FERC issues notice on major gas pipeline project in Pennsylvania and New York

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 27 issued a notice about a March 17 application from National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. and Empire Pipeline Inc. for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate the Northern Access 2016 Project, and authorization to abandon and acquire certain related facilities.

The project will be located in McKean County, Pennsylvania, and Alleghany, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara counties, New York.

National Fuel requests authorization:

  • to construct 96.65 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline;
  • to add 5,350 horsepower (hp) of compression at the Porterville, New York compressor station;
  • to construct an interconnect meter and regulation (M&R) station with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC’s 200 Line;
  • to construct an M&R station and tie-in in Hinsdale, New York;
  • to construct an interconnection with NFG Midstream Clermont LLC;
  • to modify an existing tie-in;
  • to construct a pressure reduction station;
  • to abandon, via sale to Empire, all 3.09 miles of National Fuel’s existing Line XM-10 pipeline and certain other existing facilities;
  • to charge an initial incremental firm recourse rate for the project; and
  • for a limited waiver of General Terms and Conditions Section 31.1 of National Fuel’s tariff to permit the project’s foundation shipper to shift its primary delivery point for a portion of the project’s incremental capacity more than ninety days after its initial request.

National Fuel proposes to provide 497,000 dekatherms per day of new firm natural gas transportation capacity.

Empire requests authorization to:

  • construct a new 22,214 hp compressor station in Pendleton, New York;
  • construct 3.05 miles of 24-inch pipeline, replacing 3.05 miles of existing National Fuel 16-inch XM-10 pipeline;
  • construct a new dehydration facility;
  • modify two existing tie-ins; and
  • acquire from National Fuel the aforementioned 3.09 miles of Line XM-10.

Empire proposes to provide 350,000 dekatherms per day of new firm natural gas transportation capacity.

The total cost of this project would be approximately $376,670,388 (National Fuel) and $74,348,362 (Empire).

In July 2014, the commission staff granted the applicants’ request to use the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pre-Filing Process. As of the filing of the March 17 application, the NEPA Pre-Filing Process for this project has ended. Within 90 days of this notice the commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the public record, or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the commission staff’s issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the commission’s public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the commission staff’s FEIS or EA.

The applicants requested expedited review of the instant application and the issuance of the authorizations requested no later than Dec. 31, 2015. That will allow them to place the project in-service by Nov. 1, 2016, the in-service date requested by the project’s foundation shipper, Seneca Resources Corp.

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.