Federal regulators have approved a key permit needed by Byhalia Pipeline Connection to begin construction on a controversial oil pipeline through Southwest Memphis, according to a company spokesman.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a Nationwide Permit 12 for the pipeline project, said Jeff Cosola, a public affairs advisor for Plains All American, which is building the Byhalia Connection Pipeline as a joint venture with Valero Energy. The permit gives the company a fast-track process that requires a single federal permit for water crossings rather than individual permits for each, and does not require companies to produce an environmental impact statement or notify the public at any point in the process.
“Following more than 10,000 hours of environmental field study and analysis, the Byhalia Connection Pipeline project has obtained the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12, a federal permit only available for projects that will have minimal impacts on the environment,” Cosola said. “Obtaining the Nationwide Permit 12 is a key step in the project; we look forward to safely and responsibly building and operating a pipeline that will be a long-term benefit to the community.”
Byhalia Pipeline has said it planned to begin construction early this year, and the project is expected to take about nine months. Cosola, however, said Wednesday that while the company has the permits it needs to begin construction, they haven’t determined when construction will start.
The company unveiled plans in late 2019 to build a 45-mile pipeline from Valero Memphis Refinery to a Valero facility in Marshall County, Mississippi.