PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC has again modified the route of its proposed Marcellus Shale natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to a FERC letter addressed to newly affected property owners in the project's path.
PennEast is currently finishing its pre-filing review phase ahead of what spokeswoman Patricia Kornick said would likely be a mid-September filing date for its formal application with FERC. The proposed 114-mile, 1 Bcf/d pipeline would deliver gas from Luzerne County, PA, to Mercer County, NJ and interconnect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline (Transco).
While the company has made dozens of route variations and several reroutes, it's had difficulty gaining permission for survey access, particularly in New Jersey (see Shale Daily, July 22). Despite this, Kornick said it's not unusual to modify the pipeline's proposed path during the pre-filing phase. She added that some of the latest changes have been made in response to landowner feedback, surveys and engineering work through a process that would continue through the project's formal Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application.
FERC notified landowners in Luzerne County and Hunterdon County, NJ. PennEast has modified the route to accommodate current and future quarry activities in Luzerne County and residential development near Wilkes-Barre, PA. The path also has been tweaked to better "co-locate" with Transco and avoid additional impacts to state game lands. A planned crossing location at the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania has been modified after negotiations with state agencies and a ski resort, which added a new interconnection with UGI Central Penn Gas Inc.
Additionally, route modifications were made to avoid two creek crossings in New Jersey and for a new compressor station site in Pennsylvania. FERC said it would offer affected property owners in both states a special comment period that would close on Sept. 18.
The project was first announced last year as a 100-mile pipeline (see Shale Daily, Aug. 12, 2014). Backers include AGL Resources Inc., New Jersey Resources Corp., South Jersey Industries Inc. and UGI Corp.