FERC readies enviro review for Mountain Valley gas pipeline project in Pa., W.Va.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 28 issued a notice about an October 2015 application from Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities.

Equitrans LP filed a companion application in October 2015. The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline Project, in West Virginia and Virginia, would transport about 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas from production areas in the Appalachian Basin to markets on the East Coast. The proposed Equitrans Expansion Project, in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, would transport about 0.4 Bcf/d of natural gas and interconnect with the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  Because these are inter-related projects, the FERC staff deemed it was appropriate to analyze them in a single environmental impact statement (EIS).

This June 28 notice identifies the FERC staff’s planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the projects, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in September 2016.

  • Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS – March 10, 2017
  • 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline  – June 8, 2017

If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the projects’ progress.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline Project would consist of about 301 miles of new 42-inch-diameter pipeline, beginning at the Mobley Interconnect and receipt meter station in Wetzel County, West Virginia, and terminating at the Transco Interconnect and delivery meter station at the existing Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. Compressor Station 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In addition, Mountain Valley intends to construct and operate three new compressor stations and other aboveground facilities.

The Equitrans Expansion Project would consist of a total of about 8 miles of various diameter pipelines in six segments. These segments include: the parallel 12-inch-diameter H-158 pipeline and 6-inch-diameter M-80 pipeline extending about 0.2-mile each in Greene County, Pennsylvania; the 24-inch-diameter H-305 pipeline that would extend about 540 feet in Greene County; the 3-mile-long new 30-inch-diameter H-316 pipeline in Greene County; the 4.2-mile-long new 20-inch-diameter H-318 pipeline in Allegheny and Washington counties, Pennsylvania; and the new H-319 pipeline that would extend about 200 feet in Wetzel County, West Virginia.

Equitrans also proposes: to abandon its existing Pratt Compressor Station and replace it with the new Redhook Compressor Station in Greene County, Pennsylvania; and to construct and operate taps in Greene County and Washington County, Pennsylvania, and an interconnect and two taps in Wetzel County, West Virginia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Jefferson National Forest; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington and Norfolk Districts; U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3; Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation; West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection; and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

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.