St. Charles Parish is located in Louisiana just outside of New Orleans on the banks of the Mississippi River. The area is home to over 50,000 people. The past few years, there have been discussions about the St. Charles Parish Expansion Project. The project, proposed by Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, was recently approved.
The Expansion Project
The St. Charles Parish Expansion Project will create a 900-foot long, 16-inch-wide natural gas pipeline. It will also create a 5,000-horsepower compressor station in conjunction with the 24-inch Index 270 Pipeline System operated by Gulf South.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project but made a few changes to the proposal. They mandated that the Montz Compressor Station be moved to permanent location 30 feet away in an effort to make future drainage improvements. They also required the southern access road for the project be made temporary, instead of permanent.
Pipeline Erosion Control
Because the St. Charles Parish runs along the Mississippi River, the area tends to be heavily saturated. Drainage is an issue throughout the entire area, evident by the engineering failures that occurred during Hurricane Katrina. Pipeline erosion control is necessary when dealing with heavily-saturated areas.
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners will have to take a number of steps to ensure their new project is durable and sustainable. Building in the area could be costly if pipeline erosion control measures are not taken. One of the things they could to do to mitigate erosion risks is to install Submar articulated concrete mats.
These mats are designed to provide maximum erosion control. They not only provide natural drainage, but they also encourage vegetation growth. Vegetation helps to slow down erosion rates by absorbing moisture and preventing runoff. The blocks are also easy to install. They do not require heavy equipment, which can be difficult to maneuver around saturated job sites.