FARMINGTON — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a proposed 246-mile pipeline expansion that would stretch from Bloomfield to Hobbs and end in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

The project by Enterprise Mid America Pipeline would add 12 pipeline segments that would run adjacent to and tie into Enterprise's existing system.

A BLM map of the project appears to show the first segment to be installed near the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 and U.S. Highway 550 in Bloomfield. The pipeline would proceed southeast from there.

The pipeline expansion envisions installing 16-inch diameter pipeline through most of the route, with some 20-inch pipeline to be used. The project would boost the pipeline's existing capacity by an estimated 65 million barrels per day, according to Enterprise.

The expanded pipeline would be constructed in 2013 and begin service in the third quarter of 2014, according to BLM and company documents.

BLM officials are preparing an Environmental Assessment of the project. That may not be enough to please watchdog groups.

A more in-depth Environmental Impact Statement is necessary, said Mike Eisenfeld, New Mexico energy coordinator for the San Juan Citizens Alliance.

"It sounds like a significant action to us," he said. "We don't believe that an EA is sufficient to analyze this."

The pipeline expansion would pass through parts of San Juan, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, McKinley, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Torrance, Guadalupe, Lincoln, De Baca, Chaves and Lea counties.


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About 68 miles of the pipeline would be on BM land, 26 miles on Bureau of Indian Affairs land, 27 miles on state land and 125 miles on private land.

San Juan County would have 40 miles of the pipeline.

BLM and Enterprise officials could not be reached for comment Friday.

Public comments and questions may be directed to Lorraine Salas, BLM National Project Manager, Las Cruces District Office, 1800 Marquess St., Las Cruces, N.M. 88005. Comments may also be submitted by email to lsalas@blm.gov by fax to 575-525-4412.

Comments must be received by Nov. 20.

More information is available online at www.blm.gov/nm/westernexpansionpipeline.