FERC seeks input on enviro impacts of Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as of May 5, is taking comment until June 27 on a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Atlantic Sunrise Project, proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco).

Transco requests authorization to expand its existing pipeline system from the Marcellus Shale production area in northern Pennsylvania to deliver an incremental 1.7 million dekatherms per day of year-round firm transportation capacity to its existing southeastern market areas.

The draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of about 197.7 miles of pipeline composed of the following facilities:

  • 183.7 miles of new 30- and 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania;
  • 11.5 miles of new 36- and 42-inch-diameter pipeline looping in Pennsylvania;
  • 2.5 miles of 30-inch-diameter replacements in Virginia; and
  • associated equipment and facilities.

The project’s proposed aboveground facilities include: two new compressor stations in Pennsylvania; additional compression and related modifications to three existing compressor stations in Pennsylvania and Maryland; two new meter stations and three new regulator stations in Pennsylvania; and minor modifications at existing aboveground facilities at various locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to allow for bi-directional flow and the installation of supplemental odorization, odor detection, and/or odor masking/deodorization equipment.

On March 31, 2015, Transco, an indirect subsidiary of Williams Partners LP, filed an application with FERC under section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act of 1938 (NGA) and part 157 of the commission’s regulations. Transco is seeking a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the project.

According to Transco, the purpose of the project is to provide an incremental 1.7 million dekatherms per day (MMDth/d) of year-round firm transportation capacity from the Marcellus Shale production area in northern Pennsylvania to Transco’s existing market areas, extending to the Station 85 Pooling Point in Choctaw County, Alabama. The project would include modifications to the existing Transco mainline system to reverse the direction of flow, enabling new north-to-south capabilities (bidirectional flow) to transport this new source of natural gas to existing markets.

Transco held an open season for the project in August-September 2013. As a result, it has executed long-term, binding precedent agreements with nine shippers for the entire proposed 1.7 MMDth/d or about 1.65 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of additional firm transportation capacity the project would provide.

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.