of pipeline-related activities natural gas pipelines; land management and many of the associated cumulative actions. activities; human habitation and development; (The total number of fatalities from incidents and natural resource use. Possible cumulative directly related to TAPS pipeline construction impacts of these actions (in conjunction with the and operations-related incidents are 31 and 9, proposed action, the less-than-30-year renewal respectively [APSC 2001i; Elleven 2002b].) It is alternative, or the no-action alternative) to apparent that the risk faced by workers, as workers and the general public are considered in defined by traumatic occupational fatality rates, this section. is already considerably elevated in Alaska, particularly as a result of the water and air ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-64 transport required for various hazardous Radiation Hazards. Another concern occupations there (e.g., fishing, farming, logging, with respect to occupational exposures is mining, and manufacturing). With the exception NORM. NORM may be deposited in oil of workers involved in the proposed natural gas production pipes and vessels as the temperature pipeline, relatively small numbers of workers will and pressure of oil and water brought to the be involved in other cumulative actions (e.g., oil surface decreases. When equipment is taken out refining, oil and gas exploration, oil storage), and of production, actions are taken to avoid hazards their risks of injuries and fatalities from physical from NORM exposure (BP Amoco Alaska 2001). hazards are expected to be in line with the The equipment is surveyed for the presence of historical rates, especially for the transportation/ NORM, and any pieces with contamination communications/public utilities-related and greater than a minimal level (50 microroentgens construction-related cumulative activities. The per hour, µR/h) are segregated, labeled, sealed use of best management practices for in plastic, and secured in a special storage area. occupational health and safety compliance is Such equipment is shipped off site for cleaning recommended to reduce statewide fatality and by a specifically licensed NORM contractor. With injury incidence rates in all of these sectors in such procedures in place, there is little potential the future. for any NORM exposure from oil production operations on the North Slope or during pipeline Of the actions considered (e.g., oil and gas dismantlement. NORM is not an issue for the no- exploration, development and production and oil action alternative because it is assumed that oil refining, storage, and transportation [see production would cease. Section 4.7.4]), the natural gas pipeline could employ the most workers during the construction Petroleum Spills. The cumulative phase. Key components of the project would be assessment of human health and safety impacts construction of a large CO2 treatment plant, a from environmental releases is limited to the large-diameter pipeline, high-efficiency general public and does not include occupational compressor stations, and a natural gas liquid exposures for cleanup workers or employees at (NGL) recovery plant. Multiple construction the plants or compression facilities. Protection of projects would be spread out over 2 to 3 years. these workers is regulated under the At the peak of construction, the pipeline project Occupational Health and Safety Act and is could employ as many as 10,000 workers. After beyond the scope of this assessment. construction, the project could directly employ 600 permanent employees. Similar to the TAPS, potential fatalities and injuries from a natural gas 18.104.22.168.2 Hazards to the Public. pipeline would be expected on the basis of As stated above, cumulative impacts of concern incidence rates in the construction and pipeline with respect to public impacts include cumulative industries, the number of full-time equivalents air emissions and uptake of persistent, (FTEs), and the number of years of construction bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) substances and operation. While such occupational hazards from multiple sources into the food chain. can be minimized when workers adhere to safety Potential cumulative impacts in these categories standards and use appropriate protective are discussed below both for normal operations equipment, fatalities and injuries from on-the-job and accidents and spills. accidents can still occur. The use of best management practices for occupational health Cumulative Impacts of Emissions and safety compliance is recommended to to Air. reduce statewide fatality and injury incidence Volatile Organic Compounds. Table 4.7-10 rates from all of the actions in combination (i.e., summarizes 1999 Alaska statewide emissions of the proposed action, less-than-30-year renewal chemicals to air as reported under EPA's Toxics alternative, and the no-action alternative). The Release Inventory (TRI) (EPA 2002). The TRI rates of occupational fatalities and injuries are contains information on releases of nearly expected to be similar for all alternatives. 650 chemicals and chemical categories from many industries, mainly manufacturing (including petroleum refining), metal and coal 4.7-65 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TABLE 4.7-10 Toxics Release Inventory Reportable Emissions for the State of Alaska in 1999a Cities Where Total 1999 Emissions Chemical Number of Statewide Occurred Industry Sectors (in order of emissions Name Sources Emissions (tons) (% of total) amount contributed) 1,2,4- 6 3.1 Anchorage (14), Manufacturing (petroleum refining); Trimethyl- Fairbanks (<1), wholesale trade-petroleum products (bulk benzene Kenai (67), stations and terminals) North Pole (18) Ammonia 3 684 Fairbanks (<1), Mining-gold and silver ores; manufacturing- Kenai (99) petroleum refining and chemicals Antimony 1 0.008 Juneau Mining-lead and zinc ores compounds Arsenic 1 0.25 Juneau Mining-lead and zinc ores compounds Barium 2 172 Healy (>99), Electric services (power plant); mining-lead compounds Juneau (<1) and zinc ores Benzene 7 13 Anchorage (4), Wholesale trade-petroleum products (bulk Kenai (68), stations and terminals); manufacturing North Pole (28) (petroleum refining) Cadmium 2 1.5 Kivilina (95), Mining-lead and zinc ores compounds Kotzebue (5) Chromium 3 0.046 Fairbanks(30), Mining-lead and zinc ores; manufacturing compounds Juneau (1), (chemicals) Kotzebue (69) Cobalt 1 0.013 Kotzebue Mining-lead and zinc ores compounds Copper 3 0.21 Fairbanks (<1), Mining-lead and zinc ores compounds Juneau (<1), Kotzebue (99) Cyclohexane 5 11 Anchorage (3), Wholesale trade-petroleum products (bulk Kenai (80), stations and terminals); manufacturing North Pole (17) (petroleum refining) Ethylbenzene 6 3.7 Anchorage (4), Wholesale trade-chemical and allied Fairbanks (1), products; wholesale trade-petroleum Kenai (77), products (bulk stations and terminals); North Pole (21) manufacturing (petroleum refining) Ethylene 2 0.35 Anchorage (11), Wholesale trade-petroleum products (bulk glycol Kenai (89) stations and terminals); manufacturing (chemicals) Formaldehyde 1 0.078 Kenai Manufacturing (chemicals) Hydrochloric 1 20 Healy Electric services (power plant) acid Hydrogen 1 1.8 Fairbanks Mining-gold and silver ores cyanide Hydrogen 1 23 Healy Electric services (power plant) fluoride ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-66 TABLE 4.7-10 (Cont.) Cities Where Total 1999 Emissions Chemical Number of Statewide Occurred Industry Sectors (in order of emissions Name Sources Emissions (tons) (% of total) amount contributed) Lead 3 5 Juneau (<1), Mining-lead and zinc ores compounds Kivalina (2), Kotzebue (84) Manganese 3 37 Juneau (<1), Mining-lead and zinc ores; electric services compounds Kotzebue (<1), (power plant) Healy (>99) Mercury 1 0.047 Healy Electric services (power plant) compounds Methanol 2 248 Kenai (15), Manufacturing (chemicals); mining-lead and Kotzebue (85) zinc ores n-Hexane 6 18 Anchorage (6), Wholesale trade-petroleum products (bulk North Pole (19), stations and terminals) Kenai (75) Nickel 3 0.026 Juneau (2), Mining-lead and zinc ores, gold and silver compounds Fairbanks (6), ores Kotzebue (92) Toluene 6 24 Anchorage (2), Wholesale trade-petroleum products (bulk Kenai (80), stations and terminals), manufacturing- North Pole (18) petroleum refining Xylene (mixed 8 18 Anchorage (3), Wholesale trade-petroleum products (bulk isomers) Fairbanks (1), stations and terminals), manufacturing- Kenai (79), petroleum refining North Pole (17) Zinc 4 28 Fairbanks (<1), Mining-gold and silver ores, lead and zinc compounds Kivalina (11), ores Juneau (32), Kotzebue (57) a TAPS and North Slope producer facilities do not have to report their toxic pollutant emissions to the EPA Toxic Release Inventory (because of the SIC code exemption) and, as a result, they are explicitly excluded from the table. Source: EPA (2002). mining, electric utilities, and commercial benzene emissions in the United States (Ott and hazardous waste treatment. Although the TRI Roberts 1998). data are informative about emissions from many sources, the emissions inventory is not Of the TRI-reported emitted chemicals listed exhaustive because not all industrial emitters are in Table 4.7-10, benzene, ethylbenzene, required to report. For example, APSC has a formaldehyde, n-hexane, toluene, and xylene standard industrial classification (SIC) of 4612 are also emitted from TAPS facility sources (transportation crude petroleum pipelines) (i.e., pump stations or the Valdez Marine and is not required to report emissions. The Terminal, see Table 3.13-6). For each of these North Slope oil producer facilities (SIC of 1311) chemicals, emissions from TAPS facilities are also not required to report emissions. For (assuming maximum throughput) exceed those perspective, note that industrial sources are from the TRI-reported sources, with the majority estimated to contribute only about 14% of all of emissions from the Valdez Marine Terminal at 4.7-67 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Valdez. The TRI-reported emissions are 2002). Auto emissions would be expected to generally quite distant from the Valdez Marine increase over the renewal period as the state Terminal and the pump stations and, with the population and automobile transportation exception of some emissions in Fairbanks and increase (the annual increase in population is North Pole, are mostly from petroleum refineries. estimated to be 1.5%, resulting in a 60% Note that for an unknown reason, emissions population increase by 2034; see from the Petro Star refinery at Valdez were not Section 22.214.171.124.1). On the basis of the 1991 included in the reported TRI data. It is estimated benzene concentrations, a cancer risk of about that this refinery would emit about 0.65 ton/yr of 3 × 10-5 was estimated for residents of Valdez benzene and 2 ton/yr of the other VOCs (in from benzene inhalation from all sources comparison with 43 tons/yr of benzene and (Section 126.96.36.199.2). As sources such as motor 69 tons/yr of the other VOCs from the Valdez vehicle emissions increase over the next Marine Terminal only and Ballast Water 30 years, additional emission controls on mobile Treatment Facility). and/or point sources might be needed to minimize increasing cancer risks under any of An assessment of potential health impacts the alternatives. from Valdez Marine Terminal air toxics emissions was provided in Section 188.8.131.52.2. It Criteria Pollutants. During construction of a concluded that no adverse health impacts would natural gas pipeline, the main type of emission of be expected in association with inhalation of concern during the 2- to 3-year construction those emissions throughout the authorization period would most likely be criteria pollutants period. A tracer study also concluded that only generated from excavation, heavy equipment 10% of the ambient VOC level in the city of operation, and vehicles used for transporting Valdez was attributable to Valdez Marine workers and raw materials. Unless residential Terminal emissions. Some possible future areas were located in close proximity to the projects in the regions of interest (e.g., new pipeline or related facilities, adverse health natural gas pipelines and perhaps a gas impacts due to limited-duration increases in liquefication facility at Valdez, should a natural criteria air pollutant levels from future gas pipeline be routed there) could result in construction actions in conjunction with the additional VOC emissions, presumably with proposed action, the less-than-30-year renewal maximum emissions similar to or less than those alternative, or the no-action alternative would not associated with TAPS facilities. Even with these be expected. facilities, there should be no adverse health impacts from inhalation of VOCs from all the Because the population of Alaska is industrial sources combined (under the expected to substantially increase during the proposed action, less-than-30-year renewal next 30 years (at an annual rate of about 1.5%), alternative, and no-action alternative). traffic and vehicular emissions of criteria pollutants would also be expected to increase. Another important source of some of the This increase might be problematic in the same VOCs that are emitted from TAPS facilities Fairbanks/North Pole area, which is an air is motor vehicle emissions. For example, in the quality nonattainment area with respect to CO. United States, automobile emissions are Inhalation of increased levels of CO could estimated to account for approximately 82% of aggravate cardiovascular conditions existing in all the benzene emitted to the atmosphere the general population. Although change in (although auto emissions contribute only 18% of human habitation and development is an issue total benzene exposures; cigarette smoking considered in this cumulative impacts contributes about 45% to exposures [Ott and assessment, none of the TAPS emissions of CO Roberts 1998]). The average benzene under the proposed action, the less-than-30-year concentration in the city of Valdez in 1991 was renewal alternative, or the no-action alternative approximately 5 µg/m3 (Goldstein et al. 1992). would cause a measurable increase in CO levels This value is on the high side compared with the in the Fairbanks nonattainment area (see 2001 values of ambient benzene in five major Sections 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11.1). Therefore, U.S. cities, which ranged from 1 to 5 µg/m3 (EPA although the CO levels might become more ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-68 problematic as the population increased, such Safety Act and is beyond the scope of this an increase in CO levels does not constitute a assessment. cumulative impact with respect to the action being considered. Potential for Exposure to Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Air Emissions, Accidents, and Toxic Chemicals. An extensive discussion of Spills. Under the proposed action and the the sources and toxicity of PBT chemicals of no action alternative, it was determined that the concern is provided in Section 3.17. There is potential for serious adverse health impacts evidence that under certain circumstances there exists from inhalation of contaminants emitted may be interactions between chemicals in from spills or fires for people who remain within complex mixtures of PBTs. However, it is difficult maximum impact distance areas (0.02, 0.4, and to say whether a cumulative effect would be less 4 km; and 0.2 km, respectively). Numerous than or greater than the combined individual hazardous materials would be used and stored effects because the health consequences of in association with some of the actions exposure to most chemicals have not been considered in this cumulative impacts tested and effects vary according to specific assessment, especially oil and gas exploration, conditions. Thus, the overall effects are development, and production; oil refining; and oil considered to be additive. The PBT and gas transportation. Human health and safety contaminants include persistent organic impacts from accidental releases of hazardous pollutants (POPs) such as certain pesticides, materials could result in exposures to PCBs, some PAHs, and the heavy metal contaminated air, soils, groundwater, or food. mercury. (Radionuclides are not listed as PBTs However, the potential for additional cumulative by the EPA but are also of some concern.) adverse impacts from accidental releases is These persistent contaminants generally small for the following reasons. First, it is originate outside of Alaska but are deposited unlikely that accidental releases would occur at there as a result of long-range transport. They the same time and in close proximity to each may persist longer in the Arctic environment than other. Second, existing regulations require timely in other locations because of the lower cleanup of environmental media contaminated temperatures. In the Arctic ecosystem, the PBTs by spills, so that the possibility of prolonged accumulate and are concentrated in the fat and human exposure would be limited. organ meats of animals at upper levels of the food chain. Traditional use of these animals as The potential for ingestion or dermal part of the diet is a pathway of exposure to these exposure of the general public to soils and contaminants, especially for Alaska Natives. groundwater contaminated due to spills of hazardous materials is very low, because there As discussed in Section 3.17, levels of PCBs is extensive regulation with regard to the and mercury in tissues of Alaska Natives and containment and cleanup of spill sites. Because others regularly consuming contaminated game spills onto gravel or soil surfaces must be may be elevated, and these exposures could cleaned up according to the ADEC cause a variety of adverse health impacts. The requirements, there should be no complete major source of these contaminants is long- exposure pathways or elevated concentrations range atmospheric transport from industrialized remaining after remediation of these types of areas in many countries. PCB production has spill sites and, therefore, no long-term health been stopped in most countries, but poor impacts from exposure to contaminants in soil. disposal practices may result in continued releases to the atmosphere. The major sources The cumulative assessment of human health of mercury in the atmosphere are burning of and safety impacts from environmental releases coal, municipal waste, medical waste, and is limited to the general public and does not hazardous waste; operation of motor vehicles; include occupational exposures for cleanup and production of chlorine (EPA 2001a). The workers or employees at the various plants and operation of the TAPS is not known to result in facilities. Protection of these workers is any emissions of PCBs or mercury; these regulated under the Occupational Health and chemicals are also not expected to be 4.7-69 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES associated with the no-action alternative nor workers and the general public were considered would the no action or less-than-30-year renewal in this section. The types of actions that could alternatives reduce the cumulative emissions, have cumulative impacts on human health and PCBs, or mercury. Similarly, the other safety include oil and gas exploration, foreseeable actions considered in this development, and production on the North cumulative impact assessment (i.e., oil and gas Slope; construction and operation of fuel gas exploration, development, and production on the pipelines (e.g., the natural gas pipeline); land North Slope; construction and operation of fuel management activities; human habitation and gas pipelines; land management activities; development; and natural resource use. human habitation and development; and natural resource use) would not be expected to result in Occupational. The risk faced by workers, emissions of PCBs or mercury. Therefore, as defined by traumatic occupational fatality additional cumulative adverse health impacts rates, is already considerably elevated in from exposure to these contaminants would not Alaska, particularly as a result of the water and be likely. air transport required for various hazardous occupations there (e.g., fishing, farming, logging, The PAH benzo[a]pyrene has also been mining, and manufacturing). With the exception designated as a PBT (EPA 2001b). PAHs are a of workers involved in the construction of constituent of crude oil and refined oil products proposed natural gas project, relatively small and were a major contaminant of concern with numbers of workers would be involved in other respect to food pathways after the Exxon Valdez cumulative actions (e.g., oil refining, oil and gas oil spill (Field et al. 1999). There is also an exploration, oil storage), and their risks of ongoing debate about the sources of PAHs in injuries and fatalities from physical hazards are PWS, including past anthropogenic sources and expected to be in line with the historical rates, natural background from oil seeps, oily shales, especially for the transportation/ and coal (see Section 3.11.3). Oil spills in the communications/public utilities-related and marine environment have the most potential for construction-related cumulative activities. foodchain impacts, because of bioaccumulation Similar to the TAPS, potential fatalities and in shellfish (see Section 18.104.22.168.3). Of the injuries from a natural gas pipeline would be actions assessed in this cumulative impacts expected on the basis of construction and evaluation, oil and gas exploration, pipeline industry incidence rates, the number of development, production, and transportation FTEs, and the number of years of construction involve risk of a spill in either the North Slope or and operation. While such occupational hazards Prince William Sound marine environment. On can be minimized when workers adhere to safety the basis of an analysis of the data from the standards and use appropriate protective Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (see Section 22.214.171.124.4), equipment, fatalities and injuries from on-the-job uptake of PAHs in the foodchain after a spill accidents can still occur. The use of best could result in somewhat increased cancer risks management practices for occupational health among individuals consuming high amounts of and safety compliance is recommended to shellfish (especially mussels) from highly reduce statewide fatality and injury incidence contaminated areas. The increased risk would rates from all of the actions in combination. likely be less than that from ingestion of smoked meats and fish. It is possible that increased Another concern with respect to digestive cancer incidence rates among Alaska occupational exposures is NORM. However, Natives (see Section 3.17) are associated with with standard operating procedures in place, dietary PAH exposures, but this speculation has there is little potential for any NORM exposure not been confirmed with data. from oil production operations on the North Slope or during pipeline dismantlement. 126.96.36.199.3 Summary. Possible The cumulative assessment of human health cumulative human health impacts of reasonably and safety impacts from environmental releases foreseeable actions, in conjunction with the is limited to the general public and does not proposed action, the less-than-30-year renewal include occupational exposures for cleanup alternative, or the no-action alternative, to workers or employees at the plants or ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-70 compression facilities. Protection of these which is an air quality nonattainment area with workers is regulated under the Occupational respect to CO. However, none of the TAPS Health and Safety Act and is beyond the scope emissions of CO under the proposed action or of this assessment. alternatives would cause a measurable increase in CO levels in the Fairbanks nonattainment Public. An assessment of potential health area (see Sections 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.1). impacts from Valdez Marine Terminal air toxics Therefore, although the CO levels might become emissions was provided in Section 220.127.116.11.2. It more problematic as the population increased, was concluded that no adverse health impacts such an increase in CO levels does not would be expected in association with the constitute a cumulative impact with respect to inhalation of those emissions throughout the the action being considered. renewal period. Some planned future projects in the regions of interest (e.g., new natural gas Numerous hazardous materials would be pipelines) could result in additional VOC used and stored in association with some of the emissions, presumably with maximum emissions actions considered in this cumulative impacts similar to or less than those associated with assessment, especially oil and gas exploration, TAPS facilities. Unless a large new source of development, and production; oil refining; and oil VOC emissions is placed in the Valdez area and gas transportation. Human health and safety (none currently planned), there should be no impacts from accidental releases of hazardous adverse health impacts from inhalation of VOCs materials could result in exposures to from all the industrial sources combined. contaminated air, soils, groundwater, or food. However, the potential for additional cumulative Another important source of some of the adverse impacts from accidental releases is same VOCs that are emitted from TAPS facilities relatively small. is motor vehicle emissions. Auto emissions would be expected to increase over the renewal The potential for ingestion or dermal period as the state population and automobile exposure of the general public to soils and transportation increased. An increased cancer groundwater contaminated due to spills of risk of about 3 × 10-5 has been estimated for hazardous materials is very low, because there residents of Valdez from benzene inhalation is extensive regulation with regard to the from all sources. As sources such as motor containment and cleanup of spill sites. Because vehicle emissions increase over the next spills onto gravel or soil surfaces must be 30 years, additional emission controls on mobile cleaned up according to these ADEC and point sources might be needed to minimize requirements, there should be no complete increasing cancer risks, under any of the exposure pathways or elevated concentrations alternatives. remaining after remediation of these types of spill sites and, therefore, no long-term health During construction of a natural gas pipeline, impacts from exposure to contaminants in soil. the main type of emission of concern during the 2- to 3-year construction period would most Levels of two PBT contaminants (PCBs and likely be criteria pollutants generated from mercury) in tissues of Alaska Natives and others excavation, heavy equipment operation, and regularly consuming contaminated game may be vehicles used for transporting workers and raw elevated, and these exposures could cause a materials. Unless residential areas were located variety of adverse health impacts. The operation in close proximity to the pipeline or related of the TAPS is not known to result in any facilities, adverse health impacts due to limited- emissions of PCBs or mercury. Similarly, the duration increases in criteria air pollutant levels other foreseeable actions considered in this from future construction actions in conjunction cumulative impact assessment would not be with the proposed action or the no-action expected to result in emissions of PCBs or alternative would not be expected. mercury. Therefore, additional cumulative adverse health impacts from exposure to these The projected increase in the population of contaminants would not be likely. Alaska over the next 30 years might be problematic in the Fairbanks/North Pole area, 4.7-71 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Oil spills in the marine environment have the which could adversely affect terrestrial and most potential for foodchain impacts, because of wetland communities. These activities would bioaccumulation of PAHs in shellfish (see also produce fugitive dust, which could injure or Section 18.104.22.168.3). However, the increased risk kill vegetation and alter vegetative communities would likely be less than that from ingestion of by reducing vegetative cover, altering local soil smoked meats and fish. and permafrost conditions, and changing species composition. Erosion from construction sites could result in the sedimentation of 4.7.7 Biological Resources vegetative communities, particularly wetland communities. Sediments could injure or kill vegetation and alter vegetative communities. 22.214.171.124 Terrestrial Vegetation and Wetlands Disturbances to vegetative communities would generally require restoration of the This section evaluates the cumulative affected site and revegetation efforts. Vegetative effects of the proposed action, in combination communities that would then become with other past, present, and foreseeable future established might not represent local natural actions, on terrestrial vegetation and wetlands community types and might include non-native communities. This cumulative effects species, which could become dominant or assessment evaluates impacts in and along the invade undisturbed natural areas. Activities that Beaufort Sea, North Slope, Interior Alaska, and disturbed the soil or remove vegetation could Prince William Sound. result in changes to the underlying permafrost, causing thermokarst. Terrestrial vegetative The cumulative effects of past actions have communities and some wetland communities resulted in the existing conditions described in might be eliminated by thermokarst-induced Section 3.18. In general, the greatest overall inundation. effects within the region of TAPS influence have been caused by oil and gas production and Spills of crude oil, diesel oil, or other fluids transportation. However, the cumulative effects might result from activities associated with any on the major vegetative zones through which the of the major actions contributing to cumulative TAPS passes have generally been minor. Future effects. Spills could injure or kill vegetation, actions that have the potential to affect terrestrial potentially leaving affected areas unvegetated or and wetland vegetative communities are sparsely vegetated. Impacted soils might require presented in Table 4.7-2 and include oil and gas extended periods of time to revegetate. Small exploration, development, and production; oil spills, however, which would be considered refining; oil and gas transport; oil storage; human likely or anticipated events (see Section 4.4.1 for habitation and development; transportation; land spill frequency definitions) would be cleaned up management activities and plans; natural and would generally have negligible to minor resource use; and petroleum spills. cumulative effects on the terrestrial vegetation and wetland communities of the four major These actions could impact vegetation by vegetation zones. Large spills, which would be means of a number of impacting factors. considered unlikely or very unlikely events, Table 4.7-9 identifies the activities and impacting would have greater effects but would not be factors associated with these actions. considered reasonably foreseeable future Construction activities would disturb soil and events. (See Section 126.96.36.199 for a discussion of probably involve physical injury to vegetation or the effects of spills on terrestrial vegetation and removal of vegetation within the disturbed area. wetlands.) In areas with a high proportion of wetlands, such as the Arctic Coastal Plain, or during Activities associated with transportation construction of large projects, such as a natural might result in impacts to terrestrial vegetation gas pipeline, wetlands could be filled in. The and wetlands from the generation of fugitive placement of gravel to construct drilling pads, dust, particularly along unpaved highways, workpads, or service roads would eliminate local such as the Dalton Highway. However, ongoing vegetation and alter local hydrologic regimes, improvements to the Dalton Highway road ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-72 surface have resulted in reduced airborne dust beetle, might also cause changes in the along treated road segments. Oil and gas structure or composition of forest communities. transportation might also involve the construction of pipelines. The elimination of While the combined effect of these large- terrestrial and wetland communities might occur scale impacts with local project-specific impacts on a large scale during the construction of an may be greater than additive, data do not exist to extensive pipeline system, such as a natural gas support such a conclusion. pipeline, resulting in major impacts to vegetation. Large-scale restoration and revegetation activities might be required. Past 188.8.131.52.1 Beaufort Sea. The construction projects, such as TAPS and the construction and operation of facilities for oil construction of drilling pads on the North Slope, exploration and production would include have involved extensive vegetation restoration. offshore gravel islands, Beaufort Sea shore Pipeline construction and operation might also modifications, new access roads, and pipelines. result in permafrost changes and accidental Losses of vegetative communities might result petroleum spills. The loading and transport of oil from direct removal, sedimentation, or spills and tankers might also result in accidental spills of might include marine vegetative communities or crude oil. coastal marshes. The cumulative impacts of these actions on the Beaufort Sea would be Other than oil and gas production, mining expected to be minor. For cumulative impacts and logging are the primary activities that use under both the proposed action and the less- resources. Mining includes the extraction of than-30-year renewal alternative, there would be minerals (such as gold, silver, lead, and zinc) a negligible effect on vegetation near the and sand and gravel mining for construction Beaufort Sea, unless there was a large oil spill materials, primarily for oil field development. (see Section 184.108.40.206). The contribution to Mining operations for sand and gravel and placer cumulative effects from TAPS to impact gold mining might remove large quantities of vegetation near the Beaufort Sea would be stream bed deposits and also riparian vegetative negligible because TAPS does not occur in that communities. The alteration of hydrologic area. Under the no-action alternative, structures regimes or surface water drainage patterns for oil exploration and drilling in the Beaufort Sea could adversely affect vegetation by increasing would not be constructed, and associated or decreasing soil moisture or inundation. Mining impacts to vegetation would not occur. Impacts activities might result in soil disturbance, dust, to the Beaufort Sea from TAPS termination erosion, and sedimentation. Logging operations activities would not be expected, since the would remove or alter existing vegetation on system does not extend into this region. logged sites and could also result in soil disturbance, dust, erosion, and sedimentation. 220.127.116.11.2 North Slope. Impacts to Logged sites generally progress through vegetation would result from the construction successional stages to mature forest over time. and use of drilling pads, modifications of stream Harvesting of plant material from natural banks and channels, new access roads, vegetative communities is often associated with pipelines, and use of sand and gravel mining human settlements. The acquisition of firewood, sites. Although oil and gas exploration, building materials, and edible plants or fruit development, and production are expected to might result in local impacts to vegetative continue on the North Slope, the area of impact communities. from individual drilling or production sites has Certain large-scale or global phenomena become considerably smaller over the past can also impact terrestrial and wetland 30 years as advances in technology have vegetation. For example, global warming might reduced the area required for well pads. Losses result in changes to permafrost and alter many of vegetative communities might result from vegetative communities throughout the state of direct removal, sedimentation, or spills; these Alaska. Natural pests, such as the spruce bark communities might include lowland and upland tundra. However, less than 1% of the vegetation of the Arctic Coastal Plain would likely be 4.7-73 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES impacted by oil development (BLM 1998). vegetation communities, although the increase Construction of a natural gas transportation would be very small relative to the boreal forest, system would also impact vegetation on the coastal forest, and upland tundra vegetation North Slope in the vicinity of existing oil zones. production facilities and near the TAPS ROW. The cumulative effects of these activities on North Slope terrestrial vegetation and wetlands 18.104.22.168.4 Prince William Sound. would be expected to be minor. Very little new Loss of vegetative communities might result construction or other major disturbance of from direct removal, sedimentation, or spills; vegetation on the North Slope is anticipated for these communities might include marine continued operation of the TAPS. The vegetative communities or coastal marshes. The contribution to cumulative impacts from the cumulative effects of future activities affecting continued operation of the TAPS would be these resources, such as oil storage and minor, unless there was a large oil spill (see transportation, land development, logging, and Section 22.214.171.124). Under the no-action alternative, natural resource use on the terrestrial vegetation impacts to vegetation from the construction of oil and wetlands would be expected to be minor, exploration and drilling structures would not unless there was a large oil spill. The largest occur. Impacts to the North Slope vegetation contribution to the cumulative impact to the communities from TAPS termination activities terrestrial vegetation and wetlands of Prince would result in a small temporary contribution to William Sound results from past and existing cumulative impacts and an increase in North impacts, such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Slope communities over the long-term, although which impacted many miles of shoreline. The the increase would be very small relative to the continued operation of the TAPS would have a total area of upland and lowland tundra negligible effect on Prince William Sound, under vegetation zones. the proposed action and less-than-30-year renewal alternative, unless there was a large oil spill (see Section 126.96.36.199). Thus, the contribution 188.8.131.52.3 Interior Alaska. Impacts to to cumulative effects from the TAPS would be vegetation would result from the construction negligible. Under the no-action alternative, oil and use of new access roads, a natural gas storage and transportation would cease and pipeline, modifications of stream banks and associated impacts to terrestrial vegetation and channels, use of sand and gravel mining sites wetlands would not occur. Impacts to Prince land development, logging, and other natural William Sound communities from TAPS resource use. Losses of vegetative communities termination activities would make a very small might result from direct removal, sedimentation, contribution to cumulative impacts. Cumulative or spills; these communities might include impacts to vegetation would continue from all upland tundra, boreal forest, and coastal forest. other activities not related to oil transportation. The cumulative effects of these activities on the interior terrestrial vegetation and wetlands would be expected to be minor. Very little new 184.108.40.206.5 Summary. The cumulative construction or other major disturbance of effects on terrestrial vegetation and wetlands vegetation in Interior Alaska is anticipated for would be minor, relative to the extent of the four continued operation of the TAPS. The major vegetation zones (lowland tundra, upland contribution to cumulative impacts from the tundra, boreal forest, coastal forest) within the continued operation of the TAPS, under both the TAPS region of influence, and the Beaufort Sea proposed action and the less-than-30-year and Prince William Sound. renewal alternative, would be minor, unless there was a large oil spill (see Section 220.127.116.11). The contribution to cumulative effects on Impacts to boreal forest, coastal forest, and terrestrial vegetation and wetlands from the upland tundra communities from termination continued operation of the TAPS under the activities under the no-action alternative would proposed action, under the less-than-30-year result in a small temporary contribution to renewal alternative, and under the no-action cumulative impacts and a long-term increase in alternative would be small and additive. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-74 18.104.22.168 Fish when there is prolonged darkness and thick ice cover, phytoplankton photosynthesis would not This section evaluates the cumulative likely be substantially affected. Heavy impacts of the proposed action (Section 4.3.16) downstream sedimentation from construction or in combination with other past, present, and oil production activities could smother the foreseeable future activities on fish. Thus, benthos in localized areas, but effects would impacts associated with actions in the Beaufort probably not to be widespread. In general, Sea, the North Slope, Interior Alaska, and in species occupying these areas have adapted to Prince William Sound are considered for dynamic conditions, and they react to short-term anadromous, diadromous (freshwater fish that fluctuations in water quality and habitat by either overwinter in freshwater but disperse into low- enduring and functioning under those conditions salinity coastal waters during the summer to or moving out of the impact zone. Recolonization feed) and strictly freshwater fishes. The “other of affected areas by benthic organisms in actions” that are considered in this cumulative surrounding areas would probably occur impacts evaluation include (1) oil and gas relatively rapidly in most cases. An exception exploration, development, and production; (2) oil would be the Boulder Patch community that lies and gas transportation; (3) human habitation and about 6 mi seaward of the Sagavanirktok River development; (4) legislative actions; (5) land delta. This community of epilithic flora and fauna management activities; (6) natural resource use; inhabits an isolated area of rock substrate in and (7) spills (Table 4.7-2). Additional Stefansson Sound (Dunton and Schonberg information on the scopes of these activities is 2000). Organisms occupying the Boulder Patch presented in Section 4.7.4. As for the proposed are at risk from localized impacts because they action (Section 4.3.16), these other actions can are immobile, occupy a relatively small affect fish in a variety of ways that can be geographic area, and are an isolated community broadly categorized into impacts that result from: that cannot easily be repopulated from surrounding stocks. Offshore construction and • Alteration and loss of fish habitat; trenching in this area may require special consideration. • Obstructions to fish passage; Another habitat alteration that may affect fish • Increased human access; and resources in Prince William Sound is the introduction of nonnative organisms from the • Effects of oil, fuel, and chemical spills. ballast water of oil tankers. Some inbound tankers, especially the newer double-hulled 22.214.171.124.1 Alteration and Loss of tankers that are expected to become prevalent Habitat. Actions on the North Slope, in the within the next 10 years, carry segregated Beaufort Sea, and in Prince William Sound might ballast water (i.e., ballast water is separated all cumulatively contribute to the alteration and from the oil cargo compartments) that is loss of resources and habitat for fish that occur discharged directly into Port Valdez. The there and use habitats along the TAPS ROW. Oil segregated ballast water can contain organisms exploration activities, offshore construction that are not native to Prince William Sound. discharges, and offshore dredging or trenching Organisms introduced from other areas of the might alter marine habitats and influence world may become a nuisance in the absence of planktonic and benthic marine invertebrates and predator species to control population growth. fish (USACE 1984, 1999) that serve as food for Once established, nonindigenous species may anadromous and diadromous fish. Similar also ecologically displace native species or impacts to anadromous fish could occur in some species in the food chain upon which fish Prince William Sound as a result of construction or other native aquatic organisms depend for activities, dredging, or runoff from industrial survival. Hines and Ruiz (2000) investigated the sites. Affected areas would probably be more numbers and types of nonindigenous organisms turbid than normal, and this turbidity could affect transported into Prince William Sound in ballast visual distances for feeding fish. Because most water. They concluded that large numbers of North Slope construction occurs in the winter planktonic organisms are released into Prince 4.7-75 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES William Sound with segregated ballast water and mitigation are incorporated into these operations that there is a high potential for the types of to minimize impacts on fish. Water withdrawals organisms observed to survive in the water would continue to be required for future North conditions in Prince William Sound. On average, Slope oil field developments, but efficient and they found about 360 organisms per cubic foot of appropriate regulation, compliance, and enforce- water in segregated ballast water samples. ment would reduce the potential impacts. Use of Although not all of these organisms were other options for obtaining water for ice roads nonnative species, 14 nonnative species were and pads (e.g., desalination, use of snowmelt recorded (13 crustacean species and 1 fish water, and water from flooding abandoned mine species) from the 169 tankers sampled. A sites) may also limit potential impacts. previous study (Ruiz and Hines 1997) found that when nonsegregated ballast water (i.e., the Construction of and maintenance operations ballast water that is carried in oil-holding for a gas pipeline would have impacts on compartments) was introduced, it contained very freshwater habitats similar to those of the TAPS. few viable nonindigenous organisms. In addition, Inspection, monitoring, and prompt corrective such water is processed in the BWTF before action would be required to limit impacts. being discharged into Port Valdez, making it Increased public access as a result of new unlikely that nonindigenous organisms would be pipeline construction or development would introduced. The tanker traffic used in support of probably have only small impacts on fish habitat, the gas pipeline may be about 275/yr (TAPS primarily due to the increased erosion of stream Owners 2001a). This could add incrementally to banks by off-road vehicles and the increased the potential to introduce nonnative species into amount of dust deposited by vehicles traveling Prince William Sound. However, ballast water on unpaved roads. The development of other treatment would minimize this impact. industries in the vicinity of the TAPS could also have impacts on freshwater habitats, depending Oil and gas exploration and development on the location and operational needs. can affect fish, if ground- or vegetation- disturbing activities occur in or near waterways Alterations to freshwater habitats could or if chemicals or wastes are discharged into reduce fish survival and potentially affect fish waterways. Loss of habitat in freshwater populations. The Interior column of Table 4.7-2 systems can result from bank hardening, lists the activities that may impact freshwater draining of water bodies, changes or temporary habitats. These impacts would more likely occur diversions in river or stream channels, if the alterations were allowed to persist for excavations of streambed materials, removal of multiple years and if overwintering habitat was riparian vegetation, and changes in water quality affected. However, such alterations would parameters. Permits are required under Alaska typically be minor in scope and would not Title 16 for activities in or near streams that substantially affect fish populations. In addition, could affect anadromous fish and their many potential impacts would probably be freshwater habitat or the free and efficient identified and corrected before impacts to migrations of resident fish. Discharges of wastes populations ever occurred. Overall, cumulative and treated water from oil facilities must also impacts from alterations of freshwater habitats in comply with the Clean Water Act and NPDES the vicinity of the TAPS would be low to permits. Compliance minimizes the cumulative moderate under the proposed action. Synergistic effects from the described actions on aquatic effects on the population as a whole are not habitats. anticipated. Removal of freshwater from lakes to Overall, the magnitude and geographic construct ice roads and pads and for other scope of impacts to fish habitats are likely to be operations could also affect fish in these water low. However, it is difficult to predict the potential bodies. Withdrawal of water can reduce water impacts associated with biological organisms depth in overwintering areas, thereby reducing that could be introduced via ballast water. their ability to support fish, and it can entrain fish through the pumps. Design considerations and ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-76 126.96.36.199.2 Obstructions to Fish freshwater habitats may be affected over the Passage. Drainage structures, such as renewal period. Overall, cumulative impacts culverts and low water crossings can impede from blocking fish passage in freshwater habitats fish migration and obstruct fish passage in the vicinity of the TAPS would be low to (Section 4.3.16). Generally, such impacts may moderate under the proposed action, and occur intermittently at some, but not all, stream synergistic effects with other factors are not crossings that require drainage structures or that anticipated. require vehicles to cross streams. Impacts at stream crossings are typically addressed Cumulative impacts to anadromous or through proper design and maintenance of diadromous species may occur as a result of roads, pipeline river crossings, and culverts, activities that obstruct fish movement in marine coupled with regulation, monitoring, and environments. Under certain meteorological corrective actions. conditions, structures along the Beaufort Sea mainland coast can also block the movements of Little or no discernable impact to fish diadromous fishes, particularly juveniles passage in freshwater habitats has occurred in (Gallaway and Fechhelm 2000 and references North Slope oil fields as a result of past cited therein). Because many of these species activities, and it is anticipated that this will also avoid high-salinity, marine conditions, they tend be the case for future North Slope oil fields. to remain nearshore, where they forage up and Construction and operation of a natural gas down the coast within a narrow band of warm, pipeline would likely have impacts similar to low-salinity water (Craig 1984). Causeways can those from the TAPS. For example, new roads, impede coastal movement either by directly workpads, and buried pipeline crossings for a blocking fish or by modifying nearshore water natural gas pipeline could impact new areas conditions to the point where they might become outside the TAPS ROW. Construction of too cold and saline for these species. On the additional roads and increased numbers of North Slope, this impact was identified as a workers could result in more stream crossings concern at West Dock and the Endicott and more vehicles crossing streams in the Causeway, although actual impacts were vicinity of the TAPS. This may increase the identified only at West Dock. However, current frequency of impacts to fish from obstructed construction practices and mitigation efforts passage at disturbed stream crossing areas. have shown that breaching can alleviate Other activities that may be developed on the blockage (Gallaway and Fechhelm 2000 and North Slope or in Interior Alaska (Table 4.7-2) references cited therein). could further increase such impacts, depending on the applicable location, extent of The locations of causeways relative to development, level of mitigation, and regulatory coastal topography, local bathymetry, and control. freshwater drainages also is critical in determining their impact on the nearshore Inhibiting fish movement in streams can migration corridor (Niedoroda and Colonell reduce access to spawning areas and potentially 1990). For example, West Dock was constructed affect fish populations. These results are more at the eastern end of an extensive brackish- likely if the obstructions are allowed to persist for water lagoon system (Simpson Lagoon) through multiple years. Fish passage in freshwater which fish disperse and migrate. The causeway habitats has been a continuous maintenance extends seaward into the marine environment issue along the TAPS ROW, and it is also likely enough beyond the 6-ft isobath to exacerbate to be an issue relatively frequently as a result of coastal mixing processes that sometimes block the cumulative actions described above. the movements of those fish. In contrast, the However, obstructions to fish passage would entire Endicott Causeway was constructed probably be identified and corrected before inside the 6-ft isobath and does not protrude impacts to populations would occur. Given the into deeper marine waters. The onshore geographic extent and the large number of encroachment of marine water is further streams that could be affected by existing and impeded by the freshwater discharge of the proposed activities, fish populations in some Sagavanirktok River (Niedoroda and Colonell 4.7-77 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 1990). As a result, cells of upwelled marine overharvest is expected to be greater in northern water that develop at the Endicott Causeway are areas because fish productivity is low. restricted to the seaward tip of the causeway’s western leg and do not reach the mainland In the North Slope oil fields and Beaufort shore, where the water might otherwise disrupt Sea, increased human access, with its fish migrations (Hachmeister et al. 1991; accompanying increased fishing pressure, has Gallaway et al. 1991). not affected fish populations, although some subsistence, sport, and very limited commercial The proper siting of any future causeway to fishing occur. Public access into Prince William be constructed along the Beaufort Sea is the Sound is increasing, and the combined effects of most important consideration with regard to fish commercial, subsistence/personal use, and movements. In many cases, breaching might be sport fishing could impact populations. Fishing appropriate, depending on the site location and activities are managed by the ADF&G and the hydrography. Other structures constructed at National Marine Fisheries Service within federal offshore facilities and artificial islands would not conservation units. The Federal Subsistence affect diadromous fish habitat and would have a Board manages subsistence fishing by rural limited influence on anadromous species. Alaska residents. Maintenance of fish at the desired sizes and population levels has been Although the impact from docks or largely accomplished by regulations established causeways may occur in the marine environment by the Alaska Board of Fish and enforced by of the Beaufort Sea, it is believed that there has ADF&G and the Alaska Department of Public been little or no impact on fish movements from Safety. In the vicinity of Prince William Sound, a docks or causeways at the Valdez Marine number of anadromous fish hatcheries are also Terminal or in Prince William Sound. Because of utilized to produce enough fish to increase the extensive distributions and coastal harvest above natural levels and to manage movements of marine and anadromous species, stocks. Consequently, the cumulative impact of any additional terminal structures would increased human access to fish populations is probably affect only an insignificant number of expected to be minor and additive. individuals and a small geographic area. 188.8.131.52.4 Effects of Oil, Fuel, and 184.108.40.206.3 Effects on Fish Chemical Spills on Fish. Oil, fuel, and Populations from Increased Human chemical spills are a primary concern with Access. With an increase in human population regard to oil and gas development, production, associated with foreseeable future activities and transportation. The potential impacts of (Table 4.7-2), there would likely be additional freshwater spills (see Section 220.127.116.11) are recreational fishing pressure on fish populations. primarily localized and restricted to gravel pads Currently, recreational fisheries are regulated to at facilities or roads. Large spills into freshwater maintain adequate stocks and are adjusted to have not occurred. However, should one occur compensate for changes in fishing pressure. in the future, it could have substantial impacts on However, increased access could result in fish in the impacted area. overharvest if regulations and enforcement were inadequate. The BLM and USACE (1988) Large marine spills, such as the Exxon reported that individuals of the species preferred Valdez oil spill, could potentially have large for harvest were smaller and less numerous after impacts on fish. Such spills could cause the construction of the TAPS in areas accessible mortality and injury to plankton, marine to anglers. While developments in remote areas invertebrates, and fish (USACE 1999). While have allowed access to previously unavailable direct mortality of fish due to open water marine harvest opportunities, large increases in fishing oil spills has seldom been documented, impacts effort and catches of desirable species such as on fish in natural environments have been Arctic char, Arctic grayling, and lake trout were inferred on the basis of laboratory studies. The not reflected in statewide harvest surveys (Burr Exxon Valdez oil spill had some impacts on fish, 2001) after the entire length of the Dalton including pink salmon and herring Highway was opened in 1994. The potential for (see Sections 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124). While ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-78 some populations and habitats appear to have actions. In Prince William Sound and the Gulf of recovered from the effects of the spill, other Alaska, future actions contributing to cumulative habitats and populations have not yet recovered impacts on fish include oil transport, other or their status is not certain (Section 126.96.36.199). transportation activities, (e.g., barging and cruise ships), human habitation, natural resource use Past oil spills along the TAPS and in the (e.g., commercial, subsistence, and recreational North Slope oil fields have been mainly confined fishing), and land management activities. to land, but future leaks could reach watersheds However, none of these activities are expected and impact fish. The future operation of the to significantly increase cumulative impacts, TAPS, a gas pipeline, and other industrial including any synergistic effects, on fish or affect activity carry the risk of small-scale spills of oil, the viability of species’ populations. Oil spills fuel, and chemicals from vehicles and would not significantly add to cumulative machinery. Present and future North Slope oil impacts, except for an unlikely large spill to field developments might have an impact on fish, aquatic habitats, in which case impacts similar to particularly in the marine environment. The the Exxon Valdez oil spill could occur (see potential for spills from subsea pipelines and Section 188.8.131.52). other sources for offshore developments in the Beaufort Sea was assessed previously (USACE TAPS operations are only a small 1999). Impacts of spills in solid ice or broken ice component of the cumulative impacts associated in this region may be particularly difficult to clean with the activities listed in Table 4.7-2. However, up. the indirect effects of the TAPS are a significant contribution to cumulative impacts to fish, Gas production activities could increase the because of the interdependence of current and risk of impacts as a result of the increased foreseeable future oil development, production, volume of liquids transported through the gas and transportation activities with the TAPS. pipeline and in tankers. The magnitude of the risk of such impacts would partly depend on Cumulative impacts of the less-than-30-year facility locations. Increased public access could renewal alternative on fish would be similar to result in some small spills from highway cumulative impacts described above under the vehicles, off-road vehicles, and boats. proposed action but of shorter duration. During the renewal periods, TAPS operations, Although there is a potential for large monitoring, and maintenance activities; and impacts to fish from large oil spills, the risk of other present and foreseeable actions would such spills is relatively small (Section 4.4.1). The essentially be the same for both alternatives. probability of smaller spills is higher, but the The shorter renewal period would not preclude impacts from such spills if they entered any other current or foreseeable actions listed in freshwater or marine habitats would probably be Table 4.7-2 from occurring. The differences in small, temporary, and additive and unlikely to cumulative impacts between the two renewal severely affect fish populations; especially in alternatives likely would be negligible during the light of spill response activities that are renewal periods. If at the end of the less-than- undertaken when spill events occur. 30-year renewal period a further request for renewal was granted, cumulative impacts would continue as stated for the proposed action. If a 184.108.40.206.5 Summary. On the North further request for renewal was not granted, Slope and Beaufort Sea, the most important cumulative impacts would continue as stated for future activities that could contribute to no action, below. cumulative impacts on fish would be planned oil and gas development activities, oil and gas Differences in cumulative impacts between transportation, and natural resource use the no-action and the proposed-action (e.g., subsistence). In Interior Alaska, future alternatives on fish would be more evident than actions that could contribute to cumulative those between the less-than-30-year renewal impacts on fishes include oil and gas transport, alternative and the proposed action, particularly other transportation activities, human habitation within the North Slope. While activities and development, and land management associated with gas production and 4.7-79 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES transportation would occur under both proposed action (Sections 4.3.17 and 220.127.116.11). alternatives; oil production and transportation Thus, cumulative actions could impact these would be reduced to very low levels for the no- wildlife resources by (1) habitat loss, alteration, action alternative. Thus, most oil production or enhancement; (2) disturbance or displace- facilities would be idled. Also, the incremental ment; (3) mortality; (4) obstruction to movement; changes that would have occurred from future oil and (5) spills. The effects that these actions may field developments would not occur. Therefore, cause include (1) immediate physical injury or the level of impacts to fish within the North Slope death; (2) increased energy expenditures or would be less for the no-action alternative, changes in physiological condition that may except for subsistence harvest levels that may reduce survival or reproduction rates; or increase. The potential for accidental oil spills (3) long-term changes in behavior, including the would also decline within the North Slope, along traditional use of ranges (Calef et al. 1976). the TAPS ROW, and within Prince William Possible differences between cumulative Sound and the Gulf of Alaska. However, the impacts and the impacts from the proposed infrastructure required to promptly clean up any action would depend on the intensity spills that might occur within these areas might (magnitude), scale (geographic area), duration, not be available (e.g., response equipment and timing and frequency, any synergies (impact teams associated with the TAPS would not be interactions), and likelihood of the impacts present). The potential for introduction of associated with the cumulative actions (USACE nonnative organisms within Prince William 1999). Sound would decrease from the decrease or elimination of oil tanker traffic within Prince William Sound. 18.104.22.168.1 Habitat Loss, Alteration, or Enhancement. Within the North Slope, oil and gas exploration, development, and 22.214.171.124 Birds and Mammals production, along with the construction and operation of ancillary facilities (e.g., gravel This section evaluates the cumulative mines, roads, pipelines, and drill pads), could impacts of the proposed action in combination result in a cumulative reduction in habitat for with other reasonably foreseeable actions on wildlife. Future developments within the North birds and terrestrial mammals. Past and present Slope could result in continued habitat alteration, activities that contribute to cumulative impacts although new developments would have smaller are part of the existing baseline and are footprints and result in a relatively smaller discussed in Sections 3.20 (birds) and 3.21 impact than in the past (TAPS Owners 2001a). (terrestrial mammals). Actions directly The cumulative loss from all listed projects in the associated with the oil and gas industry that North Slope may have localized effects on the could contribute to cumulative impacts include distribution or density of some wildlife species ancillary facilities and infrastructure (e.g., pipe- over the life of the oil fields (MMS 1998). Overall, lines, roads, landing strips, gravel mines, and fragmentation of the tundra by oil facilities has pump stations), refineries, terminals, and tanker not been a major factor affecting bird use of the transport. Other actions within the region of Prudhoe Bay oil field. There may have been a influence that could contribute to cumulative rearrangement of birds, but there was probably impacts include human habitation and no net change in bird abundance (Troy and development, transportation systems, natural Carpenter 1990; TERA 1993). The potential resource use (including subsistence and sport effect on species such as caribou might not be hunting), spills, and natural events (e.g., forest measurable because of the natural variability, fires and insect infestations) (Section 4.7.4). including productivity, of a large population Legislative actions and land management (ADNR 1999). activities could also have a controlling influence on the environment. Within the North Slope, more than 21,550 acres have been filled and covered by It is expected that in general, the cumulative gravel for airstrips, drill pads, roads, and other impacts on birds and terrestrial mammals would structures. This total includes 10,653 acres be similar to the impacts associated with the distributed by mine sites and gravel placement ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-80 within the oil fields and 10,900 acres occupied remain near preferred foraging habitats, thereby by the portion of TAPS within the North Slope lessening the energy demands normally (Ambrosius 2000; Gilders and Cronin 2000). imposed upon caribou during the insect season However, this represents a very small portion (Pollard et al. 1996a). (~0.02%) of the more than 56.8 million acres that occur within the Arctic Coastal Plain (Gilders Shorebirds and waterfowl commonly feed and Cronin 2000). and rest on impoundments associated with gravel pads (Pollard et al. 1990). Pacific loons The loss of wildlife habitat from the nest and rear their young in impoundments development projects represent a small created by oil field developments (Kertell 1996). decrease in the amount of available tundra habitat in the North Slope (MMS 1998). The Dust shadows might be increased by the avoidance by wildlife of areas near industrial addition of roads, facility pads, and greater traffic developments that might otherwise be usable loads associated with gas commercialization on habitat (i.e., functional habitat loss) also the North Slope. Construction of the natural gas contributes to the cumulative loss of habitat pipeline would increase traffic loads on the associated with facility development (Cameron Dalton Highway, contributing to the effect in the et al. 1995; Nellemann and Cameron 1998; TAPS study area. The dust shadows affect a James and Stuart-Smith 2000). However, limited amount of habitat but will continue as cumulative impacts would be negligible because long as heavy traffic occurs on gravel roads. the amount of habitat physically affected would Cumulative impacts of dust shadows on wildlife be small compared to the amount available would be similar to those addressed in (ADNR 1999). Section 126.96.36.199. Gravel fill generally eliminates tundra A new North Slope oil field could require habitat. However, it can provide habitat for some permanent gravel roads and pads for production species. For example, it provides insect relief facilities, which would incrementally increase the areas for caribou; denning habitat for arctic foxes area affected by changes in drainage patterns. and ground squirrels; and nesting sites for However, the footprint for new developments semipalmated plover, ruddy turnstone, and would require less area than in the past. For Baird’s sandpiper; and feeding habitat for example, the “P” Pad built in the Prudhoe Bay Lapland longspurs (Pollard et al. 1990; Oil Field is 70% smaller than the “A” Pad built in Truett et al. 1994 and references cited therein). the 1970s (Gilders and Cronin 2000). The Arctic fox den density was found to be greater construction of a natural gas pipeline would also within developed areas than on adjacent contribute to these types of effects on wetlands, undeveloped tundra; using culverts and road because trenching for the pipeline, burial of the embankments as den sites (Ballard et al. 2000). pipeline, and placement of gravel for compressor stations and access roads would cover wetland Although structures may occasionally be a sites and affect natural drainage patterns. If the barrier to wildlife movements, they can provide a gas pipeline was routed approximately parallel to haven from predators, pests, or weather, or a the TAPS alignment, impacts could be platform for feeding, hunting, or nesting (Truett minimized if the existing TAPS workpad, access et al. 1994). In general, birds use gravel pads roads, stream crossings, and material sites were more for feeding and resting than for nesting; used when feasible (TAPS Owners 2001a). while mammals rest and, less often, feed on the gravel pads (Pollard et al. 1990). Caribou use Construction of natural gas pipeline would gravel pads and roads as insect relief habitat disturb up to 23,216 acres of habitat (TAPS during the mosquito season (June to mid-July) Owners 2001a). Because the gas pipeline would and use the shade of oil field structures be buried, impacts would be short term, lasting (pipelines and buildings) and parked vehicles during the construction period and time required when oestrid flies are abundant (mid-July to for revegetation. However, to allow access to the early August) (Lawhead and Prichard 2002; pipeline, the overlying ROW would be Pollard et al. 1996a). The availability of man- maintained in an early stage of succession made insect-relief habitats may allow caribou to (i.e., in boreal forest areas), similar to that of the 4.7-81 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES TAPS ROW. This could total up to about avoid roads with relatively low traffic levels 8,425 acres during the period of gas pipeline (e.g., < 100 vehicles/day) for about two weeks operation (TAPS Owners 2001a). The gas following parturition and tend to remain > 0.6 mi condition facility would require an area of about from roads (Cameron et al. 1992; Cronin et al. 300 acres (TAPS Owners 2001a) within the 1994). Caribou, including cows with calves, do 56.8 million acre North Slope. A further not avoid developments during the post-calving 390 acres of habitat may be disturbed for period (Pollard et al. 1996b; Cronin et al. 1998a). construction of a gas liquefication plant at Cameron et al. (1992) observed that the calving Valdez, if this option were selected (TAPS caribou of the Central Arctic caribou herd were Owners 2001a). displaced outward after construction of the Milne Point road system; relative densities within Several studies have documented that birds 1.2 mi of the road system decreased by over such as raptors perch and nest on oil field and two-thirds. Similarly, Nellemann and Cameron pipeline structures and that swallows and other (1998) observed that increasing density of roads birds nest on structures at several TAPS pump in the Kuparuk Development Area near Prudhoe stations (see Section 188.8.131.52). Similarly, Pollard Bay decreased caribou density. Caribou et al. (1990) and Rodrigues (1992) documented densities declined by 63% when there were extensive use of gravel pads and adjacent 0.0 to 0.5 mi of roads/mi2 and declined by 86% disturbed sites in the North Slope oil fields by when there were more than 1.9 to 2.8 mi of birds. Offshore artificial drilling islands would roads/mi2. The higher road densities virtually provide new artificial habitats that would attract excluded cow-calf pairs (Nellemann and birds (USACE 1999). This situation was Cameron 1998). In contrast, Carruthers and documented on the Endicott Causeway, which Jakimchuk (1987) did not observe traditional was colonized by common eiders. In addition, migration of the Nelchina caribou herd (in the molting long-tailed ducks aggregate on the Gulkana River area) to be affected by the TAPS leeward side of the causeway (TAPS Owners and the Richardson Highway. 2001a). Present and future oil and gas development on the North Slope, particularly During the post-calving season, caribou offshore in the Beaufort Sea, might involve the distribution is largely unrelated to distance from construction of more offshore islands, which infrastructure; they regularly occur within the oil would likely provide more nesting and molting fields, and they often occur close to habitat for birds. infrastructure (Cronin et al. 1998a). Although some level of cumulative effect to caribou is likely from petroleum development, clear 184.108.40.206.2 Disturbance or separation of the cumulative effects from natural Displacement. High levels of air and vehicle variation in caribou habitat use and demography traffic are associated with the petroleum industry is difficult (Wolfe et al. 2000). No population- in the North Slope. For example, up to 1,200 level impacts to any wildlife species have been helicopter trips per year have taken place just to documented (reviewed in Truett and Johnson support offshore development. Such activities 2000). could cause short-term displacement of nesting, feeding, and/or molting birds (MMS 1998). Several factors influence caribou Traffic and human activity associated with the populations, including winter weather, oil field TAPS and the Dalton Highway can disturb disturbances and developments, hunting, female caribou with young calves (Cameron and predation, intersegment or interherd movements, Whitten 1980); while roads, pipelines, and and insect harassment (Cronin et al. 1997; Klein human activity may block, delay, or deflect 1991). All major caribou herds on the North individual caribou as they move through the Slope have increased in size, independent of oil Prudhoe Bay oil field (Pollard et al. 1996a). field development (Klein 1991). These higher Nevertheless, movements of large groups of population densities may cause dispersal or caribou do occur through the oil fields (Murphy range changes among caribou herds. Thus, no and Lawhead 2000). Pregnant and maternal single cause-and-effect explanation can be cows are sensitive to human activities within the North Slope (Cameron et al. 1985). Some will ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-82 made regarding changes over time in caribou adverse effect on herd abundance or overall herd size and distribution (Cronin et al. 1997). productivity. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft flights Future North Slope oil field developments associated with the multitude of North Slope may contribute to the disturbance and projects could result in combined or repeated displacement of wildlife. However, mitigation disturbances to wildlife. Such impacts could be measures, such as restricting the timing of the effectively reduced by restricting flight paths to activity and locating facilities away from nesting avoid sensitive nesting areas during active or calving areas, could minimize impacts. breeding and brood-rearing periods and by Operation of the gas pipeline project would have establishing minimum flight altitudes to reduce a negligible impact. Localized disturbances to ground-level noise (USACE 1999). While a few wildlife would occur during its construction. species, such as wolves and foxes, habituate to human presence, they are nevertheless In Prince William Sound, the cumulative disturbed by aircraft and other vehicles (ADNR effect of aircraft and vessel traffic associated 1999). Brant react to aircraft by alert posturing, with the oil industry, commercial and running, or entering water. Interruptions of recreational fishing, tourism, and other feeding may have deleterious effects on body commercial and recreational activities could reserves; and molting birds that move to result in long-term displacement of birds from undisturbed areas would be exposed to nesting and feeding habitats (MMS 1995). predators within the open tundra. A single However, most effects of disturbance and aircraft could disturb birds from dozens of lakes displacement would be local and minor at the in its flight path (Simpson et al. 1982). Repeated population level because most species have exposure of caribou to low-level military jet relatively low density (BLM 1998). overflights, especially during sensitive periods, may reduce calf survival and increase daily activities (Calef et al. 1976; Maier et al. 1998; 220.127.116.11.3 Mortality. The Dalton Wolfe et al. 2000). Females of the Delta caribou Highway has provided access to previously herd with newborn calves apparently move away remote areas north of the Yukon River. Concern from areas where they are disturbed by jet exists that this increased access has adversely aircraft overflights (Murphy et al. 1993). affected moose, caribou, wolf, and bear However, Valkenburg and Davis (1984) believe populations as a result of increased harvests that the effects of disturbance from hunters on (McLellan 1989; Yokel 1999). The increase in snowmobiles may be more important than Alaska’s human population since TAPS aircraft overflights. construction has also increased the hunting pressure on the state’s wildlife. ADF&G has Traffic along hundreds of miles of existing responded to this pressure where necessary by and future pipeline roads could disturb and restricting seasons and bag limits and by displace wildlife. Disturbance to caribou would implementing intensive management programs be generally short-term (e.g., a few hours or to achieve and maintain population objectives for less). Less time spent lying and more time ungulates available to hunters (see TAPS moving about are the two consistent reactions by Owners 2001a). caribou to disturbance. Disruption of the feeding and resting cycle, accompanied by increased Increased densities of predators and energy expenditures by running may contribute scavengers attracted to areas of human activity to energetic stress (Murphy and Curatolo 1987). may result in increased predation pressure on If calving caribou are displaced from a high- prey populations. This situation has recently quality forage area, there is a potential for become a management issue, mainly for lowered calf survival (ADNR 1999). To date, the ground-nesting birds on the North Slope (Day cumulative impacts of North Slope oil and gas 1998), but it is difficult to document. Increases in developments have caused minor displacement the abundance of foxes are well-documented in of the Central Arctic caribou herd from a small the North Slope oil fields (Burgess 2000). portion of its calving range without an apparent However, because pipeline facilities are more dispersed than are oil field facilities, this problem 4.7-83 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES would be small south of PS 1. Within the North could be killed by vehicles (Shoulders 1999; Slope, losses of birds due to elevated levels of Schmidt 1999). Road kills have not been a predators would be in addition to losses problem in the North Slope oil fields, although associated with habitat loss, displacement, and there have been occasional mortalities of so forth (BLM 1998). caribou and bears. The same trend would be likely during present and future North Slope oil Similarly, increased densities of predators field developments and a gas transmission line and scavengers might increase the occurrence project. A gas pipeline might increase traffic on and rate of transmission of wildlife diseases, highways, particularly during construction. This including rabies (Follmann et al. 1988). The situation would be unlikely to impact large primary reservoir of rabies in the North Slope numbers of animals. Increased public access area is the arctic fox, whereas south of the might increase the numbers of road kills from Brooks Range, the red fox and other carnivores Valdez to the North Slope, while the National are sources of greater concern (Winkler 1975). Missile Defense System is unlikely to have an impact. Traffic associated with other industrial Other causes of wildlife mortality in Alaska activities might result in road kills, depending on include intentional mortality (i.e., sport and the location and extent of developments. subsistence harvest, management and research mortality) and unintentional mortality Birds might also fly into structures, (i.e., railroad and road kills; unreported harvests; particularly offshore structures during periods of defense of life and property mortality) (TAPS fog. Also, some birds (e.g., cliff swallows) that Owners 2001a). Vehicle collisions with terrestrial nest at the TAPS pump stations might fly into the mammals, particularly moose, are an issue of pump station structures. Structures and bright public safety as well as a source of wildlife lights at the Valdez Marine Terminal might mortality (TAPS Owners 2001a). Black bears attract birds during inclement weather (Senner continue to be a problem in Valdez as a result of 1999). Collisions normally occur during spring city garbage management and lack of fencing at and fall when birds are migrating through the the Valdez Marine Terminal (Schmidt 1999; area. Although they could result in the loss of Lawlor 1999; Shoulders 1999; Brown 1999). individual birds, the cumulative effect would not be considered significant (USACE 1999). Mortality of predators such as bears occurs primarily from sport and subsistence hunting. In the North Slope oil fields, there is some Overall, only about 5% of brown bear mortality anecdotal evidence for bird mortality at and 3% of black bear mortality are related to nearshore structures such as Endicott and at the defense of life and property. However, within seawater treatment plant at the end of the West urban areas, these percentages are about 22% Dock causeway. Bird mortality at such and 6% for brown and black bear, respectively structures, however, has been intermittent and (Miller and Tutterow 1997). Oil and other local and has involved only a few individuals. resource extraction industries have indirectly Present and future North Slope oil and gas contributed to brown bear mortality by the developments could also cause some bird construction of roads that have increased access mortalities. It has been postulated that lights at by hunters, poachers, and settlers (McLellan offshore facilities such as Northstar might attract 1989). The oil industry, in cooperation with migrating birds that could then collide with ADF&G, has implemented management structures (USACE 1999). activities to reduce impacts to wildlife. These measures have included the closing of the High predator populations in the North Slope developed areas to big game hunting, prohibiting oil fields are associated with natural factors such firearms within the oil fields proper, educating as high prey availability and natural den sites. workers on wildlife safety, and training security However, because of the availability of personnel on proper techniques for hazing supplemental food at the North Slope Borough problem animals (Shideler and Hechtel 2000). Landfill and in dumpsters throughout the North Slope oil fields, populations of predators, such Birds, especially those using early green-up as bears, foxes, gulls, and ravens, have areas in dust shadows along the TAPS ROW, increased over the past three decades. Although ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-84 there is no definite cause-and-effect relationship these include muskox, brown bear, polar bear, between human food and predator numbers, arctic fox, snow goose, brant, and other predators have adversely affected nesting waterfowl and shorebirds (see Cronin et al. success of birds that nest on the ground, 1998b). especially colonial nesting snow geese, and possibly some ducks and shorebirds (TAPS Owners 2001a). 18.104.22.168.4 Obstruction to Movement. Present and future North Slope oil The introduction of exotic animals (mostly field developments could further obstruct wildlife foxes, but also rats, voles, ground squirrels, and movements. For example, during the brood- rabbits) has been among the most damaging rearing period when species such as brant are source of direct mortality to seabirds of all the flightless, roads, causeways, and other factors associated with human activity (Bailey structures could present a barrier to movement 1993). Unlike an oil spill or some other one-time (ADNR 1999). Roby (1978) reported that during catastrophe, predators have a continuing summer, caribou with calves were the group negative impact on seabird populations. most sensitive to the Dalton Highway. Caribou Combined with this source of seabird loss is the cows with calves may be underrepresented detrimental impact of large fish harvests on along the Dalton Highway during the calving seabirds (e.g., seabirds are accidentally killed in season due to avoidance of the road, habitat drift gill nets, major shifts in fish stocks have selection, or predator avoidance. Roads (without altered seabird food supplies, and possible adjacent pipelines) that have heavy traffic effects of fish biomass) (Hatch and Piatt 2001). (e.g., >60 vehicles/h) appear to impede caribou Disease, predation, fluctuations in prey, and movement. Pipeline-road combinations tend to severe weather are among the natural have a synergistic effect on impeding caribou phenomena that also contribute to cumulative movements (Curatolo and Murphy 1986; impacts on wildlife (MMS 1998). Cronin et al. 1994). Regardless, the Central Arctic Herd of caribou has grown in numbers The natural gas pipeline and other industrial since the mid-1970s (i.e., from about 5,000 in developments could result in more workers 1975 to more than 27,000 in 2000) (ADF&G within remote areas and could increase hunting undated; Cronin et al. 1998b), and any pressure depending on location and extent of redistribution of caribou in the spring has development. However, it is likely that firearms apparently not adversely affected population will be prohibited from gas-pipeline construction growth (TAPS Owners 2001a). The ADF&G sites and facilities (as with APSC facilities today) management objectives for this herd (10,000 and that hunting will be prohibited from the ROW individuals) are being met, and herd-levels of a gas pipeline, as with the TAPS ROW. impacts due to the oil field are not apparent Increased public access could result in the (Cronin et al. 1998b). greatest impact to wildlife through sport hunting, while an NMDS may bring more military It is reasonable to expect that measures personnel who hunt, although hunting may be designed to provide caribou and other large prohibited on the military site (TAPS Owners mammals with unimpeded movement 2001a). (e.g., pipelines at least 5 ft aboveground and minimizing permanent roads alongside The Central Arctic caribou herd has pipelines) would also be used in the future. increased in size since oil field development and Therefore, cumulative impacts that would operation began. Similar increases have obstruct wildlife movements would be minor occurred to all major caribou herds in northern (USACE 1999), and synergistic effects at the Alaska and Canada, and are presumed to be herd level would not be anticipated. independent from the effects of oil field development (Klein 1991). In fact, the The natural gas pipeline would have little or populations of many wildlife populations that no impact on animal movements because only a spend at least part of the year in the vicinity of oil few aboveground structures would be required fields are either stable or larger than when oil on the North Slope and along the pipeline route. field development began. In addition to caribou, The gas pipeline would be buried and have no 4.7-85 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES impact, except during construction. The NMDS migration (BLM 1998). Caribou could be would have very localized impacts in the area of impacted by a large oil spill in the North Slope if development. Increased public access could it occurred during the spring or insect- result in more highway traffic and increased harassment period, when caribou are found in obstruction of wildlife movements. The impact coastal waters or on beaches. Some individuals from other industrial activity would depend on its or groups of caribou might come in contact with extent and location (TAPS Owners 2001a). oil and be adversely affected. However, impacts to the herd as a whole would be negligible. 22.214.171.124.5 Spills. About 400 spills of As discussed in Section 126.96.36.199, a land- diesel, crude, and hydraulic oils and other based oil spill can contaminate individual substances (e.g., drilling wastes and seawater) animals, their habitats, and their food resources. occur yearly in the North Slope. Many of the oil Species such as foxes may be attracted by dead spills occur as a result of corroded infrastructure oiled wildlife at a spill site or by human activity (Schmidt 2002). Multiple spills could adversely associated with spill cleanup. A large spill would affect wildlife if more disturbances occurred probably disturb and displace most animals while populations were still recovering from the (other than foxes and other scavengers) from the initial disturbance (USACE 1999). Potentially, area due to extensive activities associated with tens of thousands of birds (e.g., long-tailed spill cleanup activities (ADNR 1999). Leaving ducks, common eider, and other sea ducks) some residual oil in place may be less damaging could be killed as a result of oil spills within the than the potential long-term effects of intensive Beaufort Sea over the life of the oil fields. Other cleanup activities (Jorgenson and Cater 1996). species, such as brant and snow geese, could be similarly affected by oil spills into coastal salt A large oil spill (e.g., from a tanker spill) in marshes or the Sagavanirktok River delta, Prince William Sound could have deleterious respectively (MMS 1998). To date, there have impacts similar to those that resulted from the been no significant offshore oil spills on the Exxon Valdez oil spill (e.g., the loss of hundreds North Slope and, subsequently, no measurable of thousands of marine and coastal birds and mortality of seabirds and waterfowl, although hundreds of eagles) (Ford et al. 1996; Exxon such spills have occurred in other arctic regions. Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council 2002). Smaller Based on experience, land-based spills of crude oil spills and contamination routinely occur (e.g., oil in the oil fields are uncommon and have only from natural crude oil seeps, and from bunker impacted tens of acres. Diesel spills have been and diesel fuel spills) (Burger and Fry 1993). more common and have affected hundreds of Small oil spills would have an additive effect, acres but mostly within gravel pads (Jorgenson perhaps causing death to several thousand 1997), and thus have had a negligible biological marine and coastal birds. Bird losses would be impact. Current management and cleanup an incremental addition to the hundreds of techniques are effective in reducing the thousands of birds that annually die in driftnets occurrence of spills and in removing spills when within the North Pacific, Bering Sea, and Gulf of they occur (Jorgenson 1997). Alaska (MMS 1998). However, present and future oil transport through Prince William Sound Present and future North Slope oil field is now safer than before the Exxon Valdez oil developments could include more offshore spill because of the implementation of the facilities, which would increase the potential for SERVS vessel escort system. In addition, the marine oil spills (USACE 1999). For example, oil use of double-hulled tankers in the future will pipelines will be used for the Northstar add further protection against potential tanker development in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, and spills (TAPS Owners 2001a). fuel barges will be used for supply. Depending on the time of year and the volume of the oil An analysis of the cumulative impact of spill, several thousand birds could be affected by tanker spills in the Gulf of Alaska determined a spill in the Beaufort Sea (USACE 1999). that normal operations would have no Significant impacts could occur to post-nesting measurable impact on marine mammals, marine birds that concentrate along the coast for brood and coastal bird populations, and terrestrial rearing, molting, premigratory staging, or mammals (MMS 2002). A worst case analysis of ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-86 a large tanker spill in the Gulf of Alaska by weathering and dispersion in the water. (200,000 bbl) would result in significant impacts Recovery periods would be lengthened if more to biological resources if the spill occurred in the than one spill affected the same population summer under onshore wind conditions (MMS within a short interval — a situation that is 2002). Full recovery of non-endangered marine unlikely. Therefore, effects on species along the mammals would vary from 5-10 years for sea tanker-transportation route south of the Gulf of otters, 1 year for northern fur seals, 2-5 years for Alaska to the U.S. West Coast and California harbor seals, and 10 years or more for ports are expected to be about the same or less cetaceans (assuming the complete loss of a pod than those described above for the Gulf of of killer whales). Marine and coastal birds would Alaska (MMS 2002). also be significantly impacted by a large tanker spill with full recovery taking multiple Ports receiving oil produced on the North generations of successful post-spill reproduction Slope are sensitive areas in the unlikely event of (MMS 2002). If the spill was to occur in late a significant oil spill. For example, the area of spring and the spill affected the Copper River the Los Angeles/Long Beach (LA/LB) marine Delta, a catastrophic loss of marine and coastal terminal includes, in addition to terminal and port birds could occur with losses of up to 10,000- facilities, sand beaches, marinas, wetlands, and 50,000 individual western sandpipers, dunlin, habitats of sensitive species. The most dusky Canada goose. The MMS (2002) also significant, sensitive, and important habitats and estimated that approximately 20-30 brown and resources in the area are found in approximately black bears could ingest oil-covered food. 3,000 acres of remaining wetlands, including Recovery of bear populations would take 1 year. Anaheim Bay, Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach, Talbert Marsh, and Santa Ana River mouth. While a worst-case tanker spill in the Gulf of Anaheim Bay is much reduced from its original Alaska would significantly impact a number of size. Many shorebirds and migrating birds biological resources, the likelihood of such an depend upon it for survival, and it receives a event is extremely small (see high priority for protection. Species that nest Section 188.8.131.52.6). Thus, the overall cumulative and/or feed in areas potentially affected by a impact from tanker traffic is considered spill in the region encompassing the terminal negligible over the lifetime of the proposed include the California brown pelican, the renewal period. California least tern, western snowy plover, light footed clapper rail, and Belding’s savannah LaBelle and Marshall (1995) calculated sparrow. Also in the area, San Nicholas Island simulated oil-spill trajectories for tanker routes has an introduced population of the sea otter. A off the U.S. West Coast. Oil-spill trajectories potential candidate for listing, the black skimmer, were mapped as “risk contours” (or oil-spill travel utilizes sand beaches in the area, particularly time at sea), showing the chance of contact to Seal Beach (California Department of Fish and environmental resource areas, assuming an oil Game 2002). spill occurred (conditional probabilities). Off the California coast, an oil spill at 100 nautical miles offshore would have a 5% chance of contacting 184.108.40.206.6 Summary. On the North the shoreline within 30 days, while an oil spill at Slope and in the Beaufort Sea, the most 80 nautical miles offshore would have a 10% important future activities that could contribute to chance of contacting the shoreline within cumulative impacts on birds and terrestrial 30 days. The contour lines are farther offshore mammals would be planned oil and gas off Washington and Oregon. development activities, oil and gas transportation, and natural resource use Spills of this size at sea have not been found (e.g., subsistence). In Interior Alaska, future to cause serious effects on bird, fish, or sea actions that could contribute to the cumulative mammal populations when the effects have been impacts on these species would include oil and studied. Additionally, at-sea spills of these gas transport, other transportation activities, average sizes are not expected to reach large human habitation and development, and land areas of habitat critical to these species’ survival management actions. For example, timber until after the oil has been rendered less harmful harvests and post-harvest management may 4.7-87 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES directly and indirectly affect winter habitat of on birds and terrestrial mammals would be more caribou through loss of lichen (Wolfe, S.A., evident, particularly within the North Slope. et al. 2000). In Prince William Sound, future While activities associated with gas production actions that could contribute to cumulative and transportation would occur under both impacts on birds and terrestrial mammals would alternatives, oil production and transportation include oil transport, other transportation would be reduced to very low levels for the activities (e.g., barging and cruise ships), human no-action alternative. Thus, most oil production habitation, natural resource use facilities would be idled. Also, the incremental (e.g., commercial and recreational fishing, changes that would have occurred from future oil hunting, and trapping), and land management field developments would not occur. Therefore, activities. However, it is expected that none of the level of disturbance to wildlife within the these activities would significantly increase North Slope would be less for the no-action cumulative impacts or affect the viability of alternative as the level of vehicle use and human species’ populations including from synergistic activity would reduced. For example, caribou effects. Oil spills would not significantly add to using gravel pads during periods of insect cumulative impacts, except for an unlikely to harassment would not be disturbed on pads very unlikely large spill to aquatic habitats; in this housing idled facilities. The potential for case, impacts similar to those from the Exxon accidental oil spills would also decline within the Valdez oil spill could occur (see Section North Slope, along the TAPS ROW, and within 220.127.116.11). Prince William Sound, the Gulf of Alaska, and Pacific transportation routes. However, the Impacts associated directly with the TAPS infrastructure required to promptly clean up any are only a small component of the cumulative spills that may occur within these areas may not impacts associated with the activities listed in be available in areas or ports where other oil Table 4.7-2. However, the indirect effects of the transportation is not common (e.g., response TAPS are a significant contributor to cumulative equipment and teams associated with the TAPS impacts to birds, and terrestrial mammals would not be present). because of the interdependence of current and foreseeable oil development, production, and transportation activities with the TAPS. 18.104.22.168 Threatened, Endangered, and Cumulative impacts of the less-than-30-year Protected Species renewal alternative on birds and terrestrial mammals would be similar to the cumulative Cumulative impacts to threatened, impacts of the proposed action. TAPS endangered, and protected species result from operations, monitoring, and maintenance past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future activities; and other present and foreseeable actions in the three regions crossed by the actions would essentially be the same for both TAPS: (1) North Slope and Beaufort Sea; alternatives (except for the duration of the TAPS (2) Interior Alaska; and (3) Prince William renewal period). The shorter renewal period Sound. In addition, spills of North Slope oil could would not coincide with any other current or impact listed species in the Gulf of Alaska and foreseeable actions listed in Table 4.7-2. The Pacific transportation routes. Cumulative differences in cumulative impacts between the impacts are considered separately for species in two renewal alternatives would likely be within the three TAPS regions because there are few the same order of magnitude. If at the end of the species that occur in more than one. Past and less-than-30-year renewal period a further present activities that contribute to cumulative request for renewal was granted, cumulative impacts are part of the existing baseline and are impacts would continue as stated for the described in Section 3.22. Only past activities or proposed action. If a further request for renewal events whose impacts still influence the status of was not granted, cumulative impacts would listed or protected species are considered here. continue as stated for no action, below. Factors contributing to the existing baseline for species are sometimes not well known, not Differences in cumulative impacts between restricted to TAPS or oil-related activities, and the no-action alternative and the proposed action ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-88 occur in other portions of the species’ ranges. TAPS and non-TAPS activities) as represented No critical habitat, as designated by the ESA, in the existing baseline are considered moderate occurs in the area affected by TAPS operations; if the species is threatened or depleted and large therefore, cumulative impacts on critical habitats if the species is listed as endangered. The are not discussed here. effects of past and present activities on state species of special concern are considered Tables 4.7-11, 4.7-12, and 4.7-13 provide an minor. The effects of past and present actions on overview of the relative contributions of the other species were based on the current status proposed action and past, present, and of populations relative to predisturbance reasonably foreseeable future actions to population estimates, as described in cumulative impacts on listed and protected Section 3.22. species. Five categories of impact are considered: The relative impacts of future actions on listed and protected species were estimated on • No effect: Activity has not produced or is not the basis of information presented in expected to produce an effect on the Section 4.7.4. The impacting factors associated species. with future actions that affect listed and protected species are similar to those described • Negligible effect: Activity has produced or is for the proposed action (see Section 4.3.14). The expected to produce an adverse effect, but relative magnitude of impacts was determined the effect is or would not be distinguishable from the area that would be affected by the from natural variability in population size. future action and the nature of the impact (i.e., habitat alteration, noise, air emissions, • Minor effect: Activity has produced or is changes in hydrology). expected to produce a small but measurable decrease (about 5% or less) in population Only petroleum spills that are anticipated or size that does or would not affect the viability likely to occur are considered in this cumulative of the population. impact evaluation. These include spills that result from vandalism or sabotage, because, on • Moderate effect: Activity has produced or is the basis of past frequencies of occurrence, expected to produce a moderate measurable these types of spills are likely to occur. Only decrease (more than about 5%) in large spills (which are considered unlikely or population size that does or would not affect very unlikely to occur) would contribute the viability of the population. substantially to the cumulative impact on listed • Large effect: Activity has produced or is and protected species. Since these spills are not expected to produce a measurable decrease “reasonably foreseeable,” their effects are not in population size that does or would affect described here. It is important to note that the the viability of the population. proposed action would not affect the waters of the Beaufort Sea, except in the case of an The same five categories are used to unlikely or very unlikely catastrophic oil spill into describe the overall cumulative effect (i.e., the the Sagavanirktok River that could not be effect of all past, present, and future actions contained before it entered the Beaufort Sea. together on the species of concern). These designated levels of impact are consistent with The proposed action would result in a the definitions of “threatened” and “endangered,” negligible contribution to cumulative impacts on as provided in the ESA and presented in listed and protected species on the North Slope Section 3.22. (spectacled eider, Steller’s eider, and Arctic peregrine falcon) and no contribution to For listed species (i.e., those listed as cumulative impacts on species in the Beaufort threatened or endangered by the federal Sea because the proposed action would not government or the state or as depleted by the affect the water of the Beaufort Sea federal government under the MMPA), the (Table 4.7-11). effects of past and present activities (including TABLE 4.7-11 Cumulative Impacts on Threatened, Endangered, and Protected Species That Occur on the North Slope and Beaufort Seaa Relative Contribution to Cumulative Effect Oil and Gas Human Exploration, Habitation Development, and Transportation Land Natural Overall Existing and Oil and Gas Develop- (other than oil Manage- Resource Petroleum Proposed Cumulative Species Baselineb Production Transportation ment and gas) ment Use Spillsc Actiond Effect Arctic peregrine falcon Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible Spectacled eider Moderate Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Moderate Steller’s eider Moderate Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Moderate Bearded seal Negligible Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Negligible Beluga whalee Negligible Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Negligible Bowhead whale Large Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Large Gray whale Negligible Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Negligible 4.7-89 Pacific walrus Negligible Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Negligible Polar bear Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible None Negligible Ribbon seal Negligible Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Negligible Ringed seal Negligible Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Negligible Spotted seal Negligible Negligible Negligible None None None Negligible Negligible None Negligible ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES a Impacts in all portions of the species’ ranges are considered. None = activity has not produced or is not expected to produce any effect; negligible = activity has produced or is expected to produce an adverse effect, but the effect on population size would not be distinguishable from natural variability in population size; minor = activity has produced or is expected to produce a small but measurable (5% or less) decrease in population size that does not affect the viability of the population; moderate = activity has produced or is expected to produce a moderate measurable decrease (more than 5%) in population size that does not affect the viability of the population; large = activity has produced or is expected to produce a measurable decrease in population size that affects the viability of the population. b Existing baseline incorporates the effects of all current ongoing activities and residual past effects (i.e., the effects of past activities that continue to influence baseline conditions) and both TAPS and non-TAPS activities. The effects of past and present activities are considered moderate for species listed as threatened or depleted and large for species listed as endangered. These effects are considered minor for state species of special concern. c Only those petroleum spills that are considered anticipated or likely to occur are presented here. Very large spills that are unlikely or very unlikely to occur could have impacts ranging from no effect to large effect depending on the location and extent of the area affected. d The direct and indirect effects of the proposed action are presented. e Beaufort Sea and Chukchi stocks. TABLE 4.7-12 Cumulative Impacts on Threatened, Endangered, and Protected Species That Occur ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES in Interior Alaskaa Relative Contribution to Cumulative Effect Oil and Gas Human Exploration, Habitation Development, and Transportation Land Natural Overall Existing and Oil and Gas Develop- (other than oil Manage- Resource Petroleum Proposed Cumulative Species Baselineb Production Transportation ment and gas) ment Use Spillsc Actiond Effect American peregrine Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible falcon Blackpoll warbler Minor Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible None Negligible Negligible Minor Gray-cheeked thrush Minor Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible None Negligible Negligible Minor Olive-sided flycatcher Minor Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible None Negligible Negligible Minor Townsend’s warbler Minor Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible None Negligible Negligible Minor a Impacts in all portions of the species’ ranges are considered. None = activity has not produced or is not expected to produce any effect; negligible = activity 4.7-90 has produced or is expected to produce an adverse effect, but the effect on population size would not be distinguishable from natural variability in population size; minor = activity has produced or is expected to produce a small but measurable (5% or less) decrease in population size that does not affect the viability of the population; moderate = activity has produced or is expected to produce a moderate measurable decrease (more than 5%) in population size that does not affect the viability of the population; large = activity has produced or is expected to produce a measurable decrease in population size that affects the viability of the population. b Existing baseline incorporates the effects of all current ongoing activities and residual past effects (i.e., the effects of past activities that continue to influence baseline conditions) and both TAPS and non-TAPS activities. The effects of past and present activities are considered moderate for species listed as threatened or depleted and large for species listed as endangered. These affects are considered minor for state species of special concern. c Only those petroleum spills that are considered anticipated or likely to occur are presented here. Very large spills that are unlikely or very unlikely to occur could have impacts ranging from no effect to large effect depending on the location and extent of the area affected. d The direct and indirect effects of the proposed action are presented. TABLE 4.7-13 Cumulative Impacts on Threatened, Endangered, and Protected Species That Occur in Prince William Sounda Relative Contribution to Cumulative Effect Human Habitation and Transportation Land Natural Overall Existing Oil and Gas Develop- (other than oil Manage- Resource Petroleum Proposed Cumulative Species Baselineb Transportation ment and gas) ment Use Spillsc Actiond Effect Steller’s eider Moderate None None None None Negligible Negligible Negligible Moderate Beluga whalee Moderate Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible Moderate Dall’s porpoise Negligible Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible None Fin whale Large Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible Large Gray whale Negligible Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible None Harbor porpoise Negligible Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible None Harbor seal Minor Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Minor Humpback whale Large Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible Large 4.7-91 Killer whale Negligible Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Minke whale Negligible Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Pacific white-sided dolphin Negligible Negligible None Negligible None Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Sea otter Minor Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Minor Steller sea lion Large Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Negligible Large ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES a Impacts on all portions of the species’ ranges are considered. None = activity has not produced or is not expected to produce any effect; negligible = activity has produced or is expected to produce an adverse effect, but the effect on population size would not be distinguishable from natural variability in population size; minor = activity has produced or is expected to produce a small but measurable (5% or less) decrease in population size that does not affect the viability of the population; moderate = activity has produced or is expected to produce a moderate measurable decrease (more than 5%) in population size that does not affect the viability of the population; large = activity has produced or is expected to produce a measurable decrease in population size that affects the viability of the population. b Existing baseline incorporates the effects of all current ongoing activities and residual past effects (i.e., the effects of past activities that continue to influence baseline conditions) and both TAPS and non-TAPS activities. The effects of past and present activities are considered moderate for species listed as threatened or depleted and large for species listed as endangered. These affects are considered minor for state species of special concern. c Only those petroleum spills that are considered anticipated or likely to occur are presented here. Very large spills that are unlikely or very unlikely to occur could have impacts ranging from no effect to large effect depending on the location and extent of the area affected. d The direct and indirect effects of the proposed action are presented. e Cook Inlet stock. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-92 The largest contribution to cumulative existence of this species, but that adverse impacts on species occupying the North Slope effects of noise on whale behavior were possible and Beaufort Sea would result from past and (Knowles 2001). current activities, including activities and effects in other portions of the ranges of these species. None of the species in Interior Alaska are For example, for the spectacled eider, the currently listed by the federal government as ingestion of lead shot and ecosystem-level threatened or endangered. The American changes elsewhere in its range might have been peregrine falcon has been de-listed because the major contributors to the declines in the population has recovered. Several neotropical population of the species (USFWS 1999). migrant bird species are considered species of Population status and factors affecting the status special concern by the state (blackpoll warbler, of listed and protected species are discussed in gray-cheeked thrush, olive-sided flycatcher, Section 3.22. The most important future activities Townsend’s warbler), but past and present that could contribute to cumulative impacts on actions affecting existing populations mostly the North Slope and Beaufort Sea are planned result from impacts in other portions of the oil and gas development activities, oil and gas ranges of these species. Future actions in transportation, and natural resource use Interior Alaska that could contribute to the (subsistence harvests). However, on the basis of cumulative impact on these species include oil information available none of these activities are and gas transport, human habitation and expected to noticeably increase the cumulative development, other transportation activities, land impact or affect the viability of species’ management actions, and petroleum spills populations. (Table 4.7-12). The contributions to the cumulative impact from all of these activities and Spectacled and Steller’s eiders could be from the proposed action are expected to be affected by future activities and facilities that negligible given the area of habitat potentially would disturb their habitat, including the affected compared to that available. development of new production facilities and oil and gas transportation infrastructure. Increased Future actions contributing to cumulative predator abundance associated with human impacts on listed and protected species in occupation and the subsequent increased Prince William Sound include oil transport mortality of eider eggs and young have been (tankering), other transportation activities identified as a concern on the North Slope but (e.g., barge traffic), human habitation, natural could be mitigated with proper disposal and resource use (e.g., commercial and recreational management of food waste (USFWS 2002). New fisheries), land management, and petroleum development is expected to have relatively minor spills. The largest contribution to the cumulative effects, given the overall availability of habitat impact results from past and existing impacts. across the North Slope; consequently, the The Exxon Valdez oil spill has affected several overall cumulative impact on eiders would be species in the Sound, including the sea otter and relatively unchanged. Cumulative impacts are Steller sea lion (Section 3.22.3; Table 4.7-13). not expected to threaten the population viability Past and present impacts to fin whale, of either the spectacled or Steller’s eider. humpback whale, beluga whale, and Steller’s eider, for the most part, occur in other portions of Concern has been raised about the effect of the ranges of these species (see Section 3.22). underwater noise and disturbances associated Reasonably foreseeable future actions in the with oil and gas development on whales Sound, because of their nature and size (see inhabiting the Beaufort Sea. All whale species Section 4.7.4), would contribute relatively minor that have been examined show some aversion to increments to the overall cumulative impact, and underwater noise (see Section 3.22). A recent these increments are not expected to reduce the evaluation of the cumulative impacts of leasing viability of existing populations in Prince William and exploration activities on bowhead whales of Sound. the Outer Continental Shelf portion of the U.S. Beaufort Sea concluded that these activities The proposed action would result in a were not likely to jeopardize the continued negligible contribution to cumulative impacts on listed and protected species in Prince William 4.7-93 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Sound (Table 4.7-13). Very minor amounts of an incremental reduction in survival to adulthood water pollutants would be released as effluent to but probably would not result in population-level Port Valdez during normal operations of the effects. It is unlikely that any adverse effects TAPS. On the basis of past monitoring results, would occur to either salmon or other fish these permitted discharges would not affect species as a result of a tanker spill. It is unlikely overall water quality in the Sound. Similarly, that an oil spill would affect designated critical anticipated or likely spills associated with the habitat for marbled murrelets, because the proposed action are expected to be relatively critical habitat is inland coniferous forests. It also small, and, if existing oil spill contingency plans is unlikely that an oil spill would affect proposed for response and cleanup are followed, any critical habitat for western snowy plovers. If an impacts from the spills should be short in oil spill occurred from a tanker carrying oil from duration. Large spills (not included in the North Slope and the spill contacted proposed Table 4.7-13) that are considered unlikely or critical habitat, the intertidal food sources for this very unlikely could contribute substantially to the species may be adversely affected, resulting in cumulative impacts on listed and protected slow growth and development and/or death of species in Prince William Sound. The impacts of the chicks. No significant mortality of short-tailed such a spill would depend on many factors albatrosses is expected to result from a tanker including location, weather, time of year, and spill along the transportation route. No adverse area affected. effects from any spill containing oil produced on the North Slope are expected to result to the The analysis of oil-spill risk on some species following: the northern spotted owl, California along transportation routes from Alaska to ports freshwater shrimp, California tiger salamander, on the U.S. west coast can be found in the Cook mission blue butterfly, San Bruno elfin butterfly, Inlet Planning Area Oil and Gas Lease Sale 149 callippe silverspot butterfly, Behren’s silverspot Final EIS (MMS 1995). That EIS discusses butterfly, Suisun thistle, soft bird’s-beak, coastal potential effects of an oil spill on these species dunes milk vetch, Hickmann’s potentilla, La as a result of tankers transporting oil from the Graciosa thistle, yellow larkspur, Sonoma Cook Inlet sale area to California ports. alopecurus, showy Indian clover, Presidio manzanita, marsh sandwort, robust spineflower, Sea lions are not expected to be adversely Sonoma spineflower, Presidio clarkia, Santa affected, because studies suggest there would Cruz cypress, Baker’s larkspur, Santa Cruz be relatively low effects of an oil spill on sea tarplant, clover lupine, and white-rayed lions. Northern sea otters likely would be at pentachaeta. limited risk from a tanker oil spill, because oil spilled along the Far East tanker route would The effects on marine mammals of tend to be moved parallel to the Aleutian Islands underwater noise associated with boat and by the Alaskan Stream rather than toward the tanker traffic is a concern in Prince William coast where sea otters might be contacted. Sound, much as it is in the Beaufort Sea. Unlike Critical habitat for Steller’s eiders on the north in the Beaufort Sea, however, no substantial side of the Alaska Peninsula also is unlikely to increases in noise are anticipated in Prince be at risk from a tanker spill along the Far East William Sound, since tanker and boat traffic is tanker route. Overall, the potential for an oil spill not expected to increase substantially over the to affect salmonids and other fish species, TAPS renewal period. Decreasing throughput including the tidewater goby, the Sacramento during the renewal period could result in splittail, Pacific hake, white abalone, and black decreased tanker traffic and reduced noise abalone, appears limited. levels. Implementation of the provisions of the Oil The cumulative impact of the less-than- Pollution Act of 1990 should significantly reduce 30-year renewal alternative on listed and the frequency and magnitude of spills associated protected species would be very similar to that of with oil tankers. If an oil spill coincided with the cumulative impacts under the proposed action. outmigration of smolt, some smolts could be The only difference between the proposed action exposed to spilled oil. An oil spill could cause and this alternative is the length of the renewal slower growth for smolts, which could result in ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-94 period. As for the proposed action, a decision oil and gas transportation; and use of natural could be made to renew the Federal Grant at the resources (subsistence harvest). Activities in end of the renewal period. Therefore, ultimately, Interior Alaska, including the proposed action, the period of time during which the TAPS would would result in negligible contributions to the operate under the less-than-30-year renewal cumulative impact on species that occur there. In alternative could be identical to that under the Prince William Sound and the Gulf of proposed action. A shorter renewal period would Alaska/Pacific Ocean, the largest contributors to not preclude any other existing or foreseeable cumulative impacts would be associated with actions from occurring. Because large impacts past, present, and future oil and gas on listed species are due to existing non-TAPS transportation (tankering) and use of natural actions, and because a very unlikely major spill resources (commercial fishing). could occur for either alternative, the duration of the renewal period does not affect recovery from The cumulative impact of the less-than- effects. Consequently, the cumulative impact of 30-year renewal alternative on listed and this alternative could be the same as that of the protected species would be very similar to that of proposed action. the proposed action because TAPS operation and associated activities would continue and the The cumulative impact of the no-action impacts of other future activities would be alternative on listed and protected species would similar. In contrast, the cumulative impact of the be quite different from that of the proposed no-action alternative on listed and protected action. Differences result from the relationship species would be quite different from that of the between the TAPS and oil and gas production on proposed action. Differences would result from the North Slope. For the no-action alternative it the relationship between the TAPS and oil and is assumed that oil exploration and production gas production on the North Slope. Under the activities would cease pending development of no-action alternative, the cumulative impact another means of transporting the oil to market, would be less than it would be under the but that gas production and transportation would proposed action because of the reduction in occur via a natural gas pipeline. Thus, the impacts associated with oil exploration and cumulative impact of the no-action alternative production on the North Slope and oil would be less than that of the proposed action transportation in Prince William Sound. Although because of the reduction in impacts associated there would be some potential for a short-term with oil exploration and production on the North increase in impacts resulting from termination Slope and oil transportation in Prince William activities for production facilities on the North Sound. Although there would be some potential Slope and Prince William Sound, the overall for a short-term increase in impacts resulting cumulative impact on listed and protected from termination activities for production species under the no-action alternative would be facilities on the North Slope and on Prince minor and less than that under the proposed William Sound, the overall cumulative impact on action. listed and protected species of the no-action alternative would be minor and less than that of the proposed action. 4.7.8 Social Systems In summary, the impacts of the proposed action would represent a small incremental 22.214.171.124 Subsistence contribution to the cumulative impact on listed and protected species. For all of these species, As was the case when assessing the largest contributions to cumulative impact subsistence impacts of the proposed action and would occur in other portions of the species’ other alternatives considered in this EIS, the range. On the North Slope, past and present oil evaluation of cumulative impacts on subsistence and gas production activities would be the requires consideration of complex relationships largest contributors to cumulative impact, while among several variables biological resource important future contributors would include oil levels, human population, the economics of and gas exploration and development activities; various components of Alaskan society, recreational hunter and angler practices and 4.7-95 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES harvests, and subsistence practices and harvest cumulative impacts to subsistence, discussed in levels. The evaluation of cumulative impacts on this section, similarly considers all possible subsistence is particularly challenging in that it effects to arrive at an overall assessment. involves several past, present, and reasonably foreseeable actions, each potentially affecting The following evaluation focuses primarily the above variables. Of particular concern are on cumulative impacts associated with the North Slope oil field development and potential proposed action. Cumulative impacts associated impacts from tanker transportation of oil (as with the less-than-30-year renewal and no-action occurred following the Exxon Valdez oil spill). alternatives appear at the end of the section. Nevertheless, one would expect certain types of This analysis evaluates cumulative impacts for conditions to emerge under negative and three principal geographic areas associated with positive impacts. Negative impacts would the TAPS: the North Slope, Interior Alaska, and generate reduced subsistence harvest levels or Prince William Sound/Gulf of Alaska. This efficiency, through smaller resource populations, procedure differs slightly from other geographic changed resource locations, increased treatments of subsistence in the EIS, essentially competition for resources, disrupted subsistence combining the Yukon River drainage and Copper activities, reduced access to resources, or some River basin (used in subsistence impact combination of these factors resulting from the evaluations in other parts of the document) into alternatives considered in this EIS in conjunction Interior Alaska. with other pertinent (past, present, or reasonably foreseeable) actions. Positive impacts, in turn, For cumulative impacts, several effects on would be those leading to improved subsistence subsistence would be possible due to past, harvest levels or efficiency, through increased present, and reasonably foreseeable future resource populations, resource relocation closer actions. These effects would vary in importance to subsistence users, improved access to depending on the geographic area being resources, improved ability to acquire more considered. The principal potential effects are as efficient transportation or harvest technology, or follows: some combination of these factors, again as a • More infrastructure and activity in support of consequence of pertinent actions. The this infrastructure would potentially increase evaluation of cumulative impacts on subsistence disruption to the movement of various types that follows considered this large collection of of fish and game. interrelated factors for cumulative impacts associated with the proposed action, less-than- • Additional actions that would introduce more 30-year renewal alternative, and no-action infrastructure, people, and activities would alternative. It concludes that negative impacts further limit the areas where subsistence is would be associated with the first two, with their pursued. magnitude low for all except those on the North Slope, which would be moderate. • Improved access to rural Alaska may accompany the construction and Section 4.3.20 contains a description of maintenance of additional service roads anticipated impacts under the proposed action. associated with other current or potential That analysis was based on an evaluation of activities, such as oil and gas exploration on evidence for all possible impacts to subsistence the North Slope and construction, operation, as a result of the TAPS, either positive or and maintenance of a natural gas pipeline. negative. The evaluation of impacts under the less-than-30-year renewal alternative employed • The overall state population likely would an identical approach, yielding a conclusion grow in response to the direct and indirect similar to that for the proposed action (the economic effects of current and reasonably magnitude of the negative impacts likely less foreseeable actions; the increased number see Section 126.96.36.199). Finally an assessment of of residents may generate increased likely subsistence impacts under the no-action competition for fish and game resources. alternative indicated a slight positive impact overall (see Section 188.8.131.52). The analysis of ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-96 • Increasing numbers of outsiders would be • Improved subsistence through enhanced introduced to rural Alaska through their travel to resources, increased harvest involvement in present and reasonably levels, increased harvest efficiency, or some foreseeable actions, increasing the number combination of all three through access to of potential competitors for fish and game cash to purchase modern transportation and resources, harvest technology. • Larger amounts of cash would probably be The North Slope communities of Anaktuvuk available to individuals pursuing recreational Pass and Nuiqsut both rely heavily on hunting and fishing, enabling them to obtain subsistence for economic, sociocultural, and and operate improved sport harvest-related ceremonial reasons. Because of their locations, technologies. the locations of their subsistence harvest areas, and their subsistence practices, each village • Larger amounts of cash would probably be likely would experience the above impacts to available to individuals pursuing subsistence some degree. In part these impacts would be activities, enabling them to obtain and directly associated with various activities and operate improved subsistence-related land management strategies identified technologies. elsewhere in this EIS. The presence of infrastructure and crews associated with oil and On the North Slope, many of the current gas exploration and development already and reasonably foreseeable actions tend to restricts subsistence in areas traditionally used involve the oil and gas oil industry through for that purpose (BLM 1998; Haynes and exploration, development, production, support, Pedersen 1989; Pedersen et al. 2000). Although and transportation. A second important future the establishment of Gates of the Arctic NPP did action there would be the construction and not disallow subsistence activities in the park operation of a natural gas pipeline with facilities area, it did introduce certain restrictions and activities present on the North Slope (and (e.g., allowable modes of transportation) that extending south). Finally, the northern part of increased the difficulty of subsistence in the park Gates of the Arctic NPP is located on the (Ned 1992; Reakoff 1992). Nevertheless, the North Slope, where it overlaps with portions traditional harvest areas of these villages are of traditional subsistence harvest areas for very large, both exceeding 11,000 mi2, enabling Anaktuvuk Pass and Nuiqsut (see Maps 3.24-1, the continued pursuit of subsistence in other 3.27-2, D-3, and D-4). Likely cumulative impacts locations outside the restricted areas. Additional to subsistence in the North Slope would include travel likely would be necessary to harvest the following: certain resources, reducing subsistence efficiency (see Pedersen et al. 2000). As a • Increased disruption to the movement of consequence, the magnitude of this impact is subsistence resources; anticipated to be moderate. • Increased restrictions against using certain The impact of the TAPS and human areas traditionally used for subsistence; activities on subsistence resource movement • Increased number of potential competitors continues to be debated. One of the main for fish and game in subsistence harvest concerns is caribou, a key subsistence resource areas; that migrates (in herds) in the spring and fall of each year (see Section 3). Scientific evidence • Improved sport harvests by enhanced travel indicates that human activities could change to resources, increased harvest levels, caribou movement patterns (Horejsi 1981; increased harvest efficiency, increased Lenart 2000; Murphy and Lawhead 2000; Tyler opportunities for recreational hunting and 1991; Wolfe, S.A., et al. 2000), and testimony fishing, or some combination of all four from several of the rural communities in the through access to additional cash to vicinity of the TAPS associates the pipeline and purchase pertinent technology or otherwise related activity with changes in herd movement fund sport hunting and fishing; and (ADF&G 2001; Moses 1993; see also 4.7-97 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Section 3.24.1). However, disruption to large size of traditional subsistence harvest movement patterns does not appear to have areas for Anaktuvuk Pass and Nuiqsut (see occurred at a large scale involving more than Map 3.24-1), coupled with evidence for relatively few animals (see Section 184.108.40.206.2). substantially increased populations of certain key subsistence resources (namely caribou) in The modification of whale migration routes recent years (TAPS Owners 2001a) and the due to noise associated with North Slope oil successful regulation of harvests by ADF&G activities has been asserted by Nuiqsut (see Sections 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168), suggests that residents as causing failed whale harvests in the the magnitude of impacts from reduced flexibility past (Pedersen et al. 2000). Although whales likely would be minimal. have been shown to be quite sensitive to underwater noise (see Section 3.22) and Residents of the North Slope, including bowhead whales can exhibit adverse behavioral Anaktuvuk Pass and Nuiqsut, continue to be effects from such noise (Knowles 2001), specific employed by the oil and gas industry in the effects on movement are unknown and oil region (ADCED 2001). The cash income development activities were not found to generated by such employment can be used to jeopardize continued survival of the species (see obtain transportation and harvest technology that Section 22.214.171.124). Large numbers of caribou aids in subsistence. Cash income from these continue to be harvested in Anaktuvuk Pass and activities on the North Slope and cumulative Nuiqsut (see Section 3.24.1), while whale actions elsewhere also can be used to improve harvests in Nuiqsut and elsewhere usually reach sport harvests on the North Slope. Although imposed limits, suggesting that any impacts due such technological enhancement of recreational to relocation from noise on the North Slope are hunting and fishing no doubt occurs, available not serious or long-lasting. evidence from resource populations and harvest levels does not indicate the presence of severe Increased competition for subsistence cumulative impacts as a result (see Sections resources could also occur from nonlocal 126.96.36.199.1, 3.21, 3.24.3, 188.8.131.52.3, and 184.108.40.206.3). hunters and fishermen as a result of introducing more individuals to the North Slope through Note that cumulative impacts on the North employment-related activities. Residents from Slope also could involve the consequences of both Anaktuvuk Pass and Nuiqsut have spills. Table 4.7-4 describes a number of spills identified competition for resources as key and associated probability of occurring. For problems for subsistence (ADF&G 2001). normal operations that is, reasonably However, of specific concern here are impacts foreseeable anticipated or likely spills could that are a direct consequence of cumulative occur. Although releases as large as 82,000 bbl actions that is, competition from personnel could occur within these probability ranges, they associated with these activities on the North would be confined to terrestrial settings. As Slope. There is no indication that personnel discussed in Sections 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168, a associated with oil and gas exploration and terrestrial spill would have limited impacts on development, who tend to live elsewhere, are a terrestrial mammals with large ranges. A similar serious source of competition for fish and game conclusion holds for a spill on the North Slope resources on the North Slope. Moreover, the under cumulative impacts. number of people involved directly or indirectly in other current and foreseeable actions is not For the cumulative impacts on subsistence expected to be large and in many cases would anticipated on the North Slope, the TAPS be temporary (TAPS Owners 2001a). contribution should be small. Indirect impacts resulting from cumulative Cumulative impacts to subsistence would actions also are likely, mainly by further reducing also occur in Interior Alaska. Impacts here would the flexibility of subsistence users to pursue relate in particular to oil and gas development resources where and when they are available, and transportation, coupled with continued and by reducing harvests in an area felt to be management of Gates of the Arctic NPP and experiencing reduced subsistence resources Wrangell-St. Elias NPP. The most important (Ned 1992; Nelson 1992). Nevertheless, the ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-98 cumulative impacts to subsistence associated because of the rural subsistence priority as with the proposed action would include: applied to national parks, competition from nonrural hunters is eliminated in parks and • Disruption to the movement of subsistence reduced in preserves. Because the presence of resources; the TAPS itself leads to little restriction on subsistence activities (see Section 4.3.20), this • Restrictions against using certain areas evaluation assumes that restrictions due to traditionally used for subsistence; additional infrastructure (such as a gas pipeline) would be similarly limited. • Increased number of potential competitors for fish and game in subsistence harvest In the interior, as on the North Slope, areas; infrastructure and human activity could disrupt movements of certain subsistence resources in • Improved sport harvests by enhanced travel Interior Alaska. Again, a main concern is caribou to resources, increased harvest levels, important to subsistence for several Interior increased harvest efficiency, increased rural communities and a migratory species opportunities for recreational hunting and whose movements are important to harvests. fishing, or some combination of all four Subsistence users from Interior communities through access to additional cash to have expressed concerns that caribou migration purchase pertinent technology or otherwise patterns have changed in recent decades, fund sport hunting and fishing; and occasionally citing the TAPS as the cause of • Improved subsistence through enhanced such change (ADF&G 2001; Moses 1993). travel to resources, increased harvest levels, However, as for the North Slope, although increased harvest efficiency, or some caribou can be sensitive to human activity, there combination of all three through access to is no evidence that the impacts of the TAPS cash to purchase modern transportation and have affected more than a few animals harvest technology. temporarily (see Section 22.214.171.124). Cumulative impacts similarly are not expected to affect the Several interior communities likely would behavior of many caribou or any other animal experience cumulative impacts to subsistence: important for subsistence (see Sections 126.96.36.199, Alatna, Allakaket, Big Delta, Chitina, Coldfoot, 188.8.131.52, and 184.108.40.206). Copperville, Copper Center, Delta Junction, Evansville, Gakona, Glennallen, Gulkana, As discussed in Section 4.3.20, increased Hughes, Kenny Lake, Livengood, Manley Hot competition for subsistence resources likely will Springs, Minto, Paxson, Rampart, Stevens occur throughout Alaska with continued Village, Tanana, Tazlina, Tonsina, and Wiseman population growth. However, very little of this (see Map 3.24-1). However, the magnitude of growth would be directly due to either the the impacts would vary, depending on the proposed action or other current and reasonably community’s proximity to one or more activities foreseeable future activities, beyond temporary included in the cumulative analysis. For local influxes of workers for construction of a gas instance, Alatna, Allakaket, Evansville, and pipeline and the NMDS (see Section 220.127.116.11). Wiseman all have part of their respective Certain subsistence resources have shown low subsistence harvest areas within Gates of the population levels in recent years, including Arctic NPP (see Maps 3.24-1 and 3.27-2). Parts Yukon River salmon and the Delta caribou herd of the subsistence harvest areas of Chitina, (see Section 4.3.20). The active management of Copper River, Gakona, Glennallen, Gulkana, sport harvests by ADF&G, particularly where Kenny Lake, Paxson, and Tonsina, in turn, lie these specific resources are concerned, within Wrangell-St. Elias NPP. Although undoubtedly would continue and would help to subsistence for traditional and personal use is minimize that source of competition although allowed within the parks, many subsistence low resource populations likely are due primarily practitioners feel that restrictions on subsistence to other reasons (severity of winters, predation, in the parks makes that activity unduly difficult environmental conditions, and commercial (e.g., Mekiana 1992; Moses 1993). However, fishing). 4.7-99 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Residents of Interior Alaska, including many • Improved sport harvests by enhanced travel of the villages mentioned above, continue to be to and from hunting and fishing areas, employed by the oil and gas industry in the increased harvest levels, increased region, although at much lower levels than on opportunities to pursue recreational hunting the North Slope (ADCED 2001). Employment and fishing, or combinations of these also is available in connection with the two consequences through the availability of national parks in the region. The cash income additional cash; and generated by such employment can be used to obtain transportation and harvest technology that • Improved subsistence by enhanced travel to aids in subsistence. Cash income from these and from subsistence areas, increased activities in Interior Alaska and cumulative harvest levels or efficiency, or both through actions elsewhere (e.g., on the North Slope) also the availability of additional cash. can help to improve sport harvests in the Interior. Technological enhancement of recreational The impacts of disrupting subsistence hunting and fishing no doubt occurs, particularly resource movements in Prince William Sound in the rivers near Fairbanks and in the Copper and Gulf of Alaska should be minimal. Most of River basin, which support particularly active the terrestrial subsistence resources relied upon sport fisheries, and in the game management by the three rural communities (Chenega Bay, units (GMUs) experiencing high amounts of Cordova, and Tatitlek) in Prince William Sound hunting (see Section 18.104.22.168.2 and Table 3.21-2 examined in this EIS are harvested well away [for GMUs 13, 20, and 24]). Once again, the from infrastructure and activities associated with heavy use of particular species in particular either the TAPS or other current or reasonably areas has resulted in careful management of all foreseeable activities (see Maps D-20, D-21, and harvests by ADF&G to help maintain resources D-24). Marine resources similarly tend to be at sustainable levels. harvested well away from current and foreseeable infrastructure and activities. For the cumulative impacts on subsistence anticipated in the Alaska Interior, the TAPS As noted earlier, increased competition for contribution once again should be small. subsistence resources likely will occur Compared with the North Slope, cumulative throughout Alaska with continued population impacts in the Interior should be smaller growth. However, very little of the growth in because of less concentration of infrastructure Prince William Sound would be directly due to and activities (particularly within subsistence either the proposed action or other current and harvest areas). reasonably foreseeable future activities. Certain subsistence resources in this region have shown In Prince William Sound and the Gulf of low population levels in recent years, including Alaska, cumulative impacts on subsistence pink salmon and herring (see Sections 22.214.171.124 would be possible as a result of past, current, and 4.3.20). The active management of sport and reasonably foreseeable future actions. and commercial harvests by ADF&G, especially These impacts could include those from where these particular resources are concerned, anticipated and likely hazardous materials spills undoubtedly will continue and would help to that is, smaller-volume spills that are minimize that source of competition although reasonably foreseeable (see Section 126.96.36.199). low resource populations likely are due primarily The most important possible cumulative impacts to other reasons (e.g., predation, environmental to subsistence in Prince William Sound would conditions, and commercial fishing). include the following: The Eyak Tribe has asserted that the closure • Disruption to the movement of subsistence of oil tanker lanes in the Valdez Arm to Cape resources; Hichinbrook waters, recently adopted for national security reasons, has restricted access • Increased number of potential competitors to a traditional fishing area. The map of the for fish and game in subsistence harvest traditional use area for Cordova residents does areas; not show these lanes to be part of the traditional use area (see Maps 3.24-1 and D-23). ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-100 Residents of the Prince William Sound area potential for avoidance would depend on many continue to be employed by the oil and gas other factors (such as spill location and industry, primarily in the vicinity of Valdez subsequent dispersal). Also, the act of (ADCED 2001). The cash income generated by avoidance, harvesting subsistence resources such employment can be used to obtain elsewhere, in itself would be a negative impact transportation and harvest technology that aids in that it would likely involve greater travel and in subsistence. Cash income from these hence less efficiency and longer absences from activities in Prince William Sound and the village. cumulative actions elsewhere also can be used to improve sport harvests. Technological Depending on the scale of the spill, impacts enhancement of recreational hunting and fishing on subsistence could include large reductions in no doubt occurs (see Section 188.8.131.52 and subsistence harvests. Associated consequences Table 3.21-2 [for GMU 6]). Once again, the of such reductions would extend to the local heavy use of particular species in particular economy, social organization, and ceremonial areas has resulted in careful monitoring by spheres. Intensive community survey data for ADF&G to help maintain resources at the five rural communities examined in the EIS sustainable levels. that experienced direct impacts from the Exxon Valdez oil spill (Chenega Bay, Cordova, The impacts described above for Prince Nanwalek, Port Graham, and Tatitlek) indicate William Sound concern normal activities or spills that subsistence harvests dropped off drastically under the anticipated or likely frequency in the first two years of spill damage, the range categories. The distinction between spill of species harvested was reduced, sharing categories is particularly important for Prince declined, and young people had fewer William Sound, which experienced severe opportunities to participate and learn the cultural subsistence impacts from the Exxon Valdez oil values associated with subsistence (Fall and spill in 1989 (see Fall and Utermohle 1999). The Utermohle 1999; see Section 184.108.40.206.2). Fear of spills thus far considered would involve the contamination was cited by subsistence users as release of 60 barrels or less into the Sound (see a major factor in these changes (Fall 1999a). Table 4.7.4-6). Although much less probable, larger spills are included in the spill scenarios In the following three years, harvest levels, considered with maximum releases into some sharing, and subsistence involvement by young portion of Prince William Sound (as opposed to people rebounded, although not uniformly across Hinchinbrook Entrance or beyond) of and within communities (Fall and Utermohle 300,000 bbl under an unlikely scenario and 1999). A study of psycho-social impacts noted 320,000 bbl under a very unlikely scenario. that “fear” about resource safety and “alienation” from culturally valued activities were important in The release of a large volume of oil into the early years (IAI 2001). By the late 1990s, Prince William Sound could have severe nearly a decade after the spill, subsistence uses negative impacts on subsistence resources, had largely recovered to pre-spill levels, but with notably certain species of fish, birds, and marine some enduring changes. Fish species now make mammals. Impact magnitude would vary, up a larger portion of subsistence harvests, depending on the location of the release point while marine mammals, marine invertebrates, and the duration of the spill. Moreover, current and birds constitute a smaller portion than contingency plans for oil spills in Prince William before. Resource scarcity, rather than fear of Sound, coupled with the SERVS tanker escort contamination, is now cited as the primary factor system (with accident prevention and spill influencing harvest patterns, and subsistence containment capabilities), likely would help to hunters report having to travel greater distances limit the size of the area affected and thus the to meet their subsistence needs (Fall and impacts. The location and size of traditional Utermohle 1999). The likelihood of an accident subsistence harvest areas in Prince William releasing a large amount of oil into Prince Sound (for Chenega Bay, Cordova, and Tatitlek) William Sound is extremely low, but if such an might enable avoidance of spill areas (see event occurs, the impacts on subsistence could Maps D-20, D-21, and D-24). However, the be severe for several years. 4.7-101 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES For the cumulative impacts on subsistence The main consequences of increased anticipated in Prince William Sound or the Gulf subsistence activity likely would be growing of Alaska, the TAPS contribution once again pressure on the resources harvested, although should be small under normal operations. This less access to cash (and hence less access to conclusion would hold where a large tanker spill modern technology and the materials to operate is concerned, as such an event would technically it) may well mean that subsistence efficiency not be reasonably foreseeable, although the would decline. Considering positive and ultimate impacts of such an event on negative consequences together, the likely net subsistence could be severe. effect on subsistence from the no-action cumulative case would be slightly positive Cumulative impacts for the cases of the similar to that concluded for the no-action other alternatives considered in this DEIS would alternative alone (see Section 220.127.116.11), vary from those just discussed for the proposed although slightly greater because of the action. Under the less-than-30-year renewal anticipated improvements on the North Slope. alternative, impacts likely would be about as small as those outlined earlier in this section; if Cumulative impacts to subsistence also can anything, they would be smaller because there occur outside of Alaska. The potential for an oil would be less time for impacts to accumulate spill to affect subsistence fisheries and the small (see also Section 18.104.22.168). subsistence gray whale hunt of the Makah Tribe on the Washington coast along the tanker Cumulative impacts of the no-action corridor appears to be limited. Any negative alternative on subsistence likely would change in cumulative impacts associated with the less- comparison to those associated with the than-30-year renewal alternative likely would be proposed action. This EIS assumes that closing less than those associated with cumulative down the TAPS would effectively cause North impacts under the proposed action. Cumulative Slope oil production to cease. As discussed impacts associated with the no-action above, this activity has had an adverse impact alternative, in contrast, likely would be positive on subsistence in that region through restrictions but very small outside of Alaska, removing on use areas and effects on resource movement possible negative impacts due to a tanker spill. (notably of caribou) (see Haynes and Pedersen 1989; Pedersen et al. 2000). Although the EIS In summary, cumulative impacts to makes no assumption about removal of subsistence likely would vary for the three broad infrastructure on the North Slope associated with geographic regions the North Slope, Interior oil production, the dramatic reduction of Alaska, and Prince William Sound Gulf of Alaska personnel and termination of activities likely area. In all cases, cumulative impacts to would remove many of the above impacts. Slight subsistence under past, present, and reasonably reductions in human activity also would occur in foreseeable actions should not be large. Those Interior Alaska and Prince William Sound as a occurring in the North Slope likely would be the result of cumulative actions, although impacts on greatest, due primarily to the relatively large subsistence would not be as great as on the amount of oil and gas exploration, development, North Slope. By the same token, cumulative and production occurring there and the impacts would include considerable changes in associated human activity and restrictions on the Alaska economy, with mixed consequences subsistence in certain areas (see BLM 1998). on subsistence. On the one hand, slowing However, the size of subsistence harvest areas population growth in Alaska as a whole and in all three regions would leave much of these providing less disposable income for sport areas unaffected by cumulative impacts that hunting and fishing likely would reduce is, still available for subsistence, and outside the competition for subsistence resources. On the geographic influence of various cumulative other hand, the substantial economic decline in activities that might cause minor disruptions to Alaska that would accompany the no-action subsistence resource movements. Moreover, the alternative likely would increase both the number increase in size of certain key subsistence of people pursuing subsistence and the intensity resource populations over the past several years of subsistence activity in many places. suggests that improved availability of certain ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-102 species may help compensate for reduced As was the case with the individual access to certain subsistence areas. alternatives assessed in this EIS, the basis for many of the cumulative impacts on sociocultural systems is the amount of revenue that these 22.214.171.124 Sociocultural Systems other actions generate. The effects of these revenues can be broad and positive. For Cumulative impacts on sociocultural example, although their association with systems take the form of changes to Alaska sociocultural systems is indirect, many Native and rural non-Native sociocultural cumulative actions contribute (or will contribute) systems because of one of the alternative revenues that help support a variety of state actions considered in conjunction with other programs, public services, and infrastructure past, present, and reasonably foreseeable construction and maintenance (see actions. Although it is the nature of sociocultural Section 4.3.21). Access to such public programs systems to change in response to shifting can have tangible positive effects. For instance, challenges or surrounding conditions, rapid, infant mortality among Alaska Natives large-scale change that often accompanies decreased approximately 36% between close interaction with other, more modern 1988−1990 and 1996−1998, while overall societies can be cause for concern. Large shifts mortality fell by more than 12% over the same and rapid changes prevent sociocultural systems time period (ADHSS 2001b). In 1998, nearly from incrementally adjusting to conditions and 76% of residents in the North Slope Borough had discarding those adjustments that do not help a minimum of a high school education in 1998, them survive. Moreover, such large-scale despite being one of the most geographically changes place members of a sociocultural remote parts of the United States (North Slope system under pressure, since they may face Borough 1999).Moreover, beyond the obvious situations for which there are no established benefits of public expenditures, such programs cultural guidelines to help them respond. With and services are extremely important in the consideration of cumulative impacts, one providing a quality of life in rural settings that in adds additional opportunities for adjustments by many cases helps to maintain resident Alaska Native and rural non-Native sociocultural populations. For Alaska Native communities in systems to shifting external conditions. particular, maintaining cohesive communities helps to strengthen sociocultural bonds and Similar to the analysis of impacts under the preserve working societies. proposed action (see Section 4.3.21), this evaluation of cumulative impacts considers both Despite their importance to Alaska Native positive and negative effects on sociocultural and rural non-Native sociocultural systems, the systems. This section focuses primarily on future of many state programs is uncertain cumulative impacts associated with the because of current state budget problems. The proposed action. It begins by exploring positive loss or substantial reduction of these programs and negative impacts in general, and then would be keenly felt by much of rural Alaska, examines cumulative impacts specifically on the including many of the sociocultural systems North Slope, in the Alaska Interior, and in Prince examined in this EIS. William Sound. The conclusion drawn here is that negative cumulative impacts on Another important consequence of sociocultural systems due to the proposed action cumulative actions is continued access to wage would be likely, but those impacts would be employment for many rural Alaskans. As small in magnitude. Cumulative impacts discussed in Section 3.24, the foundation of rural associated with the less-than-30-year renewal communities in Alaska is a mixed subsistence- alternative and the no-action alternative employ cash economy (Wolfe and Walker 1987). the same approach to evaluation as used for the Subsistence continues to play an extremely cumulative-proposed action case. Conclusions important role in these communities, with its for these last two cumulative cases appear at the importance for Alaska Natives extending beyond end of this section. economic considerations to sociocultural and ceremonial roles. But access to cash also is 4.7-103 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES important, enabling the purchase of necessities most of the state, including rural settings. that cannot be obtained through other means, Accompanying this continued reduction in including equipment and supplies used for isolation is exposure to growing amounts of subsistence. Beyond any convenience, security, ideas and people from sociocultural systems or improved quality of life that cash might very different from those of rural Alaska. Such provide, in Alaska rural economies do not exposure introduces the potential for function without it. Access to more cash in such increasingly rapid sociocultural change and settings, in turn, often promotes increased the potential displacement of both village subsistence involvement and productivity (Wolfe residents lured by other opportunities and key 1987). components of sociocultural systems supplanted by constructs imported from elsewhere. Increased reliance on cash and increased involvement in a cash economy can also have Despite indications of improved conditions negative consequences. Although money and quality of life for many rural sociocultural provides the means of purchasing goods and systems in modern Alaska, certain measures of services necessary for survival and enhances societal health and mental health for Alaska subsistence activity, it also requires that rural Natives indicate sociocultural systems that are Alaskans locate scarce jobs and participate in a out of balance. One of the most alarming is the job market for which they may not be fully high rate of suicide. For years suicide has been prepared (Hudson 1985). This situation provides a source of concern, and by the late 1980s an additional source of pressure in sociocultural Alaska Natives took their own lives at a rate of systems that have changed considerably (in the 69 per 100,000, many times the rate found in the case of Alaska Natives). Participation in wage rest of American society (see Section 126.96.36.199). employment, in turn, can require behavior that is Concerted efforts to reduce suicides among inconsistent with the normal functioning of rural Native peoples in Alaska, many conducted in sociocultural systems, such as extended rural villages, experienced some success. After absences from a community and important a decade of fluctuating rates, by 1999 Alaska social activities (including subsistence; see Native suicides occurred at a rate of 53 per Strohmeyer 1997). Access to cash can change 100,000 persons. This was a marked status recognition, shifting influence to improvement over levels a decade earlier, but individuals with money who may not have still more than five times the rate for the United attained the status normally associated with States as a whole in 2000 (ADHSS 2001b). authority in Alaska Native and rural non-Native sociocultural systems. In addition, cash can Substance abuse similarly continues to be a provide the means of acquiring substances, such problem among Alaska Natives. Alaska Natives as drugs and alcohol, detrimental to a healthy are nearly two to three times more likely to have existence (Kettl and Bixler 1991; Kraus and lifetime alcohol dependence, more likely than Buffler 1979). Indeed, the large amounts of any ethnic group in Alaska to engage in binge money earned through employment on the TAPS drinking, more likely to have fetal alcohol construction in the 1970s were accompanied by syndrome than non-Natives, and four times more the introduction of illegal drugs to many rural likely to be amphetamine dependent than Whites Alaskan communities (Strohmeyer 1997). in Alaska (ADHSS 1999, 2001b). Although large- scale problems in the Native community with A final general consequence of the revenues alcohol abuse can be traced to the onset of rapid generated by some of the cumulative actions change initiated by statehood (see considered here is the continued rapid Section 188.8.131.52), its persistence suggests the modernization of Alaska. As has occurred presence of conditions that would somehow throughout much of the United States in recent generate such behavior into the 21st century. decades, information flows with increased freedom and people move with increased ease Violence in Alaska Native society also throughout virtually all of Alaska in 2002. remains a concern occurring in much greater Isolation from broad, frequent contact with other frequency among these sociocultural systems sociocultural systems is no longer a condition in than for Alaska as a whole, with the rate of ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-104 homicide among Alaska Natives nearly twice possible association between rapid acculturation that of all Alaskans in 1998 (ADHSS 2001b). of Alaska Native (and, to a lesser extent, rural non-Native) sociocultural systems and persisting In considering the rise of certain social social problems as a possible indicator of problems challenging contemporary Alaska cumulative impacts to those systems. Native communities, it is also important to note the rapid development of Alaska Native self- Cumulative impacts to sociocultural systems determination and self-governance institutions in are expected to accompany additional oil and the last several decades. Building on traditional gas exploration, development, and production foundations of leadership and political projected to occur on the North Slope in coming organization during the 1960s, Alaska Natives years. As discussed in Section 4.3.21, despite created regional organizations and the state- their remote location, the (largely) Alaska Native wide Alaska Federation of Natives. Under the sociocultural systems of the North Slope terms of the Indian Self-Determination Act interacted with outsiders throughout much of the (P.L. 93-638), the regional nonprofit corporations 20th century, and particularly over the past three and new regional health corporations assumed decades as a consequence of oil-related responsibility for many federal programs. Tribal activities. Despite experience interacting with governments and the North Slope borough have modern Western society, there are symptoms also grown in exercising “civic capacity” on that the Nunamiut and Tareumiut sociocultural behalf of Alaska Native constituents. Alaska systems also have developed certain indications Native leaders in all of these entities have of sociocultural stress. More than two decades systematically focused on prevention and ago, research revealed the presence of violence intervention to reduce the problems of suicide, and substance abuse in these sociocultural substance abuse, and violence. Cultural renewal systems (e.g., Kruse et al. 1981) problems efforts, including culture camps for young which persist. In addition, over the last people, the statewide sobriety movement, and three decades, different types of problems have development of culturally appropriate treatment emerged with the enormous surge of income to models, all form part of this growing capacity the North Slope Borough, introducing authority within the Alaska Native community. structures, status differences, and in some instances corruption previously unknown in The citation of problems among Alaska traditional Iñupiat society (see Strohmeyer Native sociocultural systems is in no way an 1997). attempt to belittle or otherwise disrespect these peoples. Rather, it is an attempt to provide a In addition to the two Iñupiat sociocultural complete sense of the challenges that these systems noted above, cumulative impacts would sociocultural systems face. Although the Alaska also be likely to affect the communities of of the late 20th century brought many Anaktuvuk Pass and Nuiqsut (see Map 3.24-1) improvements to Native life, it also provided a as well as other Iñupiat communities. As setting where many social problems could described in Section 3.24 and Appendix D, both develop. Although one can argue for a link of these communities have mixed economies, between certain social improvements and although they rely heavily on subsistence modern services and programs, such as (ADCED 2001). The participation in wage improved health care and a widespread school employment outside the villages requires system, the causes of social maladies are not as absence from the communities, introducing the clear. However, in the case of suicide, many possibility of fragmentation in sociocultural researchers have postulated that high rates systems built on a heritage of interaction and among Alaska Natives are associated with the collaboration. Moreover, such absence can sudden introduction of money and modern compromise subsistence activities, such as American culture (Hlady and Middaugh 1988; caribou and whale hunting, that typically occur in Kettl and Bixler 1991, 1993; Kraus and Buffler groups and remain extremely important in both 1979). Acculturation also has been linked to villages (see Section 3.24.1). Cumulative alcohol use as well (Kelso and DuBay 1989). impacts to subsistence in these communities are This evaluation of cumulative impacts uses the discussed in Section 184.108.40.206, noting disruption 4.7-105 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES via additional restrictions to subsistence harvest The construction and operation of a natural areas. Because of the key sociocultural and gas pipeline would probably provide additional ceremonial roles of subsistence, further opportunities for wage employment for rural constraints on this activity are important to Interior Alaskans, with sociocultural impacts of consider in the current context as well. the sort outlined in prior paragraphs (increased absence from communities, shifting authority It appears that cumulative actions, in structures, heavy interaction with members of association with the proposed action, will bring other sociocultural systems, possible increases mixed impacts to Alaska Native sociocultural in social problems, additional state revenues for systems on the North Slope. In addition to public programs, and an important source of providing revenues to help continue various cash). Construction of the NMDS would generate state-funded services and programs, the North similar impacts, although these likely would Slope Borough’s ability to tax certain types of serve to replace the current mission at Fort development will provide additional local Greely. revenues. A noted in Section 4.3.21, such revenues have enabled the borough to provide a Sociocultural systems of particular concern number of improvements for residents of rural with regard to cumulative impacts to Interior communities within its jurisdiction. But with Alaska would be those with members located development come certain possible challenges, near the TAPS and these other developments. including continued social disruption and Native systems of particular concern would be subsistence impacts. The people of the North (north to south) the Gwich’in, Koyukon, Tanana, Slope have taken an aggressive approach to and Ahtna Athabascans. Alaska Native and rural acquiring the financial resources necessary to non-Native communities of particular concern adjust to increased interaction with modern would include Alatna, Allakaket, Big Delta, American society, and this evaluation assumes Chitina, Coldfoot, Copperville, Copper Center, that such adjustments will continue in the Delta Junction, Evansville, Gakona, Glennallen, cumulative case. As a result, cumulative impacts Gulkana, Hughes, Kenny Lake, Livengood, likely will be small, although probably negative Manley Hot Springs, Minto, Paxson, Rampart, given continued modernization and the social ills Stevens Village, Tanana, Tazlina, Tonsina, and that such change has introduced to the North Wiseman (see Map 3.24-1). The extent of the Slope peoples. TAPS contributions to cumulative impacts experienced in each village sociocultural impacts on the North Slope, both would likely vary with the degree to which it was positive and negative, would be relatively small affected by current and foreseeable future compared with the other changes occurring actions, in terms of the involvement of there. community members in these actions or in terms of the effects on the community itself from an Cumulative impacts to sociocultural systems increased influx of outsiders and increased would also be likely in Interior Alaska, to both the exposure to the outsiders’ sociocultural systems. (largely) Athabascan Alaska Native sociocultural Negative cumulative impacts likely would be less systems and to non-Native sociocultural systems to rural non-Native sociocultural systems, such located there. In Interior Alaska, other activities as found in Wiseman, in part because many that occurred in the recent past, are currently have their roots in American society. As under way, or are reasonably foreseeable would described in Section 3.24.1 and Appendix D, all not be as geographically concentrated as on the of these communities have mixed economies North Slope. Thus, their potential impacts would that combine subsistence and wage labor; those also be dispersed geographically. As a result, in with larger non-Native populations located close some cases, it is unlikely that the cumulative to major roads tend to rely more on the latter impacts on rural sociocultural systems would be (ADCED 2001). as great in Interior Alaska as they would be on the North Slope. One exception likely would be In Interior Alaska, as with the North Slope, positive impacts of public services, state-funded cumulative impacts associated with the programs, and infrastructure, which Interior proposed action likely will have mixed Alaska in particular relies upon. consequences. In addition to providing revenues ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-106 to help continue various state-funded services As discussed in Section 220.127.116.11.5, and programs, the cumulative actions cumulative impacts also include tanker spills in considered also will provide additional Prince William Sound and beyond to destination opportunities for wage employment. But once ports. Because of the need to focus on again, with development come certain possible reasonably foreseeable actions, the spills challenges, including continued social disruption considered under normal operating conditions and the persistence of social problems. The would those falling in anticipated or likely people of Interior Alaska, particularly the Copper frequency categories. Such spills would be River Basin, have had a lengthy experience of reasonably probable (between one every interaction with, and adjustment to, modern 30 years to two per year), but would generate American society. This evaluation assumes that minimal impacts due to the release of 60 barrels such adjustments will continue in the cumulative of oil or less (see Table 4.7-6). Despite concerns case, and that they will be small because of the about another spill by people living near Prince relatively limited actions occurring in a huge William Sound, impacts (including sociocultural geographic area. As a result, cumulative impacts impacts) under normal operating conditions to Alaska Native and rural non-Native should be minimal. TAPS contributions to sociocultural systems in Interior Alaska likely will sociocultural impacts in the Prince William be small, although once again probably negative Sound area, both positive and negative, would given continued modernization and the social ills be relatively small compared with the other that such change has introduced to this part of activities occurring there. Alaska. TAPS contributions to sociocultural impacts in Interior Alaska, both positive and In contrast, impacts on Alaska Native and negative, would be relatively small compared rural non-Native sociocultural systems from a with the other changes occurring there. less probable tanker accident in Prince William Sound and beyond along transportation routes Cumulative sociocultural impacts also would could be severe. Falling under the frequency affect the Alaska Native and rural non-Native categories of unlikely and very unlikely, oil sociocultural systems of Prince William Sound. releases into the Sound (i.e., within the Considering past, present, and reasonably Hinchinbrook Entrance) could total 320,000 bbl foreseeable actions, impacts on these systems (see Table 4.7-6), and yield impacts to local would probably be less extensive than those naturally occurring resources similar to those likely to occur in Interior Alaska or on the North experienced with the Exxon Valdez oil spill (see Slope. The main reason for this conclusion is Sections 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, and 188.8.131.52). that there are generally fewer total actions taking place in Prince William Sound that would disrupt Impacts to sociocultural systems from the Alaska Native or rural non-Native sociocultural Exxon Valdez spill were severe in terms of the systems than there in the other two regions, short-term adjustments made, including major especially the North Slope. It is also worth noting economic shifts, changes in community structure that the Native sociocultural systems in Prince (e.g., extended absence to work on spill William Sound the Chugach Alutiiq and Eyak cleanup), and changes in authority recognition have interacted with Western societies more (IAI 2001). Some of the largest sociocultural than the Alaska Native sociocultural systems in impacts involved subsistence impacts, as this the Interior and North Slope. This long history of central component of rural Alaskan sociocultural interaction and adjustment to the presence and systems was severely affected in Prince William influence of Western society has produced Sound and beyond (Fall and Utermohle 1999; Native sociocultural systems (including Tribal see Section 184.108.40.206). governments) in a sense more accustomed to introduced change (see Section 3.25). The Much of the economic shift that occurred communities expected to experience represented a replacement of subsistence with sociocultural impacts include three Alaska wage labor. Exchange of subsistence resources Native villages: Chenega Bay, Cordova declined, as did the presence of such resources (including Eyak), and Tatitlek (Map 3.24-1). in ceremonial activities of Native communities. Young persons received less instruction in subsistence activities traditionally passed from 4.7-107 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES generation to generation, while older members sources of interaction with personnel maintaining of society saw their influence replaced by that of the pipeline and related facilities as well as people more involved in spill-related activities. sources of wage employment. Reduced positive Ultimately, it is likely that sociocultural impacts impacts likely would be of particular concern. as a result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill were Not renewing the Federal Grant would remove a short-term, representing adjustments to the source of wage employment for rural Alaskans, consequences of this event rather than changes which as noted can have positive as well as in the fundamental structural components of negative consequences. It would also remove a local sociocultural systems (Wooley 1995). considerable amount of state and local (North Moreover, the improbability of a large tanker Slope Borough) tax revenues used to fund public accident occurring again, coupled with services, programs, and infrastructure (see dramatically improved spill prevention and Section 220.127.116.11). For sociocultural systems, cleanup contingency plans and the use of the cumulative actions under the no-action SERVS system for tanker escort (TAPS Owners alternative would yield an Alaska quite different 2001a), likely would limit impacts to much less from that which currently exists. Alaska Native than those experienced from the Exxon Valdez and rural non-Native sociocultural systems likely spill. Nevertheless, should a large spill occur, would face lessened acculturation than under the impacts on Alaska Native and rural non- current conditions, but also would face greater Native sociocultural systems in Prince William economic challenges in conjunction with Sound (at least in the short term) would be reduced public services and programs these severe. negative consequences likely providing other challenges for rural sociocultural systems. Under Sociocultural effects south of the Gulf of the less-than-30-year renewal alternative, the Alaska to the U.S. West Coast and California TAPS contribution to cumulative sociocultural ports are expected to be less than those impacts would be relatively small compared with described above. This is primarily because the likely effects of other cumulative actions. Native subsistence cultures south of Alaska Under the no-action alternative, the relative historically have been more greatly affected by contribution of discontinuing the TAPS would be Euro-American Society, although several Native quite large in the sense that North Slope oil communities in the Pacific northwest of the production relies on the TAPS to transport oil to United States and the Pacific coast of the market. As discussed in Section 18.104.22.168, southwestern Canada continue to practice discontinuing the TAPS would set several other subsistence. Ultimately, impacts likely to result events into motion, including the termination of from a tanker spill far offshore likely would have oil production and the considerable revenues it little impact on the resources used by these provides. Native peoples, and little impact on their sociocultural systems. Overall, cumulative impacts to sociocultural systems likely would be a mix of positive and Cumulative impacts associated with the negative consequences. Both probably are a less-than-30-year-renewal alternative likely consequence of continued acculturation and would be similar to those just described for influence by modern American society, proposed action-associated cumulative impacts. particularly affecting Alaska Native sociocultural Cumulative impacts associated with the systems but also influencing rural non-Native no-action alternative, in turn, likely would be systems. As was the case when evaluating similar to those discussed under the no-action sociocultural impacts under the proposed action alternative by itself, although the magnitude (see Section 4.3.21), clearly linking acculturation likely would be greater both for positive and with the TAPS or any of the cumulative actions negative consequences, and ultimately the latter considered in this EIS is extremely difficult would dominate. Reduced negative impacts given the general modernization that continues could result from a reduction in potential to occur throughout Alaska for a variety of acculturation were the TAPS and certain key reasons. related activities (e.g., North Slope oil production) discontinued removing some ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-108 22.214.171.124 Economics which would have had a throughput rate (2 billion ft3/d) similar to that of the proposed The assessment of the cumulative economic pipeline, it is estimated that revenues from the impacts of the TAPS covers the impacts from pipeline would amount to $189 million annually continued operation (including renewal for less in royalties and severance taxes and than 30 years) and no action, together with $188 million annually in property taxes (TAPS impacts from other existing and projected Owners 2001a). The exact size of revenues economic development activities likely to occur would depend on tax rates, actual daily in the state during the proposed lease renewal throughput rates, and the market price of natural period. The economic impacts of any spills that gas. Additional benefits of the pipeline would be could potentially occur in Prince William Sound the possibility of further North Slope economic during tanker operations are also included. The development, and the potential for reduction in analysis combines the impacts from the TAPS the cost of natural gas throughout the state. continued operation and no action with those from the most important major projects expected Employment that would be created by the to occur during the period 2004 to 2034 and pipeline is difficult to estimate, given the qualitatively assesses the resulting aggregate provisional status of the project. Since the length impact on the economy of the state and pipeline of time required for its construction is assumed corridor region. Although numerous projects are to be less than that estimated for the TAGS, slated for development in Alaska (see given that it would be a shorter pipeline and that Section 4.7.4), the only projects potentially there would be processing facilities (CERA creating significant cumulative impacts in 1999), it is likely that the employment impacts association with the continued operation of the from the project would be less than those TAPS and no action are the natural gas pipeline estimated from the TAGS. The TAGS designed to transport gas from the North Slope employment impact is assumed to be to Canada and the proposed National Missile 7,200 direct workers during the peak year of an Defense System (NMDS) at Fort Greely and a 8- to 10-year construction period, with an large potential oil spill. The impacts of all oil field additional 3,300 jobs created indirectly in the development considered likely to occur are state as a whole. Annual operations jobs are included under the proposed action estimated to be 550, with an additional (Section 4.3.19). Other economic development 1,250 indirect jobs (TAPS Owners 2001a). It is activities, such as the Wrangell-St. Elias NPP likely that the pipeline would employ a large and mining development near Fairbanks, number of construction workers from outside the although they would add to the overall level of state, and while wages and salaries would economic activity in the state, would not be as produce local spending and state tax revenues, significant as the pipeline project, NMDS, and a a significant portion of wages and salaries during large potential oil spill. construction would leave the state, used for families and other expenditures elsewhere in the The largest planned activity potentially United States. Deterioration in the provision of occurring during the renewal period would be the local public services might also occur in some construction and operation of the proposed communities along the proposed route in the natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. Gas short term as a large number of in-migrating would be transported through the pipeline to workers arrive, especially if some are serve markets in both Canada and the United accompanied by their families. States. The total capital cost associated with the pipeline would be between $5 and $6 billion, and The NMDS includes a facility to be located in it would take up to 7 years to build (CERA 1999). Alaska to support an anti-ballistic missile The largest impact of the pipeline to the state system, most likely at Fort Greely, near Delta and local economy would be the tax revenues it Junction. The system would cost $626 million would generate. On the basis of the impact of and create 400 direct construction jobs over a the Trans Alaska Gas System (TAGS), a five-year period and create an additional pipeline that was proposed to transport liquid 620 jobs in the state (U.S. Army Space and petroleum gas from the North Slope to Valdez, Missile Defense Command 2000). A total of 4.7-109 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 360 direct operations jobs and an additional While the Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in 110 indirect jobs would be created. Currently, significant economic benefits to the communities 600 civilian and military jobs are under threat as in Prince William Sound, there were numerous part of the plan to close the base at Fort Greely other social and psychological costs incurred by (TAPS Owners 2001a). A large number of many of those directly and indirectly involved in construction workers from outside the state the spill. These impacts include damage to could be expected as a result of the project, and fisheries resources and cultural, spiritual and depending on the where these workers live community damages, many of which are long during construction, they could strain the ability term and highly significant, possibly life- of local governments to provide adequate public changing, to those involved. More information on services to the local communities in the vicinity the impact of the spill on communities in the of the site. Prince William Sound area, including intangible impacts outside the scope of this In addition to new economic development socioeconomics section (such as psychological activity projected for the state, oil spills in Prince stress) can be found in IAI (2001). William Sound could also result in additional spending in local communities and at the state Improvements to tankers, shipping safety, level. For example, as a result of the Exxon and spill response capability in Prince William Valdez oil spill in 1989, Exxon Corporation spent Sound developed after the Exxon Valdez more than $2.6 billion on cleanup activities in the incident means that it is unlikely that a spill of the following three-year period (Etkin 1998), creating same magnitude would occur again, and that the an average of 2,500 direct cleanup jobs and local and state economic impacts associated approximately 2,500 indirect jobs over the period with spill response and clean-up activities for (ADOL 1990). These jobs more than offset any spill would not be as significant as those monetary losses in the fishing and tourism following the Exxon Valdez incident. The industries (IAI 1990). The local economy, in possibility of compensatory and punitive damage particular, was stimulated by income generated resulting from a future spill, however, may still by the oil spill; income doubled and employment increase the monetary cost of even a relatively increased by 30% in the Valdez-Cordova small spill, although there may be offsetting Census Region in 1989 (TAPS Owners 2001a). economic impacts, depending on the extent to Many of the cleanup jobs were filled by which cash from compensation payments is temporary in-migrants from outside the state, spent inside the state. reducing the benefits to the state and local economy. In addition to the employment and It may be reasonable to assume that the income generated as a result of the spill, economic impacts resulting from the Exxon significant compensation was paid by Exxon to Valdez oil spill, excluding those associated with various parties in the state. Almost $300 million compensation, represent the upper bound for was paid to commercial fishermen, while any potential accidental spill. The local and state $1,025 million was paid to the state and federal economic impacts from smaller spills that would government in criminal and civil settlements for be well within the capability of the spill response damage to the environment in Prince William authorities would therefore probably be far less Sound. In addition, APSC paid $98 million to significant. The possibility of compensatory commercial fishermen and has significantly claims in the event of a spill might still remain, increased its annual spill response expenditures however, since the long-term effect of the Exxon to $60 million, primarily benefiting the Valdez Valdez oil spill on the environment of Prince local economy (TAPS Owners 2001a). The long- William Sound has not been clearly established term effects of the spill on the environment in (TAPS Owners 2001a). Even in the absence of Price William Sound have yet to be fully significant local employment and income established, and the potential costs of impacts like those that occurred as a result of compensatory claims for additional the Exxon Valdez spill, the ultimate distribution environmental damages may still significantly of compensation among parties (in the event of a increase the overall monetary cost of the spill. lawsuit and settlement following a serious spill) ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-110 would mean that local and state economic built along the pipeline route during TAPS impacts might still be significant. construction, and for many years use of the road was limited to oil development and pipeline Although the natural gas pipeline would support traffic. The road recently has been impact the economy of the state, the cumulative opened to the general public, which has created economic impacts of declining North Slope oil problems, especially in the North Slope production and continued TAPS operations, Borough, where the provision of emergency and together with the operation of the gas pipeline other public services to support the additional project, would probably not be significantly traffic has been costly and has placed strain on larger than the impacts of current North Slope the financial resources of the Borough. and TAPS operations. The gas pipeline would probably be the most important new project for Cumulative employment and income the state in the next decade, and its most impacts associated with NMDS and oil spills in significant impact would be on tax revenues from Prince William Sound would probably be much severance taxes, royalties and property taxes less significant with regard to the economy of the levied by the state, and from additional property state than they would be with regard to the local taxes collected by local governments. It is likely economies in which each is located. that gas pipeline construction would not begin Employment and income impacts of the NMDS until after 2010 during a period of declining would only offset the decline in employment revenues from North Slope production and TAPS resulting from base realignment at Fort Greely, throughput that will begin in 2006 (see with no major impacts to local public service Section 126.96.36.199). Impacts from the gas pipeline provision expected. Any major employment and might therefore merely partially offset the decline income impacts resulting from a spill would be in state oil revenues over the renewal period. unlikely, given the significant upgrading of spill Employment impacts at the state level, while response capability since the Exxon Valdez significant during construction, would be likely to accident. Any increases in activity would most impact the economy only in the short term; the likely be concentrated in Valdez. Any longer-term overall impact on the state would in-migrating workers would probably not have a probably be small, even though pipeline major impact on the ability of local government operations workers are likely to be relatively to provide adequate local public services. highly paid. The impacts of continued TAPS operation At the local level, impacts of continued for the less-than-30-year renewal alternative, TAPS operations and the gas pipeline in the together with the gas pipeline and NMDS, would short term would also probably be significant, be less than those for the proposed action as a with a major influx of workers expected during function of the renewal period. Less oil-related the construction period. Depending on where investment could occur in the North Slope fields these workers reside during pipeline and other parts of the oil sector, and supporting construction, there might be substantial impacts industries, together with lower levels of private on local employment and income in the smaller and public investment in the non-oil-related parts communities as well as impacts on the ability of of the economy, would produce less local governments to provide adequate public employment, income, and tax revenues. services, especially if many workers are accompanied by their families. There might also Construction and operation of the gas be major impacts at the local level if construction pipeline project and the NMDS under the of the gas pipeline project and the NMDS no-action alternative would partially offset the occurred simultaneously in the Fairbanks/Delta losses in employment, income, and tax revenues Junction area, but such impacts are unlikely, that would occur at both the state and local given the proposed schedules for the two levels with the end of TAPS operation and North projects. Slope production (see Section 188.8.131.52). Construction of the pipeline project would not Additional cumulative impacts of continued conflict with the latter stages of TAPS TAPS operations would come from use of the termination activities or the NMDS, and pipeline Dalton Highway for general traffic. The road was operation would likely provide an alternative 4.7-111 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES basis of support for state and local revenue 184.108.40.206 Land Use and Coastal generation and continuing efforts toward Zone Management diversifying the state’s economy away from natural resource extraction activities. 220.127.116.11.1 Land Use. The TAPS and other actions in the vicinity of the pipeline have 18.104.22.168 Cultural Resources had cumulative effects on land ownership and use near the ROW during the past 25 years. Cumulative impacts on cultural resources Valid legal access for TAPS operation and have occurred in the recent past as a maintenance has been acquired on the lands it consequence of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In crosses. Access to public and some private addition to damage to coastal archaeological lands has increased in the vicinity of the pipeline sites due to contact with oil, additional impacts due to construction of the Dalton Highway, TAPS occurred because of clean-up efforts and as a access roads, and airstrips. Some trespassing consequence of increased human traffic along a and conflict of use issues have resulted on coast previously quite isolated (Bittner 1996; native lands. Some increases in recreational, IAI 2001). Physical impacts from clean-up efforts residential, municipal, and commercial land uses resulted from soil removal at archaeological have occurred; some of which can be attributed sites and operation of machinery near to the pipeline. Commercial development has archaeological sites. The unauthorized removal occurred at three development nodes along the of artifacts from archaeological sites by clean-up Dalton Highway. The existence of the pipeline personnel was also reported. Based on has contributed to the increase in oil exploration, experience from this spill, the SHPO determined development, and transportation activities at the that the involvement of cultural resource North Slope during the past 25 years. professionals and local tribal groups during the initial planning stages of an emergency is Other actions unrelated to the TAPS have important to minimize impacts to cultural greatly affected land ownership and use in resources (Bittner 1996). Alaska. The passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in No cumulative impacts are anticipated for 1980 resulted in numerous designations of cultural resources under any of the alternatives conservation system units. Lands have also considered in this EIS. Although other projects been conveyed from federal to state might adversely affect cultural resources, government, and from state to local government adherence to federal and state laws pertaining to and Native Alaskans. cultural resources should mitigate adverse effects associated with the additional projects. The largest new development reasonably As stated in Section 4.3.22, the renewal of the foreseeable in the vicinity of the TAPS is a TAPS ROW could adversely affect known natural gas pipeline project. In this project, a cultural resources, but these impacts could be buried natural gas pipeline would run parallel to mitigated on a project-by-project basis through the TAPS ROW. A gas processing facility would avoidance, monitoring, data recovery, etc. be constructed on the North Slope, and Although the Exxon Valdez oil spill compressor, pigging, and valve stations would understandably had negative impacts on cultural be constructed intermittently along the pipeline. resources, the likelihood of an event of similar magnitude occurring is quite low (see The gas pipeline and its related Table 4.7-6). This improbability, coupled with infrastructure would have some effects on land improved spill response capabilities and steps to use in the vicinity of the TAPS. Aesthetics would restrict vandalism, should limit impacts to be affected along and/or within the TAPS ROW, cultural resources from a similar event. with resulting effects on recreation likely (see Section 22.214.171.124). Noise from construction, operation, and maintenance of the gas pipeline and related structures would likely be audible from some recreation areas and could interfere with recreational activities. During construction, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-112 a temporary increase in noise might also occur the location of the natural gas pipeline and on lands set aside for wildlife habitat related structures. If the TAPS ROW were conservation, disturbing wildlife. Effects on renewed for less than 30 years, the cumulative military, residential, municipal, commercial, or effects would be similar to the cumulative private land use could also occur, not only from impacts under the proposed action but of shorter increased noise, but from preclusion or duration. interference of use from the gas pipeline and related structures. Conflicts with mining and However, the cumulative effects under the other natural resource use would be possible, no-action alternative would be much different depending on the route of the pipeline and from those under either the proposed action or locations of structures. the less-than-30-year renewal alternative. Less commercial, municipal, and residential Finally, although there would be an influx of development would be expected to occur due to personnel associated with the gas pipeline, it a downturn in the state economy resulting from would be unlikely to result in an increase in lost oil revenues. Use of state recreation areas, residential, municipal, or commercial sites, and parks would decline because of development. The new personnel associated closures resulting from state funding reductions. with the project would probably just offset the Oil exploration, development, and transportation workforce reductions that have recently resulted activities at the North Slope would cease, from the closure of Fort Greely and proposed although natural gas development at the North APSC reorganization. Slope and construction of a natural gas pipeline might still occur. Additional recreational development and/or increased use of existing developed recreation Cumulative effects on land use from the areas would also be unlikely. However, TAPS will continue to occur, whether the ROW is increased access would likely result from renewed for 30 years, less than 30 years, or not construction of the gas pipeline and could at all. Few, if any, additional effects on land contribute to an increase in recreational use of ownership would be expected, regardless of undeveloped public lands. renewal. Spills (see Sections 126.96.36.199.1 and 188.8.131.52.1) could also occur as the result of a 184.108.40.206.2 Coastal Zone variety of actions, including oil exploration and Management. The TAPS and other actions in development, oil refining, oil storage activities, the vicinity of the pipeline have had cumulative and transportation. Small spills could disrupt effects on the North Slope Borough and Valdez other land uses, although a large spill would coastal zones during the past 25 years. have the greatest impact. If there was a spill Aesthetic and land use impacts from the TAPS from the natural gas pipeline, resulting in and other activities are evident in both zones. volatilization of the gas, the potential for a fire However, the operation and maintenance of the would exist. A fire would result in temporary TAPS and related facilities, including the Valdez evacuation of nearby areas, long-term aesthetic Marine Terminal are permitted activities in impacts to the landscape, and potential long- compliance with the enforceable policies in term interference with land uses. both the North Slope Borough CMP and the Valdez CMP. The TAPS is also a development If there were no spills, renewal of the TAPS activity consistent with both CMPs. (See ROW for either 30 years or less than 30 years Section 220.127.116.11 for effects on coastal zone would continue to have only small impacts on management from the proposed action.) Other land use in the vicinity of the pipeline. However, currently existing development in the coastal the anticipated construction of the natural gas zones would be expected to be consistent and in pipeline and related infrastructure would have compliance with the CMPs as would future larger impacts on land use. The combined development, and therefore would be unlikely to effects from both pipelines would increase the have a large cumulative impact on coastal zone currently existing impacts on land use in the management. Spills from the TAPS, a future vicinity of the TAPS, depending in large part on natural gas pipeline, or oil and gas development 4.7-113 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES represent actions that could have the greatest As discussed in Section 18.104.22.168.2, renewal potential cumulative effect on coastal zone of the Federal Grant would continue to be management with regard to either the North consistent with the North Slope Borough CMP Slope Borough or Valdez CMP. and in compliance with enforceable policies. In the absence of spills, continued operation and North Slope Borough Coastal maintenance of TAPS would have very little Management Program. Oil and gas additional effect on coastal resources and exploration, development, and production activities within the borough. The cumulative activities would be expected to continue within effects from the renewal of the ROW for less the North Slope Borough coastal zone. than 30 years would be similar to the cumulative Construction of a natural gas processing facility impacts under the proposed action, but of short has been proposed. The facility would service a duration. However, in the event of an unlikely gas pipeline that would parallel the TAPS, either spill, impacts would be the same for both within or adjacent to the ROW. The pipeline renewal alternatives. would be buried along most of its length. If the no-action alternative were The natural gas processing facility would implemented, TAPS-related activities would add to the existing visual impact within the North cease in the North Slope Borough coastal zone. Slope Borough. The gas pipeline would also Land occupied by the TAPS and related oil represent a visual impact if any segment of it exploration, production, and transportation was above ground. However, the North Slope facilities would be available for other Borough CMP allows for development activities development activities, consistent with ACMP as long as they do not substantially interfere with statewide standards and the North Slope subsistence activities in the borough or Borough CMP. Some aesthetic and land use jeopardize the continued availability of impacts would likely result. subsistence resources. The additional processing facility, the natural gas pipeline, and Some cumulative effects on the North Slope ongoing oil and gas activities would not be Borough coastal zone from the TAPS will expected to interfere with or jeopardize continue to occur, whether the ROW is renewed subsistence within the borough, although an for 30 years, less than 30 years, or not at all. impact would be expected to occur (see the Because of required compliance with statewide cumulative effects discussion on subsistence). ACMP standards and the North Slope Borough CMP, additional effects would likely be small. Impacts to subsistence resources within the North Slope Borough coastal zone could occur Valdez Coastal Management from a land or water-based petroleum spill. The Program. The Valdez CMP allows for a variety magnitude of the impacts would depend on the of activities within the coastal zone, including volume, location, duration of the spill, as well as development, and those activities would be the time of year it occurred. Aesthetic impacts expected to continue. No major developments would also occur, and cleanup activities could be are currently planned within the Valdez coastal substantial and long term. Potential effects to the zone, but any additional development would add North Slope Borough coastal zone from TAPS to the existing visual impact of the Valdez spills are discussed in Section 22.214.171.124.2. Marine Terminal. Similar impacts would result from petroleum spills from other resources. Spills could also Normal operation and maintenance of the occur from the natural gas pipeline if it was TAPS and the Valdez Marine Terminal would not constructed, resulting in volatilization that could impact the Valdez coastal zone. However, temporarily impair air quality. Volatilized gas impacts to other activities within the coastal zone could lead to a fire, resulting in damage to could occur from small spills, although a major subsistence resources and temporary land- or water-based petroleum spill at the evacuation of areas within the borough, thereby Valdez Marine Terminal, or from an oil tanker, disrupting subsistence activities. Disruption to other commercial vessel, or private vessel would other development activities within the borough be most disruptive. A spill at the Valdez Marine would also be likely. Terminal that erupted into fire or a spill to water ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-114 within the coastal zone, especially to Prince Dalton Highway, resulting in an increase in William Sound, would likely damage coastal recreational opportunities and use in some resources (including aesthetics) and interfere areas. The pipeline is visible from some with other coastal zone activities. These impacts recreation areas, sites, and parks. At some would be similar to the potential impacts on the locations, noise from TAPS-related infrastructure Valdez coastal zone from TAPS spills discussed (such as pump stations) is audible. in Section 126.96.36.199.2. The passage of ANILCA in 1980, which As discussed in Section 188.8.131.52.2, renewal created numerous conservation system units in of the Federal Grant would continue to be in Alaska, greatly increased recreational compliance with the enforceable policies in the opportunities in the vicinity of the TAPS. The Valdez CMP. In the absence of spills, continued existence of these opportunities has increased operation and maintenance of the TAPS and the recreational use of public lands near the TAPS. Valdez Marine Terminal would have very little Oil revenues have allowed for greater funding of additional effect on coastal resources and state recreational areas, sites, and parks, which activities within the Valdez coastal zone. The has also increased recreational opportunities cumulative effects under the less-than-30-year and use. renewal alternative would be similar to those under the proposed action. Under the no-action These impacts from the TAPS would alternative, TAPS and related activities would continue with renewal of the ROW. The only cease, and the Valdez Marine Terminal would be large development recreational or otherwise removed. Other permitted activities could then reasonably foreseeable at or near recreation occur in those areas, which would likely have areas, sites, or parks in the vicinity of the TAPS associated aesthetic and land use impacts. is the potential construction of a buried natural gas pipeline within or adjacent to the TAPS Receiving Port Coastal Zone. ROW, beginning about the year 2010. The Numerous significant economic resources have anticipated route of the pipeline would parallel the potential to be impacted in the event of an oil the TAPS. A gas processing facility would be spill in a harbor receiving North Slope oil constructed on the North Slope, and shipments. For example, in the vicinity of the compressor, pigging, and valve stations would LA/LB terminal, there are large marinas in be constructed intermittently along the pipeline. Marina Del Rey and Redondo Beach; inside the LA/LB Harbor complex; at the mouth of the Los The gas pipeline and its related Angeles River; inside Alamitos, Anaheim and infrastructure would substantially add to the Newport Bays; and at Dana Point. At all of these currently existing visual impacts along, and locations, private vessels are susceptible to within, the TAPS ROW. Only temporary visual oiling. There are many commercial fishing impacts would occur from burying the gas vessels throughout the various harbors. pipeline but construction of the related Recreation at all or a portion of the beaches in infrastructure would represent long-term the area could be impacted during a response to aesthetic impacts. Since sight-seeing is a very a nearshore spill (California Department of Fish popular recreational activity in Alaska, these and Game 2002). visual impacts would somewhat diminish the quality of that recreational experience for some people. Infrastructure visible from recreation 184.108.40.206 Recreation, Wilderness, areas, sites, or parks might also reduce the and Aesthetics quality of other recreational experiences such as hiking or camping. 220.127.116.11.1 Recreation. The TAPS and In addition, noise from construction of the other actions have had some cumulative effects gas pipeline and compressor, pigging, or valve on recreation on federal and state lands in the stations could be audible from some recreation vicinity of the pipeline. Access to public lands areas, sites, and parks, depending on the has increased since construction of the TAPS, location of the pipeline and related infrastructure, particularly as a result of the construction of the which is currently uncertain. Additional vehicular 4.7-115 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES and air traffic resulting from the construction, pipeline and related infrastructure would also operation, and maintenance of the natural gas impact recreation. The combined effects from pipeline would also add to current noise audible both pipelines would increase the currently from recreation areas, sites, or parks, existing impacts on recreation in the vicinity of particularly those in proximity to a highway. the TAPS, depending in large part on the Lastly, increased access resulting from location of the natural gas pipeline and related construction of the gas pipeline could contribute structures. to an increase in recreational use of undeveloped public lands. The cumulative effects on recreation from the no-action alternative would likely be greater Recreation in the vicinity of the TAPS could than those from either the proposed action or the also be affected in the future by a major land- or less-than-30-year renewal alternative. The water-based TAPS spill, particularly a major currently existing visual and noise impacts from spill. Visual and noise impacts could occur, the TAPS would end after termination activities especially from long-term cleanup activities. were completed. Oil revenues would decline and Both temporary evacuation and long-term eventually cease, resulting in decreased funding closure of recreation areas would be possible. of state recreation areas, sites, and parks. The Potential effects to recreation from TAPS spills reduced funding would be expected to force are discussed in Section 18.104.22.168.3. closure of some state areas, sites, and parks, resulting in a decrease in recreational Spills could also occur from the natural gas opportunities and use levels in the vicinity of the pipeline if it was constructed, resulting in TAPS. volatilization that could temporarily impair air quality. Volatilized gas could lead to a fire, Cumulative effects on recreation from the resulting in evacuation of recreation areas, long- TAPS and other actions would continue to occur, term aesthetic impacts to the landscape, and regardless of the length of the renewal, or even potential closure of sites. in the event of no action. In spite of some visual and noise impacts from TAPS infrastructure and If a major spill occurred in Prince William increased traffic, the overall cumulative effects Sound, it would create economic losses for the on recreation from the TAPS are generally tourist and recreation industries. A major spill in favorable, since oil revenues generated by the the Gulf of Alaska would affect recreation and TAPS help to fund state recreation areas, sites, tourism, with major economic losses for the and parks. However, decreased throughput tourist industry. Small charter boat, lodge, and during the renewal period would result in sportfishing operations in the Yakutat area would decreased state revenues, which could impact be the hardest hit. Tourist levels would be state recreational funding, although not as much expected to rebound to prespill levels 1 year as no action. after the spill. A spill south of the Gulf of Alaska to the U.S. West Coast and California ports would affect the same types of tourist industries 22.214.171.124.2 Wilderness. The Wilderness and resources. However, in coastal areas to the Area within the Gates of the Arctic NPP is the south, marine sanctuaries, shoreside beaches, only federally designated Wilderness Area within parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas are a few miles of the TAPS or in the vicinity of the more numerous and see more overall visitation. proposed gas pipeline. No state designated, or For this reason, economic losses to the tourism federal or state proposed, wilderness areas exist industry could be greater (MMS 2002). in the vicinity of the TAPS or the proposed gas pipeline. In the absence of spills, renewal of the Federal Grant of ROW, either for 30 years or a The only large action that has occurred in lesser term, would continue to have only small the past near the eastern portion of the Gates of impacts to recreation in the vicinity of the the Arctic NPP Wilderness Area is the pipeline and the effects of the renewal construction of the TAPS. The pipeline continues alternatives would be similar. However, the to be the only large development in the vicinity. anticipated construction of the natural gas ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-116 The currently existing cumulative effects on the TAPS as well as some of the noise associated Wilderness Area are due to the TAPS. with the pipeline and related traffic on the Dalton Highway. Increased access and a small increase The construction of a buried natural gas in use would be expected to continue. pipeline within or adjacent to the TAPS ROW as it passes the Gates of the Arctic NPP is a reasonably foreseeable future activity and would 126.96.36.199.3 Aesthetics. The TAPS and add to the indirect impacts of the TAPS. several other actions have resulted in a large Temporary visual impacts would occur from cumulative visual impact in the vicinity of the burying the pipeline and would persist until pipeline. The TAPS and its related infrastructure revegetation occurred. Any compressor, pigging, represent one of the more substantial visual or valve stations constructed along the pipeline impacts on the landscape along much of its and visible from the Gates of the Arctic length. The highways that it parallels also Wilderness Area would add to the existing visual represent major aesthetic impacts, as do the impact. Noise from construction could be audible communities and other developments within the within the wilderness, and the additional pipeline viewshed. Other existing visual impacts vehicular and air traffic resulting from the include additional pipelines and oil development construction, operation, and maintenance of the infrastructure on the North Slope; commercial, natural gas pipeline would also add to current industrial, residential, and recreational noise audible from the Wilderness Area. Lastly, development along the Dalton and Richardson an increase in personnel in the area due to the Highways; mining operations; pipeline viewing additional pipeline could potentially result in an stations; and the Valdez Marine Terminal. increase in recreational use in the Gates of the Arctic Wilderness Area. All of these visual impacts currently exist and have existed for many years or decades Spills in the vicinity of the Gates of the Arctic along the length of the pipeline. Development in NPP could occur from the natural gas pipeline if the vicinity of the pipeline is expected to occur it was constructed, and they could result in a fire slowly, as it has in the past. No major municipal, that would impair air quality in the vicinity of the commercial, industrial, recreational, or mining Wilderness Area. Long-term aesthetic impacts to development has been identified adjacent to the the landscape could occur from a fire, and TAPS, and no major additional TAPS-related potentially be visible from the Gates of the Arctic construction is anticipated. However, a 200- to NPP Wilderness Area. See Section 188.8.131.52.2 300-acre residential development and an for a discussion of potential impacts on approximately 2,000-acre agricultural wilderness from TAPS spills. development have been proposed about 5 mi south of Copper Center. In the absence of spills, renewal of the TAPS ROW would continue to have only small visual In addition, the TAPS corridor has been and noise impacts to the Wilderness Area. proposed for the construction of a natural gas However, the anticipated construction of the pipeline within the next decade. The anticipated natural gas pipeline and related infrastructure route of the pipeline would parallel the TAPS. A would also have indirect impacts to wilderness. gas processing facility would be constructed on The combined effects from both pipelines would the North Slope, and compressor, pigging, and likely have a more substantial impact on the valve stations would be constructed Gates of the Arctic NPP Wilderness Area than intermittently along the pipeline. These stations the current impact, depending in large part on would add to the currently existing visual the location of the natural gas pipeline. The impacts along, and within, the TAPS ROW. Even cumulative impacts would be similar under the though the gas pipeline would be buried, the proposed action and the less-than-30-year ROW would be visible and would likely be renewal alternative. maintained in a state visually different from surrounding areas. This would be similar to Cumulative effects on wilderness from the buried segments of the TAPS, which are visually no-action alternative would result in elimination different from surrounding areas. of the currently existing visual impact of the 4.7-117 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES Aesthetics could also be affected in the cumulative impacts in other impact areas future by a land- or water-based petroleum (groundwater, human health, etc.) and then on spills from oil exploration, development, or whether these impacts would affect minority and production; oil storage; or oil transportation by low-income populations disproportionately. tanker. Visual impacts, including cleanup Disproportionate impacts can occur two ways: activities, could be long-term and similar to the (1) because the environmental justice population aesthetic impacts from a TAPS spill, as under consideration is present at a percentage discussed in Section 184.108.40.206.3. Spills could also higher than that found in the state as a whole, or occur from the natural gas pipeline if it was (2) because the environmental justice population constructed, resulting in volatilization that could under consideration is more susceptible to such temporarily impair air quality. Volatilized gas impacts. In either case, it is a necessary could lead to a fire, further degrading air quality precondition that the cumulative impacts have until it was extinguished. Long-term aesthetic already been determined to be high and impacts to the landscape could occur from a fire, adverse. Analyses indicate that high and depending on its extent. adverse impacts would not be anticipated for cumulative actions combined with the proposed As discussed in Section 220.127.116.11, renewal of action or less-than-30-year renewal alternative. the TAPS ROW would continue to have mostly Impacts associated with the no-action localized impacts to aesthetics in the vicinity of cumulative case, in contrast, are expected to the pipeline. In the absence of spills, continued produce high and adverse economic operation and maintenance of the TAPS would consequences. Both because minority and low- have very little additional aesthetic effect on the income populations occur in disproportionately landscape. However, the anticipated high percentages in many parts of Alaska (the construction of the natural gas pipeline and entire state economy likely to be affected; see related infrastructure would have additional Figures 3.29-1 and 3.29-2), and because these visual impacts on the landscape in the vicinity of populations tend to be more susceptible to such the TAPS. That potential project, combined with impacts because of their financial status (see existing aesthetic impacts from the TAPS, as Section 3.29), environmental justice impacts well as other probable future development in the would be anticipated. vicinity of the pipeline, would combine to create a major aesthetic impact in the vicinity of the TAPS ROW, under the proposed action or less- 4.7.9 Summary than-30-year renewal alternative. Many activities in the TAPS region of The cumulative effects to aesthetics would interest (TAPS ROW, North Slope, and Prince be lessened somewhat under the no-action William Sound) contribute to cumulative effects alternative because the TAPS and related on the environment. If it were not for the infrastructure would be removed. The rate of construction of the TAPS, some of these development in the vicinity of the pipeline would activities would not take place, including oil also be expected to slow because of the exploration, development, and production on the economic impacts of lost oil revenues. However, North Slope; refinery operations; and oil the gas pipeline may still be built, and the transport from Valdez to market. However, other residential and agricultural development near petroleum industry activity could still occur in the Copper Center may still occur. Overall, the TAPS region of interest even in the absence of aesthetic impacts would be less under the the TAPS, including the transport of petroleum no-action alternative than under either of the products into and within Alaska and the storage renewal options. of oil for industrial, transportation, and domestic use. It is also possible that natural gas exploration, development, and production would 18.104.22.168 Environmental Justice occur and that a natural gas pipeline would be constructed and operated, depending on The evaluation of cumulative impacts with economic conditions. The petroleum industry implications for environmental justice depends affects many segments of the Alaskan economy first on the identification of high and adverse ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4.7-118 by creating jobs, providing revenue for Many of these impacts are secondary. government services, and providing income to Three major cross-cutting impacts are identified support subsistence lifestyles. These secondary in this analysis. First, the generation of road effects are most evident when economic and dusts affects vegetation, soils, and permafrost; social issues are the subject of an assessment. this impact, in turn, affects surface hydrology However, some activities within the TAPS region and snowmelt; and this impact affects birds and of interest are independent of the oil industry. mammals. Second, activities associated with These include activities based on Alaska’s other petroleum exploration and development use natural resources, such as mining, forestry, large quantities of water that are taken from tourism, and fishing. surface water under ice, which constitutes an important habitat for overwintering fish. Third, The cumulative impact assessments developments in all areas affect fish and presented in Sections 4.7.6 through 4.7.8 mammal populations, which are important integrate the effects of all actions taken together subsistence resources for Alaskans; in addition, under three scenarios. The first scenario, which the income and access provided by these is analyzed in the most detail, considers the developments affect the ability of and need for impacts from all actions, including the operation people to utilize these subsistence resources. of the TAPS, for another 30 years. This is the Although the cumulative impacts on these proposed action. The second scenario considers resources, as analyzed in Sections 4.6 through all actions taken together with a less-than- 4.8, are, in general, minor and local, knowledge 30-year authorization of TAPS operations about their relationships is still important to followed by either a further renewal or no action. reach an understanding of the environmental The third scenario considers all actions taken consequences of the proposed action. No major together with no action, which would involve synergistic effects were identified in the ending TAPS operation and removing TAPS cumulative analysis. facilities. The cumulative impacts associated with these three scenarios are summarized in Table 2.1.