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Physical Environmental Impacts of Pipeline Construction and Operation Between Coastal Alabama and the West Coast of Florida

Applied Coastal personnel were asked to summarize existing conditions and evaluate the potential environmental impacts of proposed pipeline construction and operation between coastal Alabama and the west coast of Florida. Our analysis relied on existing literature and data. Applied Coastal personnel provided detailed information on the geology (e.g., soils and sediment, mineral resources, geologic hazards) and physical processes (e.g., waves, currents, sediment transport, storm events) associated with estuarine environments in Alabama and Florida and barrier island, shelf, and slope environments of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The information was used to supplement the existing environment sections for a third-party EIS FERC document. The existing environment information was then used to evaluate the environmental consequences of proposed pipeline construction activities and operation. It was determined that the greatest impact to the natural environment from pipeline construction would be associated with trenching procedures. Surficial sediments will be disturbed in areas where the proposed pipeline will be buried; however, these disturbances are expected to have minimal or no long-term environmental consequences if pre-construction seafloor shape is restored after pipeline installation.

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