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Algonquin Incremental Market Project Gets FERC Green Light

Spectra Energy Partners LP's Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC has received FERC authorization for its Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project to carry 342,000 Dth/d of Marcellus/Utica shale natural gas from Ramapo, NY, to citygates in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

In its order [CP14-96] the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission noted the high level of scrutiny Northeast region pipeline projects, such as AIM, have been receiving in recent months (see Daily GPIJan. 23).

"We received numerous comments and protests filed by individuals and entities," the order stated. "Hundreds of comments support the proposed project on the basis that, among other things, the project will bring jobs to the area. In comparison, hundreds of other comments and protests raise concerns over the AIM Project's potential environmental impact and the potential economic impact on property values."

The project, announced by Spectra in early 2012, calls for construction of 37.4 miles of pipeline in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island (see Shale DailyJan 20, 2012). Regional business interests got behind the project early (see Daily GPIOct. 15, 2013), and last January a National Grid executive asked FERC to hasten approving the project as his company needed the capacity (see Daily GPIJan. 5).

"Nothing in the record suggests that Algonquin's existing customers will experience any degradation in service, nor have any of Algonquin's shippers raised any objections to its proposal," FERC said. "Nor is there evidence that the AIM Project will adversely affect other pipelines or their customers. We are additionally satisfied that Algonquin has taken appropriate steps to minimize adverse impacts on landowners.” The Commission said 93% of the 37.4 miles of replacement pipeline and pipeline looping would use existing right-of-way and previously disturbed property.

FERC staff issued a favorable final environmental impact statement for the project in January (see Daily GPIJan. 23). According to Spectra's website, AIM should be completed in November 2016.

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