Published by the California Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Angeles National Forest (ANF)

The Pacific Pipeline Project Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Program Quarterly Newsletter No. 3 --- Spring 1998



This is the third in a series of newsletters intended to inform agencies, affected communities, and other interested parties about monitoring activities related to the construction of the Pacific Pipeline Project. This newsletter provides construction schedule, the status of monitoring activities, and ways to obtain project information.


Construction of the Pacific Pipeline Project has been divided into five different segments (see map on page 3). The status of construction at each segment is as follows (from north to south):

Segment 1 starts at Emidio (southern Kern County) and travels approximately 33 miles to the northern boundary of the ANF. Construction of Segment 1 began on November 5, 1997 and will be occurring through late-Summer 1998.

Segment 2 is 41 miles long, traverses the ANF, and terminates in Sylmar. This segment has been divided into three sub-segments. Construction started on June 27, 1997 in the ANF (Segment 2A) and was completed to the Templin Highway on November 9, 1997. Construction of Segment 2B (outside of the ANF-Castaic to Sylmar) began on November 6, 1997 and is scheduled to be completed in late-Summer 1998. Completion of 3 miles of pipeline (Segment 2C) from Templin Highway to Castaic is expected in late-Summer 1998.

Segment 3 travels from Sylmar to downtown Los Angeles and is about 25 miles in length. Construction of this segment began on October 28, 1997 and is scheduled to be completed in mid-Summer 1998.

Segment 4 includes a 10-mile portion from downtown Los Angeles to Watts Junction and an 11-mile portion that goes from Watts Junction to the Chevron El Segundo Refinery. Construction of both portions began in October 1997 and are scheduled to continue through mid-Summer 1998. The downtown Los Angeles portion is being constructed at night to minimize traffic and circulation impacts.

Segment 5 is 11 miles long and runs from Watts Junction to Wilmington. Construction of Segment 5 began in the Alameda Corridor on July 14, 1997 and is expected to continue through the end of May 1998.

Construction will also take place at the locations listed below and is expected to start up in late-Spring 1998. These are (from north to south):

Emidio and Grapevine Pump Stations, both located in Kern County.

Whitaker Pressure Relief Station located just south of Templin Highway on the ANF.

Lnwood Scraper Launcher Station.

Tie-in construction activities at Chevron (El Segundo), Texaco (Wilmington), and Ultramar (Wilmington) Refineries.

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Daily monitoring reports are submitted by the CPUC's and ANF's Environmental Monitors describing the construction activities of the day and compliance of these activities with the required mitigation measures. Weekly and monthly reports are also prepared summarizing the week's and month's construction activities. The daily, weekly, and monthly monitoring reports are available on the project Web Site under "reports" (see site address below).


A project Web Site and a 24-hour multi-lingual Monitoring Program telephone hotline provide a brief description of the MMCRP including:

MMCRP Information Hotline:
(888) 776-8444 (toll free)
MMCRP Web Site:


There are two locations along the pipeline route where you can view project information and access the Web Site. For locations and hours when MMCRP staff are available to answer questions at these sites, please call the project hotline or visit the project Web Site.


Project documents are available for public review at 11 libraries along the pipeline route. These libraries also have access to the Internet, where the public can use computers to access the project Web Site. For a list of these libraries and their hours please call the project information hotline or visit the project Web Site.


Dear Reader,

Since the beginning of Pacific Pipeline Project construction, in June 1997, more than 600 construction workers have been involved in the building of the 132-mile long crude oil pipeline along six active construction sites (segments) that begin in Kern County and end in Long Beach and El Segundo.

Aspen Environmental Group, representing the CPUC and the ANF, has Environmental Monitors on-site at each segment to ensure that construction activities are conducted in accordance with the approved mitigation measures for the project.

As the CPUC and ANF representatives, the Environmental Monitors issue Non-Compliance Reports when a mitigation measure is not being implemented (or being implemented incorrectly), and have the authority to stop construction.

The insert to this newsletter provides a brief step-by-step description of the types of activities that occur during construction of the Pacific Pipeline. Also, photos from various portions of the ROW are presented which depict some of the steps involved in construction. The Environmental Monitors monitor each of the aspects of construction to help ensure that the Pacific Pipeline Project is constructed in accordance with the approved mitigation measures.

If you have any questions about pipeline construction, contact us through the project Web Site (www.AspenEG.com/PP-MMCRP/) or project information hotline.


Kris Thorne

Lead Environmental Monitor

Pacific Pipeline Construction

1. The pipeline right-of-way (ROW) boundaries and sensitive resource sites are flagged.

2. If required, the ROW is then cleared by removing the aboveground portions of shrubby vegetation using a grader or bulldozer, and topsoil is salvaged and stored for revegetation.

3. The ROW is leveled using a bulldozer.

4. A trench is excavated using a trenching machine in rock-free areas where the ground is level or slightly rolling, or a backhoe in other areas. In rocky areas, the trench is blasted to fracture large rocks.

5. To avoid an open ditch, in some areas along the route such as rivers and in high traffic areas, it is preferable to bore underground.

6. Coated pipe is delivered to the ROW on trucks and is positioned next to the trench. This is referred to as "stringing".


7. The pipe is bent to fit the turns and elevation variations of the trench bottom.

8. The lengths of pipe are then welded together.

9. Every weld on the pipe is then x-rayed. If a flaw in a weld is visible on the x-ray, the weld is inspected and necessary repairs are made.



10. The pipe welds are then sandblasted and a coating made of an epoxy material is applied.

11. The entire pipe coating is then tested to detect any punctures in the coating. This is referred to as "jeeping". Any nicks in the coating are then repaired using epoxy sticks and a small blow torch.



12. At this point, rock-free soil is placed in the bottom of the trench to act as padding for the pipe. After welding, testing, and coating, a length of welded pipe (up to 3,000 feet) is put in slings attached to sidebooms and then lowered into the trench. Welders then weld the lengths of pipe together in an excavated work area in the trench.

13. Once the pipe in the trench has been padded with rock-free soil, bulldozers push excavated soils back into the trench.

14. Clean-up is the last step. Clean-up includes repaving roads and sidewalks with asphalt or pouring new concrete. In rural areas, clean-up also involves rebuilding fences, restoring stream crossings, and reseeding the ROW. Finally, bulldozers recontour the ROW, build erosion control devices, and spread topsoil.

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