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Ornate Box Turtle Public Notice

Public Notice


Pursuant to Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 1080 of the Illinois Administrative Code, notice is hereby given that Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, LLC (NGPL) of 1001 Louisiana Street, Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77002, has submitted a Conservation Plan to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to apply for authorization for the taking of the ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornate) incidental to the NGPL launcher and receiver installation at Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife area.


The project is located in Grundy County, Illinois. The project will occur within NGPL right-of-way south of Heidecke Lake on the Heidecke Lake/Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area. The project construction area is located at 5906 N Jugtown Road, Morris, IL 60450 (Township 33 North, Range 8 East, Section 5; UTM: Zone 16N, 388733.244m East, 4580174.642m North). The latitude and longitude of the project site are 41.365397 N, 88.330364 West. (See attached map).


The Project consists of construction activities for the installation of launchers and receivers for pipeline in-line inspection tools (aka pigs). These launchers and receivers are above-grade steel assemblies of pipes and valves that allow maintenance personnel to launch and receive pipeline ‘pigs’. Pigs are a colloquial name for inspection and cleaning devices that are sent down the pipeline to clean and assess pipeline conditions. NGPL needs to install the launcher and receiver station at the proposed location


due to the pipe outside diameter changing. The majority of the mainline through central Illinois is 30” in diameter, but the pipe underneath Heidecke Lake is 36” in diameter.  Because of the size differences in the pipe, different sized pigs are needed for precision in-line inspection.  The total permanent impacted area is 0.17 acre and the total temporary impacted area is 2.38 acres. Take of ornate box turtle may result during the Project as a result of this work. Ornate box turtle is protected under the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Act (520 ILCS 10) and is known to occur within the vicinity of the Project.


In order to minimize and mitigate for the take of ornate box turtle incidental to the NGPL launcher and receiver installation at Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife area, silt fence will be installed prior to construction to keep the ornate box turtle from entering the construction area. Once the perimeter silt fence is in place to exclude any turtles form entering the temporary workspace, an IDNR biologist will survey the area to ensure no turtles are trapped inside the workspace. In addition to the original survey, at the beginning of each day an onsite qualified inspector will walk the workspace to ensure turtles have not accessed the workspace. To prevent turtles from entering the fenced area, vinal privacy slats will be woven into the fence and will extend to the gravel of the proposed station. At the gated areas, a ‘no dig’ barrier will be installed that would extend below the gate to the gravel to exclude turtles from entering the station under the gate. A post-construction survey will be conducted 5 years after construction is completed. Based on the current construction completion schedule, the post-construction survey would be conducted in June 2027. If canine-assistance is available, a canine assisted survey will be conducted at this time. Any turtles observed during the survey will be documented. In addition to the avoidance and minimization measures above, NGPL will provide compensatory mitigation in the form of a monetary contribution to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund (the “Fund”).  The contribution will support conservation, research, and/or habitat improvement that will contribute to the ornate box turtle’s continued survival and recovery in Illinois.  NGPL will voluntarily contribute $8,326.18 to the Fund to offset this project’s permanent impact to suitable habitat.


A copy of the Project Conservation Plan is available for inspection by the Public at the following location(s):


–  Morris Area Public Library, 604 Liberty Street, Morris, IL 60450.


– Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area Park Office, 5010 N. Jugtown Rd. Morris, IL 60450


The Conservation Plan is also available on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Incidental Take Authorization website, accessed at Authorizations.aspx (ITA # 238)


Comments pertaining to the conservation plan should be sent to IDNR via email to




Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Resource Conservation, Incidental Take Authorization Coordinator, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702


Comments will be accepted through January 2, 2022.



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