FERC kicks off environmental review for West Virginia/Ohio pipeline project

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) covering the Leach XPress Project, which involves construction and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission LLC in Marshall and Wayne counties, West Virginia, and Fairfield, Vinton, Lawrence, Noble, Jackson and Hocking counties, Ohio.

The commission said in a Jan. 13 notice that it will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity. The scoping period, when suggestions are taken on what should be covered in the EIS, will close on Feb. 12.

Columbia Gas plans to construct: approximately 161 miles of new natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and Ohio; two new compressor stations in Ohio and one new compressor station in West Virginia; four new regulator stations in Ohio; and to modify two existing compressor stations in West Virginia and Ohio as well as one existing regulator station in Ohio. The Leach XPress Project would provide about 1.5 million dekatherms of natural gas per day of firm transportation service to natural gas consumers served by the Columbia Gas and Columbia Gulf pipeline systems. This project would provide shippers outlets from constrained supply basins and access to higher value markets.

The Leach XPress Project would consist of:

  • LEX Pipeline – 130 miles of new 36-inch-diameter pipeline in Marshall County, West Virginia, and Fairfield, Hocking, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, and Perry counties, Ohio;
  • R-801 Loop – 27 miles of new 36-inch-diameter pipeline loop in Fairfield, Hocking, and Vinton counties, Ohio;
  • BM-111 Loop – 2.9 miles of new 36-inch-diameter pipeline loop from Lawrence County, Ohio, to Wayne County, West Virginia;
  • LEX1 Pipeline – 0.6 miles of new 30-inch-diameter pipeline in Fairfield County, Ohio;
  • three new compressor stations, designated as the Lone Oak, Summerfield, and Oak Hill stations, to be located in Marshall County, West Virginia, and Noble and Jackson counties, Ohio, respectively;
  • four new regulator stations in Hocking and Vinton counties, Ohio, respectively;
  • modifications to the existing Ceredo and Crawford Compressor Stations in Wayne County, West Virginia, and Fairfield County, Ohio, respectively;
  • modifications to the existing RS-1286 regular station in Vinton County, Ohio; and
  • abandonment in-place of 28 miles of the 20-inch-diameter R-501 Pipeline in Fairfield, Hocking, and Vinton counties, Ohio.

Although no formal application on this project has been filed, FERC has already initiated its National Environmental Policy Act review under the commission’s pre-filing process.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.