Commissioners approve Williams gas plant project

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RBC — Rio Blanco County Commissioners approved a Special Use License (SUL) for Williams Field Services Company for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Willow Creek Gas Plant Project in the Piceance Basin last Monday. The following night Williams Northwest Pipeline held an open house in Meeker regarding a proposed 28-mile pipeline to be known as the Colorado Hub Connection. Kent Walter, manager of the White River field office of the Bureau of Land Management updated commissioners on two other proposed pipeline projects and three seismic projects planned in Rio Blanco County.
The $300 million Willow Creek Gas Plant Project will be located on 138 acres of land purchased and leased from MTW Ranch LLC, near the confluence of Piceance and Willow creeks.
According to Mike Filicetti, a director for Williams, the plant is being prefabricated in Oklahoma and will be trucked to the site.
Filicetti said “peak staffing” of 275 workers would be housed in Garfield County and bussed to the site.
Since the plant will be constructed on private lands no Federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process was necessary but an environmental assessment (EA) was produced by West Water Engineering, a third party contractor, selected by RBC. Commissioners will use the EA process developed for this project for major projects not subject to the NEPA process in the future.
Both the commissioners and Williams representatives were appreciative of the developing relationship and after the commissioners approved the SUP, Filisetti said, “We will be coming back to you with a second train.” Williams also presented a check for $65,000 after the meeting to cover the impact fees.
“We just need to make sure they are doing it right,” Forrest Nelson, RBC commissioner chairman said at the open house Tuesday.
“This process is to gather input and try to resolve as many issues as possible early,” Walter said at the pipeline open house. The pipeline will be operated by Williams and regulated by the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC). The open house was part of the pre-filing process, which featured several Williams representatives answering questions about the project.
The 20-inch pipeline will be capable of delivering 445,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day to markets on Northwest’s system.