FERC issues schedule for enviro review on Texas Eastern gas capacity projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a July 12 notice that it plans to issue an environmental assessment on Aug. 8 covering an October 2015 application from Texas Eastern Transmission LP for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct, operate, and maintain pipeline loops, install additional compression, and allow for reverse flow capabilities.

The proposed projects – known as Access South, Adair Southwest and the Lebanon Extension — would enable Texas Eastern to transport up to an additional 622,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas on its mainline system from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, to points in Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

This July 12 notice identifies the FERC staff’s planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the projects. The EA is to be issued on Aug. 8, with thge 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline being Nov. 6. If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the projects’ progress.

The projects would include: construction and maintenance of approximately 15.8 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline at three locations in Meigs and Monroe counties, Ohio, and 0.5 mile of 16-inch-diameter replacement pipeline within its existing right-of-way in Attala County, Mississippi; installation of a new 16,875 horsepower compressor unit at an existing compressor station in Tompkinsville, Kentucky; and modification of 12 existing compressor stations to allow for reverse flow capabilities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

In August 2015, the commission issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Access South, Adair Southwest and the Lebanon Extension projects. The NOI was issued during the pre-filing review of the projects and was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the commission received environmental comments from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a landowner, and combined comments from the Allegheny Defense Project, Buckeye Forest Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Freshwater Accountability Project, Heartwood, Kentucky Heartwood, and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

The primary issues raised by the commentors included location of pipeline on an affected landowner’s property; federally-listed threatened and endangered species; state-listed endangered species; migratory birds; permitting requirements; minimization and avoidance of impacts on streams and wetlands; direct, indirect and cumulative project impacts; connected actions; forest fragmentation; and noise.

On May 17, the commission issued a Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for projects. The Supplemental NOI was sent to landowners within one half mile of the compressor stations who had not been included in Texas Eastern’s original landowner list. In response to the Supplemental NOI, the commission received one comment from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stating that it had no comments on the projects.

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.