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BLM Wants to Know Environmental Impact of Gas Pipeline



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CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) -- The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment about the possible environmental impact of a 400-mile pipeline between Salt Lake City and the Las Vegas area.

Federal officials said there's a chance the 12-inch pipe carrying refined petroleum products could affect prairie dogs and desert tortoises along the way.

If approved by federal officials, the pipeline could open in 2009.

A BLM project manager, Joe Incardine, said air quality, minerals and range resources would be considered in addition to the impact on endangered species habitat.

An environmental-impact study is expected to be finished in 2008.

The 30-day comment period ends Sept. 30. Public meetings have been held in Cedar City, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Tooele and the Moapa Indian reservation.

Holly Corp. of Dallas, which operates a crude-oil refinery in Woods Cross, Utah, is proposing a $300 million pipeline in a partnership with Sinclair Transportation Co. to move 120,000 barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel every day. "Anybody can ship," said Jim G. Townsend, special projects vice president for Holly. "It's not a Holly thing, it's not a Sinclair thing. It's kinda like a taxi cab."

Gasoline would move from refineries near Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, which gets most of its fuel trucked from southern California at higher prices.

Another pipeline terminal would be built at Cedar City to supply a fast-growing area of southwestern Utah.

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Information from: The Spectrum

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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