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Alternatives and Impacts Addressed in the EIS

The TAPS Renewal EIS assesses a range of environmental impacts associated with renewal of the existing grant of right-of-way for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline for a period of thirty years, and from possible alternatives to renewing the existing grant for thirty years.

The proposed action addressed in the TAPS Renewal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is the applicants' request for renewal of the 30-year Federal Grant that governs the right-of-way for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The EIS addresses the impacts of operating the TAPS along its entire right-of-way from Pump Station #1 at Prudhoe Bay to the Marine Terminal at the Port of Valdez.

A second alternative addressed in the EIS is renewal of the Federal Grant for less than 30 years (less-than-30-year-renewal or time-dependent alternative).

In addition to considering the proposed action and the less-than-30-year-renewal alternative, the EIS addresses the no-action alternative of not renewing the Federal Grant, in which case TAPS would be dismantled and the aboveground portions removed.

Impacts Addressed in the EIS

Impacts are assessed for the following topical areas:

  1. Physical environment
    1. air quality
    2. soils and permafrost
    3. geology
      1. mineral resources
      2. paleontological resources
    4. water resources and quality
  2. Biological environment
    1. terrestrial habitats
      1. vegetation
      2. animals
    2. freshwater habitats
      1. resident fish
      2. anadromous fish
    3. marine habitats
      1. fish and shellfish
      2. mammals
    4. threatened and endangered species
    5. floodplains and wetlands
    6. invasive species
  3. Human/social environment
    1. land use
      1. ownership
      2. wilderness
      3. parks
      4. planning
      5. coastal management
    2. transportation
    3. visual environment
    4. noise
    5. recreation
    6. subsistence
    7. socio-cultural systems
    8. cultural resources
      1. archeological resources
      2. historical resources
    9. economy
      1. income
      2. employment
      3. taxes and revenues
      4. community services
    10. human health and safety
      1. occupational
      2. public
    11. environmental justice
  4. Cumulative impacts
    1. other hydrocarbon-based development and transportation activities
    2. other non-hydrocarbon-based development and transportation activities
  5. Other
    1. irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources
    2. short-term use versus long-term impacts
    3. unavoidable adverse impacts

Other EIS Topics

  • The EIS describes the TAPS design features, mechanisms of impact, emissions and effluents, pollution prevention and waste management, monitoring (including surveillance and maintenance programs), spill prevention and response, and mitigation measures.
  • The EIS includes a statement of the purpose and need for the proposed action, including the contribution that the continued use of the TAPS to support North Slope oil production makes to the nation's oil supply, economy, balance of payments, and energy security.
  • Applicable federal, state, and local statutes and regulations, with international agreements, and required federal and state permits, consultations, and notifications are presented.

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