The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 2 put out for comment until June 1 an environmental assessment (EA) for the Atlantic Bridge Project proposed by Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC.
The applicants request authorization to expand existing pipeline systems to deliver up to 132,705 dekatherms per day of natural gas transportation service to New England and the Maritimes provinces of Canada. The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
The proposed Atlantic Bridge Project includes:
- 4.0 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline to replace existing 26-inch diameter pipeline in Westchester County, New York;
- 2.3 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline to replace existing 26-inch diameter pipeline in Fairfield County, Connecticut;
- a new 7,700 horsepower compressor station (Weymouth Compressor Station) in Norfolk County, Massachusetts;
- a new metering and regulating station in New London County, Connecticut;
- modifications to three existing compressor stations in Rockland County, New York, and Windham and New Haven counties, Connecticut;
- modifications to five existing metering and regulating stations and one regulator station in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine; and
- ancillary facilities associated with the new pipeline including mainline valves and pig launcher/receiver facilities.
The project would eliminate capacity constraints on existing pipeline systems in New York State and New England, provide access to the growing supply areas in the Northeast region, and provide additional firm pipeline capacity needed to deliver natural gas supplies to meet the supply and load growth requirements in the Northeast market area. The project would also facilitate south-to-north flow on the Maritimes system to provide additional gas supply to New England and the Maritime provinces of Canada. With the project, Algonquin and Maritimes would provide a total of an additional 132,705 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of capacity on their systems.
Under precedent agreements, the project shippers have primary delivery point entitlements for about 40 percent (26,426 Dth/d) of the incremental capacity at delivery points on Algonquin’s system in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The remaining 60 percent (79,705 Dth/d) of capacity would be delivered to the Maritimes system at the Salem/Beverly Massachusetts interconnect.
Maritimes was issued a Presidential Permit in July 2009 which authorizes Maritimes to utilize its existing cross-border facilities to import or export natural gas between the United States and Canada. Maritimes is authorized to deliver gas into Canada, and portions of the gas associated with this project would be delivered into Canada.
Moving from the Maritimes interconnect, the 79,705 Dth/d of incremental capacity plus an additional 26,574 Dth/d of existing capacity would move north through Maritimes’ system. Under Maritimes’ precedent agreements, about 14,500 Dth/d of the total 106,276 Dth/d would be delivered to seven different delivery points in Maine, while 91,776 Dth/d would continue into Canada.
While there are currently several proposals to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States and Canada to overseas countries, the applicants are not constructing the Atlantic Bridge Project for this purpose. The project customers receiving gas in Canada are industrial and commercial users of natural gas within Canada, not companies involved in the export of LNG.