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Plain, D.R., 1983

Impact of the Alaska Gas Conditioning Facilities Project on the Prudhoe Bay environment

Bibliographic Reference

Plain, D.R., 1983, Impact of the Alaska Gas Conditioning Facilities Project on the Prudhoe Bay environment: University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D. dissertation, 140 p., illust., maps.


The ANGTS has been proposed as a means to begin production of natural gas reserves in the Prudhoe Bay oil field. This system would consist of natural gas conditioning facilities (AGCF) at Prudhoe Bay and 4,800 mi of pipeline running from the Prudhoe Bay to the continental United States. The AGCF could potentially have a significant impact on this arctic region despite the fact that the facilities would be housed in an area currently zoned for industrial use. The purposes of this study are to (1) assemble project data into a current project description, (2) assemble data currently available on the Prudhoe Bay environment, and (3) evaluate these data to identify potential project-related environmental impacts so that appropriate mitigation/protection programs can be developed. Project data represent current design and operation specifications. However, these specifications are not final; substantial changes in the project may occur before construction begins. Data on the Prudhoe Bay environment were collected from the literature, government documents, and studies conducted by environmental consultants. Despite the extensive amount of development that has occurred in this area, relatively little environmental data is available. Environmental parameters discussed in this study include meteorology, geology, hydrology/water quality, air quality, noise, terrestrial flora and fauna, aquatic flora and fauna, land use, socioeconomic conditions, recreational potential and aesthetics, and cultural resources. All of these parameters at Prudhoe Bay are currently being impacted by construction and operation of oil production facilities. The potential exists for the AGCF project to significantly increase these impacts. Prevention of intensification of impacts will require further identification of baseline environmental conditions at Prudhoe Bay and establishment of a monitoring program to detect changes in baseline parameters during both construction and operation of the AGCF. Data from these programs are needed to develop impact mitigation programs. The data will also be useful to determine incremental costs associated with future expansions of oil and gas production facilities.

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